The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled Wednesday that in order to file a foreclosure against a homeowner, a lender must prove standing at the time they first file. Lenders do not have a grace period to gather proof of standing between filing and judgment.
Freddie Mac did not have proof of standing when it filed but acquired proof before the lower court’s ruling.
The Schwartzwalds, who were in the process of working through a short sale with Wells Fargo at the time they received the foreclosure notice, appealed on the grounds that without proof of standing, Freddie Mac did not have grounds to sue them.
The Ohio Supreme Court agreed that “receiving an assignment of a promissory note and mortgage from the real party of interest subsequent to the filing of action but prior to the entry of judgment does not cure a lack of standing to file a foreclosure action.”
Thus the court reversed the court of appeals’ decision and dismissed the case.
“This is a huge win for Ohio homeowners and was a much anticipated decision,” said defense attorney Troy Doucet of Doucet & Associates, LLC, a Columbus, Ohio-based foreclosure defense and consumer litigation law firm.
“We will begin filing motions to dismiss in a number of our cases immediately,” Doucet added. He said the decision could affect as much as one-fourth of all foreclosure cases at Doucet & Associates.
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