MERS’s authority to assign mortgages was called into question by a bankruptcy court in New York. In re Agard, 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 488 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. Feb. 10, 2011). In response to the servicer’s motion for relief from the automatic stay, the debtor challenged the servicer’s standing on the ground that MERS lacked the authority to assign the mortgage to the servicer. Because a state court had previously entered a judgment of foreclosure and sale in favor of the servicer, the court was compelled by the Rooker Feldman doctrine to reject the debtor’s claims. However, in lengthy dicta, the court opined that neither the designation of MERS as “nominee” or “agent,” nor the rights bestowed upon MERS in the mortgage instrument, authorized MERS to effectuate the assignment absent specific written directions by its principal.