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STEWART TITLE BULLETIN: RE: Recent Oklahoma Supreme Court Decisions Regarding Foreclosures

STEWART TITLE BULLETIN: RE: Recent Oklahoma Supreme Court Decisions Regarding Foreclosures


Dear Associates:

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has recently issued several opinions:

Deutsche Bank National Trust v. Brumbaugh, 2012 OK 3 {Approved for Publication}

Deutsche Bank National Trust v. Byrams, 2012 OK 4

HSBC Bank USA v. Lyon, 2012 OK 10

Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Matthews, 2012 OK 14

Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Richardson, 2012 OK 15

CPT Asset Backed Certificates; Series 2004-EC1 v. Kham, 2012 OK 22

Bank of America, N.A. v. Kabba, 2012 OK 23

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Eldridge, 2012 OK 24

(It is important to note that only one of the opinions, Deutsche Bank National Trust v. Brumbaugh, 2012 OK 3, has been approved for publication so far.)

These opinions hold that to commence a foreclosure action, the plaintiff must show that it has the right to enforce the promissory note, and in the absence of such showing, the plaintiff lacks standing to bring the lawsuit.  The fact patterns in each of the cases vary slightly (seven are based on appeals from orders granting summary judgment entered by the trial court, and one is based upon a default judgment), but the basic fact pattern is as follows:  Plaintiff files a foreclosure action either without attaching a copy of the promissory note or attaching the note without proper indorsement(s) by the original lender.  Defendant raises the issue that Plaintiff does not have standing to sue, either in response to a Motion for Summary Judgment or by pleadings filed after the Journal Entry of Judgment.  Motions are denied after Plaintiff provides documentation showing indorsement or allonge.  Defendant appeals.

[STEWART VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER]

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DEUTSCHE BANK vs. WILLIAMS | USDC Hawaii “There is no evidence on the record establishing what mortgages were included in the PSA.”

DEUTSCHE BANK vs. WILLIAMS | USDC Hawaii “There is no evidence on the record establishing what mortgages were included in the PSA.”


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF HAWAII

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL
TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE
MORGAN STANLEY ABS CAPITAL
I INC. TRUST 2007-NC1 MORTGAGE
PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES,
SERIES 2007-NC1,

Plaintiff,

vs

LEIGAFOALII TAFUE WILLIAMS,
aka LEIGAFOALII TAFUE
KOEHNEN; PAPU CHRISTOPHER
WILLIAMS; REAL TIME
RESOLUTIONS, INC.; CAROLYN
RUTH KOEHNEN, AS TRUSTEE OF
THE CAROLYN R. KOEHNEN
REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST U/A,
DATED APRIL 14, 1986; and JOHN
DOES 1-5,

Defendants.

Excerpt:

Standing is a requirement grounded in Article III of the United States
Constitution, and a defect in standing cannot be waived by the parties. Chapman v.
Pier 1 Imports (US.) Inc., 631 F.3d 939,954 (9th Cir. 2011). A litigant must have
both constitutional standing and prudential standing for a federal court to exercise
jurisdiction over the case. Elk Grove Unified Sch. Dist. v. Newdow, 542 U.S. 1, 11
(2004). Constitutional standing requires the plaintiff to “show that the conduct of
which he complains has caused him to suffer an ‘injury in fact’ that a favorable
judgment will redress.” Id. at 12. In comparison, “prudential standing
encompasses the general prohibition on a litigant’s raising another person’s legal
rights.” Id. (citation and quotation signals omitted); see also Oregon v. Legal
Servs. Corp., 552 F.3d 965, 971 (9th Cir. 2009).

[…]

The basis of Plaintiffs standing to foreclose on the subject property
(at least as alleged in the Complaint) is a January 13,2009 assignment of the
Mortgage and Note from Home 123 to Plaintiff. The assignment, attached to the
Complaint, provides:

This Assignment, made this 13th day of January,
2009, by and between Home 123 Corporation, a
California corporation, hereinafter called the “Assignor”,
and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as trustee
for Morgan Stanley ABS Capital I Inc., MSAC 2007NC1,
whose principal place of business and post office
address is c/o Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., 4708
Mercantile Dr. N., Forth Worth TX 76137-3605,
hereinafter called the “Assignee.”
WITNESSETH:
In consideration of the sum of ONE DOLLAR
($1.00) and other valuable consideration paid by the
Assignee, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged,
the Assignor does hereby, without recourse, sell, assign,
transfer, set over and deliver unto the Assignee, its
successors and assigns, the mortgage and note hereinafter
described ….CompI. Ex. 4.

The Williamses argue that this assignment cannot be valid because
Home 123 was in bankruptcy liquidation as of January 13,2009. Specifically,
Home 123 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2007, Home 123 filed a liquidation
plan in March 2008, and the bankruptcy court confirmed the liquidation plan in
July 2008. In re New Century TRS Holdings, Inc., 407 B.R. 576, 579-80 (Bankr.
D. Del. 2009). Effective August 1, 2008, the liquidation plan:

was created with Alan M. Jacobs as trustee. Also on that
date, the Creditors’ Committee was dissolved; the Plan
Advisory Committee (the “PAC”) was formed; debtors’
officers and directors ceased serving and were replaced
by Jacobs; debtors’ assets were distributed to the
liquidating trust; and NCFC’s outstanding common and
preferred stock, as well as all notes, securities, and
indentures, were cancelled.

Id. at 585-86 (citations omitted). Given this liquidation, it appears that Home 123
could not have validly assigned the Mortgage and Note to Plaintiff on January 13,
2009. And in Opposition, Plaintiff presents no evidence (or even argument)
explaining how this January 13,2009 assignment is valid despite Home 123 ‘s
bankruptcy and liquidation. In fact, Plaintiff argues — without factual support –
that NC Capital Corporation (“NC Capital”) first bought the Note from Home 123
and Plaintiff subsequently received it through a securitized trust. See PI. ‘s Opp’n
at 20. And at the hearing, Plaintiff’s counsel inexplicably stated that discovery is
required to deternrine the Note’s assignment, even though all facts concerning any
valid assignment should certainly be known to Plaintiff without having to conduct
discovery. In other words, even Plaintiff, who is master of its Complaint and by all
accounts should know the basis of its claims, apparently disclaims the allegations
in the Complaint and at this time cannot establish its legal right to enforce the
Mortgage and Note.

The Complaint’s assertion that Plaintiff obtained the Mortgage and
Note through the January 13,2009 assignment is further called into doubt by the
fact that Plaintiff brings this action as “Trustee Morgan Stanley ABS Capital I Inc.
Trust 2007-NCI Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-NC-I”–
suggesting (as Plaintiffnow argues) that Plaintiffmay have received the Mortgage
and/or Note through a Pooling and Servicing Agreement (“PSA”) in 2007. From
the evidence presented by the Williamses (Plaintiff presented no evidence on
standing in Opposition), Home 123 generally sold mortgages to its affiliate NC
Capital, who then resold the mortgages for inclusion into securitized trusts. See
Williamses’ Ex. Gat 4,-r,-r 9, 11. And NC Capital and Morgan Stanley ABS
Capital I Inc., with Plaintiff as trustee, entered into a PSA dated January 1, 2007.
See Williamses’ Ex. U. The PSA requires NC Capital to deliver to Plaintiff
assignments of mortgage for each mortgage loan, and for Plaintiff to certify
“receipt of a Mortgage Note and Assignment of Mortgage for each applicable
Mortgage Loan.” Id. at 41-42.

This evidence presents two problems for Plaintiff. First, if Plaintiff
did indeed obtain the Mortgage and Note through a 2007 PSA, then the 2007 PSA
is yet another reason why the January 13,2009 assignment is a nullity and the
Complaint’s assertion that Plaintiff obtained the Mortgage and Note from Home
123 is untrue. Second, the evidence presented does not actually establish that
Plaintiff received the Mortgage and Note through the PSA — there is no evidence
on the record establishing what mortgages were included in the PSA. Thus,
although Plaintiff might have obtained the Mortgage and Note through this PSA,
there is no evidence showing or even suggesting that this is indeed the case. As a
result, there is no evidence — at least on the record presented before the court –
creating a genuine issue of material fact that Plaintiffwas assigned the Mortgage
and Note on which it now seeks to foreclose.

In opposition, Plaintiff argues that the Williamses are not parties or
beneficiaries to the assignment such that they cannot challenge it. In making this
argument, Plaintiff relies on caselaw from this court rejecting that a
plaintiff/mortgagee can assert claims raising assignment irregularities and/or
noncompliance with a PSA. See Fed. Nat’! Mortg. Ass’n v. Kamakau, 2012 WL
622169, at *3-4 (D. Haw. Feb. 23, 2012) (relying on Velasco v. Sec. Nat’l Mortg.
Co., — F. Supp. 2d —-, 2011 WL 4899935, at *4 (D. Haw. Oct. 14,2011), to
reject “slander of title” claim challenging assignment of the note and mortgage
because where the borrower is not a party or intended beneficiary of the
assignment, he cannot dispute the validity of the assignment); Abubo v. Bank of
New York Mellon, 2011 WL 6011787, at *8 (D. Haw. Nov. 30,2011) (rejecting
claim asserting violation of a PSA because a third party lacks standing to raise a
violation of a PSA and noncompliance with terms of a PSA is irrelevant to the
validity of the assignment).

Plaintiffs argument confuses a borrower’s, as opposed to a
lender’s, standing to raise affirmative claims. In Williams v. Rickard, 2011 WL
2116995, at *5 (D. Haw. May 25,2011), — which involved the same parties in this
action and in which Lei Williams asserted affirmative claims against Deutsche
Bank — Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway explained the difference between the two:

[Lei Williams is] confused about the doctrine of legal
standing. [Lei Williams] believers] that, because
Deutsche Bank and Real Time have not proven that they
have standing to enforce the loan documents, they lack
standing to seek summary judgment on the affirmative
claims asserted against them. Had Deutsche Bank or
Real Time filed affirmative claims to enforce the notes
and mortgages, they would have had to establish their
legal right to enforce those documents. However,
Williams has sued Deutsche Bank and Real Time, and
the banks are merely seeking a determination that they
are not liable to Williams for the claims Williams asserts
against them. The banks need not establish that they are
the legal owners of Williams’s loans before they defend
against Williams’s claims. “Standing” is a plaintiff’s
requirement, and Williams misconstrues the concept in
arguing that Defendants must establish “standing” to
defend themselves.

(emphasis added). In this action, the proverbial shoe is on the other foot –
Deutsche Bank asserts affirmative claims against the Williamses seeking to enforce
the Mortgage and Note, and therefore must establish its legal right (i.e., standing)
to do so. See, e.g., IndyMac Bank v. Miguel, 117 Haw. 506, 513, 184 P.3d 821,
828 (Haw. App. 2008) (explaining that for standing, a mortgagee must have “a
sufficient interest in the Mortgage to have suffered an injury from [the
mortgagor’s] default”). As explained above, Deutsche Bank has failed to do so.

The court therefore GRANTS the Williamses’ Motion to Dismiss.

[ipaper docId=87466582 access_key=key-1szk77peen8kvkve052f height=600 width=600 /]

 

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USDC Judge Seabright in Hawaii exemplars “Securitization Fail” and DISMISSES a foreclosure for “lack of standing”.

USDC Judge Seabright in Hawaii exemplars “Securitization Fail” and DISMISSES a foreclosure for “lack of standing”.


H/T Deontos

From Deadly Clear-

“One of the most important decisions for Borrowers Rights in the history of Hawaii has been made with this decision,” remarked Honolulu attorney Gary Dubin.  Honorable Judge J. Michael Seabright of the Hawaii United States District Court, today GRANTED the homeowners’ Motion to Dismiss the case filed against them in federal district court by Plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee Morgan Stanley ABS Capital I Inc. Trust 2007-NC1 Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-NC1.

[…]

Honorable Judge J. Michael Seabright gets it!  And his ORDER was detailed.  In the Discussion, Judge Seabright notes an argument that homeowners have being trying to persuade the courts (especially at the lower state levels) to grasp: STANDING and JURISDICTION.

Standing is a requirement grounded in Article III of the United States Constitution, and a defect in standing cannot be waived by the parties. Chapman v. Pier 1 Imports (US.) Inc., 631 F.3d 939,954 (9th Cir. 2011). A litigant must have both constitutional standing and prudential standing for a federal court to exercise jurisdiction over the case. Elk Grove Unified Sch. Dist. v. Newdow, 542 U.S. 1, 11 (2004). Constitutional standing requires the plaintiff to “show that the conduct of which he complains has caused him to suffer an ‘injury in fact’ that a favorable judgment will redress.” Id. at 12. In comparison, “prudential standing encompasses the general prohibition on a litigant’s raising another person’s legal rights.” Id. (citation and quotation signals omitted); see also Oregon v. Legal Servs. Corp., 552 F.3d 965, 971 (9th Cir. 2009).”

Let’s continue – but we’ll get back to that injury issue later in the post…

[DEADLY CLEAR]

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MBS damages: making cents of the $32 million Deutsche Bank deal

MBS damages: making cents of the $32 million Deutsche Bank deal


Alison Frankel-

Ordinarily, a $32.5 million settlement of a securities class action against Deutsche Bank wouldn’t get much attention. But when the case is based on mortgage-backed securities and it’s only the third known class action resolution, you have to pay heed . In MBS litigation, every new settlement means that damages estimates in hundreds of pending securities cases become a little more reality-based.

The settlement papers filed Monday by the co-lead counsel in the Deutsche Bank case, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd and Labaton Sucharow, indicate that the $32.5 million represents $12.80 for every $1,000 in initial certificate value for the two Deutsche Bank trusts in the case. That may not sound like much, but it’s a lot more than the $2.70 per $1,000 that plaintiffs got in the first MBS class action settlement, a $125 million deal with Wells Fargo last July. In last December’s $315 million settlement with Merrill Lynch, class counsel at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann obtained $19.05 per $1,000 in initial certificate value for plaintiffs. That case, however, was farther along than the Deutsche Bank MBS litigation; at the time of the settlement, U.S. Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff of federal court in Manhattan had already certified a class of Merrill MBS noteholders and had set a pretrial schedule.

[REUTERS LEGAL]

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Pool guy, landscaper of $18 million foreclosure winner subpoenaed

Pool guy, landscaper of $18 million foreclosure winner subpoenaed


“Hunger Games”

Palm Beach Post-

The pool guy, plumber and lawn man for a Palm Beach Gardens homeowner who recently won an $18 million settlement in a foreclosure-related lawsuit are being sought for questioning by the bank still seeking to repossess her home.

Lynn Szymoniak, a 63-year-old attorney who specializes in white collar crime, shot to national fame last year when she was featured on the CBS news show 60 minutes for her role in uncovering widespread mortgage and foreclosure fraud after finding it in her own 2008 case.

This month, it was announced she would receive $18 million from a whistle-blower lawsuit filed under the federal False Claims Act, which allows the government to bring civil actions against entities that knowingly use or cause the use of false documents to obtain money from the government.

[PALM BEACH POST]

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The Wall Street multibillion-dollar scandal no one is talking about

The Wall Street multibillion-dollar scandal no one is talking about


The LIBOR trading scandal could turn out to be far worse for Wall Street than its mortgage troubles.

CNN Money-

FORTUNE — Much of the talk about bad behavior on Wall Street since the financial crisis has been about mortgages with a little bit of insider trading sprinkled in. And that makes sense. Everyone immediately understands what a mortgage is. And the housing bust that resulted from all those bad home loans affected us all. And Hollywood has taught us to ooh and ah over insider trading.

But there is another scandal that has come out of the financial crisis that at least to me makes the mortgage underwriting scandal look like small peanuts, and it has been heating up lately. Two weeks ago, the government disclosed that it is looking into bringing criminal cases against traders and banks that manipulated a key bank lending rate, called LIBOR. A source close to the case says the government’s “may” will be dropped soon. Both Barclays and Deutsche Bank have disclosed that they have been the focus of investigations. Banks have suspended dozens of traders. Today, Credit Suisse announced that it was cooperating with regulators on the case. Traders at UBS reportedly are already working with the government on its investigation. Looking for instances in which Wall Streeters go to jail, unlike mortgages, this may be the one.

[CNN MONEY]

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[Video] Oral Arguments; Washington Supreme Court, BAIN v. MERS and Selkowitz v. Litton Loan Servicing

[Video] Oral Arguments; Washington Supreme Court, BAIN v. MERS and Selkowitz v. Litton Loan Servicing


Counsels for Kristin Bain & Kevin Selkowitz attorneys Melissa Huelsman and Richard Jones (great voice) did a FANTASTIC, OUTSTANDING JOB!!!

BOMBSHELL: Listen and watch when they ask MERS’ counsel “Who is the holder of the note”? HE DOES NOT KNOW & CANNOT ANSWER!

Oral arguments: Bain v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Sys, et al and Selkowitz v. Little “Litton” Loan Servicing, LP, et al. (May a party be a lawful beneficiary under WA’s Deed of Trust Act if it never held the promissory note secured by the deed of trust?)

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State Supreme Court to rule on legality of mortgage recording system (MERS)

State Supreme Court to rule on legality of mortgage recording system (MERS)


KOMO NEWS-

For the first time, a local homeowner’s fight to keep a house is headed to the state Supreme Court.

What happens there will effect thousands of people who’ve taken out mortgage loans in the past 10 years. If you own property, you need to know about a system known as MERS.

MERS stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. It was created by the real estate finance industry to simplify the process of transferring mortgage loans.

But struggling homeowners complain MERS also conceals the true note holder when your mortgage is sold to investors.

Kristen Bain’s comfortable condo in Tukwila is tied up in the MERS debate. First, she had to sue her mortgage broker and the lender for predatory lending and failure to provide proper documentation as required by law.

[KOMO NEWS]

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HABER v. DEUTSCHE BANK | FL 4DCA “failed to show that it provided appellant with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure, not entitled to a final SJ”

HABER v. DEUTSCHE BANK | FL 4DCA “failed to show that it provided appellant with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure, not entitled to a final SJ”


OMAR HABER, Appellant,

v.

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS FOR ARGENT SECURITIES, INC., ASSET-BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-W2, Appellee.

 No. 4D10-4458.

 District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District.

  February 22, 2012.

Lionel Barnet of the Law Offices of Lionel Barnet, P.A., Miami, for appellant.

Debra Rescigno of Robertson, Anschutz & Schneid, P.L., Boca Raton, for appellee.

PER CURIAM.

Omar Haber appeals the trial court’s entry of a final summary judgment of foreclosure in favor of Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (the bank). He argues that summary judgment was improper because the bank lacked standing to file the foreclosure suit and failed to refute his affirmative defense that the bank did not provide him with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure required an the mortgage agreement. We affirm as to the standing issue without discussion, but we reverse the final summary judgment because the bank failed to refute appellant’s affirmative defense regarding notice and opportunity to cure.

The mortgage agreement states, in pertinent part:

Lender shall give notice to Borrower prior to acceleration following Borrower’s breach of any covenant or agreement in this Security Instrument . . . The notice shall specify: (a) the default; (b) the action required to cure the default; (c) a date, not less than 30 days from the date the notice is given to Borrower, by which the default must be cured; and (d) that failure to cure the default on or before the date specified in the notice may result in acceleration of the sums secured by this Security Instrument, foreclosure by judicial proceeding and sale of the Property.

There is no evidence within the record showing that the bank provided appellant with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure.

An order granting summary judgment is reviewed de novo. Allenby & Assocs., Inc. v. Crown St. Vincent Ltd., 8 So.3d 1211, 1213 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009) (citation omitted). In order to be entitled to summary judgment, a mortgagor must refute all of the affirmative defenses of the mortgagee or show that they are legally insufficient. Woodrum v. Wells Fargo Mortg. Bank, N.A., 73 So.3d 873, 874 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011) (citing Frost v. Regions Bank, 15 So.3d 905 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009)). Because the bank failed to show that it provided appellant with the requisite notice and opportunity to cure, it was not entitled to a final summary judgment of foreclosure.

Affirmed in part, Reversed in part and Remanded.

[ipaper docId=82643503 access_key=key-9edsce27q6wik8cyrxo height=600 width=600 /]

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IN RE: BALDERRAMA | 2nd allonge includes an endorsement from RFC (Judy Faber) to Deutsche that did not exist in the first allonge…3 different Promissory Notes

IN RE: BALDERRAMA | 2nd allonge includes an endorsement from RFC (Judy Faber) to Deutsche that did not exist in the first allonge…3 different Promissory Notes


**Judy Faber has a history on this site and named in some important cases…check it out!

 

UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
ORLANDO DIVISION

In re
MARIA RENEE BALDERRAMA
Debtor.

CARLA P. MUSSELMAN, TRUSTEE
Plaintiff,

vs.

DEUTSCHE BANK TRSUTE COMPANY
AMERICAS, in trust for Residential
Accredit Loans, Inc. Mortgage Asset-
Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series
2007-QH5,
Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION PARTIALLY GRANTING AND
PARTIALLY DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
AND DENYING PLAINTIFF’S CROSS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

EXCERPT:

In response, the trustee filed her own cross motion for summary judgment arguing the
various documents Deutsche has provided to support its position, including three different
versions of the note and two versions of the allonge, were ineffective to transfer any interest to
Deutsche and evidence Deutsche‘s bad faith in purporting to own the note.17 The trustee‘s
argument primarily is based on the second allonge provided by Deutsche upon the Court‘s order
compelling discovery. The second allonge includes an endorsement from RFC to Deutsche that
did not exist in the first allonge, and, according to the trustee, Deutsche caused this endorsement
to be made fraudulently to meet the needs of litigation.18 The trustee urges the Court to find
Deutsche has not adequately explained the discrepancies between the two allonges, has not met
its burden to prove it is the legitimate owner of the note, and title to the Property should vest in
the trustee.

[…]

Neither version of the allonge, however, includes dates of the alleged transfers as stated
by Ms. Faber. Even assuming she had the authority to endorse the note to Deutsche, Ms. Faber
does not explain why RFC initially failed to produce the second allonge with the RFC
endorsement in its motion to lift stay, even though it allegedly existed at that time. These ?holes?
present substantial questions of fact as to Deutsche‘s good faith and the second allonge‘s
authenticity. The Court cannot avoid suspecting that the second allonge indeed was created
solely to rebut the trustee‘s assertions in this litigation and did not previously exist. If so, the
Court suggests Deutsche and Ms. Faber individually consider the possible consequences of
propounding potentially false evidence and perjured testimony to the Court.

[ipaper docId=81975432 access_key=key-1kab3johohtn0eshfdqc height=600 width=600 /]

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A valentine from Chief United States, Bankruptcy Court Middle Dist. of Florida Judge Karen S. Jennemann on Feburary 14, 2012

A valentine from Chief United States, Bankruptcy Court Middle Dist. of Florida Judge Karen S. Jennemann on Feburary 14, 2012


A valentine from Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge Karen S. Jennemann on Feburary 14, 2012:

The Court cannot avoid suspecting that the second allonge indeed was created solely to rebut the trustee‘s assertions in this litigation and did not previously exist. If so, the Court suggests Deutsche and Ms. Faber individually consider the possible consequences of propounding potentially false evidence and perjured testimony to the Court. Muselman v. Deutsche Bank, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, Case No. 6:10-bk-07828-KSJ. Document 67, page 8.

As gratifying as this recognition of fraudulent documents may be, it does raise the question: just what are the consequences of propounding false evidence and perjured testimony to the Court. With the exception of a few judges and a few decisions, there have been no consequences whatsoever.

FRAUD DIGEST by Lynn E. Szymoniak, ESQ.

 

NOTE:

I would like to make a note of this because as soon as I posted this IN RE BALDERRAMA | FL BK Court “Deutsche Bank, Not proven to either the trustee or the Court that it holds a validly endorsed promissory note evidencing its purchase of the debt on the disputed property”, it went completely missing from the site! See for yourself and it’s still missing and not sure why some cases go missing.

 

451 B.R. 185 (2011)

In re Maria Renee BALDERRAMA, Debtor.
Carla P. Musselman, as Chapter 7 Trustee, Plaintiff,

v.

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, in trust for Residential Accredit Loans, Inc. Mortgage Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-QH5, Defendant.

Bankruptcy No. 6:10-bk-07828-KSJ. Adversary No. 6:10-ap-00245-KSJ.
United States Bankruptcy Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division.
May 4, 2011.
186*186 Seldon J. Childers, Childers Law LLC, Gainesville, FL, for Plaintiff.

Daniel A. Miller, Broad and Cassel, West Palm Beach, FL, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION PARTIALLY GRANTING AND PARTIALLY DENYING TRUSTEE’S AMENDED AND RENEWED MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF DEUTSCHE BANK

KAREN S. JENNEMANN, Bankruptcy Judge.

In this adversary proceeding the Chapter 7 trustee, Carla Musselman, seeks to quiet title and to value at zero dollars defendant Deutsche Bank’s alleged secured interest in debtor Maria Balderrama’s non-homestead real property. As part of discovery, the trustee served interrogatories and document production requests seeking information about the bank’s purchase of the promissory note and mortgage on the disputed property.[1] Deutsche Bank resists producing any discovery related to the purchase history of the note and the chain of title of the mortgage arguing that, under Florida law, it has established its secured interest in the property merely by alleging it holds the original promissory note endorsed specially in its favor.[2] The trustee disputes Deutsche Bank’s characterization of Florida law and notes that neither the Court nor the trustee has seen the original endorsed note. She now requests the Court 187*187 compel the bank to produce the requested information.[3]

Although Deutsche Bank is correct that under Florida law if it holds a validly endorsed original note it may be deemed equitably also to own the mortgage, the bank first must establish its actual possession of the original note. As such, the trustee’s discovery requests pertaining to Deutsche Bank’s status as holder of the note, including the authenticity and authority of the signatures endorsing the note, are relevant. All other requests, including any requests for information regarding the prior ownership history of the note or the mortgage, are irrelevant and overbroad under Florida law. Accordingly, the Court will grant in part and deny in part the trustee’s motion and direct Deutsche Bank to respond to interrogatory number 5 and document request numbers 7 and 30 on or before June 3, 2011. The trustee’s motion to compel otherwise is denied, and the objections raised by the bank are sustained as to all other interrogatories and production requests.

On September 28, 2010, the trustee initiated this adversary proceeding to value Aurora Loan Services’ secured claim at $0.00 pursuant to § 506(a) of the Bankruptcy Code[4] and to quiet title in property owned by the debtor located in Rockledge, Florida. Aurora is the servicing agent on the mortgage, and it previously has moved for relief from stay to foreclose on the mortgage,[5] which this Court denied without prejudice for lack of evidentiary support.[6] On October 18, 2010, the trustee served her first set of interrogatories and first requests for production of documents on Aurora. On November 17, 2010, Aurora filed its objections to the trustee’s discovery requests,[7] objecting to certain requests seeking information about the history of the ownership of the subject note and mortgage. Aurora’s objections are based on its position that under Florida law the holder of a promissory note may equitably own and enforce a mortgage, even without a written assignment of the mortgage, and, accordingly, that the trustee’s requests seeking information regarding chain of ownership are irrelevant and overbroad.

On December 16, 2010, at a pretrial conference before this Court, the parties discussed Aurora’s objections to the trustee’s discovery, and the trustee made an ore tenus motion to amend the complaint to name Deutsche Bank as the real defendant in interest as the alleged holder of the original promissory note, which the Court granted.[8] At the hearing, the trustee also agreed to file an amended motion to compel Deutsche Bank to respond to the discovery requests served on Aurora, and Deutsche Bank has agreed for purposes of resolving the amended motion to compel and its/Aurora’s objections to the trustee’s discovery that it will step into Aurora’s position and stipulate for convenience that the discovery served on Aurora properly was served on it.[9]

188*188 Accordingly, on January 4, 2011, the trustee amended her complaint to change the name of the defendant from Aurora to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, in trust for Residential Accredit Loans, Inc. Mortgage Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2007-QH5.[10] On January 18, 2011, Deutsche Bank filed its answer to the amended complaint.[11] On January 28, 2011, the trustee filed her amended motion to compel defendant’s response to trustee’s first interrogatories and request for production of documents and an associated memorandum of law.[12] On February 25, 2011, Deutsche Bank filed its memorandum in response to the trustee’s motion to compel.[13]

The trustee’s amended complaint argues Deutsche Bank cannot provide sufficient evidence of its purchase of either the note or the mortgage to assert a secured claim to the disputed property. The trustee now seeks to compel production of information from Deutsche Bank regarding its purchase of the underlying debt and mortgage, and especially whether the note and mortgage were properly assigned.

In response to the motion to compel, Deutsche Bank reiterates Aurora’s previous position, arguing certain interrogatories and production requests regarding chain of title are irrelevant and overbroad because, under Florida law, it need only show it holds the original note evidencing its purchase of the debt underlying the mortgage for it to equitably own the mortgage, too.[14] Essentially, the bank argues that, in Florida, a mortgage travels equitably with the underlying debt in the absence of a formal written assignment of the mortgage. Because the bank allegedly holds the note specially endorsed in its favor, Deutsche Bank maintains it already has established its security interest in the property.

The Court largely agrees with Deutsche Bank’s legal argument. Under applicable Florida law,[15] a mortgage, even without a written assignment, may travel equitably to the holder of the underlying debt, i.e., to the entity holding the original, properly executed and endorsed promissory note. Thus, if Deutsche Bank establishes it is the holder of a validly endorsed note, it, in turn, will establish its equitable ownership of the mortgage securing the note. This general rule of Florida law (the “General Rule”) was stated best in 1938 by the Florida Supreme Court in the seminal case Johns v. Gillian, as follows:

… a mortgage is but an incident to the debt, the payment of which it secures, and its ownership follows the assignment of the debt. If the note or other debt secured by a mortgage be transferred without any formal assignment of the mortgage, or even a delivery of it, the mortgage in equity passes as an incident to the debt, unless there be some plain and clear agreement to the contrary, if that be the intention of the parties.[16] 189*189 Johns goes on to say that “[t]he transfer of the note or obligation evidencing the debt… operates as an assignment of the mortgage securing the debt, and it is not necessary that the mortgage papers be transferred, nor, in order that the beneficial interest shall pass, that a written assignment be made.”[17] Johns concluded that “if there had been no written assignment, Gillian would be entitled to foreclose in equity upon proof of his purchase of the debt.”[18] Finding that Gillian had sufficiently proven his purchase of the debt through his in-court testimony, the court held that Gillian was the “equitable owner of the mortgage” entitled to foreclose, even though no formal assignment of the mortgage was executed.

The General Rule is alive and well in Florida.[19] In Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC,[20] Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals held Aurora was entitled to summary judgment in a foreclosure action when it produced the original mortgage, a promissory note endorsed in blank, and affidavits that stated Aurora was the proper holder of the note and mortgage. Aurora did not submit a written assignment of the mortgage, and Aurora was not the original mortgagee. Nonetheless, the court found Aurora was the holder of the note entitled to enforce its terms under Fla. Stat. § 673.3011, and thus could foreclose on the mortgage, because it provided sufficient evidence of its purchase of the debt underlying the mortgage: possession of the original note endorsed in blank.[21]

Likewise, in another decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a dismissal of a foreclosure action because the lower court failed to consider application of the General Rule.[22] In that case, WM Specialty filed a foreclosure complaint on December 3, 2002, and later, in response to a motion to dismiss, filed an assignment of mortgage dated January 3, 2003. The assignment, however, reflected that the mortgage was transferred to WM Specialty prior to the complaint date on November 25, 2002. The lower court found the complaint was void ab initio because WM Specialty did not hold the note and mortgage as of the date of filing the complaint. In reversing the lower court, the appellate court instructed the lower court to consider on remand whether WM Specialty acquired an equitable interest in the mortgage before execution of the written assignment by virtue of the prior transfer of the note and mortgage to WM Specialty. The court quoted Johns favorably at length for the proposition that “the mortgage in equity passes as an incident to the debt,” and indicated the lower court had failed to consider this General Rule.

In reaching its conclusion, WM Specialty Mortgage distinguished the facts before it from Jeff-Ray Corp. v. Jacobson,[23] another Fourth District Court of Appeals case the Chapter 7 trustee relies on in attempting to establish an exception to the General Rule. Jeff-Ray held that a trial court erred in not dismissing a foreclosure complaint for failure to state a cause of 190*190 action because it relied upon an assignment that was not in existence when the complaint was filed. There, the complaint was filed on January 4, 1988, supported by an alleged assignment of mortgage dated in 1986, which was not attached to the complaint. When the plaintiff later produced the assignment, it was dated April 18, 1988, four months after the complaint was filed. The plaintiff’s actions therefore led the appellate court to conclude that plaintiff had lied to the court by stating it held an assignment of mortgage from 1986 when in fact it held no assignment at all. Moreover, the court in Jeff-Ray did not discuss the General Rule or consider whether equitable transfer of the mortgage occurred prior to filing the foreclosure complaint because the plaintiff had not alleged any facts that might have indicated such transfer occurred (e.g. purchase of the underlying debt or any indication the plaintiff held possession of the mortgage in 1986).

These recent Florida appellate court cases all support Deutsche Bank’s position that proof of ownership of the debt underlying a mortgage is sufficient under Florida law to equitably convey the mortgage to the debt holder. Moreover, these cases suggest a note specifically endorsed to a foreclosure plaintiff is sufficient proof of purchase of the debt underlying a mortgage to equitably convey such mortgage. Indeed, Riggs indicates the holder of a note endorsed in blank may hold an equitable interest in the mortgage securing the note.[24]

The trustee disputes this legal analysis and, in response, argues that an exception to the General Rule applies.[25] She interprets Johns[26] to create an exception to the General Rule that if a foreclosure plaintiff lacks a written assignment of the mortgage he must prove his purchase of the debt beyond merely establishing he is the holder of the note underlying the mortgage. The trustee relies on this sentence: “Or if there had been no written assignment, Gillian would be entitled to foreclose in equity upon proof of his purchase of the debt.” Noticeably absent from this sentence and the Johns decision, however, is any statement that a creditor’s proof of its status as holder of a promissory note is not proof of purchase of the debt. The trial court in Johns required testimony of Gillian to establish he purchased the mortgage debt because there were factual issues raised concerning the timing of the purchase of the note.[27] But nothing in Johns or the more recent Florida appellate court cases can credibly be construed as establishing an exception to the General Rule that would require a note holder to prove its purchase of the debt beyond simply establishing that it is indeed the note holder. Proof of a creditor’s status as holder of a note underlying a 191*191 mortgage is proof of purchase of the debt, and the previous ownership history of the note and mortgage is irrelevant.

The trustee’s argument also relies on a decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Court, applying Massachusetts law, to argue that Florida state courts require more than the original note to convey equitable title to a mortgage.[28] Because Massachusetts law treats the equitable assignment of mortgages very differently than Florida law, a Massachusetts court’s interpretation of the law of their state is irrelevant to this proceeding. Ibanez sums up well how Massachusetts law deals with equitable transfer of mortgages as follows:

In Massachusetts, where a note has been assigned but there is no written assignment of the mortgage underlying the note, the assignment of the note does not carry with it the assignment of the mortgage. [] Rather the holder of the mortgage holds the mortgage in trust for the purchaser of the note, who has an equitable right to obtain an assignment of the mortgage, which may be accomplished by filing an action in court and obtaining an equitable order of assignment.[29]

These procedures are quite different than Florida’s procedures and its General Rule. Unlike Massachusetts, Florida law does allow the assignment of a note to carry with it the implicit assignment of the mortgage. Indeed, Ibanez distinguishes Massachusetts law from such other states’ laws that provide for equitable assignment of a mortgage.[30] Massachusetts law simply differs from Florida law and, as such, cannot create any type of exception to the still valid Florida General Rule. A creditor who holds a validly endorsed promissory note is deemed to hold an equitable lien arising from the related mortgage, without any requirement to have a separate valid assignment of the mortgage.[31]

Deutsche Bank, however, still has not proven to either the trustee or the Court that it holds a validly endorsed promissory note evidencing its purchase of the debt on the disputed property. Therefore, Deutsche Bank cannot rely on the General Rule to avoid responding to the trustee’s discovery requests pertaining to the authenticity of the note. The trustee has raised in her complaint doubts concerning the authenticity and effectiveness of the endorsements on the allonge to the note. The copies of the note and mortgage attached as an exhibit to its response therefore are insufficient to establish Deutsche Bank’s status as holder of the note.

Because the trustee has raised issues concerning the authenticity of and authority to endorse the note and allonge, the Court will overrule Deutsche Bank’s objection and compel its response to interrogatory number 5, seeking the names and addresses of “each person whose signature appears on any endorsements on the Note or any allonge.” The Court similarly will overrule Deutsche Bank’s objections and 192*192 compel its response to requests for production numbers 7 and 30. These requests seek documents and information related to Deutsche Bank’s purchase of the note and the authority of the individual who signed the endorsement. The inquiries are relevant to whether Deutsche Bank is the holder of a properly endorsed note.

The Court will sustain Deutsche Bank’s objections to every other interrogatory[32] and document production request,[33] finding such requests are irrelevant and overbroad in light of the General Rule. In particular, information on the chain of title of the mortgage, which parties have ever held an interest in the note or mortgage, and the electronic records related to this mortgage is irrelevant to the question of whether Deutsche Bank now holds the original validly endorsed note.

Accordingly, the Court will partially grant and partially deny the trustee’s motion to compel and direct defendant Deutsche Bank to respond to certain of the trustee’s first set of interrogatories and document production requests on or before June 3, 2011, as specified above. A further pretrial conference is set in this adversary proceeding for 2:00 p.m. on June 22, 2011.

A separate order consistent with this memorandum opinion will be entered simultaneously.

DONE AND ORDERED.

[1] As discussed below, the trustee’s discovery requests actually were served on Deutsche Bank’s predecessor to this adversary proceeding, Aurora Loan Services. Deutsche Bank has stipulated for purposes of this motion to compel that such requests were served on it, too. The Court similarly assumes that Deutsche Bank is authorized to prosecute the objections to the trustee’s discovery requests previously articulated by Aurora Loan Services and, for purposes of this motion, the interest of Deutsche Bank and Aurora Loan Services are identical.

[2] Defendant’s Response to Trustee’s Amended and Renewed Motion to Compel Defendant’s Response to Trustee’s First Interrogatories and Trustee’s First Request for Production of Documents and Incorporated Memorandum of Law (Doc. No. 25). A list of defendant’s specific objections to particular interrogatories and production requests is attached to its Response as Exhibit B.

[3] Trustee’s Amended and Renewed Motion to Compel Defendant’s Response to Trustee’s First Interrogatories and Trustee’s First Request for Production of Documents (Doc. No. 23).

[4] All references to the Bankruptcy Code are to Title 11 of the United States Code.

[5] Doc. No. 22 in the Main Case.

[6] Doc. No. 36 in the Main Case.

[7] Doc. Nos. 7, 8.

[8] Doc. No. 15.

[9] Fn. 4 of Defendant’s Response (Doc. No. 25). Deutsche Bank has adopted Aurora’s objections by incorporating them as Exhibit B to its Response.

[10] Doc. No. 17.

[11] Doc. No. 19.

[12] Doc. Nos. 23, 24.

[13] Doc. No. 25.

[14] Doc. No. 25 and Ex. B thereto set forth the bank’s specific objections.

[15] Paragraph 16 of the copy of the mortgage attached as Exhibit A to Defendant’s Response (Doc. No. 25) states the applicable law is the “law in which the property is located.” The property is located in Rockledge, Florida, and neither party disputes that Florida law applies.

[16] Johns v. Gillian, 134 Fla. 575, 184 So. 140, 143 (1938) (citations omitted).

[17] Id. (quoting 41 C.J., Mortgages, Sec. 686, p. 677) (quotations omitted).

[18] Id. at 143-44 (citing Pease v. Warren, 29 Mich. 9, 18 Am.Rep 58).

[19] Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, 36 So.3d 932 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010) (per curiam); WM Specialty Mortgage, LLC, v. Salomon, 874 So.2d 680, 682-3 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004).

[20] 36 So.3d at 933-34.

[21] Id.

[22] WM Specialty Mortgage, 874 So.2d at 682-3.

[23] 566 So.2d 885, 886 (Fla 4th DCA 1990).

[24] 36 So.3d at 933-34.

[25] Doc. No. 24.

[26] 184 So. at 143.

[27] Specifically, one of the main issues in Johns was whether a possibly dissolved corporation properly transferred its ownership of a mortgage. Because factual issues arose as to the timing of the corporation’s assignment of the mortgage, the purported purchaser of the note and mortgage testified in court as to his purchase of the debt. Johns makes no mention of the lack of a written assignment of the mortgage as the reason for the purported note holder’s testimony. The trustee’s interpretation of Johns as establishing a requirement under Florida law that without a written assignment of mortgage a purported note holder must go beyond proof of its status as note holder to establish the purchase of the debt, including chain of title and the entire ownership history of the note, therefore is strained and unsupported by the facts of the case.

[28] U.S. Bank N.A. v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637, 941 N.E.2d 40, 53-4 (2011).

[29] Id. (citations omitted).

[30] Id. (citing Barnes v. Boardman, 149 Mass. 106, 114, 21 N.E. 308 (1889) and quoting within the citation “In some jurisdictions it is held that the mere transfer of the debt, without any assignment or even mention of the mortgage, carries the mortgage with it, so as to enable the assignee to assert his title in an action at law … This doctrine has not prevailed in Massachusetts….”).

[31] The trustee also argues the Florida U.C.C. has abolished the General Rule. This proposition has no support in either the Florida U.C.C. or, as demonstrated by the recent Fourth D.C.A. decisions discussed above, in Florida case law.

[32] In particular, the objections are sustained as to interrogatory numbers: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17.

[33] In particular, the objections are sustained as to requests for production numbers: 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23.

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Amicus Brief of Washington State Attorney General Robert M. McKenna – Bain v. Metropolitan Mortgage and Selkowitz v. Litton Loan Servicing LP “MERS”

Amicus Brief of Washington State Attorney General Robert M. McKenna – Bain v. Metropolitan Mortgage and Selkowitz v. Litton Loan Servicing LP “MERS”


SUPREME COURT OF
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON

KRISTIN BAIN

vs

METROPOLITAN MORTGAGE GROUP INC. et al

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Bain v. MERS (Wash. Supreme Court) Amicus of Atty Shawn Newman on behalf of Organization United for Reform (OUR) – Washington

Bain v. MERS (Wash. Supreme Court) Amicus of Atty Shawn Newman on behalf of Organization United for Reform (OUR) – Washington


Bain v. Metropolitan is set for hearing on March 15. This is an amicus from attorney Shawn Timothy Newman for Organization United for Reform (OUR) – Washington.

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U.S. Plans to Sue Banks Over Mortgage-Related Actions Linked to the Financial Crisis – WSJ

U.S. Plans to Sue Banks Over Mortgage-Related Actions Linked to the Financial Crisis – WSJ


Yea… OK… Just like you gave them a free pass over the Foreclosure Fraud. Aren’t most working for the Obama Administration?

Elections are around the corner!

WSJ-

Federal securities regulators plan to warn several major banks that they intend to sue them over mortgage-related actions linked to the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move would mark a stepped-up regulatory effort to hold Wall Street accountable for its sale of bonds linked to subprime mortgages in 2007 and 2008. At issue is whether the banks misrepresented the poor quality of loan pools they bundled and sold to investors, the people said.

It isn’t clear which firms will receive the formal Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement warnings, known as “Wells notices.”

Banks whose activities …

[WALL STREET JOURNAL]

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IN RE: MILLER | 10th Cir. Court of Appeals Reverses 10th Cir. BAP “Under the U.C.C. … Deutsche Bank failed to show that it is the current holder of IndyMac’s Note”

IN RE: MILLER | 10th Cir. Court of Appeals Reverses 10th Cir. BAP “Under the U.C.C. … Deutsche Bank failed to show that it is the current holder of IndyMac’s Note”


 United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

IN RE MILLER
In re: MARK STANLEY MILLER, also known as A Moment to Remember Photo & Video, also known as Illusion Studioz; JAMILEH MILLER, Debtors. MARK STANLEY MILLER; JAMILEH MILLER, Appellants,
v.
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, Appellee.

 No. 11-1232.

 February 1, 2012.

EXCERPT:

3. The BAP Appeal

The Millers appealed the bankruptcy court’s order granting relief from stay to the BAP. The BAP began its decision by noting that “[t]he details surrounding the assignment to Deutsche Bank are not part of the record on appeal.” Aplee. Supp. App. at 6 n.8. In particular, the record submitted to the BAP did not even contain a copy of the Note, much less the original.

In its decision, the BAP spent little time discussing the adequacy of proof that Deutsche Bank was in possession of the original Note, and the legal consequences thereof. Instead, the BAP relied on the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. See Rooker v. Fid. Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923); D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983). Though noting that the bankruptcy court had not expressly mentioned this doctrine, it concluded that the court had relied on the state court’s decision on the standing issue. The BAP further concluded that in light of this doctrine, which generally prohibits federal courts from entertaining suits by parties who have lost in state court and who seek review of state court decisions in federal court, “the bankruptcy court properly declined to revisit the state court’s decision that Deutsche Bank was an `interested person’ entitled to a Rule 120 order of sale.” Aplee. Supp. App. at 16. Armed with the state-court decision finding Deutsche Bank had standing to proceed with the foreclosure, the BAP reached a further conclusion that Deutsche Bank had standing to seek relief from stay.

[…]

We conclude that neither the Rooker-Feldman doctrine nor issue preclusion applies to prevent a federal court from determining whether Deutsche Bank is a “party in interest” entitled to seek relief from stay. Because the BAP incorrectly relied on Rooker-Feldman and because neither the bankruptcy court nor the BAP conducted a proper statutory standing analysis under § 362(d), we could simply stop our analysis here and remand for a further consideration of the standing issue. The parties, however, have presented arguments on the merits concerning standing, and the sufficiency of Deutsche Bank’s showing concerning standing in this case is a legal issue that can be resolved on appeal. We will therefore now proceed to discuss why Deutsche Bank has failed to demonstrate its standing as a “party in interest.”

4. Deutsche Bank’s Status as “Party in Interest”

We return to the key question: is Deutsche Bank a “creditor” of the Millers with standing to seek relief from stay? To answer this question, we turn to the Bankruptcy Code. According to the Bankruptcy Code, a “creditor” includes an “entity that has a claim against the debtor.” 11 U.S.C. § 101(10)(a). A “claim” is a “right to payment.” Id. § 101(5)(A).

Does Deutsche Bank have a “right to payment” from the Millers? In examining this question, we begin with the principle that “[w]ithin the context of a bankruptcy proceeding, state law governs the determination of property rights.” In re Mims, 438 B.R. 52, 56 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2010). We must therefore turn to Colorado law, in particular that state’s version of the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C. or Code).

We ask first how Colorado law would classify the Note signed by the Millers. Under Colorado law, a promise or order such as the Note is payable “to order” “if it is payable (i) to the order of an identified person or (ii) to an identified person or order.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 4-3-109(b). The Note at issue here is payable “to the order of Lender. Lender is IndyMac Bank, F.S.B., a federally chartered savings bank[.]” Aplt. App., Vol. I at 14. Thus, the Note is payable to the “order” of IndyMac Bank under § 4-3-109(b).

But “[a]n instrument payable to an identified person [such as IndyMac Bank] may become payable to bearer if it is indorsed in blank pursuant to section 4-3-205(b).” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 4-3-109(c).7 Section 4-3-205(b) provides that “[i]f an indorsement is made by the holder of an instrument and it is not a special indorsement, it is a `blank indorsement.’ When indorsed in blank, an instrument becomes payable to bearer and may be negotiated by transfer of possession alone until specifically indorsed.” (emphasis added).

Deutsche Bank presented evidence that IndyMac had indorsed the Note in blank. Is proof of this indorsement sufficient under the U.C.C. requirements to establish Deutsche Bank as the successor holder of the note? As we shall see, it is not, because Deutsche Bank must also prove it has possession of the Note.

The U.C.C. identifies the requirements for “negotiation” of a note, that is, for “transfer of possession . . . to a person who thereby becomes its holder.” Id. § 4-3-201(a). This statute provides that “if an instrument is payable to an identified person, negotiation requires transfer of possession of the instrument and its indorsement by the holder.” Id. § 4-3-201(b) (emphasis added). The Official Commentary to section 4-3-201 explains that negotiation “always requires a change in possession of the instrument because nobody can be a holder without possessing the instrument, either directly or through an agent.” (emphasis added). See also Colo. Rev. Stat. § 4-1-201(b)(20)(A) (defining “holder” of negotiable instrument as “person in possession” of it).

“Possession is an element designed to prevent two or more claimants from qualifying as holders who could take free of the other party’s claim of ownership.” Georg v. Metro Fixtures Contractors, Inc., 178 P.3d 1209, 1213 (Colo. 2008) (citation omitted).8 “With rare exceptions, those claiming to be holders have physical ownership of the instrument in question.” Id. (citation omitted).9 In the case of bearer paper such as the Note, physical possession is essential because it constitutes proof of ownership and a consequent right to payment.10

While Deutsche Bank has offered proof that IndyMac assigned the Note in blank, it elicited no proof that Deutsche Bank in fact obtained physical possession of the original Note from IndyMac, either voluntarily or otherwise.11 Under the U.C.C. requirements, Deutsche Bank has therefore failed to show that it is the current holder of the Note.

Colorado law does not limit enforcement of an obligation to a holder who received the instrument through negotiation. A note may also be enforced by a transferee. See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 4-3-203. “Transfer of an instrument, whether or not the transfer is a negotiation, vests in the transferee any right of the transferor to enforce the instrument.” Id. § 4-3-203(b). But transfer requires delivery: “An instrument is transferred when it is delivered by a person other than its issuer for the purpose of giving to the person receiving delivery the right to enforce the instrument.” Id. § 4-3-203(a) (emphasis added). “Delivery” with respect to an instrument “means voluntary transfer of possession” of the instrument. Id. § 4-1-201(14). Because Deutsche Bank has failed to prove transfer of possession of the original Note it has failed to establish its status as a transferee.

Deutsche Bank also argues that it has standing because under Colorado law it can initiate a public trustee foreclosure without producing the original Note. It cites Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-38-101(1), which provides that the “holder of an evidence of debt” may initiate a foreclosure. An “evidence of debt” includes a promissory note such as the Note at issue here. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-38-100.3(8). Under certain circumstances, the “holder of an evidence of debt” can file a public trustee foreclosure without supplying the original note. See id. § 38-38-101(b)(I)-(III).

But this argument depends, first, on Deutsche Bank’s ability to show that it is a “holder of an evidence of debt.” Article 38 defines a “holder of an evidence of debt” as a person “in actual possession of” or “entitled to enforce an evidence of debt.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 38-38-100.3(10) (emphasis added). Section 38-38-100.3(10) lists a number of presumptive holders of a debt presumed to be the “holder of an evidence of debt.” Each of these requires possession of the evidence of debt, which Deutsche Bank has thus far failed to demonstrate. See id. § 38-38-100.3(10)(a)-(d).

Deutsche Bank appears to argue that notwithstanding its failure to prove it has actual possession of the Note, it qualifies as a “person entitled to enforce an evidence of debt” under § 38-38-100.3(10) and thus is a “holder of an evidence of debt” because (1) it holds a copy of the Note indorsed in blank and (2) it can initiate a foreclosure without presenting the original Note to the public trustee. Deutsche Bank contends that it is a “qualified holder,” see id. § 38-38-100.3(21), that would be permitted under Colorado law to foreclose without presenting the original note, see id. § 38-38-101(B)(II). But foreclosure under this provision requires either the bank or its attorney to execute a statement “citing the paragraph of section 38-38-100.3(20) under which the holder claims to be a qualified holder and certifying or stating that the copy of the evidence of debt is true and correct” and that the bank agrees to “indemnify and defend any person liable for repayment of any portion of the original evidence of debt in the event that the original evidence of debt is presented for payment to the extent of any amount, other than the amount of a deficiency remaining under the evidence of debt after deducting the amount bid at sale, and any person who sustains a loss due to any title defect that results from reliance upon a sale at which the original evidence of debt was not presented.” Id. §§ 38-38-101(b)(II), 38-38-101(2)(a). There is no evidence that Deutsche Bank or its attorneys have executed such a certification or intend to do so. We therefore reject Deutsche Bank’s claim to standing founded on these statutes.

5. Conclusion

For the foregoing reasons, the evidence is insufficient as it currently stands to establish that Deutsche Bank is a “party in interest” entitled to seek relief from stay. The bankruptcy court therefore abused its discretion by granting Deutsche Bank relief from stay.

The Millers raise a number of other objections to the proceedings and orders in the bankruptcy court and the BAP but we need not reach any of them in light of the remand we now order. The judgment of the BAP is REVERSED and the case is REMANDED to the BAP with instructions to remand to the bankruptcy court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion. The Millers’ motion for leave to file a supplemental appendix is DENIED.

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DEUTSCHE BANK NAT. TRUST v. BRUMBAUGH | OK SC “there is a question of fact as to when Appellee became a holder, and thus, a person entitled to enforce the note”

DEUTSCHE BANK NAT. TRUST v. BRUMBAUGH | OK SC “there is a question of fact as to when Appellee became a holder, and thus, a person entitled to enforce the note”


DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST v. BRUMBAUGH
2012 OK 3
Case Number: 109223
Decided: 01/17/2012

THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA


Cite as: 2012 OK 3, __ P.3d __


NOTICE: THIS OPINION HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED FOR PUBLICATION IN THE PERMANENT LAW REPORTS. UNTIL RELEASED, IT IS SUBJECT TO REVISION OR WITHDRAWAL.

 


DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST, AS TRUSTEE FOR LONG BEACH MORTGAGE LOAN 2002-1, Plaintiff/Appellee,
v.
DENNIS BRUMBAUGH, Defendant/Appellant.

ON APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF TULSA COUNTY
HONORABLE LINDA G. MORRISSEY
DISTRICT JUDGE

¶0 The Plaintiff /Appellee, Deutsche Bank National Trust as Trustee for Long Beach Mortgage Loan 2002-1, filed this foreclosure action against the Defendant/Appellant, Dennis Brumbaugh. Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment which was granted by the trial court. Defendant contends there is not enough evidence to show Plaintiff has standing. Plaintiff asserts it is the holder of the note and has standing. We find there are material issues of fact that need to be determined and summary judgment is not appropriate.

REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS

Phillip A. Taylor, TAYLOR & ASSOCIATES, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, for Defendant/Appellant.
Ray E. Zschiesche, PHILLIPS MURRAH P.C., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Plaintiff/Appellee.

COMBS, J.

FACTS

¶1 This is an appeal from a foreclosure action initiated by Appellee, Deutsche Bank National Trust As Trustee for Long Beach Mortgage Loan 2002-1 (Appellee) against Appellant Dennis Brumbaugh (Appellant) and others. Appellant and his wife, Debra Brumbaugh, (Brumbaughs) executed a note and mortgage with Long Beach Mortgage Company on February 27, 2002. On December 27, 2006, the Brumbaughs entered into a loan modification agreement with U.S. Bank, N.A., successor trustee to Wachovia Bank, N.A. (formerly known as First Union National Bank), as Trustee for Long Beach Mortgage Loan Trust 2002-1, Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2002-1 in trust for the benefit of the Certificateholders. On July 20, 2007, the Brumbaughs divorced, and in 2008, Debra Brumbaugh executed a quitclaim deed to Dennis Brumbaugh.

¶2 Appellant defaulted on the note in January 2009, and Appellee filed its petition for foreclosure on June 2, 2009. Attached to the petition was a copy of the note, mortgage, loan modification agreement, and copies of statements of judgments and liens by other entities. Appellee claims it is the present holder of the note and mortgage having received due assignment through mesne assignments of record or conveyance via mortgage servicing transfer. The Appellant answered, denying Appellee owns any interest in the note and mortgage, and the copies attached to the petition were not the same as those he signed. He claims Appellee lacked capacity to sue and the trial court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter. He also denied being in default and asserted the Appellee/servicing agent caused the alleged default.

¶3 On April 1, 2010, Appellee filed a motion for summary judgment. Attached to the motion was an affidavit from an employee of JP Morgan Chase Bank (Chase) as the servicing agent for Appellee. The affidavit states the Appellee is the current owner and holder of the original note, mortgage, and the modification agreements. However, there is no mention of when Appellee became the holder.

¶4 Appellant asserts in his response to the motion for summary judgment that Appellee failed to prove the affiant is a competent witness and no documentation was presented that connects Appellant to Appellee. The note attached to the petition and the motion did not show it had been negotiated to any other party including Appellee. Negotiation requires transfer of possession of the instrument and its indorsement by the holder. 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-201(b). He asserts because there is no indorsement whatsoever by Long Beach Mortgage Company attached to the petition and motion for summary judgment, Appellee cannot be the holder of the note. Therefore, Appellant asserts Appellee cannot be the real party in interest. However, in Appellee’s reply to Appellant’s response to the motion for summary judgment and at the hearing, a copy of the note with a blank, undated indorsement signed by Long Beach Mortgage Company was attached and presented.

¶5 Appellee asserts that even if negotiation of the note was at issue, Appellee has possession of the note and that satisfies the “negotiation” requirements of 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-201. Further, the Chase affiant has personal knowledge because he reviewed and examined the account files and Chase is the servicing agent for Appellee. Appellee further asserts, it has the original note and mortgage, and is therefore, the real party in interest.

¶6 The trial court reviewed the note presented at the hearing and agreed with Appellee that Appellee was the holder of the note because it had possession of the note and it was indorsed in blank. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellee on January 27, 2011.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶7 An appeal on summary judgment comes to this court as a de novo review. Carmichael v. Beller, 1996 OK 48, ¶2, 914 P.2d 1051, 1053. All inferences and conclusions are to be drawn from the underlying facts contained in the record and are to be considered in the light most favorable to the party opposing the summary judgment. Rose v. Sapulpa Rural Water Co., 1981 OK 85, 621 P.2d 752. Summary judgment is improper if, under the evidentiary materials, reasonable individuals could reach different factual conclusions. Gaines v. Comanche County Medical Hospital, 2006 OK 39, ¶4, 143 P.3d 203, 205.

ANALYSIS

¶8 The Uniform Commercial Code adopted in Oklahoma, 12A O.S. 2001, § 1-101 et seq., defines who is a “person entitled to enforce” the note (instrument).1 A “person entitled to enforce” the note requires possession of the note with a very limited exception.2 It will be either one who is a “holder” of the note or a “nonholder in possession of the note who has the rights of a holder.”3

¶9 Appellee must demonstrate it is a person entitled to enforce the note. It must provide evidence it has possession of the note either by being a holder or a nonholder in possession who has the rights of a holder. Appellee attached to its Reply to Defendant’s Response to Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment a copy of the note with a blank indorsement from Long Beach Mortgage Company. Appellee states this allonge4 was inadvertently omitted from the copy of the note that was attached to its Motion for Summary Judgment. However, this allonge was not attached to the Petition for Foreclosure of Mortgage. Appellee is trying to establish it is a “holder” of the note. Evidence establishing when Appellee became a person entitled to enforce the note must show Appellee was a person entitled to enforce the note prior to filing its cause of action for foreclosure.

¶10 Appellant argues Appellee does not have standing to bring this foreclosure action. The issue presented to this Court is standing. This Court has previously held:

Standing, as a jurisdictional question, may be correctly raised at any level of the judicial process or by the Court on its own motion. This Court has consistently held that standing to raise issues in a proceeding must be predicated on interest that is “direct, immediate and substantial.” Standing determines whether the person is the proper party to request adjudication of a certain issue and does not decide the issue itself. The key element is whether the party whose standing is challenged has sufficient interest or stake in the outcome.

Matter of the Estate of Doan, 1986 OK 15, ¶7, 727 P.2d 574, 576. In Hendrick v. Walters, 1993 OK 162, ¶ 4, 865 P.2d 1232, 1234, this Court also held:

Respondent challenges Petitioner’s standing to bring the tendered issue. Standing refers to a person’s legal right to seek relief in a judicial forum. It may be raised as an issue at any stage of the judicial process by any party or by the court sua sponte. (emphasis original)

Furthermore, in Fent v. Contingency Review Board, 2007 OK 27, footnote 19, 163 P.3d 512, 519, this Court stated “[s]tanding may be raised at any stage of the judicial process or by the court on its own motion.” Additionally in Fent, this Court stated:

Standing refers to a person’s legal right to seek relief in a judicial forum. The three threshold criteria of standing are (1) a legally protected interest which must have been injured in fact- i.e., suffered an injury which is actual, concrete and not conjectural in nature, (2) a causal nexus between the injury and the complained-of conduct, and (3) a likelihood, as opposed to mere speculation, that the injury is capable of being redressed by a favorable court decision. The doctrine of standing ensures a party has a personal stake in the outcome of a case and the parties are truly adverse.

Fent v. Contingency Review Board, 2007 OK 27, ¶7, 163 P.3d 512, 519-520. In essence, a plaintiff who has not suffered an injury attributable to the defendant lacks standing to bring a suit. And, thus, “standing [must] be determined as of the commencement of suit.” Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 570, n.5, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 2142, 119 L.Ed. 351 (1992).

¶11 To commence a foreclosure action in Oklahoma, a plaintiff must demonstrate it has a right to enforce the note and, absent a showing of ownership, the plaintiff lacks standing. Gill v. First Nat. Bank & Trust Co. of Oklahoma City, 1945 OK 181, 159 P.2d 717.5 Being a person entitled to enforce the note is an essential requirement to initiate a foreclosure lawsuit. In the present case, there is a question of fact as to when Appellee became a holder, and thus, a person entitled to enforce the note. Therefore, summary judgment is not appropriate. If Deutsche Bank became a person entitled to enforce the note as either a holder or nonholder in possession who has the rights of a holder after the foreclosure action was filed, then the case may be dismissed without prejudice and the action may be re-filed in the name of the proper party. We reverse the granting of summary judgment by the trial court and remand back for further determinations as to when Appellee acquired its interest in the note.

CONCLUSION

¶12 It is a fundamental precept of the law to expect a foreclosing party to actually be in possession of its claimed interest in the note, and have the proper supporting documentation in hand when filing suit, showing the history of the note, so the defendant is duly apprised of the rights of the plaintiff. This is accomplished by establishing that the party is a holder of the instrument or a nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder, or a person not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the instrument pursuant to 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-309 or 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-418. 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-301. Likewise, for the homeowners, absent adjudication on the underlying indebtedness, the dismissal cannot cancel their obligation arising from an authenticated note, or loan modification, or insulate them from foreclosure proceedings based on proven delinquency. See, U.S. Bank National Association v. Kimball 27 A.3d 1087, 75 UCC Rep.Serv.2d 100, 2011 VT 81 (VT 2011); and Indymac Bank, F.S.B. v. Yano-Horoski, 78 A.D.3d 895, 912 N.Y.S.2d 239 (2010).

REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS

¶13 CONCUR: TAYLOR (This Court’s decision in no way releases or exonerates the debt owed by the defendants on this home.), C.J., KAUGER (joins Taylor, C.J.), WATT, WINCHESTER (joins Taylor, C.J.), EDMONDSON, REIF, COMBS, GURICH (joins Taylor, C.J.), JJ.

¶14 RECUSED: COLBERT, V.C.J.

FOOTNOTES

112A O.S. 2001, § 3-301.

2 A person who is not reasonably able to obtain possession of the note because it was lost, destroyed, in the wrongful possession of another, or it is paid or accepted by mistake. 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-301.

3 A holder is a person in possession of the note that is payable either to bearer (blank indorsement) or to an identified person (special indorsement) that is the person in possession. 12A O.S. 2001, §§ 1-201(b)(21), 3-204 and 3-205. A “nonholder in possession who has the rights of a holder” is a person in possession of the note but the note was not indorsed by the previous holder; special indorsement or blank indorsement. No negotiation has occurred because the person now in possession did not become a holder by lack of the note being indorsed as mentioned. An example would be when a sale of notes in bulk is made by the holder to a transferee and the holder is transferring the right to enforce the notes even though there has been no negotiation. (See the REPORT OF THE PERMANENT EDITORIAL BOARD FOR THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE, APPLICATION OF THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE TO SELECTED ISSUES RELATING TO MORTGAGE NOTES (NOVEMBER 14, 2011)). Negotiation is the voluntary or involuntary transfer of an instrument by a person other than the issuer to a person who thereby becomes its holder. 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-201. Transfer occurs when the instrument is delivered by a person other than its issuer for the purpose of giving to the person receiving delivery the right to enforce the instrument. 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-203. Delivery of the note would still have to occur even though there is no negotiation. Delivery is defined as the voluntary transfer of possession. 12A O.S. 2001, § 1-201(b)(15). The transferee would then be vested with any right of the transferor to enforce the note. 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-203(b). Some jurisdictions have held that without holder status and therefore the presumption of a right to enforce, the possessor of the note must demonstrate both the fact of the delivery and the purpose of the delivery of the note to the transferee in order to qualify as the person entitled to enforce. In re Veal, 450 B.R. 897, 912 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2011).

4According to Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009) an allonge is “[a] slip of paper sometimes attached to a negotiable instrument for the purpose of receiving further indorsements when the original paper is filled with indorsements.” See, 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-204(a).

5 This opinion occurred prior to the enactment of the UCC and as explained in footnote 3 of this opinion, the person entitled to enforce the note in almost all situations is required to be in possession of the note and therefore if the owner of the note is not in possession of the note it is not a person entitled to enforce the note. (See the REPORT OF THE PERMANENT EDITORIAL BOARD FOR THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE, APPLICATION OF THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE TO SELECTED ISSUES RELATING TO MORTGAGE NOTES (NOVEMBER 14, 2011)).

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Deutsche Bank Nat.Trust v. Byrams | OK SC “Without an indorsement on the note the Appellee cannot be a holder of the note”

Deutsche Bank Nat.Trust v. Byrams | OK SC “Without an indorsement on the note the Appellee cannot be a holder of the note”


DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY v. BYRAMS
2012 OK 4
Case Number: 108545
Decided: 01/17/2012

THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA

NOTICE: THIS OPINION HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED FOR PUBLICATION IN THE PERMANENT LAW REPORTS. UNTIL RELEASED, IT IS SUBJECT TO REVISION OR WITHDRAWAL.

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE IN TRUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS FOR ARGENT SECURITIES INC., ASSET-BACKED PASS THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-W2, Plaintiff/Appellee,

v.

JEVESTER BYRAMS, JR. and NATACHA BYRAMS, ET AL Defendant/Appellant,

ON APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF CREEK COUNTY
HONORABLE LAWRENCE W. PARISH
DISTRICT JUDGE

¶0 Appeal of a summary judgment granted in Deutsche Bank National Trust Company’s favor against the Byramses on May 11, 2010. The Byramses filed a petition and motion to vacate, as well as, requests to stay any proceedings regarding the property. The parties appeared before the trial court on June 15, 2010, and the petition, motion and other requests were denied. The order was filed on July 6, 2010. The Byrams appealed on July 28, 2010, and this Court retained the matter on April 21, 2011.

REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS

Phillip A. Taylor, TAYLOR & ASSOCIATES, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, for Defendant/Appellants.
A. Grant Schwabe, KIVELL, RAYMENT AND FRANCIS, P.C., Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Plaintiff/Appellee.

COMBS, J.

FACTUAL AND PROCURAL HISTORY

¶1 In a petition filed on December 8, 2009, Deutsche Bank National Trust company, as Trustee in Trust for the benefit of the Certificate Holders for Argent Securities Inc., Asset-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-W2,claiming to be the present holder of the note (hereinafter Deutsche Bank) filed a foreclosure action against the Byramses. Deutsche Bank claimed at that time to hold the note and mortgage having received due assignment through mesne assignments of record or conveyance via mortgage servicing transfer. A review of the note shows no indorsement. Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, was the original lender. In its brief in support of motion for summary judgment, filed March 9, 2010, Deutsche Bank attached a document entitled “Assignment of Mortgage.” This assignment of mortgage was acknowledged on January 12, 2010, and stamped as being recorded with the County Clerk of Tulsa County on January 26, 2010. This was over one month after the filing of the foreclosure proceeding (December 8, 2009). Additionally, this Assignment of Mortgage, from Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, by Citi Residential Lending, Inc., made to plaintiff, Deutsche Bank as the trustee of Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, was signed by Citi Residential Lending, Inc. Both the assignor and assignee list the same address, “c/oAmerican Home Mtg Servicing, Inc. 1525 S. Beltline Rd, Coppell, TX 75019.” A summary judgment granted in Deutsche Bank’s favor against the Byrams on May 11, 2010, memorialized a final journal entry of judgment order. A petition for new trial to vacate the final journal entry of judgment, and motion to dismiss plaintiff’s petition for lack of standing was filed on May 21, 2010, which was denied by order on June 28, 2010, by the trial court. The Byrams appeal this summary judgment arguing Deutsche Bank National Trust Company failed to demonstrate standing.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

¶2 An appeal on summary judgment comes to this court as a de novo review. Carmichael v. Beller, 1996 OK 48, ¶2, 914 P.2d 1051, 1053. All inferences and conclusions are to be drawn from the underlying facts contained in the record and are to be considered in the light most favorable to the party opposing the summary judgment. Rose v. Sapulpa Rural Water Co., 1981 OK 85, 631 P.2d 752. Summary judgment is improper if, under the evidentiary materials, reasonable individuals could reach different factual conclusions. Gaines v. Comanche County Medical Hospital, 2006 OK 39, ¶4, 143 P.3d 203, 205.

ANALYSIS

¶3 Appellant argues Appellee does not have standing to bring this foreclosure action. Although Appellee has argued it holds the note, there is no evidence in the record supporting it is a holder of the note. The face of the note does not indicate it was indorsed and the purported “assignment of mortgage” was filed after the filing of the foreclosure proceedings.

¶4 The issue presented to this Court is standing. This Court has previously held:

Standing, as a jurisdictional question, may be correctly raised at any level of the judicial process or by the Court on its own motion. This Court has consistently held that standing to raise issues in a proceeding must be predicated on interest that is “direct, immediate and substantial.” Standing determines whether the person is the proper party to request adjudication of a certain issue and does not decide the issue itself. The key element is whether the party whose standing is challenged has sufficient interest or stake in the outcome.

Matter of the Estate of Doan, 1986 OK 15, ¶7, 727 P.2d 574, 576. In Hendrick v. Walters, 1993 OK 162, ¶ 4, 865 P.2d 1232, 1234, this Court also held:

Respondent challenges Petitioner’s standing to bring the tendered issue. Standing refers to a person’s legal right to seek relief in a judicial forum. It may be raised as an issue at any stage of the judicial process by any party or by the court sua sponte. (emphasis original)

Furthermore, in Fent v. Contingency Review Board, 2007 OK 27, footnote 19, 163 P.3d 512, 519, this Court stated “[s]tanding may be raised at any stage of the judicial process or by the court on its own motion.” Additionally in Fent, this Court stated:

Standing refers to a person’s legal right to seek relief in a judicial forum. The three threshold criteria of standing are (1) a legally protected interest which must have been injured in fact- i.e., suffered an injury which is actual, concrete and not conjectural in nature, (2) a causal nexus between the injury and the complained-of conduct, and (3) a likelihood, as opposed to mere speculation, that the injury is capable of being redressed by a favorable court decision. The doctrine of standing ensures a party has a personal stake in the outcome of a case and the parties are truly adverse.

Fent v. Contingency Review Board, 2007 OK 27, ¶7, 163 P.3d 512, 519-520. In essence, a plaintiff who has not suffered an injury attributable to the defendant lacks standing to bring a suit. And, thus, “standing [must] be determined as of the commencement of suit; . . .” Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 570, n.5, 112 S.Ct. 2130, 2142, 119 L.Ed. 351 (1992).

¶5 To commence a foreclosure action in Oklahoma, a plaintiff must demonstrate it has a right to enforce the note and, absent a showing of ownership, the plaintiff lacks standing. Gill v. First Nat. Bank & Trust Co. of Oklahoma City, 1945 OK 181, 159 P.2d 717.1 An assignment of the mortgage, however, is of no consequence because under Oklahoma law, “[p]roof of ownership of the note carried with it ownership of the mortgage security.” Engle v. Federal Nat. Mortg. Ass’n, 1956 OK 176, ¶7, 300 P.2d 997, 999. Therefore, in Oklahoma it is not possible to bifurcate the security interest from the note.” BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P. v. White, 2011 OK CIV APP 35, ¶ 10, 256 P.3d 1014, 1017. Because the note is a negotiable instrument, it is subject to the requirements of the UCC. Thus, a foreclosing entity has the burden of proving it is a “person entitled to enforce an instrument” by showing it was “(i) the holder of the instrument, (ii) a nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder, or (iii) a person not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the instrument pursuant to Section 12A-3-309 or subsection (d) of Section 12A-3-418 of this title.” 12A O.S. 2001 §3-301.

¶6 To show you are the “holder” of the note you must prove you are in possession of the note and the note is either “payable to bearer” (blank indorsement) or to an identified person that is the person in possession (special indorsement).2 Therefore, both possession of the note and an indorsement on the note or attached allonge3 are required in order for one to be a “holder” of the note.

¶7 To be a “nonholder in possession who has the rights of a holder” you must be in possession of a note that has not been indorsed either by special indorsement or blank indorsement. The record in this case reflects the note has not been indorsed. No negotiation has occurred because the person now in possession did not become a holder by lack of the note being indorsed as mentioned. Negotiation is the voluntary or involuntary transfer of an instrument by a person other than the issuer to a person who thereby becomes its holder. 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-201. Transfer occurs when the instrument is delivered by a person other than its issuer for the purpose of giving to the person receiving delivery the right to enforce the instrument. 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-203. Delivery of the note would still have to occur even though there is no negotiation. Delivery is defined as the voluntary transfer of possession. 12A O.S. 2001, § 1-201(b)(15). The transferee would then be vested with any right of the transferor to enforce the note. 12A O.S. 2001, 3-203(b). Some jurisdictions have held that without holder status and therefore the presumption of a right to enforce, the possessor of the note must demonstrate both the fact of the delivery and the purpose of the delivery of the note to the transferee in order to qualify as the person entitled to enforce. In re Veal, 450 B.R. 897, 912 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2011). See also, 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-203.

¶8 In the present case, Appellee has only presented evidence of an unindorsed note and an “Assignment of Mortgage.” Without an indorsement on the note the Appellee cannot be a holder of the note. Therefore, from the record presented to this Court, the Appellee must assert it is a nonholder in possession who has the rights of a holder.

¶9 The assignment of a mortgage is not the same as an assignment of the note. If a person is trying to establish it is a nonholder in possession who has the rights of a holder it must bear the burden of establishing its status as a nonholder in possession with the rights of a holder. Appellee must establish delivery of the note as well as the purpose of that delivery. In the present case, it appears Appellee is trying to use the assignment of mortgage in order to establish the purpose of delivery. The assignment of mortgage purports to transfer “the following described mortgage, securing the payment of a certain promissory note(s) for the sum listed below, together with all rights therein and thereto, all liens created or secured thereby, all obligations therein described, the money due and to become due thereon with interest, and all rights accrued or to accrue under such mortgage.” This language has been determined by other jurisdictions to not effect an assignment of a note but to be useful only in identifying the mortgage. Therefore, this language is neither proof of transfer of the note nor proof of the purpose of any alleged transfer. See, In re Veal, 450 B.R. 897, 905 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2011).

¶10 Appellee must show it became a “person entitled to enforce” prior to the filing of the foreclosure proceeding. In the present case, there is a question of fact as to when and if this occurred and summary judgment is not appropriate. Therefore, we reverse the granting of summary judgment by the trial court and remand back for further determinations. If Deutsche Bank became a person entitled to enforce the note as either a holder or nonholder in possession who has the rights of a holder after the foreclosure action was filed, then the case may be dismissed without prejudice and the action may be re-filed in the name of the proper party.

CONCLUSION

¶11 It is a fundamental precept of the law to expect a foreclosing party to actually be in possession of its claimed interest in the note, and have the proper supporting documentation in hand when filing suit, showing the history of the note, so that the defendant is duly apprised of the rights of the plaintiff. This is accomplished by showing the party is a holder of the instrument or a nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder, or a person not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the instrument pursuant to 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-309 or 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-418. Likewise, for the homeowners, absent adjudication on the underlying indebtedness, the dismissal cannot cancel their obligation arising from an authenticated note, or insulate them from foreclosure proceedings based on proven delinquency. See, U.S. Bank National Association v. Kimball 27 A.3d 1087, 75 UCC Rep.Serv.2d 100, 2011 VT 81 (VT 2011); and Indymac Bank, F.S.B. v. Yano-Horoski, 78 A.D.3d 895, 912 N.Y.S.2d 239 (2010).

REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS

¶12 CONCUR: TAYLOR (This Court’s decision in no way releases or exonerates the debt owed by the defendants on this home.), C.J., KAUGER (joins Taylor, C.J.), WATT, WINCHESTER (joins Taylor, C.J.), EDMONDSON, REIF, COMBS, GURICH (joins Taylor, C.J.), JJ.

¶13 RECUSED: COLBERT, V.C.J.

FOOTNOTES

1 This opinion occurred prior to the enactment of the UCC. It is, however, possible for the owner of the note not to be the person entitled to enforce the note if the owner is not in possession of the note. (See the REPORT OF THE PERMANENT EDITORIAL BOARD FOR THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE, APPLICATION OF THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE TO SELECTED ISSUES RELATING TO MORTGAGE NOTES (NOVEMBER 14, 2011)).

2 12A O.S. 2001, §§ 1-201(b)(21), 3-204 and 3-205.

3 According to Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009) an allonge is “[a] slip of paper sometimes attached to a negotiable instrument for the purpose of receiving further indorsements when the original paper is filled with indorsements.” See, 12A O.S. 2001, § 3-204(a).

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Evicted woman, 101, can’t go home as promised

Evicted woman, 101, can’t go home as promised


HUD says foreclosed Detroit home is unsafe; options being explored

MSNBC-

The federal government now says a 101-year-old Detroit woman it promised could move back into her foreclosed home four months ago can’t return because the building’s unsanitary and unsafe.

Texana Hollis was evicted Sept. 12 and her belongings placed outside after her 65-year-old son failed to pay property taxes linked to a reverse mortgage, The Detroit News reported Sunday. Two days later, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said she could return.

But now, HUD said it won’t let Hollis move back in because of the house’s condition. She had lived there about 60 years.

[MSNBC]

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Hawaii | RE: Tehiva/Phillips Foreclosure Eviction Scheduled 1/2/2012 via Wells Fargo, AHMSI, Sand Canyon, Duval County, FL Kathy Smith

Hawaii | RE: Tehiva/Phillips Foreclosure Eviction Scheduled 1/2/2012 via Wells Fargo, AHMSI, Sand Canyon, Duval County, FL Kathy Smith


Bank Fraud

American Home Mortgage Servicing
Sand Canyon Corporation
Kathy Smith
Soundview Home Loan Trust, 2007-OPT2
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Action Date: January 1, 2012
Location: Maui, HI

On January 2, 2012, Wells Fargo Bank and American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. (“AHMSI”) will attempt to force the Tehiva/Phillips family from their family home on 5305 Hana Highway in Maui, Hawaii. This has been the family home for over 100 years.

Wells Fargo is acting as the Trustee for an RMBS Trust, Soundview Home Loan Trust 2007-OPT2. AHMSI is acting as the servicer for the trust.

Wells Fargo and AHMSI have relied on a fraudulent Mortgage Assignment in this foreclosure eviction.

The Assignment is dated June 24, 2010 and was signed by Kathy Smith in Duval County, Florida. Smith purports to be a corporate officer (Assistant Secretary) of Sand Canyon Corporation.

Kathy Smith is not and has never been employed by Sand Canyon Corporation; she is actually employed by AHMSI in its Jacksonville, FL (Duval County) office.

On Hillsborough County, FL, document 2010350478, Kathy Smith swore she was an employee of AHMSI on October 1, 2010.

On Hillsborough County, FL document 20100057228, Kathy Smith swore she was Assistant Secretary of AHMSI on February 8, 2010.

In the Memorandum Decision of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona in the matter of the bankruptcy of Anthony Tarantola, Case No. 4:09-bk-09703-EWH, Kathy Smith is referred to on Page 5, lines 8-9, as the Assistant Secretary of AHMSI.

To aid in foreclosures, Kathy Smith has used all of the following different job titles:

• Assistant Secretary and Vice President, Ameriquest Mortgage Company (February 3, 2010);

• Assistant Secretary and Vice President, Citi Residential, Inc., Attorney-in-Fact for Ameriquest Mortgage Company (April 12, 2010);

• Attorney-in-Fact, Argent Mortgage Corporation (January 13, 2010);

• Assistant Secretary, Citibank, N.A., as Trustee for American Home Mortgage Asset Trust 2006-3 Mortgage-Backed Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-3; (January 13, 2010);

• Assistant Secretary, Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as Indenture Trustee for American Home Mortgage Investment Trust 2006-3, Mortgage-Backed Notes, Series 2006-3 (January 13, 2010);

• Attorney-in-Fact, New Century Mortgage Corporation (January 19, 2010);

• Assistant Secretary, Sand Canyon Corporation f/k/a Option One Mortgage Corporation (April 12, 2010)

• Assistant Secretary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Nominee for American Brokers Conduit (February 25, 2010);

• Assistant Secretary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Nominee for American Home Mortgage (February 18, 2010);

• Assistant Secretary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Nominee for American Home Mortgage Acceptance (January 25, 2010);

• Assistant Secretary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Nominee for Beazer Mortgage Corporation (January 13, 2010);

• Assistant Secretary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Nominee for HomeBanc Mortgage Corporation (January 11, 2010); and

• Assistant Secretary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., as Nominee for Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corporation (May 7, 2010).

The President of Sand Canyon Corporation, Dale M. Sugimoto, submitted a sworn Declaration signed on March 18, 2009, stating that Sand Canyon Corporation did not own or service any residential real estate mortgages. Despite this sworn statement of the company president, the Assignment in the Tehiva/Phillips foreclosure has Kathy Smith, purporting to act as an officer of Sand Canyon, to transfer the Tehiva/Phillips mortgage to the Soundview Trust. The Sugimoto Declaration was submitted in bankruptcy court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans Division, as document 52-3, in the case of Ron Wilson, Case No. 10-51328.

Kathy Smith is also not listed as an officer of Sand Canyon Corporation in the Florida corporate records, nor did Sand Canyon have offices in Florida, where the Assignment was notarized.

The closing date of the Soundview Trust 2007-OPT2 was July 10, 2007. The trust was not authorized to acquire mortgages after this date; and certainly was not authorized to ever acquire any non-performing mortgages.

For all of the reasons set forth above, Wells Fargo and AHMSI should immediately cease their attempts to seize the Tehiva/Phillips home. Wells Fargo should be required to produce Kathy Smith in court in Hawaii and to produce the records of the trust showing that the trust acquired the Tehiva/Phillips mortgage in 2010 as represented by Smith.

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Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Ams. v Day | NYSC Denies Motion For Summary Judgment Due to Lack of Affidavits

Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Ams. v Day | NYSC Denies Motion For Summary Judgment Due to Lack of Affidavits


SUPREME COURT – STATE OF NEW YORK
IAS PART 43 – SUFFOLK COUNTY

DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS
AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE FOR THE REGISTERED
HOLDERS OF SAXON ASSET SECURITIES TRUST
2005-3 MORTGAGE LOAN ASSET BACKED NOTES,
SERIES 2005-3,
Plaintiff,

-against-

DENNIS D. DAY, SMI MORTGAGE,
“JOHN DOE #1″ through “JOHN DOE #12″,
the last twelve names being fictitious and unknown to
plaintiff, the persons or parties intended being the
tenants, occupants. persons or corporations, if any,
having or claiming an interest in or lien upon the
premises, described in the complaint,
Defendant, ,

EXCERPT:

The plaintiff alleges in the verified complaint that there has been compliance with RPAPL
§ 1304; however, neither a copy of the purported 90-day notice nor an affidavit of service of the
notice in compliance with RPAPI. § 1304 has been annexed to the moving papers (see, Aurora Loan
Servs., LLC v Weisblum, 85 AD3d 95, supra). Without an affidavit of service from one with
personal knowledge of compliance with the specific service requirements of RPAPI., § 1304 or, in
the alternative, an affidavit sufficient to show why the requirements of § 1304 do not apply, the
Court may not grant an order of reference.

[ipaper docId=76762366 access_key=key-17117pbrbepm49qovj6y height=600 width=600 /]

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ANDERSON v. BURSON | MD Appeals Court requires full proof of note transfer

ANDERSON v. BURSON | MD Appeals Court requires full proof of note transfer


IN THE COURT OF APPEALS
OF MARYLAND
No. 8

September Term, 2011

HOSEA ANDERSON, et ux.

v.

JOHN S. BURSON, et al.

Bell, C.J.,
Harrell
Battaglia
Greene
*Murphy
Adkins
Barbera,
JJ.
Opinion by Harrell, J.

Filed: December 20, 2011

EXCERPT:

A nonholder in possession, however, cannot rely on possession of the instrument
alone as a basis to enforce it. The transferee’s right to enforce the instrument derives from
the transferor (because by the terms of the instrument, it is not payable to the transferee) and
therefore those rights must be proved. Com. Law § 3-203 cmt. 2; accord Leavings v. Mills
175 S.W.3d 301 (Tex. Ct. App. 2004 ) (“A person not identified in a note who is seeking to
enforce it as the owner or holder must prove the transfer by which he acquired the note.”)
The transferee does not enjoy the statutorily provided assumption of the right to enforce the
instrument that accompanies a negotiated instrument, and so the transferee “must account for
possession of the unindorsed instrument by proving the transaction through which the
transferee acquired it.” Com. Law § 3-203 cmt. 2. If there are multiple prior transfers, the
transferee must prove each prior transfer. U.S. Bank Nat’l Assoc. v. Ibanez, 941 N.E.2d 40,
53 (Mass. 2011) (citing In re Parrish, 326 B.R. 708, 720 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 2005)). Once
the transferee establishes a successful transfer from a holder, he or she acquires the
enforcement rights of that holder. See Com. Law § 3-203 cmt. 2. A transferee’s rights,
however, can be no greater than his or her transferor’s because those rights are “purely
derivative.” Lawrence, supra, § 3-203:15R. Thus, the Substitute Trustees here, who possess
an unindorsed note and wish to enforce it, had the burden of proving their status as nonholder
in possession.

[…]

[ipaper docId=76693545 access_key=key-5vg903o8qkya8gac4yp height=600 width=600 /]

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Banks Find A New Way To Profit Off Foreclosures

Banks Find A New Way To Profit Off Foreclosures


They never lost a single penny from the foreclosures but made billions of profits. Course whatever they ask for they will pay a price to get it…except not to you.

HuffPO-

Banks helped create the housing crisis, and now they’re seeking a new way to profit from it. As Bloomberg reported Monday, several financial and investment companies have submitted proposals to the federal government, suggesting ways that they can help manage a program to rent out 180,000 foreclosed homes.

Fair and affordable housing advocates are calling on the Obama administration to reject help from the financial sector, or at least limit its influence.

“It’s really a question of whether the banks that made so much money creating this crisis are going to profit again,” Jeremy Rosen, policy director at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, told The Huffington Post.

[HUFFINGTONPOST]

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