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JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Ward

Superior Court of Maine, Aroostook

August 26, 2018

JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. Plaintiff
v.
DARRIN J. WARD, A/K7A DARRIN WARD Defendant And CAMDEN NATIONAL BANK F/K/A THE BANK OF MAINE F/K/A GARDINER SAVINGS INSTITUTION, FSB Party in Interest

          DETAILED FINDINGS, DECISION AND ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR FORECLOSURE

         TITLE TO REAL ESTATE IS INVOLVED

         On or about April 7, 2016 Maine State Housing Authority filed a civil complaint against Darrin Ward (hereafter Defendant) seeking foreclosure of mortgage pursuant to 14 M.R.S. §6322 regarding property at 42 White Road, Presque Isle, Maine.[1] Defendant timely filed an answer to the complaint, and also brought a number of counterclaims. An Amended Complaint was filed on July 11, 2016 correcting the legal name of the Party in Interest. On April 24, 2017 all of

         Defendant's counterclaims were dismissed with prejudice due to Defendant's failure to comply with a previously issued discovery order. On October 18, 2017 JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (hereafter Bank) was substituted as Plaintiff pursuant to Plaintiffs unopposed motion, A bench trial on the Bank's Complaint for Foreclosure was held January 3, 2018.

         At trial the bank proffered Peter Katsikas as its witness qualified to testify about the business records of the various entities involved. M.R.Evid.8O3(6); Beneficial Maine v. Carter, 2011 ME 77, Key Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Estate of Quint, 2017 ME 237. [2] At trial the Bank offered the following exhibits which were admitted[3]:

1. Copy of Promissory Note dated January 4, 1994 from Defendant to Lender, Fleet Real Estate Funding Corp, and two Allonges which endorse the note to Maine State Housing Authority and then to JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.[4].;
2. Mortgage dated January 4, 1994 from Defendant to Fleet Real Estate Funding Corp regarding property at 42 White Road, Presque Isle, Maine and recorded at SDARD Bk. 2645, p. 5;
3. Assignment of Mortgage dated April 1, 1994 and recorded at SDARD Bk. 2681, p. 73 from Fleet Real Estate Funding Corp to Maine State Flousing Authority regarding the aforesaid mortgage recorded at SDARD Bk. 2645, p. 5;
4. Confirmatory Assignment of Mortgage dated August 6, 2015 and recorded at SDARD Bk. 5462, p, 167 from JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association as Attorney in Fact for the FDIC as Receiver of Washington Mutual Bank f/k/a Washington Mutual Bank FA successor in interest to Washington Mutual Home Loans, Inc., s/b/m to Fleet Mortgage Corp., f/k/a Fleet Real Estate Funding Corp to Maine State Flousing Authority regarding the aforesaid mortgage recorded at SDARD Bk. 2645, p. 5;

5. Assignment of Mortgage dated August 31, 2016 and recorded at SADARD Bk. 5584, p. 269 from Maine State Housing Authority to JPMorgan Chase Bank N. A regarding the aforesaid mortgage recorded at SDARD Bk. 2645, p. 5;

6. Notice of Right to Cure Letter dated February 18, 2016 from Shapiro & Morley, LLC o/b/o Maine State Housing Authority to Defendant;
7. Itemization of Amounts Due; and
8. Payment History

         Also admitted into evidence are two Affidavits of Robert L. Jackson, Esq. both dated January 2, 2018, one submitting Status Report Pursuant to Service members Civil Relief Act regarding the Defendant, and the second itemizing attorney fees.

         At the conclusion of the proceedings the evidence was closed and the Court set a briefing schedule for parties' counsel to submit written arguments. The court has received and reviewed written arguments from Plaintiff dated March 14, 2018 and from the Defendant dated February 16, 2018.

         DISCUSSION For a judgment of foreclosure to be granted, there are eight required elements:

• the existence of the mortgage, including the book and page number of the mortgage, and an adequate description of the mortgaged premises, including the street address, if any;
• properly presented proof of ownership of the mortgage note and [evidence of the mortgage note and] the mortgage, including all assignments and endorsements of the note and the mortgage;
• a breach of condition in the mortgage;
• the amount due on the mortgage note, including any reasonable attorney fees and court costs;
• the order of priority and any amounts that may be due to other parties in interest, including any public utility easements;
• evidence of properly served notice of default and mortgagor's right to cure in compliance with statutory requirements;
• after January 1, 2010, proof of completed mediation (or waiver or default of mediation), when required, pursuant to the statewide ...

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