ILNews

Panel disagrees on foreclosure settlement resolution

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that federal law and housing regulations require that deeds in lieu of foreclosure release the borrower from any mortgage obligation, and the mortgage company issuing an agreement can use that federal language in the contract.

Ronald Dyer and his wife entered an FHA-secured mortgage loan in 2008 for their home in Greene County, but after she died the husband defaulted on the loan now assigned to GMAC Mortgage. The company foreclosed, but they agreed to settle and decided to proceed with a deed in lieu of foreclosure. GMAC drafted a written agreement that included a provision using language required by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development that neither would pursue a deficiency judgment. Dyer didn’t feel it provided enough protection, and he refused to sign until a new agreement provided that he was released from all personal liability.

The trial court agreed with Dyer and ordered the contract be rewritten, but a two-judge Court of Appeal majority struck down that decision In GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. Ronald Glenn Dyer, No. 28A04-1107-MF-404.

Reviewing federal statute and HUD regulations, the appellate court found the language GMAC used was sufficient and protected Dyer. The state appellate panel disagreed with Dyer’s reliance on a single court opinion from Maryland in 1999 that found the “shall not be pursued for deficiency judgments” language not protective enough because HUD could still intercept future tax refunds pursuant to the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984.

The panel found that precedent doesn’t control here because it was written before the current statute and doesn’t apply to the facts in this case. Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote the opinion and Judge Edward Najam concurred.

Chief Judge Margret Robb concurred with the majority’s determination that a deed in lieu of foreclosure releases a borrower from any obligation under a mortgage. But she dissented with the specific resolution in this case, seeing no harm in including Dyer’s requested provision and saying she would affirm the trial court’s order requiring the agreement revision.

“If a deed in lieu of foreclosure does in fact release a mortgagor from personal liability and if everyone agrees Dyer should be released from personal liability, the requested provision would only clarify this reality,” she wrote. “HUD regulations do not prohibit parties adding language in addition to what is required, and Dyer is not attempting to remove a provision required by HUD.”

 

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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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