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Suser v. Wachovia Mortg., FSB

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

November 4, 2013

WILLIAM SUSER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
WACHOVIA MORTGAGE, FSB F/K/A WORLD SAVINGS BANK, FSB, AND DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, F/K/A WASHINGTON MUTUAL BANK, FA, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS, AND PORT IMPERIAL CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURYINTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, AND/OR HIS, HER, THEIR OR ITS SUCCESSOR IN RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST, DEFENDANTS

Submitted: October 8, 2013.

Approved for Publication November 4, 2013.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Hudson County, Docket No. C-25-12.

Zwerling & Deshpande, LLC, attorneys for appellant ( Shay S. Deshpande and David J. Zwerling, on the brief).

Reed Smith, LLP, attorneys for respondent Wachovia Mortgage, FSB f/k/a World Savings Bank, FSB ( Henry F. Reichner, of counsel; Kevin L. Jayne, on the brief).

Bertone Piccini, LLP, attorneys for respondent Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, f/k/a Washington Mutual Bank, FA ( Grace C. Bertone and Cristina Z. Sinclair, of counsel; Ms. Sinclair, on the brief).

Before Judges FISHER, ESPINOSA and O'CONNOR. The opinion of the court was delivered by FISHER, P.J.A.D.

OPINION

Page 1015

[433 N.J.Super. 319] FISHER, P.J.A.D.

In this appeal, we consider whether the trial judge correctly granted summary judgment in this convoluted quiet-title action, [433 N.J.Super. 320] which sought, in part, to remove a mortgage because of alleged inadequacies in its assignment.

Many of the relevant facts are undisputed. Plaintiff William Suser obtained and recorded, on July 29, 2006, a mortgage on a West New York condominium unit securing his $150,000 loan to the prior owner. Plaintiff later sued for and obtained a foreclosure judgment and, after making a successful $100 bid, obtained a sheriff's deed which acknowledged title was subject to prior encumbrances. Plaintiff then commenced this action seeking to quiet title through the removal of the two prior mortgages

Page 1016

on the property, one of which was recorded by World Savings Bank, FSB (the World Savings mortgage), on September 23, 2004, to secure a $200,000 loan to the original owner, and the other recorded by Washington Mutual Bank, FA (the WaMu mortgage), on October 8, 2004, to secure a $999,999 loan to the original owner. Defendant Wachovia Mortgage FSB, doing business as Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo), appeared with regard to the World Savings mortgage, and defendant Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee WAMU 2005-AR2 (Deutsche) appeared to defend the WaMu mortgage.

In his quiet-title complaint, plaintiff claimed the World Savings and WaMu mortgages " should not be recognized in equity because they have been satisfied, settled, obtained by mistake and/or [sic] improperly encumber the subject premises without legal right or standing to enforce same." Despite this allegation's broad tone, the main thrust of plaintiff's arguments in the trial court related to ...


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