New PBC ruling puts extra burden of foreclosure proof on banks

December 16, 2011 05:10PM

Palm Beach County’s 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that banks seeking to repossess foreclosed homes must prove ownership of the mortgage note, the Palm Beach Post reported.

“No longer can banks just walk in and have their attorney wave around a piece of paper saying this is the note,” said Tom Ice, founder of Royal Palm Beach-based foreclosure defense firm Ice Legal. “The good news for homeowners is now they have an opportunity to prove their case and get a trial on its merits.”

Previously, many banks angling for repossession would not present the note in court, instead saying it was lost, stolen or destroyed. But the ruling puts the paperwork under closer inspection, and the mortgage note must be correctly dated and endorsed. If there is doubt, the bank must dismiss and refile the case, or the homeowner would be entitled to a hearing, instead of the typical “summary judgment,” which assumes there is no argument against the evidence presented. [Palm Beach Post]