Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

March 12, 2013

Alabama Circuit Court Holds that MERS has Standing to Foreclose if it is a Nominee of the Lender

By Gloria Liu

In Henderson v. Merscorp Inc.,  No. 08-CV-900805 (Ala. Cir.Ct. May 6, 2010), the Alabama Circuit Court dismissed an action claiming that MERS lacked standing to foreclose. The borrower sued MERS after MERS initiated foreclosure proceedings after a default, and alleged that MERS lacked standing to foreclose. The borrower made claims for wrongful foreclosure, negligence, wantonness, and unjust enrichment. MERS moved for summary judgment, arguing that it had standing to foreclose because MERS is the mortgagee as nominee for the Lender and MERS holds the legal title to the note and mortgage. MERS’ attorney held physical possession of the note for MERS, and the note endorsed in blank.  MERS also moved to dismiss plaintiff’s claims for negligence, wantonness, and unjust enrichment because MERS was not the servicer of the loan and was not responsible for collection, distribution, or application of plaintiff’s mortgage payments. Additionally, MERS argued that plaintiff’s wrongful foreclosure claim should be dismissed because no foreclosure sale had occurred or was scheduled, even though plaintiff had defaulted. The trial court granted MERS’ motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case. On plaintiff’s appeal, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the trial court without opinion. The Circuit Court also affirmed without opinion.

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