What Types of “Damages Claims” Survive a Trustee’s Sale?

February 28, 2018
Ben Reeves – Real Estate Litigation blog / Snell & Wilmer

Introduction

Arizona’s trustee’s sale statutory scheme provides for the waiver of all defenses and objections to a trustee’s sale that: (i) are not raised prior to the sale, and (ii) do not result in an injunction against the sale going forward. See A.R.S. § 33-811(C). In other words, if you have an objection to a trustee’s sale, you must seek and obtain an injunction prior to the sale or your objection will be waived.

Arizona’s Court of Appeals previously held that notwithstanding this statutory waiver, “common law” defenses to repayment of the debt survive a non-judicial foreclosure even in the absence of an injunction prior to the sale. See Morgan AZ Financial, L.L.C. v. Gotses, 235 Ariz. 21, 326 P.3d 288 (Ct. App. 2014). Our analysis of the Morgan decision can be found here.

In Zubia v. Shapiro, 243 Ariz. 412, 408 P.3d 1248 (2018), the Arizona Supreme Court revisited the issue of what claims survive a trustee’s sale, and clarified that if a person fails to enjoin a trustee’s sale prior to its occurrence, then that person waives any and all damages claims dependent upon a trustee’s sale. That person does not, however, waive damages claims that are independent of the sale. Thus, determining what types of claims are “dependent” versus “independent” of a trustee’s sale is of critical importance to lenders and borrowers alike.

Mr. Reeves may be contacted at breeves@swlaw.com



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