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Pelletier v. Burson

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

August 30, 2013

DONZELLA PELLETIER
v.
JOHN S. BURSON, ET AL., SUBSTITUTE TRUSTEES

Krauser, C. J., Watts, Sharer, J. Frederick (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ.

OPINION

Sharer, J.

In this mortgage foreclosure case, Donzella Pelletier appeals from the judgment of the Circuit Court for Prince George's County denying her Motion to Dismiss and Amended Motion to Dismiss.

Appellant presents two questions for review, which we have rephrased:[1]

I. Did the circuit court err by denying appellant's motion to dismiss and amended motion to dismiss?
II. Did the circuit court err by denying appellant's motions without holding a hearing when a hearing was requested?

Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

BACKGROUND

This appeal arises out of a foreclosure proceeding initiated by the substitute trustees against appellant upon her default on mortgage payments secured by property she purchased in Fort Washington, Prince George's County.

The mortgage loan in question was established on November 19, 2007, in the amount of $294, 000. By March 2, 2009, appellant had defaulted by failing to make payments. On August 13, 2009, appellees filed an Order to Docket Foreclosure.

A foreclosure sale was scheduled, but postponed twice while appellant and the lender discussed loan modification and forbearance agreements. Those efforts having failed, the property was sold on May 11, 2010. A report of sale was filed the same day and the notice of sale was issued on May 17, 2010. On June 8, 2010, appellant filed a motion to stay the ratification of the sale, but on November 12, 2010, prior to the scheduled hearing, she withdrew the motion and requested the court to lift the stay. On December 22, 2010, the Order of Ratification was entered, and on April 7, 2011, after the filing of the auditor's report, the court ratified the sale and ordered that the case be "closed statistically."

On June 13, 2011, some 65 days after the case was closed, appellant filed a pro se motion to dismiss and request for hearing, and on June 22, 2011, filed a pro se amended motion to dismiss and request for hearing. In her motions, appellant alleged that the signatures of the substitute trustees were fraudulent, the lender bank acted in bad faith, and that she had had inadequate legal representation in the course of the foreclosure proceedings. Appellant averred in her motions that the "Trustees' fraud was discovered by two attorneys in September - October 2009[.]"

The circuit court denied appellant's motions without a hearing. In an accompanying memorandum, the court explained that the motions were not timely filed under either Md. Rule 14-211 or Md. Rule 2-535, and that "[w]ith these missed deadlines in mind, the only grounds for relief [appellant] may assert at this stage is fraud, mistake or irregularity [pursuant to Maryland Rule 2-535(b)]." The court found that "even if the fraudulent affidavits [appellant] complains of were viewed as intentionally false representations, ...


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