Monday, September 19, 2011

Oregon Trial Judge: Court Can Consider Title Issues In Post-Foreclosure Eviction Action; Points To Dubious Assignments To Deny Bankster's Boot Request

In Hood River, Oregon, The Oregonian reports:

  • Another Oregon woman successfully halted a post-foreclosure eviction after a judge in Hood River found the bank could not prove it held title to the home.

  • Sara Michelotti's victory over Wells Fargo late last week carries no weight in other Oregon courts, attorneys say. But it illustrates a growing problem for banks -- if the loans's ownership history isn't recorded properly, foreclosed homeowners might be able to fight even an eviction.

  • "There's this real uncertainty from county to county about what that eviction process is going to look like for the lender," said Brian Cox, a real estate attorney in Eugene who represented Wells Fargo.

  • Michelotti's case revolved around a subprime mortgage lender, Option One Mortgage Corp., that went out of business during the housing crisis. Circuit Court Judge Paul Crowley ruled that it was not clear when or how Option One transferred Michelotti's mortgage to American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc., which foreclosed on her home and later sold it to Wells Fargo.

  • Since the loan's ownership was not properly recorded in Hood River County records, as required by Oregon law, Crowley ruled that Wells Fargo could not prove it had valid title to the property to evict. Crowley presides over courts in Hood River, Gilliam, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler counties.

For more, see Court rulings complicate evictions for lenders in Oregon.

For Judge Crowley's letter ruling/opinion, see Wells Fargo v. Michelotti, No. 11-0015FD (Hood River Cty. Cir. Ct. September 8, 2011).

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