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JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association v. Ortiz

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

January 5, 2015

JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION Plaintiff,
v.
ELLIOT A.R. ORTIZ, and MARGARET SANTOSTEFANO Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

EDWIN M. KOSIK, District Judge.

Before this court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment in the above-captioned mortgage foreclosure action. For the reasons which follow, the Plaintiff's motion will be granted.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The instant action relates to real property located at 120 Lake Drive, Henryville, Pennsylvania ("Subject Property"). (Doc. 31, Pl.'s SMF, at ¶ 1.) Defendants are the record owners of the Subject Property. (Id. at ¶ 2.)

On October 7, 2008, Defendants borrowed the principal sum of $275, 115 from Surepoint Lending abn First Residential Mortgage Network, Inc. (Id. at ¶ 3.) Defendants executed a promissory note and a mortgage for the amount of $275, 115, on October 7, 2008. (Id. at ¶¶ 4, 5.)

Plaintiff is the current holder of the Mortgage and Promissory Note, and is in possession of the same. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-9.) Plaintiff received and recorded an Assignment of Mortgage prior to the commencement of this action. (Id. at ¶ 10.)

The terms of the Note and Mortgage require Defendants to repay the mortgage loan, with interest, in monthly installments of principal and interest beginning on December 1, 2008, and continuing through the maturity date of November 1, 2038. (Id. ¶ 11.) Defendants failed to make a mortgage loan payment that was due on February 1, 2010. (Id. at ¶ 13.) On November 9, 2010, Defendants were provided with a pre-foreclosure notice, advising them of the default and steps required to cure the same. (Id. at ¶ 14.) As of March 24, 2014, Defendants owed Plaintiff a total amount of $377, 817.54 under the Mortgage and Promissory Note. (Id. at ¶ 15.)

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 27, 2013, Plaintiff filed the Complaint (Doc. 1) and initiated this mortgage foreclosure action against Defendants. On April 12, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Default Judgment (Doc. 5). An Entry of Default was entered as to Defendants (Doc. 7) on April 17, 2013, and Default Judgment was entered in favor of Plaintiff (Doc. 8) on April 18, 2013. On May 13, 2013, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation to Set Aside Default (Doc. 11). The Court granted that motion by Order dated May 16, 2013 (Doc. 12). On June 20, 2013, Defendants filed an Answer (Doc. 14). Defendants' attorney withdrew on January 13, 2014 (Docs. 24-26), and Defendants proceeded pro se.

On April 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 29), brief in support (Doc. 30), and a Statement of Material Facts ("SMF") (Doc. 31). Defendants did not reply to the motion. The Court held a status conference on May 29, 2014, at which time, Defendants informed the Court that they were seeking a short sale. At the conference, the Court also brought the Motion for Summary Judgment and the lack of response, to Defendants' attention. On June 17, 2014, Plaintiff advised the court that Defendants' request for approval of a short sale of the mortgage property was denied, and requested that the Motion for Summary Judgment be ruled upon (Doc. 35). The Defendants never responded to the motion. Regardless, the motion is ripe for disposition.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). An issue is "genuine" if there is sufficient evidence with which a reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Childers v. Joseph, 842 F.2d 689, 693-94 (3d Cir. 1988) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). A factual dispute is "material" if it might affect the outcome of the case. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In determining whether an issue of material fact exists, the court must consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Skerski v. Time Warner Cable Co., 257 F.3d 273, 278 (3d Cir. 2001); White v. Westinghouse Elec. Co., 862 F.2d 56, 59 (3d Cir. 1988).

A party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis of its motion and identifying those portions of the record that it believes demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The non-moving party then has the burden to "come forth with affirmative evidence, beyond the allegations of the pleadings, ' in support of its right to relief." U.S. Bank, Nat'l Ass'n v. Greenfield, Civ. Action No. 1:12-CV-2125, 2014 WL 3908127, *2 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 11, 2014) (quoting Pappas v. City of Lebanon, 331 F.Supp.2d 311, 315 (M.D. Pa. 2004)). "If a party fails to properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly ...


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