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Breggia v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Systems, Inc.

Supreme Court of Rhode Island

November 21, 2014

Patricia Breggia et al.
v.
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., et al

(PC 09-4144).

For Plaintiffs: Mindy C. Montecalvo, Esq.

For Defendants: Paul J. Bogosian, Jr., Esq.

Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.

OPINION

Page 637

Indeglia, Justice.

The plaintiffs, Patricia Breggia and Frank A. Breggia (Breggias or plaintiffs), appeal from the entry of summary judgment against them and in favor of the defendants Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS)[1] and OneWest Bank, FSB (OneWest). This case came before the Supreme Court for oral argument on October 28, 2014, pursuant to an order directing the parties to appear and show cause why the issues raised in this appeal should not be summarily decided. After hearing the arguments of counsel

Page 638

and reviewing the memoranda submitted on behalf of the parties, we are satisfied that cause has not been shown. Accordingly, we shall decide the appeal at this time without further briefing or argument. For the reasons set forth herein, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.

I

Facts and Travel

On February 23, 2007, the Breggias executed a promissory note (the note) in favor of defendant American Mortgage Network, Inc. (AmNet), in the amount of $300,000 plus interest, in order to purchase real estate located at 21 Tabor Drive, Johnston, Rhode Island (the property). The note stated in relevant part: " I understand that the Lender may transfer this Note. The Lender or anyone who takes this Note by transfer and who is entitled to receive payments under this Note is called the 'Note Holder.'" To secure payment obligations under the note, the Breggias executed a mortgage (the mortgage) on the property located at 21 Tabor Drive. The mortgage deed denominated the Breggias as the borrowers and mortgagors and specified that MERS was the mortgagee, acting as nominee for lender, AmNet, and lender's successors and assigns. The mortgage deed included the statutory power of sale in favor of MERS as well as its " successors and assigns." In the event that the Breggias failed to fulfill their obligations under the note, it was provided that MERS had the right to enforce its interests, " including, but not limited to, the right to foreclose and sell the Property." The mortgage deed was duly executed and recorded in the Land Evidence Records for the Town of Johnston on February 28, 2007.

AmNet subsequently transferred the note payable without recourse to IndyMac Bank, FSB (IndyMac), which then transferred the note endorsed in blank to Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae). IndyMac remained the servicing agent of the note on behalf of Fannie Mae.

On July 11, 2008, the Office of Thrift Supervision closed IndyMac and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver for IndyMac. The interim bank of IndyMac Federal Bank, FSB (IndyMac Federal) was established, and the FDIC was appointed as conservator for IndyMac Federal. IndyMac's assets were then transferred to IndyMac Federal, and the FDIC, still acting as receiver for IndyMac, assumed IndyMac's responsibilities as servicer of the notes which IndyMac had previously transferred to Fannie Mae. When IndyMac Federal was placed into receivership on March 19, 2009, substantially all of its assets were sold to OneWest, ...


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