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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

German 'Fraudclosure' Issues

Hat-tip to Glen Davis, insolvency and financial services barrister par excellence, for pointing out Dr Philiipp Esser's piece on "Mortgage Foreclosure Turbulence" in Germany.

It seems the US securitisation market is not the only one in which the purchasers of mortgage debt have enforcement problems. German portfolios are similarly vulnerable.

According to Philipp, the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) has ruled (in XI ZR 200/09) that the Risk Limitation Act 2008 requires the loan purchaser to become a party to the original security agreement between the borrower and the original lender before it can lawfully exercise any immediate right of foreclosure in that security agreement. Merely taking an assignment of the agreement from the original lender is not enough. Unlawfully foreclosing will also render the loan purchaser directly liable for any damage suffered by the borrower.

Philipp suggests that "in most transfers of real estate loans for purposes of refinancing the acquirer has not joined the [original] security agreement."

Robo-signers beware!
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