Statute of Limitations Bars Lender’s Subsequent Action to Quiet Title Against Junior Lienholder Mistakenly Omitted from Initial Judicial Foreclosure Action

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Attorney Lindsey Torp discusses Cathleen Robin v. Al Crowell.

October 19, 2020
Lyndsey Torp - Snell & Wilmer Real Estate Litigation Blog

A recently issued opinion by the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District tells a cautionary tale regarding a lender’s failure to name a junior lienholder in its initial judicial foreclosure action.

In Cathleen Robin v. Al Crowell, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2020 WL 5951506, plaintiffs sued defendant, a junior lienholder, for quiet title, having failed to name him in the initial judicial foreclosure action. Defendant raised the statute of limitations defense, but the trial court found in favor of plaintiffs. The court of appeal reversed, holding that the 60-year statute of limitations which the trial court applied only applied to a nonjudicial trustee’s sale, and the trial court could not exercise the trustee’s power of sale after the expiration of the statute of limitations on a judicial action to foreclose.

In 2006, plaintiffs loaned Steve and Marta Weinstein (the “Weinsteins”) $450,000, secured by a deed of trust on one parcel of the Weinstein’s property. In 2007, the Weinsteins and defendant Al Crowell (“Crowell”) recorded a second deed of trust on the property, securing a promissory note executed by the Weinsteins in 2004.

Ms. Torp may be contacted at ltorp@swlaw.com



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