Monday, June 21, 2010

Signatures On Mortgage Documents Are Self Authenticating

In Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC (4D08-4635), the Fourth District granted a motion for rehearing and affirmed the trial court's order.  The original opinion was previously discussed HERE.  The court described the facts as follows:
Aurora moved for summary judgment. In support of the motion, it filed two affidavits attesting that it owned and held the note and mortgage. At the hearing on the motion, Aurora produced the original mortgage and promissory note. The note had an indorsement in blank with the hand printed signature of Humberto Alday, an agent of the indorser, First Mangus.
That signature was sufficient to demonstrate Auroroa owned the note.  The court stated:
Aurora’s possession of the original note, indorsed in blank, was sufficient under Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code to establish that it was the lawful holder of the note, entitled to enforce its terms. The note was a negotiable instrument subject to the provisions of Chapter 673, Florida Statutes (2008). An indorsement requires a “signature.” § 673.2041(1), Fla. Stat. (2008). As an agent of First Magnus, Alday’s hand printed signature was an effective signature under the Code.
There is no issue of authentication. The borrower did not contest that the note at issue was the one he executed in the underlying mortgage transaction. With respect to the authenticity of the indorsement, the note was self authenticating. Subsection 90.902(8), Florida Statutes (2008), provides that “[c]ommercial papers and signatures thereon and documents relating to them [are self authenticating], to the extent provided in the Uniform Commercial Code.” Subsection 673.3081(1), Florida Statutes (2008), provides that “[i]n an action with respect to an instrument, the authenticity of, and authority to make, each signature  on the instrument is admitted unless specifically denied in the pleadings.” Nothing in the pleadings placed the authenticity of Alday’s signature at issue.


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