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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Wins Priority Position for New Century Mortgage

By Colin E. Kaufman


In Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Wilkinson, New Century Mortgage Corp., et. al., Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. won a decision and order declaring that New Century’s mortgage takes priority over a prior recorded mortgage from Wells Fargo, even though the Wells Fargo mortgage was first in time to record. In 2006, when New Century took a mortgage on a property in Brooklyn, it appeared to be a first priority lien. After the borrower defaulted on his payments, however, the commencement of a foreclosure action revealed that, less than three weeks before New Century recorded its mortgage, Wells Fargo first recorded a mortgage on the same premises. The title company immediately hired Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to fight on behalf of New Century for the first priority position on the premises. Even though the Wells Fargo mortgage was recorded first, it contained an unstamped, out-of-state notary acknowledgment that was not authenticated by a certificate, as is required in NY. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. successfully argued that a mortgage containing a defective acknowledgment, even if recorded first, does not impart record notice upon subsequent lienors under the laws of the State of New York. Even though most Judges have been reluctant to deprive a lienor of its priority position based on a technicality such as an improper notarization, the specialized Title Litigation Group at Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was able to counter the trend and facilitate the win.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was represented by Jackie Halpern researching, drafting, and appearing for oral argument in Kings Supreme Court before Judge Ambrosio and Colin E. Kaufman as managing partner on the case.

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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.

NEW YORK REAL ESTATE ATTORNEYS