Invalid foreclosure cannot be cured by quiet title action

February 2nd, 2011 by Joseph William Singer

In the case of Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez, 2010 WL 3351481 (Mass. Land Ct. 2010), the court held that parties cannot cure an invalid foreclosure by a quiet title action.The bank that brought the foreclosure action had no proof at the time of the foreclosure that it owned the mortgage (the right to foreclose) because it had no written assignment from the prior mortgagee. For that reason, the foreclosure was invalid under the rule adopted by the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. Ibañez, 458 Mass. 637 (2011). Ibañez held that foreclosures are invalid if the mortgagee bringing the foreclosure action cannot (at the time the foreclosure action) produce a written document proving that it was assigned the benefit of the mortgage from the prior mortgage holder. Thus when the bank sought a declaratory judgment that the foreclosure was valid, the court rejected its claim. That meant that a subsequent purchase of the property by a third party did not convey good title to the third party. Bevilacqua restates the Ibañez rule but goes further and holds that the third party cannot bring a quiet title action to seek a judgment that it has title to the property. Because it has a quitclaim deed from a seller who has no valid title, it cannot legitimately argue a basis for a quiet title action, leaving title with the party who held it prior to the invalid foreclosure.

Posted in Mortgages, Real estate transactions, Title issues | Comments Off on Invalid foreclosure cannot be cured by quiet title action

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