Bank of America, N.A. v. Casey, No. 14-2115 (1st Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was the correct interpretation of two different state statutes concerning defects in real estate titles. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee filed this action to avoid a mortgage held by a bank that contained a material defect: the certificate of acknowledgement did not include the names of the mortgagors. After the mortgage was recorded, the notary on the mortgage executed an affidavit, later recorded, attesting that the debtors had personally and voluntarily signed the mortgage. The debtors later went into bankruptcy. At issue in this case was whether, under Massachusetts law, the affidavit could cure the defective acknowledgement or otherwise provide constructive notice to a bona fide purchaser. If not, the bankruptcy trustee could avoid the mortgage. Because the state law questions were dispositive and unresolved by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), the First Circuit certified the questions for resolution by the Massachusetts SJC.