Judges Opinions, — June 15, 2022 11:13 — 0 Comments

Lakeview Loan Servicing LLC, v. Kelly Marie Bower & Kevin Ray Bower

JUDGE’S OPINION

 

Lakeview Loan Servicing LLC, v. Kelly Marie Bower & Kevin Ray Bower

 

Civil Action-Property Law-Mortgage Foreclosure-Default Judgment-Reassessment of Damages-Real Party in Interest-Standing-Assignment of Mortgage Agreement

 

Kelly Marie Bower and Kevin Ray Bower (“Defendants”) purchased a property subject to a mortgage agreement executed by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as nominee for Mortgage Network, Inc.  Following default upon the terms of the mortgage agreement by Defendants, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as nominee for Mortgage Network, Inc., assigned the mortgage agreement to Lakeview Loan Servicing LLC (“Plaintiff”).  After Plaintiff filed a Complaint and obtained a default judgment against Defendants, Mortgage Network Inc., filed a Motion for Leave to Reassess Damages to amend the judgment amount in order to capture expenses incurred post judgment.

 

  1. Under Pa.R.C.P. Rule 2002(a), all actions shall be prosecuted by and in the name of the real party in interest.

 

  1. A real party in interest is a person or entity entitled to the benefits of a successful action, or a person or entity with the legal right under the applicable substantive law to enforce the claim in question.

 

  1. In a mortgage foreclosure action, the mortagee is the real party in interest.

 

  1. When an assignment in a mortgage foreclosure action is effective, the assignee stands in the shoes of the assignor and assumes all of its rights.

 

  1. Since Mortgage Network Inc. assigned its rights under the mortgage to Plaintiff, Plaintiff assumed the rights under the mortgage and is the entity that has the right to enforce the terms of the mortgage agreement and the default judgment by seeking reassessment of damages resulting from Defendants’ default of the mortgage agreement, leaving Mortgage Network Inc. without standing to seek to amend Plaintiff’s judgment.

 

L.C.C.C.P. No. 2019-01992, Opinion by Charles T. Jones, Jr., Judge, September 2, 2021.

 

 

 

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

OF LEBANON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

 

CIVIL ACTION – LAW

 

LAKEVIEW LOAN                          :

SERVICING, LLC,                            :

Plaintiff,                                            :

:

  1. :                  Docket No.: 2019-01992

:

KELLY MARIE BOWER &              :

KEVIN RAY BOWER,                     :

Defendants.                                       :

 

ORDER OF COURT

 

AND NOW, to wit, this 2nd day of September, 2021, after careful consideration of the record, Mortgage Network Inc.’s Motion to Reassess Damages is hereby DENIED for lack of standing.

 

BY THE COURT:

 

____________________________, J.

CHARLES T. JONES, JR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CTJ/cbm

cc:

Kenya Bates, Esquire // Stern & Eisenberg, PC, 1581 Main Street Suite 200, Warrington, PA 18976

Kelly Marie Bower, Defendant // 219 Frieden Mnr, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

Kevin Ray Bower, Defendant // 219 Frieden Mnr, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

OF LEBANON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

 

CIVIL ACTION – LAW

 

LAKEVIEW LOAN                                    :

SERVICING, LLC,                                     :

Plaintiff,                                                      :

:

  1. :  Docket No.: 2019-00608

:

KELLY MARIE BOWER &                       :

KEVIN RAY BOWER,                               :

Defendants.                                                :

 

 

APPEARANCES:

 

Kenya Bates, Esquire                                            For Mortgage Network, Inc.

 

OPINION BY JONES, JR. J. (September 2, 2021):

Before this Court is Mortgage Network, Inc.’s Motion for Leave to Reassess Damages on a default judgment obtained by Plaintiff Lakeview Loan Servicing, LLC.

Factual and Procedural History

On December 27, 2018, Defendants Kelly Marie Bower and Kevin Ray Bower executed a deed (hereinafter “Vesting Deed”) to 2915 South Pine Grove Street, Fredericksburg, PA 17026-9347, tax parcel number 19-2336091-405095-0000 (hereinafter “the Property”). On that date, Defendants also executed and delivered to Plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as Nominee for Mortgage Network, Inc., a mortgage on the Property in the amount of $209,632.00 (hereinafter “Mortgage”). On January 2, 2019, the Vesting Deed was recorded by the Lebanon County Recorder of Deeds in Deed Book 2257, Page 7578 and the Mortgage was recorded in Mortgage Book 2257, Page 7583.

Beginning May 1, 2019, Defendants defaulted under the terms of the Mortgage by failing to pay the monthly payments due on the property. On October 21, 2019, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as Nominee for Mortgage Network, Inc. assigned the Mortgage to Plaintiff Lakeview Loan Servicing. The Assignment of Mortgage was recorded October 28, 2019 in Mortgage Book 2268, Page 5475. On November 12, 2019, Plaintiff filed its Complaint in mortgage foreclosure and to reform both the Mortgage and Vesting Deed. Count I of Plaintiff’s Complaint sought in rem judgment against the Property for default on the Mortgage in the amount of $215,610.75. Count II sought an equitable order reforming the Mortgage and Vesting Deed to correct typographical errors in the description of the Property.

Defendants received service of the Complaint on November 26, 2019. On March 13, 2020, Plaintiff served Defendants with the ten-day notice of its intent to seek a default judgment. On July 8, 2020, the Prothonotary entered in rem default judgment on Count I of the Complaint in the amount of $215,610.75. On August 8, 2020, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Default Judgment and Appropriate Equitable Order on Count II of its complaint, which the Court granted by Order and Opinion entered March 5, 2021. On April 22, 2021 Mortgage Network Inc. filed a Motion for Leave to Reassess Damages, seeking to amend Plaintiff Lakeview Loan Servicing’s default judgment to $253,201.26 in order to capture expenses incurred post-judgment.

Discussion

Mortgage Network Inc.’s Motion to Reassess Damages does not articulate its standing to pursue an action originally brought by its assignee. Under Pa. R.C.P. 2002(a), all actions shall be prosecuted by and in the name of the real party in interest. A real party in interest is a person who will be entitled to the benefits of a successful action—that is, a person who has “the legal right under the applicable substantive law to enforce the claim in question.” CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Barbezat, 131 A.3d 65, 68 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2016). In a mortgage foreclosure action, the mortgagee is the real party in interest, and where an assignment is effective the assignee stands in the shoes of the assignor and assumes all its rights. Id. at 68–69. While Mortgage Network Inc. was the original mortgagee, it assigned its rights and obligations under the Mortgage to Lakeview Loan Servicing in October of 2019. As assignee, Lakeview Loan Servicing assumed the rights under the Mortgage. Lakeview Loan Servicing is therefore the entity that has the right to enforce the terms of the Mortgage and the Note and the right to seek a judgment in mortgage foreclosure for a default on the Mortgage. As the Plaintiff who initiated this case, it is Lakeview Loan Servicing that has the right to enforce the default judgment by sale of the Property and to seek a reassessment of the damages that stem from Defendants’ default on the Mortgage. Mortgage Network Inc.’s Motion to Reassess Damages is therefore denied because the record demonstrates it is not the real party in interest in this case and it therefore lacks standing to amend Plaintiff’s default judgment.

 

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