Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

December 1, 2013

Texas Court Finds Plaintiff’s “Split-the-Note” Theory Without Merit

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding Morlock, L.L.C. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153386 (S.D. Tex. Oct. 25, 2013) ultimately dismissed plaintiff’s bifurcation theory based complaint.

Plaintiff alleged that the deed of trust had been “executed and delivered . . . to secure MERS” and that it “was allegedly assigned to defendant Chase by MERS.” Plaintiff further alleged, the deed of trust and assignment, although appearing valid on its face, was invalid and of no force or effect because, MERS was not the holder of the original note that was secured by the deed of trust.

Accordingly, the plaintiff argued, the assignment by MERS was not valid and defendant Chase was not the owner and holder of the note. Therefore, Chase had no right or authority to post the property for a trustee’s Sale.

Chase alleged that the plaintiff’s argument against the validity of the assignment came from the theory that the ‘bifurcation’ of the note and deed of trust renders the deed of trust invalid. Chase argued that Texas courts have rejected the “bifurcation theory” and that plaintiff had therefore failed to state a claim.

The court ultimately granted Chase’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss and dismissed the action with prejudice.

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