Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

April 10, 2013

Can’t Stand It, Just Show Me The Note

By David Reiss

The federal District Court for Massachusetts issued a Memorandum and Order in Ross v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company that has two interesting aspects. First, it follows the 1st Circuit’s recently decided Culhane. Second, it reaffirms that “show me the note!” is alive and well in Massachusetts. The Rosses alleged that Deutsche Bank violated Massachusetts statutory foreclosure scheme.  These alleged violations included: 1. lack of standing and 2. Deutsche Bank did not have “valid title to either the Note or the Mortgage and thus lacks the legal authority to conduct a foreclosure sale of the subject property.” (7-8)

The bottom line on standing:  the Massachusetts Supreme Court (in Eaton v. Fannie Mae), along with the federal District Court of Massachusetts and the First Circuit have been requiring “strict compliance with the regulations governing who has legal standing to foreclose . . ..” (8)

The bottom line on “show me the note:” this court was willing to carefully parse the chain of title to a note and mortgage.  In this case, they had been owned by New Century which was dissolved by a bankruptcy court.  The court found that “the Rosses have stated a plausible claim that the [] assignment from New Century to Deutsche Bank was invalid.” (13) So, while some courts are not so strict about establishing the legal chain of title to a note and mortgage,we now know that this court is.

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