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Massachusetts Court Hears Pivotal Mortgage-Transfer Case

A Massachusetts man should be allowed to keep property he bought from U.S. Bancorp even though the bank didn’t have the right to foreclose on the previous owner, a lawyer argued before the state’s highest court.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments today in the appeal of a lower-court decision that said the buyer of residential property in Haverhill, Massachusetts, never owned it because U.S. Bancorp foreclosed before it got the mortgage. If that decision is upheld it could have wide implications in the foreclosure crisis in which banks are accused of clouding home titles through sloppy transferring of mortgages. The high court will rule at a later date.