Why I Think Homeowners Are Entitled to Receive a Second Payment From Investment Banks

All homeowners who think they have a mortgage loan have received one payment at a “closing” — or a payment allegedly made on their behalf. For reasons explained elsewhere on this blog, such payments on their behalf are mostly fictional where the underlying investment bank is the same “director” of funds.
The significance is that a second tree springs up in which the scheme described below is duplicated — with little or no cost to the investment banks. Each time the myth of “refinancing” is employed a new securitization tree springs up with dozens if not hundreds of branches.
The purpose of this article is to explain my view that homeowners are entitled to share in the revenues and profits generated by securitization schemes — and why I think that now is the time to demand it in litigation.
This claim has been filed early in the course of the mortgage meltdown. In one case the Federal judge held onto it for 14 months before finally ruling that the complaint should be dismissed. It led to my deposition being taken for 6 straight days, 9am-5PM as an expert witness. I was having heart problems at that time and they were clearly trying to wear me down. I did not relent. I did get some stents shortly afterward. 16 banks and 16 law firms each took their turn beating me up.
I think we have reached a different era in which these claims should be pressed again. We know a lot more than we did in 2007-2008. Subsequent events proved the basic points, to wit: that the paper trail did not match up to reality, which is why the paper trail consists entirely of false, fabricated, forged, backdated, and robosigned documents.
1. Homeowners enter into transactions that appear to be loans to purchase or refinance property at market value. Even if the transactions were actual loans, the determination of market value was legally the responsibility of the lender under TILA. Market value never increased, but prices were grossly inflated because Wall Street flooded the market with money that appeared to be cheap.
  • By lowering the apparent monthly cost, they made the actual price appear to be irrelevant — which is part of the essential element of deception.
  • The common homeowner relied upon the appraisals that were required by investment banks to be inflated in order to complete the loan transaction or the illusion of a loan transaction.
  • The only way securities brokerage firms (investment banks) could sell more and more unregulated securities is if more and more deals were signed by unsuspecting homeowners.
  • Thus the transaction enabled the homeowner to purchase or refinance a home under the mistaken belief that the home had a market value in excess of the principal amount of the “loan.”
  • All such “loans” were bad, from a market perspective.
  • It meant that the homeowners took an immediate loss because market prices were stratospherically higher than market values (i.e., indicating a high known probability that prices would fall precipitously).
  • It also meant that if there was a lender, it also was taking an immediate loss because it could not report the value of the loan at face value since the loan principal was far in excess of the value of the collateral.
  • In addition, all such loans were bad because the impact of this phenomenon was to create an immediate incentive to default on the scheduled “loan” payments apparently due from homeowners.
  • The obvious conclusion is that for everyone except the homeowner, this was not a loan transaction.
2. The transaction was not a loan. If it was a loan, nobody would have been party to it. There was no lending intent. there was no profit incentive to engage in lending under the circumstances described above. Like the “new economy” of the 1990s, the entire housing market consisted of the myth of a new force that would permanently push housing prices ever higher.
  • So what homeowners are missing out on is claiming a share of a pie that almost everyone else got paid.
  • The paper (document) deal basically has the homeowner execute a document allowing for a virtual creditor without a loan account balance in order to create, issue, and sell unregulated securities, regardless of what the homeowner intended and regardless of what the homeowner believed.
  • Because of the undisclosed structure of the deal, the “seller” was able to recover all money paid to the homeowner contemporaneously with the “closing” of the paper transaction. This is true even though nobody made credit entries to a nonexistent loan account.
  • Neither the loan account nor any of its components (underlying obligation, legal debt, note or mortgage) was ever sold in a financial transaction in the real world.
  • This accounts for the ability of the investment banks to conduct multiple virtual sales of hedge instruments or interests in the performance data for the virtual loan.
  • This enabled the investment bank to convert the usual 15% underwriting fee to at least a 1200% profit plus whatever they could get from homeowners in monthly payments and foreclosures.
  • With exception of the homeowner, every person and every business entity that was recruited to participate in the selling scheme to homeowners got paid extra exorbitant fees for their participation.
  • Those were fees that would never have been paid and could never have been paid but for the absurd profits from the so-called securitization scheme.
  • The homeowner provided a service that is undeniable: the homeowner accepted the concept of a virtual creditor even though no such allowance existed under any laws, rules or regulations thus enabling these fees and “trading profits” to be generated without any offsetting entry to any nonexistent loan account.
  • If homeowners had been given the opportunity to negotiate terms for their acceptance of a transaction in which there was no lender, no compliance with TILA, and no stake by a lender in the success of the transaction, homeowners would have had the opportunity to bargain for better terms and competition in the industry would have resulted in better terms (a share of the pie) being offered.
  • We already know that incentives were offered to pay closing costs, the first few months of the “loan” etc. Homeowners occupied a special place in the securitization scheme.
  • Without the cooperation of homeowners, there was no securitization scheme. Other players could have been replaced but not homeowners.
  • So their share of the pie would have been substantial if they had the opportunity (i.e., if there was disclosure) to bargain and better terms would have been offered if there was disclosure and transparency as required by law.
  • In my opinion, there are two benchmarks that should be used to determine how much the homeowner should have been paid: (1) the amount the homeowner received at closing, making such payment a fee and (2) 15% of the total revenue generated from the scheme in e exchange for the issuance of the paper documents (note and mortgage).
    • These two benchmarks overlap. But what it basically comes down to is that each homeowner should have received the benefit of the real bargain: around 15% of the total revenue from that deal which means that in a typical $200,000 loan, with at least $2.4 million generated in fees and trading profits, the homeowner should have received at least $360,000.
    • The $200,000 “loan” might survive upon proper reformation reflecting all the elements of the real deal, but there is still an extra $160,000 that was due to the homeowner at the time of signing.
    • Right now that $360,000 is being shared with dozens of people and companies involved in the securitization scheme and dozens of companies involved in virtual foreclosure schemes — i.e., foreclosures in which lawyers acting under litigation immunity argue or imply that a loan account exists and that they represent the party who owns it.
    • The only reason why homeowners are excluded from that is that it would reduce the size of bonuses received by the existing players, most of whom are doing nothing other than lending their name to a virtual scheme.
    • I said in 2007  that homeowners did not really owe any money to anyone from these paper transactions and that in fact, it was the reverse — homeowners are the ones who are owed money by the investment banks, plus interest from the date of closing.

I think the failure of homeowners to aggressively pursue this line of practical and legal reasoning is largely responsible for the continued drain (anchor) on the U.S. economy, which is still suffering from the unfortunate decisions of multiple administrations to save and increase the profits of investment banks at the cost to and detriment of common homeowners.

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