The Bank of New York Mellon v. Mestre, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D642 (Fla. 5th DCA March 13, 2015)
After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court in a mortgage foreclosure struck the bank’s pleadings with prejudice because the defendants’ signatures did not appear on the mortgage. The trial court also awarded substantial attorney’s fees to the defendants, but the appellate court reversed. Attorney’s fees could not be awarded based on a contract because the defendants never entered into a contract with the plaintiff. Attorney’s fees could not be awarded under Section 57.105(7), Florida Statutes, because the defendant’s withdrew their request for fees based upon this statute, and it was doubtful that the statute applied to a contract that never existed. Attorney’s fees could not be awarded “under the inequitable conduct doctrine because the trial court specifically found no ‘improprieties or unethical conduct by Bank’s counsel and expressly declined to impose sanctions against Bank because the court was not convinced that Bank ‘was to blame.”
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