ILNews

Tax sale stands even though mortgage holder not notified

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The Indiana Supreme Court upheld 20 years of precedent in finding that a county auditor is obligated to notify a mortgage holder of an impending property sale only when that mortgage holder specifically requests a notice.

In M&M Investment Group, LLC v. Ahlemeyer Farms, Inc. and Monroe Bank, 03S04-1211-CC-645, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court and remanded. It ruled the requirement in Indiana Code 6-1.1-24.3(b) that a mortgage holder annually request a notice of a tax sale does not violate the 14th Amendment’s due process clause.

Monroe Bank, the mortgagee of the Ahlemeyer Farms, did not know the property was included in the Bartholomew County tax sale until after the buyer, M&M Investment, notified the bank.

Challenging the sale, the bank argued the statute mandating the mortgagee first request a notice of a tax sale before the county is required to provide a copy violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The bank asserted that under Jones v. Flowers, 547 U.S. 220 (2006) and Mennonite Bd. Of Missions v. Adams, 462 U.S. 791 (1983), due process requires the government to provide pre-tax sale notice by mail or personal service regardless of whether the mortgagee has requested it or not.

The Supreme Court was not persuaded to overturn two decades of precedent. The court did not want the state to take additional burdensome steps. It also questioned whether obligating the state to do more would be beneficial in today’s era of mortgaged-backed securities and trading.

Writing for the court, Justice Steven David held, “…Monroe Bank’s apparent alternative – that a county auditor be required to comb the files of the recorder’s office to see if a mortgage is recorded for a tax-delinquent property, assess whether the mortgage is still valid, and then determine whether the mortgage accurately reflects the mortgagee’s identity and address – remains unnecessary for two reasons: it would unreasonably tip the scales of our analysis by imposing too great a burden on the State, and the burdens this approach would impose would not result in a greater likelihood of successful notification.”

 

 

 

 
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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