NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted November 14, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, General Equity Part, Essex County, Docket No. F-5383-11.
Emmanuel C. Odoemene and Doris D. Odoemene, appellants pro se.
Kivitz McKeever Lee, P.C., attorneys for respondent (Kristina G. Murtha, on the brief).
Before Judges Fuentes, Simonelli and Fasciale.
In this foreclosure matter, defendants Emmanuel C. Odoemene and Doris D. Odoemene appeal from the June 11, 2012 Chancery Division order, which granted summary judgment to plaintiff Assets Recovery 23, LLC and dismissed defendants' answer, and denied defendants' cross-motion to dismiss the complaint. Defendants also appeal from the January 3, 2013 final judgment.We affirm.
The facts are supported by certifications from plaintiff's authorized representative, which were based on her review of the original loan documents and her personal knowledge of how the documents are maintained, as well as certifications from plaintiff's attorney. On November 6, 2006, defendants executed a note to Wall Street Financial Corporation (Wall Street) in the amount of $552, 000. To secure payment of the note, defendants executed a mortgage to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), as nominee for Wall Street, on their rental property in Newark (the property). The mortgage was recorded with the Essex County Register on December 14, 2006.
Defendants defaulted on February 1, 2008. They also failed to pay approximately $61, 000 in property taxes, resulting in the issuance of, and an action to foreclose upon a tax sale certificate.
On June 17, 2008, MERS, as assignee for Wall Street, assigned the mortgage to Assets Recovery Center Investments, LLC (ARCI). The note was transferred to ARCI along with the mortgage. ARCI recorded the assignment with the Essex County Register on June 19, 2009.
In early 2010, the original note was forwarded to ARCI's attorney. That attorney represents plaintiff in this case. The attorney has had the original note in her possession since the time she received it from ARCI. Defendants did not dispute that the attorney showed the original note to them and the court during proceedings in the foreclosure action ARCI brought against defendants, which was dismissed without prejudice.
On April 28, 2011, ARCI assigned the mortgage and note to plaintiff (the April 2011 assignment). The assignment provided as follows:
KNOW ALL MENS BY THESE PRESENTS that in consideration of the sum of TEN and NO/100ths Dollars and other good and valuable consideration, paid to the above named Assignor, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, said Assignor hereby assigns unto the above-named Assignee, the said Mortgage together with the Note or other evidence of indebtedness (the "Note"), said Note having an original principal sum of $552, 000.00 with interest, secured thereby, together with all moneys now owing or that may hereafter become due or owing in respect thereof, and the full benefit of ...