“Substantial Compliance” in the Paragraph 22 Context
By Mark Stopa
I have been fortunate enough to win a lot of foreclosure cases where the plaintiffs failed to comply with the conditions precedent set forth in paragraph 22 of the mortgages upon which they’re suing … but I certainly haven’t won them all. On those occasions where I did not win, it was typically because a judge ruled that Florida law required only the bank “substantially comply” with the conditions precedent in paragraph 22, and the letter which was sent comported with that standard. Most judges before whom I’ve appeared have not employed this principle of law, but a few have.
Recently, a judge denied one of my motions for summary judgment, asserting “substantial compliance” as the legal standard, without a single case cite being submitted. This really troubled me, and it prompted me to do a LOT of research and write this 14-page Memorandum of Law.
Please read the memo. Understand the issues. Realize there’s more to complying with the conditions precedent in paragraph 22 than the bank sending a letter – the letter must contain certain, specified information. Be sure and argue that “substantial compliance” is not the legal standard in Florida, but, even if it were, that the mere sending of a letter is not “substantial compliance.”
Copy of the memorandum below…