FLORIDA DCA REVERSES DISMISSAL | Key Points
Earlier this month the Fourth DCA of Florida reversed dismissal of Lakeview Loan Servicing, LLC’s (“the Bank”) foreclosure complaint. Lakeview Loan Servicing v. Walcott-Barr, 4D19-1582, 2020 WL 6053302, *5 (Fla. 4th DCA October 14, 2020). The DCA found the Bank presented sufficient evidence to show it complied with pertinent HUD regulations which were incorporated into the Borrowers’ loan documents, so dismissal based on failure to satisfy the HUD requirements was inappropriate.
The Borrowers argued the Bank failed to comply with the face-to-face meeting requirement of § 203.604(d) because it failed to produce a copy of the green return receipt card. On appeal the DCA disagreed explaining that the plain language of the statute did not require production of the return receipt card nor did it limit how a bank could prove compliance with pertinent HUD requirements.
The DCA concluded Lakeview’s witness testimony (1) identifying the letter requesting a face-to-face meeting, (2) confirming the letter was sent to the Borrowers’ at the property address via USPS certified mail, and (3) providing the tracking number “was sufficient to establish [the Bank made] a ‘reasonable’ effort’ under 24 C.F.R. § 203.604(d).” The Court reversed the order of dismissal and remanded the matter for further proceedings.