Sometimes the client figures it out better than the lawyer

The problem has always been how to present this counterintuitive reality to a judge who is convinced that securitization of a loan DID occur even though the transaction was not in fact a loan and no sale occurred.

After decades of litigating and teaching litigation, the one common theme throughout my career has been the knowledge that often your best ideas come from the client, who is unencumbered by thoughts of what can’t be done.

One such client of mine in the state of Hawaii asked a simple question. She asked whether the homeowner, post-foreclosure, could ask for surplus funds. Surplus funds are defined by statute to mean that once the debt is paid including all expenses of enforcement, the remainder of the proceeds of a forced sale of the property should be returned to the homeowner. This is basic law applied in all jurisdictions. The “lender” does not get a bonus — at least not legally.

So that sparked some thought and analysis. If the claim was based on a nonexistent loss, then the entire proceeds of the sale should be turned over to the homeowner. In addition,  the filing of a motion or petition for accounting for the money proceeds from the sale could reveal the nonexistence of the implied loss and the nonexistent claim. That, in turn, could lead to a claim for sanctions or damages for filing a frivolous lawsuit. And that might all be included in a petition for declaratory, injunctive, and supplemental relief in which the court is asked to declare fee title, unencumbered, vested in the homeowner.

In any event, procedurally, the demand for an accounting followed by a motion to enforce the demand seems appropriate and should send the foreclosure mill spiraling. You see, the money never goes to the named claimant where the alleged claim was based upon securitization of the debt — because the loan, debt, note, and mortgage were never securitized. (Securitization means breaking up an asset into component parts that are sold to investors in pro-rata shares. Such sales never occurred. Securities were sold but they did not represent an ownership interest in any asset.)

The problem has always been how to present this counterintuitive reality to a judge who is convinced that securitization of a loan DID occur even though the transaction was not in fact a loan and no sale occurred.

The answer might be, in addition to the defensive strategies suggested on these pages, that instead of an appeal you file a motion to compel an accounting and a motion to open limited discovery on the accounting. The motion is actually a motion to compel the return of surplus cash generated from the sale of the property. Of course, that might need to wait until the sale to a third party but there are good arguments for filing it when the credit bid is offered by the named claimant.

Thus far, the banks have been selling property and then depositing the cash into an account controlled by a concealed investment bank notwithstanding the naming of the sham conduit claimant in whose name the foreclosure process was started. Frequent sleight of hand name changes occurs post-judgment or even post-sale.

It is difficult to imagine any court denying the request for the return of excess funds. Obviously, the argument from the foreclosure mill would be something like this: “The loss has already been established as the law of the case and the sale price was less than the loss, so there is no surplus.” But that argument flies in the face of current judicial doctrine which holds that even in a default situation you must still prove the damages.

And once the court is convinced you to have a right to see what happened to the money, it is difficult to imagine that the court would not order the foreclosure mill to produce the accounting. Like a request for identification of the creditor and the loan account receivable, such orders will be ignored because they must be ignored — even at the expense of sanctions. And the reason is quite obvious after reviewing thousands of cases — there is no loan account, there is no loss and there is no creditor despite all appearances to the contrary.

So if they file a false accounting they are probably committing or suborning perjury. And I don’t think many people are willing to sign such documents for any amount of money unless they don’t value their freedom.

The interesting thing about procedural rules is that the judge is more than happy to apply them if they can get rid of the case. In this case, a motion for sanctions for failure to comply with the homeowner’s request and the judge’s order will most likely produce either a direct win for the homeowner or a very satisfactory settlement — albeit with someone who had no right to settle with you.

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Neil F Garfield, MBA, JD, 73, is a Florida licensed trial and appellate attorney since 1977. He has received multiple academic and achievement awards in business and law. He is a former investment banker, securities broker, securities analyst, and financial analyst.
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3 Responses

  1. (Securitization means breaking up an asset into component parts that are sold to investors in pro-rata shares. Such sales never occurred. Securities were sold but they did not represent an ownership interest in any asset.)

    So, if the bogus loan instantly went to Fannie or Freddie, they are liable and prove fraud conspiracy?

  2. I knew about the surplus, but doesn’t that admit there was a debt for any post foreclosure action?

  3. I’ve come to learn the homeowner figures it out better the attorney. The opposition and the court. Because they live it !!!!!! I really think all involved really have no clue what they are doing when it comes to Fraudclosures.

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