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Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Fratarcangeli

Appellate Court of Connecticut

August 27, 2019

WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.
v.
NICOLE M. FRATARCANGELI ET AL.

         Argued March 18, 2019.

Page 650

          Appeal from Superior Court in the judicial district of Fairfield, Hon. Alfred J. Jennings, Jr., judge trial referee, Hon. George N. Thim, judge trial referee.

          Gary L. Seymour, for the appellant (named defendant).

          Todd H. Lampert, with whom, on the brief, was Arthur C. Zinn, for the appellee (substitute plaintiff).

          Judges: DiPentima, C. J., and Moll and Norcott, Js. MOLL, J. In this opinion the other judges concurred.

          OPINION

Page 651

          MOLL, J.

          [192 Conn.App. 160] The defendant, Nicole M. Fratarcangeli,[1] appeals from the judgment of strict foreclosure rendered after a court trial in favor of the substitute plaintiff, MTGLQ Investors, LP. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred when it granted the substitute plaintiff's motion to strike as to her first and second special defenses of (1) illegal attestation of the mortgage deed and (2) unclean hands as to the attestation of the mortgage deed. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         [192 Conn.App. 161] The following facts and procedural history are relevant to our resolution of the defendant's claims. In its complaint, the original plaintiff, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., alleged the following relevant facts. On March 21, 2005, the defendant executed a promissory note, in the principal amount of $535,000, in favor of World Savings Bank, FSB (World Savings Bank). The note was secured by a mortgage executed by the defendant on real property located at 370 Wilson Road in Easton. On April 4, 2005, the mortgage deed was recorded on the Easton land records. Thereafter, the original plaintiff acquired Wachovia Mortgage, FSB, formerly known as World Savings Bank. Beginning in July, 2009, and each and every month thereafter, the defendant failed to make payments on the note. On or before April 21, 2015, the original plaintiff became the party entitled to collect the debt evidenced by the note and to enforce the mortgage. In connection with the defendant's default on the note, the original plaintiff exercised its option to declare the entire balance of the note due and payable. In July, 2016, the original plaintiff commenced this foreclosure action against the defendant.

          On December 2, 2016, the original plaintiff filed a motion for a judgment of strict foreclosure. On March 2, 2017, the original plaintiff filed a motion to substitute party plaintiff, as well as an accompanying memorandum of law in support thereof and an

Page 652

appended copy of its assignment of the mortgage to the substitute plaintiff. On March 20, 2017, the court granted the motion to substitute.

          On May 17, 2017, the defendant filed an answer and eight special defenses.[2] In support of her first and second special defenses, the defendant alleged the following facts. World Savings Bank procured and paid for, [192 Conn.App. 162] as part of the closing costs, the services of a notary public, Kathleen Salerno, who conducted the closing at the defendant's home in Easton. While at the defendant's home, Salerno had the defendant execute all of the necessary closing documents, including the mortgage deed, but Salerno did not notarize those documents while at the defendant's home and did not request or provide a second attesting witness to the mortgage deed as required by General Statutes ยง ...


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