AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES TO FORECLOSING PARTY’S CLAIM OF “LOST NOTE”
A common thread which is emerging in foreclosure cases is the claim of the plaintiff (a/k/a the “foreclosing party”) that they have “lost the note and/or mortgage”. In such a case, the foreclosing party may file a Affidavit as to the lost note and mortgage in a purported attempt to cure the material defect of proof of ownership and production of the original note and mortgage. This position should be met with a vigorous challenge based on what is being discovered in case after case: that the “plaintiff” does not and never had the original note OR mortgage, which was probably sold or assigned more than once and may today be somewhere in the Cayman Islands as part of a specialized investment vehicle.
Thus, when a borrower or borrower’s attorney is met with such a position, several defenses should be considered. These “affirmative defenses” may take the form of or be asserted along the following lines, provided they are asserted in good faith:
1. Upon information and belief, the mortgage note has been paid in whole or in part by one or more undisclosed third party(ies) who, prior to or contemporaneously with the closing on the “loan”, paid the originating lender in exchange for certain unrecorded rights to the revenues arising out of the loan documents.
2. Upon information and belief and in connection with the matters the subject of paragraph “1” above, Plaintiff (foreclosing party) has no financial interest in the note or mortgage.
3. Upon information and belief, the original note was destroyed or was transferred to a structured investment vehicle which may be located offshore, which also has no interest in the note or mortgage or revenue thereunder.
4. Upon information and belief, the revenue stream deriving from the note and mortgage was eviscerated upon one or more assignments of the note and mortgage to third parties and parsing of obligations as part of the securitization process, some of whom were joined as co-obligors and co-obligees in connection with the closing.
5. To the extent that Plaintiff has been paid on the underlying obligation or has no legal interest therein or in the note or mortgage, or does not have lawful possession of the note or mortgage, Plaintiff’s allegations of possession and capacity to institute foreclosure constitute a fraud upon the court.
6. Based upon one or more of the affirmative defenses set forth above, Defendant (borrower’s name) is entitled to a release and satisfaction of the note and mortgage and dismissal of the foreclosure claim with prejudice.
Jeff Barnes, Esq.