What is wrongful foreclosure?

“A wrongful foreclosure is a common law tort claim. It is an equitable action to set aside a foreclosure sale, or an action for damages resulting from the sale, on the basis that the foreclosure was improper.” (Sciarratta v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Assn. (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 552, 561.)

Legal Standard

“The basic elements of a tort cause of action for wrongful foreclosure track the elements of an equitable cause of action to set aside a foreclosure sale.” (Miles v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 394, 408.) “To maintain a wrongful foreclosure claim, a plaintiff must allege that

  1. the defendants caused an illegal, fraudulent, or willfully oppressive sale of the property pursuant to a power of sale in a mortgage or deed of trust;
  2. the plaintiff suffered prejudice or harm; and
  3. the plaintiff tendered the amount of the secured indebtedness or was excused from tendering.”

(Chavez v. Indymac Mortgage Services (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 1052, 1062; Lona v. Citibank, N.A. (2011) 202 Cal.App.4th 89, 104.)

“[M]ere technical violations of the foreclosure process will not give rise to a tort claim; the foreclosure must have been entirely unauthorized on the facts of the case.” (Miles, supra, 236 Cal.App.4th at p. 409.)

Wrongful foreclosure claims are premature if there has been no foreclosure sale. (Vega v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (E.D.Cal. 2009) 654 F. Supp.2d 1104, 1113.) In situations where a foreclosure has already occurred, the California Supreme Court held that a borrower has standing to sue for wrongful foreclosure based on an allegedly void assignment of his or her mortgage. (Yvanova v. New Century Mortg. Corp. (2016) 62 Cal.4th 919.)

However, in cases where a foreclosure sale has not taken place, the court deliberately left open the question of whether a borrower may preemptively challenge a foreclosing party’s right to proceed with the foreclosure. (Yvanova, supra, 62 Cal.4th at p. 924.) The court thus left intact an appellate court decision in Gomes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 1149 (Gomes), which held that courts may not interject themselves into California’s comprehensive nonjudicial foreclosure scheme by entertaining “speculative suit[s]” regarding the lack of authority by the foreclosing entity to foreclose. (Gomes, supra, 192 Cal.App.4th at p. 1156.)

Statute of Limitations

Generally, the statute of limitations for wrongful foreclosure is three years. (Code of Civ. Proc., Code § 338(a), (d).)

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ELEANOR M. ROMAN (State Bar No. 178736) 11/02/2020 [email protected] SEVERSON & WERSON A Professional Corporation One Embarcadero Center, Suite 2600 San Francisco, California 94111 Telephone: (415) 398-3344 Facsimile: (415) 956-0439

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Useful Examples
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ATTORNEY OR PARTY WITHOUT ATTORNEY (Name, State Bar number, and address) FOR COURT USE ONLY Jamie Knauer (SBN 316982) REED SMITH LLP 101 Second St., Suite 1800, San Francisco, CA 94105 TELEPHONE NO.: 415-543-8700 FAX NO. (Optional) 415-391-8269 E-MAIL ADDRESS (Optional) [email protected] ATTORNEY FOR (Name) Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. & Michael West SUPERIOR COUR

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 129     last » 

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