Monday, April 22, 2013

Minnesota High Court Slams Banksters By Voiding Foreclosure By Advertisement Where Strict Compliance With Technical Requirements Were Not Followed

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports:

  • Minnesota’s Supreme Court has tightened the screws a bit on home foreclosures.

    In a ruling out Wednesday, the state’s highest court decided unanimously that a foreclosing party must strictly comply with a state law requiring all the different banks and parties that have held a mortgage be clearly documented and filed before a foreclosure-by-advertisement can be initiated.(1)

    The case involved Doris Ruiz, a woman whose south Minneapolis duplex was foreclosed on by 1st Fidelity Loan Servicing. The court voided her foreclosure because 1st Fidelity filed its paperwork on the same day that it began advertising for a sheriff’s foreclosure auction on her home.

    Her lawyer, Jonathan Drewes, said the decision sets a strict standard that could impact “hundreds” of potentially defective or illegal foreclosure sales in the state. “I anticipate that many more lawsuits will arise in Minnesota over the coming year,” Drewes said.
  • Prentiss Cox, a consumer law expert at the University of Minnesota law school, said the new Supreme Court decision gives homeowners who find problems in their foreclosure paperwork a new avenue to argue in court.

    “This is the first decision from [the]Minnesota Supreme Court that suggests strict compliance really means strict compliance,” Cox said. “This is an industry that has had extraordinary problems putting one foot in front of the other to comply with legal requirements when they foreclose.”
For more, see Foreclosure papers must be in order, Minnesota Supreme Court rules (The state Supreme Court decision could boost homeowners fighting defective sheriff’s sales).

For the court ruling, see Ruiz v. 1st Fidelity Loan Servicing, LLC, A11-1081 (Mn. April 17, 2013).

(1) From the syllabus in the court's ruling:
  • Under Minn. Stat. § 580.02 (2012), all assignments of a mortgage must be recorded before the mortgagee begins the process of foreclosure by advertisement. Absent strict compliance with this requirement, a foreclosure by advertisement is void. Affirmed.

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