Jeffrey T. Spell, Attorney at Law

1721 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 452-3553

Real Estate Litigation

                       Quiet Title as Foreclosure Defense Scam
There is a popular trend these days with websites popping up advising that a Quiet Title Action can be an effective tool in defending a foreclosure action.  I have reviewed several of these sites and talked with several clients and potential clients who have dealt with these sites.  I am convinced that little or none of the information or services being sold on these type sites is useful in South Carolina and may not be beneficial in any jusrisdiction.  The idea is that if you are facing foreclosure, you can stop the Plaintiff Bank dead in it's tracks by insisting that the Bank prove that it actually holds the Note and Mortgage and is actually entitled to bring the action.  Somewhere in our Country, (legend has it) somebody defeated a Bank with this or a similar tactic and may have actually gotten to keep their house for free.  I know there was a Michigan case (Bavalaqua, I think) where the Defendant (homeowner/borrower) won at trial but that case was later overturned on appeal.   Part of this trend is based upon a mortgage servicing outfit known as MERS.  It appears that some clever lawyers somewhere responded to foreclosure complaints by asserting that the Plaintiff had no standing to bring the action because it (MERS) did not "own" the debt but merely serviced it (collected it).  MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Service) became popular in the early 2000 as more and more mortgage products were being bundled and sold on the secondary market as securitized commodities.  The question, "Who really owns your mortgage?" became a novelty with some members of the Defense bar.  My experience in South Carolina is that the Plaintiff institution need only show a properly recorded assignment (or series of assignments) to bring the action.  Arguments that the Plaintiff is not the proper entity to bring the action might slow the process down in some small way but will not stop it.  These unscrupulous websites are selling the notion that "they" can give you the tools you need to stop a foreclosure, turn the action against the bank and magically keep your home without paying for it.  It simply does not work that way in out state and I seriously doubt it works that way in any state.

My office regularly handles cases involving all sorts of land-related ownership issues. These typically include: Heirs Property, Tax Deeds, Foreclosure Defense, Encroachment and Partition Actions.

We bring actions to Confirm Tax Deeds as well as actions to set-aside Tax Sales and Deeds.  We bring foreclosure actions and defend those being foreclosed upon.  We also bring actions to quiet heirs issues and to partition land if necessary.

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