DAYTONA BEACH — A Florida appeals court recently ruled in favor of a Florida couple after a trial court awarded their creditor $118,000, including $89,000 in unpaid principal, in a foreclosure case.
On June 2, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal held that Situs Investments, the creditor, was only entitled to $30,000 in unpaid principal under the credit agreement.
Christopher and Kristen Chuchian, the borrowers, signed a revolving credit agreement and disclosure with Ocala National Bank in 2003. They were approved for a credit line with a $30,000 limit and a non-standard mortgage on their property for no more than $30,000 in principal, interest and cost for taxes, levies, repairs and insurance.
The following year, the mortgage limit increased to $90,500. The initial credit agreement and mortgage were reassigned to Situs in February 2014. The agreement with the new mortgage limit was assigned to another bank. The bank subsequently filed a foreclosure against the couple on May 5, 2014.
The bank moved to foreclose on the original credit agreement and mortgage of the property using a notarized certificate of possession that proved it had acquired the original credit agreement on Feb. 11, 2014.
The trial court awarded Situs $89,000 in unpaid principal. The borrowers appealed the decision.
The district court said in its decision that proof of a new agreement was required to increase the credit limit. Given that there was allegedly no evidence of this, the appeals court ruled that the trial court incorrectly granted Situs more than $30,000 in unpaid principal.
It reversed the lower court’s decision and sent it back for further proceedings.