FORECLOSURE JUDGMENT NOT VOID | Key Points

  1. Earlier this month the Third DCA affirmed the lower court’s order denying relief from a foreclosure judgment despite the borrower’s assertion that the judgment was void due to procedural deficiencies pertaining to Deutsche Bank’s substitution into the case as the plaintiff. Van Tran v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Tr. Co., No. 3D19-2215, 2020 WL 4642208 (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 12, 2020).

  2. OneWest Bank, the plaintiff who initiated the foreclosure, filed an unopposed motion to substitute Deutsche Bank into the case as the new plaintiff. The court granted the substitution and required “a corresponding amendment to the style of the case.” Deutsche Bank failed to amend its complaint to reflect the substitution. The matter proceeded to trial and the court entered judgment in favor of Deutsche Bank. Years later Van Tran moved for relief from the judgment under rule 1.540(b)(4) asserting it was void because “the complaint was never formally amended to reflect Deutsche Bank as the party plaintiff…” The lower court denied the requested relief and Van Tran appealed that order.

  3. The Third DCA affirmed noting that although an amendment to the complaint was required pursuant to the order granting substitution, “the identical result was obtained by the pretrial order which did substitute [Deutsche Bank]….” as the party plaintiff. The Court affirmed the foreclosure judgment noting Florida’s “deep-rooted policy in favor of the repose of judgments…the interest in finality, and the concern in the stability of property titles.”

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