U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, Plaintiff-Appellant,
MICHAEL PARROTT, HEIRS OF DOLORES MARIE LISK, ERIC LISK, UNKNOWN HEIRS OF DOLORES MARIE LISK, CREDITORS OF DOLORES MARIE LISK, STATE OF IOWA, and PARTIES IN POSSESSION, Defendants-Appellees.
from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark J. Smith,
interlocutory appeal, plaintiff challenges the district court
decision denying its motion for a default judgment in a
J. Pavelka Jr. of Locher Pavelka Dostal Braddy & Hammes,
L.L.C., Council Bluffs, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Donald D. Stanley, Jr. and
Laura A. Steffensmeier, Assistant Attorneys General, for
Lisk, Wilson, appellee pro se.
Michael Parrott, appellee pro se.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., Bower, J., and Mahan, S.J.
interlocutory appeal, U.S. Bank National Association (U.S.
Bank) challenges the district court decision denying its
motion for a default judgment in a foreclosure action where
the mortgagor is deceased. We find U.S. Bank adequately
provided notice to those with an interest in the foreclosure
proceedings. We conclude the district court abused its
discretion in denying U.S. Bank's motion for a default
Background Facts & Proceedings
April 24, 2015, Dolores Lisk obtained a loan of $58, 500 from
U.S. Bank. The loan was secured by a mortgage on real estate
she owned in Davenport. Lisk died on January 28, 2016. An
estate was not opened after her death. The loan went into
September 22, 2016, U.S. Bank filed a petition seeking
foreclosure of the mortgage without redemption, under Iowa
Code section 654.20 (2016), and waived its right to a
deficiency judgment. The petition named as defendants
Lisk's sons Michael Parrott and Eric Lisk, unknown heirs
of Lisk, creditors of Lisk, and "all persons known and
unknown claiming any right, title, or interest and all of
their heirs, spouses, assigns, grantees, legatees, devisees,
and all beneficiaries of each and all the above-named
defendants." U.S. Bank mailed notice to Lisk's two
sons. The district court entered an order permitting service
by publication for the unknown defendants. U.S. Bank placed
an official notice of the foreclosure action in the Quad-City
Times on three occasions. The property which was the subject
of the foreclosure was vacant.
November 1, U.S. Bank gave notice of its intent to file a
written application for default. No defendants responded to
the foreclosure petition or the notice of intent to seek a
default judgment. U.S. Bank filed an application for default
judgment on January 4, 2017. The district court denied the
motion, finding an estate should be opened to determine the
real parties in interest concerning the property in question.
The court also stated, "Plaintiff has provided no
authority to support its methods."
Bank filed a motion to reconsider, stating it relied upon
Iowa Title Standard 7.8. It noted Lisk's obituary stated
she was survived by two sons and other relatives, and the
sons had been given notice of the foreclosure proceedings.
Additionally, the bank pointed out it was seeking an in rem
judgment against the real estate. The district court denied
the motion to reconsider. The court stated, "In order to
quiet title and grant Plaintiff's motion, the Court would
need to make findings that the defendants are the real
parties in interest." Also, "This Court cannot make
a finding that it has jurisdiction over persons with an
interest because this court does not know the identity of the
persons with an interest in the estate of a ...