Sterling Fiduciaries LLC, Stone Unturned Trust, DM Bunker LLC, 4MACBOYS LLC, Craig Van Leeuwen, and New Lands Development LLC, Appellants,
JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and Benjamin Woolf, Appellees.
District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Andrew H.
Stone No. 130900470
J. Epperson, Attorney for Appellants.
D. Gilson and J. Tayler Fox, Attorneys for Appellee JPMorgan
Chase Bank NA.
Jonathan R. Rudd and Meagan Rudd, Attorneys for Appellee
David N. Mortensen authored this Opinion, in which Judges
Gregory K. Orme and Stephen L. Roth concurred. 
Sterling Fiduciaries LLC for a second time appeals to this
court, raising issues with a lower court's disposition of
questions surrounding competing interests in certain real
property (the Property). Because we determine that the issues
raised here were previously decided by this court in
Sterling Fiduciaries LLC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA,
2016 UT App 107, 372 P.3d 741, lack merit, are issues over
which we lack jurisdiction, or are unpreserved, we affirm.
In 2007, L. Kip McRae and Kimberly A. McRae (the McRaes)
obtained a loan for the Property. They executed a $900, 000
promissory note in favor of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker
Mortgage Corp. (Lender), who recorded a deed of trust in Salt
Lake County. The deed named Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems Inc. (MERS) as the beneficiary on behalf of
"Lender and Lender's successors and assigns."
Lender thereafter sold the note, "which was subsequently
transferred multiple times to other lenders." MERS
tracked these transfers in its internal database, although
the individual transfers were not part of the public record.
Eventually, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (Chase) became
servicer-and, ultimately, owner-of the note. The McRaes made their monthly mortgage
payments to Chase beginning around April 2009 and continued
to do so until they stopped paying on the note in October
In October 2010, the McRaes filed a quiet title action,
naming Lender as the sole defendant. They did not name or
serve MERS or any successor, including Chase. While the
action was pending, the McRaes transferred the Property to
Sterling. Sterling subsequently recorded a deed of trust in
favor of 4MACBOYS LLC in Salt Lake County. Lender never
answered the McRaes' complaint, and the district court
granted default judgment quieting title against Lender. The
default judgment was recorded in January 2012.
In November 2012, Benjamin Woolf entered into a contract to
purchase the Property from Sterling. In December 2012, DM
Bunker LLC filed a notice of financial interest in the
Property in Salt Lake County. In January 2013, Woolf filed the present
suit against Sterling and the McRaes, alleging breach of the
parties' real estate purchase contract. Chase-who was, and currently is, "in
possession of the original endorsed-in-blank
Note"-eventually intervened in the action.
During discovery, DM Bunker served Bank of America NA with a
subpoena seeking "documents related to its prior
ownership of th[e] loan." Bank of America was "unable to locate
any of the records requested with the information
Chase filed a motion for summary judgment in April 2014. The
district court granted summary judgment on Chase's claim
for declaratory relief that the McRaes' default judgment
had not quieted title as to Chase or extinguished the deed of
trust. It also granted summary judgment on Chase's breach
of contract claim against the McRaes for defaulting under the
note. The district court denied summary judgment on
Chase's claim against all defendants for judicial
foreclosure of the deed of trust. But after Chase filed a
motion to reconsider that denial, on October 2, 2015, the
district court granted summary judgment on the judicial
foreclosure claim, entered a decree of foreclosure, and
entered an order of sale to allow foreclosure of the trust
deed. Appellants sought review of the summary judgment in
Chase's favor, and on temporary remand from this court,
the district court clarified that "its October 2, 2015
[summary judgment] Order constitutes the final, appealable
order of the Court, in accordance with Rule 54(b) of the Utah
Rules of Civil Procedure." Accordingly, only the issues
connected with the October 2, 2015 order are before us on
Some of the parties involved in this appeal were
contemporaneously fighting over the Property in another case.
When MERS assigned its interest in the trust deed to Chase,
Sterling filed suit against Chase, "asserting that the
assignment to Chase was void because no document evidencing
Chase's interest was recorded in the county records"
and "because title to the property had been quieted in
December 2011." Sterling Fiduciaries LLC v. JPMorgan
Chase Bank NA, 2016 UT App 107, ¶ 6, 372 P.3d 741.
The district court in that case concluded "that the
[McRaes'] default judgment did not quiet title as to
Chase's or MERS's interests in the property."
Id. ¶ 7. Sterling appealed, and we affirmed.
Id. ¶¶ 8, 21. Our decision was based on
the determination "that the trust deed provided
constructive notice of both MERS's and Chase's
interests in the property." Id. ¶ 21.
Accordingly, we concluded in Sterling Fiduciaries
that the McRaes' "default judgment did not quiet
title as to Chase" and "Sterling was not a bona
fide purchaser." Id.
AND STANDARDS OF REVIEW
Appellants raise five issues on appeal. First, they argue that Chase's
beneficial interest was void "as against a subsequent
purchaser like [Sterling]" because the interest was not
recorded prior to Sterling's purchase of the Property.
Second, Appellants argue that the McRaes' default
judgment quieted title against Chase. Third, Appellants argue
that DM Bunker's interest, having been recorded in
December 2012-before Chase recorded the assignment of the
deed of trust in January 2013- has priority over Chase's
claimed interest. Fourth, Appellants argue that the district
court erroneously granted default judgment against Van
Leeuwen. Fifth, Appellants argue that the contract underlying
Woolf's complaint expired and, upon expiration, became
The first three issues call into question the district
court's grant of summary judgment. "We review a
district court's grant of summary judgment for
correctness and afford no deference to the court's legal
conclusions." Salt Lake City ...