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Debrunner v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.

California Court of Appeal
138 Cal Rptr. 3d 830 (2012)


Facts

Stephen Debrunner (plaintiff) loaned money to Barbara Chiu. The loan was secured by a deed of trust held by Quick Loan Funding, Inc. (Quick Loan). Chiu signed a promissory note and second deed of trust, in favor of Debrunner. Quick Loan assigned the first deed of trust, but not the underlying promissory note, to a third party. The first deed of trust was eventually assigned to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (Deutsche) (defendant). In January 2008, Debrunner commenced foreclosure proceedings on the property. As a result of the foreclosure, Debrunner obtained a trustee’s deed in March 2009. In September 2009, Deutsche commenced foreclosure proceedings on the property. Debrunner brought suit, seeking a declaratory judgment that Deutsche had no right to foreclose, and also seeking to quiet title. Debrunner argued that the assignment of a deed of trust without an assignment of the underlying promissory note is a legal nullity. The superior court sustained Deutsche’s demurrer to the complaint. Debrunner appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Elia, J.)

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