In US Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Salvatierra, 2022 NY Slip Op 03023 (N.Y. App. Div. May 4, 2022), we successfully appealed an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County, which denied the plaintiff’s motion for default judgment and granted that defendant’s cross motion for leave to serve a late answer.
The Defendant raised several arguments to support the lower court’s order. Among other things, Defendant argued that his appearance and participation in mandatory foreclosure settlement conferences reasonably excused his failure to answer and that CPLR 3408(m) entitled him to serve and file a late answer. In the alternative, Defendant claimed that he was never advised by counsel at the settlement conferences of the need to file or serve an answer and that the lower court correctly granted his cross motion. We addressed each of these points in our appeal of the order. The Appellate Division agreed with our arguments and reversed, holding that the lower court improvidently exercised its discretion in finding that Defendant demonstrated a reasonable excuse for his default in appearing or answering the complaint. The Court further held that Plaintiff demonstrated entitlement to a default judgment and that the lower court should have granted its application seeking the relief.
To read the Appellate Court’s Order, click HERE.