Bank of New York Mellon v. Carson (WI)

Summary: Once a circuit court determines a property is abandoned, it has the authority to order a mortgagee to sell the property after the redemption period. The court must order the property be sold in a reasonable time.


Bank of New York Mellon v. Carson, 859 N.W.2d 422 (Wis. 2015).


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Facts: In 2007, Carson defaulted on her loan payments and Bank of New York Mellon (Bank), acting as the trustee for Countrywide, filed a complaint against Carson. There were multiple attempts to serve Carson on the suit but all were unsuccessful.

The Bank then published a notice of foreclosure in the local newspaper. Carson never filed an answer to the initial complaint. In April of 2011, BAC Home Loan Servicing, the bank’s loan servicer, filed a City of Registration of Abandoned Property in Foreclosure form for the property.

The circuit court then entered a judgment in favor of the bank in July of 2011. After the ruling, the Bank did not properly secure the property. By November 2012, the Bank had not sold the property. Property damage occurred and resulted in municipal fines of $1,800 on Carson. Carson then filed a motion to amend the judgment to include a finding that the property was abandoned and an order that the sale of the premises be made upon expiration of five weeks from the date of entry of the amended judgment. The circuit court denied the orders. Carson appealed. The court of appeals agreed with Carson and reversed the order. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin then heard the case.


Holding: Affirmed. The Supreme Court concluded that based on the plain language of Wis. Stat. § 846.102, when the circuit court determines that a property is abandoned, the statute authorizes the circuit court to order a mortgagee to bring the property to sale after the redemption period. The circuit court has the authority to determine whether a property is abandoned or not. They also concluded that the circuit court must order the property to be sold within a reasonable time after the redemption period. What constitutes a reasonable time should be based on the totality of the circumstances in each case.


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By: ATG Underwriting Department | Posted on: Fri, 11/13/2015 - 2:47pm