The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey recently held that a bank did not have standing to foreclose on a home because it did not possess an assignment in its favor of the mortgage note.
The case arose when the bank foreclosed against one of its borrowers who failed to make mortgage payments. The homeowner defended on the basis that the bank could not prove that it owned the loan. The reason was that the bank did not possess an assignment in its favor of the mortgage note.
The trial court granted the bank’s motion for summary judgment, ruling against the homeowner. However, that decision was reversed by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Wells Fargo Bank v. Ford, 2011 WL 250561 (N.J.Super. 2011). It held that the bank could not establish that it was assigned the mortgage because it could not produce authentic copies of either the mortgage note or the assignment. The Court based this conclusion upon the fact that the certification
Wells Fargo submitted in support of its motion for summary judgment alleged that “[p]laintiff is still the holder and owner of the said Note/Bond and mortgage,” and a copy of the mortgage and note was attached to the certification. In addition, Wells Fargo submitted a document that purported to be an assignment of the mortgage, which stated that it was an assignment of "the described Mortgage, together with the certain note(s) described therein with all interest, all liens, and any rights due or to become due thereon."
Id. at 9-10.
The Court held that these documents were not authenticated in the submission from Wells Fargo. As a result, the Court held that the bank did not have standing to foreclose on the home. The case was remanded to the trial court, where the authenticity of the documents could be addressed.
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