March 5, 2014
The court in deciding Bank of Am., N.A. v. Harris, 2013-Ohio-5749 (Ohio Ct. App., Cuyahoga County 2013) found Bank of America had standing after merger.
Plaintiff moved for summary judgment arguing that Bank of America lacked standing to foreclosure because the bank was “a party solely by virtue of a purported assignment from MERS.” Plaintiff argued that MERS had no authority to assign the mortgage to Bank of America, and thus, Bank of America had no standing to bring the suit.
The court found that the bank had standing to bring a foreclosure action because it was the real party in interest at the time that a foreclosure complaint was filed. The court noted that a party who received an assignment of mortgage from MERS as a nominee had standing to foreclose when the borrower defaulted. The court found that here the bank had possession of the note, therefore, it was the current holder of the note and entitled to enforce it under R.C. 1303.31. Further, the court found that after the merger, the bank stepped into the shoes of the absorbed company and had the ability to enforce, thus no further action was necessary to become a real party in interest.