Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

June 13, 2013

Shaky South Carolina Opinion Finds That Bank Owned Note in Foreclosure Action

By David Reiss

The South Carolina Court of Appeals held in Bank of America v. Draper et al., no. 5140 (June 5, 2013) that Bank of America had standing in a foreclosure action and had proved that it owned the mortgage note.  The Court stated that under South Carolina law, a mortgagee who has the note and the mortgage can elect to bring an action on either. The Court also stated that under South Carolina law, the servicer has standing to bring an action on behalf of the beneficial owner. Because Draper admitted that Bank of America was the servicer, the Court held that Bank of America had standing in this foreclosure action.

Draper also argued that Bank of America failed to prove that it was the owner or holder of the mortgage note. Relying on South Carolina UCC section 301, the Court found that the bank was a “person entitled to enforce.” (8) The Court reached this result because Draper did not contest the Bank’s evidence that it owned the note through a series of “transfer and mergers.” (8) The bank considered as relevant evidence of the Bank’s ownership a “ledger of payments” that showed “all transactions on the account.” (8)

One does not have a sense that this case was well briefed because the Court seems to take a lot of shortcuts.  For instance, the Court apparently assumed that the mortgage note was negotiable and thus subject to Article 3 of the UCC. There is a fair amount of controversy relating to this assumption, something that I will blog about soon.


(HT April Charney)

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