How Evidence Works for and Against the Consumer/Homeowner

(Once again, because of minor medical issues I decline to do the Neil Garfield Show. I offer this instead)
It is easy to get lost in the weeds. Don’t make up your own words or definitions because your definitions have no relevance to your case. Do hold the accusing side to their words and to the legally accepted definitions of those words as contained in statutes and cases.

But above all, start at the beginning — a rookie mistake made by nearly all young litigators and pro se litigants who skip over the gold to pick up a few pieces of copper.  They exclaim “How could I lose, I have the copper!” And all the court wanted was the gold.

This post is inspired by the factual findings of several of my most generous contributors, and a hat tip to summer chic. Just because you hear a word or term don’t think you know what it means or the context in which it is issued. That is what litigation is all about. 

So first I will repeat what Aristotle said. First, define your terms. I personally know what Fiserv did as a payment processor when it served to intercept and process transactions from POS and ATM devices. I know what it did when it effectively acted as Gateway for intercept processors, including itself.

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Payment processing in all of its forms consists of three distinct nodes: receipt of money, data processing (recording the receipt and disbursement of money) and the actual disbursement of money. In that sense, Fiserv has always been a servicer.

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So it is easy to see why the investment banks trusted FiServ to handle those functions rather than anyone else. And they did. After the Tylor Bean débâcle, they would never let a company actually perform servicing functions because that would leave open the door to stealing.
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It was Black Knight who set up the lockbox arrangements (contracts) but FiServ who actually did the grunt work — receiving, accounting, and disbursing $MONEY$. Except that they didn’t really do disbursing.
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Because the act of depositing the money was a disbursement. They would take a $1,000 check from Homeowner Smith and deposit it into a bank account that was owned and controlled by XYZ Capital Finance, Inc. which was either a subsidiary of the investment bank or a conduit for outflow to offshore accounts. The named “servicer” never saw or even expected to receive that money.
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The reason why I am commenting on this is that this is extraordinarily important to the defense narrative for consumers. The ONLY party who may sue is one who has suffered financial injury “proximately” caused by the conduct of the party against whom he has filed suit.
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I have argued for 16 years that the homeowner deserves to win. But people take that as meaningless drivel from a defense lawyer who will always say that his criminal client is innocent. So try this: you can win and why should you not? If you were facing jail would you really so blithely accept the “inevitable”?
  • If the homeowner fails to make a payment that appears on some schedule and Goldman Sachs loses money because they’re betting that he would make the payment, the injury suffered by Goldman Sachs is NOT LEGALLY caused by the failure of the homeowner to make a payment. GS cannot sue the homeowner for that. That bet is the same as betting on a horserace. You can’t sue the owner for losing or throwing the race.
  • If an investor IS getting paid regardless of whether the homeowner makes a payment or not, then they can claim no injury from the “failure” to make a scheduled payment.
    • The investor who purchased a certificate is simply betting that the investment bank that issued the certificate will make the payments or cause payments to be made according to the terms of the contract that is the certificate — not according to any contract with the homeowner. The certificate parties are investor vs investment bank — not investor vs homeowner.
  • If an investor has no legal claim to receive payments from homeowners nor to administer, collect or enforce any alleged loan account the investor has no claim whatsoever against the homeowner — for the simple reason that the investor has chosen to have no relationship whatsoever with the homeowner in order to avoid liability for lending and servicing errors, mistakes or violations of statutes passed by the Federal and State governments — of which there were tens of millions of cases resulting in hundreds of billions in settlements, so far.
  • If an investment bank was counting on receiving a scheduled payment from a homeowner but had no right to receive it, it may not under current law in any U.S. jurisdiction recover money from the homeowner nor force the sale of the homeowner’s property.
  • If the investment bank had no legal right, title or interest to the underlying obligation, debt, note or mortgage (deed of trust) issued by the homeowner, then it had no right to administer, collect or enforce any payment set forth on any schedule — nor grant the authority to do so to someone else.
    • One may not grant rights that do not belong to the grantor. If I promise to give you my jet, you will not get the jet simply because I don’t have a jet. And if you know I don’t have a jet you have no claim for my failure to deliver it.
  • If a company is named as servicer then unless FiServ is doing the work for that “servicer” company (under contract), then the work done by FiServ is the work of Fiserv, and only Fiserv employees and representatives can testify about what was done and what their records contain.
    • Any report issued by them or based upon FiServ data must be established by foundation testimony from the records custodian of FiServ and not some robowitness employed by the company who was named as a servicer but was not performing the basic servicing functions.
    • Any such report and testimony of the “representative of the named “servicer” are irrelevant, lacking in competence, foundation, or materiality.
    • Such testimony is rank hearsay clearly excludable in every court in every U.S. jurisdiction — but only if a timely and proper objection is raised within the context of a coherent defense narrative.
    • This is because the only thing that a robowitness can really say is that “I received this report and my boss says it is a report from my employer who I have been told by someone (I don’t remember who) is a servicer of an unpaid loan account due from the homeowner to the Greatest Bank of All Time, N.A., not on its own behalf but on behalf of the Indecipherable Trust 200x-04 ALRT-A pass-through certificates, not on its own behalf but on behalf of the holders of those certificates, about whom I know nothing.” 
      • “I know nothing about the content of any servicing agreement between my employer and any creditor who has paid value or otherwise has a right, title, or interest in receiving money from the collection of payments, principal, or interest from homeowners. “
    • In truth, the report is entirely printed out from data received exclusively from FiServ data processing servers and storage servers which are owned, operated and maintained by FiServ which provides services (“servicing”) to and for the exclusive benefit of investment bankers who have no legal right to administer, collect or enforce any debt.
    • In truth, when the robowitness says he or she is familiar with the records of his or her employer what they really mean is that they’re familiar with a script and know absolutely nothing about the operations of their employer because their employer does not want them to know anything. (This is how many such witnesses are “blown up” on the witness stand by hundreds of lawyers across the country.)
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So for purposes of this discussion, a payment processor is a company that processes payments — i.e., something that is actually happening and something that they are a direct party to witness the actual occurrence of actual events and recording them. A “servicer” is a company that services payments from the homeowner and accounts for its actions by recording data on its own records regarding said receipt.
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If they have not done that, then they’re not a servicer in the conventional use of the word, even though the statutory definition for purposes of statutory liability to consumers is much broader. That statutory definition (augmented by regulation X) does not mean that they received any payments nor recorded any such receipt.
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Use of that statutory definition as a basis for misleading the court about the role of the company named as servicer and the origin of the information will eventually become, in fairly short order, the subject of a series of actions by state bar associations, the FTC and the CFPB. Insurers of lawyers have already inserted sufficient cover language to deny coverage for intentional misdeeds. Since the company named as “servicer” is not “servicing” any unpaid loan account receivable (which it will be revealed does not exist) they have no right to testify about it, much less the balance or record of payments.
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This is all true and but it is NOT a sign of judicial corruption to point out instances in which these particular facts are either ignored or denied by the person sitting on the bench. Their job as judges is to rule on what is brought in front of them — not what might have been brought nor what should not have been brought if there had only been an objection. The truth is that in most cases I have received I would have ruled the same way as the judge frequently accused of corruption.

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Once the homeowner has effectively admitted that there is an unpaid loan account receivable exists (without any information), admits that the third party company is a servicer (without any information), and admits that the bank named is the trustee of a trust (without any information), and admits that the trust owns an unpaid loan due from that homeowner or even argues about which trust owns the loan, what choice do I have as a judge but to rule that those facts are, for purposes of the case in front of me, the facts of the case?
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Litigation is about offense and defense. The purpose of defense is NOT to let the evidence in or to find ways to get it out. It is not to prove that the lawyers or anyone else are corrupt, evil, or belongs in jail. Once you make that allegation and can’t legally prove it, you will lose all credibility on the main point — defense. And that will cost you the opportunity to make a ton of money on wrongful foreclosure.
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Neil F Garfield, MBA, JD, 75, is a Florida licensed trial and appellate attorney since 1977. He has received multiple academic and achievement awards in business, accounting and law. He is a former investment banker, securities broker, securities analyst, and financial analyst.
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FORECLOSURE DEFENSE IS NOT SIMPLE. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OF A FAVORABLE RESULT. THE FORECLOSURE MILLS WILL DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO WEAR YOU DOWN AND UNDERMINE YOUR CONFIDENCE. ALL EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT NO MEANINGFUL SETTLEMENT OCCURS UNTIL THE 11TH HOUR OF LITIGATION.

But challenging the “servicers” and other claimants before they seek enforcement can delay action by them for as much as 12 years or more. In addition, although currently rare, it can also result in your homestead being free and clear of any mortgage lien that you contested. (No Guarantee).

Yes you DO need a lawyer.
If you wish to retain me as a legal consultant please write to me at neilfgarfield@hotmail.com.

Please visit www.lendinglies.com for more information.

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