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Plaintiff not party to assignment lacks standing to challenge its validity

Holding that MCL 600.3205b(2) authorized defendant-BNY to foreclose on the plaintiffs' property, the court affirmed the trial court's order granting BNY summary disposition. "Plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the validity of the assignments to which they were not a party," and absent such a challenge, the record clearly showed that BNY owned both the note and the mortgage. Further, the trial court did not err in relying on judicial admissions or an affidavit in granting defendant-Flagstar summary disposition, and its determination plaintiffs' claims against Flagstar were frivolous was not erroneous. Thus, in Docket No. 315242 the court affirmed the trial court's grant of summary disposition for all the defendants, and in Docket No. 315283 it affirmed the grant of sanctions for Flagstar against plaintiffs. While plaintiffs argued that the trial court could not grant BNY summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(10) because it previously denied BNY's motion under MCR 2.116(C)(8), "the two bases for granting summary disposition are completely different and not necessarily relevant to each other." The trial court found at the first hearing that plaintiffs sufficiently alleged a cause of action for violation of MCL 600.3205a. "The fact that a complaint articulates a cause of action does not mean there necessarily exists evidence to support it." Further, the court held that "MCL 600.3205b(2) expressly permitted BNY to take the actions it did." BNY produced evidence that it requested documents from plaintiffs, but never received them, and plaintiffs provided no evidence to the contrary. Further, the mortgage provided that MERS was the mortgagee, as nominee for the "Lender." While "the ownership interest in the mortgage shifted, the mortgagee only changed when MERS assigned the mortgage to BNY. That assignment was recorded, so the recorded chain of title consisted of plaintiffs' original mortgage with MERS as mortgagee and MERS's assignment to BNY." Nothing in the statutory language or the relevant case law "required the recording of the intermediate transfers of the mortgage interest among MERS lenders while MERS remained the mortgagee." The court also concluded that in light of the judicial admissions by Flagstar's counsel that Flagstar had no interest in the mortgage or note, "title could have been quieted in plaintiffs or any other party without Flagstar's presence in the lawsuit." Further, nothing in the documentary record required its inclusion. Since "no set of facts or law could have vested in Flagstar any interest in the property," little, "if any, investigation would have been necessary to determine that plaintiffs had no basis for bringing any claims against Flagstar."

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