VENTURE HOLDINGS & ACQUISITIONS GROUP, LLC and Vincenzo Gurrera, Appellants,
A.I.M. FUNDING GROUP, LLC, Appellee. Real Investments, LLC and Alexander Gonzalez, Appellants,
A.I.M. Funding Group, LLC, Appellee. Real Investments, LLC and Alexander Gonzalez, Appellants,
A.I.M. Funding Group, LLC, Appellee.
Carol C. Asbury, Fort Lauderdale, for appellants.
Thomas D. Oates of the Law Offices of Oates & Oates, P.A., Pompano, for appellee.
In these consolidated appeals, appellants challenge three separate final summary judgments of foreclosure entered in favor of appellee, A.I.M. Funding Group, LLC. Appellants raise several arguments on appeal, two of which merit discussion: (1) A.I.M., having assigned the promissory note as collateral for a loan, was not the proper party in interest to file suit, and (2) the trial court erred in granting summary judgment for A.I.M. without receiving the original promissory note or accounting for its absence. We find that because A.I.M. did not file the original promissory note or account for its absence before the court entered summary judgment, we must reverse the summary judgment orders in each of the cases. We further find that A.I.M. lacked standing to foreclose at the time it filed its complaints, but that some parties waived the defense of lack of standing. Any remaining issues are rendered moot by our decision and we decline to address them.
In April 2007, Venture Holdings & Acquisitions Group, Inc. and Vincenzo Gurrera, individually, entered into a loan agreement with A.I.M., and gave A.I.M. a mortgage on certain real property. Gurrera, Venture's president, signed the promissory note as a guarantor.
Likewise, Real Investments LLC, entered into two loans with A.I.M, one in January of 2008 and another in May of 2008. In connection with these loans, Real gave A.I.M. a mortgage on two properties. Alexander Gonzalez, Real's president, signed the promissory notes as a guarantor.
There is no dispute that the borrowers failed to remain current on their payments and defaulted on all three loans. Accordingly, A.I.M. filed mortgage foreclosure actions on the three properties.
In case no. 09-19636, A.I.M. sought to foreclose on Venture's property. Gurrera filed a proper answer, but Venture did not. A.I.M. moved for default against Venture and the court granted the motion. This default has not been contested in this appeal.
In case nos. 09-018086 and 09-18089, A.I.M. sought to foreclose on the two properties owned by Real. In case no. 09-018086, Gonzalez filed a proper answer, but Real did not. A.I.M. moved for a default against Real and the court granted the motion. This default has not been contested in this appeal. In case no. 09-18089, however, both Real and Gonzalez answered the complaint.
In each of its complaints, A.I.M. alleged that it " now owns and holds the Mortgage Note and Mortgage." Prior to initiating suit, A.I.M. assigned its interest in the properties as collateral for a loan. This was indicated by an allonge attached to each promissory note. The assignment was still in effect when A.I.M. filed suit.
The circuit court, in each case, determined that no issues of genuine fact were raised by the defendants. In each case summary judgment was entered against the defendants and in ...