Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

January 24, 2013

Ohio State Court of Appeals Holds that Bank has Standing to Foreclose

By Michael Liptrot

In Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v. Traxler, 2010-Ohio-3940, the Court of Appeals, Ninth District of the State of Ohio held that the bank had standing to commence a foreclosure action against the homeowners. The homeowners argued that the bank lacked standing because the bank did not possess the mortgage and note at the time it commenced its action. The court rejected this argument, holding, “a bank need not possess a valid assignment at the time of filing suit so long as the bank procures the assignment in sufficient time to apprise the litigants and the court that the bank is the real party in interest.” The court looked at the assignments of the mortgage and note, and found that both were valid. Specifically, the court rejected the homeowner’s argument that MERS lacked authority to assign the mortgage. The court found that where MERS is designated as both the nominee and mortgagee of the mortgage, it has authority to assign the mortgage. However, the court went even further and stated, “assuming that MERS did not have the authority to assign the mortgage, however, we. . . conclude that the proper transfer of the promissory note, which the mortgage secured, amounted to an equitable assignment of the mortgage.” Thus, the court concluded that the homeowner’s arguments be rejected and the bank had standing to foreclose.

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