from the Judgment Entered November 4, 2015 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Jefferson County Civil Division at No: No.
BEFORE: LAZARUS, STABILE, and STRASSBURGER, [*] JJ.
James Bernard and Beryl G. Wicker, husband and wife, appeal
from the November 4, 2015 judgment entered in the Court of
Common Pleas of Jefferson County ("trial court")
against them and in favor of Appellee Bayview Loan Servicing,
LLC ("Bayview") in this in rem mortgage
foreclosure action. Upon review, we affirm.
February 11, 2008, in consideration of a loan in the
principal amount of $119, 000.00, Appellants executed and
delivered a note in favor of and to Countrywide Bank, FSB
("Countrywide"). To secure the obligations under
the note, Appellant James Wicker executed and delivered to
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
("MERS") ("solely as nominee for Lender . . .
and Lender's successors and assigns"), a mortgage
for the property located at 643 Highland Park Road,
Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, as security for
the note. On September 28, 2011, MERS assigned the mortgage
to Bank of America, N.A., successor by merger to BAC
Home Loans Servicing L.P. F/K/A/ Countrywide Home Loans
Servicing L.P. ("Bank of America"). Bank of America
recorded the same on November 1, 2011.
30, 2012, Bank of America filed a mortgage foreclosure
complaint against Appellants, requesting, inter
alia, judgment against them for $127, 360.74. Bank of
America alleged that Appellants had failed to make the
scheduled payments on the mortgage since September 1, 2010.
Bank of America also alleged that it complied with the
requirements of Act 6 (41 P.S. § 403) by sending
Appellants a written notice of intention to foreclose (the
"Notice"). See Complaint, 5/30/12, at
¶¶ 10-11. Appellants eventually filed an answer to
the complaint, generally denying Bank of America's
averments and raising new matter.
October 17, 2014, Bank of America moved for summary judgment,
arguing that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Specifically, Bank of America asserted that Appellants'
general denials in their answer to the complaint were
sufficient to establish that Appellants defaulted on their
mortgage obligations. Bank of America also asserted that no
factual dispute existed as to the amount of the mortgage, and
the total amount of indebtedness. Following Appellants'
response, the trial court granted in part and denied in part
Bank of America's summary judgment motion. In particular,
the trial court denied in part the summary judgment motion
because a factual dispute existed as to the date of
Appellants' default, the amount of indebtedness, and the
date when Appellants received the Notice.
14, 2015, Bank of America filed a "Praecipe to
Substitute Plaintiff" (the "Praecipe"), naming
Bayview as the substitute plaintiff. Bank of America attached
to the Praecipe a document titled "Corporate Assignment
of Mortgage, " indicating that Appellants' mortgage
had been assigned to Bayview. On August 3, 2015, Appellants
filed a "Motion in Limine to Strike Praecipe to
Substitute Plaintiff" ("Motion in Limine"),
claiming that the substitution did not conform with Pa.R.C.P.
No. 2352(a) because Bayview, as Bank of America's
successor, failed to file "a statement of material
facts." Motion in Limine, 8/3/15, at ¶¶ 3-6.
case proceeded to a bench trial, following which the trial
court entered a verdict in favor of Bayview, as Bank of
America's successor, and against Appellants. On the same
day, the trial court denied Appellants' Motion in Limine,
concluding, among other things, that attached to the Praecipe
was a document titled "Corporate Assignment of Mortgage,
" the contents of which obviated the need for Bayview to
file a statement of material facts on which the right to
substitution is based under Rule 2352. Specifically, the
trial court concluded that the "Corporate Assignment of
Mortgage" "establishes Bayview's legal interest
in the mortgage and the factual circumstances." Trial
Court Opinion, 9/4/15, at 1. On September 14, 2015,
Appellants filed a motion for reconsideration, which we, like
the trial court, treat as a motion for post-trial relief.
See Mackall v. Fleegle, 801 A.2d 577, 580 n.1 (Pa.
Super. 2002) ("Despite being improperly styled as a
motion to reconsider, upon review, it appears that
[a]ppellant's motion was actually a motion for post-trial
relief, thus preserving the issues raised therein"). On
September 16, 2015, the trial court denied Appellants'
timely appealed to this Court. The trial court directed
Appellants to file a Pa.R.A.P. 1925(b) statement of errors
complained of on appeal. They complied, raising 33 assertions
of error. In response, the trial court issued a
Pa.R.A.P. 1925(a) opinion, concluding that Appellants'
issues on appeal lacked merit.
appeal, Appellants raise four issues for our review:
I. Did the trial court err in granting partial summary
judgment to . . . Bank of America, N.A.?
II. Did the trial court err and abuse its discretion in
denying [Appellants'] motion in limine to strike
substitution of Bayview . . . as the party plaintiff and by
doing so only after trial had concluded?
III. Did the court commit prejudicial error by permitting the
testimony of a witness without personal knowledge and by
further receiving exhibits into evidence which did not
satisfy the requirements of Pa.R.E. 803(6)?
IV. Is the judgment void due to fraud insofar as the
securitization of the promissory note prior to trial
obliterated Bayview's standing and removed all
controversy before the court including any obligation of
[Appellants] to repay?
Appellants' Brief at 19.
first argue that the trial court erred in granting Bank of
America's summary judgment motion. Specifically,
Appellants argue that a factual dispute existed concerning
whether they had admitted in their pleadings that the
mortgage was in default.
[o]ur scope of review of a trial court's order granting
or denying summary judgment is plenary, and our standard of
review is clear: the trial court's order will be reversed
only where it is established that the court ...