From what I understand, the foreclosing party needs to have in their possession the original note with wet ink signature.
In addition, they need an unbroken chain of ownership/title.
Issues with either can result in complicating the process for the bank all the way to making them unable to foreclose. All depends on how the local court judges view this issues. I've read that there are judges who side with banks no matter what and others which require the banks to have every detail correct.
Best bet would be to find a local lawfirm that specializes in foreclosure defense... talk to them about these types of issues when you first meet to see if they are willing to investigate the possibility of these defenses. In my area I know of at least one law firm which does this as I know an employee of the firm.
Here are some articles you should read:
Also do some searching on market-ticker.org for "MERS" related info as there is much interesting info there on the topic.
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