Prior to the enactment of Real Property Actions and Proceeding Law (“RPAPL”) § 1302-a, defendants waived their affirmative defense of standing in a residential foreclosure action by failing to raise that defense in an answer or a pre-answer motion to dismiss. See, e.g., JP Morgan Chase Bank, Nat’l Ass’n v. Butler, 129 A.D.3d 777, 780 (2d Dep’t 2015). However, since the enactment of RPAPL § 1302-a, which became effective on December 23, 2019, defendants can raise a standing defense at any time in a residential foreclosure action. This issue arises both where the borrower defaulted in the foreclosure action and seeks to vacate that default to assert a standing defense and where an answer was filed but no standing defense was initially asserted. The Second Department has recently issued decisions addressing both the interplay between the new statute and a borrower’s default in answering and an answering defendant’s ability to amend to assert a standing defense after summary judgment was granted. In addition, the Court of Appeals has recently clarified application of the statute in the context of an appeal of an order entered prior to the enactment of RPAPL § 1302-a.
Continue Reading The Appellate Courts Look at the Waiver of Standing Defenses post-RPAPL § 1302-a