NY Issues More Subpoenas on Foreclosures

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“Raymond H. Brescia, assistant professor of law at Albany Law School, said: “We’re seeing a disproportionate number of cases in the foreclosure context where questionable filings have been made. I think it’s easy to say this is the largest and most wide-ranging fraud against the courts in the United States. Lawyers have to have a good-faith basis for the factual assertions they make to the court; they are responsible if they file pleadings that are baseless.”




  1. NO DEFAULT: First, we know that the mortgagee or beneficiary stated on the note and security instrument is NOT the party seeking foreclosure nearly all the time. Since this new party neither loaned any money nor did they purchase the receivable, there is no default as to THEM. And since these parties have no actual rights of agency or representation, neither the attorney nor the client belong in court. So they needed to create a default, even if the servicer was continuing to make payments to the creditor. That was untrue, so it follows that any documents declaring otherwise would also be untrue. They depended upon the obvious fact that the borrower had ceased making payments to carry the day, and it worked. Judges granted foreclosure and denied borrower defenses in an overwhelming majority of cases. It just didn’t seem credible that the banks would come in foreclosing on loans that didn’t exist, that the bank didn’t own, and that the lawyer and a foreclosure mill had cooked up fabricated and forged documents. Why would they do that? THERE WAS NO DEFAULT BECAUSE THE REAL CREDITOR CONTINUED TO GET PAID. AND THERE COULDN’T BE A DEFAULT, AS PER THE NOTE, BECAUSE THE NOTE WAS A FICTION DESCRIBING A TRANSACTION THAT NEVER TOOK PLACE.
  2. NO CREDITOR: It turns out that virtually none of the mortgages were funded by the party to whom the promissory note was made payable and that often MERS or some other entity was named as the holder of a security interest, thus splitting the note and security instrument. It also turns out that the lender was parting with his funds under a set of assumptions and representations that were never communicated to the borrower, not the least of which was the identity of the real lender or even that a real lender existed at all. Thus the original transaction in which the investor’s money was put to use, in part, to fund mortgages, some of which was to fund a specific loan was subject to documents (PSA, mortgage bond indenture, etc.) containing many provisions relating directly to the trail money, none of which were communicated to the borrower, or even that such documentation existed at all. The real creditor — the ONLY party that parted with money — is neither present in the courtroom nor do they want to be. They have chosen to sue the investment banking firms for selling them mortgage bonds that were fake — i.e., with nothing in the pool or some awkward argument for saying the loans should be “considered” to be in the pool even if they were not. Thus the foreclosures are initiated by disinterested parties out of greed — not to redress a loss that THEY had. Wall Street went along with the continuing PONZI scheme because it has given them more cover to scapegoat the foreclosure mills as being the cause of the mortgage mess.
  3. NO DOCUMENTS: “NO DOC” loans became “NO-DOC Foreclosures. The mortgage documents signed at “closing” recited a transaction that never occurred, while the real transaction and the real parties neither knew nor accepted the terms, much less in writing. The note and mortgage (deed of trust) are invalid, fatally defective from a title perspective without a new signature from the borrower on documents that reflect an actual agreement between borrower and lender.
  4. NO MONEY: The money for funding the mortgage was wired in to the closing agent bypassing the supposed “lender” at closing or using them as merely a fee-based service, conduit ( like a messenger). Any money paid by the borrower was paid not to the party named as payee on the note but to third parties who used the mere fact that a receivable existed to create exotic instruments that multiplied the apparent value of the receivables to nose bleed levels that could never be sustained. THEN they divided up the new proceeds after having already bilked the investors out of money to fund the non-existent loans, they bilked more investors and speculators on the viability of the exotic derivative instruments, whose value was entirely dependent on the value and enforceability of the note and security instrument named a “mortgage loan.”
  5. NO DEAL: There being no deal, no documentation and no money trail that the would-be foreclosers can or would disclose, they made up a whole set of “facts” (fabrication of documents) by describing a scheme that was different from the actual money transaction between borrower and lender, different from the securitization infrastructure that was originally laid out in the PSA, Assignment and Assumption Agreement, Prospectus etc. Naturally since these documents never existed before and did not reflect the the terms originally understood by borrower and lender, they needed forgery by $10 per hour robo-signers. So what we have here is THREE DIFFERENT DEALS — THE REAL ONE REFLECTED BY THE EXCHANGE OF MONEY, THE COVER DEAL WHICH WAS THE ORIGINAL SECURITIZATION SCHEME THAT NOBODY FOLLOWED, AND THE FABRICATED AND FORGED DOCUMENT SCHEME IN WHICH WOULD-BE FORECLOSERS ATTEMPTED TO CONFORM THE DOCUMENTS TO THE EVIDENCE THEY EITHER CREATED OR COULD NOT AVOID.

New York Subpoenas 2 Foreclosure-Related Firms


Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, has issued subpoenas to the state’s largest foreclosure law firm and a related company, indicating that his office has some doubts about the effort by state attorneys general to resolve questionable foreclosure practices among the nation’s top banks.

The New York investigation appears to center on two of the state’s foreclosure industry giants: the Steven J. Baum firm, headquartered in Amherst, N.Y., and Pillar Processing, a default servicing firm set up by Mr. Baum that was spun off in 2007. Representing JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and other large banks, the Baum firm has handled an estimated 40 percent of foreclosure cases in the state. Pillar Processing provides extensive services to the firm.

A spokesman for Mr. Schneiderman declined to comment. Mr. Baum said in an e-mail: “The firm will cooperate with the attorney general in this matter. We are confident that after a full review by the attorney general they will find no wrongdoing.”

Attorneys general across the country have been working on ways to rectify foreclosure improprieties by the nation’s biggest banks and have entered into negotiations in recent weeks with these institutions about a national settlement. Tom Miller of Iowa is leading that effort. While Mr. Schneiderman has been participating, his new investigation points to the possibility that he will take a different path.

Large foreclosure law firms have come under scrutiny in states outside New York. Last year, the Florida attorney general began investigating the David J. Stern firm, the largest in that state. That investigation is continuing, but the law firm stopped bringing foreclosure cases last month.

Like the Stern firm, Mr. Baum’s operation flourished as the mortgage crisis deepened. Since the end of 2007, it has filed more than 50,000 new foreclosure cases in New York, according to data compiled by the New York State Unified Court System. The firm employs approximately 70 lawyers.

Along with the attorney general, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have requested information about the Baum firm’s practices, according to a lawyer who has represented borrowers against the firm. The lawyer spoke on condition of anonymity because the communications with the prosecutors were private. A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment.

Scrutiny of the Baum firm has increased in recent months after significant errors surfaced nationwide in legal paperwork used by banks to seize delinquent borrowers’ homes. For example, documents detailing how much borrowers owe have been signed by bank representatives who say they have not verified the information. Other problems involve the questionable notarization of documents, or paperwork indicating that the foreclosure process was begun without providing proof that the entities involved had the legal right to foreclose.

The Baum firm has drawn rebukes on its legal practices from judges in several New York jurisdictions. Judges in courts across the state have rejected scores of cases filed by the Baum firm, saying it has failed to provide the documentation necessary to commence foreclosure.

Last November, Judge Scott Fairgrieve in Nassau County district court imposed sanctions of $5,000 on the Baum firm in a foreclosure case and required it to pay more than $14,000 in fees to the borrower’s lawyers. When awarding the sanctions, the judge wrote: “Bringing legal proceedings when there is no legal right to do so, due to lack of standing, stalls the efficient administration of justice in the system.”

Paul D. Stone, a lawyer in Tarrytown, N.Y., has been defending a foreclosure case against the Baum firm since 2009. “I’ve never seen any firm file such ill-conceived, ill-researched, nonfactual materials with a court,” Mr. Stone said. The judge overseeing his case recently ordered Mr. Baum’s firm to pay some of the borrower’s legal costs.

Hoping to eliminate defective filings, last fall New York courts began requiring lawyers bringing foreclosure cases to attest to the accuracy of their papers.

The Baum firm was founded in 1972 by Marvin R. Baum and has been overseen by Steven J. Baum, his son, since the elder man died in 1999.

Steven Baum created Pillar Processing in 2007, a provider of real estate default services, and it is located in the same office complex in Amherst as the law firm. Pillar was purchased in 2007 by Tailwind Capital, a New York hedge fund; some of Pillar’s debt and equity is also held by Ares Capital, a publicly traded investment company in New York City. Representatives of Tailwind did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment. An Ares spokesman declined to comment.

Pillar Processing’s default servicing practices have attracted criticism from Cecelia G. Morris, bankruptcy judge in the Southern District of New York. In a court hearing on Feb. 5, 2008, Judge Morris said she would no longer accept any material from Pillar Processing in her court and added that if more paperwork from Pillar came in, she would deny the motions associated with it.

Linda M. Tirelli, a lawyer in White Plains who represents homeowners, discussed three current foreclosure cases in which she faces the Baum firm. “The documents don’t make sense in any of them,” she said. In another foreclosure being defended by Ms. Tirelli, a lawyer for the bank told the court that the Baum firm had filed inaccurate documents as it sought to take over a borrower’s property. After trying unsuccessfully to find every link in the chain of title on the property, the Baum firm prepared inaccurate papers to fill in what was missing, according to court documents.

Speaking generally and not specifically about the Baum firm, Raymond H. Brescia, assistant professor of law at Albany Law School, said: “We’re seeing a disproportionate number of cases in the foreclosure context where questionable filings have been made. I think it’s easy to say this is the largest and most wide-ranging fraud against the courts in the United States. Lawyers have to have a good-faith basis for the factual assertions they make to the court; they are responsible if they file pleadings that are baseless.”

19 Responses

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  2. Having researched and confirming with an attorney the Bill of Particulars is primarily for personal injury cases. I will focus more attention on demand for discovery. Kings county

  3. I only have an opinion, I do not give legal advice.

    Quicken Loans is the Lender…but guess what, their phone number is 1-xxx-xxx-xMERS. I kid you not! MERS.

    MERS is behind supposed loan.

    If there is a freeze, and you can ‘launder’ a home through the system via another monetary entity, then if AGs or Comptroller of Currency are looking at bank balance sheets, what will they see?
    If AGs are looking at County Recorder filings to see if banks that they sent notices to about the violation of State law are still engaged in home transactions; they won’t find them.

    They are ‘hiding’ behind other businesses like Quicken Loans.

    The first documents used in Fraud foreclosures is the Notice of Default.

    That’s a filing, not a recording.
    You can’t even get a certified copy of that document, only a copy of it.

    When the court destroys the first document that generated the lie, and all the other things ‘recorded’ look on the up and up’, what will they find?

    That Notice of Default is the first clue to the fraud. They are hoping it will all be destroyed and the evidence will be all gone.

    That’s why they are dragging on the 20 billion. By the time it’s all over, they’ll look at the AGs and say,
    what fraud documents? She appointed us trustee, and we conveyed things to a bank, so we don’t need to have an appointment, she gave us power of attorney to do this for her. There was no fraud.

    These people really do operate with impunity. The machine really has taken over the Matrix. Neo is right. The Program has gotten too powerful and Neo said, all he wanted was Peace.

    The Creator of the Matrix, the head Machine, did allow for the destruction of the machines, because they were going after the people who had woke up and were on the land and knew they had a right to live free, but were prevented from doing so.

    Can you imagine finding out you’ve been controlled. Finally having your eyes open and wanting to live in the land you were born in but kept from, and being kept from living in your birthright by a machine?
    It knows you woke up and see the land you were born in. It knows it kept you in a bubble from cradle to grave, and every time you move it comes after you. It’s a machine! It was created! Who’s the Creator behind the Matrix?

    50 state Attorney Generals! Do you know that the rule of law is not being abided by even as you sit at the table to ‘negotiate’ a pittance of what was stolen, that they are able to pay that fee and keep going?

    The very attorneys negotiating with you, as you tell them what’s wrong, they are letting the clock tick out to fix it and make it ‘right’. The ultimate goal is, there will be no settlement, because, you have told them what to do from now on…and within a year they will be doing that, and all your evidence of wrong will be gone!

    State AGs, you should have frozen the evidence of the Notices that were filed! That’s the evidence that will be destroyed.

    This was all a master plan!

    Do you know they are still generating signatures and monetizing debt to place on Wall Street to pay themselves big bonuses?

    Do you know that the machine does not care about your laws? It could care less that you are investigating?

    The ‘notice’ of foreclosure is no longer visible in the public. It’s the first thing put out there that supposedly establishes a right to take the home. After that, is documents that are filed in the name of the homeowner conveying that right to someone else.

    I realized today, those documents list me as the Grantor. As the Grantor, I should be able to retrieve these documents in the form of a certified copy, even if I didn’t file them initially.

    Take the certified copy, modify the contents therein, and re-record (not refile), but re-record that document.

    So that appointment of Trustee where they made me Grantor and they took over as Trustee, I should have been able to get a certified copy, change the Trustee to someone else, and re-record it.

    They know we are ignorant of their laws and their provisions, and they put the information in a bunch of places so you can’t sit and find it in one. It’s in Trust law, and Contract law, and business statutes and codes, and Federal Titles like Title 50 Section xx

    I do not consent to be compelled to perform the obligations of undisclosed contracts that I did not enter into knowingly, willingly, or intentionally.

    Trespass Unwanted, adult, corporeal, alive, life, free, live born, born alive, whole blood, freeman, allodial, in jure proprio, in jure divino

  4. Just thinking out loud ,, this “Bill of Particulars” would be a wonderful way in Florida to request all the info that is REQUIRED by FS 1,110(b) including all the base documents the certifications are supposed to be assuring are accurate / complete / valid and such… give the judge an outstanding reason to verify also as this would certainly put the court on notice you’re not going down easy.

  5. i shortened the length of my story. however, steven j bum could not manage my motion so they transferred my case to mcglinchey& stafford. the judge upheld the foreclosure form 2007. i fought them for 2 years. it was virtually impossible to find a lawyer who understood my language. and many still don’t understand.

  6. i was a victim of steven j. baum. they transferred my case to another law firm who finally got me evicted. i did take the case back to supreme court in bk. the judge solomon refused to even read the motion and granted mcglinchey and stafford the right to evict me. although i showed all the fraud, the judge did not see the handwriting on the wall. but i will not stop until i receive justice.

  7. I did a quick search on “Bill of Particulars” ,, seems to be quite valuable… however according to Wikipedia it was “abolished in most states in the 1940’s and 1950’s in favor of the discovery process” … Another search with the word “Florida” attached returned a good 2002 3dca Fl case with a “bill of particulars” ,, same thing with California..

    here’s a link to “how to…” http://www.scribd.com/doc/25560416/Sample-Demand-for-Bill-of-Particulars-for-California


    I really like the second one as a model …

  8. Opinion piece. I do not give legal advice. I do not know anything. Even what I think I know may change when I learn something else.

    So it turns out the home was “illegally transferred to another”…I can’t called it sold…it’s my home…I never abandoned it…I was made to leave it by notice a man with a gun would remove me if I was there when he got there….after that a Realtor squatted on it…and had those huge locks that prevented entry without breaking in…after that, they waited until the public notice of the foreclosure was removed and then did the ‘illegal transfer’.

    Two things wrong here…the Notice for foreclosure is part of the Exhibits in the answer to the court, AND, the county still has them, AND the Attorney General has it, because it’s part of the information supplied for the case.

    But where does the fog thicken? When they stole the home, they did a public ‘Special Warranty Deed’ to Fannie Mae, said they represent Fannie Mae in court to get the eviction.

    Now to sell it, and the Attorney General did put a freeze on the sale of all foreclosed homes…to sell it,
    they did a ‘Notice’ in the public, then you open the Notice and will see a “Special Warranty Deed with a Lien” inside…and after recording this “Special Warranty Deed with a Lien”. The clerk was instructed to mail it back to the one who is getting ready to take over my home!

    There is also a Deed of Trust between Fannie Mae and the guy and ‘stated wife’, and that’s filed as a Deed of Trust…still attempting to convey the property, and supposedly the Title company gave them a refund of a Home Warranty, that if there were any refunds involving my property, it should be to me and not to them.

    This is unconscionable on so many levels.

    I went to the courthouse to get copies of the case, judgment, and writ of possession. They actually wanted me to put the request in writing and they’d call me to come pick it up.

    The AG of my state needs to step in an do some investigating. The courts are not there for the people. They are a business generating money and need a controversy. Even if you aren’t in controversy, someone can make a claim against you and make you go to court to settle the claim. Even if they aren’t there, and only represented, the one occupying the office of judge will decide whether their representatives are telling the truth or you are.

    What kind of case is there when the one being represented can’t even write a witness testimony, yet you home hinges on who’s the best liar, or who’s got the most money, or who has the most energy to fight, or better yet, who states their claim of a right and is able to prove the one occupying the office of judge and the one occupying the office of an attorney do not have immunity for certain activity and once exposed, the ones occupying those offices have to go away.

    I don’t advocate getting rid of judges and attorneys, only those who violate Free Will. If you appear, they don’t have a right nor authority to presume who you are…by appearance you are corporeal…if a paper appeared, they can call it a person all day long.

    What’s funny, I was traveling (not driving) down the right of way, and saw a sign…it say “Obey all traffic signs..it’s the law.”

    I laughed…so I am alive, and have the ability to move about and if I see a sign, I must let it assume authority over me and obey what is written on it.

    Who am I if I have to obey an inanimate object that can’t move? so how does this work? I don’t read the sign and so someone else comes and gets me for not recognizing the power the sign should have over me by being placed right there?

    It’s funny. The society we live in. 100th monkey, we must learn the lessons of life to be free from obeying signs and inanimate objects and getting our homes taken from us from men representing buildings that have a name and supposedly have a claim against us even if that building never could sit, let along set up any type of agreement, let along create the claim, let along it can’t even hire anyone for the claim.

    I was at the courthouse, looking at public records.
    When they have a case against a living adult, they put an address for the party and an address for the case. But if the Plaintiff is the State of…there is no address for the Party and the Address for the case says see the address for the Party. Laughable.
    We’ve been hoodwinked.

    The bottom feeding system no longer serves the people, if it ever did. The upper levels will clean house and I’m grateful for that.

    Light and Love,
    Trespass Unwanted, adult, corporeal, alive, life, free, live born, born alive, whole blood, freeman, allodial, in jure proprio, in jure divino

  9. Richard – where in NY is your case located?

  10. And all the while the money goes to the caymans
    great post

  11. I miss Dr. Seuss who would have another top seller to help explain in Rhyme
    “The Who” is Silent as SERVICER until a Default Event.
    The Who is defined hiding in boxes marked Miscellaneous Exhibits and Unassociated Documents.
    The Where? Hanging off the 8K’s of the loan trusts on the secinfo.com
    The What Loan#s are not inside of the box labeled ‘loan trust’
    The When MASTER SERVICER notifies the Who to wear tghe Securities Administrator hat.
    The Why? To place a loan# in foreclosure because the Who says I can.
    Agreements state the SERVICER is accountable with to pay monthly payments even if the consumer does not pay for low and behold the SERVICERS get a bonus each year I’ve clearly read of ¼% to ½% of declining balances.
    The old loan# and new loan turned over to robo-mills are in agreement as debt-collectors for the SERVICERS. Are they in Agreements with the TRUSTEES who are Plaintiffs?
    The Who’ uses the same name ‘Private Brand Label’ when referring to the Securities Administrator and SERVICER and MASTER SERVICER hiding the real WHO!
    If the robo-mills (law firms) servicing the SERVICERS bad debt do not cry WOLF for being mislead should we ask ourselves why not?

  12. I am still learning more about the “BofP” it seems it goes along with demand for discovery.

  13. Just as it is now recognized false dates and inaccurate documents are filed in seeking to take over borrowers properties, I have documented proof this illegal practice goes back to at least 1997.

    In Astoria Federal S &L/ successor in Interest to Fidelity NY FSB vs. Marilyn Lane , the corrupt attorney Timothy Rooney of Molooly, Jeffrey ,
    Rooney & Flynn representing the Bank and the corrupt referee Penny Start auctioned off my two nyc condos with void judgments ab initio and forged documents to straw buyers. without the bank ever owning my two condos.

    I told the corrupt attorneys this is illegal and Timothy Rooney replied “who is going to stop us?”

    Astoria Federal has since gotten rid of these corrupt attorneys. The banks new attorney Mr. Arthur Walsh of O’Reilly, Marsh & Corteselli
    apparently looking at the fake documents and false dates stated in New York Supreme Court It’s Indemnify, indemnify, indemnify. We are stepping aside and the title companies are stepping in.

    who steps in? corrupt title attorney Thomas Malone of Fidelity National Title and corrupt attorney David K Fiveson who claims he represents a “Coronet Title.” These are the attorneys who gave Judge Alice Schlesinger of New York Supreme Court a bribe.

    These frauds are massive.

    The Chief Judges of the 50 States have to cut these intertwining Cancers out of the Judicial System.

    The Chief Judges have to issue mandates that No fake documents will be, or any that have been offered to the courts will not be allowed to take properties from the citizens of their states and if any of the true owners have already been ousted they are to be returned to possession of their properties. FORGED DEEDS ARE VOID AB INITIO AND CONVEY NO TITLE.

  14. is that the actual terms, bill of particulars? How about the general ledger of whoever’s balance sheet the supposed loan is on?

  15. BOb G, I just came across the bill of particulars procedure this past week for my NY case. It surely is an important proceedural move.

  16. It is amazing to me that more people (lawyers, judges, clerks of court, etc. have not seen the handwriting on the wall. How much money has changed hands secretly under the table to produce a fraud of this magnitude? I do not think people are going to be creating fraud on the court for free.

    Another interesting thing in Florida is the fact that AHMSI has been operating in Jacksonville for a long time. They are very bad news and operate consistently outside the law. Jacksonville is a very large metropolitan area in the U.S. I don’t think people realize how big it is. That many more people to steal from. Burmese8@yahoo.com

  17. Still does not explain WHO is trying to foreclosure — that is WHO claims collection rights. WHAT investors claim collection rights?? We know not the “security investors.”

    Courts are only looking at payment histories — which show non-payment by borrower. WHO is really claiming money is owed???

    Will the real party PLEASE stand up?

    Why the big secrecy??

  18. Thank you Neil, needed that and Bob G, thank you I will for sure.

  19. I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, but I think that homeowners should demand A BILL OF PARTICULARS from the foreclosing entity. This locks the forecloser in and if it lies and you end up proving it, that should be the end of the case right there. Now you’ve got perjury to add to bad faith and unclean hands and wrongful foreclosure.

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