California Decision for Borrower Post Sale in Eviction Proceeding

BIG HAT TIP TO STEPHEN LOPEZ, ESQUIRE FOR THIS SAN DIEGO WIN!!

This is the latest of a string of decisions from trial judges who took the time to carefully analyze the law and then facts. In this case the issue was whether the Plaintiff in a lawsuit for Unlawful Detainer could be awarded Summary Judgment simply because the sale had been recorded.

This decision, following the law in all jurisdictions, says that recording the sale is interesting but not dispositive. If the actual sale was void because ti was conducted in favor of a party who was not a true beneficiary under the deed of trust, then the sale itself is void.

This judge quote approvingly from otheor case decisions words to the effect that any other decision would produce the absurd result of allowing completely disinterested parties to issue instructions to sell the property and then claim possession of homestead property.

Despite the long line of “bad results” published, this case shows that a case properly presented, properly argued and based upon sound legal reasoning has a good chance of gaining traction even after the foreclosure has been allowed to proceed. That means you need to prepare and be certain as to your facts and that you don’t ask the court to presume facts in your favor.

We don’t know how this case will  be decided at trial, if there is one. In all probability this case, like thousands of others like it, will most likely be buried by settlement with the homeowner and payment to the homeowner for executing a confidentiality agreement.

For those who bother to actually read the decision it looks like I wrote it. I didn’t. My point is that what I have provided in my articles is not theory. It is fact based upon established law and the real facts of most foreclosure cases. The assignments are void.

If the Plaintiff in this Unlawful Detainer case is unable to prove at trial that it is the owner of the debt it will lose because owning the debt is the key component or element of being a beneficiary under a deed of trust and a key component or element of a valid credit bid.

See 2019.07.15 – Minute order for MSJ

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Key quotes from this decision:

“To establish that he is a proper plaintiff, one who has purchased property at a trustee’s sale and seeks to evict the occupant in possession must show that he acquired the property at a regularly conducted sale and thereafter “duly perfected” his title.” ((Code Civ. Proc., § 1161 a, subdiv. 3.) (Id.))[California]”

“[W]here the plaintiff in the unlawful detainer action is the purchaser at a trustee’s sale, he or she ‘need only prove a sale in compliance with the statute and deed of trust, followed by the purchase at such sale, and the defendant may raise objections only on that phase of the issue of title.”‘ (Bank of New York Mellon v. Preciado, (2013) 224 Cal. App. 4th Supp. 1, citing, Old Nat’/ Fin. Servs. V. Seibert (1987) 194 Cal.App.3d 460, 465, 239 Cal.Rptr. 728.) “The statute” with which a post-foreclosure plaintiff must prove compliance is Civ. Code, § 2924. (Bank of New York Mellon v. Preciado, supra, citing Seidell v. Anglo-California Trusts Co. (1942) 55 Cal.App.2d 913, 920, 132 P.2d 12.)

The term ‘duly’ implies that all of those elements necessary to a valid sale exist, else there would not be a sale at all.” (Bank of New York Mellon v. Preciado, supra at 9-10, citing Kessler v. Bridge (1958) 161 Cal.App.2d Supp. 837, 841, 327 P .2d 241 [internal citations omitted].) This holding by the court in Preciado makes clear that in Code Civ. Proc., § 1161a post-foreclosure trustee sale cases, a focus on the sale itself (rather than simply the recorded title documentation) is part of the analysis of determining  whether the title was “duly perfected.”

subsequent buyer must also prove that the trustee sale was conducted in accordance with Civ. Code, § 2924 and that title has been duly perfected. (Stephens, Parlain & Cunningham v. Hollis, supra, at p. 242.)

[l]f the borrower defaults on the loan, only the current beneficiary may direct the trustee to undertake the nonjudicial foreclosure process. “[O]nly the ‘true owner’ or ‘beneficial holder’ of a Deed of Trust can bring to completion a nonjudicial foreclosure under California law.” (Barrioneuveo v Chase Bank, N.A. (N.D.Cal.2012) 885 F.Supp.2d 964, 972.” (Id. at pp. 927-928.) Where the nonjudicial post-foreclosure trustee sale is not property initiated, ” … a borrower may base a wrongful foreclosure claim on allegations that the foreclosing party acted without authority because the assignment by which it purportedly became beneficiary under the deed of trust was not merely voidable but void.” (Yvanonova, supra, at pp. 851-852.)

“A void contract is without legal effect. (Rest.2d Contracts,§ 7, com. A.) “It binds no one and is a mere nullity.” (Little v. CFS Service Corp. (1987) 188 Cal.App.3d 1354, 1362, 233 Cal.Rptr. 923.) “Such a contract has no existence whatever. It has no legal entity for any purpose and neither action nor inaction of a party to it can validate it …. ” (Colby v. Title Ins. And Trust Co. (1911) 160 Cal. 632, 644, 117 P. 913.) “If a purported assignment necessary to the chain by which the foreclosing entity claims that power is absolutely void, meaning of no legal force or effect whatsoever, [internal citations omitted] the foreclosing entity has acted without legal authority by pursuing a trustee’s sale, and such an unauthorized sale constitutes a wrongful foreclosure. (Yvanonova, supra, at pp. 855-856; citing Barrionuevo v. Chase Bank, N.A., at pp. 973-974.

it would be an “‘odd result indeed’ were a court to conclude a homeowner had no recourse where anyone, even a stranger to the debt, had declared a default and ordered a trustee’s sale.”

“[w]hen a non-debtholder forecloses, a homeowner is harmed because he or she has lost her home to an entity with no legal right to take it. If not for the void assignment, the incorrect entity would not have pursued a wrongful foreclosure. Therefore, the void assignment is the cause-in-fact of the homeowner’s injury and all he or she is required to allege on the element of prejudice.” (Id. at pp. 555-556.) “A contrary rule would lead to a legally untenable situation – i.e., that anyone can foreclose on a homeowner because someone has the right to foreclose. ‘And since lenders can avoid the court system entirely through nonjudicial foreclosures, there would be no court oversight whatsoever.”‘

6 Responses

  1. Federal Rule 3004 – Creditor has 70 days to file Proof of Claim……

    Federal Rule 3004(c) – Debtor can file .P.OC. on behalf of Creditor
    after 70 days and within the next 30 days.
    11 USC Section 501(c) – same as above.

  2. [T]his could be used in bankruptcy court within an objection to an alleged creditor’s filed proof-of-claim, (the burden of proof rests with the alleged creditor/claimant, by rule) either for the recorded assignment or trustee’s deed upon sale, being void ab initio, therefore disallowing their claim as a secured claim. The [assignment or trustee’s deed] for the deed of trust or mortgage could be declared unenforceable in the public records.

  3. As corrupt as New Jersey courts & judges are, there are post sale laws. (They may even apply to non-judicial states after searching a comparable statute or rule.)

    N.J.S.A. 22A:17-1 ***********
    N.J.S.A. 22A:16-49.1 ********************
    R.4:101-1 ************************************************

    First, you have read READ case law that WILL give you the ins & outs.

  4. […] Source: California Decision for Borrower Post Sale in Eviction Proceeding […]

  5. Color me skeptical. The judge clearly knows mortgage law, so that is a plus. However, all this was is a denial of a motion for summary judgment. This means the judge said there are triable issues of fact. That doesn’t mean he believes one side of the case or the other is correct. It means there will have to be a trial.

    That in turn means that someone is going to have to prove the property’s purchaser did not have duly perfected title. It doesn’t mean that has already been proven.

    And it seems the minute order has no recitation of facts and doesn’t describe any facts of the case which would cause there to be triable issues. Rather, it just recites law. So, it is like the judge wants this issue to be tried, but it isn’t clear based on this minute order that this is the best case for that (not saying it isn’t).

    I seem to recall a similar ruling in San Diego on an MSJ or Demurrer in a UD case a year or two back. It was heralded as a great sign of things to come, but we never heard anything after that. Which probably means that the former owner lost at trial

  6. This is excellent, and does seem like you wrote the decision Neil.

    However, in judicial states – there is a mortgage. Yvanova does not apply. There is no law for post sale. Yet, courts routinely dismiss all without discovery in judicial states.

    How can this be used in judicial states that are just reluctant to decide on the merits? .

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