In March 2015, a California appeals court said “Enough!” to a homeowner’s ongoing wrongful foreclosure suits, dismissing all claims as barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel. However, the California Supreme Court apparently believes “not enough,” and has granted review of Boyce v. T.D. Service Company.
In Boyce, plaintiff defaulted on his mortgage loan and the lender sought to foreclose. Plaintiff then filed an emergency bankruptcy petition to forestall the foreclosure. The bankruptcy court granted the trustee relief of stay. Additional litigation continued on an unlawful detainer action after plaintiff refused to leave the home following the trustee’s sale and appealed a finding of summary judgment in the defendant’s favor in the unlawful detainer action.
After the home was sold and the plaintiff was evicted, he then filed additional suits for wrongful foreclosure, declaratory relief, quiet title and violations of the Unfair Practices Act. A trial court sustained defendants’ demurrers on the grounds of res judicata and collateral estoppel, which the plaintiff then appealed.
The Second Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s decision, finding that the prior bankruptcy court’s orders barred the wrongful foreclosure claims by res judicata. The court also found that a res judicata bar was created by the unlawful detainer judgment.
In his opinion for the appeals court, Associate Justice Kenneth R. Yegan wrote, “Appellant lost in the bankruptcy court. He lost in United States District Court. He lost in the unlawful detainer court. He lost in the Appellate Department of the Superior Court. He lost in Superior Court. He now loses here. As the late eminent federal appellate jurist Rugierro Aldisert would say, “Basta,” which translates from Italian to English as, Enough!”
The California Supreme Court said that it would hear Boyce following its disposition of another wrongful foreclosure suit — Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corp. — where it is reviewing the issue of whether or not a borrower may challenge an assignment of a note and deed of trust when defects allegedly render that assignment void.
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