Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

March 26, 2014

Ohio Court Decides Bank’s Possession of Note was Properly Shown

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding M & T Bank v. Strawn, 2013-Ohio-5845 (Ohio Ct. App., Trumbull County, 2013) ultimately affirmed the lower court’s decision.

The court decided that the bank’s possession of the note was shown by the affidavit, along with attached copies of the note endorsed to the bank, and the court found that one in possession of a note endorsed to that party was a holder, for purposes of R.C. 1301.201(B)(21)(a). As such the court decided that the bank was thus entitled to enforce the instrument under R.C. 1303.31.

The court found that the affidavit for the bank clearly stated that the bank had been in possession of the original promissory note, and the affidavit was sufficient for the lower court to have held that the affiant had personal knowledge. The court further noted that nothing suggested that voided endorsements affected the bank’s status as a holder, and thus it did not create an issue of fact.

Lastly the court found that the bank acquired an equitable interest in the mortgage when it became a holder of the note, regardless of whether the mortgage was actually or validly assigned or delivered. Based on these conclusions this court affirmed the lower court’s judgment.

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