Nevada Supreme Court takes up foreclosure case

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The Nevada Supreme Court weighed arguments Wednesday on whether U.S. Bank can foreclose on a Douglas County couple's home despite findings by a mediator that not all required documents were presented during mediation.

Lawyers involved in the case said the court's ruling could have wide repercussions on foreclosures in a state hard-hit by the collapse of the housing market.

Attorneys for Andrew and Lauretta Davis want justices to send the case back to Washoe County District Court for a hearing on whether documents handled by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, were signed by an authorized officer and whether they properly conveyed the Davis' mortgage from the now-defunct Ownit Mortgage Solutions to U.S. Bank.

The couple's attorneys claim MERS lacked the authority to assign the loan to the bank.

"The certification for this assignment was not produced," attorney Mark Mausert argued before six of the high court's seven justices. Chief Justice Nancy Saitta missed the session but is expected to listen to arguments before a ruling is handed down at a later date.

A lawyer for the lender countered that the arguments raised by the Davis' attorneys go beyond the scope of Nevada's Foreclosure Mediation program, and that disputes over the validity of documents should be addressed in a separate lawsuit.

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