In our August 29, 2013 post, we reported on a shift in the case law regarding the self-authentification of the authority to endorse a note and mortgage. Subsequently, however, the court in Bennett v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company granted the bank’s motion for rehearing, and summarily reversed its previous decision.
In the subsequent opinion (Bennett II) , the court relied on its previous decision in Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, wherein it held that an endorsement on a note was self-authenticating pursuant to Florida Statute § 90.902(8). The Bennett II court further relied upon Florida Statute § 673.3081(1), which states in part 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.”
The Bennett II opinion is great news for creditors and lenders. Because there is a statutory presumption that the authority to endorse notes and mortgages is self-authenticating, the burden is squarely on the debtor to prove otherwise. Lenders may sleep easier tonight – all is right in the endorsement world.