Citimortgage v. Vatash
Justice Thomas Whelan
Citimortgage sued to foreclose a mortgage given by Vatash. Citimortgage argued Vatash defaulted on her payment obligations. Vatash answered and asserted affirmative defenses. Citimortgage moved for summary judgment dismissing the answer. Vatash argued Citimortgage lacked standing to prosecute the action, and claimed the motion was premature due to ongoing talks between her brother and Citimortgage for a loan modification. The court found Vatash's challenge to Citimortgage's standing was procedurally defective as the challenge was waived by her failure to assert the defense in a pre-answer motion to dismiss, or in her answer. It noted the defense was also substantively meritless as Citimortgage became the owner and holder of the note and mortgage upon its merger with the original lender. The court found Citimortgage established its entitlement to summary judgment on its complaint, concluding Vatash's opposition papers revealed that no questions of fact were raised or defenses established. It rejected Vatash's claim that ongoing discussions with Citimortgage precluded granting the motion. Thus, as Vatash failed to rebut Citimortgage's prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment, Citimortgage's motion was granted.