Defendant in Foreclosure Lawsuit Found Not Liable to Pay the Mortgage Debt

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In this case, the plaintiff, Wells Fargo Bank NA, brought a residential foreclosure lawsuit against the defendant Seibold. During the course of the foreclosure proceedings, both parties brought motions before the court. Wells Fargo sought summary judgment authorizing them to sell the property and holding defendant Seibold liable. Seibold brought a motion requesting the case be dismissed and he be held not liable.

Judge Finds Problems With Mortgage Industry Practices

Justice Philip Straniere heard the case in a Supreme Court Part located in Richmond County, New York. Judge Straniere had problems with a variety of practices of the mortgage industry, and specifically with Wells Fargo with regards to defendant Seibold in this case. He questioned the circumstances under which Seibold, who did not sign the note, was added to the mortgage. He didn’t understand why the estate in this case was not made a party to the lawsuit. He questioned certain allegations with regard to the ownership of the property which was excluded from the pleadings of the plaintiff in their Complaint. In addition he wanted to know why the original transaction was scheduled as a first and second mortgage when really it was simply a single mortgage. He found that the setting up this transaction as two mortgages may have been the cause of the default on this obligation. He took the position that the lenders were engaged in deceptive practices in violation of New York’s General Business Law Section 349.

Justice Straniere concluded the defendant Seibold was not liable for the payment of this mortgage. He found he did not sign the note. He also found that Seibold had raised an issue of fact with regard to questions concerning an escrow shortage.

Conclusion

I find this to be a very troubling case. Here is a situation where a judge has basically accused Wells Fargo of a variety of improprieties. Unfortunately, my office has seen numerous cases where banks have been involved in improprieties. When we bring these improprieties to the attention of judges, more and more homeowners are relieved of their financial obligations by the judges leading these cases.

Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure attorneys representing homeowners throughout the New York Metropolitain area.

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