Jurisdictional Defense —- Certificate Holders vs Trust

Litigators often miss the point that the foreclosure is brought on behalf of certificate holders who have no right, title or interest in the debt, note or mortgage — and there is no assertion, allegation or exhibit that says otherwise.

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Here is an excerpt from one of my recent drafts on this subject:

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LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION: the complaint attempts to state a cause of action on behalf of the certificate holders of an apparent trust, although the trust is not identified as to the jurisdiction in which it was created or the jurisdiction in which it operates.
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Even assuming that such a trust exists and that it issued certificates, there is no allegation or attachment of an exhibit demonstrating that the certificates contain a conveyance enabling the holder of the certificate to enforce the alleged debt, note or mortgage upon which the complaint relies. In fact, independent investigation shows the exact opposite.
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Nor is there any allegation that any money is due to the certificate holders or any allegation that the certificate holders possess the promissory note or have the right to enforce either the promissory note or the mortgage. Even if the indenture for the certificates were produced before this court, it would only show a contract for payment from a party other than the homeowner in this action. Accordingly, no justiciable controversy has been presented to the court. In the absence of an amendment curing the above defects, the complaint must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
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STANDING:
  1. As to Bank of New York Mellon there is no allegation or attachment to the complaint that alleges or demonstrates an agency relationship between Bank of New York Mellon and the certificate holders, on whose behalf the complaint is allegedly filed. If Bank of New York Mellon is the trustee of an existing trust and the trust is alleged to own the debt note and mortgage along with the rights to enforce, then the agency or representative capacity of Bank of New York Mellon is with the trust, and not with the certificate holders. Based upon the allegations of the complaint and independent research defendant asserts that there is no representative capacity between Bank of New York Mellon and the certificate holders.
  2. As to the alleged trust which has not been properly identified there is no allegation that the action is brought on behalf of the trust; but the implied allegation is that the trust is the plaintiff. The complaint states that the action is brought on behalf of the certificate holders who merely hold securities or instruments apparently issued in the name of the alleged trust. There is no allegation or exhibit attached to the complaint that would support any implication that Bank of New York Mellon possesses a power of attorney for the certificate holders or the trust. In fact, in litigation between Bank of New York Mellon and investors who have purchased such certificates, Bank of New York Mellon has denied any duty owed to the certificate holders.
  3. As to the certificate holders, there is no allegation or exhibit demonstrating that the certificate holders have any right, title or interest to the debt, note or mortgage nor any right to enforce the debt, note or mortgage. Based upon independent research, the certificate holders do not possess any right, title or interest to the debt, note or mortgage nor any right to enforce. In fact, in Tax Court litigation the certificate holders are deemed to be holding an unsecured obligation, to wit: a promise to pay issued in the name of a trust which may simply be the fictitious name of an investment bank. There is no contractual relationship between the defendant and the certificate holders. Further, no such relationship has been alleged or implied by the complaint or anything contained in the attachments to the complaint.
  4. As to the certificate holders, they are neither named nor identified. Yet the complaint states that the lawsuit is based upon a claim for restitution to the certificate holders. The reference to the trust may be identification of the certificates but not the certificate holders. In fact, based upon independent investigation, the holders of such certificates never received any payments from the borrower nor from any servicer who collected payments from the borrower nor from the proceeds of any foreclosure. In the case at bar. the complaint is framed to obscure the fact that the forced sale of the property will not be used to satisfy the debt, note or mortgage in whole or in part.
  5. As to any of the parties listed in the complaint as being a plaintiff or part of the plaintiff there is no allegation or exhibit demonstrating that any of them paid value for the debt, or received a conveyance of an interest in the debt, note or mortgage from a party who has paid value for the debt as required by article 9 § 203 of the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted by state law, which states that a condition precedent to the enforcement of a mortgage is the payment of value for the debt. Hence regardless of who is identified as being the actual plaintiff none of the parties listed can demonstrate financial injury arising from nonpayment or any other act by the defendant.
  6. In the absence of any amendment to cure the above defects, the entire complaint and exhibits must be dismissed with prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and lack of a plaintiff who has legal standing to bring a claim against the defendant.
The only thing I would add to the existing second affirmative defense is the affirmative statement that based upon independent investigation, such signatures were neither authorized nor proper, to wit: they consist of forgeries or the product of robosigned in which the signature of a person is affixed without knowledge of the contents of the instrument to which it is affixed.
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In my opinion, the specificity that I have employed in the above comments not only provides a basis for dismissal, but also the foundation to support Discovery requests that might otherwise be denied, to wit: who, if anyone, ever paid money for the debt?

5 Responses

  1. The last entity to pay value for the notes was the Depositor who created the trust, which is also the name of the trust. No trustee owns the contents of a trust. They are held by the trust vehicle which is represented by the trustee. The trustee is a “holder”. The investors, i.e. certificate holders do not own the notes as they are only entitled to the income stream. The certificates could be compared to stock certificates, but unlike stock, the certs do not represent any ownership, i.e. percentage of ownership like corporate stock does. The trust agreement, i.e. PSA, cannot be argued as the courts have decided the borrower is not a party to it. What is totally overlooked is the fact that the court has no idea what the power, authority or fiduciary duties of the trustee are. The court operates completely by guesswork and assumption. I would argue this is a basis to get the PSA into evidence.

  2. You know – all so complex. And, the details will mind boggle the average person. Neil – you are not the average person. Way above and ahead. I get it — no trust or trustee is owner. No authority to enforce. But need need to apply to the law. What is the answer to Americold? Navarro? Apply to that. Please.

  3. Neil — the name of the trust is not stated. There is a big difference between a traditional trust, and a business trust for diversity determination.

    There is no authority for servicers to represent anyone under a traditional or business trust unless authority is given to them by someone. That authority is dependent on whether trust is traditional or business. At least that is how law reads.

    But the servicer hires the attorney. Then they hide behind the trust name. No authority.

  4. Does this apply to nonjudicial action defense also?

  5. Why doesn’t Fannie and Freddie have to be the Plaintiff in fraudclosure complaint, when their own website says they “own your loan”???????

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