Ohio Supreme Court Lets Wells Fargo v. Jordan Stand. Foreclosure Plaintiffs Who Do Not Own the Mortgage at the Time of Filing Lack Standing to Pursue Cases

In a significant victory for consumers and particularly victims of predatory lending the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday quietly let stand what may turn out to be a landmark decision prohibiting banks, trusts and other loan servicing entities who cannot prove ownership of a mortgage note from foreclosing on Ohio homeowners.

Following a trend originally initiated by U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko, Northern District of Ohio in Federal Court, The 8th District Court of Appeals(Cuyahoga County) ruled in June of this year that banks, loan servicers and trusts did not have standing to pursue foreclosure of homes in Ohio if they could not prove that they owned the mortgage note at the time of the filing of the complaint. In Wells Fargo v. Jordan Judge Frank D. Celebrezze Jr. writing for a unanimous panel of the 8th District held that in order to bring a lawsuit in Ohio the plaintiff must have an genuine interest in the subject matter of the lawsuit:

{¶ 21} “A party lacks standing to invoke the jurisdiction of a court unless he has, in an individual or a representative capacity, some real interest in the subject matter of the action. State ex rel. Dallman v. Court of Common Pleas (1973), 35 Ohio St.2d 176, 298 N.E.2d 515, syllabus. The Eleventh Appellate District has held that ‘Civ.R. 17 is not applicable when the plaintiff is not the proper party to bring the case and, thus, does not have standing to do so. A person lacking any right or interest to protect may not invoke the jurisdiction of a court.’ Northland Ins. Co. v. Illuminating Co., 11th Dist. Nos.2002-A-0058 and 2002-A-0066, 2004-Ohio-1529, at ¶ 17 (internal quotations and citations omitted). The court also noted that ‘Civ.R. 17(A) was not applicable unless the plaintiff had standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the court in the first place, either in an individual or representative capacity, with some real interest in the subject matter. Civ.R. 17 only applies if the action is commenced by one who is sui juris or the proper party to bring the action.’ Travelers Indemn. Co. v. R.L. Smith Co. (Apr. 13, 2001), 11th Dist. No.2000-L-014.” Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Byrd, 178 Ohio App.3d 285, 2008-Ohio-4603, 897 N.E.2d 722.”

It went on to hold, ” If plaintiff has offered no evidence that it owned the note and mortgage when the complaint was filed, it would not be entitled to judgment as a matter of law”

The process of securitizing mortgages on homes in Ohio and throughout the country required multiple transfers of the note mortgage and in some cases a legal fiction was created around trusts and other holding vehicles that never acquired provable ownership of the notes in question. Loan Servicers only have the authority to foreclose that does or doesn’t belong the actual owner of the note and mortgage.

Seeking legal advice is more important than ever for homeowners facing foreclosure in Ohio.  The issue of standing could cause thousands of cases pending in Ohio courts to be dismissed.  Help for those who cant afford a lawyer is available at Save the Dream.

Further, since Ohio Law has long recognized that the issue of Jurisdiction can be raised by a party in a lawsuit at anytime, there may be thousands of judgments granting foreclosure that are void putting the title to those properties in question. Ohio Courts have  the inherent power to vacate the prior void ab initio judgments in foreclosure.  Patton v. Diemer (1988), 35 Ohio St.3d 68, 70, 518 N.E.2d 952.

Anyone who’s home has been foreclosed on since 2003 when the massive securitization of mortgage notes began in earnest ought to consider taking a look at their judgment and whether or not the plaintiff in the foreclosure had standing to pursue the complaint.

Posted in Forclosure, Predatory Lending, Uncategorized
One comment on “Ohio Supreme Court Lets Wells Fargo v. Jordan Stand. Foreclosure Plaintiffs Who Do Not Own the Mortgage at the Time of Filing Lack Standing to Pursue Cases
  1. […] Ohio Supreme Court Lets Wells Fargo v. Jordan Stand. Foreclosure Plaintiffs Who Do Not Own the Mortg… […]

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