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Houtz v. Houtz

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Huron

May 4, 2018

Christine M. Houtz, Administratrix of the Estate of Susan Marie Clowtis Appellee
v.
Christine M. Houtz, et al. Defendant PHH Mortgage Corporation-Appellant and Mathew T. Crane, Administrator of the Estate of Leon Anthony Clowtis Appellee
v.
Christine M. Houtz, et al. Defendant PHH Mortgage Corporation-Appellant

          Trial Court Nos. LS 2016 00003, LS 2016 00005

          Jeffrey S. Ream and Sheree L. Studer, for appellee Christine M. Houtz, Administratrix of the Estate of Susan Marie Clowtis.

          Paul D. Dolce, for appellee Mathew T. Crane, Administrator of the Estate of Leon Anthony Clowtis.

          Adam J. Turer, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          SINGER, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, PHH Mortgage Corporation, appeals the June 12 and July 18, 2017 judgments of the Huron County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, denying its motions to intervene. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         Assignments of Error

         {¶ 2} Appellant sets forth the following assignment of error:

1. Appellant argues that the trial court erred when it found Appellant PHH Mortgage Corporation was not entitled to post-judgment intervention under Civ.R 24(A).

         Background

         {¶ 3} Susan and Leon Clowtis died in December 2015, leaving behind real property ("the property") located at 1518 Settlement Rd., Norwalk, Ohio 44857.

         {¶ 4} At that time, the property was encumbered by two mortgages. The first mortgage instrument was recorded in October 2012, and listed as lender was KeyBank National Association, with an address of 1 Mortgage Way, Mount Laurel, New Jersey 08054. Also listed in this first mortgage instrument was Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. ("MERS"), as mortgagee.

         {¶ 5} The second mortgage instrument was recorded in June 2015. This mortgage instrument was not made part of the record. However, a "judicial report, " issued based on an examination of the record title by First American Title Insurance Company, reveals that the second mortgage was issued to KeyBank National Association, 4910 Tiedeman Rd., Suite C, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144.

         {¶ 6} On June 22, 2016, a complaint to sell real estate was filed in case No. LS 16 00003, by Christine Houtz, the administrator of the estate of Susan Clowtis. On July 5, 2016, virtually the same complaint was filed in case No. LS 16 00005, by Mathew Crane, the administrator for the estate of Leon Clowtis. These complaints sought authorization to sell the property, as both Susan and Leon had a half-interest in the property.

         {¶ 7} Additionally, both complaints had instructions for the clerk to serve KeyBank at its Mount Laurel, New Jersey and Brooklyn, Ohio addresses. The deputy clerk certified and provided proof the complaints were served at both KeyBank locations. MERS was not served with the complaints.

         {¶ 8} On September 1, 2016, Christine Houtz as administrator in case No. LS 16 00003 filed for default judgment against KeyBank. The court granted default judgment against KeyBank on September 2, 2016.

         {¶ 9} Mathew Crane, as administrator in case No. LS 16 00005, also filed for default judgment against KeyBank on September 16, 2016. The court ...


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