NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the foreclosure
of a Deed of Trust executed by
Tonya R. Bass in the original
amount of $139,988.00 dated
October 12, 2005, recorded in Book
4982, Page 86, Durham County
Substitute Trustee Services, Inc.,
as Substitute Trustee,
Appeal by Petitioner from order entered 14 September 2010
by Judge Abraham Penn Jones in Durham County Superior Court.
Heard in the Court of Appeals 27 October 2011.
K&L Gates, LLP, by A. Lee Hogewood, III and Brian C. Fork,
Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc., by E. Maccene Brown,
Gregory E. Pawlowski, John Christopher Lloyd, and Andre C.
Brown, for Respondent-appellee.
HUNTER, JR., Robert N., Judge.
U.S. Bank, National Association, as Trustee, c/o Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Petitioner”) appeals the trial court’s order
dismissing foreclosure proceedings against Respondent Tonya R.
Bass. Petitioner assigns error to the trial court’s
determination that Petitioner is not the legal holder of a
promissory note executed by Respondent and therefore lacks
authorization to foreclose on Respondent’s property securing the
note under a deed of trust. After careful review, we affirm.
Furthermore, Comment 1 to North Carolina General Statutes
§ 25-3-308 defines “presumed” to mean “that until some evidence
is introduced which would support a finding that the signature
is forged or unauthorized, the plaintiff is not required to
prove that it is valid.” Id. In contrast to the stamp at
issue, a handwritten signature accompanies each of the other
stamps on the Note introduced by Petitioner before the trial
court. The stamp purporting to transfer the Note from
Residential to Petitioner, for example, bears the apparent
handwritten signature of Judy Faber, identified as Residential’s
vice president. This signature provides at least some evidence
that this stamp was executed with the requisite intent and
authority. Whether a stamp bearing an apparent handwritten
signature is sufficient competent evidence of the purported
indorsement, however, is not before this Court as Respondent
challenges the only stamp without a handwritten signature. The
omission of a handwritten signature with respect to the
challenged stamp is competent evidence from which the trial
court could conclude that this particular stamp was not executed
by an authorized individual and is therefore facially invalid
indorsement. Thus, even if Respondent had failed to object to
the stamp, which it did not, the burden properly remained upon
Petitioner to prove its validity.
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