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Certain Summonses In Indiana Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases Deemed Confidential

Indiana’s General Assembly passed legislation in 2009, in the midst of the residential mortgage foreclosure crisis, that included the “Foreclosure Prevention Agreements for Residential Mortgages” found at Indiana Code § 32-30-10.5. (See my 2009 blog post about this.) The 2009 laws affected only residential (consumer) mortgage foreclosure litigation and did not apply to commercial matters. See, I.C. § 32-30-10.5-5.

Amendment. In 2011, the General Assembly tweaked certain portions of I.C. § 32-30-10.5 to include, among other things, a limited requirement of confidentiality regarding a borrower/defendant’s address on a summons. See, I.C. § 32-30-10.5-8(d). If a lender files suit to foreclose a residential mortgage, the borrower’s mailing address must be omitted from the summons if “the last known mailing address of the [borrower] in the [lender’s] records indicates that the mailing address . . . is other than the address of the mortgaged property.” I.C. § 32-30-10.5-8(b)(2). I.C. § 5-14-3-4(a)(13) declares such last known mailing address to be confidential:

Since such an address may need to be used on a summons, Indiana’s “Green Paper Rule,” which governs confidential information, mandates that the address be omitted from the summons and set forth on a separate accompanying document in light green paper pursuant to Trial Rule 5(G)(2).

In practice. Documentation on light green paper can be provided to the sheriff, in cases where the sheriff will be effectuating service of process, and then returned to the clerk’s confidential file following service. Evidently county clerks have been directed to advise lenders filing residential mortgage foreclosure cases to follow the green paper rule by submitting the summons on green paper when the last known mailing address of the borrower on the lender’s records is not the address of the mortgaged property. For more on service of process and summons issues, click here. I would like to thank Lori Schein, Boone County Bar Association officer and Deputy Prosecutor, for distributing this information to the Association’s membership.

Residential foreclosures involve all sorts of administrative headaches (or consumer protections, depending upon your point of view) of which lenders must be aware. But, again, for purposes of this blog, neither this new change, nor Indiana Code § 32-30-10.5 in general, applies to Indiana commercial foreclosure cases or, in other words, to foreclosures involving business-related real estate.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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