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GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. Ford

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

November 28, 2017

GMAC MORTGAGE, LLC
v.
ERIC M. FORD ET AL.

          Argued September 11, 2017

         Action to foreclose a mortgage on certain real property owned by the defendant Ali Shah Bey, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Fairfield, where the court, Hartmere, J., denied the named defendant's motion to dismiss; thereafter, the court, Hon. Edward F. Stodolink, judge trial referee, granted the plaintiff's motion for summary; subsequently, the court, Hartmere, J., rendered a judgment of strict foreclosure, and the named defendant appealed to this court, which affirmed the judgment and remanded the case for the purpose of setting new law days; thereafter, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as Trustee for Harborview Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-10 was substituted as the plaintiff; subsequently, the court, Hon. Alfred J. Jennings, Jr., judge trial referee, granted the substitute plaintiff's motion to open the judgment and extend the law days; thereafter, the court, Hon. Edward F. Stodolink, judge trial referee, denied the named defendant's motion to open the judgment, and the named defendant appealed. Affirmed.

          Eric M. Ford, self-represented, the appellant (named defendant).

          Marissa I. Delinks, for the appellee (substitute plaintiff).

          Alvord, Sheldon and Mullins, Js. [*]

          OPINION

          ALVORD, J.

         The self-represented defendant in this residential mortgage foreclosure action, Eric M. Ford, [1]appeals[2] from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion of the plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as Trustee for Harborview Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-10 (Wells Fargo), [3] to open a judgment of strict foreclosure and to extend the law days, and denying the defendant's motion to open the judgment. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) in light of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., U.S., 135 S.Ct. 790, 190 L.Ed.2d 650 (2015), the trial court erred in granting the plaintiff's motion to open and denying his motion to open; and (2) the plaintiff lacks standing to maintain this action. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         We adopt, in relevant part, the following facts and procedural history set forth in this court's opinion in GMAC Mortgage, LLC v. Ford, 144 Conn.App. 165, 73 A.3d 742 (2013) (Ford I): ‘‘In July, 2006, the defendant executed a note in the amount of $177, 000 along with a mortgage on property located at 123 Roosevelt Street in Bridgeport (subject property) as security for the note. On March 15, 2010, the plaintiff commenced this action, alleging that the defendant had defaulted on his payment obligations under the note and had failed to cure the default after being notified, and that the plaintiff had exercised its right to accelerate the balance due, to declare the note due in full and to foreclose the mortgage securing the note. The defendant filed an appearance in this matter on August 19, 2010.

         ***

         ‘‘On April 18, 2011, the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment. . . . The defendant filed a two page objection to the motion for summary judgment on May 31, 2011. On June 9, 2011 . . . [t]he defendant . . . filed an amended opposition to the motion for summary judgment . . . . The defendant did not submit any opposing affidavits or other documentary proof in support of his original or amended oppositions. . . . On July 28, 2011, the parties appeared before the court to argue the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, and, following a brief hearing, the court orally granted the motion.

         ***

         ‘‘On May 7, 2012, the plaintiff filed a motion for a judgment of strict foreclosure. The motion was heard by the court on May 29, 2012. After brief arguments by the parties, the court granted the motion orally, making all the necessary factual findings and setting law days to commence on August 28, 2012.'' (Footnotes omitted.) Id., 168-72. On June 20, 2012, the defendant appealed from the judgment of strict foreclosure to this court, arguing, inter alia, that the trial court improperly granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to liability on the foreclosure complaint and rendered a judgment of strict foreclosure. Id., 168. On July 16, 2013, this court affirmed the judgment of the trial court and remanded the case for the purpose of setting new law days. Id., 187.

         On May 20, 2015, on remand, GMAC moved to substitute Wells Fargo as the plaintiff pursuant to Practice Book §§ 9-16 and 9-23. In its memorandum of law in support of this motion, GMAC argued that Wells Fargo was the real party in interest, as it had acquired the right to collect the debt due on the loan in foreclosure through an assignment of the mortgage. GMA Cattached a copy of the assignment of the mortgage to its memorandum. The defendant did not object to the substitution, and the trial court, Hon. Richard P. Gilardi, judge trial referee, granted the motion to substitute on June 8, 2015.

         On July 9, 2015, the plaintiff moved to open the judgment of strict foreclosure for the purpose of setting new law days. The defendant objected, arguing, inter alia, that (1) this court did not rule on all of his issues in his prior appeal, (2) he ‘‘did not default on the alleged note and mortgage'' in 2009 because he ‘‘exercised his federal right to cancel under the Truth in Lending Act'' (TILA), 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., [4] and (3) the issue ...


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