Citizens State Bank of New Castle v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.Annotate this Case
Countrywide Home Loans, a mortgage holder on certain real estate, foreclosed its mortgage, took title to the property at a sheriff's sale, and then sold the property to a third party. Before these events, the property owners executed a promissory note in favor of Citizens State Bank. When the property owners failed to pay the note, Citizens Bank obtained a judgment in trial court, which was properly recorded. At the time Countrywide filed its foreclosure action, it did not name Citizens Bank as a party. After Countrywide discovered Citizens Bank's judgment lien on the property, Countrywide filed an action to foreclose any interest Citizen Bank may have had on the property. Citizens Bank filed a separate complaint seeking to foreclose its judgment lien. The trial court directed Citizens Bank to redeem Countrywide's mortgage or be barred from asserting its judgment lien. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court also reversed the judgment of the trial court but on different grounds, holding that because Citizen Bank's lien on the property was properly recorded and indexed and because Countrywide did not explain why the lien was overlooked, Countrywide failed to demonstrate that it was entitled to the remedy of strict foreclosure.