Conservation Easement Complicates Foreclosure

Centennial Bank v Dever Development Group, 2012 U.S, Dist. LEXIS 4483 (N.D. Fla. 1/13/12) is a short case with lessons for foreclosing lenders.The opinion is short on facts but it appears the plaintiff bank is a successor to a bank was taken over by the FDIC. The plaintiff sought to foreclose on property that had a conservation easement.  The defendant sought to dismiss the action because the bank failed to name an indispensible party-the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The problem was that there was some overlap of the area being foreclosed and the easement because the legal description of the area Plaintiff wished to foreclose was different from the legal description of the area when Defendant granted the easement. Because the plaintiff had made it clear that it only sought to foreclose on the legal description contained in the initial mortgage, the court denied the defendant’s motion. However, the court said the issue had to be resolved before entering a judgment