Appeal from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. Cynthia Callahan, Judge.
Argued by: Anand V. Ramana (Amy Miller, Jessica D. Fegan, McGuire Woods, LLP of Washington, D.C.). (Erin Cohen, Renee Dyson, Rita Ting-Hopper, Atlantic Law Group, LLC of Leesburg, VA) all on the brief for Appellant.
Argued by: Kos N. Johns of Bethesda, MD for Appellee.
Woodward, Wright, Graeff, JJ. Opinion by Graeff, J.
[220 Md.App. 700] Graeff, J.
This is the second appeal relating to foreclosure proceedings on property owned by appellees, Nagachandra Nagaraj, Mysore Nagaraj, and Indra K. Nagaraj (the " Nagarajs" ). Appellant, Bank of New York Mellon, appeals from an order of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County vacating a final ratification order of a foreclosure sale almost three years after the final ratification order was entered.
Bank of New York Mellon presents the following three questions for this Court's review:
1. Did the trial court abuse its discretion by: (a) vacating an order that had been previously affirmed on appeal, and (b) vacating an order nearly three years after it was entered without a showing of fraud, mistake, or irregularity?
2. Did the trial court disregard the principle of res judicata in vacating the [final ratification order]?
3. Did the trial court improperly rule on an exception to a foreclosure sale that the appellee had already waived?
For the reasons that follow, we shall reverse the judgment of the circuit court.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
In this Court's prior unreported opinion, Nagaraj v. Cohn, No. 2338, Sept. Term, 2010 (filed Feb. 22, 2012), we set forth the factual background in this case, as follows:
On April 25, 2007, Countrywide Home Loans Inc. (" Countrywide" ) loaned Nagachandra $944,000, which was evidenced by a note (" Note" ), to purchase 9208 Gladys Farm Way, Gaithersburg, Maryland (" the property" ). That same day, appellants signed a deed of trust (" Deed of Trust" ). Not long after, Nagachandra's loan was pooled into a trust (" Trust" ) owned by The Certificateholders, Chl Mortgage [220 Md.App. 701] Pass-Through Trust 2007-8 Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-8, Ate. The Bank of New York Mellon, f.k.a. The Bank of New York (" The Bank of New York Mellon" ) was the trustee (" Trustee" ). When Nagachandra's loan was defaulted on, the Bank of New York Mellon appointed appellees, Edward S. Cohn, Stephen N. Goldberg, Richard E. Solomon, and Richard J. Rogers, to act as substitute trustees and initiate foreclosure proceedings.
On December 28, 2009, appellees filed an " Order to Docket Foreclosure of Residential Property." Nagachandra filed a motion to postpone, requesting that the foreclosure sale scheduled for March 3, 2010 be postponed. Nagachandra posited that he would be out of town and would be unable to participate in the proceedings. The circuit court denied the motion. A notice of sale was subsequently published for three successive weeks. On August 16, 2010, a report of
sale was filed. That same day, appellees, on behalf of The Bank of New York Melon [sic], filed a " Holder's Designation of Person to take Title Pursuant to [Md.] Rule 14-213." On September 17, 2010, a notice concerning the sale of the property was posted for three successive weeks.
On September 24, 2010, appellants filed exceptions to the ratification of the sale. Appellants asserted that the ratification should be denied because appellees failed to provide license numbers of the mortgage originator and the mortgage lender. Appellants also posited that the ratification should be denied because they submitted loan modification documents. Appellees opposed, arguing that the license numbers were listed on the order to docket the foreclosure; previous attempts at loan modification were unsuccessful; appellants ...