We are pleased to share a recent decision of a case handled by Friedman Vartolo, LLP. In Christiana Trust, a division of Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB, as Trustee v. Adalgisa Bonafede as Administratrix of the Estate of Christopher Bonafede , etal Index 135139/2016, Richmond County decided July 8, 2019. Plaintiff’s cross motion for release of earnest money was granted.
An underlying Order to Show cause was brought by proposed intervenor City View Homes Corp. to vacate the foreclosure sale completed on March 7, 2019. The Cross Motion sought an order directing referee to release the earnest money in the amount of $46,500.00 deposited by City View pursuant to the foreclosure sale when they failed to appear at the closing on April 8, 2019.
City View’s original stated reason for backing out of the sale was an “undisclosed homicide” dating back to 2013. However, thereafter, they admit it was not ground to vacate the sale. But, only after discovery of the homicide did, they begin raising issues with the building violation and service upon a minor. The building violation did not warrant vacatur of the sale as the terms of sale outlined that same was “subject to building and zoning ordinances and…. possible violations of same”. Additionally, the terms of sale did not provide any right for City View to “reject” the time of the essence letter.
City View went on to argue that the title company declined to insurance the transaction due to improper service on Defendant Vincent Bonafede. Correspondence revealed that the title company went from “we have been advised that the deal is dead” to “title could not be insured”. Additionally, City View would not avail itself to the terms of sale which provided Plaintiff or it’s counsel arrange for a title company.
Accordingly. the Court found that purchaser had acted in bad faith and granted Plaintiff’s cross motion in its entirety and directed release of the earnest money of $46,500 to Plaintiff’s counsel.
A great job by P. David Seibert, Esq. of our firm! For more information regarding this case, please contact Deborah Gallo, Director of Operations at [email protected].