2013 has seen a steady stream of unpublished opinions favoring mortgage servicers, followed by a published opinion affirming a MERS assignment, and now a second published opinion rejecting arguments about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.” No. 12-50569 (July 11, 2013).
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