Supreme Judicial Court (Massachusetts)


      Colin F. Beaton et al v. LAND COURT et al

           Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk,    367 Mass. 385 (1975)

           (Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act)

                 Footnote 6.  No lack of notice or absence of opportunity to defend against the

                    foreclosure is involved in this case and our discussion above suggests that a

                    case presenting issues of such lack of notice or absence of opportunity to be

                    heard in defense is unlikely to arise.  Only if and when such a case arises

                    would we have occasion to determine whether the due process clause even

                     has any applicability to nonjudicial foreclosures (i.e. those conducted by

                     entry or by exercise of a power of sale), which follow private contractual

                     provisions or the course of the common law.



       Moore, et al v. Dick

            Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Essex,   187 Mass. 297 (1905)


                  Voided a foreclosure sale because the foreclosure notice had been published

                  in the Lynn Daily Bee instead of its sister paper, the Lynn Reporter, as

                  required by the terms of the power of sale. “it is familiar law that one who

                  sells under a power (of sale) must follow strictly its terms.  If he fails to do so

                  there is no valid execution of the power and the sale is wholly void.”


                  The right to redeem is not barred until after the mortgagee has held possession

                   adversely for at least 20 years.


         See also:


              Bottomly v. Kabachnick, 434 N.E.2d 667, 13 MassApp.Ct. 480 (1982)

                   “…we hold that the first foreclosure (13 Mass.App.Ct. 484) sale void as a

                     matter of law.”


              Roche v. Farnsworth, 106 Mass. 509, 513 (1871)

                  The court invalidated a foreclosure sale because the notice failed to identify

                   the holder of the mortgage.  The court held that such a defect in the notice

                  was “inconsistent with the degree of clearness that ought to exist in such an

                  advertisement…(I)t is not an unreasonable strictness to require (the party

                   acting under the power of sale) to state what property he proposes to sell, and

                   who proposes to make the sale, and who advertises it for sale.”


              Beaton v. Land Court, 367 Mass. 385 (1975)

                   “The answer which the petitioners attempt to file in the Land Court does not

                     assert that the petitioners or any other concerned parties are entitled to the

                     protection of the 1940 Relief Act.  Neither does the answer raise the issue of

the existence of any such persons or their rights.  Plainly, therefore, at least

                     as far as the statutes are concerned, the Judges acted properly in denying the

                     motion to compel the recorder to accept the answer.  Equally plainly, as far

                     as the statutes are concerned, the single justice properly sustained (Page

                     305) the demurrers to the petition for a writ of mandamus.”


                   “The point to be made here is that actions taken to comply with the 1940

                     Relief Act, such as the steps prescribed by St. 1943, c. 57, as amended, are

                     not in themselves mortgage foreclosure proceedings in any ordinary sense.

                     Rather, they occur independently of the actual foreclosure itself and of any

                     judicial proceedings determinative of the general validity of the foreclosure. 

                     Statute 1943, c. 57, as amended, simply establishes procedures whereby

                     mortgagees, in addition to taking all steps necessary to foreclose, can make

                     certain that there will be no cloud on the title following  the foreclosure as a

                     result of an interested party having been in, or just released from, military

                     service and thus under the protective umbrella of the 1940 Relief Act.”


              Commonwealth v. Freemont Investment & Loan & another

                  SJC-10258 (10/8/08)             

                      Memorandum and Order on Plaintiff’s Motion

                             for a Preliminary Injunction                                          (Allowed)




              U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez  and Wells Fargo Bank v. Larace 

SJC-10694, decided January 7, 2011
(On Direct Appellate Review of a Judgment of the Land Court)

In a unanimous decision, the Court affirmed the decision of Judge Long of the Land
Court holding that where the foreclosing mortgagees did not have in their possession
an assignment of the mortgage dated prior to the date of publication of notice
under M.G.L.c.244, Sec. 14, the mortgagee has no title to foreclose.
The original action was brought by the plaintiffs to "remove a cloud from
the title" of property that had been foreclosed upon and on which they were
unable to obtain insurance for the title. The Court refused to apply its decision only prospectively.




Appellate Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Superior Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts                 


      Commonwealth v. Fremont Investment & Loan, et al

            Superior Court (Suffolk), No. 07-4373-BLS1   (2/6/08)

                  Findings of Fact and Conclusions Of Law

                       On Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Allowed)



      Commonwealth v. H & R Block, Inc., Block Financial Corp., Option One

           Mortgage Corp., H & R Block Mortgage Corp., AH Mortgage Acquisition Co.

                                                                d/b/a American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.

             Superior Court (Suffolk), Civil Action No. 08-2474-BLST (Nov. 10, 2008)

                  Consolidated Memorandum of Decision and Order on                                  

                        Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss (Denied), and

                   Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law on

                        Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Allowed)


       Sandra J. Edwards v. Greenpoint Mortgage Funding, Inc.

              Superior Court (Worcester), Civil Action No. 2008-2469A  (12/05/08)

                   Memorandum of Decision and Order 0n Plaintiff’s Motion for

                         Temporary and Preliminary Injunctive Relief (Denied)




Massachusetts Land Court, Dept. of the Trial Court

       New Century Mortgage Corporation, et als v. Shuann N. Braxton, et als

             Massachusetts Land Court, Dept. of the Trial Court, Plymouth County

                Case No. 09 MISC 393485 (GHP)

                   Cited as 2010 WL 58277 (Mass. Land Ct.), Jan. 11, 2010

                       Decision….on Complaint to Reform Mortgages


                              “…the Plaintiffs have failed, in their responses to the Orders of this  

                                court made on August 13, 2009 and September 3, 2009, to  

                                demonstrate their standing and authority to proceed with
                                this action. Summary judgment must be granted in favor of the
                                Defendants because Plaintiffs have failed to show that they possess
                                the requisite standing.  I will direct entry of a judgment of dismissal
                                without prejudice.”



       HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Matt

             Massachusetts Land Court, Dept. of the Trial Court, Norfolk County

                Docket No. 10-MISC-421195, Long, J.   (July 8, 2010)

                    “Where a plaintiff bank has filed suit seeking a decision as to whether the

                       Defendant is entitled to the benefits of the Servicemembers Civil Relief

                       Act, I find that the plaintiff has standing to bring the suit and that the

                       defendant is not entitled to the benefits of the act.”



        US Bank, N.A. v. Hanlon, et al

             Massachusetts Land Court, Dept. of the Trial Court, Plymouth County

                Docket No. 10-MISC-429997, Long, J.   (Aug. 20, 2010)

                    “This is a servicemember’s action.  It does not seek, and by law cannot

                      Give a determination that the Hanlons are in breach of their loan or

                       mortgage obligations, that US Bank may validly foreclose on the

                       Hanlon’s property, or even thst US Bank has standing to notice and

                       conduct a foreclosure sale…All a servicemembers action, is determine

                       whether the defendants to the action are entitled to the benefits of the

                       Servicemembers Civil Relief Act as of the date set forth in the judgment.”




       U.S. Bank National Association as Trustee v. Antonio Ibanez,

         No. 08 MISC 384283 (KCL)         and

      Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. as Trustee v. Mark A. Larce and Tanny L. Larace,

         No. 08 MISC 386755 (KCL)

           Massachusetts Land Court, Dept. of the Trial Court

                 Consolidated Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition To Plaintiffs’ Motion to Vacate

                  Memorandum and Order on the Plaintiffs’ Motion to Vacate Judgment


                        In an action brought by the plaintiffs to “remove a cloud from the title”

                        of properties that had been foreclosed upon and on which they were

                        unable to obtain insurance for the title, Judge Long of the Land Court

                        found that, where the foreclosing mortgagee did not have in its possession

                        an assignment of the mortgage dated prior to the date of publication of

                        notices under M.G.L.c. 244, Section 14, the mortgagee had no title to


NOTE:  See U.S. Bank National Association, trustee v. Antonio Ibanez

SJC No. 10694, Decided January 7, 2011, Judgment Affirmed.

Selective Out of State Decisions


      Deutsche Bank National Trust Co, as Trustee for HASCO 2007-NCI

      v. Susan Hass and Robert Hass

               Macomb County Circuit Court, State of Michigan,

                  Case No. 2009-2627-AV (9/30/09)

                       Opinion and Order (Appeal)
                            Complaint for Possession and Termination of Tenancy



United States Supreme Court



United States Court of Appeals (First Circuit)



United States District Court, District of Massachusetts     


          George M. Tenney III v. Deutsche Bank Trust Corporation   

               USDC (MA), CA 08-40041-FDS

                  Memorandum and Order

                          on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, TIL                                (1/26/09)

                     This is a civil action arising out of alleged violations of the Truth in Lending

                     Act, 15 U.S.C. Secs. 1601-1667f (“TILA”) and its implementing regulation,

                     Federal Reserve Board Regulation Z, 12 C.F.R. Sec. 226, as well as their

                     Massachusetts counterparts, the Massachusetts Consumer Credit Cost

                     Disclosure Act (“MCCCDA”), Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140D, Secs. 1-34 and

                     209 C.M.R. Part 32.; and

                      The motion of defendant Deutsche Bank Trust Corporation to dismiss for

                      failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted is DENIED.




          Ramiza Durmic, Donsald Treannie, Heather Treannie, Jean Licata and Arsenia

            Rodrigues on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated

            v. J. P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

               USDC (MA), CA 10-CV-10380-RGS

                  Memorandum and Order                                                              (11/24/10)

                  (Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. Plaitiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction)

                       Chase’s motion to dismiss the breach of contract (Count I), breach of the

                       covenant of good faith and fair dealing (Count II), and promissory

                       estoppels (Count III) claims is denied.  Chase’s motion to dismiss the 93A

                       claims (Count IV) will be deferred.  Licata’s motion for a preliminary

                       injunction is denied.



          In re Jacalyn S. Nosek, Debtor

          Ameriquest Mortgage Co, et al, Appellants

             v. U. S. Bankruptct Court for the District of Mass. and Jacalyn S. Nosek,

                       Potentially Interested Parties

                 USDC (MA), CA 08-40095-WGY

                     Memorandum and Order                                                             (5/26/09)

                          This case presents the unedifying spectacle of a litigant and its lawyers

                          engaging in egregious misrepresentations and, now that they have been

                          sanctioned for such misconduct, scrambling to pass the blame on to




          Delynn J. Speleos and Jesse S .Speleos v. BAC Home Loan Servicing, L.P., d/b/a

             Bank of America Home Loans, Federal National Mortgage Association, d/b/a

             Fannie Mae and Oelans Moran, PLLC

                 USDC (MA), CA 10-11503-NMG

                     Memorandum & Order                                                               (12/14/10)

                          On the Defendants’ motion to dismiss in an action alleging violations of

                          the Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”),  Judge Gorton                         


                              Count I, Negligence                                                                  Denied

                              Count II, Third-Party Breach of Contract                                 Allowed

                              Count III, Violation of Good Faith and Fair Dealing               Allowed

                               Count IV, Violation of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act      Denied

                              Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Memorandum of lis pendens              Allowed



Significant Pending Cases


                 In re:  Bank of America Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

                             Contract Litigation   (Multidistrict Litigation)           MDL No. 2193

                                (Putative Class Actions)                                  

                                    * Patricia Johnson v. BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP        

                                       Francilot Mangura v. v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP

                                           Transfer Order

                                               United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation

                                                   “Plaintiffs in all of these actions allege that Bank of

                                                     America regularly fails to comply with the terms of the

                                                     Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and

                                                     has breached contracts with the plaintiffs and/or has

                                                      breached a contract to which plaintiffs are intended

                                                      third-party beneficiaries.               




United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts


      In re Noyes

          USBC (MA), Case No. 07-11278-JNF (382 B.R. 561 (2/19/08)

            Memorandum of Decision on Motion for Relief from Stay (Feeney, B.J.)

                 “… although she has raised serious questions about the conduct of Tribeca,

                   Mary Noyes failed in her burden of establishing entitlement to injunctive

                    Relief from this Court, although she may well prove liability and damages

                    In the State Court Action after a full opportunity for discovery.”     




       In re Matthew H. Giroux, Debtor, Chapter 7 Case No. 08-14708-JNF

          Warren E. Agin, Chapter 7 Trustee, Plaintiff v. Mortgage Electronic

          Registration Systems, Inc. and Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Defendants

                         USBC (MA), Adv.P, No. 08-1261 (5/21/09)

                              Memorandum (Feeney, B.J.)  (Acknowledgement)

                                  “…this Court concludes that it is unlikely that the Massachusetts

                                    Supreme Judicial Court would find the omission of the Debtor’s

                                    name was an omission that could be cured with reference to the

                                    notary’s role in witnessing the Debtor’s signature on the

                                    mortgage.” and “…the Trustee may avoid the mortgage pursuant

                                    to his strong arm powers under Sec. 544.”



       Sima Schwartz, a/k/a v. Deutsche Bank Trust Corporation

            USBC (MA), Ch. 7, Case No. 06-42476-JBR, Adv. No. 07-4098 (2/23/09)

              Memorandum of Decision on (Defendant’s) Motion for Summary Judgment

                  (Rosenthal, B.J.) (Proper Party to Foreclose)

                     “…that Deutsche Bank presented no evidence that it held the mortgage at

                       the foreclosure proceedings ere commenced and the sale conducted” and

                       by footnote, “(W)ithout having some interest in the property, whether as

                       a mortgagee or servicer, a creditor lacks standing to prosecute a motion

                       for relief.”



         In re David Giza/Linda Y. Giza, Chapter 13, Cases No. 07-41782-HJB, et als

             David Giza and Linda Y. Giza v. Amcap Mortgage, Inc., et als

                  USBC (MA), Adv.P. No. 09-04099

                      Memorandum of Decision (Boroff, B.J.) dated April 15, 2010

                          “…the Court will not dismiss the Gizas’ claim for rescission but

                            will, if the conditions for rescission are otherwise met, determine

                            the amount of tender and order the Gizas to classify that claim

                             and treat it consistently with those of other unsecured creditors”


                           “(d)efendants’ attempt to preserve the status quo and the disputed

                             lien pendent lite, and in this case until consummation of the

                             Debtors’ Chapter 13 plan, without more, is not a violation of the

                             automatic stay under Sec. 362(a)(3).”




        In re:  Carmen M. Bailey, Chapter 13, Case No. 09-44760-HJB

           Carmen  M. Bailey v. Wells Fargo Bank,   N.A.

                  USBC (MA, Central  Div) Adv.  Pro. No. 09-4190

                      Memorandum of Decision (Boroff, BJ.) dated 9/28/10

                          The Court denied the Motion to Dismiss the plaintiff’s Count I claims

                          that off-record documents did not establish that Wells Fargo was

                           actually the holder of the Mortgage at the time of Foreclosure



         In re: Bower, James D., Chapter 7, Case No. 10-10993-WCH

           Adversary Proceeding No. 10-1092

               Memorandum of Decision (Hillman, J.) dated 10/13/10

                     “Having determined that the omission of the Debtor’s name from the

                       Acknowledgement section is a material defect…I conclude that the

                       Trustee was without notice of the Mortgage’s existence and may

                       Properly avoid it pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Sec. 544(a)(3).”





United States Bankruptcy Court (other than the District of Massachusetts)


       In the Matter of John T. Kemp, Case No. 08-18700-JHW

           John T. Kemp v. Countrywide Home Loan, Inc., Adversary No. 08-2448

              USBC, District of New Jersey

                  Opinion (11/16/10) on

                     Complaint (Adversary Proceeding) to Expunge Proof of Claim

                        Filed on Behalf of the Bank of New York by Countrywide Home

                        Loan as Servicer.


                            “Because the claim filed by ‘Countrywide Home Loan, Inc., servicer

                              For Bank of New York’ cannot be enforced under applicable state law,

                              The claim must be disqualified under 11U.S.C. Sec. 502(b)(1).”



        John B. Fleming & Nancy K. Fleming v. National City Bank

             USBC,  Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Div.,  Adv. Pro. No. 07-2361

                Memorandum Opinion and Order…and Granting Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s

                   Application for Compensation. ($26,412.63)

                       (Charles M. Caldwell, USBJ)  (9/28/09)

                           See Complaint, Forms Manual)