Articles Posted in Banking

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In a matter of first impression, the issue before the Supreme Court was whether proceedings in aid of execution or judgment collection pursued within an action under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act (UFTA) must be preceded by registration of a foreign judgment in the county of the district court from which execution issued. In 2002, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Oklahoma entered summary judgment against Debtors and denied a discharge of the debt to Bank based on Debtors' fraudulent concealment of assets. The Bank initiated various collection procedures against Debtors including garnishment and a hearing on assets in an attempt to satisfy the two judgments. The bankruptcy judgments were registered in Payne County, the location of Debtors' homestead, in July, 2002. Meanwhile, the UFTA action continued to proceed in Oklahoma County against Debtors' relatives. In September, 2007, the trial court entered an order in the UFTA action which determined that a portion of Debtors' income had been fraudulently diverted to a sham corporation for the purpose of avoiding garnishment of that income. However, it was not until November, 2007, that Bank's second amended petition in the UFTA action added Debtors and the corporation as defendants. In December, 2009, a contempt trial against Debtors generated an order filed 2010. That order expressly withdrew and superseded the September, 2007, order. It found one of the Debtors guilty of contempt for failure to obey the 2007 order. In April, 2011, Bank sought contempt to enforce the 2010 order. On August 18, 2011, Bank registered one of the bankruptcy judgments, and one for costs and attorney fees, in Oklahoma County. On March 15, 2012, a trial judge entered an order on Bank's motion to enforce the 2010 contempt order. The trial court found open and wilful violations of the withdrawn 2007 order as well as the 2010 order. The trial court acknowledged that Bank had failed to comply with the statutory requirements of registration of foreign judgments in the county of the court which issued execution, but it determined that those requirements did not apply in a UFTA action. Debtors brought then brought this original proceeding asserting the trial court's lack of jurisdiction to impose the relief granted to Bank. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that the belated registration of the foreign judgment in 2011 did not authorize the trial court to retroactively enforce orders which were void for lack of jurisdiction. "When a judgment was registered in Oklahoma County in 2011, the trial court did not retroactively acquire jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the 2007 and 2010 orders that granted remedies in the nature of execution, including contempt, and threatened incarceration for failure to pay the judgments. The 2011 judgment registration did not make the void portions of the prior orders any less so." Furthermore, the Court held that a trial court may not take judicial notice of findings of fact and conclusions of law encompassed within a void judgment. New findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding any attempt to enforce the bankruptcy judgments are required. View "Vaughn v. Graves" on Justia Law

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In 2005, Appellants Billy and Jeanette Baber executed a promissory note ("Note") payable to Ameriquest Mortgage Company, Inc. ("Lender"). To secure payment of the Note, Appellants executed and delivered to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), as nominee for Lender, as mortgagee, a mortgage which conveyed and mortgaged to the mortgagee certain real property located in Oklahoma County. In both the Note and Mortgage, Ameriquest Mortgage Company is named as the Lender and Payee. Appellants defaulted on the Note. Appellee initiated foreclosure proceedings in 2006. A copy of the non-indorsed Note and Mortgage was included with the petition. In their answer, Appellants demanded strict proof of the ownership of the Note and Mortgage. Appellee U.S. Bank as trustee for the Lender, moved for summary judgment; in an attached affidavit, Appellee asserted it currently held both the Note and Mortgage at issue, and again produced a copy of both the unindorsed Note and Mortgage. The trial court granted judgment on the Note and foreclosure on the mortgage in favor of U.S. Bank. Appellants moved to vacate that judgment, arguing they were denied their statutory right to respond to the bank's cross-motion for summary judgment that the motion was not delivered to them in a timely fashion and that they did not receive notice of a hearing that occurred on September 5, 2010. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the bank by its unindorsed Note and Mortgage, did not prove that it was entitled to enforce either. The Court reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings.View "U.S. Bank National Ass'n v. Baber" on Justia Law

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The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether the good faith requirement of 12A O.S. 2011 section 2-403 extended to third parties and requires that the third party be notified of a debtor's financial condition. The trial court found the interest of Plaintiff-Appellee Bank of Beaver City (Bank) in the livestock of cattle operation and debtor Lucky Moon Land and Livestock, Inc. (Lucky Moon) to be superior to that of another creditor of Lucky Moon, Defendant-Appellant Barretts' Livestock, Inc. (Barretts). The Bank alleged that in 2004 it perfected a security interest in all of Lucky Moon's livestock, including all after-acquired livestock, giving it a superior claim to cattle purchased by Lucky Moon from Barretts to satisfy the debt owed by Lucky Moon to the Bank. Barretts asserted that the Bank did not have priority over it because the Bank was not a good faith secured creditor. The trial court granted the Bank's motion for summary judgment, finding that the Bank's perfected security interest had preference over Barretts' unperfected security interest. Barretts appealed, contending that Bank did not have a superior security interest because: 1) the Bank's security interest never attached; and 2) the Bank had not acted in good faith. The Court of Civil appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court. The Bank sought certiorari, contending that: 1) the case presents an issue of first impression as to when good faith under 12A O.S. 2011 section 2-403 should be determined; 2) Bank's security interest never attached; and 3) the Court of Civil Appeals' decision was inconsistent with a different decision of the Court of Civil Appeals on which the court relied. Upon review, the Supreme Court held that 12A O.S. 2011 section 2-403 did not extend to third parties nor require that the third party be notified of a debtor's financial condition. View "Bank of Beaver City v. Barretts' Livestock, Inc." on Justia Law

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Defendants-Appellants John and Lisa Alexander appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of U.S. Bank National Association as trustee for for Credit Suisse First Boston HEAT 2005-4. Defendants executed a note to MILA, Inc., DBA Mortgage Investment Lending Associates, Inc. and a mortgage to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), as nominee for MILA and its successors and assigns. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. filed a foreclosure petition on in 2009, alleging Appellants defaulted on the note. The petition further states Wells Fargo was the present holder of the note and mortgage, and Wells Fargo took the note and mortgage for good and valuable consideration from the original lender. A copy of the note and part of the mortgage was attached to the original petition. The note attached to the original petition contained no indorsements. An Order Granting Motion for Substitution of Plaintiff and Modification of Caption was filed. Appellee, U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee, for Credit Suisse First Boston HEAT 2005-4 was substituted in place of Wells Fargo. The motion stated Wells Fargo had subsequently assigned all of its rights in the mortgage to Appellee. Appellee also filed its First Amended Petition which re-alleged all of the allegations of Wells Fargo's petition and identified additional defendants as parties who may have an interest in the property. Appellee attached to the amended petition, a copy of the same unindorsed note and mortgage originally executed by Appellant John W. Alexander, III, in 2005. Appellants never answered the petition and a judgment was entered against then in April 2010. A day later, Appellants' counsel made an entry of appearance and the judgment was vacated. Appellee filed a motion for summary judgment. Appellee claimed in its motion for summary judgment that it was the holder of the note and mortgage, and that Appellants had been in constant default since the July 1, 2009, installment payment was due. Appellants filed an objection to Appellee's motion for summary judgment and later filed a supplement to the objection. Appellants challenged certain comments in Wells Fargo's motion to substitute which stated Wells Fargo subsequently assigned its rights under the mortgage to Appellee after the filing of the original petition. Appellants assert the note provided by Appellee does not have an indorsement and they claim such indorsement is necessary under the Uniform Commercial Code. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that Appellee did not have the proper supporting ducomentation in hand when it filed its foreclosure suit. Accordingly, the Court reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "U.S. Bank, NA v. Alexander" on Justia Law

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Appellants Cindy and Theron Tacker appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of NTex Realty, LP. In 2007, Appellants executed a promissory note payable to Home Funds Direct, Inc. Appellants executed a mortgage and delivered it to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) as nominee for Home Funds. Appellants defaulted on the note in 2010, and NTex initiated foreclosure proceedings against them several months later. In their answer, Appellants denied that Appellee owned any interest in the Note and Mortgage, and challenged the authenticity of the documents included in the petition. Appellants then demanded production of the original Note and Mortgage. Appellee moved for summary judgment. In an attached affidavit, Appellee asserted that it currently held both the Note and Mortgage at issue, and again produced a copy of both the unindorsed Note and Mortgage. In response, Appellants argued that Appellee's motion for summary judgment was improper because the Note had never been negotiated. Appellants also asserted that because the copy of the Note was purportedly a "full, true, and correct copy of said Note," the original must also not be indorsed. Based on these reasons, Appellants concluded Appellee could not be the holder of the Note and, therefore, was not the proper party to bring a foreclosure proceeding. Appellee thereafter moved the district court by supplement to its motion, to view the original Note and Mortgage at the hearing for summary judgment. The supplemented motion incorporated an undated allonge, which transferred the Note from Lender to Appellee. The allonge was not included in the original petition for foreclosure. The motion also included a document entitled "Assignment of Mortgage," which transferred the "described mortgage together with the certain note(s) described therein," to Appellee from MERS. The Assignment was acknowledged on November 19, 2009, and recorded by the County Clerk of Rogers County, Oklahoma, on June 8, 2011. The district court granted Appellee's Motion for Summary Judgment and entered an order for the sale of the real property located in Rogers County, Oklahoma. The Appellants now appeal the trial court's order granting summary judgment, arguing NTex Realty, LP, failed to demonstrate standing. After review, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, finding that NTex indeed failed to show "if and when NTex became a person entitled to enforce the note." View "NTex Realty, LP v. Tacker" on Justia Law

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In 2007, Appellants David and Mary Eldridge executed a promissory note and mortgage in favor of Plaintiff-Appellee J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. In both the Note and the Mortgage, "JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A." was explicitly designated as the lender and payee, or entity to whom payment under the Note and Mortgage was due. Appellants voluntarily filed bankruptcy in 2009. In their amended statement of intentions, Appellants agreed to reaffirm the outstanding balance on the Note. Shortly thereafter, the Note went into default. Appellee Chase Home Finance Milwaukee initiated foreclosure proceedings in 2010, claiming to be the present holder of the Note and Mortgage. Chase Home Finance Milwaukee claimed to have acquired the Note and Mortgage by assignment from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. in their motion for summary judgment filed several months later. The trial court granted summary judgment for the Bank, finding the Bank was the undisputed owner and holder of the Note and Mortgage. Accordingly, judgment was entered in favor of the Bank and Appellants' counterclaims were dismissed. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Appellants argued the trial court erred ruling in favor of the Bank. Upon review, the Supreme Court found no evidence in the record to support the Bank's contention that it was the holder of the Note. Therefore, the Court reversed the granting of summary judgment by the trial court and remanded the case back for further proceedings. View "J.P. Morgan Chase, N.A. v. Eldridge" on Justia Law

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In 2004, Appellants Cin Kham and Ngul Liam Cing executed an adjustable rate note in favor of Encore Credit Corporation. Contemporaneously, Appellants executed a mortgage to secure the note. The mortgage named Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), as the mortgagee and further stated "MERS is a separate corporation that is acting solely as a nominee for Lender and Lender's successors and assigns." Encore was identified as the Lender in this mortgage. In 2008 Appellants defaulted on the note. Appellee CPT Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2004-EC1, by the Bank of New York Mellon (on behalf of CPT Asset Backed Certificates Series 2004-EC1) filed a foreclosure petition. Appellants failed to answer the petition and a default judgment was entered against them. A hearing to confirm the sale was set, and at that time, Appellants filed a Petition and Motion to Vacate challenging Appellee's standing to foreclose on the subject property. The trial court denied Appellants' petition to vacate judgment but granted leave to file a writ of prohibition. Appellants alleged Appellee lacked standing to commence this foreclosure action. Appellants further alleged the mortgage was a nullity because MERS could not be a mortgagee in Oklahoma and therefore the note was unsecured. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that though Appellee claimed to be the holder of the note and mortgage, the note in the record contained no indorsements. And because there was no indorsement on the note in the record, Appellee could not be a holder as defined by the statute: "[t]he trial court's granting of a default judgment in favor of Appellee could not have been rationally based upon the evidence or Oklahoma law. Therefore, [the Court found] that the trial court abused its discretion when granting the default judgment." Accordingly, the trial court's judgment was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings. View "CPT Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2004-EC1 v. Kham" on Justia Law

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In a petition filed in 2010, Plaintiff-Appellee Bank of America, NA claimed to be the present holder of the note initiated a foreclosure action against Defendants Momodu Kabba and his wife. Bank of America claimed to hold the note and mortgage as Successor by Merger to LaSalle Bank National Association, as Trustee under the Trust agreement for the Structured Asset Investment Loan Trust Series 2004-BNC2. A review of the note showed a blank indorsement. This blank indorsement was filed with the lower court for the first time in the motion for summary judgment. The blank indorsement was not mentioned or referenced in the original petition. Summary judgment was granted in favor of Bank of America. Defendants appealed the judgment asserting Bank of America failed to demonstrate standing. Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed the grant of summary judgment: "[i]t is a fundamental precept of the law to expect a foreclosing party to actually be in possession of its claimed interest in the note, and to have the proper supporting documentation in hand when filing suit, showing the history of the note, so that the defendant is duly apprised of the rights of the plaintiff. . . . [the Bank] only presented evidence of an indorsed-in-blank note and an 'Assignment of Mortgage'" With nothing more, the Court concluded the Bank did not meet its burden of proving it was entitled to foreclose on Defendants' property. Accordingly, the Court reversed the grant of summary judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Bank of America, N.A. v. Kabba" on Justia Law

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In a petition filed in the fall of 2010, Plaintiff-Appellee Deutsche Bank National Trust Company alleged to be the "present holder" of the note and mortgage, and initiated a foreclosure action against Defendant-Appellant Cory Richardson. A review of the note, filed as an exhibit to the Motion for Summary Judgment, revealed an undated blank indorsement. This blank indorsement was filed with the lower court for the first time in the Motion for Summary Judgment. Nowhere in the original petition did Deutsche Bank reference the undated blank indorsement. The Bank purported to have received an "Assignment of Real Estate Mortgage" from the original lender, WMC Mortgage Corporation, which was dated in 2011, claiming to be effective as of December, 2010. A summary judgment was granted in Deustche Bank's favor against Defendant, dated July 1, 2011, signed by the trial judge in September. Defendant appealed the summary judgment, arguing Deutsche Bank failed to demonstrate standing. Upon review, the Supreme Court found there was a question of fact regarding whether the Bank was a "person entitled to enforce" its note prior to the filing of the foreclosure proceeding, and as such, summary judgment was not appropriate. The Court reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Bank and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Richardson" on Justia Law

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In 2009, Plaintiff-Appellee Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee for J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2007-CH3 (Deutsche Bank) filed a foreclosure action against Defendant-Appellant Theron Matthews. Deutsche Bank claimed at that time to hold the note and mortgage, and that the note and mortgage were indorsed in blank. However from the face of the note attached to the Petition, no such indorsement was found. The Bank then filed a document entitled "Assignment of Real Estate Mortgage" with the County Clerk of Creek County six months after the filing of the foreclosure proceeding. A trial court granted partial summary judgment in Deutsche Bank's favor against Defendant a month later. Defendant appealed the grant of summary judgment arguing Deutsche Bank failed to demonstrate standing. Finding that the Bank did not have the proper supporting documentation in hand when it filed suit, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court's grant of partial summary judgment in its favor. The Court remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Matthews" on Justia Law