WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. et al.
Wrongful foreclosure. Gwinnett Superior Court. Before Judge Miles, pro hac vice.
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Joshua N. Tropper, Dylan W. Howard, Daniel P. Moore, for appellants.
Smith Law, William J. Smith; Locke Lord, Alexandra M. Dishun, John H. Williamson, for appellee.
DILLARD, Judge. Ellington, P. J., and McFadden, J., concur.
We granted an interlocutory appeal to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (" Wells Fargo" ) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (" Freddie Mac" ) to consider whether the trial court erred in denying their motion for summary judgment on Maria M. Molina-Salas's claim for wrongful foreclosure. Because we conclude that Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac were entitled to summary judgment, we reverse.
The pertinent facts are undisputed. In April 2007, Molina-Salas obtained a loan and executed a promissory note in favor of Wells Fargo. She secured the note with a security deed to real property (the " Property" ) that granted Wells Fargo a power of sale. The security deed was recorded in the deed book of Gwinnett County and contained a complete and accurate legal description of the Property, including a reference that it was specifically located in the 6th District of Gwinnett County.
Molina-Salas defaulted on the loan and, after issuing several demands that she pay the deficiency and bring the loan current, Wells Fargo sent notice in January 2011 that it intended to foreclose on the Property. The notice included a copy of the advertisement to be published in the legal organ for Gwinnett County for four consecutive weeks. The advertisement noted that Molina-Salas was in default under the terms of the note and security deed (which it referenced by deed book and page number), and further contained the legal description, address, and recording data, including the plat book and page number, of the Property. But due to a typographical error, the advertisement wrongly identified the Property as lying in the 5th, as opposed to the 6th, District of Gwinnett County. The description, address, and recording data were otherwise correct. After running for two weeks, the error in the
advertisement was discovered, at which time it was corrected and the last two weeks of the advertisement accurately identified the Property as lying in the 6th District.
In March 2011, the foreclosure sale was conducted and Wells Fargo was the successful bidder. Wells Fargo subsequently conveyed the property to Freddie Mac. Molina-Salas filed the instant wrongful foreclosure action arguing, inter alia, that the typographical error in the property description of the advertisement that ran for two of the four weeks it was published rendered the foreclosure sale void and, further, that Wells Fargo's failure to send her an amended copy of the advertisement once the error had been identified and corrected amounted to insufficient notice under the applicable notice statutes. The trial court denied Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac's motion for [332 Ga.App. 642] summary judgment as to these two issues, and we granted their application for interlocutory appeal to consider whether the trial court erred in doing so.
At the outset, we note that summary judgment is proper when " there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law,"  and we review the grant or denial of a motion for summary judgment de novo. With the foregoing in mind, we turn now to Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac's enumerations of error.
1. To assert a viable claim for wrongful foreclosure, a plaintiff must establish a " legal duty owed to it by the foreclosing party, a breach of that duty, a causal connection between the breach of that duty and the injury it sustained, and damages."  The legal duty imposed upon a foreclosing party under ...