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Note with mortgage that says "Pay to the order of Without recourse Washington Mutual Bank” and signed, what does that mean?

Saint Petersburg, FL |

I am in Florida. It says the above at the end of the note and is signed by a vice president. Does that mean that no deficiency judgement can be made and they can't come to me for anything other than the property?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. What you are referring to is an endorsement on the mortgage. Specifically, if it does not have a name on the stamp other than your lender, it is an "endorsement in blank." This is how banks transfer ownership of the note, and also what allows other banks or servicers to enforce the note through foreclosure. It is similar to signing over a check to someone else's name.

    The endorsement alone should have no affect on the bank's ability to get a deficiency judgment.

    This communication is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney/client relationship. You are encouraged to consult with an attorney in your area to discuss your case in person. Roberto M. Vazquez, Esq. and the Morey Law Firm, P.A. practice law throughout the state of Florida. Please visit our website at www.moreylawfirm.com.


  2. The endorsement shows the Court that the Plaintiff in your case owns the note and is able to bring the foreclosure action.


  3. A mortgage note is a negotiable instrument and must be transferred according to the law. The "pay to the order of" language identifies the new owner of the note. The "without recourse" language says that the person or company executing the endorsement cannot be sued for the amount of the note or for any deficiency. Without this language, every endorser guarantees the collectability of the note.

    If you are concerned about your mortgage note, you should consult a lawyer in your area who is experienced in foreclosure defense.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.


  4. It has nothing to do with your liability as the borrower. If it’s a recourse note (and most residential loans are), you remain liable for any deficiency.


  5. This language is often referred to as a "general endorsement," which allows a bank (other than the original lender) to foreclose on your property. If not properly done, it could provide you with important defenses to which you are entitled -- as long as you properly (and timely) assert them. You should consult an attorney who is experienced in foreclosure defense work who can review your paperwork and advise you accordingly.

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