Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

April 7, 2013

Michigan District Court Dismisses Homeowner’s Action to Declare Foreclosure Null and Void

By Michael Liptrot

In Olesuk v Fed. Natl. Mort. Assoc., 2:12-cv-11001 (Dist. Ct. Mich. 2012), the court dismissed an action by homeowners against the parties involved in the multiple assignments of their mortgage, including MERS (Defendants). Homeowners brought the action after defaulting on their mortgage, seeking a declaration that the foreclosure action brought by the mortgagee be declared null and void. The homeowners brought the following claims: “(1) Quiet Title; (2) Fraud in the Assignment against JPMorgan and Chase Home (related to the 2009 assignment); (3) Fraud in the Assignment against Chase Home and MERS (related to the 2010 assignment); (4) Fraud in the Signatures (Robosigning); (5) that Defendants are not the real parties in interest and lack standing to foreclose, and; (6) Slander of Title.”

Homeowners’ claims rested on two facts. First, they claimed that the notarized certifications of the 2009 and 2010 assignments were false and therefore the assignments were invalid. Second, homeowners claimed that Fannie Mae executed an unrecorded assignment of the note to a REMIC, that the REMIC was not a party to the subsequent transfers of the mortgage, and thus the assignments were invalid.

The court rejected all of homeowners’ claims. The first and fifth claims were based on an argument “that Defendants may not foreclose on the property because the allegedly fraudulent or forged signatures and the transfer to the REMIC trust rendered the assignments invalid.” The court rejected this argument because “as non-parties to the assignments, [homeowners] lack standing to challenge their validity.”

The court rejected the second, third, and fourth claims because homeowners could not “establish that they relied to their detriment upon the allegedly forged signatures or fraudulent assignments.” The court then rejected the sixth claim because “the assignments, fraudulent or not, do not disparage Plaintiffs’ claim of title.”


| Permalink