Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

July 2, 2013

Kansas Supreme Court Holds That a Non-Lender to a Mortgage is Not a Necessary Party in Foreclosure Action

By Ebube Okoli

In Landmark Nat. Bank v. Kesler, 216 P.3d 158 (KS 2009), the court dealt with the issue of what exactly constitutes a necessary party to a foreclosure action. MERS and Sovereign Bank sought review of a lower court judgment, which held that a non-lender is not a contingently necessary party in a mortgage foreclosure action and that due process does not require that a non-lender be allowed to intervene in a mortgage foreclosure action.

At the heart of this appeal was whether the lower court abused its discretion in refusing to set aside the default judgment and refusing to join MERS as a contingently necessary party. The Supreme Court of Kansas found no such abuse and denied the motion to set aside the motion, a finding in line with the lower court.

The Supreme Court of Kansas held, as a matter of first impression, that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in denying the company’s motion to set aside default judgment or its motion to intervene as a contingently necessary party.

MERS contended further, that due process rights were violated as foreclosure action was consummated without MERS receiving notice of the proceeding and without MERS having the opportunity to intervene in the action. However, the court found that MERS failed to demonstrate that it possessed any tangible interest in the mortgage beyond a nominal designation as the mortgagor. Accordingly, the court held that the lower court’s refusal to allow the company to intervene did not violate its due process rights.

| Permalink