Law School Case Brief
Nowlin v. Nationstar Mortg., LLC - 193 So. 3d 1043 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2016)
When the acceptance of an offer is conditioned upon the mailing of the acceptance, the acceptance is effective upon mailing and not upon receipt. An acceptance may be transmitted by any means which the offeror has authorized the offeree to use and, if so transmitted, is operative and completes the contract as soon as put out of the offeree's possession, without regard to whether it ever reaches the offeror, unless the offer otherwise provides.
The Nowlins established a loan modification agreement with BAC Home Loans Servicing, which later transferred its right to enforce the loan to Nationstar Mortgage. An amended foreclosure complaint was filed against the Nowlins, alleging that they defaulted on a mortgage and promissory note. The Nowlins claimed that the lender modified their mortgage, and they had never missed a payment. The lender claimed that it did not receive the necessary paperwork for modification, which the Nowlins sent via Federal Express. The trial court ruled against the Nowlins.
Is there a valid loan modification agreement upon mailing of the required documents to the lender?
The Florida appellate court held that the evidence established that the Nowlins mailed the loan modification documents and tendered three consecutive monthly payments in the amount required by the lender. When the acceptance of an offer is conditioned upon the mailing of the acceptance, the acceptance "is effective upon mailing and not upon receipt. The Court further ruled that having entered into a valid modification agreement, Nationstar could only foreclose by alleging and proving a breach of the modification agreement, neither of which was done here.
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