State High Court Rules That Lender Loses Right To Foreclose On Delinquent Mortgage Due To Violation Of Procedural Rule

In Canton, Ohio, The Repository reports:

A city man took his foreclosure dispute to the state’s highest court, and according to a ruling issued today, he won. What that means for Giuseppe Gullotta is that he gets to remain in his house without a mortgage. What it means for homeowners around the state remains to be seen.

The case involved a rule that limits plaintiffs to one re-filing after a civil lawsuit has been voluntarily withdrawn. During a two-year period, U.S. Bank filed three foreclosure actions against Gullotta, […]. The bank voluntarily dismissed the first two complaints.

In 2005, it filed a third. Gullotta said that broke the re-filing rule, but the trial court and 5th District Court of Appeals said the foreclosure was legal. In March, the Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments. U.S. Bank argued that the third case wasn’t the same as the first two because it didn’t try to collect payments and interest owed before April 2005, which the other cases did.

But Gullotta’s attorney said the complaints were essentially the same. The court justices agreed in a 5-2 vote.

According to the court decision, the amount owed at the time of the start of the foreclosure action was $164,390.91, plus interest at the rate of 7.35 percent per year.

For the story, see

For the decision of the Ohio Supreme Court, see (2008-Ohio-6268, slip op., December 10, 2008).