Foreclosure Voided by Massachusetts Federal Court in First Post-Pinti Decision
After the homeowner filed suit alleging wrongful foreclosure, the bank, The Bank of New York Mellon, represented by the foreclosure firm Doonan Graves & Longoria, fought back aggressively. It filed a counterclaim against him seeking to have the U.S. Marshal Service evict him from his house and take possession.
The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, but the court found in favor of the homeowner.
The foreclosure was voided for two reasons. First, the bank failed to comply with certain mandatory disclosures required under Paragraph 22 of the mortgage. And second, the bank failed to timely notify the town tax collector of the foreclosure within 30 days of the sale.
The court wrote:
Because the Court finds that Countrywide’s notice of default did not strictly comply with the requirements of paragraph 22 of the mortgage, the foreclosure sale is void.
Why was the sale voided? The disclosures that were required are mandated under Massachusetts law. And Massachusetts law requires banks to “strictly comply” with the foreclosure statutes. Any sale that violates them may be void.
This is the first major case to be decided since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision Pinti v. Emigrant Mortgage Company earlier this year. Although that decision was prospective, meaning that it only applied to foreclosures going forward, the judge in this case said that the homeowner was similarly situated and thus should receive the protection of the decision.
The case is Paiva v. The Bank of New York Mellon