New York Supreme Court Holds That Defaulted Homeowner Cannot Make Standing Defense in Foreclosure Action

The Supreme Court of New York, Queens County, recently held that a homeowner who had failed to answer a foreclosure complaint could not assert the defense of the plaintiff’s alleged lack of standing in opposition to the plaintiff’s motion for default judgment.  See JPMorgan Chase Bank, Nat. Ass’n v. Washington, 17 N.Y.S.3d 383 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2015).  In the case, the plaintiff filed a foreclosure action and properly served the defendant borrower in 2013.  Though the borrower appeared at a court-ordered conference in 2014, she never filed an answer to the complaint.  Plaintiff then filed a motion seeking a default judgment against all defendants, including the borrower, and for a referee to compute the amounts owed on the loan.  The borrower filed an opposition to the motion, arguing that the plaintiff did not have the standing to pursue the foreclosure due to alleged issues with the assignment of the note and mortgage.  The Court nonetheless granted the plaintiff’s motion and appointed a referee to compute the amounts due, holding that “the defendant waived any argument that plaintiff lacked standing to commence the foreclosure action by failing to interpose an answer or file a timely pre-answer motion which asserted the defense of standing.”

For a copy of the decision, please contact Michael O’Donnell at modonnell@riker.com.