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Beckler v. Bank of America

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 24, 2017

CYNTHIA BECKLER, f/k/a Cynthia Roers, Plaintiff,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          Beau D. McGraw for plaintiff.

          Kathryn J. Bergstrom for defendant.

          FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND ORDER FOR JUDGMENT

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM Chief Judge

         Plaintiff Cynthia Beckler, formerly known as Cynthia Roers, filed this action in 2014 to quiet title on three real properties. Beckler seeks to void three mortgages held by Defendant Bank of America (“BOA”) on those properties. The Court conducted a bench trial on January 30 and 31, 2017 and the parties provided final written submissions between March 17 and April 5, 2017. Having considered each party's evidence, exhibits, and arguments of counsel, the Court enters the following Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order for Judgment, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a)(1).

         FINDINGS OF FACT [1]

         1. All of the Findings of Fact set forth herein are undisputed or have been proved by a preponderance of the evidence.

         2. To the extent the Court's Conclusions of Law include what may be considered Findings of Fact, they are incorporated herein by reference.

         I. THE PARTIES

         3. Beckler is a Minnesota resident. (Tr. 114:17-18[2]; Notice of Removal, Ex. A (“Compl.”) ¶ 3, Jan. 23, 2014, Docket No. 1.) Beckler owns real estate in Minnesota and in Mexico. (Ex. 24 ¶¶ 17-20.)[3]

         4. Beckler owns three properties at issue: 7485 Kingswood Road in Minnetrista, Minnesota (the “Kingswood Property”), and 5412 and 5416 Benton Avenue in Edina, Minnesota (the “Benton Avenue Properties”). (Tr. 115:12-117:8.) The Court will refer to these three properties as the “Non-Marital Properties.” 5. BOA is a national banking association organized under United States law with its primary office in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Notice of Removal ¶ 20.) BOA is the successor-in-interest to Countrywide Bank and now holds three mortgages on the Non-Marital Properties originated by Countrywide Bank. (Tr. 242:18-243:6.)

         II. MARRIAGE TO ALAN ROERS

         6. Beckler married Alan Roers in November 2005. (Tr. 117:9-14.)

         7. Beckler acquired the Non-Marital Properties prior to marrying Roers. (Tr. 117:15-19.)

         8. After their marriage, Beckler and Roers lived together at the Kingswood Property. (Tr. 69:12-14.)

         9. In March 2006, Beckler transferred title in the Kingswood Property from her name to Beckler and Roers jointly for the purpose of refinancing the mortgage on the property. (Tr. 69:15-70:2.)

         III. 20 COUNTRY ROAD 20 PROPERTY

         10. In June 2006, Beckler was interested in purchasing a ranch home located at 20 County Road 20 in Minnetrista, Minnesota (the “20-20 Ranch”). (Tr. 119:12-121:10.) After viewing the property, she called Roers and told him the property was “unreal.” (Tr. 121:11-14.) As a result, Roers began preparing to purchase the home. (Tr. 121:15-17.)

         11. In July 2006, Roers entered into a purchase agreement on 20-20 Ranch for $4, 100, 000, (Tr. 32:19-33:5), and Roers attempted to obtain financing ...


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