New York State Court of Appeals
Deficiency Judgment – Acceptance of the Deed
M&T Real Estate Trust v. Doyle, et al.
Background: The plaintiff M&T brought an action pursuant to Article 13 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law to foreclose certain commercial mortgages executed by the defendant Doyle. County court directed the mortgaged premises to be sold at public auction and adjudged the defendants liable for any shortfall. After the property was sold and the documents sent to the referee, M&T’s attorney was contacted and informed that a purchaser stepped forward with an interest in acquiring the bid. M&T’s attorney instructed the referee to hold onto the deed until further notice. The purchaser fell through and M&T’s attorney requested the deed be filed. The defendants moved arguing that the request for a deficiency judgment was untimely as it was made more than 90 days after consummation of the sale.
Ruling: The Court of Appeals held that the motion was timely. The court stated that a deed is presumed to have been delivered and accepted at its date. While M&T’s attorney twice declined to accept the deed, he did, eventually, accept and the motion was filed within 90-days from the acceptance.
Howard S. Roenhoch for the appellant; John K. Rottaris for the respondents