Negotiations with Bank Does Not Stop Foreclosure Lawsuit

foreclosure defense attorneysA foreclosure lawsuit was brought by Citi Mortgage against Vatash. Vatash submitted an answer with affirmative defenses to the summons and complaint served by Citi Mortgage. Citi Mortgage moved for summary judgment. In their application they sought to dismiss the answer brought by Vatash. Vatash claimed, in his answer, Citibank lacked standing to bring this foreclosure action. He also claimed Citibank’s motion was inappropriate because he was involved in discussions with Citi Mortgage concerning a loan modification. He took the position since loan modification discussions were ongoing, Citibank had no right to move forward with the foreclosure case.

Standing Argument Dismissed

Justice Thomas Whelan sitting in a Supreme Court Part in Suffolk County, ruled Vatash’s argument that Citi Mortgage didn’t have standing was procedurally defective. The ruling was based on the allegation that Vatash failed to assert lack of standing in his answer or in a pre-answer motion to dismiss. In addition, the court took the position the argument even if it had been submitted appropriately in the answer, was substantively without merit. The court held Citi Mortgage was the owner and holder of the note and mortgage upon its merger with the original financial institution which made the loan.

The court ruled in favor of Citi Mortgage’s application for summary judgment (an application to grant a judgment without the need for a trial because there are no issues of fact). The court took the position the opposition papers submitted by Vatash did not create an issue of fact or an adequate defense.

Negotiations Do Not Stop Foreclosure Cases from Moving Forward

The Court specifically held the fact that Vatash was engaged in negotiations and/or discussions with Citi Mortgage is not a defense to the foreclosure lawsuit. Citi Mortgage’s motion for summary judgment was granted.


There are a number of important issues which were dealt with in this case. To start with, a lack of standing argument must be plead in the answer to the Summons and Complaint. Secondly, discussions with a bank concerning mortgage modifications or other ways of resolving the case have no impact on the foreclosure lawsuit moving forward.

helping homeowners stay in their homesElliot Schlissel is a foreclosure defense lawyer. His office has represented homeowners for more than 45 years on mortgage foreclosure lawsuits throughout the Metropolitan New York area.

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