By Brett Weiss, Maryland Bankruptcy Attorney on Apr 20, 2008 in Lawyer to Lawyer, Chapter 12 Bankruptcy, Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Maryland, Foreclosure Issues, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy,Automatic Stay, Bankruptcy Cases of Interest, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A recent bench decision by Maryland Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas J. Catliota was an important ruling regarding the real party in interest requirement of FRBP 7017.
Americredit Financial Services, Inc., an auto loan servicer, filed a MLS in its own name. Its name appears on the car title as the sole lienholder, it represented that it “has a validly perfected, first priority purchase money security interest in the Collateral…” and it was listed as a secured creditor in both the Schedules and the Chapter 13 Plan.
A response was filed to the MLS arguing that the car loan had been sold to a securitized trust, and that Americredit was therefore not the real party in interest. Americredit responded by agreeing that the note had been transferred to the securitized trust, but argued that the debtor’s failure to object to the POC waived this issue, and that its servicing agreement with the trust allowed it to file the MLS in its own name.
Judge Catliota ruled that since the loan was not owned by Americredit, it needed to file the MLS in the name of the actual noteholder, and denied the MLS (but allowed Americredit to amend to reflect the true owner of the loan).
With the vast majority of loans (home, car, computer, etc.) being securitized, this is an important defense to MLSs, particularly since in a number of these cases, the securitized trust is simply unable to produce the original note or demonstrate that the title records appropriately reflect that it is the proper secured party.