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U.S. Bank National Association v. Becker

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

February 8, 2017

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE, IN TRUST ON BEHALF OF J.P. MORGAN MORTGAGE ACQUISITION TRUST 2006-CW2, Appellant,
v.
RANDY S. BECKER and LORI D. BECKER, Appellees.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Kathleen D. Ireland, Senior Judge; L.T. Case No. CACE14-010462.

          Gabriela Cortes, Jonathan R. Rosenn and Adam B. Leichtling of Lapin & Leichtling, LLP, Coral Gables, for appellant.

          Jerome L. Tepps of Jerome L. Tepps, P.A., Sunrise, for appellees.

          Damoorgian, J.

         In this residential foreclosure case, U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee, in Trust on Behalf of J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-CW2 ("the Bank") appeals the trial court's involuntary dismissal of its lawsuit for lack of standing. We reverse because the Bank established its standing to foreclose by virtue of its possession of a note indorsed in blank.

         In June of 2014, the Bank filed a one count residential mortgage foreclosure suit against Appellees. In its complaint, the Bank alleged that it was "the holder of the note and entitled to enforce the terms thereof as [the Bank] is in possession of the original note [i]ndorsed in blank." The Bank filed the original note and mortgage along with its complaint.

         The note, which was executed on March 14, 2006, reflected that the original lender was Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC. The note also bore three undated indorsements, two special and one in blank. One of the special indorsements was transposed with a "VOID" stamp. The other was payable to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. by Countrywide Bank NA as agent for Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC. The blank indorsement was made by Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Additionally, an undated allonge made by Ocwen Federal Bank in favor of Full Spectrum Lending was attached to the note.

         The matter proceeded to a bench trial where the Bank introduced testimony from a case manager for the loan's servicer. The case manager testified that the note was transferred as follows:

Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (original lender)
↓Via special indorsement
Countryside Home Loans, Inc.
↓Via blank indorsement and a Master Mortgage Purchase and ...

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