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Brunswick Bank & Trust v. Affiliated Bldg. Corp.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

March 17, 2015

BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
AFFILIATED BUILDING CORP., Defendant-Appellant. BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
HELN MANAGEMENT, LLC, Defendant-Appellant. BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
HELN MANAGEMENT, LLC, and AFFILIATED BUILDING CORP., Defendants-Appellants

Argued January 6, 2015

Approved for Publication March 17, 2015.

On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Middlesex County, Docket Nos. F-30990-10 (A-5225-12) and F-21231-13 (A-2109-13) and Monmouth County, Docket No. F-26278-10 (A-1893-13).

Philip R. Kaufman argued the cause for appellants.

Anthony B. Vignuolo argued the cause for respondent ( Borrus, Goldin, Foley, Vignuolo, Hyman & Stahl, P.C., attorneys; Mr. Vignuolo and Anthony T. Betta, on the brief).

Before Judges FISHER, NUGENT and MANAHAN. The opinion of the court was delivered by FISHER, P.J.A.D.

Page 711

[440 N.J.Super. 119] OPINION

FISHER, P.J.A.D.

In these three appeals of orders entered in three separate foreclosure actions, we consider, among other things, the impact caused by the plaintiff-lender having first sought and obtained a [440 N.J.Super. 120] money judgment in the Law Division -- before seeking foreclosure -- for the purpose of determining whether plaintiff has been fully compensated. Because we can draw no certain conclusions from the convoluted and unsettled factual record, we remand.

I

The record generated in these cases reveals that between September 2007 and July 2009, plaintiff Brunswick Bank & Trust made five construction and development loans to defendants Heln Management, LLC, and Affiliated Building Corp., that were guaranteed by Jeffrey Miller, a principal of both entities, and his daughter Melanie Miller. Each loan was secured by a mortgage on one of four properties, which we will refer to as Matthew Manor, Beacon Hill, Loren Terrace and Baldwin Street.[1] A table identifying the five loans is set forth below.[2]

In May 2010, plaintiff filed a complaint in the Law Division against Heln, Affiliated, and the two guarantors, on four of the five loans.[3] On August 18, 2010, the Clerk of the Court entered a default judgment in favor of plaintiff and against Heln for [440 N.J.Super. 121] $1,884,141.84, against Affiliated for $175,000, and against the guarantors for the entire amount of the indebtedness, $2,059,141.84. The judgment also declared that plaintiff was entitled to " post-judgment interest" and an attorney fee.

After filing the Law Division complaint, but a few months before default judgment was entered, plaintiff commenced three foreclosure actions; a fourth was filed three years later. Specifically, plaintiff filed a complaint in Monmouth County on May 10, 2010, against Heln seeking foreclosure on Beacon Hill, and two foreclosure complaints in Middlesex County on June 8, 2010 -- one against Heln seeking foreclosure on ...


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