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Nationstar Mortgage LLC v. Galvin

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

May 2, 2019

NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC, d/b/a MR. COOPER, Plaintiff,
v.
DANIEL GALVIN, Defendant.

          ORDER

          DAVID H. HENNESSY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Nationstar Mortgage LLC (“Nationstar”), doing business as Mr. Cooper, filed this action to quiet title in and foreclose upon a parcel of real estate owned by pro se Defendant Daniel Galvin (“Galvin”). The parties have consented to my jurisdiction over all proceedings. Dkt. no. 10. Now before me is Nationstar's renewed motion for summary judgment on the only surviving count of its complaint. Dkt. no. 38. For the reasons that follow, the motion is GRANTED.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Unless otherwise noted, the following facts in the summary judgment record are not in dispute.

         A. The Note and Mortgage

         In September 2002, Galvin acquired the property known as 12 Walden Court, Leominster, Massachusetts (the “Property”) from ReloAction, a California corporation, by means of a quitclaim deed. Dkt. no. 1 (“Complaint”) ¶ 11; dkt. no. 1-1, at pp. 1-2 (copy of quitclaim deed). Galvin paid ReloAction $315, 000 for the Property. Dkt. no. 1-1, at 1. To finance the purchase, Galvin obtained a loan in the amount of $283, 500 from non-party C&G Financial Services, Inc. (“C&G”), a California corporation. Complaint ¶ 16. The loan was evidenced by a promissory note (the “Note”) in favor of C&G and dated October 4, 2002. Id.; see also dkt. no. 1-1, at 6-9 (copy of Note); dkt. no. 41 (Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, or “PSOF”) ¶ 1. As security for the Note, Galvin executed a mortgage on the Property in the principal amount of $283, 500 (the “Mortgage”). Complaint ¶ 22; dkt. no. 1-1, at pp. 10-22; PSOF ¶ 6. The Mortgage identifies C&G as the lender and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) as the mortgagee, “acting solely as a nominee for [C&G] and [C&G's] successors and assigns.” Complaint ¶ 22; dkt. no. 1-1, at p. 10; PSOF ¶ 6. The Mortgage was recorded in the Worcester Northern Registry of Deeds (“Registry of Deeds”) on October 4, 2012, at Book 4356, Pages 80 et seq. Complaint ¶ 22; dkt. no. 1-1, at p. 10; PSOF ¶ 6. The two instruments at the center of this case are the Note and Mortgage. Both documents have been transferred several times over the years.

         1. Note Transfers

         First, C&G endorsed the Note to Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB (“Lehman Brothers Bank”). Complaint ¶ 17; dkt. no. 1-1, at p. 9; PSOF ¶ 2. Lehman Brothers Bank then endorsed the Note to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (“Lehman Brothers Holdings”). Complaint ¶ 18; dkt. no. 1-1, at p. 9; PSOF ¶ 3. In turn, Lehman Brothers Holdings endorsed the Note in blank. See dkt. no. 1-1, at p. 9 (“Pay to the order of without recourse.”); see also Complaint ¶ 19; PSOF ¶ 4. Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) is the current owner and holder of the Note. Complaint ¶ 20; PSOF ¶ 5.

         2. Assignments of Mortgage

         The ownership history of the Mortgage is more complicated. The Mortgage is dated October 4, 2002. Complaint ¶ 22; dkt. no. 1-1, at p. 10; PSOF ¶ 6. As noted above, it names Galvin as the borrower, C&G as the lender, and MERS as the mortgagee. Complaint ¶ 22; dkt. no. 1-1, at p. 10; PSOF ¶ 6. The Mortgage has been the subject of numerous assignments, most of which, according to Nationstar, are invalid. I proceed chronologically.

         On July 11, 2003, C&G executed an Assignment of Mortgage to Lehman Brothers Bank, which was recorded in the Registry of Deeds on August 13, 2003, in Book 4891, Pages 175 et seq. Complaint ¶ 23; dkt. no. 1-1, at pp. 23-24; PSOF ¶ 8.

         On January 27, 2006, Lehman Brothers Bank executed an Assignment of Mortgage to MERS, which was recorded in the Registry of Deeds on February 8, 2006, in Book 6017, Pages 283 et seq. Complaint ¶ 25; dkt. no. 1-1, at pp. 25-26; PSOF ¶ 10.

         On August 25, 2008, MERS executed an Assignment of Mortgage to C&G, which was recorded in the Registry of Deeds on September 25, 2008, in Book 6801, Pages 248 et seq. (the “First MERS Assignment”). Complaint ¶ 27; dkt. no. 1-1, at pp. 27-28; PSOF ¶ 12. The First MERS Assignment specifies an “effective date” of October 15, 2002. Complaint ¶ 28; dkt. no. 1-1, at p. 27.

         That same day, MERS also executed an Assignment of Mortgage to Aurora Loan Services, LLC (“Aurora”), which was recorded in the Registry of Deeds on September 25, 2008, in Book 6801, Pages 250 et seq. (the “Second MERS Assignment”). Complaint ¶ 30; dkt. no. 1-1, at pp. 29-30; PSOF ¶ 13. The Second MERS Assignment was recorded immediately after the First MERS Assignment. See dkt. no. 1-1, at pp. 27-28 (containing First MERS Assignment recorded in Book 6801 at Pages 248-49); id. at pp. 29-30 (containing Second MERS Assignment recorded in Book 6801 at Pages 250-51).

         On July 24, 2009, Aurora executed an Assignment of Mortgage to MERS, which was recorded in the Registry of Deeds on August 5, 2009, in Book 7005, Pages 60 et seq. Complaint ¶ 33; dkt. no. 1-1, at pp. 37-38; PSOF ¶ 16.

         On June 22, 2011, MERS executed an Assignment of Mortgage to Aurora, which was recorded in the Registry of Deeds on July 25, 2011, in Book 7444, Pages 193 et seq. (the “Third MERS Assignment”). ...


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