2013 has seen a steady stream of unpublished opinions favoring mortgage servicers, followed by a published opinion affirming a MERS assignment, and now a second published opinion rejecting arguments about the alleged “robosigning” of assignment documents. In Reinagel v. Deutsche Bank, a suit arising out of foreclosure on a Texas home equity loan, the Fifth Circuit held: (1) borrowers could challenge the validity of assignments to the servicer, since they were not asserting affirmative rights under those instruments; (2) alleged technical defects in the signature on the relevant assignment created rights only for the servicer and lender, not the borrower; (3) the assignment did not have to be recorded, mooting challenges to defects in the acknowledgement; and (4) a violation of the relevant PSA related to the transfer of the note did not create rights for the borrower. The opinion concluded with two important caveats: it was not deciding whether the Texas Supreme Court would adopt the “note-follows-the-mortgage” concept, and it reminded: “We do not condone ‘robo-signing’ more broadly and remind that bank employees or contractors who commit forgery or prepare false affidavits subject themselves and their supervisors to civil and criminal liability.” 735 F.3d 220 (5th Cir. 2013).
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