Mass. High Court to Decide Third Party Buyer Issue

Next on the agenda for the Massachusetts Superior Court is deciding whether to affirm or reverse Judge Long’s decision that a buyer at a faulty foreclosure sale cannot quiet title because he has none.  “US Bank had nothing to convey and its purported conveyance to Mr. [Buyer] was a nullity.” 

Judge Long concluded, “For the foregoing reasons, the plaintiff’s claims are dismissed in their entirety, with prejudice. Judgment shall enter accordingly. I have great sympathy for Mr. Bevilacqua’s situation — he was not the one who conducted the invalid foreclosure, and presumably purchased from the foreclosing entity in reliance on receiving good title — but if that was the case his proper grievance and proper remedy is against that wrongfully foreclosing entity on which he relied. SO ORDERED.”  See Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez, No. MISC 427157 KCL, 2010 WL 3351481 (Mass. Land Ct. Aug. 26, 2010).

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the same court that affirmed Ibanez, Massachusetts highest state court)  agreed to take the appeal directly, bypassing an intermediate panel. The court may do that when a case has “broad implications,” Kevin Costello, a lawyer at Roddy Klein & Ryan in Boston, said in a phone interview. Costello represents borrowers in a statewide class action accusing banks of conducting faulty foreclosures.

  • Both Costello and Collier, the lawyer for Ibanez, said Bevilacqua is the first so-called third-party buyer case to come before the high court since the Ibanez decision. “The third-party buyers obviously have claims against the selling entity, the servicing entity and any title insurer and any attorney that was engaged,” Collier said. The court has tentatively set oral argument for April, according to Susan Mellen, the court clerk
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