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First Circuit Rejects "Robo-signing" Allegation as Basis to Challenge Assignment of Mortgage

lexology.com | February 24, 2014

By Hinshaw & Culbertson Justin M. Fabella

Wilson v. HSBC Mortg. Services, Inc., --- F.3d ----, 2014 WL 563457 (1st Cir. Feb. 14 2014)

Mortgagors argued that they had standing to challenge the assignment of mortgage from Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc. (MERS) to HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc. (HSBC) because they alleged in their complaint that the assignment was, inter alia, fraudulent and thus, void, because it was "robo-signed."

Under Massachusetts law, a mortgagor has standing only "to challenge a mortgage assignment as invalid, ineffective or void (if, say, the assignor had nothing to assign or had no authority to make an assignment to a particular assignee)." Culhane v. Aurora Loan Servs. of Neb., 708 F.3d 282, 291 (1st Cir. 2013). Likewise, "a [Massachusetts] mortgagor does not have standing to challenge shortcomings in an assignment that render it merely voidable at the election of one party but otherwise effective to pass legal title." Id. The Court's own research confirmed that there is neither a definition of the term "robo-signing" nor any authority showing that the term has any legal significance under Massachusetts law or in the First Circuit. Although the mortgagors alleged, at most, that the assignment of mortgage was potentially voidable under Massachusetts law, the Court held that "the bare allegation of 'robo-signing' does nothing to undermine the validity" of the assignment of mortgage.


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CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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