Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

November 16, 2013

Michigan Court Finds MERS Had Capacity to Assign Mortgage, and Bank of New York Mellon Had Capacity to Accept MERS’s Assignment of the Mortgage

By Ebube Okoli

The court in Maslowski v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155970, 2013 WL 5876608 (W.D. Mich. Oct. 31, 2013) found that dismissal under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) is appropriate.

The plaintiff in this case [Maslowski] challenged a foreclosure and foreclosure sale. Essentially, the plaintiff claimed that the foreclosure proceedings were invalid because defendant MERS lacked capacity to assign the mortgage, and defendant Bank of New York Mellon lacked capacity to accept MERS’s assignment of mortgage.

The court rejected the plaintiff’s reasoning and noted that once the redemption period has expired, a plaintiff must meet a high standard for a federal court to invalidate or set aside a mortgage foreclosure by advertisement in Michigan. In particular, a plaintiff must show both fraud related to the foreclosure process itself and that he or she was prejudiced by the defendant’s failure to comply with the foreclosure statute’s requirements. The Court agreed with the lower court and found that the plaintiff had made no allegations or showing of prejudice, and that therefore, dismissal under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) is appropriate.

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