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Huntington National Bank v. Blount

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

July 18, 2013

HUNTINGTON NATIONAL BANK PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
IDA M. BLOUNT, ET AL. DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS

Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-653194

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Gregory J. Moore Stafford Law Co., L.P.A.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES Matthew G. Burg Robert H. Young Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co.

BEFORE: Rocco, J., Celebrezze, P.J., and McCormack, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

KENNETH A. ROCCO, J.

{¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Ida Blount ("Ida") appeals from the decision of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of plaintiff-appellee Huntington National Bank ("Huntington") in this action for foreclosure on a mortgage. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

{¶ 2} On December 18, 2001, Ida's then-husband, Willie Blount Jr. ("Willie"), obtained a $40, 000 personal line of credit from Huntington. The line of credit was secured by an open-end mortgage on real property located at 7215 Raynham Drive in Oakwood Village, Ohio (the "Raynham Drive property"), which was, at the time, Willie and Ida's residence. Ida was not a party to the line of credit agreement. However, both she and Willie executed the open-end mortgage securing the line of credit agreement. The mortgage was executed on December 18, 2001, and recorded on January 9, 2002. The mortgage references the line of credit agreement and provides that if a default occurs under the line of credit agreement, the bank may declare all amounts secured by the mortgage to be immediately due and payable and may foreclose on the mortgage.

{¶ 3} Willie and Ida divorced in March 2007. Pursuant to an agreement reached during the divorce proceedings, Willie quit-claimed his interest in the Raynham Drive property to Ida. The quit claim deed was recorded on March 12, 2007. Despite the outstanding mortgage in favor of Huntington, both parties represented that there were no liens or encumbrances on the Raynham Drive property during the divorce proceedings. A few months later, Willie filed for bankruptcy. Willie's obligation under the line of credit agreement was discharged in bankruptcy on January 11, 2008.

{¶ 4} On March 7, 2008, Huntington filed a complaint for foreclosure in rem against Ida and the unknown spouse of Ida, claiming that a default had occurred under the line of credit agreement and seeking to foreclose on the mortgage on the Raynham Drive property that secured payment. On May 15, 2008, Ida filed an answer, generally denying the allegations in the complaint and asserting various alleged affirmative defenses.

{¶ 5} On July 31, 2008, Huntington filed a motion for summary judgment and a motion for default judgment against any unknown spouse of Ida. In support of its motion for summary judgment, Huntington submitted an affidavit from Huntington employee Kevin Bryant, the custodian of records for the line of credit agreement and mortgage at issue. In his affidavit, Bryant authenticated the line of credit agreement and mortgage that had been attached to Huntington's complaint. He indicated that required payments had not been made under the line of credit agreement and that, pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the balance due had been accelerated. He also identified the principal balance owed.

{¶ 6} On September 30, 2008, Ida filed an amended answer, counterclaim, and third-party complaint, alleging that Huntington or Willie had engaged in fraud or other misconduct in connection with the mortgage at issue, along with a "preliminary memorandum in opposition to the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment." In an affidavit that accompanied her filings, Ida asserted that she did not intend to mortgage her interest in the Raynham Drive property to secure Willie's line of credit. She claimed that Willie or Huntington had told her that the real property securing the line of credit agreement was a piece of commercial property the couple owned located at 12308 Saywell Avenue (also known as 1001-1003 East 123rd Street) in Cleveland, Ohio (the "commercial property"). Ida further claimed that the "original paperwork" she saw and executed indicated that "the real property which was being utilized to secure the transaction" was the commercial property and that someone must have switched the legal description of the mortgaged property from the commercial property to the Raynham Drive property after she executed the mortgage. On August 14, 2009, Ida filed a "supplement to her memorandum in opposition to plaintiffs motion for summary judgment" based on these allegations. In its reply, Huntington argued that Ida had failed to present evidence demonstrating the existence of any genuine issue of material fact with respect to Huntington's claims.

{¶ 7} On April 24, 2012, the magistrate issued his decision. After considering the arguments and evidence submitted by the parties, the magistrate determined that there were no genuine issues of material fact and that, based on the undisputed material facts, Huntington was entitled to foreclosure of the Raynham Drive property and judgment in its favor as a matter of law. Ida did not file any objections to the magistrate's decision. On May 16, 2012, the trial court adopted the magistrate's decision, granting Huntington summary judgment on its claims and ordering foreclosure on the Raynham Drive property. A default judgment was also entered against any unknown spouse of Ida.

{¶ 8} Ida appealed the trial court's judgment, raising three assignments of error. In her first and second assignments of error, Ida argues that Huntington failed to present sufficient evidence establishing its right to foreclose on the Raynham Drive property and that her allegations that Willie or Huntington defrauded her into mortgaging her interest in the Raynham Drive property created genuine issues of material fact that should have precluded summary judgment on Huntington's claims. In addition, Ida contends that Huntington failed to establish that it had standing to foreclose on the mortgage and that the trial court should have denied Huntington's motion for summary judgment because Huntington failed to provide an accounting of the amount it claimed it was owed under the line of credit agreement. In her third assignment of error, Ida contends that the trial court's judgment in favor of Huntington was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

{¶9} Ida's three assignments of error state:

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NUMBER ONE
The Trial Court Erred And/Or Abused Its Discretion By Granting The Appellee's Motion For Summary Judgment.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NUMBER TWO
The Trial Court Erred And/Or Abused Its Discretion By Granting The Appellee's Motion For Summary Judgment When There Are Genuine Issues Of ...

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