• June 29, 2015
Habitat 67, Montreal, Canada

Habitat 67, Montreal, Canada

Update (June 29, 2015): Earlier this month the Minnesota Supreme Court granted the Defendants’ petition for further review of the Court of Appeals decision, described below. The Court of Appeals in the Jaeger case affirmed a district court ruling after trial that a defendant in a foreclosure proceeding was never properly “served” “process” (that is, he did not receive “a notice of association lien foreclosure sale” on his condo) because the the notice was delivered personally to the adult son of Jaeger, the condo owner, at the condo. Jaeger claimed he never had notice or knowledge of the foreclosure sale. The district court declared the sheriff’s sale void and pronounced Jaeger the rightful owner of the property.

The adult son allegedly did not “reside” in the property but he “checked on the property about 25 times per year, stayed overnight at the property perhaps a couple of times…”  The process server, on the other hand, testified that “unless [Jaeger’s son had] said he lived at the property, the notice would not have been left with him.” How much effort, how much of a burden, does the law impose to give notice of a foreclosure sale? How much should it?

Original post (April 9, 2015): Let’s say that you have a tenant in your condo who is basically never there and who has failed to keep current on condo fees. When you go to foreclose on the property to get the money owed to you, how are you supposed to serve the absent tenant with notice of the foreclosure, which is required by law?

It might be more difficult than you think.

Someday, maybe service of process via Facebook will suffice

Steven J. Jaeger claimed that he had no notice on the foreclosure of his St. Louis Park, Minnesota town home, which sold at foreclosure auction on a bid of $4,909 until well after the foreclosure and the six-month redemption period.

A jury found that a process server served Jaeger’s adult son with the notice of foreclosure at the property but the jury also found that Jaeger, himself, did not have actual knowledge of the foreclosure proceeding.

Was service on Jaeger’s adult son sufficient?

No, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held over a dissent by Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Francis Connolly.

The case is “unpublished,” meaning that it cannot be relied on as precedential authority. Nevertheless, the case is a warning flag for plaintiffs on the importance of strict compliance with the Minnesota laws on service of process.

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