From The New York Times: "Foreclosures Hit A Snag For Lenders"
November 15, 2007
If you deal with mortgage security pools, and in particular the foreclosure of mortgages within such a pool, you should read today's interesting article from The New York Times: "Foreclosures Hit a Snag For Lenders". The article addresses federal court foreclosure litigation in Ohio and specifically an opinion by Judge Boyko dismissing fourteen cases because the plaintiff (foreclosing entity) failed to prove it had standing to pursue the cases. I located the Judge's October 1 order referenced in the article: .pdf. My colleague Chris Jacobson helped find the October 31 opinion: BoykoOpinion.pdf.
The moral of the story is that the institution filing the foreclosure suit, if pressed by the Court or the defendant borrower, must have proof that it owned the note and held the mortgage on the date of the filing of the foreclosure complaint. As demonstrated by the Ohio ruling, with respect to mortgage security pools this seemingly simple requirement may be burdensome or perhaps even impossible under certain structuring.
Corrective action probably can be taken during the proceedings in most cases to ensure that the named plaintiff actually holds the mortgage and owns the note. For example, depending upon the circumstances, the pleadings can be amended to name the proper party or, on the other hand, assignments can be executed to place the note/mortgage into the hands of the plaintiff. Lenders/investors and their counsel should be advised of the Ohio ruling and prepare themselves accordingly. I will post updates to this story as the situation warrants.