The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that M&I Bank was allowed to evict two residents of a home that had been foreclosed because they were leasing and the bank had become owner in a sheriff’s sale.
In Judy Ellis v. M&I Bank, No. 49A05-1107-CC-334, the state’s intermediate appellate court affirmed a judgment by Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayres involving a property on Bayhill Way in Indianapolis. Judy and Robert Ellis owned the property in 2006 when they hired a builder, quitclaimed the property for a line of credit and were allowed to stay there by leasing for five years. The builder defaulted on the line of credit and in February 2010 the bank owner, M&I Bank, filed a mortgage foreclosure suit in Hamilton County.
The couple had filed for bankruptcy but the trustee didn’t assume the lease, and after the property was released M&I obtained the foreclosure decree and bought the home from a sheriff’s sale in late 2010. In February, the bank sought to evict the couple through a Marion County lawsuit.
The Ellises objected on grounds that a similar suit was already pending in Hamilton County and that the Marion Superior Court didn’t have personal jurisdiction, but the trial court entered an order granting possession to M&I bank.
The appellate judges found that the foreclosure action was separate from the eviction action because M&I had ownership rights in the property after the foreclosure was granted and the sheriff sale happened. As a result, the bank could evict the Ellises and chose to do so. The trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in denying the Ellises’ motion to correct error, and the judgment was affirmed.