Minnesota | U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz Sanctions Homeowner’s Attorney $50,000 for “frivolous show-me-the-note actions”
“I’d hope that the decision does not have a chilling effect on bringing claims which are properly brought by consumers and their attorneys. That would be an unfortunate result of this claim because there are many appropriate claims and appropriate situations – in particular in this foreclosure area – where bad things were done. That is what the robo-signing cases were all about, that is why there are sanctions and that is why we’ve got a nationwide settlement with the major banks, because things were not done properly”
Legal decision has attorneys talking
MPR News received a tip about a complicated story involving an attorney, a judge and the state’s foreclosure laws.
U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz has taken the unusual step of sanctioning Minneapolis attorney William Butler for filing what the judge calls frivolous show-me-the-note actions. That’s where a homeowner facing foreclosure argues that because the mortgage and note are held by different entities, the home’s mortgage or foreclosure on that mortgage is invalid.
Separating the note from the mortgage contributed to the practice of mortgage securitization, one culprit in the housing bubble and crash.
Some courts in other states have ruled in favor of homeowners in cases like these. But here, Judge Schiltz says it’s been established under Minnesota law (he references Jackson v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.) that the entity that holds the mortgage can foreclose on the mortgage even if that entity does not also hold the note. Showing the note is not necessary under foreclosure by advertisement, which is how most of Minnesota’s foreclosures are processed.