Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

September 9, 2013

Arizona Court Affirms a Lower Court Decision That Possession of Note Was Not Needed for a Party to Initiate a Non-Judicial Foreclosure

By Ebube Okoli

The Arizona court in Maxa v. Countrywide Loans, Inc., 2010 WL 2836958 (D. Ariz. 2010) affirmed a lower court decision that possession of the note was not needed for a party to initiate a non-judicial foreclosure. The court also affirmed that MERS had the authority under the deed of trust to commence foreclosure.

The court in reaching their decision rejected the plaintiff‘s claim that the defendants lacked the right to enforce the note; therein making the foreclosure was invalid. The court noted that a trustee’s sale was not an action to enforce the note, but rather it was an exercise of the power of sale upon default.

The court explicitly held that Arizona law bestowed power of sale on the trustee upon default or breach of the contract secured by the trust deed without reference to enforcing or producing a note or other negotiable instrument.

The court in reaching their decision also found that the plaintiff not only gave the power of sale to the trustee, but also agreed to empower MERS, as the lender’s nominee, to exercise the right to foreclose. Lastly, the court directly rejected the plaintiff’s claims of fraudulent misrepresentation based upon the notion that MERS was not a valid beneficiary.

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