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U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Martin

Superior Court of Delaware, Sussex

May 6, 2015

U.S. Bank, N.A., AS TRUSTEE ON BEHALF OF SASCO MORTGAGE LOAN TRUST 2007-RNP1, Assignee of AURORA LOAN SERVICES, LLC., Assignee of CIT GROUP/CONSUMER\FINANCE, INC., Assignee of WILMINGTON FINANCE, INC., Assignee of FRANK. J. Weaver, INC., DBA ATLANTIC HOME EQUITY, Plaintiff,
v.
ROSEMARY S. MARTIN and TROY SMITH, Defendants

Date Submitted: April 29, 2015.

PARCEL NO. 2-31-13-00-24.14 In Rem In Personam, Scire Facias Sur Mortgage Mortgage Book 08813, Page 296 Assignment Book 09448, Page 00165 Assignment Book 09620, Page 00118 Assignment Book 10705, Page 26 Assignment Book 13344, Page 00261

Christina J. Pross, Esq., Mattleman Weinroth & Miller, PC, Attorney for Plaintiff.

Troy Smith, Defendant, Pro Se.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Richard F. Stokes, J.

Order Denying Motion to Stay Confirmation

The defendant, Troy O. Smith, ("Smith") pled a motion to stay confirmation and seeks to set aside the foreclosure sale. Smith requested a pretrial hearing by pleadings filed on April 29 and May 5, 2015. The public sale was held on April 21, 2015 and confirmation of the sale is schedule for May 8, 2015. Upon review, the motion is denied and the pleading reasons and confirmation will proceed in due course for the following reasons.

The docket reveals the mortgage foreclosure was held on September 15, 2013. Mediation efforts were made between December 2013 and April 2014. On April 16, 2014, after a second conference, the mediation process was unsuccessful and the foreclosure process was resumed. On June 11, 2014 default judgment was filed and entered. On July, 10 2014, the execution process began and a sheriff's sale was scheduled for September 16, 2014. The sale was stayed because of a bankruptcy filing. A bankruptcy order dismissed this plea and barred subsequent pleadings for two years. Another execution writ was issued February 4, 2015. The sale was held on April 21, 2015 and the defense pleadings were thereafter pled.

When a defendant requests the Superior Court to stay confirmation and to not order a note, this Court does not look to the prejudgment orders. Rather this Court reviews the execution process to see if the sale procedures were proper.[1]The long standing practice in Delaware when land is sold pursuant to an appropriate execution process when "there are no objections made to the sale, the sale is confirmed at the return term of the writ, as a matter of course, without any act or decree of the court; and a sale so confirmed is final in its character and effect, and cannot afterwards be inquired into, nor can its validity be controverted collaterally."[2] Delaware Superior Court Civil Rule 69 echoes this practice providing "sheriff's sales not objected to … shall … be confirmed as a matter of course."[3]

"Delaware Superior Court's judicial scrutiny of the sheriff's sale only examines whether the defaulting obligor has received just treatment in the execution process.[4]" In other words, this Court "is not vested with de novo power to set aside the sale for whatever reason the Court pleases."[5] There is a limited scope of inquiry available to this Court consistent with the general authority Delaware courts have "over its own processes which the court would exert in any other case, for the correction of abuses of the prevention of injury."[6]

Accordingly, issues decided when a sheriff's sale is confirmed generally include whether "the sale was improperly noticed or advertised, that the sale brought a grossly inadequate price, or that fraud, mistake or misconduct occurred in the sale."[7] Here, Smith has not raised any objections regarding the notice provided, adequacy of the price or validity of the sale.[8] As such, "when there is not an objection, the Delaware Superior Court performs, without judicial scrutiny or consideration of the agreement of sale, the merely ministerial task of approving the sale."[9] Accordingly, this Court is tasked with approving the sale.[10]

Assuming the defense's contentions are true, for purposes of this matter only, all of the contentions in paragraphs 3–10 relate to matters that were before this judgment. As a matter of law, these contentions are not sufficient to prevent confirmation nor do they present a proper purpose to set aside the sale.

Considering the above-mentioned reasons, this motion to stay confirmation and to not order the sale is summarily denied.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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