Big win for homeowner today - Foreclosure dismissed!
Updated: Dec 10, 2019
This morning I was supposed to be in Court in Tampa to try a foreclosure case against U.S. Bank Trust. The bank agreed to voluntarily dismiss its own foreclosure case! I am so happy for my client, who is a disabled Vietnam combat veteran.
Those of you who follow this blog probably know about "standing at inception." When a bank tries to foreclose on someone as the "holder" of the original note, the bank must prove that it possessed the original promissory note at the time of the filing of the lawsuit. In addition, if the foreclosing bank is not the original lender, the bank must also prove that the endorsement on the note was placed on the note prior to the lawsuit being filed. Now, if the bank files a lawsuit with a note (and an endorsement) attached, this makes it easier for the bank to meet that burden.
In our case, JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA, filed suit for foreclosure and attached to its lawsuit a promissory note payable to Washington Mutual Bank, FA. There were no endorsements on the note.
Months into the litigation, the bank filed the original note and, ta-da!, the note all of a sudden had an "endorsement in blank" on it. An "endorsement in blank" is typically an endorsement from the original lender payable to "blank," which means that any party in possession of the original note can enforce it. So if the bank found the original note, what was the problem with the bank's case, you may be asking?
Remember, the bank must prove it had legal standing to foreclose at the time the bank filed the lawsuit for foreclosure. Not only must the bank prove that it possessed the original note at the time of the filing of the suit, but must also prove that the endorsement was placed on the original note prior to the suit being filed. In my case, the bank only produced the original note with the endorsement months after the suit, and so proving that the endorsement was placed on the note prior to the suit would be difficult. A case from the Second District Court of Appeal with facts very similar to mine is The Eagles Master Association, Inc. v. Bank of America, NA, which can be read here.
I am so proud of my clients for standing up and fighting for their rights. If you are in foreclosure, remember that you have rights, too. Stand up and fight!
If you are in foreclosure, feel free to reach out to us anytime at 813-260-4883 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!
Ryan C. Torrens, Esq.
Foreclosure defense attorney