final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; James T. Ferrara, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Brittani S. Gross and Kendrick Almaguer of The Ticktin Law
Group, P.L.L.C., Deerfield Beach, for appellants.
Abrahamy of Greenspoon Marder, P.A., Boca Raton, for
Scarcinci and Beatriz Scarinci ("the borrowers"),
appeal the judgment of foreclosure entered in favor of
Christiana Trust, A Division of Wilmington Savings Fund
Society, FSB, Not In Its Individual Capacity But As Trustee
of ARLP Trust ("Christiana Trust"), and argue that
Christiana Trust failed to prove: (1) its standing at
inception of the suit and (2) its damages. We affirm the
foreclosure judgment but reverse and remand for further
proceedings on damages.
Trust proved its standing at inception of the suit. The
original promissory note was introduced at trial. It
contained a chain of endorsements beginning with the lender
and ending in a blank endorsement by the immediately
preceding endorsee. The original note matched a copy attached
as an exhibit to the complaint. See Ortiz v. PNC Bank,
Nat'l Ass'n, 188 So.3d 923, 925 (Fla. 4th DCA
2016) (finding that where original note with blank
endorsement matches copy attached to the complaint, this is
"sufficient to establish that the Bank had actual
possession of the note at the time the complaint was filed
and, therefore, had standing to bring the foreclosure action,
absent any testimony or evidence to the contrary"). The
borrowers do not provide any coherent argument as to what
evidence they assert is contrary to the presumption of
standing raised by the filing of the original note which
matched the copy attached to the complaint.
respect to damages, the principal balance awarded in the
final judgment is supported by the loan payment history.
Additionally, a significant portion of the amount awarded for
escrow was supported by the loan payment history, coupled
with the witness's testimony. Although Christiana
Trust's witness testified as to amounts owed for property
inspection and preservation fees, he acknowledged that he was
relying on figures contained in a proposed final judgment
that was not admitted into evidence. This was insufficient
proof of these damages. See Peuguero v. Bank of Am.
N.A., 169 So.3d 1198, 1203 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015)
(reversing and remanding for further proceedings on damages
where witness "merely testified that the amount written
on a proposed final judgment was correct, " and the
proposed final judgment was never admitted into evidence).
The witness claimed these figures were reflected in the loan
payment history, but that is not apparent to us.
we are unable to discern how the trial court arrived at the
amounts awarded for late charges and title search expense.
The witness's testimony regarding late charge assessments
of $41 does not jibe with the late charge assessments
appearing in the loan payment history, and it is not apparent
from the loan payment history that the borrowers owed $5,
905.68 for late charges, the amount provided for in the final
judgment. Christiana Trust argues that it established the
title search expense through an affidavit of costs contained
in a court file, which it claims, without any record support,
the trial court judicially noticed. With respect to interest,
the witness's testimony regarding the calculation of
interest did not result in the amount awarded by the trial
appeal, the borrowers request remand for a dismissal or
further proceedings on damages. In light of their
request, and where the award for the principal balance and a
significant portion of the escrow balance was supported by
the evidence, we reverse but remand for the trial court to
conduct further proceedings. See Hovannesian v. PennyMac
Corp., 190 So.3d 681, 681-82 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016)
(reversing for further proceedings on damages where principal
balance, taxes, and insurance premiums awarded in final
judgment were supported by competent substantial evidence,
but other damages awarded were not). The trial court need not
amend the amount awarded for principal balance, but it should
amend the amount awarded for escrow so that it is consistent
with the evidence of the amount owed for
escrow. The trial court may conduct further
proceedings to establish the amounts due and owing as to the
remaining fees and expenses.
in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further
and Klingensmith, JJ., concur.