Other Noteworthy Verdicts, Judgements & Decisions
- Appellate Decision: Massachusetts Court of Appeals Docket No. 2007-P-1067: Trustees of the River Crossing Condominium Trust v. Robert Heroux, et. al. and Bank of New York as Successor in Interest to Decision One Mortgage.
G & P filed this action on behalf of the Trustees Of River Crossing Condominium (“Plaintiff/Appellee”) against a bank (“Bank”) and Robert A. Heroux and Sharon Heroux (collectively, the “Unit Owners”) in the Bristol Superior Court on July 25, 2006 seeking to (a) collect common expense assessments owed by the owners of the condominium unit under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 183A, Section 6; (b) to establish and enforce River Crossing’s statutory lien upon said condominium pursuant to M.G.L. c. 254, Sec. 5 and 5A; and (c) to establish and enforce Plaintiff’s super lien priority inclusive of costs and reasonable fees incurred to enforce the lien pursuant to M.G.L. c. 183A, Section 6(c). Prior to filing the complaint in the Bristol Superior Court, the Unit Owners had filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts in the matter of In re: Robert A. Heroux and Sharon J. Heroux, Case No. 05-18482 and Plaintiff’s obtained Relief from the Automatic Stay. Plaintiff subsequently obtained a judgment against the Bank, and after an assessment of damages hearing, was awarded their damages, attorney’s fees and a statutory lien. Plaintiff then sought foreclosure proceedings and the Bank sought to Vacate Judgment and a Motion for Reconsideration both of which were denied. The Bank then filed an Appeal which was denied and G & P was awarded its costs and attorneys fees from the Bank for both the Superior Court and Appellate work.
- Carol McNally v.Christine Araujo, Angelo Buonopane, Peter Chin, Michael Monahan, and Robert Shortsleeve, as they constitute members of the Board of Appeal for the City of Boston and Mary Mee. Suffolk Superior Court, C.A. No. 2003-05990.
This was an appeal by Carol McNally (“Plaintiff”) of a decision by the Board of Appeal for the City Of Boston (“Boston Zoning Board”) granting Mary Mee (“Defendant”) a variance to build an extensive addition to her home. A portion of Plaintiff’s yard abuts Defendant’s yard and the key issue in this case was whether Plaintiff had standing to bring the subject action. Plaintiff asserted that the proposed addition would affect her Aprivacy. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant will be able to see into the windows of her home from the proposed addition and that the proposed addition will be closer to Plaintiff’s house than Defendant’s existing house. This was a 4 day trial in which G & P represented Defendant. G & P prevailed in this action and upheld the variance granted to Defendant resulting in her being allowed to build the house addition.
- Superville v. Kathleen Kennedy, Dedham District Court, docket no. 2003 – 54CV000830.
This was a breach of contract action in which G & P represented the Defendant property owner. The Plaintiff rented certain real estate from the Defendant with an option to purchase. There was a letter agreement between the parties that the Plaintiff would grant the permission to the Plaintiff to erect a swimming pool at the Premises and if the event there is no sale at the end of the leasing year the Defendant will allow the Plaintiff to reside in the property until the rental equivalent of the expenses are exhausted or a full refund of the expenses are made. The Plaintiff expended over $23,000.00 in improvements, including upgrading an outside barn area around the pool. The Plaintiff contended that she and the Plaintiff agreed that she would be reimbursed for these improvements in the event the purchase never happened which it did not. The amount is controversy was $23,313.00, plus multiple damages and attorney’s fees. G & P obtained a defense verdict on behalf of its client.
Set forth below are some representative matters of title litigation experience which is by no means exhaustive.
- Town and Country Credit Corporation v. Richard L. Krasner and Jeffrey Krasner, Suffolk Superior Court, C.A. No.: 06-1222-E.
G & P represented Jeffrey Krasner in this matter and the key issue was equitable subrogation. Richard Krasner held title to certain property located at 5 Graham Terrace, West Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts (“Premises”). On or about September 25, 2002, Richard Krasner granted a first mortgage on the Premises to Washington Mutual Bank, FA secured by a mortgage (the Washington Mutual Mortgage). On or about June 22, 2004, Jeffrey Krasner (i.e Richard’s brother) loaned $160,000.00 to Richard Krasner and Richard Krasner granted Jeffrey Krasner a mortgage on the Premises. On or about October 22, 2004, Richard Krasner obtained a loan from the Plaintiff in the amount of $395,000.00 which was secured by a mortgage and discharged the Washington Mutual Mortgage. Richard Krasner defaulted on both the mortgage to the Plaintiff and the mortgage to his brother Jeffrey. There was insufficient equity in the property to cover both mortgages at foreclosure. Jeffrey Krasner initiated a foreclosure and the Plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction restraining the foreclosure. When that motion was denied the Plaintiff sought a lis pendens which was also denied. The matter was settled and Jeffrey Krasner assigned his rights to the Plaintiff who paid off the note.
- Maria Armas v. Freemont Investment and Loan, Kenneth J. Peroge, and Fidelity National Title Insurance, Bristol Superior Court 2007-01790.
This was a case involving a dispute regarding whether the Plaintiff’s claim was a covered claim under the title policy. G & P obtained summary judgment on behalf of Fidelity National Title Insurance. See; above under 5 most recent verdicts.
- In Re Charles A. Corkum, Middlesex Probate Court, Docket No. 96P1386.
This is a matter in which G & P was retained by Fidelity Title Insurance to resolve a title defect. In particular, on or about February 6, 1996, Charles A. Corkum (“Corkum”) passed away. At the time of Corkum’s death, he was the owner of that certain property known as 179 Pollard Street, Billerica, MA (“Property”). Pursuant to the terms of Corkum’s will, his daughter, Eveline M. Warren (“Warren”) was appointed executrix. The will; however, did not grant the authority to the executrix to convey the Property, and no license to sell was ever obtained by Warren. Despite never obtaining a license to sell from the Probate Court, on or about December 2, 1996, Warren sold and transferred the Property via quitclaim deed to Brian S. Riccio and Tara J. Sullivan. See quitclaim deed from Eveline M. Warren to Brian S. Riccio and Tara J. Sullivan, dated December 2, 1996. Thereafter, on or about September 2, 1999, Brian S. Riccio and Tara J. Riccio sold and transferred the Property via quitclaim deed to the instant owner, Richard W. Dunlay, Jr. Dunlay, was attempt to sell the Property and became aware of the potential title defect due to Warren’s initial sale of the Property without obtaining a license to sell from the Probate Court. At the time of Corkum’s death, he left three heirs who could have potentially inherited the subject property: Eveline M. Warren, Charles R. Corkum and Susan A. Kennedy. The matter was further complicated because one of the heirs, Charles R. Corkum passed away after the sale of the Property, leaving his wife, Lillian Corkum as the sole heir under his will, which has been probated in the Jacksonville, North Carolina Probate Court. G & P was able to obtain a retroactive license to sell pursuant to M.G.L. c. 204, § 24 and clear up the title defect.
- The Bank of New York, as Trustees for the Certificate Holders of CWALT, Inc. Asset-Backed Certificates Series 2007-02CB v. Medway Lumber & Home Supply, Inc. Norfolk Superior Court – 08-2229 and In Re Earl Berthuiame Adversarial Proceeding U.S. Bankruptcy Court/Massachusetts – 08—04170.
G & P was retained by Fidelity to cure a title defect arising from an unrecorded discharge of a pre-existing mortgage that has become superior to the insured mortgage. The pre-existing mortgage has become live and the said secured mortgagee has initiated a foreclosure action. The borrower subsequently filed bankruptcy. We also initiated an adversarial action in the debtor’s bankruptcy case to revoke his discharge due to fraud in his loan application. We also initiated an action against the lender holding the pre-existing mortgage and obtained a Court Order for such party to place all foreclosure proceeds in escrow with the Court until the matter is fully adjudicated. We have counts for equitable subrogation and dismissal of outstanding prior mortgage due to failure of consideration and/or that sufficient consideration to such lender had already been tendered. Both cases are pending.
- Brooks et al vs. Pelton et al. Land Court -08-MISC367042.
G & P was retained by Fidelity to defend a claim of adverse possession by neighbors of a 150 year old subdivision in Boston against the insured homeowner. This case involves interpreting the affect of two private ways that are of record title. Case is scheduled for trial.
- In Re Kathleen Hutton U.S. Bankruptcy Court -Case No. 08-16497.
G & P was retained by Fidelity to cure a title defect arising from the recording of the subject mortgage in the wrong registry of deeds. Since the borrower filed bankruptcy, the insured mortgagee became an unsecured creditor. We negotiated and structured a settlement with the bankruptcy trustee to obtain a valid mortgage on the subject property and to pay the trustee a reasonable fee on behalf of the estate. We intend to bring a curative action in Land Court to be able to record the mortgage instrument in the appropriate registry of deeds. The case is pending.
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