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Carrington Mortgage Services LLC v. Woods

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

June 22, 2017

CARRINGTON MORTGAGE SERVICES LLC, Plaintiff/Appellee,
v.
JONATHAN WOODS, et al., Defendants/Appellants.

         Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. CV2016-005222 The Honorable James R. Morrow, Commissioner (Retired)

          Law Offices of Beth K. Findsen, PLLC, Scottsdale By Beth K. Findsen Counsel for Defendants/Appellants

          The Mortgage Law Firm, PC, Phoenix By Christina M. Harper, Alex Schulz Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee

          Judge Patricia K. Norris delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding Judge Diane M. Johnsen and Judge Jennifer B. Campbell joined.

          OPINION

          NORRIS, Judge.

         ¶1 Jonathan and Carrie Woods, Defendants/Appellants, appeal the superior court's judgment in favor of Carrington Mortgage Services LLC, Plaintiff/Appellee, in this forcible entry and detainer ("FED") action. The principal issue in this appeal is whether Carrington's FED action accrued when Carrington's predecessor in interest purchased property owned by the Woodses at a trustee's sale in 2010 or when Carrington served the Woodses with written demand of possession in 2016. We hold Carrington's FED action accrued when Carrington served the Woodses with written demand of possession in 2016. Thus, we agree with the superior court that Carrington's FED action was not time barred. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment in Carrington's favor.

         BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2 In 2008, the Woodses executed a promissory note secured by a deed of trust on real property located in Gilbert, Arizona. On February 16, 2010, BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP FKA Country Wide Home Loans Servicing LP ("BAC") purchased the property at a trustee's sale, and Recontrust Company, N.A., the duly appointed trustee, conveyed the property to BAC through a trustee's deed. BAC recorded the trustee's deed in the Office of the Maricopa County Recorder on February 22, 2010. Subsequently, Bank of America, N.A. ("Bank of America") acquired BAC and became the owner of the property.

         ¶3 On September 9, 2014, Bank of America executed a limited power of attorney ("LPOA") appointing Carrington as its "true and lawful attorney-in-fact." Among other things, the LPOA authorized Carrington to "[e]xecute or file quitclaim deeds or, only where necessary and appropriate, special warranty deeds or other deeds causing the transfer of title to [Carrington as] Servicer or a third party, in respect of property acquired through a foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure ..... On February 3, 2016, Carrington, pursuant to the LPOA and on behalf of Bank of America, conveyed the property to itself through a grant deed.

         ¶4 On March 2, 2016, Carrington served the Woodses with a written "Notice to Vacate" the property. On April 18, 2016, Carrington sued the Woodses for forcible detainer after a trustee's sale. The Woodses answered and, in separate motions argued, first, Carrington's action was time barred and, second, Carrington had not established a superior right of possession to the property. The superior court denied the motions. After a bench trial, the court entered judgment in favor of Carrington, finding the Woodses guilty of forcible detainer.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Time Bar

         ¶5 The Woodses argue Carrington's FED action accrued when BAC recorded the trustee's deed in 2010 and not when Carrington served them with written demand of possession in 2016. [1]Accordingly, they argue that, under the two-year statute of limitations applicable to FED actions, Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 12-542(6) (2016), Carrington's 2016 action for forcible detainer was time barred. Exercising de novo review, we reject the Woodses' argument. See Cook v. Town of Pinetop-Lakeside, 232 Ariz. 173, 175, ¶ 10, 303 P.3d 67, 69 (App. 2013) (appellate court reviews question of law concerning statute of limitations, including when a cause of action accrues, de novo) (citation omitted).

         ¶6 Sections 12-1171 to -1183 (2016) govern FED actions. "In Arizona, a forcible detainer action is a summary, speedy and adequate statutory remedy for obtaining possession of premises by one entitled to actual possession." Casa Grande Tr. Co. v. Superior Court ex rel. Pinal Cty., ...


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