Pine County District Court File No. 58-CV-12-299.
Daniel L. M. Kennedy, Kennedy Law Group, PLLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for appellant)
Stephanie A. Ball, Eric S. Johnson, Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick, P.A., Duluth, Minnesota (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Stoneburner, Judge; and Kirk, Judge.
Appellant-mortgagor argues that the district court (a) should have awarded him the surplus created by respondent bank's overbids at the sale foreclosing his properties, rather than allowing the bank to reform its bids; (b) improperly dismissed his counterclaims; and (c) erred by allowing the bank to recover certain amounts included in its reformed bid. The bank asserts that the appeal is moot. We affirm.
When Kanabec State Bank (bank) foreclosed by advertisement on several parcels of real property covered by two agricultural mortgages granted by Daniel Olean, the bank's bids erroneously included $1, 763.00 and $33, 470.05 more in attorney fees than allowed by the statutes governing foreclosures by advertisement. The bank's bids also understated the amounts allowed for title work for each mortgage by $837.50. As a result, the bank's bids were overstated by $925.50 and $32, 632.55, respectively. The bank filed the sheriff's certificates from the foreclosure sale reflecting its overbids. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 580.23, subd. 2 (2012), Olean had 12 months to redeem the foreclosed parcels.
A month after filing the sheriff's certificates, the bank brought an action in district court against Olean, seeking to reform the sheriff's certificates to reflect corrected, lower bids. Reformation would have lowered the amounts Olean would have needed to pay to redeem the properties. Before the district court could rule on the bank's motion, Olean redeemed nine of the properties by tendering amounts based on the bank's (unreformed) overbids. The bank then moved for summary judgment on its request that the district court reform the sheriff's certificates. Ten days later, Olean answered and counterclaimed, seeking, among other things, the surpluses created by the bank's overbids because the bank had not previously paid Olean the surpluses created by the overbids. Olean later sought to amend his answer and counterclaims to seek punitive and treble damages.
By summary judgment, the district court granted the bank's motion to reform the bank's overbids and dismissed Olean's counterclaims with prejudice. The bank then wrote Olean a check for $21, 810.47, representing the difference between the amounts for which Olean redeemed the nine parcels based on the bank's overbids, and the amount Olean would have had to pay to redeem those parcels based on the bank's reformed bids. When the bank wrote the check, Olean still had more than four months of his twelvemonth redemption period remaining. Olean appeals.
Appellate courts "review de novo the district court's grant of summary judgment to determine whether genuine issues of material fact exist and whether the district court erred in applying the law. Statutory interpretation presents a question of law subject to de novo review." Ruiz v. 1st Fid. Loan Servicing, LLC, 829 N.W.2d 53, 56 (Minn. 2013) (citation omitted). Here, Olean's principal brief makes three arguments: (1) he is entitled to a surplus created by the bank's overbids; (2) reversing the district court's ruling that no surplus exists requires reinstating his counterclaims; and (3) even if the district court correctly resolved the surplus issue, Olean is entitled to a surplus created by the difference between the cost of title work allowed by the district court in the bank's reformed bids ($1, 325.00), and the cost of title work shown on the bank's affidavit of costs ($487.50). The bank, noting that Olean did not challenge the district court's grant of the bank's motion to reform the sheriff's certificates, asserts that Olean's arguments to this court are "moot" because they are based on the bank's initial (unreformed) overbids, ...