FLORIDA DCA CLARIFIES | Key Points

  1. Wells Fargo Bank filed foreclosure proceedings against Hartz based on non-payment of Hartz’s VA insured mortgage. Hartz v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 1D19-759, 2021 WL 1439732, at *1 (Fla. 1st DCA Apr. 16, 2021). Hartz pled that the Bank failed to comply with federal regulations which pertained to VA insured loans and which regulations created conditions precedent to foreclosure.

  2. Ultimately, the trial court found that Hartz failed to satisfy his burden of proof on the issue because Hartz failed to establish the VA regulations were applicable to his loan. To shift the burden of proof to the Bank Hartz was required to demonstrate that his loan incorporated the VA regulations and made them a condition precedent to foreclosing.

  3. The DCA affirmed the foreclosure judgment but noted that it was not “foreclosing the possibility that VA regulations may create conditions precedent to acceleration under a different record.” Ostensibly, had Hartz met his burden of proof by establishing the terms of his loan required compliance with the pertinent VA regulations, the Bank would have been required to prove it complied with those provisions.

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