STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Patrick Wollmering, et al., Appellants,
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N. A., et al., Respondents,
Usset, Weingarden and Liebo, P. L. L. P., Respondent.
Filed July 22, 2013
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 27-CV-11-2383
Considered and decided by Hudson, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Stauber, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellants-mortgagors challenge the summary-judgment dismissal of their action challenging the validity of mortgage interests asserted by respondents, arguing that (1) fact issues exist regarding whether respondents’ purported interests in appellants’ properties were invalidated by unrecorded mortgage assignments; and (2) the district court erred in concluding that the evidence presented by appellant-mortgagors was speculative. We affirm.
Appellants are six homeowners who obtained loans to purchase their homes. Appellants executed promissory notes in favor of the lenders and mortgages to secure the loans. The mortgages named respondent Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) as the mortgagee, as nominee for the lenders and their successors. The supreme court has explained that MERS is an electronic registration system that was created in the aftermath of the 1993 savings and loan crisis. MERS does not originate, lend, service, or invest in home mortgage loans. Instead, MERS acts as the nominal mortgagee for the loans owned by its members. The MERS system is designed to allow its members, which include originators, lenders, servicers, and investors, to assign home mortgage loans without having to record each transfer in the local land recording offices where the real estate securing the mortgage is located. MERS members pay subscriber fees to register on the MERS system, as well as other fees on each loan registered and each transaction conducted.
D E C I S I O N
Summary judgment is appropriate when “the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that either party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Minn. R. Civ. P. 56.03. On appeal from summary judgment, this court reviews de novo whether any genuine issues of material fact exist and whether the district court erred in applying the law. The evidence is viewed “in the light most favorable to the party against whom summary judgment was granted.” McKee v. Laurion, 825 N.W.2d 725, 729 (Minn. 2013).