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Bank wins in appeal of foreclosure action

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo on its action to foreclose on a mortgage and collect from the guarantor of the loan, ruling that the loan documents were properly assigned to the bank.

In the summer of 2006, Riviera Plaza Investments, by Haresh Shah, executed and delivered a note by which it promised to pay Citibank the sum of $2,925,000 in monthly installment payments of principal plus interest. On the same date, Riviera, again by Shah, executed a mortgage in order to secure the payment of the note. Shah executed a guaranty in favor of
Citibank.

Riviera failed to make the scheduled monthly payments on the note, which led to Citibank initiating foreclosure proceedings against Riviera in 2010. Citibank sold the loan documents at issue to Nova Investments, which later assigned them to Wells Fargo during the course of this foreclosure action.

The trial court ruled in favor of Wells Fargo with regard to Riviera and Shah, and entered a decree of foreclosure in July 2013.

Appellants claim that the trial court erred in ruling in favor of Wells Fargo because Wells Fargo failed to prove a valid assignment of the loan documents, but the designated evidence shows that Citibank assigned its right, title and interest in the note and mortgage to Nova, which in turn assigned those to Wells Fargo, the COA held in Riviera Plaza Investments, LLC and Haresh Shah v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 02A03-1308-MF-323.

The judges also rejected Riveria and Shah’s claims that the trial court erred in finding Wells Fargo was entitled to recover from the appellants; that the assignment of the loan documents did not constitute a material alteration which would release Shah from his obligation under the guaranty; and that Wells Fargo was entitled to an award of interest.

Judge Cale Bradford pointed out that the appellants never objected to the substitution of Wells Fargo as the real party in interest and plaintiff on the amended complaint.
 

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