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Federal National Mortgage Association v. Wilson

United States District Court, D. Maine

May 30, 2019

FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION Plaintiff
v.
DOREEN L. WILSON a/k/a DOREEN WILSON, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         A plaintiff moves to amend its foreclosure complaint against a defendant to comply with the requirements of 14 M.R.S. § 6321. The Court grants the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Federal National Mortgage Association (Federal National) filed a complaint in this Court on September 12, 2018, bringing an action for foreclosure on a residential mortgage. Compl. (ECF No. 1). Federal National filed a number of exhibits in an attempt to demonstrate its compliance with Maine foreclosure laws pursuant to section 6111 and section 6321. Id. Attach. 1, Ex. A Legal Description; Attach. 2, Ex. B Note; Attach. 3, Ex. C Mortgage; Attach. 4, Ex. D Loan Modification Agreement; Attach. 5, Ex. E Assignment of Mortgage; Attach. 6, Ex. F. Demand Letter (Demand Letter); Attach. 7, Ex. G Certificate of Mailing; Attach. 8, Ex. H Military statement. On February 1, 2019, Federal National filed a motion for entry of default against Ms. Wilson. Mot. for Entry of Default (ECF No. 7). Then, on February 5, 2019, Federal National moved for default judgment. Mot. for Default J. (ECF No. 9) (Mot. for Default J.).

         A. Order Deferring Ruling on Plaintiff's Motion for Default Judgment

          The Court issued an order on February 11, 2019, deferring ruling on Federal National's motion for default judgment and allowing it to request a hearing on the motion. Order on Mot. for Default J. at 4 (ECF No. 10). In its order, the Court noted its concern that two requirements of Maine's foreclosure statute may not be met in the Plaintiff's Notice of Cure and the Complaint. Id. at 3-4. First, “[t]he Notice of Default and Right to Cure does not include interest in its itemized list of past due amounts in accordance with § 6111.” Id. at 4 (citing Demand Letter at 3). Second, the Court noted,

Maine law requires that the “complaint must . . . describe the mortgaged premises intelligibly, including the street address of the mortgaged premises, if any, which must be prominently stated in the first page of the complaint”, 14 M.R.S. § 6321, . . . [h]ere, the street address of the mortgaged property does not appear until the second page of the Complaint.

Id.

         B. Hearing on Federal National Mortgage's Motion for Default Judgment

         At Federal National's request, a hearing on its motion for default judgment was held on March 25, 2019. Min. Entry (ECF No. 14). During the hearing, the Court gave Federal National an opportunity to respond to the Court's preliminary determination that the notice of cure and the complaint failed to meet the requirements of sections 6231 and 6111.

         Regarding its apparent failure to include the address of the mortgaged residence on the first page of the Complaint, as required by section 6321, the Plaintiff conceded the mistake and asked the Court for leave to determine whether it preferred to move to amend or voluntarily dismiss the complaint and re-file. The Court agreed.

         In response to the Court's initial conclusion that Federal National did not include “reasonable interest and late charges specified in the mortgage, ” in the right to cure notice it provided to Ms. Wilson, Federal National acknowledged that the itemized cure amount it attached to the letter does not list the interest owed by Ms. Wilson, in contradiction to the language of its demand letter, which states, “[a]n itemization of the Cure amount, including amounts of past due principal and interest, as well as fees, costs, and all charges required to cure the default is attached to this letter[.]” Demand Letter at 1, 3. Federal National argued that section 6111(1-A), which lists the required contents of the notice, does not include interest and late charges associated with the mortgage. It contended that section 6111(1), which requires written notice be provided to the mortgager that “the mortgager has the right to cure the default by full payment of all amounts that are due without acceleration, including reasonable interest and late charges specified in the mortgage or note as well as reasonable attorney's fees” does not refer to the required contents of the notice listed in section 1-A of the statute.

         C. Motion to Amend Complaint

          Federal National moved to amend the Complaint on March 29, 2019. Mot. to Amend Compl. (ECF No. 16) (Pl.'s Mot. to Amend). Its Amended Complaint corrects the defect in its original Complaint by listing the street address of the mortgaged residence ...


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