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Appeals court reverses mortgage foreclosure

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A pro se litigant in a Starke County foreclosure case will get a new day in court after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a judge erred when he granted summary judgment in favor of the bank.

Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall found for Wells Fargo Bank, which was the mortgager of a property owned by Alan Patrick McEntee. But the appeals court reversed the decision and sent the matter back to the trial court.

McEntee claimed that Wells Fargo mishandled payments that he made on the mortgage, including prematurely depositing checks that had been postdated. He also submitted in his defense a timeline of his payment history and his allegation that the bank failed to recognize certain payments as being made. He also said the bank required payments be made only at certain locations in an escalating dispute over how the bank handled payments.

Wells Fargo at some point returned checks that McEntee submitted to pay the mortgage that deducted for such expenses as overdraft fees incurred due to early deposits and mileage to deliver checks to bank branches.

McEntee also countersued Wells Fargo for the full amount of the mortgage owed, claiming “emotional pain and suffering.”  

A unanimous ruling written by Judge L. Mark Bailey in Alan Patrick McEntee v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 75A03-1106-MF-277, found multiple errors in the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo.

“The trial court erroneously entered summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo on its foreclosure claim because Wells Fargo failed to establish that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to the allegation that McEntee had defaulted on the note,” Bailey wrote.

“The trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo on McEntee’s counterclaims was also in error because Wells Fargo did not establish the absence of a genuine issue of material fact as to McEntee’s affirmative defense, and because McEntee’s counterclaim concerning emotional distress was not properly before the trial court at summary judgment. We therefore reverse the trial court and remand this matter for further proceedings.”

 

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