No the Mortgages Are Not Securities, But the “Certificates” Do Not Qualify for Exemption As “Mortgaged Backed”

For those straining to find a way to categorize mortgage loans as securities I offer this based upon my licensing, training and experience as a Wall Street Broker and Investment Banker and as an attorney who has practiced law, including securities law for over 42 years.

You are climbing the right tree but you are on the wrong branch, in my opinion. Despite possible legal and logical arguments for your point of view there is no way any court is going to take the common mortgage loan and say it is a security, and therefore was subject to regulation, registration, disclosure and sales restrictions. And the secondary market does not rise to the level of a free exchange. While loans appear to be traded under the guise of securitization they are not actually traded.

BUT
I like your reasoning when applied to (a) certificates issued by investment banks in which the investment bank makes promises to pay a passive income stream and (b) derivative and hedge contracts issued on the basis of deriving their value from the certificates.
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The specific challenge I think should be on the status of the certificates or “bonds” issued by the investment banks. If securitization in theory were a reality then under the 1998 exemption they would not be treated as securities and could not be regulated.
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That would mean that the fictitious name used by the investment bank was a real entity, an existing Trust (or special purpose vehicle) (a) organized and existing under the laws of some jurisdiction and (b) the trust actually acquired loans through (i) purchase for value or (ii) through  conveyance from a trustor/settlor who owned the loans, debts, notes and mortgages.
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But that isn’t what happened in practice. The entire business plan of the investment banks who participated in this scheme was predicated on their ability to sell the loans multiple times in multiple ways to multiple layers and classes of investors, thus creating profits far in excess of the amount of  the loan.
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Right now each of those sales is considered a separate private contract that is (a) separate and apart from the loan agreement and (b) not subject to securities regulation due to exemption under the 1998 law that does not allow securities regulation of mortgage-backed instruments.
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So the goal should be to show that
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(a) the securitization scheme was entirely based on the loan agreement under the single transaction and step transaction doctrines and therefore was not separate from the loan transactions
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(b) the certificates or bonds were not mortgage-backed because the holders have no right, title or interest to the loan agreements, debts, notes or mortgages and
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(c) the derivative and hedge contracts deriving their value from the certificates were securities based upon the certificates (“bonds”) that are more in the nature of warrants and options on the value of the certificates rather than any direct interest in the debt, note or mortgage of any borrower.
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Hence both the certificates and hedge contracts and all other derivatives of the certificates would be subject to regulation as securities. Based upon information I have that is very suggestive although not conclusive, it appears that the Internal Revenue Service has already arrived at the conclusion that the certificates are not mortgage-backed and the trusts are not viable entities because in order to have a valid trust it must have assets and active affairs. It must also have identifiable beneficiaries, a trustor etc.
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None of those elements are present or even alleged or asserted by the lawyers for the foreclosure mills. The only “beneficiary” is the investment bank, not the certificate holders who all expressly or impliedly disclaim any right, title or interest in the loans, debts, notes or mortgages and have no right to enforce. This has already been decided in tax court. The owners of certificates are not the holders of secured debt.
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There is no “res” or “thing” that is entrusted to the named Trustee of the so-called REMIC Trust for the benefit of identifiable beneficiaries. There is no settlor who conveyed loans to the Trustee to hold in trust for identifiable beneficiary except that as a catch-all the investment bank is named as beneficiary of any title to anything that might be attributed to the trust, if only the trust existed.
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Attacking this from the top down is the job of regulators who refuse to do so. But the attack can occur from the bottom up in courts. As shown above, in any case where a trust is referenced in a foreclosure there is no legal standing. That is there is no existing entity that owns the debt. The investment bank funded the origination or acquisition of the loan but contemporaneously sold off the value of the debt, the risk of loss, the cash flow and other attributes of the loan.
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The notes had to be destroyed and a new culture based upon images had to be put in place even if it violated law. The problem with the courts is not that they don;t get it; I think a lot of judges get it but don’t like the outcome of applying the law as it currently exists. So they wink and nod at fabricated notes, assignments and endorsements.
But those same judges, when confronted with unexplained deficiencies are forced to rule in favor of borrowers. And they do. This would best be done in mass joinder, class action or some other vehicle where resources could be pooled, but the procedural deck is stacked against such efforts.

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5 Responses

  1. Great post, Neil, thank you.

  2. Hope this is your subject for tonight’s show (with Neil)

  3. There can be no “security” if the securitization was not valid. Not valid if there was no balance sheet asset reflecting a mortgage given. The Financial Crisis occurred for a reason, and it was not because some of the loans were defaulting – most performed (at least until the crisis hit). It was because there was no valid securitization.. You may owe someone, but it is no one in the claimed chain. If the contract was not valid, and did not do what it was supposed to do — pay off the existing mortgage BY YOU – then the contract should be void.

    The Financial Crisis players securitized nothing more than charged off debt. The mortgage loans were never a valid asset — or valid mortgage. Nothing was paid off when the mortgage “refinance” was executed. At least not by the borrower.. Instead, debt was restructured – without telling the borrowers, or the investors – as to what they were really investing in. The intent was to pass through cash flows on the “debt” collected. Once it was discovered there were no assets, only debt – the whole scheme collapsed. The banks could not even take the loans back onto balance sheets because they were never there in the first place.

    The “Debt” was not sold multiple times. It just appears that way,, because it would move from one debt buyer (yes those investment banks were big debt buyers) – to another. That is, the debt buyers would screw each other.– especially, if there was equity in the home. However, the debt would remain as zero value in the fake trust it was removed from. So it looks like sold multiple times., but it was not.

    The government will never allow the truth to be told. Judges actually rely on other judges – who get it wrong in the first place.

    The fraud continues.

  4. Good thing the bank and servicers do not report to the IRS–not.

  5. All these transactions are subjected to IRS reporting requirements.

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