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April 11, 2014

COA holds that a former property owner lacks standing to challenge foreclosure after redemption period has expired

In Bryan v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Michigan Court of Appeals concluded that the plaintiff did not have standing to challenge a foreclosure after the expiration of the redemption period.  Moreover, regardless of standing, the plaintiff failed to demonstrate prejudice as required to set aside the allegedly defective foreclosure.
 
Glenna Bryan defaulted on her mortgage payments.  JP Morgan Chase foreclosed by advertisement and purchased the property at the foreclosure sale.  Bryan did not redeem within the statutory redemption period.  A judgment of possession was entered in favor of JP Morgan Chase, and ultimately, the trial court entered an order allowing immediate execution of the order of eviction.  Bryan sued JP Morgan Chase seeking to quiet title and alleging that the bank was not the owner of the indebtedness secured by the mortgage or the servicing agent of the mortgage as required by the foreclosure by advertisement statute.  She also alleged that the foreclosure sale was void ab initio because of defects in the process.  The trial court granted summary judgment for JP Morgan Chase.  Bryan appealed.  The Court of Appeals affirmed.
 
The court first concluded that Bryan lacked standing to bring her claims.  By failing to redeem the property within the statutory redemption period, Bryan’s rights in and to the property were extinguished.  Next, the court concluded that Bryan’s claims were barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel.  It reasoned that the prior eviction involved the same parties, was decided on the merits, and during those proceedings Bryan had the opportunity to raise the argument that the foreclosure sale was void ab initio.  The court held in the alternative that even if the sale was defective, Bryan failed to establish she had been prejudiced by any defect as required by the 2012 Michigan Supreme Court decision in Kim v. JP Morgan Chase Bank.  Finally, the court declared that Bryan abandoned her remaining arguments regarding alleged unfair business practices.

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