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Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Lankenau

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

September 9, 2013

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE FOR CARRINGTON MORTGAGE LOAN TRUST, SERIES 2005-0PT2, ASSET BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2005-OPT2, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
STEPHEN LANKENAU and SUZANNE LANKENAU, Defendants-Appellants, and OAK LEAF FINANCIAL, LLC, Defendant.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 3, 2013

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Cape May County, Docket No. F-59382-10.

Stephen Lankenau and Suzanne Lankenau, appellants pro se.

Ralph F. Casale & Associates, LLC, attorneys for respondent (Patrick O. Lacsina, on the brief).

Before Judges Harris and Fasciale.

PER CURIAM

Defendants appeal from a July 12, 2012 order denying their motion to vacate a March 21, 2012 foreclosure judgment, and an August 23, 2012 order denying reconsideration.[1] We affirm.

In 2005, defendants executed a note and mortgage to Nations Home Mortgage Corporation (NHMC) regarding their investment property. In 2007, NHMC assigned the mortgage to Option One Mortgage Corporation (OOMC). On December 6, 2010, OOMC assigned the mortgage to plaintiff. On December 9, 2010, plaintiff filed its foreclosure complaint. In February 2011, defendants' attorney filed an answer to the complaint. In April 2011, plaintiff moved for summary judgment. In June 2011, the judge granted plaintiff's motion as unopposed, [2] and the matter returned to the Office of Foreclosure (OOF). On March 21, 2012, the OOF entered the foreclosure judgment. Defendants proceeded pro se.

In or around June 2012, defendants moved to vacate the foreclosure judgment. Defendants did not identify Rule 4:50-1 in support of their motion. Instead, they contended for the first time that plaintiff lacked standing to file the complaint and failed to comply with the Fair Foreclosure Act (FFA), N.J.S.A. 2A:50-53 to -73, by not serving a notice of intent (NOI) to foreclose. In July 2012, the judge conducted oral argument and denied defendants' motion to vacate. Defendants then moved for reconsideration arguing that the mortgage assignment was forged. On August 23, 2012, the judge rejected defendants' new assertion and denied reconsideration. This appeal followed.

On appeal, defendants raise the following points:

A. THE STANDARD OF REVIEW.
B. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON THE BASIS THAT PLAINTIFF HAS NOT DEMONSTRATED THAT IT HOLDS THE RIGHT TO ENFORCE ...

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