• +1 305 670 4455
  • Email Us

Third DCA Lacking on Foreclosure Opinions

  • Third DCA Lacking on Foreclosure Opinions

    Third DCA Lacking on Foreclosure Opinions

    A set of released appellate court decisions from the Third District Court of Appeals recently contained a rare opinion on the topic of foreclosure and lender legal standing. Legal standing is an issue within the district ever since the housing market collapse, when thousands of properties were sold in bulk to investors. Defense attorneys in the area dealt with lenders lacking proper documentation to prove debt ownership and the right to foreclosure.
    Attorneys in the Third District watched as the nearby Fourth DCA issued detailed opinions and reasonings as it pertained to foreclosures while the Third DCA rarely offered full opinions, instead releasing single-line per curiam affirmances, also known as PCAs. In 2015, the Third DCA issued a PCA in around 80 percent of foreclosure cases that went through the court. As well, from 2013 on, the Third DCA wrote only four full opinions concerning foreclosure and lender standing while the Fourth DCA wrote 76.
    Attorneys were hopeful when the Third DCA released a set of opinions at the end of July, as one of the cases dealt with the loan servicer PennyMac Corp. claiming legal standing to enforce a promissory note. However, the opinion provided was short, and specifically dealt with a ruling on proper procedure involving serving court papers on the owner.
    The case was specifically between a woman named Claudia Merino and PennyMac Corp., who were trying to regain control of condo property. Merino originally signed a promissory note with Bank of America in 2006, but defaulted with a debt of around $160,000. PennyMac filed a suit and claimed to have standing to begin foreclosure. Merino instead claimed that PennyMac had failed to notify her of the lawsuit and moved to quash service of process. The original Circuit judge denied Merino’s request, which sent the appeal to the Third DCA. However, in that time, the suit was settled by loan modification and the appeal was rendered unnecessary.
    The Third DCA’s opinion released talked about the settlement, as well as the original circumstances of the case involving proper procedure. Due to the settling of the original suit, attorneys in the Third District hoping for clearer opinions on foreclosure and lender standing were let down by the lack of communication from the Third District Court of Appeals.