People's United Bank v. Patio Gardens III
Justice Elizabeth Emerson
In this action to foreclose mortgages on two parcels of commercial real estate owned by Patio Gardens, and personally guaranteed by Blaney, Barnet and Heinlein, People's United Bank moved for summary judgment. Barnet and Heinlein argued the bank's motion was premature as to them as their liability arose only if the sale of the property resulted in a deficiency. The court, however, noted that a cause of action for a deficiency judgment was incidental to the principal relief demanded against the mortgagor in a foreclosure action. As such, the cross-motion was denied. Patio Gardens asserted the bank failed to establish it had standing claiming the bank failed to produce any evidence the notes and mortgages were transferred from the Bank of Smithtown to People's United Bank before its commencement of the action. Smithtown merged with People's in 2010, thus, no formal assignment was required to effect a transfer of the assets of the merged bank to the receiving bank and plaintiff was not required to submit proof the subject loans were assigned in order to establish entitlement to summary judgment. Hence, plaintiff had standing to prosecute the action, and as the documentary evidence was sufficient to establish its entitlement to judgment, plaintiff's motion was granted.