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CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Chartier

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

February 26, 2015

CITIMORTGAGE, INC.
v.
RONALD CHARTIER et al

Submitted On Briefs December 1, 2014

Joshua Klein-Golden, Esq., Clifford & Golden, PA, Lisbon Falls, for appellants Ronald Chartier and Amy Chartier.

Donald E. Frechette, Esq., Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, Hartford, Connecticut, for appellee CitiMortgage, Inc.

Panel: ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

OPINION

Page 40

HJELM, J.

[¶1] Ronald and Amy T. Chartier appeal from a judgment of foreclosure entered by the District Court (Lewiston, Beliveau, J.) in favor of CitiMortgage, Inc. after a non-jury trial. The Chartiers contend that the court erred in entering judgment against them because the notice of default provided by CitiMortgage did not satisfy the requirements of the mortgage. We agree and vacate the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] Viewing the record in the light most favorable to the prevailing party, CitiMortgage, the following facts were established at trial. See Batchelder v. Realty Res. Hospitality, LLC, 2007 ME 17, ¶ 3, 914 A.2d 1116. On May 11, 2007, Amy executed a promissory note in favor of Cornerstone Home Loans. In order to secure performance under the note, Amy and her husband, Ronald, executed a mortgage in favor of Cornerstone encumbering their residential property in Lewiston. On May 14, 2007, Cornerstone assigned the mortgage to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). At around the same time, Cornerstone indorsed the note to Merrimack Mortgage Company, Inc., which also serviced the mortgage. In June 2007 the servicing of the mortgage was transferred from Merrimack to CitiMortgage, Inc., and Merrimack eventually indorsed the note to CitiMortgage.[1] On December 2, 2008, CitiMortgage sent Amy a letter notifying her that the loan was in default and that she needed to pay the past due amount within thirty days in order to cure the default. On December 14, 2009--more than a year after CitiMortgage sent the notice of default to Amy--MERS assigned the mortgage to CitiMortgage.[2]

[¶3] In February 2010, CitiMortgage filed a complaint in District Court, alleging that Amy was in default on the secured loan because she had not made any payments since October 1, 2008, and seeking foreclosure of the mortgage. In their answer,

Page 41

the Chartiers alleged, among other things, that CitiMortgage failed to provide a notice of default and right to cure as required by the mortgage.

[¶4] The case proceeded to trial in January 2014, and on March 11, 2014, the court entered a judgment of foreclosure for CitiMortgage in the principal amount of $176,882.46, plus attorney fees and costs. The judgment was accompanied by written findings of fact and conclusions of law, including the court's conclusion that the notice ...


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