One of the first stop foreclosure clients who came through our doors when we started Foreclosure Law was an older lady who lived in University City . She had been named as the personal representative for her sister's estate. She had been battling with the bank and foreclosure firm Millsap and Singer, who had started a foreclosure on her sister's property.
She was a very resourceful woman, and had already filed her own suit to try to stop the foreclosure. She was successful in stopping the foreclosure, but the bank was insistent on starting the whole process again.
That's where we came in. I looked through the paperwork and saw that although the Deed of Trust was not a "MERS" deed, the small East Coast bank who was the originator had claimed to have sent the note and Deed of Trust to MERS. In addition, they sent it wrong. They did not send it as beneficiary for them, as almost all MERS documents are written. They just sent it straight out, as if MERS now owned the note and deed.
I think that continually papering the files is an extremely important part of any case, and this one was no different. I wrote and explained on several occasions the problems that I knew they had. In August of 2011, they had MERS do an assignment of deed of trust to HSBC, and it looked like we were headed to trial. But I continued to show them the folly of their position, and trying to explain the anomalous place the note had supposedly been for the past several years.
On February 27, 2012, HSBC sent us a letter indicating that they were releasing their interest in the property. Since this case deals with an estate, there is no claim that they can sue under the note, as this time has long since lapsed. Our client now owns this house free and clear!
One interesting final note: When we looked at the Deed of Release, I couldn't believe my eyes. They had the wrong company release the property! They had MERS send the release, despite the fact that MERS had assigned the property months before. It took a dozen phone calls and TALKING VERRRRRY SLOOOOOOOWLY to get them to finally understand that HSBC, not MERS, needed to release. They did so, and my client is very happy.
Obviously, not all cases turn out like this, and the key to these cases is treating them differently and individually. But it sure is great to give the keys back to the owner.