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WORLD S&L ASSN. v. JAKUBIEC

June 16, 1992

WORLD SAVINGS & LOAN ASSOCIATION, Plaintiff,
v.
ZBIGNIEW JAKUBIEC, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON I. SHADUR

 This mortgage foreclosure action was brought in this District Court by the invocation of diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction by mortgagee World Savings and Loan Association ("World Savings"). *fn1" As always in these cases, this Court appointed its own special commissioner (in the recent past Alan Mills, Esquire ("Mills") has been its regular appointee) to conduct the foreclosure sale.

 Everything proceeded in the regular course here, with a judgment of foreclosure being entered and Special Commissioner Mills then conducting a sale by public auction. This Court approved the report of sale by its May 1, 1992 order. Now Special Commissioner Mills has filed a request for direction on two subjects:

 1. the proper rate of interest to be used in calculating the postjudgment interest to which World savings is entitled; and

 2. the distribution of the portion of the proceeds of sale in excess of the amount due to the mortgagee.

 This opinion treats with each of those questions.

 Postjudgment Interest Rate

 Paragraph 9 of this Court's November 15, 1991 judgment in foreclosure provided (as the law would in any event) that World savings was entitled as part of its relief to "interest . . . at the statutory rate after the entry of this judgment. . . ." As is always true in these foreclosure actions, the form of judgment order had been prepared by World Saving's counsel and tendered by them to this Court for its consideration and entry. And as can be seen from the quoted language, the source of the "statutory rate" was unspecified.

 Until 1982 the relevant statute (28 U.S.C. § 1961, "Section 1961") required postjudgment interest on every federal district court civil money judgment and specified:

 Such interest shall be calculated from the date of entry of the judgment at the rate allowed by State law.

 But effective October 1, 1982 Section 1961 was expanded by a division into subsections, with the just-quoted language being replaced by the following provision in what had become Section 1961(a):

 Such interest shall be calculated from the date of the entry of the judgment, at a rate equal to the coupon issue yield equivalent (as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury) of the average accepted auction price of the last auction of fifty-two week United States Treasury bills settled immediately prior to the date of the judgment.

 No change was made, however, in the universality of the retained first sentence:

 Interest shall be allowed on any money judgment in a civil case recovered in the ...


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