What Works and What Doesn’t

us-bank-na-v-mattos-sup-ct-hi-no-scwc-14-0001134-jun-6-2017

Note that the courts try to calls balls and strikes not decide, at least on appeal, who should win and then give an opinion that fits. It doesn’t always work that way but many courts do follow that simple rule of blind justice.

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WORKS: Objection to qualified witness status, no records from the actual claimant, failure to establish entitlement to enforce before foreclosure was started.

We address the third issue on certiorari first. We hold that the ICA erred by concluding the declaration of Richard Work (“Work”), the Contract Management Coordinator of Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (“Ocwen”), rendered him a “qualified witness” under State v. Fitzwater, 122 Hawai􏰀i 354, 227 P.3d 520 (2010)

for U.S. Bank’s records under the Hawai‘i Rules of Evidence (“HRE”) Rule 803(b)(6) hearsay exception for records of regularly conducted activity. In addition, U.S. Bank failed to establish that it was a holder entitled to enforce the note at the time the foreclosure complaint was filed. See Bank of America, N.A. v. Reyes-Toledo, 139 Hawai􏰀i 361, 370-71, 390 P.3d 1248, 1257-58 (2017).

DOESN’T WORK: “Robosigning” assertion without proof that attacks the foundation of the document, BUT:

With respect to the first issue on certiorari, because it
is unclear what Defendants mean by “robo-signing” and because a
ruling on the legal effect of “robo-signing” is not necessary to

conclusory assertions that fail to offer factual allegations or a legal theory indicating how alleged “robo- signing” caused harm to a mortgagee are insufficient to establish a defense in a foreclosure action. Addressing the factual allegations underlying the “robo-signing” claim, however, we conclude there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Ocwen had the authority to sign the second assignment of mortgage to U.S. Bank. (e.s.)

BEST PRACTICES. Objections must be made timely and with some specificity. You should also be prepared to argue why the objections apply. Payment records will come in evidence not only of the record of payments but also as to anything else shown on the records. Objection to such records, once they have already been introduced or even accepted into evidence, is basically futile, although they could conceivably be later undermined and even potentially struck from the record on cross examination.

If you have a pretrial court order that requires disclosure of all exhibits and expressly states that the parties must state their objections to the proposed exhibits, you must file a notice of such objections. It is wise to state as many grounds as possible for the objection and cite to specific rules of evidence in your jurisdiction.

This is not a legal opinion. Get a lawyer before you act on anything contained in this article.

6 Responses

  1. Buckey Sandler LLP

    On December 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed a lower court’s decision to dismiss TILA allegations brought against a bank, finding that the statute of limitations for borrowers to bring TILA rescission enforcement claims is based on state law, and is six years in the state of Washington. The panel opined that, because TILA does not specify a statute of limitations for when an action to enforce a TILA recession must be brought, “courts must borrow the most analogous state law statute of limitations and apply that limitation period” to these type of claims, which, in Washington, is the six-year statute of limitations on contract claims. According to the opinion, the plaintiffs refinanced a mortgage loan in 2010, but failed to receive notice of the right to rescind the loan at the time of refinancing in violation of TILA’s disclosure requirements. Consequently, the plaintiffs had three years—instead of three days—from the loan’s consummation date to rescind the loan. In 2013, within the three-year period, the plaintiffs notified the bank of their intent to rescind the loan. However, instead of taking action in response to the plaintiffs’ notice, the bank instead began a nonjudicial foreclosure nearly four years after the rescission demand, declaring that the plaintiffs were in default on the loan. The plaintiffs filed suit in 2017 to enforce the recession, which the bank moved to dismiss on the argument that the claims were time barred. According to the panel, the lower court wrongly interpreted the plaintiff’s request for damages under the Washington Consumer Protection Act “as a claim for monetary relief under TILA”—which has a one-year statute of limitations—and dismissed the plaintiffs’ claim as time barred without leave to amend. However, the consumers were seeking a declaratory judgment and an injunction, not damages.

    On appeal, the 9th Circuit rejected three possible statute of limitations offered by the lower court. The panel also rejected plaintiffs’ argument that no statute of limitations apply to TILA recession enforcement claims, and held that it could not be assumed that “Congress intended that there be no time limit on actions at all”; rather, federal courts must borrow the most applicable state law statute of limitations. Because the mortgage loan agreement was a written contract between the plaintiffs and the bank, and the plaintiffs’ suit was an attempt to rescind that written contract, Washington’s six-year time limit on suits under written contracts must be borrowed. Therefore, the panel concluded that the plaintiffs’ suit was not time-barred and reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.

  2. Just got another check in the mail from BIAS v. WELLS FARGO: $8.32.
    How did the lawyers do on that one?

  3. testing 1 2

  4. Ask yourselves – WHY?? Whether one calls it forgery or robo-signing, or bad affidavits, does not matter. How and why did this ever occur?
    All bad things evolve from the original acts, or, they could never happen.

  5. We tried to strike an affidavit which was brought in absence of the promissory note and it was denied.

  6. Using the term “robo-signing” to me is like scratching fingernails on a blackboard. IT IS FORGERY! Using that bogus term is like calling a compression bandage a “Band-Aid” making the actual issue seem insignificant or benign.

    If nothing else, the court called them out rightly on using that term.

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