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LaRace v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. as Trustee Update

Wells Fargo Bank filed its Motion for Summary Judgment Against Mark and Tammy LaRace on January 14, 2019, and The Firm just filed its Opposition to this Motion

Wells Fargo has tried to remove our clients from their residential property for the past decade, including being the unnamed party in the nationally cited case U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Ibanez, 458 Mass. 637, 941 N.E.2d 40 (MA SJC 2011).

We faced off against K&L Gates in 2009-2011 in Ibanez, and in the years subsequent to the ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) We have faced off against Hinshaw & Culbertson, under filed two subsequently filed actions, 1) a try-title proceeding, and 2) a civil law suit seeking monetary damages. Both matters ended up facing dismissal, the try-title proceeding as a result of the ruling inAbate v. Fremont Investment & Loan, 470 Mass 821 (SJC 2015), where the SJC held that a "mortgagor" (borrower) only possess, standing to invoke the subject matter jurisdiction of the court sufficient to establish the "adverse claimant prong" of the jurisdictional prerequisites if there has been a completed foreclosure auction. The LaRace family had not witnessed a valid foreclosure auction sale at the time of the filing of their "petition".

A key issue for examination in this matter, is the production of an "assignment of mortgage in blank" during the 2009-2011 litigation between the parties. Indeed, this production was referenced in the Ibanez ruling by the SJC at page 652

"We now turn briefly to three other arguments raised by the plaintiffs on appeal. First, the plaintiffs initially contended that the assignments in blank executed by Option One, identifying the assignor but not the assignee, not only "evidence[] and confirm[] the assignments that occurred by virtue of the securitization agreements," but "are effective assignments in their own right." But in their reply briefs they conceded that the assignments in blank did not constitute a lawful assignment of the mortgages. Their concession is appropriate. We have long held that a conveyance of real property, such as a mortgage, that does not name the assignee conveys nothing and is void; we do not regard an assignment of land in blank as giving legal title in land to the bearer of the assignment. See Flavin v. Morrissey, 327 Mass. 217, 219 (1951); Macurda v. Fuller, 225 Mass. 341, 344 (1916). See also G. L. c. 183, § 3."

That assignment can be seen here:

We will keep you updated with the further progression of this matter, as events warrant.

However, as this is active litigation, we must limit our discussion t the presentation of facts at this in time