January 4, 2024

Kelley Kronenberg Secures Decisive Victory in Mortgage Foreclosure Appeal

Kelley Kronenberg Partner, Irina Danilyan, secured a decisive victory in defending our client, the servicer, against a mortgage foreclosure appeal filed by the mortgagee. The appeal, challenging the trial court’s final judgment of foreclosure, alleged deficiencies in notice provisions and questioned the admissibility of crucial exhibits.  

In 2006, the mortgagee executed a promissory note and a mortgage in Palm Beach County, Florida, leading to foreclosure proceedings initiated by the servicer in 2019. The non-jury trial, held on August 17, 2022, saw a strategic decision by the mortgagee not to call any witnesses. The servicer’s litigation foreclosure case manager took the stand, delivering compelling testimony on loan payment history, demand letters, and routine practices. 

The mortgagee’s affirmative defenses, particularly the claim of notice deficiencies, were squarely challenged. The trial court, denying the mortgagee’s motion for involuntary dismissal, set the stage for the final judgment of foreclosure. 

In asserting a solid foundation, the servicer maintained that the witness’s testimony and admitted exhibits robustly supported the loan payment history and judgment figures. The mortgagee’s attempted discrediting through cross-examination fell short. 

The servicer justified the trial court’s reservation of jurisdiction for determining attorneys’ fees in the final judgment. Trial evidence convincingly supported the entitlement of attorneys’ fees, securing the servicer’s position as the prevailing party. 

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal delivered a decisive affirmation of the final judgment of foreclosure. In doing so, the appellate court recognized the trial court’s sound discretion in admitting exhibits, agreed that all amounts in the final judgment were substantiated by Plaintiff’s witness’s competent testimony and exhibits, and justified the reservation of jurisdiction for attorneys’ fees.