Mortgagors Contacted Wrong Party to Calculate Redemption

In Johnston v Sterling Mortgage and Investment, an unpublished Court of Appeals opinion, the mortgagors defaulted on their mortgage and the mortgagee foreclosed.  A third party purchased at the foreclosure sale.  The third party filed an affidavit identifying the person to contact to redeem the property.  The mortgagors initially contacted the correct third party and obtained a redemption statement, but did not pay by the date therein.  They then contacted another person, not designated in the affidavit, who initially told them he would provide a redemption statement, but never did.  Although they had the funds, the mortgagors did not redeem from the property either with the proper party or with the register of deeds.

The purchaser at the foreclosure sale started an eviction.  The mortgagors claimed they had tendered redemption but it as not accepted.  The trial court ruled that tender was not sufficient; payment had to be made either to the purchaser’s designee or to the register of deeds.  Since the mortgagors did neither, they did not timely redeem and the district court entered a judgment of possession.  The mortgagors appealed to the Circuit Court, which affirmed.  They then appealed to the Court of Appeals, which also affirmed.

This case is a cautionary tale for mortgagors who have the wherewithal to redeem:  contact the designee stated in the affidavit of purchaser for redemption amounts and, if a statement of the amount is not produce timely, contact the register of deeds.  Regardless of who you contact, PAY THE MONEY to the purchaser or the register of deeds.  Being ready, willing, and able to tender the funds is no defense; the money must be actually paid over to redeem from a foreclosure sale.

© Steve Sowell 2017