Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

February 24, 2013

Ohio Court of Appeals Holds that the Note Follows the Mortgage Where Intent of Parties is Clear

By Michael Liptrot

In Bank of New York v. Dobbs, 2009-Ohio-4742, the court found that the Bank of New York (Bank) had standing to bring a foreclosure action against the homeowners. In this case, Countrywide Home Loans (Countrywide) was the original note holder, and Bank claimed that Countrywide assigned the note to MERS, who then assigned to Bank. The homeowners argued that Bank did not have standing to foreclose because there was no evidence that Countrywide assigned the note to MERS and thus the chain of title was incomplete. In determining standing, the court found that “the chain of title between Countrywide, MERS and [Bank was] not broken” because “the obligation follows the mortgage if the record indicates the parties so intended” and in this case there was “clear intent by the parties to keep the note and mortgage together, rather than transferring the mortgage alone.” Thus, the note followed the mortgage upon transfer, and Bank was the lawful holder of the note.

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