Discovery from REMIC Rules

I have added to my templates for discovery questions  and requests relating to a claimant that is named “XYZ Bank, N.A. as trustee for the ABCDE Corp. Trust Series 12345-4321A Certificates” and where, as in most cases, there is a PSA and/or a Trust Instrument that identifies the “trust” (if ti exists) as a REMIC — Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit. It turns out that the Internal Revenue Code provides some guidance that might get you through objections to your discovery.

Keep in mind that there is very often a “Trust Agreement” that is different from the PSA and that there is very often a “Servicing  Agreement” that is different from the PSA.  It’s somewhat like saying “Do as I say not as I do.”

Also keep in mind that the only trust relationship I can decipher out of the so called trust instruments and associated documents is that the Trustee is basically a naked nominee (like MERS) for the investment bank, for which it is paid a monthly fee with no rights of administration nor any duties or obligations.

Thus the investors as beneficiaries is a red herring distraction from the truth. Hence any power of attorney executed in the name of the named Trustee is worthless because you cannot create a right by purporting to transfer it. The trick in litigation is revealing that the named Trustee is not a legal trustee and should not be so named because it lacks all indices of power attributed to a trustee.

Thus a “trust” might indeed exist even if it is not anything like what is being presented in court. And the res of the trust is the nominal title to documents like a note and mortgage to hold at the direction of but necessarily for the benefit of the investment bank. But since the nominal  title is without value there still is probably no res and hence no trust nor anything to administer.

While the investment bank once had a claim as owner of the debt, it has long since divested itself of any right, title interest or obligation with respect to the debt, note or mortgage.

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IRC § 301.7701(i)-1 Definition of a taxable mortgage pool.

(a)Purpose. This section provides rules for applying section 7701(i), which defines taxable mortgage pools. The purpose of section 7701(i) is to prevent income generated by a pool of real estate mortgages from escaping Federal income taxation when the pool is used to issue multiple class mortgage-backed securities. The regulations in this section and in §§ 301.7701(i)-2 through 301.7701(i)-4 are to be applied in accordance with this purpose. The taxable mortgage pool provisions apply to entities or portions of entities that qualify for REMIC status but do not elect to be taxed as REMICs as well as to certain entities or portions of entities that do not qualify for REMIC status.

(b)In general.

(1) A taxable mortgage pool is any entity or portion of an entity (as defined in § 301.7701(i)-2) that satisfies the requirements of section 7701(i)(2)(A) and this section as of any testing day (as defined in § 301.7701(i)-3(c)(2)). An entity or portion of an entity satisfies the requirements of section 7701(i)(2)(A) and this section if substantially all of its assets are debt obligations, more than 50 percent of those debt obligations are real estate mortgages, the entity is the obligor under debt obligations with two or more maturities, and payments on the debt obligations under which the entity is obligor bear a relationship to payments on the debt obligations that the entity holds as assets.

Subject to considerable editing and fine tuning, this gives rise the the following recitations and questions:

  1. Contention Interrogatory: Do you contend that the claimant is a REMIC?
  2. Do you contend that the subject REMIC is subject to IRC §301.7701(i)-1 Definition of a taxable mortgage pool?
  3. Contention Interrogatory: Do you contend that the subject REMIC is the actual and legal owner of the subject debt, note and mortgage?
    1. If Yes, please describe the manner in which the subject debt, note and mortgage were acquired or became entrusted to XYZ Bank as Trustee of the named REMIC.
  4. Does the subject REMIC maintain books of account and business records relating to the ownership, transfer and management of REMIC assets?
    1. Please describe how the books and records are maintained, along with the description of the persons or entities who are authorized to keep or maintain or make entries in those books and records.
  5. Does the named REMIC make payments to any party as an obligor (the REMIC)?
    1. Do those payments bear a relationship to payments to payments received by the REMIC on debt obligations that the entity holds as assets?
      1. Please Describe such payments including the categories of recipients as referenced on the books of account maintained by the REMIC.
      2. Please describe the relationship between the debt obligations that the REMIC holds as assets and the obligation of the REMIC as obligor to third parties.
  6. If yes, please answer the following
    1. Is the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA) as found at url _________ the document upon which the REMIC was organized and still exists.
      1. If not, please describe the document upon which or by which the REMIC was created, organized and still exists.
    2. Is the identity of the claimant in foreclosure the same as the identity of the named Trust in the PSA.
    3. As stated in §301.7701(i)-1 Definition of a taxable mortgage pool, does the named REMIC qualify as a legal entity?
    4. Does the named REMIC own assets?
      1. If yes, please describe the assets.
      2. Are substantially all the claimed assets categorized as debt obligations?
      3. Is the debt in the subject disputed loan one of the assets owned by the named REMIC?
        1. If yes please describe the date, parties and location of the transaction in which the named REMIC became the owner of the subject debt.
        2. If yes please list and describe the date and parties involved (as Payors or Payees) in the distribution of any money by or on behalf of XYZ Bank relating in any way to the subject REMIC and relating in any way to the subject contested loan.
        3. Please list all other foreclosure proceedings initiated under the name of this subject REMIC as the claimant.
          1. Please list which of the previous cases have been concluded with a foreclosure sale and subsequent liquidation (sale) of the property.
            1. Please list the cases in which the property was sold where the named REMIC herein received the sale proceeds.
            2. Please list the cases in which XYZ Bank received money from the sale proceeds in any capacity.
            3. Out of those cases please describe the manner in which XYZ Bank received the money and the manner in which the money was distributed.

Be prepared for objections and long memoranda of law.

Comments welcome

4 Responses

  1. We’re not alone…….

    Foreclosure by tax-avoiding US vulture funds must be stopped, says top Irish official

    https://www.irishcentral.com/news/foreclosure-tax-vulture-funds-ed-honohan

  2. How does Fannie and Freddie fingerprints fit into Discovery questions ???

    And FHLMA Trusts ??

    And BAC I-series Loans ??

  3. Neil — this has to be explained better

    Quote: “Thus a “trust” might indeed exist even if it is not anything like what is being presented in court.”

  4. If the REMIC operates without a legal fiduciary trustee, then it is a business trust whose state of organization must be disclosed. This could affect diversity jurisdiction if in federal court. Members must be disclosed to determine.

    If the nature of the “trust” has been changed from original intended purpose, or as stated in foreclosures or title, then that must be disclosed as real party in interest is not represented.

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