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Huntington National Bank v. Haas

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

June 25, 2019

HUNTINGTON NATIONAL BANK Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
CONNIE HAAS, ET AL Defendant-Appellant

          Civil appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2011CV00841

          For Plaintiff-Appellee STEVE SHANDOR

          For Defendant-Appellant THOMAS SKIDMORE

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J.

          OPINION

          Gwin, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant appeals the November 28, 2018 judgment entry of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas granting appellee's motion to revive judgment.

         Facts & Procedural History

         {¶2} On March 16, 2011, the trial court entered judgment in favor of appellee Huntington National Bank against appellant Connie Haas for $1, 129, 071.92, including interest through February 25, 2011, plus interest thereafter at $198.61920 per diem, until satisfied. The trial court entered the judgment on a promissory note and a commercial guaranty which appellant executed.

         {¶3} Appellee filed a motion to revive the March 16, 2011 judgment on September 7, 2018. Appellee sought to revive the judgment pursuant to R.C. 2325.15. Appellant was served with the motion to revive by certified mail on September 14, 2018. Appellant filed a response in opposition to the motion to revive on November 13, 2018. Appellee filed a reply on November 14, 2018.

         {¶4} The trial court held a hearing on appellee's motion on November 20, 2018. Sterling Morris ("Morris"), the director of special assets at Huntington Bank, testified he manages the recovery department and his job duties include collection efforts after judgment. Morris reviewed and maintained the bank records with regard to the loan at issue in this case. Morris testified to Exhibit 1, the payoff amount for appellant, as guarantor, and to Exhibit 2, the commercial loan guaranty showing the borrower as Richard Henry Haas Enterprises, LLC, with the guarantor being appellant. Morris testified the commercial loan payoff document was created August 24, 2018, and shows a total amount due of $1, 291, 991.39. Morris stated that, since the time the payoff document was created on August 24, 2018, the bank has not received any payments towards the balance; thus, the balance remains the same, plus the applicable interest.

         {¶5} On cross-examination, Morris testified the amount of the original loan was $1, 530, 000.00. Morris confirmed the balance as of August 24, 2018 was $1, 291, 991.39 and testified there have not been any payments made towards that loan since then. Morris testified it is his understanding that the bank could release a mortgage without releasing the note that goes with that mortgage. Morris stated it is not necessarily true that with a satisfaction of mortgage the bank is indicating the note has been paid. Morris testified the bank has a choice between executing a release of mortgage and a satisfaction of mortgage. When asked with a satisfaction of mortgage is the bank indicating it has been paid, Morris stated, "No * * * that is not my interpretation." As to Exhibit I, a certificate of satisfaction dated May 10, 2013, Morris testified the document states it releases the mortgage. Morris does not know why this was filed in 2013. As to the affidavit dated April 9, 2014, Morris stated he is not aware of the affidavit. Morris testified the payoff amount he provided is the amount due and there is no record of payments coming in to pay down that balance. Morris does not know why there was an affidavit filed in April of 2014 stating the amount due was $32, 545.52. Morris was not sure how the principal balance due was originally calculated. As to Exhibit G, a satisfaction of mortgage dated August of 2010, Morris stated it is a document executed and signed by Huntington National Bank. Morris is not aware of any indications Huntington gave appellant that she would not be obligated under the note and/or mortgage once the property was auctioned.

         {¶6} On re-direct, Morris testified neither Exhibit G nor Exhibit H states the underlying notes have been fully paid and released and that, in his experience as a bank officer, it is possible to release and/or satisfy a mortgage without the underlying note being discharged. As to Exhibit I, Morris stated the document says "released," not "fully paid" and there is no indication that the underlying note was fully paid. Upon Morris' review of the bank records in question, it is his opinion that the payoff submitted as Exhibit 1 is the valid amount due and owing at this time from appellant.

         {¶7} Counsel for appellee objected to the introduction and questioning regarding releases that were signed or recorded prior to the judgment. The trial court permitted the evidence to come in.

         {¶8} The trial court issued a judgment entry granting appellee's motion to revive judgment on November 28, 2018. The trial court noted that appellant contends the judgment should not be revived due to the filing of three separate documents: (1) a satisfaction of mortgage of a $100, 000 mortgage filed in Summit County on August 5, 2010; (2) a satisfaction of mortgage of a $1, 530, 000 mortgage and accompanying assignment of rents filed in Summit County on August 5, 2010; and (3) a certificate of satisfaction releasing a mortgage filed in Summit Count on May 10, 2013. The trial court stated appellee presented testimony that the underlying judgment is not satisfied and introduced into ...


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