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Manufacturers & Traders Trust Company v. Green

A-7120-03T5 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2008) (Unpublished)

MORTGAGES; ASSIGNMENT — Even if a recorded mortgage contains an error as to the loan number or the loan amount, it is a valid assignment so long as it identifies the assignee, the assignor, and the mortgaged property.

A borrower executed a promissory note and mortgage. Each contained a provision that permitted the note holder, on default, and after a thirty day notice, to accelerate the entire balance of principal and interest due under the note. On the same day that the borrower executed the note and mortgage, the mortgagor assigned the note and mortgage to another lender. The recording of that assignment contained an errant loan number and loan amount. That mortgage was further assigned two months later to a third lender.

After about five years, the borrower defaulted on the loan. The servicing company for the assignee notified the borrower, and the borrower was given an opportunity to reinstate the mortgage by paying all amounts owed before a date certain. Full payment was not made, and the assignee filed for foreclosure. The lower court confirmed that the borrower had defaulted, but gave the borrower an opportunity to make all outstanding payments and cure the default. Following no effective response, the lower court entered a final foreclosure judgment. The borrower appealed, and the Appellate Division stayed the sheriff’s sale pending its decision.

The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s findings, holding that for a mortgage assignment to be effective, all that is required is for it to identify the assignee, the assignor, and the mortgaged property. The Court found that the mistaken terms in the originally recorded assignment were inconsequential because the assignment specifically identified the encumbered property. It remanded the matter to the lower court to address any further stay of the sheriff’s sale.


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