MERS assignment valid; “show-me-the-note” theory rejected

Continuing a series of opinions about mortgage servicing, the Fifth Circuit addressed an “incoherent and rambling” challenge to an assignment through the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) in Martins v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, No. 12-20559 (April 26, 2013, unpublished).  Notwithstanding its criticism of the argument presented, the Court firmly adopted the position of “[n]umerous district courts” that the “show-me-the-note” theory — under which only the holder of the original wet-ink signature note can begin a nonjudicial foreclosure — is not valid in Texas because “foreclosure . . . enforces a deed of trust, rather than the underlying note.”  (citing Wells v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, 2011 WL 2163987 (W.D. Tex. Apr. 26, 2011)).  The Court went on to reject a challenge to the adequacy of the price paid at foreclosure (92% of the most recent appraisal) and an estoppel-based challenge to a failed discussion of a HAMP modification.

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