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Court orders more proceedings in foreclosure action

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An Elkhart County man successfully convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse the denial of his motion to set aside default judgment in a foreclosure action. The man argued he relied on information from the bank that he could proceed with a short sale and the foreclosure proceeding would be put on hold.

Bank of America N.A. attempted to foreclose on Michael H. Kretschmer’s property in Elkhart County in 2012. When Kretschmer didn’t reply to the complaint, the trial court awarded default judgment to the bank. When Kretschmer learned of the judgment, he filed a motion to set it aside, alleging that Bank of America had agreed to a short sale of the real estate. He said he spoke with someone in the bank’s counsel’s office who told him, “not to worry about anything and to continue with the short sale.” Based on that conversation, Kretschmer did not hire an attorney or appear in court.

The matter went to a settlement conference, in which the parties agreed to stay the foreclosure pending Kretschmer’s submission of a possible short sale offer and the bank’s review of the offer. But the bank claimed it never received any offers and the trial court later ruled in favor of the bank on Kretschmer’s motion to set aside the default judgment.

But the trial court erred by denying his motion, the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in Michael H. Kretschmer v. Bank of America, N.A., 20A05-1312-MF-600. The judges found that his failure to timely answer BANA’s complaint was the result of excusable neglect under Trial Rule 60(B)(1) and (3) due to the information provided by the bank’s counsel’s office.

Kretschmer claimed that he presented two short sale offers to the bank, but the bank failed to consider the offers. If true, these allegations could show that the bank engaged in contractual sabotage or other acts of bad faith, the appeals court held.

“If Kretschmer’s assertions that BANA promised to allow him more time to attempt to obtain an acceptable short sale offer are credited, then it was incumbent upon BANA to give due consideration to any short sale offers Kretschmer submitted for approval. Finally, we observe that Ind. Code § 24-4.4-2-201 provides in part that a creditor who fails to respond to a short sale offer may be liable in an action under 12 U.S.C. 2605(f), and the fact that Kretschmer may be entitled to damages under certain circumstances supports the conclusion that, if the case were tried on the merits, a different result may be reached,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote.

The case is remanded for further proceedings.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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