So a bank may, for instance, claim to own your loan even if it doesn't, just because it did own it at one point and because it still owns the servicing rights to the loan -- i.e. the bank can show that it still has something to do with your loan, even if it's not true ownership of the loan.
I recently had a case where my clients sought to nullify a defective deed of trust by filing a lawsuit in Fairfax County, Virginia to quiet title against all parties. An interesting thing arose when OneWest, a party not named in the lawsuit, tried to intervene as the purported current owner of the loan and successor to the original "Lender."
Of course, we asked OneWest: who are you and what do you have to do with the instant litigation? OneWest, in turn, claimed that the loan was previously owned by IndyMac and that, as IndyMac's successor (through FDIC receivership in 2009), OneWest had acquired all of the assets of the failed IndyMac, including the subject loan.
We pointed out an obvious and rather glaring discrepancy with OneWest's claim: conspicuously absent from OneWest's request to intervene into our lawsuit was any evidence that IndyMac still owned the subject loan when it failed and when its assets were seized by FDIC and transferred to OneWest in 2009. We pointed out that the loan had loan been gone from IndyMac's books by 2009, so that even if OneWest had acquired every pen and paper clip of IndyMac, it could not have acquired the subject loan.
On the eve the hearing .... drum-roll.... OneWest withdrew its request to intervene and subsequently disappeared.
Given that there are rather few pro-homeowner rulings in pro-establishment Virginia, it has been a rather common strategy of the banks every time they are pinned down: disappear rather than risk an adverse ruling.