holding that plaintiff, the assignee of a mortgage without the underlying note, could not bring a foreclosure actionSummary of this case from In re Escobar
December 19, 1988
Appeal from the Supreme Court, Dutchess County (Jiudice, J.).
Ordered that the order is reversed, on the law, with costs, and the motion is granted.
As the result of a series of financial transactions, the plaintiff received an assignment of a mortgage as collateral security for a promise of indemnification. The underlying note was not assigned and was expressly excluded from transfer.
The plaintiff's first and second causes of action for foreclosure and a deficiency judgment, respectively, must fail since foreclosure of a mortgage may not be brought by one who has no title to it and absent transfer of the debt, the assignment of the mortgage is a nullity (Merritt v Bartholick, 36 N.Y. 44, 45; Flyer v Sullivan, 284 App. Div. 697, 698; Beak v Walts, 266 App. Div. 900; Manne v Carlson, 49 App. Div. 276, 278). Moreover, we find that the written agreement and assignment between the parties were clear and unambiguous. They indicate that no delivery of the underlying obligation was intended, and they were entered into by sophisticated, counseled businessmen (see, Chimart Assocs. v Paul, 66 N.Y.2d 570, 573; Nau v Vulcan Rail Constr. Co., 286 N.Y. 188, 198-199, rearg denied 287 N.Y. 630). As a result, the plaintiff's third cause of action, for specific performance, must fail. Mangano, J.P., Thompson, Brown and Kunzeman, JJ., concur.