On December 10, 2014, Hicks | Knight represented Oakford Homeowners Association, defending a mortgage foreclosure by Chase Bank.
The trial began with a major surprise because, for the first time in any trial by Hicks | Knight, the foreclosing bank attempted to present a witness from the prior servicer to authenticate some of the documents required to prove the bank’s case.
Before trial, we moved to exclude the witness from the prior servicer because that person was not properly disclosed as required by the trial court’s order setting trial. After much back and forth, the trial court excluded the witness from the prior servicer.
Despite this setback, and in light of new case law holding a successor servicer cannot carte blanche admit documents from a prior servicer, the foreclosing bank decided to go forward with trial.
About 5 minutes into the trial, the bank realized it would not be able to admit nearly any of its documents with only the present servicer testifying. So, the bank “phoned home” and got authority to dismiss mid-trial.
To make matters even better, the Third District Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Deutsche Bank Trust Company of the Americas v. Beauvais, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D1c, ___ So.3d ___ (Fla. 3rd DCA Dec. 17, 2014) (holding the statute of limitations is a bar to a subsequent foreclosure where the first foreclosure was dismissed without prejudice), only a few days after this win. Based on Beauvais, the statute of limitation may stop this plaintiff from filing a subsequent foreclosure.