The recent case of Popescu v. Laguna Master Association, Inc., 38 Fla. Law Weekly D2361a (Fla.4th DCA 2013), was reported in the Daily Business Review, a leading business publication in South Florida. Mr. Rubin successfully represented the prevailing Association in the Appeal:
Mistaken Foreclosure Sale To Be Reexamined
Daily Business Review
November 13, 2013
4th District Court of Appeal
The Fourth District Court of Appeal denied an auction buyer’s attempt to stop a hearing when the seller asked to vacate a foreclosure sale. The buyer, Suzana Popescu, claimed Palm Beach Circuit Court lacked jurisdiction after the sale went through.
Laguna Master Association Inc. in West Palm Beach started the litigation in June 2012 when it sued resident Fay Morrison for unpaid association dues. A final judgment was entered for $8,244, and Popescu won the foreclosure auction.
However, Morrison had sold the property to St. Michael Properties LLC before the auction took place. The condominium association and St. Michael jointly filed a motion to erase the sale and refund the purchase price, and Laguna said it mistakenly failed to cancel the sale.
“The association alleged mistake, accident and redemption. St. Michael and Supreme Title & Escrow Inc. moved to intervene, to vacate the foreclosure sale and certificate of title, and to refund the purchase price to the purchaser,” the appeals court said in summary.
A Palm Beach circuit judge initially denied the motion to vacate, claiming the trial court lacked jurisdiction. But the judge granted a motion to rehear the dispute and denied Popescu’s assertion that the motion to vacate could not be reheard.
The unsigned opinion from Judges Martha Warner, Carole Taylor and Melanie May said final judgment on the lien was a separate issue from the dispute over the sale.
The circuit court’s order denying the motion to vacate “was a final adjudication of the parties’ rights on issues distinct from those before the court prior to the lien foreclosure judgment. As such, it was properly the subject of a motion for rehearing.”
Steven D. Rubin, a Boca Raton attorney for the association, did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
Popescu of Wellington represented herself.
In a related action, JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. voluntarily dismissed its 2010 foreclosure case against Morrison last November.
Adolfo Pesquera can be reached at (954) 468-2616.