On March 17, 2016, The Estavillo Law Group appeared before the First Appellate District- Fifth Division in San Francisco to argue Watland v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, et al.

The Estavillo Law Group appealed a demurrer without leave to amend and judgment for a Sonoma County Superior Court. . The original complaint alleged that Deutsche Bank, who was claiming to be the new Lender under both the Note and Deed of Trust, could not be the lender based upon the fact the original lender WMC Mortgage Corp. went out of business in 2007 and the Assignments of Deed of Trust which Deutsche Bank was relying upon were void.

Since the briefing for this appeal took place before the landmark decision of Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage was issued by the California Supreme Court on February 18, 2016, yesterday’s court hearing was held to address the trial court’s original ruling. At the Court’s request, both sides were to be prepared to argue how the Yvanova decision applied to this appeal.

While the banks will argue till they are blue in the face that Yvanova only applies to “post foreclosure” cases, it is clear that a homeowner has standing to challenge a “void” assignment or other “specific factual basis” by which the entity trying to foreclosure has no legal or factual basis.

Appellants’ counsel, Jason Estavillo, was prepared to address the questions presented by the court. However, before he could get through the first two paragraphs of his opening statement, Justice Henry E. Needham, Jr. began peppering Mr. Estavillo with questions, followed by questions from Presiding Justice Barbara J.R. Jones and Justice Terence L. Bruiniers, until Mr. Estavillo’s time was up.

What we took away from yesterday’s experience during our argument is that the Courts might still be reluctant to embrace Yvanova which disapproved of Jenkins v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Siliga v. Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc., Fontenot v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Herrera v. Federal National Mortgage Assn. which the Courts held that borrowers lack standing to challenge an assignment of the deed of trust.

More importantly, the California State Supreme Court is taking up the pre-foreclosure issue in Keshtgar v. U.S. Bank. The California Supreme Court granted review but has delayed briefing pending the resolution of Yvanova. Keshtgar is another case that refused to embrace Glaski which Yvanova did embrace and stated, “We conclude Glaski, supra, 218 Cal.App.4th 1079 was correct to hold a wrongful foreclosure. Plaintiff has standing to claim the foreclosing entity’s purported authority to order a trustee’s sale was based on a void assignment of the note and deed of trust.”

The Estavillo Law Group is still waiting for the Court’s decision in Watland v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, et al. We realize the implications that Yvanova case has on not only our clients’ cases, but cases throughout California.

If you or someone you know may be facing a foreclosure or is in the foreclosure process, please contact us. We may be able to help you, too.