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Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v. Powell

November 15, 2007

MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
WANDA L. POWELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Essex County, Docket No. F-703-06.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 22, 2007

Before Judges Parrillo and Sabatino.

In this foreclosure action, defendant, Wanda L. Powell, pro se, appeals from an October 10, 2006 final judgment of foreclosure, entitling plaintiff, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., to the sum of $624,181.53 plus $6,391.82 in counsel fees from the proceeds of the sheriff's sale of the mortgaged premises. We affirm.

The material facts are undisputed. On May 31, 2005, defendant executed and delivered two mortgage notes to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.: (1) a $460,000 adjustable rate note that was payable over thirty years with a yearly interest rate of 6.25%; and (2) a $115,000 adjustable rate note that had a repayment period of fifteen years with an initial yearly interest rate of 10.25%. On June 3, 2005, as security for the two notes, defendant, as mortgagor, executed and delivered two mortgages against her 74 Willow Street, Bloomfield, New Jersey residence, to plaintiff as nominee for Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., which were then duly recorded.

Defendant subsequently defaulted under the terms of the first note and mortgage when she failed to make the monthly mortgage payment due on October 1, 2005 and all payments due thereafter. Consequently, plaintiff accelerated the loan and on January 11, 2006, filed a complaint seeking to foreclose the first mortgage on defendant's residence pursuant to the Fair Foreclosure Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:50-53 to -68. After efforts to personally serve her failed, the summons and complaint were sent to defendant and confirmed via certified mail. Defendant appeared in the matter on March 10, 2006, and filed a contesting answer denying plaintiff's allegations; asserting affirmative defenses of lack of subject matter jurisdiction, failure to state a cause of action pursuant to the Fair Foreclosure Act, and collateral estoppel; demanding dismissal of plaintiff's complaint; and requesting counsel fees.

The Chancery Division judge, by order of June 5, 2006, denied defendant's motion to dismiss and granted plaintiff summary judgment, striking defendant's answer and affirmative defenses, and entering default against defendant "as though no answering pleading had been filed." After denying defendant's second motion to dismiss, the matter proceeded as uncontested, R. 4:64-1(c)(1), to entry of final judgment of foreclosure on October 10, 2006. That order directed plaintiff be paid $624,181.53 plus interest and $6,391.82 for counsel fees from the sheriff's sale of defendant's mortgaged premises, and barred and foreclosed defendant from all equity of redemption from the mortgaged premises.*fn1

As best as can be determined, defendant pro se raises the following issues for our consideration:

I. THE CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION.

II. THE CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION.

III. THE TRIAL COURT VIOLATED DEFENDANT'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS AND THE NEW JERSEY FAIR FORECLOSURE ACT WHEN IT PROCEEDED WITHOUT PROPER DEBT VERIFICATION.

IV. THERE WAS NO CAUSE OF ACTION DUE TO A ...


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