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Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Oklahoma, Division I

March 9, 2018

WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO WELLS FARGO BANK OF MINNESOTA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSTEE, F/K/A NORTHWEST BANK MINNESOTA, N.A., AS TRUSTEE FOR THE REGISTERED HOLDERS OF STRUCTURED ASSET SECURITIES CORPORATION, STRUCTURED ASSET INVESTMENT LOAN TRUST, MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2003-BC4, Plaintiff/Appellee,
v.
CHARLES W. TAYLOR and KATHERINE L. TAYLOR, Defendants/Appellants, and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.; Centurion Capital Corp., LLC DBA Centurion Capital Corp.; Allied Equity Corp.; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.; Midland Funding, LLC; John Doe; and Jane Doe, Additional Parties.

          Mandate Issued: 04/04/2018

          APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF TULSA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA HONORABLE JEFFERSON D. SELLERS, JUDGE

          Brian J. Rayment, KIVELL, RAYMENT, and FRANCIS, P.C., Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Plaintiff/Appellee,

          Michael W. McCoy, McCOY LAW OFFICE, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, for Defendants/Appellants.

          ROBERT D. BELL, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         ¶1 Defendants/Appellants, Charles W. Taylor and Katherine L. Taylor, appeal from the trial court's order denying their motion to vacate a mortgage foreclosure judgment in favor of Plaintiff/Appellee, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as trustee for an asset investment trust. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         ¶2 In March 2003, Charles Taylor borrowed $369, 000.00 from Finance America, LLC, to finance the purchase of a home. He signed a promissory note (Note) promising to repay the loan. Charles and his wife, Katherine, also granted a mortgage (Mortgage) against the real property located at 6634 E. 112th Place South in Bixby, Oklahoma (Subject Property). The mortgage instrument stated that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), was mortgagee "solely as a nominee for Lender and Lender's successors and assigns." In 2010, MERS, as nominee, assigned the Mortgage to Plaintiff.

         ¶3 Charles defaulted on the Note in September 2009. In April 2012, Plaintiff filed a Petition to foreclose the Mortgage. Attached to Plaintiff's Petition were copies of the Note endorsed in blank and the Mortgage. Both documents recited the street address of the Subject Property. However, the page containing the legal description of the Subject Property was inadvertently omitted from the Mortgage. The district court granted summary judgment to Plaintiff in October 2013, but vacated the judgment in March 2014 because of the missing legal description in the Mortgage. The court's docket entry from March 4, 2014, states in relevant part:

Court vacates summary judgment and grants partial summary judgment as to all issues except description of property. Standing issues granted in favor of Wells Fargo. Plaintiff[] granted leave to amend petition. (all capital letters in original converted to lower case as warranted).

         ¶4 Plaintiff filed its First Amended Petition on March 11, 2014, with the attached Mortgage containing the Subject Property legal description. The Petition stated inter alia:

[T]he legal description attached to the Mortgage Document was inadvertently left off the original petition when filed. That the legal description has always been a part of the Mortgage Document and was filed in the Tulsa County Land Records with the Mortgage Document. That this Amended Petition is filed simply to correct the Court's record as to the complete Mortgage Document as found in the Tulsa County Land Records. Judgment having previously been awarded as to all other issues but as to the subject property.

         Defendants answered with a general denial of the allegations.

         ¶5 Plaintiff thereafter moved for summary judgment. In addition to the Note, Mortgage and other documents, Plaintiff attached to the motion an affidavit from an employee of the loan servicing company who was authorized to sign on behalf of Plaintiff. The affidavit recited that Plaintiff is entitled to enforce the Note and Mortgage, and that the loan has "been in constant default since September 1, 2009." The trial court granted summary judgment to Plaintiff by order dated February 9, 2016. The Defendants' motion to vacate or reconsider the judgment was denied by the trial court ...


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