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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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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