Steve Dibert, MFI-Miami Exclusive
An interesting ruling came down from the nether regions of Northern Michigan today. Houghton County Circuit Judge Charles Goodman ruled that a note holder lacked legal standing to execute both a foreclosure and the subsequent eviction because the originating lender Ameriquest only transferred their rights as mortgagee to MERS not their rights under the note. Therefore, because the mortgage and note have been separated and only the mortgage was assigned, the foreclosing entity, Household Finance who MERS assigned the mortgage to, lacked the legal standing to execute the foreclosure and eviction because they did not hold the promissory note.
The homeowners had initially lost their eviction in the 97th District Court (lower court in Michigan) and appealed it to the Hought County Circuit Court claiming Household Finance lacked legal standing because they were not the holder of the note. Judge Goodman not only overturned the eviction ruling from the District Court, he also invalidated the foreclosure and nullified the assignment from MERS to Household Finance.
This ruling is non-binding in Michigan. However, it is precedent setting and could be used argue the validity of MERS assignments throughout Michigan. Kudos to Dan Marsh who argued this case.