Article courtesy of Andrew Thomison of Baker Botts L.L.P.
In Morgan v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, No. 4:20-CV-00672, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19122 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 2, 2021), the plaintiffs challenged the foreclosure of their homestead by the defendant, who had purchased the home loan from the plaintiffs’ original lender, by asserting, among other things, that the assignment of the home loan from the original lender to the defendant was forged. In connection with the suit, the defendant argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to contest the assignment of the loan, since they were not a party to the assignment agreement. The court noted prior case law stating that “borrowers who are ‘not a party to the assignment of the Note and Deed of Trust…lack standing to contest the assignment.’” (Herrera v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33592, 2013 WL 961551, at *8 (S.D. Tex. 2013)), but further noted that Texas courts do allow for obligors to challenge assignments on any grounds which render the assignment void (Reinagel v. Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co., 735 F.3d 220, 225 (5th Cir. 2013)). Since the plaintiffs challenged the assignment based on alleged forgery, they established standing to contest the assignment. The court concluded, however, that the plaintiffs failed to plead their claim of forgery with specificity, and therefore the court dismissed the complaint.