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Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Lupori, 8 A.3d 919 (Pa. Super. 2010) is aPennsylvania case which analyzes who has the right to foreclose on a mortgaged property. This issue has become increasingly important given the housing crisis over the past ... 

Wells Fargo Bank NA v. Lupori, 8 A.3d 919 (Pa. Super. 2010) is aPennsylvania case which analyzes who has the right to foreclose on a mortgaged property. This issue has become increasingly important given the housing crisis over the past few years. It is important to understand the respective rights of debtor/mortgagors, and the bank/mortgagee. The case began when Wells Fargo won a default judgment against the Luporis, who owned a home with a mortgage which Wells Fargo attempted to foreclose on. Upon foreclosure, the house was sold at a sheriff's sale, and the Luporis responded by attempting to have the sale set aside.

In the original complaint, Wells Fargo stated they were the trustees of another bank which held the mortgage. They alleged that the Lupori mortgage had been recorded by First Franklin, a different bank on April 6, 2005. Wells Fargo alleged that the mortgage was transferred to a First Franklin Corporation whose ownership was recorded on June 20, 2005. They did not allege that the mortgage was ever possessed by Wells Fargo. When Wells Fargo opposed the motion to strike, they stated that mortgage assignment was received from First Franklin Corporation on April 1, 2005. The Luporis identified as the problem that Well Fargo never identified itself as owner of the mortgage, which therefore required the court to overturn the decision to enter default judgment against the Luporis.

The main issue the court analyzed in this appeal was whether Wells Fargo possessed the standing necessary to execute a foreclosure action on the property. In the original foreclosure complaint, Wells Fargo alleged they received an assignment from another bank, but did not actually state they were the true owners of the property. While some cases have allowed a party who is not a true owner to foreclose, the court carefully distinguished those situations.

Wells Fargo was not the owner just as other foreclosing banks had not been, however, those other banks were holders of a pending assignment. Alleging a pending assignment was sufficient for a foreclosing party to show an interest in the property. The court was bound by the facts as they existed at the time of default judgment based onPennsylvaniaprecedent. Thus, when analyzing the Lupori motion to strike a default judgment, the court could only look at the facts as they existed at the time they rendered judgment. If those facts supported judgment, then the motion to strike would have been denied.

This case is more important for the defects it shows in mortgage foreclosure practice. A bank attempted to foreclose on a property without actually asserting ownership. When the homeowners who were residing in the subject property opposed the mortgage, they discovered the bank had wrongfully won a trial court decision. Cases like this show why it is incredibly important to consult an attorney when facing a home foreclosure.

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