Monday, May 23, 2011

Ohio Appeals Court Reverses Another Lower Court Error In F'closure Action; Nixes Bankster Affidavit Based On Computer 'Screenshot' Of Account Details

Lexology reports:
  • In Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Hansen, 2011 WL 899625 (Ohio App. 5 Dist., 2011), borrowers defending a foreclosure action successfully challenged whether a bank's representative could testify in an affidavit concerning the amount due based on a screen shot when the bank's representative could not explain how such information was collected and compiled. Based on such facts, the borrowers argued the bank could not qualify the screen shot under the business record exception to the hearsay rule.
  • The borrowers argued that the trial court erred in admitting the screen shot as evidence of the amount due and sought to strike the affidavit of the bank representative, asserting that it was not based on her personal knowledge.
  • The bank representative testified at her deposition that she did not know who entered the information into the computer to generate the amount owed, nor did she know how such information was collected and compiled. The borrowers argued that while her affidavit states that it was based on personal knowledge, the bank representative's deposition testimony reflected that while she saw a screen shot of the balance due, she could not explain how that figure was arrived at by the bank.


  • The Court of Appeals for Fairfield County determined that the bank's representative did not have personal knowledge as to how the bank arrived at the balance due as viewed on the screen shot. The borrowers argued the screen shot is hearsay and did not meet the exception for a business record because there is no evidence of its origins or the circumstances surrounding its existence.

For more, see Court erred in admitting screen shot as evidence of amount due for purposes of granting summary judgment (Rule 803(6) of the ohio rules of evidence, business records hearsay exception, construed) (requires paid subscription; if no subscription, GO HERE; or TRY HERE - then click the appropriate link for the story).

For the ruling, see Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v. Hansen, 2011-Ohio-1223 (Ohio App. 5th Dist. March 10, 2011).

Representing the homeowner were Benjamin D. Horne, Peggy P. Lee, and Luke Feeney of Southeastern Ohio Legal Services,(1) Lancaster, Ohio.

(1) Southeastern Ohio Legal Services is a non-profit law firm that, within its coverage area, gives legal help without attorney fees to people with low income and limited savings and assets, and also serves organizations of low-income people.

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