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Bank of America v. Adams

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 28, 2015




This matter is currently before the Court on Plaintiff Bank of America, N.A.'s Motion to Vacate Judgment (Doc. 50). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), Plaintiff seeks to vacate the Judgment and Order entered on October 6, 2014. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

Factual and Procedural Background

On August 2, 2012, Plaintiff Bank of America, N.A., filed this residential mortgage foreclosure action in state court naming Lakeisha Adams (the borrower who defaulted on the note held by Plaintiff), the Township of Caseyville (who may hold liens on the property), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") (who also claims a lien on the property), and unknown owners and non-record claimants (Doc. 1). The Secretary of HUD removed the case to federal court on September 6, 2012 (Doc. 3).

On March 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Entry of Default Judgment (Doc. 32) (seeking default against Defendants Adams and Caseyville) and a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 33) (seeking to voluntarily dismiss the unknown owners and non-record claimants). On March 31, 2014, the Court ordered that Plaintiff's Motion for Entry of Default would be treated as a motion for clerk's entry of default as to Defendants Adams and Caseyville ( See Doc. 34). The Court further ordered that the docket would reflect that Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the unknown owners and non-record claimants. On March 31, 2014, the Clerk entered a Default Entry by Clerk (Doc. 35).

On April 22, 2014, Plaintiff moved for summary judgment against Defendant HUD ( See Docs. 37, 38). On May 6, 2014, HUD filed its response conceding that its lien was subordinate to Plaintiff's and seeking that the judgment of foreclosure list and prioritize all valid liens to protect HUD's claim as to any surplus funds realized from the sale of the subject property (Doc. 40). On August 4, 2014, this Court held a hearing on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and granted the Motion on the record (Doc. 43).

On September 29, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Stipulation for Entry of Consent Judgment (Doc. 47) in which Defendant Adams consented to vesting absolute title to Plaintiff free and clear of all claims in exchange for Plaintiff waiving any right to a personal deficiency judgment. Pursuant to the Stipulation, Defendant Adams was to vacate the premises by December 10, 2014.

On October 6, 2014, this Court entered an Order (Doc. 48) and Judgment (Doc. 49) in Plaintiff's favor as against Defendant Adams based on the Stipulation. The Court further dismissed with prejudice all other named Defendants.

According to Plaintiff, sometime following the Court's October 6, 2014, Judgment, it attempted to obtain a title insurance policy for the subject property. Plaintiff contends that it was rebuffed by the title insurance company because the company figured the October 6, 2014, Judgment and Order did not properly extinguish all liens on the property. On March 5, 2015, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Vacate (Doc. 50).

Standard of Review

Even though the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not officially recognize a "motion to vacate, " courts generally construe such motions as being brought under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b). Purchase v. Shawnee Cmty. Coll., 2014 WL 5317732, at *1 (S.D. Ill. Oct. 17, 2014). A Rule 60(b) motion allows a court to relieve a party from a final judgment or order due to (1) "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect" and... (6) "any other reason that justifies relief." FED. R. CIV. P. 60(b).

"To balance the availability of post-judgment relief with finality interests, the availability of Rule 60(b) relief is limited in several ways." Mendez v. Republic Bank, 725 F.3d 651, 657 (7th Cir. 2013). First, relief under the subsection (6) catch-all category is limited to "extraordinary circumstances." Id. Second, a motion for relief must be made no later than one year after the entry of judgment. See FED. R. CIV. P. 60(c)(1). Third, because the decision to grant relief from judgment is closely related to the circumstances of the judgment and the equities of a particular case, courts are given broad discretion to deny motions for relief from judgment. See Mendez, 725 F.3d at 657.


A. The October 6, 2014, Order and ...

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