What Does "Legal Standing To Sue" Really Mean?

An Example of Why "Show Me the Note" is Powerful

Let's say that in 1998 you purchased a home in Lockport, Illinois and took out a mortgage loan with Chase Bank. During the time you owned the home, you received a letter from MahnaMahna Mortgage Company, Inc. informing you that it was the new owner of your home loan. Being a responsible person, you began making your payments to MahnaMahna as requested. Years later, in 2010, you fell behind on your mortgage payments. After several missed payments, you received a knock at the door and were served with a summons by the Will County sheriff.

The summons listed Washington Morgan Chase Bank as the plaintiff and indicated that it was a summons in a foreclosure action. Attached to the summons was a complaint with two exhibits. One of those exhibits was a copy of the note you executed in 1998. The note has no signatures on it besides your signature. In that situation, you would want to demand to view the original note. You'd also want to assert that, based on the face of its documents, Washington Morgan Chase Bank lacks the required standing to bring the foreclosure lawsuit.

Unless Washington Morgan Chase Bank can demonstrate that it was in possession of the original note, which was either indorsed in blank or indorsed as payable to Washington Morgan Chase Bank, at the time it filed its lawsuit, it lacks the required legal standing to bring the lawsuit. Since a party must have standing on the date that it files its lawsuit, Washington Morgan Chase Bank can likely file a new lawsuit if it actually has standing. However, its current lawsuit must be dismissed as a matter of law. This is the heart of a solid standing defense.

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