Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Leblanc

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

August 7, 2019

IN RE MAUREEN PHILIPS LEBLANC

         SECTION “F”

          ORDER AND REASONS

         MARTIN L. C. FELDMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC's motion for rehearing, pursuant to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 8022, of this Court's Order affirming the Bankruptcy Court's ruling that the property description in the Original Ocwen Mortgage was insufficient to encumber Lot 47. For the reasons that follow, the motion is DENIED.

         Background

          The issue in this bankruptcy appeal is whether a property description in a conventional mortgage is sufficient to encumber a residential lot located in a subdivision in Slidell, Louisiana. The Court assumes familiarity with the facts of the case as summarized in the Court's June 3, 2019 Order and Reasons.

         In August of 2001, Maureen Philips LeBlanc purchased adjacent Lots 46 and 47, situated in Section 1 of Bayou Bonfouca Estates in Slidell, Louisiana. Three years later, on May 5, 2004, LeBlanc sold Lot 46. The following year, on July 25, 2005, she executed a promissory note in favor of Quicken Loans, Inc., secured by a mortgage in favor of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.[1] Recorded in the St. Tammany Parish mortgage records on August 15, 2005 as Instrument No. 1512016, the “Original Ocwen Mortgage” describes the mortgaged property as follows:

         Tax ID Number: 1240534749

         Land situated in the Parish of St. Tammany, State of Louisiana is described as follows:

All that certain Lot or Parcel of Land, together with all the buildings and improvements thereon, and all the rights, privileges, servitudes, appurtenances and advantages thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining, situated in BAYOU BONFOUCA ESTATES, SECTION 1, Slidell, Street. [sic] Tammany Parish, to-wit: Lot 46 of said subdivision and more fully described as follows: Said Lot 46 has a frontage of 50.00 feet on Middlebrook Drive, with a depth on the East of 123.9 feet, a depth on the West of 121.6 feet, with a width in the rear of 100.00 feet, more or less, which is varied by the traverse of Bayou Bonfouca. All as will be seen by reference to plat of Survey No. 2028 by John Sollberger, dated August 12, 1958. Further in accordance with survey by Ivan M. Borgen, C.E., dated February 14th, 1978, Survey No. 14, 174, copy of which is attached to Act No. 382991.

         Commonly known as: 161 Middlebrook Dr., Slidell, LA 90458

         Emphasis added. LeBlanc intended to place the mortgage on Lot 47 of Bayou Bonfouca Estates, Section 1, which bears the stated municipal address of 161 Middlebrook Drive and the tax ID number listed in the mortgage property description. However, the Original Ocwen Mortgage erroneously refers to “Lot 46” and contains the metes and bounds description for the lower-numbered lot.[2]

         Soon after, LeBlanc executed three additional mortgages. First, she issued a multiple indebtedness mortgage in favor of Hibernia National Bank, which is currently assigned to Real Time Resolutions, Inc. Recorded in the St. Tammany Parish mortgage records on November 22, 2005, the Real Time Mortgage references 161 Middlebrook Drive and contains the same tax ID number as that included in the Original Ocwen Mortgage, but it refers to “Lot 47” and contains the metes and bounds description for the higher-number lot.

         Next, on December 13, 2005, LeBlanc executed a mortgage in favor of the U.S. Small Business Administration, which was recorded in the St. Tammany Parish mortgage records on January 11, 2006. Finally, LeBlanc executed another mortgage in favor of MERS nearly identical to the Original Ocwen Mortgage, except that it identifies the mortgaged property as Lot 47, rather than Lot 46, and contains the metes and bounds for Lot 47. Although the “Corrected Ocwen Mortgage” is ostensibly dated July 25, 2005, it was not recorded in the St. Tammany Parish mortgage records until March 8, 2006.[3]

         Thereafter, on June 7, 2006, the Clerk of Court for St. Tammany Parish cancelled the Original Ocwen Mortgage from the mortgage records, at the request of MERS. Contrary to its representations, MERS did not hold the promissory note secured by the Original Ocwen Mortgage at that time, and the note had not been satisfied.

         A decade later, on August 31, 2017, Maureen LeBlanc filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 13. Contending that the Original Ocwen Mortgage ranks as the first of three mortgages recorded against Lot 47 in Section 1 of Bayou Bonfouca Estates, Ocwen moved the Bankruptcy Court for an order: (1) annulling the erroneous cancellation of the Original Ocwen Mortgage; and (2) declaring the property description in that mortgage sufficient to encumber Lot 47 and rank ahead of all mortgages recorded after August 15, 2005.

         After conducting a trial and entertaining witness testimony, the Bankruptcy Court issued an Order on October 30, 2018, granting in part and denying in part Ocwen's motion. In its ruling, the Bankruptcy Court annulled the cancellation of the Original Ocwen Mortgage but held that the property description in that mortgage was insufficient to encumber or alert a third party that it affects Lot 47. Accordingly, the Bankruptcy Judge determined that Ocwen's interest in Lot 47 dates from the recordation of the Corrected Ocwen Mortgage on March 8, 2006, and therefore, ranks behind the Real Time Mortgage and the SBA Mortgage.

         Ocwen promptly appealed that Order to this Court, contending that the Bankruptcy Court erred in holding that the Original Ocwen Mortgage lacked a sufficient property description to encumber Lot 47. In the alternative, insofar as the Bankruptcy Court was correct regarding the insufficiency of the Original Ocwen Mortgage's property description, Ocwen argued that it erred in finding that the SBA Mortgage ranks ahead of the Corrected Ocwen Mortgage when there is no evidence regarding the validity or rank of the SBA Mortgage in the record.

         On June 3, 2019, this Court affirmed the Bankruptcy Court's ruling that the property description in the Original Ocwen Mortgage was insufficient to encumber Lot 47 but remanded the matter for a determination on the merits as to the validity and rank of the SBA Mortgage. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.