Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Kline v. PHH Mortgage Corp.

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

October 16, 2019

VICKI KLINE APPELLANT
v.
PHH MORTGAGE CORPORATION APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM THE BENTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 04CV-15-1301] HONORABLE JOHN R. SCOTT, JUDGE

          Sanford Law Firm, PLLC, by: Josh Sanford, for appellant.

          Wilson & Associates, P.L.L.C., by: H. Keith Morrison, for appellee.

          MIKE MURPHY, Judge

         And you may find yourself in a beautiful house

         And you may ask yourself, well How did I get here?[1]

         Appellant Vicki Kline owns a house located on Champions Boulevard in Rogers, Arkansas, which is subject to a mortgage. Yet she claims that, unbeknownst to her, her signature was forged on numerous mortgage documents for the property.

         In this litigation, Kline sought a declaration that the mortgage on the property held by appellee PHH Mortgage Corporation (PHH) is void. Kline pursued this relief on the basis of alleged forgeries of her signature on certain mortgage documents and pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated section 18-12-403 (Repl. 2015) (sometimes referred to as Section 403).

         Kline did not prevail before the circuit court. There, the court declined to grant her relief based on Section 403 and ordered a decree of foreclosure in favor of PHH. Kline appeals to our court. After due consideration, we affirm.

         I. Background

         In April 2000, Kline and her former husband, John Marquez, purchased property located on Champions Boulevard in Rogers, Arkansas, for $65, 000. In 2001, they executed a $765, 000 mortgage in favor of Arvest Bank to build a house on the property. In the years that followed, several additional loans would be taken out on the property in the names of both Kline and Marquez.

         In 2002, a $345, 000 second mortgage in favor of Arvest Bank was executed in the names of Kline and Marquez. In 2003, a mortgage in the amount of $1.2 million was executed in favor of Regions Bank with Kline's and Marquez's names appearing on the note. Shortly after the mortgage with Regions Bank was entered into, a release of the Arvest mortgages was recorded. In 2004, a $1.36 million mortgage in favor of Merrill Lynch was executed in the names of Kline and Marquez. A settlement statement reflects that the Merrill Lynch mortgage was used to pay off the Regions mortgage. The Merrill Lynch mortgage was recorded in November 2004. Thereafter, the Regions mortgage was released, which was recorded in December 2004. Subsequently, Merrill Lynch assigned its mortgage to PHH, a subsidiary and loan-servicing arm of Merrill Lynch.

         In June 2010, Kline and Marquez filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Their personal liability on the Merrill Lynch loan was discharged in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy terminated in October 2010. Despite the discharge, Kline and Marquez continued to voluntarily pay the Merrill Lynch loan to avoid foreclosure proceedings and remain on the property.

         In June 2011, Kline and Marquez filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In the Chapter 13 schedules, Kline acknowledged the existence of the Merrill Lynch loan. Additionally, Kline testified under oath about the Merrill Lynch loan at a Chapter 13 meeting of creditors in August 2011. She stated that she was personally familiar with the information contained in the bankruptcy documents; to the best of her knowledge, the information in those documents was true and correct; she read through and signed the documents; they were current on the Merrill Lynch loan, the loan payment was low because it was an interest-only loan, and they had contacted Merrill Lynch seeking a modification of the loan. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy was concluded in March 2015.

         In November 2014, Kline filed for divorce from Marquez. Kline claims that in February 2015 during the pendency of the divorce, she first learned that her signature had been forged on numerous mortgage documents—including the Merrill Lynch loan. Despite her alleged discovery, the parties successfully mediated the division of their property in the divorce action, and their mediated agreement was incorporated into their divorce decree, which was entered in April 2015. With respect to the property on Champions Boulevard, the parties agreed that it would be the sole and separate property of Kline and that she would be solely responsible for any debt or liability associated with the property.

         In September 2015, five months after her divorce was finalized, Kline filed this declaratory-judgment action, asserting that the PHH mortgage is void because her signature was forged on the mortgage documents. She relies on Arkansas Code ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.