New Shockwaves From Courts and Accounting Board

Wall Street was not responding to legitimate consumer demand, it was creating an artificial demand simply to create mortgage product to feed its securitization machine and generate big fees for itself.

Comment from Reader:
“MERS and the Pretender Lenders are seeking the courts to credit them with a touchdown despite the obvious fact that they do not and never did have possession of the football. Challenge flag anyone?”

The Next Financial Crisis Hits Wall Street, as Judges Start Nixing Foreclosures

By PAM MARTENS www.counterpunch.org

The financial tsunami unleashed by Wall Street’s esurient alchemy of spinning toxic home mortgages into triple-A bonds, a process known as securitization, has set off its second round of financial tremors.

After leaving mortgage investors, bank shareholders, and pension fiduciaries awash in losses and a large chunk of Wall Street feeding at the public trough, the full threat of this vast securitization machine and its unseen masters who push the levers behind a tightly drawn curtain is playing out in courtrooms across America.

Three plain talking judges, in state courts in Massachusetts and Kansas, and a Federal Court in Ohio, have drilled down to the “straw man” aspect of securitization. The judges’ decisions have raised serious questions as to the legality of hundreds of thousands of foreclosures that have transpired as well as the legal standing of the subsequent purchasers of those homes, who are more and more frequently the Wall Street banks themselves.

Adding to the chaos, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has made rule changes that will force hundreds of billions of dollars of these securitizations back onto the Wall Street banks balance sheets, necessitating the need to raise capital just as the unseemly courtroom dramas are playing out.

The problems grew out of the steps required to structure a mortgage securitization. In order to meet the test of an arm’s length transaction, pass muster with regulators, conform to accounting rules and to qualify as an actual sale of the securities in order to be removed from the bank’s balance sheet, the mortgages get transferred a number of times before being sold to investors. Typically, the original lender [Editor’s Note: Read that as “originating lender” or “pretender lender”] (or a sponsor who has purchased the mortgages in the secondary market) will transfer the mortgages to a limited purpose entity called a depositor. The depositor will then transfer the mortgages to a trust which sells certificates to investors based on the various risk-rated tranches of the mortgage pool. (Theoretically, the lower rated tranches were to absorb the losses of defaults first with the top triple-A tiers being safe. In reality, many of the triple-A tiers have received ratings downgrades along with all the other tranches.)

Because of the expense, time and paperwork it would take to record each of the assignments of the thousands of mortgages in each securitization, Wall Street firms decided to just issue blank mortgage assignments all along the channel of transfers, skipping the actual physical recording of the mortgage at the county registry of deeds.

Astonishingly, representatives for the trusts have been foreclosing on homes across the country, evicting the families, then auctioning the homes, without a proper paper trail on the mortgage assignments or proof that they had legal standing. In some cases, the courts have allowed the representatives to foreclose and evict despite their admission that the original mortgage note is lost. (This raises the question as to whether these mortgage notes are really lost or might have been fraudulently used in multiple securitizations, a concern raised by some Wall Street veterans.)

But, at last, some astute judges have done more than take a cursory look and render a shrug. In a decision handed down on October 14, 2009, Judge Keith Long of the Massachusetts Land Court wrote:

The blank mortgage assignments they possessed transferred nothing...in Massachusetts, a mortgage is a conveyance of land. Nothing is conveyed unless and until it is validly conveyed. The various agreements between the securitization entities stating that each had a right to an assignment of the mortgage are not themselves an assignment and they are certainly not in recordable form…The issues in this case are not merely problems with paperwork or a matter of dotting i’s and crossing t’s. Instead, they lie at the heart of the protections given to homeowners and borrowers by the Massachusetts legislature. To accept the plaintiffs’ arguments is to allow them to take someone’s home without any demonstrable right to do so, based upon the assumption that they ultimately will be able to show that they have that right and the further assumption that potential bidders will be undeterred by the lack of a demonstrable legal foundation for the sale and will nonetheless bid full value in the expectation that that foundation will ultimately be produced, even if it takes a year or more. The law recognizes the troubling nature of these assumptions, the harm caused if those assumptions prove erroneous, and commands otherwise.” [Italic emphasis in original.] (U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez/Wells Fargo v. Larace)

A month and a half before, on August 28, 2009, Judge Eric S. Rosen of the Kansas Supreme Court took an intensive look at a “straw man” some Wall Street firms had set up to handle the dirty work of foreclosure and serve as the “nominee” as the mortgages flipped between the various entities. Called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.) it’s a bankruptcy-remote subsidiary of MERSCORP, which in turn is owned by units of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, the Mortgage Bankers Association and assorted mortgage and title companies. According to the MERSCORP web site, these “shareholders played a critical role in the development of MERS. Through their capital support, MERS was able to fund expenses related to development and initial start-up.”

In recent years, MERS has become less of an electronic registration system and more of a serial defendant in courts across the land. In a May 2009 document titled “The Building Blocks of MERS,” the company concedes that “Recently there has been a wave of lawsuits filed by homeowners facing foreclosure which challenge MERS standing…” and then proceeds over the next 30 pages to describe the lawsuits state by state, putting a decidedly optimistic spin on the situation.

MERS doesn’t have a big roster of employees or lawyers running around the country foreclosing and defending itself in lawsuits. It simply deputizes employees of the banks and mortgage companies that use it as a nominee. It calls these deputies a “certifying officer.” Here’s how they explain this on their web site: “A certifying officer is an officer of the Member [mortgage company or bank] who is appointed a MERS officer by the Corporate Secretary of MERS by the issuance of a MERS Corporate Resolution. The Resolution authorizes the certifying officer to execute documents as a MERS officer.”

Kansas Supreme Court Judge Rosen wasn’t buying MERS’ story. In fact, Wall Street was probably not too happy to land before Judge Rosen. In January 2002, Judge Rosen had received the Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” Humanitarian Award; he previously served as Associate General Counsel for the Kansas Securities Commissioner, and as Assistant District Attorney in Shawnee County, Kansas. Judge Rosen wrote:

“The relationship that MERS has to Sovereign [Bank] is more akin to that of a straw man than to a party possessing all the rights given a buyer… What meaning is this court to attach to MERS’s designation as nominee for Millennia [Mortgage Corp.]? The parties appear to have defined the word in much the same way that the blind men of Indian legend described an elephant — their description depended on which part they were touching at any given time. Counsel for Sovereign stated to the trial court that MERS holds the mortgage ‘in street name, if you will, and our client the bank and other banks transfer these mortgages and rely on MERS to provide them with notice of foreclosures and what not.’ ” (Landmark National Bank v. Boyd A. Kesler)

Lawyers for homeowners see a darker agenda to MERS. Timothy McCandless, a California lawyer, wrote on his blog as follows:

“…all across the country, MERS now brings foreclosure proceedings in its own name — even though it is not the financial party in interest. This is problematic because MERS is not prepared for or equipped to provide responses to consumers’ discovery requests with respect to predatory lending claims and defenses. In effect, the securitization conduit attempts to use a faceless and seemingly innocent proxy with no knowledge of predatory origination or servicing behavior to do the dirty work of seizing the consumer’s home. While up against the wall of foreclosure, consumers that try to assert predatory lending defenses are often forced to join the party — usually an investment trust — that actually will benefit from the foreclosure. As a simple matter of logistics this can be difficult, since the investment trust is even more faceless and seemingly innocent than MERS itself. The investment trust has no customer service personnel and has probably not even retained counsel. Inquiries to the trustee — if it can be identified — are typically referred to the servicer, who will then direct counsel back to MERS. This pattern of non-response gives the securitization conduit significant leverage in forcing consumers out of their homes. The prospect of waging a protracted discovery battle with all of these well funded parties in hopes of uncovering evidence of predatory lending can be too daunting even for those victims who know such evidence exists. So imposing is this opaque corporate wall, that in a ‘vast’ number of foreclosures, MERS actually succeeds in foreclosing without producing the original note — the legal sine qua non of foreclosure — much less documentation that could support predatory lending defenses.”

One of the first judges to hand Wall Street a serious slap down was Christopher A. Boyko of U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Ohio. In an opinion dated October 31, 2007, Judge Boyko dismissed 14 foreclosures that had been brought on behalf of investors in securitizations. Judge Boyko delivered the following harsh rebuke in a footnote:

“Plaintiff’s ‘Judge, you just don’t understand how things work,’ argument reveals a condescending mindset and quasi-monopolistic system where financial institutions have traditionally controlled, and still control, the foreclosure process…There is no doubt every decision made by a financial institution in the foreclosure is driven by money. And the legal work which flows from winning the financial institution’s favor is highly lucrative. There is nothing improper or wrong with financial institutions or law firms making a profit – to the contrary, they should be rewarded for sound business and legal practices. However, unchallenged by underfinanced opponents, the institutions worry less about jurisdictional requirements and more about maximizing returns. Unlike the focus of financial institutions, the federal courts must act as gatekeepers…” (In Re Foreclosure Cases)

While the illegal foreclosure filings, investor lawsuits over securitization improprieties, and predatory lending challenges play out in courts across the country, a few sentences buried deep in Citigroup’s 10Q filing for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 signals that we’ve seen merely a few warts on the head of the securitization monster thus far and the massive torso remains well hidden in murky water.

Citigroup tells us that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued a new rule, SFAS No. 166, and this is going to have a significant impact on Citigroup’s Consolidated Financial Statements “as the Company will lose sales treatment for certain assets previously sold to QSPEs [Qualifying Special Purpose Entities], as well as for certain future sales, and for certain transfers of portions of assets that do not meet the definition of participating interests. Just when might we expect this new land mine to go off? “SFAS 166 is effective for fiscal years that begin after November 15, 2009.” There’s more bad news. The FASB has also issued SFAS 167 and, long story short, more of those off balance sheet assets are going to move back onto Citi’s books.

Bottom line says Citi:

“… the cumulative effect of adopting these new accounting standards as of January 1, 2010, based on financial information as of June 30, 2009, would result in an estimated aggregate after-tax charge to Retained earnings of approximately $8.3 billion, reflecting the net effect of an overall pretax charge to Retained earnings (primarily relating to the establishment of loan loss reserves and the reversal of residual interests held) of approximately $13.3 billion and the recognition of related deferred tax assets amounting to approximately $5.0 billion….” [Emphasis in original.]

I’m trying to imagine how the American taxpayer is going to be asked to put more money into Citigroup as it continues to bleed into infinity.

Citigroup is far from alone in financial hits that will be coming from the Qualifying Special Purpose Entities. Regulators are receiving letters from Citigroup and other Wall Street firms pressing hard to rethink when this change will take effect.

Putting aside for the moment the massive predatory lending frauds bundled into mortgage securitizations, inadequate debate has occurred on whether securitization of home mortgages (other than those of government sponsored enterprises) should be resuscitated or allowed to die a welcome death. If we understand the true function of Wall Street, to efficiently allocate capital, the answer must be a resounding no to this racket.

Trillions of dollars of bundled home mortgage loans and derivative side bets tied to those loans were being manufactured by Wall Street without any one asking the basic question: why is all this capital being invested in a dormant structure? Houses don’t think and innovate. Houses don’t spawn new technologies, patents, new industries. Houses don’t create the jobs of tomorrow.

Also, by acting as wholesale lenders to the unscrupulous mortgage firms (some in house at Wall Street firms), Wall Street was not responding to legitimate consumer demand, it was creating an artificial demand simply to create mortgage product to feed its securitization machine and generate big fees for itself. Now we see the aftermath of that inefficient allocation of capital: a massive glut of condos and homes pulling down asset prices in neighborhoods as well as in those ill-conceived securitizations whose triple-A ratings have been downgraded to junk.

There’s no doubt that one of the contributing factors to the depression of the 30s and the intractable unemployment today stem from a massive misallocation of capital to both bad ideas and fraud. Today’s Wall Street, it turns out, is just another straw man for a rigged wealth transfer system.

Pam Martens worked on Wall Street for 21 years; she has no security position, long or short, in any company mentioned in this article other than that which the U.S. Treasury has thrust upon her and fellow Americans involuntarily through TARP. She writes on public interest issues from New Hampshire. She can be reached at pamk741@aol.com

22 Responses

  1. hi im new to livinglies.wordpress.com , looking to learn new things 😀

  2. me and my three attorneys requested my mortgage statements i have not recieved in two years.i called my pretender lender ASC they refuse to send them.my lender is new century now i have wells fargo,deutche bank,asc,ndex west,hasco-2007-nc1 and MERS trying to steel my home.i do not know what they have to do with my home.LOOKING FOR A CLASS ACTION ATTORNEYS LIKE RICHARD L DIMAGGIO IN CA.WE HAVE A LOT OF THIS SCAM GOING ON HERE IN CALI.SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP WITH THIS RICO VIOLATION SCAM+

  3. 45 days since countrywide and boaf serve the papers for foreclosure in campspring md to me their lawyers admit that they dont have the note to the court also they file a paper to the envenremental stating my house was vacantesuch is not true i leave in it since 1986 i dont have any money for lawyers and iam 68single and take care of one grand child i understand that md court are denying theowners their and just close their eyes and let the bankerstake and sale the houseand evict my house was securitizeand i dont know who is thetrue owner how can i defend myself idont even think that i will see a judge they just will notifyie me when they sale the house any suggestions sincerelythankyou

  4. smallz,
    Nice article. Shoot me an email.

    Thanks,
    Dan Edstrom
    dmedstrom@hotmail.com

  5. Remember to take everything in mainstream media as the propaganda it is.Who is reporting what, are the very things you are so-pose to know, so ask yourself “Why do they want me to know this” &” Who benefits from me knowing”,”how”?

  6. Some fascinating current affairs reading:

    Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Benefit From Mortgage-Servicing Hedging – Bloomberg. com (October 22, 2009) at

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=ap8qFd_z2rFs

    Freddie Mac’s Secrecy Pacts Face Court Test – General * US * News * Story – CNBC.com (October 23, 2009) at

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/33447440

    New Jersey Pays Goldman Sachs for Swaps on Nonexistent Bonds (October 23, 2009) at

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aufmSRtDn0gg

  7. My suggestion is simply: Kill the Global Mortgage Fraud; Kill the Global Banking Fraud.

    This suggestion is very simple and could have a MASSIVE impact on this “Global Mortgage Fraud Scheme” if people stand up and fight. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that The Mortgage Fraud Scheme is the source propping up the Global derivative scheme. Unless I’ve been misinformed, Mortgages where “securitized” and deposited into MERS thereby facilitating & fueling the MBS & CDO markets. As you know, this “shadow market” functioned as the “labor and delivery” room assisting with the “still-birth” of massive amounts of toxic mortgage-derivatives sold globally as “AAA” rated securities. Since Wall Streets balance sheets are off-limits, nobody really knows the extent of the damage. Hence, Congressman Paul’s effort “Audit the Fed”. But, the general public can take advantage of documentation that’s likely “rife” with “perjury & fraud” logged into “county records” across America or even across the world depending on the laws of the state or country.

    Being in a legal battle with bailout recipients myself, I’ve come to see what appears to be a real vulnerability: The Mortgage Documentation. In fact, I’m not the only person thinking on this. A special thanks to foreclosurefraud@gmail.com for putting together an excellent tutorial on HOW this scheme is being done in County Records. (http://market-ticker.org/archives/1513-A-Birdie-On-Possible-Foreclosure-Frauds.html (Thanks again to Karl Denninger)

    As you already know, Wall Streets Derivatives and cooked books have been and are currently “papering over” and “hiding” losses easily since its done out of public view. Hence, Congressman Paul’s effort Audit the Fed. Nevertheless, according to CA Civil Statues, you must (a) SIGN, (b) NOTORIZE, and (c) RECORD documents substantiating foreclosure sale with the County Recorder. Unless I’ve been misinformed, these “securitized” loans where being passed between “pretender lenders” like a “whiskey bottle”. And all of this “undocumented”, “shadow market” activity is serving to eviscerate any “legal rights” for a “pretender lender” take possession of real property by means of a Judiciary. Why? Because getting caught committing and/or furthering fraud by a judge in court is serious and attorneys for “pretender lenders” know it! For example, an “unlawful detainer” (eviction) was filed against me and my family by an Attorney on behalf of a ‘pretender lender’ in July of 2009. However, after filing our response in objection to the “unlawful detainer” with the court, and the same Attorney for the “pretender lender” who filed the “unlawful detainer” against us, decided to pull a “total 180° about-face” by filing for dismissal, and dropping the whole case altogether. That was over 60-days ago.

    “MERS and the Pretender Lenders are seeking the courts to credit them with a touchdown despite the obvious fact that they do not and never did have possession of the football. Challenge flag anyone?” -A Well informed reader. 🙂

    Thank God for the “Challenge Flag” and “Instant replay”.

    Even further, how does one prove they “own” a car in court, if they can’t produce the title?

    There are a growing number of Court Rulings against these “pretender lenders” since Judges are getting ‘hip’ to the ‘scheme’: (http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2009/10/15/ibanezruling/)

    Although there is no silver bullet, If Americans can at least manage to turn off the Television and read, they’ll notice the “Ace-Card”, is that “Mortgage Assignments” where supposed to accompany a “security” (mortgage) through each and every step of the securitization chain, unless I’ve been misinformed. In other words, if a security was sold 4 times on the “securities market”, there should be 4 documented “Assignments of Mortgage” facilitating those “conveyances” filed in the “Primary” market otherwise known as the County Recorder’s office. Unless I’ve been misinformed, “Assignments of Mortgage” are the documented proof of “conveyance”. This documentation, along with a few others, in effect produce what is known as a “chain-of-title”; which is turning out to be “Kryptonite” to “Pretender Lenders”. This philosophy has been put forth by means of “Produce the Note” and similar strategies designed to get “imposters” to prove they own the debt they’re rabidly trying to collect.

    Wall Streets Book-Cooking worked fine in Boiler-Room operations out of public view. But in the “Primary” or Public market, declarations must be made “out in the open” and in some cases “under penalty of perjury”. This has put “imposters” and “pretender lenders” in dire straits when well-informed homeowners step up and fight.

  8. I live and have an office in Vienna, Virginia/ I own and operate a Mortgage Analysis and consulting firm. We work for foreclosure defense lawyers that apply Livinglies strategies in MD. VA, DC, FL, GA, CA, NY, etc.

    We do have an office in Miami, FL.

    http://www.toxicmortgageloan.com

  9. Mr. Judge McGrady,
    Your education and your job experience will not prevail with the public that vote you into Judgeship, if that is how it is done in Floorriidaaaaaaa. in Ga. we do not allow judges to be payed off as this is a violation of common law. Sounds like we the public need to audit your cash income that has not been claimed on your income tax returns, oh did you forget to claims the thousands of bucks or should the local DA check into that. You are not for the people,by the people, I will stop there.

    Pissed in Ga.

  10. Oh,
    One more thing Your honor. Mr Thomas McGrady.
    If you were here in Cobb County, you would be on your last term, because people here would put you into retirement. It seems like you are tired and complaining about a heavy work load, gee that is what the general public whom you have jurisdiction over feel, with the exception of a paycheck every month like the wife I supported who now works for the COBB COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION. It seems that once you are indoctrinated into the school board or Jurisdiction you could care less about your family not to mention your community, you care only for what is in it for [Me]you.

  11. NEIL GARFIELD WE NEED TO HAVE JUDGES THAT GET IT AND JUDGES THAT DONT GET IT ON YOUR BLOG.
    BY STATE.
    WE ALSO HAVE TO PUT THE HOME ADDRESSES OF THE JUDGES WHO DONT GET IT FOR THE PUBLIC TO KNOW WHO IS KICKING THEM OUT OF THEIR HOUSE ILLEGALLY.

    LOAN TO OWN IS ILLEGAL.

  12. To Judge Thomas McGady,
    You are a fine example of the law gone to fare either way, you are a shameful example of the very system that our fore fathers fought to eradicate like Rats. How do you do it, what I mean is I bet you are not in any danger of foreclosure because the stench of being bought and the smell of death with every cash payment to you has bought nice granite, heavy columns, palm trees in the yard and not to mention that you may live on the water[cant be certain] but I am not on my first rodeo, so when you look into the faces of “AMERICANS” that come to you foreclosure mills maybe you will see and open your eyes to the tradegy that you are perpetuating. This is not contained just to FLORIdaaaaaaaaaaa. you are being observed nation wide. Be careful because the is a silver for you and The Obama turned against every thing he promised to the American public. Like he has done the exact opposite of what he said and promised. I think the us should show up at your court house or your residence to show what a coward you are. the law is the law, are you above the law like your constituents are in Washington?

  13. To the judge in Floridaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, When you wake up and look in the mirror, I bet it is a big one cause you seem like the kind that can be “bought” and afford that. Maybe you should drive around the corner to see all the people you have helped to enter the homeless less elite, you should have your balls cut off you face less MFFFFRRRRRRRRRRRRRrr. I really like April Cherney, as she reflects true law, not the kind that is paid for with cash and go along with the pigs in your court and the Banksters in wall street.you are as faceless as your poor heavy work load. Gee some of us would love to have your job. I think you are in for a bullet, i mean a silver one you can put on your ‘mantle”

  14. “Judge” Thomas McGrady?

    Some great arbiter of justice, that man is.

    “Yooooo Hoooooo Judge! Wanna clear up that docket lickety-split? DEMAND all cases be filed ONLY after approval by a neutral forensic document examiner, a service to be paid for by the Plaintiff! I guarantee you a nice open & airy docket, with lots of room for the vacation you obviously and desperately need!”

    Lisa E (Pro Se, Florida)
    http://www.ForeclosureHamlet.ning.com
    Lisa Bep @ gmail . com (remove spaces to email)

  15. *JL – are you in FL?

  16. *JLSemidey – send me your contact info please;
    **ANYONE ELSE WANTING TO ROUND UP A GROUP…
    ***EMAIL ME TOO:

    stop_govt_waste@hotmail.com

    THANKS!!!

    Check this out… funny picture but true;
    http://cid-0e75aaf2d768fe7e.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.HomePhotos/GOVT.JPG

    Check this out… horrible truth not even funny;
    Amendment would exclude title insurance from additional CFPA oversight

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009
    The American Land Title Association is hoping its lobbying efforts will pay off as an amendment was introduced that would clear the title insurance industry from the additional oversight originally built into a bill proposing a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

    *Was found online here;
    http://www.thetitlereport.com

  17. JLSemidey, send this imbecile a copy…

  18. This judge would rather harm the ones who are the victims and provide a windfall to those who created the mess in the first place.

    SHAME, SHAME , SHAME.

    That is why protesting at our local court house is so important, to raise our issues to the media is crucial.

  19. I guess I wasn’t the only one to get this crap that has been spoon fed us!!

  20. We should send a copy of this article to the poor sap judge in Florida that is blasting the foreclosure defense lawyers because they are just delaying the inevitable. “you can read this article in The Home Equity Theft Reporter Blogsite”

    Central Florida Chief Judge “Objects” To Foreclosure Defense Attorney’s “Attempts” To Gum Up “Rocket Docket;” Jurist: “It’s Just A Stall”
    In Central Florida, St. Petersburg Times’ staff writer James Thorner blogs:

    * A piece I wrote last week about Tampa Bay foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa [see Delaying foreclosure can lead to ethical ‘heebie jeebies’] has attracted what could be unwanted attention from the top judge in Pinellas/Pasco County civil court. Judge Thomas McGrady summoned yours truly to his office this morning and gently, but pointedly, objected to Stopa’s technique of delaying foreclosures by filing motions to dismiss lenders’ lawsuits.

    * McGrady described a court system that’s drowning in foreclosure cases. Just three years ago 12 judges who deal with foreclosures handled about 800-1,000 open cases. These days each judge juggles about 3,400 cases. So McGrady clearly didn’t appreciate attempts to gum up the works further. He said foreclosure cases are rarely dismissed, and lawyers who use the tactic have little chance of succeeding.(1) Even if the lender’s case is thrown out, they almost always refile. “It’s just a stall,” McGrady said.(2)

    * The judge went further. While appreciating that lawyers need to make a buck, he recommended most home owners NOT hire an expensive defense attorney if their goal is simply to postpone repossession of their house. The calendar is so jammed that many people wouldn’t be thrown out of their homes for more than a year after they stopped paying their mortgage.

    Source: Pinellas County chief judge “irritated” by foreclosure lawyer tactics.

    (1) One reason why at least some of these foreclosure cases aren’t dismissed, I suspect, is that some judges, knowing that the underfinaced homeowners can’t afford the legal firepower necessary to seek a review of their rulings by an appeals court of any lousy, erroneous rulings, will simply rationalize a dismissal of the homeowners’ motions (judges who take this rubber-stamp approach to adjudicating foreclosures, thereby keeping their “foreclosure rocket docket” moving deserve nomination for The Broken Gavel Awards). Further, some of these same judges may figure that the homeowners can’t afford to pay for the posting of the appeals bond necessary to halt the foreclosure sale while the appellate court conducts its review of their rulings. Without posting the bond, the homeowners get booted from their homes while an appeal is pending, thus rendering a request for an appellate court review of a ruling impractical for them (assuming, of course, they could afford to appeal the ruling to a higher court in the first place).

    (2) The solution seems simple. If the motions to dismiss filed by the foreclosure defense attorney are frivolous, the judge should simply sanction the attorney filing the motions. If not, then due consideration should be given to the motion. EpsilonMissingDocsMtg

    JLSEMIDEY’s comments:

    I am sorry Mr. Florida Judge, I hope you can see yourself in the mirror, but you are an ignoramus. Neither you nor anybody else will stomp on my constitutional rights just because you think you are too busy or that my filing is clogging your court house.

    If you do not like it “well just quit” we will be all better for it.
    This is the type of individual that just makes my blood boil, but we all know he is wrong and we will all prove him wrong for the shame of his name, and what ever he stands for. Which I will assume is pretty much a sold out judge.

  21. Superb!!!

  22. From Courthouse News Service:

    Class Claims Lenders Destroyed Mortgage Records
    By JONATHAN PERLOW

    ALBANY (CN) – Bank of America and Countrywide Home Loans destroyed mortgage documents, and “recreate” them by “insert(ing) data as they see fit,” to cover up their own failure to keep records – or their fraud – according to a federal RICO class action.
    “To cover up the servicing mistakes and fraud and misrepresentation in the servicing of a consumer escrow, Defendants ‘recreate’ letters, insert data as they see fit, and fail to produce the entire HUD complaint form. This way, a consumer is left in the dark about the fraud that occurred to them,” the complaint states.
    Lead plaintiff Kim Gorham says that when she sent a letter seeking information about her escrow account, she was informed that it had been “destroyed by a letter opener.”
    After repeated requests, Gorham, who is blind, received her purported escrow analysis, but it was “100 percent illegible,” according to the complaint. The defendants knew that Gorham was legally blind, the complaint states.
    She says that getting a “clear and concise” statement from the defendants has been an “impossible task.”
    Countrywide routinely responded to customers’ requests for records by claiming they were “unavailable or destroyed,” according to the complaint.
    Gorham says a Countrywide lawyer wrote her that copies of her escrow statements and analyses were “not retained.”
    Statutory law requires that such records be kept for 5 years, the plaintiffs say.
    Mortgage servicers have a “statutory duty to send consumers an annual escrow analysis and statement, advising the consumer of their escrow, monthly payment, and how it is calculated based on taxes,” the class claims.
    The information is especially important with an escrow addition to a mortgage, which “throws consumers off,” as principle and interest tend to fluctuate.
    The class is estimated at 10,000. They claim the documents they received from the subprime lender were “incorrect or incomplete.” The records allegedly were tailored to cover up misrepresentations, and to “ward off lawsuits such as the instant one.”
    BAC Home Loans is also named in the complaint.
    BofA acquired Countrywide in 2008 for $4.1 billion. Federal officials are investigating Countrywide for claims that it misrepresented losses on subprime mortgages.
    Records in this complaint allegedly were destroyed in an attempt to suppress damaging information.
    The class seeks damages for RICO violations, conspiracy and failure to produce records.
    They are represented by Richard L. DiMaggio of Glenville, N.Y.

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