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Saturday, March 28, 2015

BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST VS. AFFILIATED BUILDING CORP/ BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST VS. HELN MANAGEMENT, LLC/ BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST VS. HELN MANAGEMENT,LLC, AND AFFILIATED BUILDING CORP. A-5225-12T2

BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST VS. AFFILIATED BUILDING CORP/ BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST VS. HELN MANAGEMENT, LLC/ BRUNSWICK BANK & TRUST VS. HELN MANAGEMENT,LLC, AND AFFILIATED BUILDING CORP. A-5225-12T2/A-1893-13T3/A-2109-13T3(CONSOLIDATED) 
Because commercial lenders are excepted, N.J.S.A. 2A:50-2.3(a), from the "foreclosure first" rule, N.J.S.A. 2A:50-2, in seeking to collect a debt secured by a mortgage, plaintiff here convoluted the parties' rights and obligations by choosing to first sue defendants in the Law Division for a money judgment and later in foreclosure actions in the Chancery Division in two different vicinages on the four parcels of property in question. In defendants' appeals of an order that granted summary judgment in one action and of orders denying stays of sheriff sales in the others, the court concluded that the Law Division judgment capped the amount due plaintiff on the items subsumed within that judgment and, therefore, barred plaintiff from seeking or collecting any greater amount in the foreclosure actions. The court also held that defendants were entitled to a credit for the fair market value of any property obtained by plaintiff through the foreclosure proceedings. And, because of the convoluted circumstances and the absence of clarity regarding the amount of cash and the value of property plaintiff obtained through its collection efforts, the court remanded the matter for the creation of a full and complete record of all relevant facts before a single judge to ensure that plaintiff has not received a windfall. 03/17/15