final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower
Tribunal No. 14-12224, Reemberto Diaz, Judge.
Offices of Charlton Stoner, P.A., and Charlton Stoner, for
Lehman Law Firm, PLLC, and Gary E. Lehman; Nelson Mullins
Broad and Cassel, and Beverly A. Pohl and Christina Lehm
(Fort Lauderdale), for appellee.
EMAS, C.J., and SALTER and SCALES, JJ.
plaintiffs below, 345 Carnegie Avenue LLC ("345
Carnegie"), Iwebmaster.net, Inc.
("Iwebmaster") and Iwebmaster's successor,
Laptopplaza, Inc., along with Vladimir Galkin and Yakov
Baraz, appeal a December 12, 2017 order dismissing with
prejudice their Second Amended Complaint against Wells Fargo
Bank, N.A. for failure to state a cause of action. We dismiss
the appeal as to appellants Laptopplaza and Iwebmaster as
premature. We reverse and remand the dismissal order as to
345 Carnegie, Galkin and Baraz because we conclude that
Florida recognizes a statutory cause of action for a
lender's alleged deliberate inflation of the amounts
"properly due under or secured by" a mortgage.
§ 701.04(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2014).
RELEVANT FACTS AND PROCEDURAL
about December 14, 2007, 345 Carnegie executed a promissory
note memorializing a loan from Wells Fargo's predecessor,
Wachovia Bank, to 345 Carnegie in the amount of $1, 237,
500.00. This note was secured by a mortgage on commercial
property owned by 345 Carnegie. As additional security for
the note, Iwebmaster, along with Galkin and Baraz, executed
separate guarantees of 345 Carnegie's obligations under
the note. On November 16, 2012, Iwebmaster's successor,
Laptopplaza, assumed Iwebmaster's guaranty obligation.
March 31, 2014, Wells Fargo, through counsel, declared
appellants in default of the loan documents based on various
alleged non-monetary defaults. The default letter outlined the
amounts Wells Fargo claimed were due and owing as a result of
the alleged defaults as follows:
• Principal due in the amount of $1, 091, 744.24;
• Accrued and unpaid interest at the default rate in the
amount of $1, 554.21, with a per diem accrual of $155.42; and
• Attorney's fees and costs through March 27, 2014,
in the amount of $92, 910.79.
response to Wells Fargo's default letter, appellants,
pursuant to section 701.04(1) of the Florida Statutes (2014),
requested Wells Fargo to provide an estoppel letter itemizing
the exact amount Wells Fargo claimed it was due. In response
to appellants' request, Wells Fargo sent an April 21,
2014 estoppel ...