If you think foreclosures are a thing of the past, think again

In order to maintain the illusion of legality and an orderly marketplace the banks and their servicers must continue to push foreclosures even if it means going after people who are not actually withholding payments. The legacy of the mortgage meltdown and the brainless government policies that let the banks get away with what they had done, is that the crime not only continues but is being repeated with each new claimed securitization or “resecuritization” of residential loans.

As I predicted in 2006, the  tidal wave of foreclosures was in fact unprecedented, underestimated and continues to this day. With a starting point of around 2002, foreclosures attributed to the mortgage meltdown have continued unabated for 17 years. I said it would 20-30 years and I am sticking with that, although new evidence suggests it will go on much longer. So far more than 40 million people have been displaced from their homes and their lives.

Google Buffalo and New Jersey, for example and see whether they think foreclosures are a thing of the past. They don’t. And the people in Buffalo are echoing sentiments across the nation where the economy seems better, unemployment is down, wages are supposedly increasing but foreclosures are also increasing.

And let’s not forget that back in the early and mid 2000’s foreclosures did not mention trustees or trusts. In fact when the subject was raised by homeowners it was vehemently denied in courts cross the country. The denials were that the trusts even existed. This was not from some homeowner or local lawyer. This was from the banks and their attorneys. It turns out they were telling the truth then.

The trusts didn’t exist and there were no trustees. But in the upside down world of foreclosure here we are with most foreclosures filed in the name of a nonexistent implied trust on behalf of a “trustee” with no trustee powers, obligations or duties to administer any assets much less loans in foreclosure.

In order to understand this you must throw out any ideas of a rational market driven by fundamental economics and accept the fact that the banks  and their servicers continue to be engaged in the largest economic crime in human history. Their objective is foreclosure because that accomplishes two goals: first, it rubber stamps prior illegal practices and theft of borrowers’ identities for purposes of trading profits and second, it gives them a free house and free money.

If they lose a foreclosure case nobody suffers a financial loss. If they win, which they do most of the time (except where homeowners aggressively defend) they get a free house and the proceeds of sale are distributed to the players who are laughing, pardon the pun, all the way to the bank. Investors get ZERO.

As for modifications, look closely. The creditor is being changed along with the principal interest and payments. It might just be a new loan, except for the fact the new “lender” is a servicer like Ocwen who has not advanced any money for the purchase or acquisition the loan. But that’s OK because neither did the lender or the claimant. Modification is a PR stunt to make it look like the banks are doing something for borrowers when in fact they are stealing or reassigning the loan to a totally different party from anyone who previously appeared in the chain of title.

Modification allows the banks to claim that the loan is performing — thus maintaining the false foundation supporting trades and profits amounting to dozens of times the amount of the loan. Watch what happens when you ask for acknowledgement from the named Plaintiff in judicial states or the named beneficiary in nonjudicial states. You won’t get it. If US Bank was really a trustee then acknowledging a settlement on its behalf would not be a problem. As it stands, that is off the table.

The mega banks, with unlimited deep pockets derived from their massive economic crimes, began a campaign of whack-a-mole to create the impression that foreclosures were on the decline and the crisis is over. Their complex plan involves decreasing the number of filed foreclosures where the numbers are climbing and increasing the filed foreclosures where they have allowed the numbers to sink. Add that to their planted articles in Newspapers and Magazines around the country and it all adds up to the impression that foreclosures derived from claimed securitized loans are declining.

Not so fast. There were over 600,000 reported foreclosures last year and the numbers are rising this year. Most of them involve false claims of securitization where the named claimant is simply appointed to pretend to be the injured party. It isn’t and in many cases a close look at the “name” of the claimant reveals that no legal person or entity is actually named.

US Bank is often named but not really present. It says it is not appearing on its own behalf but as Trustee. The trust is not specifically named but is implied without the custom and practice of naming the jurisdiction in which the trust was organized or the jurisdiction in which it maintains a business. That’s because there is no trust and there is no business and US Bank owns no debt, note or mortgage in any capacity. The certificates are held by investors who acknowledge that they have no right, title or interest in the debt, note or mortgage. So who is the claimant? Close inspection reveals that nobody is named.

In fact, those foreclosures proceed often without contest because homeowners mistakenly believe they are in default. In equity, if the facts were allowed in as evidence, the homeowner would be entitled to a share of the bounty that was a windfall to the investment bank and its affiliates by trading on the borrower’s signature. A “free house” only partially compensates the homeowner for the illegal noncensual trading on his name with the intent of screwing him/her later.

Upon liquidation of the property the proceeds of sale are deposited not by an owner of the debt, but by one of the players who just added insult to injury to both the borrower and the original investors who paid real money but failed to get an interest in the fabricated closing documents — i.e., the note and mortgage.

The Banks have succeeded in getting everyone to think about how unfair it is that homeowners would even think of pursuing a “free house”. By doing that they distract from the fact that the homeowners and the investors who put up the origination or acquisition money are both excluded from the huge profits generated by trading on the signature of borrowers and the money of investors who do not get to share in the bounty, which is often 20-40 times the amount of the loan.

The courts don’t want to hear about esoteric arguments about the securitization process. Judges assume that somewhere in the complex moving parts of the securitization scheme there is an owner of the debt who will get compensated as a result of the homeowner’s refusal or failure to make monthly payments of interest and principal. That assumption is untrue.

This is revealed when the money from the sale of property is traced. If you trace the check you will be mislead. Regardless of where the check is mailed, the check is actually cashed by a servicer who deposits it to the account of an investment bank who has already received many times the amount of the loan principal. That money is neither credited to the account of the borrower nor reported, much less distributed to investors who bought certificates (wrongly named “mortgage bonds”).

Neither the investors who bought the original uncertificated certificates nor the investors who purchased contracts based upon the apparent value of the certificates ever see a penny of the proceeds of a foreclosure sale.

In order to maintain the illusion of legality and an orderly marketplace the banks and their servicers must continue to push foreclosures even if it means going after people who are not actually withholding payments. The legacy of the mortgage meltdown and the brainless government policies that let the banks get away with what they had done, is that the crime not only continues but is being repeated with each new claimed securitization or “resecuritization” of residential loans.

When the economy contracts, as it always does, the number of foreclosures will shoot up like a thermometer held over a steam radiator. And instead of actually looking for facts people will presume them. And that will lead to more tragedy and more inequality of income, wealth and opportunity in a country that should be all about a level playing field. This is not the marketplace doing its work. It is the perversion of the marketplace caused by outsized and unchecked power of the banks.

My solution is predicated on the idea that everyone is to blame for this. Everyone involved should share in losses and gains from this illicit scheme. Foreclosures should come to a virtual halt. Current servicers should be barred from any connection with these loan accounts. Risk and loss should be shared based upon an equitable formula. And securitization should be allowed to continue as long as securitization is actually happening — so long as the investors and borrowers are aware that they are the only two principals on opposite sides of a complex transaction in which trading profits are likely as part of the disclosed compensation of the intermediaries in the loans originated or acquired.

Disclosure allows the borrowers and the investors to bargain for better deals — to share in the bounty. And if there is no such bounty with full disclosure it will then be because market forces have decided that there should not be any such rewards.

WELCOME TO LIVINGLIES

FREE Information, Resources and Help with Your Mortgage Loans – Over 13,000,000 Visitors

ABOUT LIVINGLIES AND LENDINGLIES

FREE REVIEW

**************************

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to current episodes of

The Neil Garfield Show

or prior episodes

Or call in at (347) 850-1260, 6pm Eastern Thursdays

*******************************

About Neil F Garfield

Schedule Private Consultation

Purchase Services

Submit Case Interview Form – Receive Customized Recommended Services

Q & A – What can you do for me?

Contact Information:

GTC Honors, Inc.

Phone: 954-451-1230

Email: info@lendinglies.com

Services include: Expert Consultation Services, Strategy, Qualified Written Requests, Case Review and Reports, Forensic Analysis Referrals, Discovery , Motions, Pleadings, Complaints to AF and CFPB, Title and Encumbrance Analysis, and Case Analysis. We coach lawyers and pro se litigants. ALL 50 STATES.

MISSION STATEMENT: I believe that the mortgage crisis has produced manifest evil and injustice in our society. Pretenders with more money and more lawyers than any consumer or borrower are stealing homes from homeowners while they undermine the investments by Pension Funds.

LivingLies is the vehicle for a collaborative movement to provide homeowners with sufficient forensic and legal resources to combat banks who are using fictitious names and entities to cover up their malfeasance.

We provide thousands of pages of free forms, articles and discussion of statutes, case precedent and policy on this site. On www.lendinglies.com I provide paid crucial analytic and presentation services that enable lawyers and homeowners to confront the lies in attempted foreclosures.

Ask about our CONSULTATION SERVICES and LITIGATION SUPPORT.

Educate Yourself and Your Lawyer: Read this Blog and Purchase Books & Services from www.lendinglies.com

What is the effect of TILA Rescission on My title? Can I sue for damages?

I have been getting the same questions from multiple attorneys and homeowners. One of them is preparing a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on rescission, but is wondering, as things stand whether she has any right to sue for damages. When our team prepares a complaint or other pleading for a lawyer or homeowner we concentrate on the elements of what needs to be present and the logic of what we are presenting. It must be very compelling or the judge will regard it as just another attempt to get out of justly due debt.

Let us help you plan your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS IS NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TEAR (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345. The TEAR replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

===========================

Combining fact patterns from multiple inquiries we start with a homeowner who actually sent two notices of rescission (2010 and 2017). Questions vary from who do I sue for damages to how do I get my title back?

Note that the biggest and most common error in rescission litigation is that the homeowner attempts to (a) have the court declare the rescission effective contrary to their own argument that it is already effective by operation of law, 15 USC §1635, and (b) seek to enforce the TILA rescission statutory duties beyond one year after rescission.

Whether you can sue for damages is one question. Whether the rescission had the effect of removing the jurisdiction, right or authority to dispossess you of title is another. And whether title ever changed is yet another. Yes you can sue for damages if not barred by a statute of limitations. Yes authority is vitiated by operation of law regardless of the status of litigation. And NO, title never changed and you probably own your house unless state law restricts your right to claim such ownership.

All three questions are related.
Taking the last question (did title actually change?) first, my opinion is that the rescission was effective when mailed. Therefore the note and mortgage were void. The failure of the alleged “lender” to comply with the rescission duties and then pursue repayment within one year from the date of rescission bars them from pursuing the debt. So at this point in time (equally applicable to the 2017 rescission notice) there is no note, mortgage or enforceable debt.
  • Hence any further activities to enforce the note and mortgage were legally void. And that means that any change of title wherein a party received title via any instrument executed by anyone other than you is equally legally void. In fact, that would be the very definition of a wild deed.
  • The grantor did not have any right, title or interest to convey even if it was a Sheriff, Clerk or Trustee in a deed of trust.
  • Any other interpretation offered by the banks would in substance boil down to arguments about why the rescission notice should not be effective upon mailing, like the statute says and like SCOTUS said 9-0 in Jesinoski.
  • CAUSES OF ACTION would definitely include
    • the equitable remedy of mandatory and prohibitive injunctions to prevent anyone from clouding your title or harassing you for an unenforceable debt would apply. But as we have seen, the trial courts and even the appellate courts refuse to concede that the rescission notice is effective upon mailing by operation of law, voiding the note and mortgage.
    • such a petition could also seek supplemental relief (i.e., monetary damages) and could be pursued as long as the statute of limitations does not bar your claim for damages. This is where it gets academically interesting. You are more likely to be barred if you use the 20010 rescission than you are if you use the 2016 rescission.
    • a lawsuit for misrepresentation (intentional and/or negligent) might also produce a verdict for damages — compensatory and punitive. It can be shown that bank lawyers were publishing all over the internet warning the banks to stop ignoring rescission. They knew. And they did it anyway. Add that to the fact that the foreclosing party was most often a nonexistent trust with no substance to its claim as administrator of the loan, and the case becomes stronger and potentially more lucrative.
    • CLASS ACTION: Mass joinder would probably be the better vehicle but the FTC and AG’s (and other agencies) have bowed to bank pressure and made mass joinder a dirty word. It is the one vehicle that cannot be stopped for failure to certify a class because there is not class — just a group of people who have the same cause fo action with varying damages. The rules for class actions have become increasingly restrictive but it certainly appears that technically the legal elements for certification fo the class are present. It is very expensive for the lawyers, often exceeding $1 million in costs and expenses other than fees.
    • Bottom line is that you legally still own your property but it may take a court to legally unwind all of the wrongful actions undertaken by previous courts at the behest of banks misrepresenting the facts. Legally title never changed, in my opinion.

Taking the second question (the right to dispossess your title) my answer would obviously be in the negative (i.e., NO). Since there was no right to even attempt changing title without the homeowner’s consent and signature, petitions to vacate such actions and for damages would most likely apply.

  • This question is added because the courts are almost certainly going to confuse (intentionally or not) the difference between unauthorized actions and void actions.
  • The proper analysis is obviously that the rescission is effective upon mailing by operation of law.
  • Being effective by operation of law means that the action constitutes an event that has already happened at the moment that the law says it is effective. If a court views this simply as “unauthorized” actions then it will most likely slip back into its original “sin”, to wit: treating rescission as a claim rather than an event that has already transpired.

And lastly the issue of claims for damages. There are different elements to each potential cause of action for damages or supplemental relief. I would group them as negligence, fraud, and breach of statutory duty.

  • As to the last you are barred from enforcing statutory duties in the TILA rescission statute if you are seeking such relief more than one year after rescission. But there are other statutes — RESPA, FDCPA and state statutes that are intended to provide for consumer protection or redress when the statutes are violated. There are statutory limits on the amount of damages that can be awarded to a consumer borrower.
  • Fraud requires specific allegations of misrepresentations — not just an argument that the position taken by the banks and servicers was wrong or even wrongful. It also requires knowledge and intent to deceive. It is harder to prove first because fraud must be proven by clear and convincing evidence which is close to beyond a reasonable doubt. Second it is harder to prove because you must go into “state of mind” of a business entity. The reward for proving fraud is that it might open the door to punitive damages and such awards have been in the millions of dollars.
  • Negligence is the easier to prove that it is more likely than not that the Defendant violated a statutory or common law duty — a duty of care. So the elements are simple — duty, breach of that duty, proximate cause of injury, and the actual injury. Negligent misrepresentation and negligent super vision and gross negligence are popular.

Punitive Damages for Violations of Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy §362

Since 2008 I have called out bankruptcy practitioners for their lack of interest in false claims of securitization. The impact on the bankruptcy estate is usually enormous. But without aggressive education of the presiding judge the case will not only go as planned by the banks, it will also lock in the homeowner to “admissions” in bankruptcy schedules and orders that lead to a false conclusion of fact.

Where a pretender lender ignores the automatic stay Bankruptcy judges are and should be very harsh in their penalty. The stay is the bulwark of consumer protection under bankruptcy proceedings which are specifically enabled by the U.S. Constitution. Hence it is as important as free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and the right to keep and bear arms.

The attached article shown in the link below gives the practitioner a running start on holding the violator responsible and in giving the homeowner a path to punitive damages, given the corrupt nature of the mortgages and foreclosures that arose during the great mortgage meltdown.

This might be the place where a hearing on evidence is conducted as to the true nature of the forecloser and a place where the petitioner/homeowner will be given far greater latitude in discovery to reveal the emptiness behind the presumptions that the foreclosing “party” exists at all or to show that it never acquired the debt but seeks instead to enforce fabricated paper.

Remember that in cases involving securitization claims or which are based upon apparent securitization patterns the named “Trustee” is not the party in interest. The party is the named “Trust.” If the Trust doesn’t exist it doesn’t matter if the Pope is named as the Trustee, there still is no existing party seeking relief from the Court.

see Eviction Can Lead to Sanctions Including Punitive Damages for Violation of Automatic Stay

The challenge here is that most bankruptcy lawyers are not well equipped for litigation. So it is advised that a litigator be introduced into the case to plead and prove the case for sanctions, if the situation arises in which a violation of stay has occurred or if there is an adversary proceeding seeking to prevent the pretender lender from acting on its false claims.

Most of the litigation in bankruptcy court has simply been directed at motions to lift the automatic stay. In such motions, the petitioner is merely saying we want to litigate this in state court. The burden of proof is as light as a puff of smoke. If the court finds any colorable interest in the alleged loan, it will ordinarily grant the motion to lift stay — as it must under the existing rules. Homeowners in bankruptcy find it a virtually impossible uphill climb to defend because they are required to have evidence only in possession of the opposing party who also might not have the information needed to prove the lack of any colorable interest.

But the lifting of the stay applies to the litigation concerning foreclosure. It does not necessarily extend to the eviction or unlawful detainer that occurs afterwards. And where the stay has not been lifted the pretender lender is out of luck because there is no excuse for ignoring the automatic stay.

So further action by the foreclosing party is probably a violation of the automatic stay. And in certain cases the court might apply punitive damages on top of consequential damages, if any. The inability to prove actual damages is relatively unimportant unless the homeowner has such damages. It is the violation of the automatic stay that is paramount.

The article below starts with a premise that the “creditor” has received notice of the BKR and ignored it — sometimes willfully and arrogantly.

Here are some notable quotes from this well-written article by Carlos J. Cuevas.

The imposition of punitive damages for egregious violations of the automatic stay is vital to the function of the consumer bankruptcy system. Most consumer debtors cannot afford to pay their attorneys to prosecute an automatic stay violation. The enforcement of the automatic stay is predicated upon major financial institutions observing the automatic stay.

If there is a doubt as to the applicability of the automatic stay, then a creditor can obtain a comfort order as to the applicability of the automatic stay, or obtain relief from the automatic stay from the Bankruptcy Court.

“Parties may not make their own private determination of the scope of the automatic stay without consequence.”

What would be sufficient to deter one creditor may not even be sufficient to gain notice from another. Punitive damages must be tailored not only based upon the egregiousness of the violation, but also based upon the particular creditor in violation.

In determining whether to impose punitive damages under Bankruptcy Code Section 362(k), several bankruptcy courts have identified five factors to guide their decision. They are the nature of the creditor’s conduct, the creditor’s ability to pay, the motives of the creditor, any provocation by the debtor, and the creditor’s level of sophistication: In re Jean-Francois, 532 B.R. 449, 459 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. 2015).

The fact that Church Avenue pursued the eviction more than a week after it learned of the debtor’s bankruptcy suggests that Church Avenue either made its own—incorrect—legal conclusion with respect to whether the eviction would be a stay violation, or decided that moving ahead to empty the building quickly and evict the occupants was worth more to it than the risk associated with defending a future § 362(k) motion.

when a creditor acts in arrogant defiance of the automatic stay it is circumventing the authority of the bankruptcy judge to exercise authority over that particular bankruptcy case. A bankruptcy judge is the only entity vested with the authority to determine whether the automatic stay should be lifted.

Egregious violations of the automatic stay can be deleterious to a consumer bankruptcy debtor. For example, a creditor who refuses to return a repossessed vehicle after the commencement of a bankruptcy case can create a significant hardship for a consumer debtor. A debtor whose vehicle has been repossessed may not be able to rent a substitute vehicle. This can create a significant hardship for a debtor who has to commute to work, who has to transport a child to school, or who is a caregiver for a sick relative.

How Do We Know That the Name of the Trustee was Rented?

The practice of paying a fee to a “service provider” to conceal the real nature of a transaction and the real parties in interest has been at the center of all Wall Street schemes that are at variance from conventional loan products.

Virtually all parties who appear in the chain of title or possession in securitization schemes are parties who rent their name to lend credence to the illusion of the loan transaction, loan transfers and foreclosures.

The truth is simply that the debt is never purchased and sold in such circumstances. But paper is created to create the illusion that “the loan” has been purchased and sold. It wasn’t. This illusion is created by simply using the names of the biggest banks in the world.

See Rent-A-Name popular amongst banks

So Payday lenders, the bottom feeders of an already corrupt lending industry, are renting the names of Native American tribes in order to escape rules and laws that apply to lending in general and Payday lenders in particular. They do it because the tribes might be exempt from certain Federal laws and rules. This enables them to charge higher and higher “interest rates” that are in fact gouging American consumers. So the tribal name or jurisdiction is invoked and the lenders pretend that they are not the real parties in interest. More pretender lenders.

This is what happens when we don’t enforce the existing laws and rules in the first place for fear of angering or collapsing the major banks. The prevailing view is that collapsing the TBTF banks — i.e., putting them out of business — is a bad thing no matter how badly they behave.

In the case of REMIC Trusts, big name banks have a tacit and express agreement (which should be pursued in discovery) in which they each will allow their names to be used or rented for a fee. This cross pollination of names, makes it appear that the giant banks are in fact the injured parties in foreclosures. I can say with 100% certainty this is not the case where claims of securitization are involved.

Banks have been quick to point out when faced with judgments for costs, fees or sanctions that they are NOT the foreclosing party and that their name only appears as “Trustee” of a self-proclaimed REMIC Trust. The “party” is the REMIC Trust itself, they say. But when you peek under the hood, the named Trust is just that — only a name. There is no trust and there have been no transactions in which the nonexistent trust’s name has been involved wherein loans have been purchased — or in which anything has been purchased.

Logic dictates and data confirms that the reason for this lack of transactional data is that there were no such transactions. Logic further dictates that the only possible conclusion is that the “investor money” was never entrusted to the falsely named big bank, as trustee and therefore could not have been entrusted to the REMIC Trust. Hence a key element of any valid trust is missing — the active management by a named trustee of assets that were entrusted tot he trustee on behalf of beneficiaries.

So there is no trust and there is court jurisdiction to grant relief in the name of a nonexistent trust. Reading the so-called trust instrument (Pooling and Servicing Agreement) also reveals the absence of trustor/settlor. So not only is the putative trust empty, it also lacks a trustor and trustee. Further inquiry into the PSA and the indenture for the the fake RMBS certificates reveals that the investors are not beneficiaries of a trust because even if the trust existed, the indenture disclaim such an interest in compliance with the buried description in the PSA.

So there is no trust, no trustee, no trustor, and no beneficiary. The investors’ only interest is in the form of a constructive trust, shared with other investors who may or may not be in the same “pool”. The opportunity for commingling money from thousands of investors in multiple pools is just too good for the bank to pass up.

Thus the laws and rules governing the highly complex lending marketplace require only an illusion of compliance instead of the real thing. Court administrators justified their “rocket dockets” by judicial economy and expediency, requiring the courts to hire more judges and personnel. But that is only true if the foreclosure were real. Some courts have required that the original note must be filed with the court upon suit and others require an affidavit describing possession and ownership of the so-called loan documents. Some affidavits must be executed by the lawyers seeking foreclosure on behalf of their clients.

My question is if the trust does not exist except in the minds of certain financiers and there are no trust assets and no active management of them (obviously) then how truthful is it for any lawyer  to execute documents for filing in court on behalf of a client that the lawyer knows or should know does not exist?

 

Impact of Serial Asset Sales on Investors and Borrowers

The real parties in interest are trying to make money, not recover it.

The Wilmington Trust case illustrates why borrower defenses and investor claims are closely aligned and raises some interesting questions. The big question is what do you do with an empty box at the bottom of an organizational chart or worse an empty box existing off the organizational chart and off balance sheet?

At the base of this is one simple notion. The creation and execution of articles of incorporation does not create the corporation until they are submitted to a regulatory authority that in turn can vouch for the fact that the corporation has in fact been created. But even then that doesn’t mean that the corporation is anything more than a shell. That is why we call them shell corporations.

The same holds true for trusts which must have beneficiaries, a trustor, a trust instrument, and a trustee that is actively engaged in managing the assets of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Without the elements being satisfied in real life, the trust does not exist and should not be treated as though it did exist.

TO GET OUR FORENSIC REPORT, CLICK THE LINK

FREE RESEARCH: Go to our home page and enter subject in search bar.

Let us help you plan and draft your answers, affirmative defenses, discovery requests and defense narrative: Contact us now at info@lendinglies.com

954-451-1230 or 202-838-6345. Ask for a CONSULT.

REGISTRATION FORM: You will make things a lot easier on us and yourself if you fill out the registration form. It’s free without any obligation. No advertisements, no restrictions.

Purchase an audio seminar now, together with seminar materials

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

About Neil F Garfield, M.B.A., J.D.

=====================

The banks have been pulling the wool over our eyes for two decades, pretending that the name of a REMIC Trust invokes and creates its existence. They have done the same with named Trustees and asserted “Master Servicers” of the asserted trust. Without a Trustor passing title to money or property to the named Trustee, there is nothing in trust.

Therefore whatever duties, obligations, powers or restrictions that exist under the asserted trust instrument do not apply to assets that have not been entrusted to the trustee to administer for the benefit of named beneficiaries.

The named Trustee or Servicer has nothing to claim if their claim derives from the existence of a trust. And of course a nonexistent trust has no claim against borrowers in which the beneficiaries of the trust, if they exist, have disclaimed any interest in the debt, note or mortgage.

The serial nature of asserted transfers in which servicing rights, claims for recovery of servicer advances, and purported ownership of note and mortgage is well known and leaves most people, including judges and regulators scratching their heads.

An assignment of mortgage without a a transfer of the indebtedness that is claimed to be secured by a mortgage or deed of trust means nothing. It is a statement by one party, lacking in any authority to another party. It says I hereby transfer to you the power to enforce the mortgage or deed of trust. It does not say you can keep the proceeds of enforcement and it does not identify the party to whom the debt will be paid as proceeds of liquidation of the home at or after the foreclosure sale.

As it turns out, many times the liquidation results in surplus funds — i.e., proceeds in excess of the asserted debt. That should be turned over to the borrower, but it isn’t; and that has spawned a whole new cottage industry of services offering to reclaim the surplus proceeds.

In most cases the proceeds are less than the amount demanded. But there are proceeds. Those are frequently swallowed whole by the real party in interest in the foreclosure — the asserted Master Servicer who claims the proceeds as recovery of servicer advances without the slightest evidence that the asserted Master Servicer ever paid anything nor that the asserted Master Servicer would be out of pocket in the event the “recovery” of “servicer advances” failed.

The foreclosure of the property proceeds with full knowledge that whatever the result, there are no creditors who will receive any money or benefit. The real parties are trying to make money, not recover it. And whatever proceeds or benefits might arise from the foreclosure action are grabbed by a party in a self-proclaimed assertion that while the foreclosure was brought in the name of a trust, the proceeds go to a different third party in derogation of the interests of the asserted trusts and the alleged investors in those trusts who are somehow not beneficiaries.

So investors purchase certificates in which the fine print usually says that for their own protection they disclaim any interest in the underlying debt, note or mortgages. Accordingly we have a trust without beneficiaries.

The existence of those debts, notes or mortgages becomes irrelevant to the investors because they have a promise from a trustee who is indemnified on behalf of a trust that owns nothing. The certificates are backed by assets of any kind. Even if they were “backed” by assets, the supposed beneficiaries have disclaimed such interests.

Thus not only does the trust own nothing even the prospect of security has been traded off to other investors who paid money on the expectation of revenue from the notes and mortgages claimed by the asserted trust through its named trustee.

In the end you have a name of a trust that is unregistered and never asserted to be organized and existing under the laws of any jurisdiction, trustee who has no duties and even if such duties were present the asserted trust instrument strips away all trustee functions, no beneficiaries, and no res, and no active business requiring administration nor any business record of such activity.

Yet the trust is the entity that  is chosen as the named Plaintiff in foreclosures. But the way it reads one is bound to believe that assumption that is not and never was true or even asserted: that the case involves the trustee bank for anything more than window dressing.

It is the serial nature of the falsely asserted transfers that obscures the real parties in interest in both securities transactions with investors and loans with borrowers. The unavoidable conclusion is that nothing asserted by the banks (players in  falsely claimed securitization schemes) is real.

Breaking it Down: What to Say and Do in an Unlawful Detainer or Eviction

Homeowners seem to have more options than they think in an unlawful detainer action based upon my analysis. It is the first time in a nonjudicial foreclosure where the foreclosing party is actually making assertions and representations against which the homeowner may defend. The deciding factor is what to do at trial. And the answer, as usual, is well-timed aggressive objections mostly based upon foundation and hearsay, together with a cross examination that really drills down.

Winning an unlawful detainer action in a nonjudicial foreclosure reveals the open sores contained within the false claims of securitization or transfer.

NEED HELP PREPARING FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER TRIAL? We can help you with Discovery and Compelling Responses to Discovery Requests with Our Paralegal Team that works directly with Neil Garfield! We provide services directly to attorneys and to pro se litigants.

Get a LendingLies Consult and a LendingLies Chain of Title Analysis! 202-838-6345 or info@lendinglies.com.

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave a message or make payments.

OR fill out our registration form FREE and we will contact you!

https://fs20.formsite.com/ngarfield/form271773666/index.html?1502204714426

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

—————-

HAT TIP TO DAN EDSTROM

Matters affecting the validity of the trust deed or primary obligation itself, or other basic defects in the plaintiffs title, are neither properly raised in this summary proceeding for possession, nor are they concluded by the judgment.” (Emphasis added.) (Cheney v. Trauzettel (1937) 9 Cal.2d 158, 159-160.) My emphasis added

So we can assume that they are specifically preserving your right to sue for damages. But also, if they still have the property you can sue to get it back. If you do that and file a lis pendens they can’t sell it again. If a third party purchaser made the bid or otherwise has “bought” the property you probably can’t touch the third party — unless you can show that said purchaser did in fact know that the sale was defective. Actual knowledge defeats the presumptions of facially valid instruments and recorded instruments.

The principal point behind all this is that the entire nonjudicial scheme and structure becomes unconstitutional if in either the wording of the statutes or the way the statutes are applied deprive the homeowner of due process. Denial of due process includes putting a burden on the homeowner that would not be there if the case was brought as a judicial foreclosure. I’m not sure if any case says exactly that but I am sure it is true and would be upheld if challenged.


It is true that where the purchaser at a trustee’s sale proceeds under section 1161a of the Code of Civil Procedure he must prove his acquisition of title by purchase at the sale; but it is only to this limited extent, as provided by the statute, that the title may be litigated in such a proceeding. Hewitt v. Justice’ Court, 131 Cal.App. 439, 21 P.(2d) 641; Nineteenth Realty Co. v. Diggs, 134 Cal.App. 278, 25 P.(2d) 522; Berkeley Guarantee Building & Loan Ass’n v. Cunnyngham, 218 Cal. 714, 24 P.(2d) 782. — [160] * * * In our opinion, the plaintiff need only prove a sale in compliance with the statute and deed of trust, followed by purchase at such sale, and the defendant may raise objections only on that phase of the issue of title

So the direct elements are laid out here and other objections to title are preserved (see above):

  • The existence of a sale under nonjudicial statutes
  • Acquisition of title by purchase at the sale
  • Compliance with statutes
  • Compliance with deed of trust

The implied elements and issues are therefore as follows:

  • Was it a Trustee who conducted the sale? (i.e., was the substitution of Trustee valid?) If not, then the party who conducted the sale was not a trustee and the “sale” was not a trustee sale. If Substitution of Trustee occurred as the result of the intervention of a party who was not a beneficiary, then no substitution occurred. Thus no right of possession arises. The objection is to lack of foundation. The facial validity of the instrument raises only a rebuttable presumption.
  • Was the “acquisition” of title the result of a purchase — i.e., did someone pay cash or did someone submit a credit bid? If someone paid cash then a sale could only have occurred if the “seller” (i.e., the trustee) had title. This again goes to the issue of whether the substitution of trustee was a valid appointment. A credit bid could only have been submitted by a beneficiary under the deed of trust as defined by applicable statutes. If the party claiming to be a beneficiary was only an intervenor with no real interest in the debt, then the “bid” was neither backed by cash nor a debt owed by the homeowner to the intervenor. According there was no valid sale under the applicable statutes. Thus such a party would have no right to possession. The objection is to lack of foundation. The facial validity of the instrument raises only a rebuttable presumption.

The object is to prevent the burden of proof from falling onto the homeowner. By challenging the existence of a sale and the existence of a valid trustee, the burden stays on the Plaintiff. Thus you avoid the presumption of facial validity by well timed and well placed objections.

” `To establish that he is a proper plaintiff, one who has purchased property at a trustee’s sale and seeks to evict the occupant in possession must show that he acquired the property at a regularly conducted sale and thereafter ‘duly perfected’ his title. [Citation.]’ (Vella v. Hudgins (1977) 20 Cal.3d 251,255, 142 Cal.Rptr. 414,572 P.2d 28; see Cruce v. Stein (1956) 146 Cal.App.2d 688,692,304 P.2d 118; Kelliherv. Kelliher(1950) 101 Cal.App.2d 226,232,225 P.2d 554; Higgins v. Coyne (1946) 75 Cal.App.2d 69, 73, 170 P2d 25; [*953] Nineteenth Realty Co. v. Diggs (1933) 134 Cal.App. 278, 288-289, 25 P2d 522.) One who subsequently purchases property from the party who bought it at a trustee’s sale may bring an action for unlawful detainer under subdivision (b)(3) of section 1161a. (Evans v. Superior Court (1977) 67 Cai.App.3d 162, 169, 136 Cal.Rptr. 596.) However, the subsequent purchaser must prove that the statutory requirements have been satisfied, i.e., that the sale was conducted in accordance with section 2924 of the Civil Code and that title under such sale was duly perfected. {Ibid.) ‘Title is duly perfected when all steps have been taken to make it perfect, i.e. to convey to the purchaser that which he has purchased, valid and good beyond all reasonable doubt (Hocking v. Title Ins. & Trust Co, (1951), 37 Cal.2d 644, 649 [234 P.2d 625,40 A.L.R.2d 1238] ), which includes good record title (Gwin v. Calegaris (1903), 139 Cal. 384 [73 P. 851] ), (Kessler v. Bridge (1958) 161 Cal.App.2d Supp. 837, 841, 327 P.2d 241.) ¶ To the limited extent provided by subdivision (b){3) of section 1161a, title to the property may be litigated in an unlawful detainer proceeding. (Cheney v. Trauzettel (1937) 9 Cal.2d 158, 159, 69 P.2d 832.) While an equitable attack on title is not permitted (Cheney, supra, 9 Cal.2d at p. 160, 69 P.2d 832), issues of law affecting the validity of the foreclosure sale or of title are properly litigated. (Seidel) v. Anglo-California Trust Co. (1942) 55 Cai.App.2d 913, 922, 132 P.2d 12, approved in Vella v. Hudgins, supra, 20 Cal.3d at p. 256, 142 Cal.Rptr. 414, 572 P.2d 28.)’ ” (Stephens, Partain & Cunningham v. Hollis (1987) 196 Cai.App.3d 948, 952-953.)
 
Here the court goes further in describing the elements. The assumption is that a trustee sale has occurred and that title has been perfected. If you let them prove that, they win.
  • acquisition of property
  • regularly conducted sale
  • duly perfecting title

The burden on the party seeking possession is to prove its case “beyond all reasonable doubt.” That is a high bar. If you raise real questions and issues in your objections, motion to strike testimony and exhibits etc. they would then be deemed to have failed to meet their burden of proof.

Don’t assume that those elements are present “but” you have a counterargument. The purpose of the law on this procedure to gain possession of property is to assure that anyone who follows the rules in a bona fide sale and acquisition will get POSSESSION. The rights of the homeowner to accuse the parties of fraud or anything else are eliminated in an action for possession. But you can challenge whether the sale actually occurred and whether the party who did it was in fact a trustee. 

There is also another factor which is whether the Trustee, if he is a Trustee, was acting in accordance with statutes and the general doctrine of acting in good faith. The alleged Trustee must be able to say that it was in fact the “new” beneficiary who executed the substitution of Trustee, or who gave instructions for issuing a Notice of Default and Notice of sale.

If the “successor” Trustee does not know whether the “successor” party is a beneficiary or not, then the foundation testimony and exhibits must come from someone who can establish beyond all reasonable doubt that the foreclosure proceeding emanated from a party who was in fact the owner of the debt and therefore the beneficiary under the deed of trust. 

WATCH FOR INFORMATION ON OUR UPCOMING EVIDENCE SEMINAR COVERING TRIAL OBJECTIONS AND CROSS EXAMINATION

 

Illusion of Confusion: Dealing with Unresponsive “Responses” in Discovery

The bank playbook is very simple: keep it as complicated as possible. That way the court and even the homeowner will come to rely on what the banks and so-called servicer say about names, places, documents and money. That’s how they sold the initial fraudulent MBS and around 10 million foreclosures.

If you had a high success rate and you succeeded in scaring most homeowners off from contesting fraudulent foreclosures, what would you do? You would keep going based upon a strategy of creating the illusion of complexity. The only really complex thing is the fact that the foreclosing parties make inconsistent assertions not only from case to case but from one pleading to another in one case.

What is simple? That the only two real parties in interest in this whole affair have been investors on one side and homeowners on the other side. Everyone else is an intermediary with little or no authority to do anything — a fact that has not stopped them from nearly destroying our financial system.

For reasons that have been discussed elsewhere on this blog, the acceptance of the illusion of confusion by the courts is NOT rooted in law, as it is required to be, but rather in politics. This isn’t the first time the courts made political decisions and it won’t be the last. But through persistence and good litigation techniques homeowners who went all the way to the end have often prevailed — probably because the judge was too uncomfortable once the real nature of the asserted transactions was revealed.

NEED HELP DRAFTING A COURT DOCUMENT? We can help you with Discovery and Compelling Responses to Discovery Requests with Our Paralegal Team that works directly with Neil Garfield! We provide services directly to attorneys and to pro se litigants.

Get a LendingLies Consult and a LendingLies Chain of Title Analysis! 202-838-6345 or info@lendinglies.com.

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave a message or make payments.

OR fill out our registration form FREE and we will contact you!

https://fs20.formsite.com/ngarfield/form271773666/index.html?1502204714426

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

—————-

I was writing an article on discovery when by coincidence Dan Edstrom who has been our senior most forensic analyst since 2008 forwarded some questions and comments about the discovery process. He understands full well that the discovery process does NOT consist of just asking a question or asking for a document and the other side then gives you all you need to win.

No, the response will be framed to confuse, which is generally enough to make the homeowner or the foreclosure defense walk away. The foreclosure goes though even though it is most likely completely fraudulent.

And the message that goes out to the world is the banks are winning a huge percentage of foreclosures when in fact they pretty much don’t win when the foreclosure is ably contested.  The issue is obvious — not enough people are ably contesting foreclosures.

In discovery it usually starts with interrogatories. And the first question is who is answering the interrogatories. So in one example, the answer was Sally Torres. The response was that Torres was “from” Ocwen Financial Corporation (OFC). She is described as a “representative” of OFC, which leaves open the question of the identity of her employer.

Back to basics — A corporation is a legal person. And THAT means it is not the same as another legal person, as for example Ocwen Loan Servicing (OLS).

So you need to read carefully and not skip the parts that nobody pays attention to — like the answer to the question and the verification where Torres signs the response. There she signs as a “representative” of OLS not OFC. That ,eaves open the same question but also adds another — is she a representative of both legal persons (OFC and OLS)? If so what is the nature of her “agency” for either legal person? If she is not an employee is there a contract?

The answers further state that she is a “Senior Loan Analyst” for OFC and a “Senior Loan Analyst” for OLS. Is it both? How does that work? And of course that gives rise to yet another question — What is a Senior Loan Analyst? Google it.

Job Summary. Responsible for analyzing financial and supporting documents on incoming applications consistent with internal and insurer policies. Evaluate property values based on appraised market prices and recommend or deny mortgages to clients after examining financial status.

Hmmmm. This sounds like a made-up title to impress a judge. The industry definition of a loan analyst describes a job that ends with the approval of a loan. What would a loan analyst know about foreclosure — years after the alleged origination of the alleged loan? More specifically, what did Torres actually know or do with regard to the subject loan? It doesn’t take a genius to speculate about a number of questions:

  • Did Torres actually sign the verification?
  • Why was a loan analyst necessary in the litigation of a foreclosure?
  • Is Ocwen a lender? Why need a loan analyst?
  • What as it that Torres analyzed?
  • Did she review the work of a “Junior” Analyst ?
  • Did someone else draft the answers?
  • Was there anyone who had personal knowledge of the loan history involved with answering the interrogatories?

The kicker in the case I reviewed, was that the notice letters were sent not by any Ocwen entity but by Wells Fargo. The problem here is that most lawyers do not wish to confess their ignorance and therefore don’t follow through with obvious questions. Everything they are seeing is incomprehensible and confusing.

Here is another example right out of a hearsay treatise: The “Plaintiff” in an unlawful detainer (eviction) action makes the assertion that the rental value of the subject property is $1,800 per month and that the only way they know that is from a website called “Rentometer.” How this number is calculated by the website is unknown. Nor do we know if any person was involved. But Judges regularly take this representation to be true, even though it comes from a declarant not present in court.

Here is the rub. If the attorney for the homeowner fails to raise an objection and motion to strike that assertion or representation the objection is waived. But on cross examination of the robo-witness it is fairly easy to show that there is no appraisal or opinion rendered by the witness, nor could there be. It is also fairly easy to establish that the witness has no idea who runs, operates, owns or is otherwise involved with Rentometer.

Like Zillow and other sites, Rentometer does not employ people. It employs computer algorithms that may or may not work in any given situation.

For all we know it is a site set up by the banks that looks professional but is used specifically to extract outsize rents from people defending their property. (thus cutting off income that could be used for an attorney).  It looks like it might be useful but no presumption should arise from the projection by Rentometer unless someone from Rentometer can lay the foundation for the estimate. But that would mean putting a person on the witness stand who is not a robo-witness so the foreclosing party is going to fight against that tooth and nail.

And of course any site that leis exclusively on algorithms could not possibly take into consideration whether the subject property is habitable, the school district, and other factors that apply to both marketability and price. In the case presented it appears that the rental value is zero or in fact negative. That is because the property’s condition is such that nobody would move into it without extensive major repairs and because taxes and maintenance of the exterior would still need to be paid.

And then there is this example: You ask for the documents that support the authority of the alleged new beneficiary to substitute the trustee on the deed of trust. You get back an assignment. But it turns out later, in court, that they are relying upon some additional unrecorded assignments. So you ask for the additional unrecorded assignments and the response is essentially “We already gave you the assignments.” In  this case with 1 recorded assignment and 2 unrecorded assignments their answer is exactly 1/3 true and 2/3 untrue. And THAT is why you need to be prepared to compel their response by a specific court order pointing to those documents and any others that pertain the request for production.

The most challenging thing after the foreclosure sale is to prove it should never have taken place. But it is possible and necessary to do that if you want the property or you want leverage for a settlement. You are challenging circular reasoning.

Their argument is that they followed the rules and appointed a substitute trustee who sold the property. Your answer is that the new ‘Beneficiary” was not a beneficiary, had no right to substitute the trustee and thus no right to file a notice of sale (nonjudicial states).

Here is where legal presumptions point the court in the wrong direction. Because the sale took place and it was “facially” valid, the presumption adopted by the court is usually that there was a sale even though you are contesting that narrative. You say that a sale didn’t take place, particularly where there was “credit bid” on behalf of an entity that had no interest in the debt and therefore could not possibly submit a credit bid.

Lastly the sleight of hand trick that is so successful for the banks is the assertion or inference that there is a trust. In this case US Bank is asserted, probably without tis knowledge, as the trustee of certificates which is no trusteeship at all. Even if you slip in “the holders of certificates” they still have not named a beneficiary.

So the common error being made out there is to ask for answers and documents and so forth and accepting the response from the servicer or alleged servicer. Back to basics: the  first question should be “please identify the person or entity that is the [Plaintiff (judicial state or any eviction action) / beneficiary on the deed of trust (nonjudicial states)].

Then the next question should be “Is the party executing the verification of these interrogatories an employee, officer of said Plaintiff/Beneficiary? They will respond with gibberish because the real party in interest is a remote “Master Servicer” of a trust that doesn’t exist.

And of course “Where are the records of the Plaintiff/Beneficiary that relate to the subject alleged loan?” Once again they will respond with gibberish because they want the court to accept the fabricated records of Ocwen as though they were the records of the Plaintiff/Beneficiary whose books and records do not exist. The closer you get the more likely they are to walk away or offer a settlement that includes a seal of confidentiality. And yes I have seen this scenario thousands of times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banks Fighting Subpoenas From FHFA Over Access to Loan Files

Whilst researching something else I ran across the following article first published in 2010. Upon reading it, it bears repeating.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

WHAT IF THE LOANS WERE NOT ACTUALLY SECURITIZED?

In a nutshell this is it. The Banks are fighting the subpoenas because if there is actually an audit of the “content” of the pools, they are screwed across the board.

My analysis of dozens of pools has led me to several counter-intuitive but unavoidable factual conclusions. I am certain the following is correct as to all residential securitized loans with very few (2-4%) exceptions:

  1. Most of the pools no longer exist.
  2. The MBS sold to investors and insured by AIG and the purchase and sale of credit default swaps were all premised on a general description of the content of the pool rather than a detailed description with the individual loans attached on a list.
  3. Each Prospectus if it carried any spreadsheet listing loans, contained a caveat that the attached list was by example only and not the real loans.
  4. Each distribution report contained a caveat that the parties who created it and the parties who delivered it did not guarantee either authenticity or reliability of the report. They even had specific admonitions regarding the content of the distribution report.
  5. NO LOAN ACTUALLY MADE IT INTO ANY POOL. The evidence is clear: nothing was done to assign, indorse or deliver the note to the investors directly or indirectly until a case went into litigation AND a hearing was scheduled. By that time the cutoff date had been breached and the loan was non-performing by their own allegation and therefore was not acceptable into the pool.
  6. AT ALL TIMES LEGAL TITLE TO THE PROPERTY WAS MAINTAINED BY THE HOMEOWNER EVEN AFTER FORECLOSURE AND SALE. The actual creditor who submitted a credit bid was not the creditor. The sale is either void or voidable.
  7. AT ALL TIMES LEGAL TITLE TO THE LOAN WAS MAINTAINED BY THE ORIGINATING “LENDER”. Since there was no assignment, indorsement or delivery that could be recognized at law or in fact, the originating lender still owns the loan legally BUT….
  8. AT ALL TIMES THE OBLIGATION WAS BOTH CREATED AND EXTINGUISHED AT, OR CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH THE CLOSING OF THE LOAN. Since the originating lender was in fact not the source of funds, and did not book the transaction as a loan on their balance sheet (in most cases), the naming of the originating lender as the Lender and payee on the note, both created a LEGAL obligation from the borrower to the Lender and at the same time, the LEGAL obligation was extinguished because the LEGAL Lender of record was paid in full plus exorbitant fees for pretending to be an actual lender.
  9. Since the Legal obligation was both created and extinguished contemporaneously with each other, any remaining obligation to any OTHER party became unsecured since the security instrument (mortgage or deed of trust) refers only to the promissory note executed by the borrower.
  10. At the time of closing, the investor-lenders were the real parties in interest as lenders, but they were not disclosed nor were the fees of the various intermediaries who brought the investor-lender money and the borrower’s loan together.
  11. ALL INVESTOR-LENDERS RECEIVED THE EQUIVALENT OF A BOND — A PROMISE TO PAY ISSUED BY A PARTY OTHER THAN THE BORROWER, PREMISED UPON THE PAYMENT OR RECEIVABLES GENERATED FROM BORROWER PAYMENTS, CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS, CREDIT ENHANCEMENTS, AND THIRD PARTY INSURANCE.
  12. Nearly ALL investor-lenders have been paid sums of money to satisfy the promise to pay contained in the bond. These payments always exceeded the borrowers payments and in many cases paid the obligation in full WITHOUT SUBROGATION.
  13. NO LOAN IS IN ACTUAL DEFAULT OR DELINQUENCY. Since payments must first be applied to outstanding payments due, payments received by investor-lenders or their agents from third party sources are allocable to each individual loan and therefore cure the alleged default. A Borrower’s Non-payment is not a default since no payment is due.
  14. ALL NOTICES OF DEFAULT ARE DEFECTIVE: The amount stated, the creditor, and other material misstatements invalidate the effectiveness of such a notice.
  15. NO CREDIT BID AT AUCTION WAS MADE BY A CREDITOR. Hence the sale is void or voidable.
  16. ANY BALANCE DUE FROM THE BORROWER IS SUBJECT TO DEDUCTIONS FOR THIRD PARTY PAYMENTS.
  17. ANY BALANCE DUE FROM THE BORROWER IS SUBJECT TO AN EQUITABLE CLAIM FOR UNJUST ENRICHMENT THAT IS UNSECURED.
  18. ANY BALANCE DUE FROM THE BORROWER IS SUBJECT TO AN EQUITABLE CLAIM FOR A LIEN TO REFLECT THE INTENTION OF THE INVESTOR-LENDER AND THE INTENTION OF THE BORROWER.  Both the investor-lender and the borrower intended to complete a loan transaction wherein the home was used to collateralize the amount due. The legal satisfaction of the originating lender is not a deduction from the equitable satisfaction of the investor-lender. THUS THE PARTIES SEEKING TO FORECLOSE ARE SUBJECT TO THE LEGAL DEFENSE OF PAYMENT AT CLOSING BUT THE INVESTOR-LENDERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THAT DEFENSE.
  19. The investor-lenders ALSO have a claim for damages against the investment banks and the string of intermediaries that caused loans to be originated that did not meet the description contained in the prospectus.
  20. Any claim by investor-lenders may be subject to legal and equitable defenses, offsets and counterclaims from the borrower.
  21. The current modification context in which the securitization intermediaries are involved in settlement of outstanding mortgages is allowing those intermediaries to make even more money at the expense of the investor-lenders.
  22. The failure of courts to recognize that they must apply the rule of law results not only in the foreclosure of the property, but the foreclosure of the borrower’s ability to negotiate a settlement with an undisclosed equitable creditor, or with the legal owner of the loan in the property records.

Loan File Issue Brought to Forefront By FHFA Subpoena
Posted on July 14, 2010 by Foreclosureblues
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

foreclosureblues.wordpress.com

Editor’s Note….Even  U.S. Government Agencies have difficulty getting
discovery, lol…This is another excellent post from attorney Isaac
Gradman, who has the blog here…http://subprimeshakeout.blogspot.com.
He has a real perspective on the legal aspect of the big picture, and
is willing to post publicly about it.  Although one may wonder how
these matters may effect them individually, my point is that every day
that goes by is another day working in favor of those who stick it out
and fight for what is right.

Loan File Issue Brought to Forefront By FHFA Subpoena

The battle being waged by bondholders over access to the loan files
underlying their investments was brought into the national spotlight
earlier this week, when the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the
regulator in charge of overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, issued
64 subpoenas seeking documents related to the mortgage-backed
securities (MBS) in which Freddie and Fannie had invested.
The FHFA
has been in charge of overseeing Freddie and Fannie since they were
placed into conservatorship in 2008.

Freddie and Fannie are two of the largest investors in privately
issued bonds–those secured by subprime and Alt-A loans that were often
originated by the mortgage arms of Wall St. firms and then packaged
and sold by those same firms to investors–and held nearly $255 billion
of these securities as of the end of May. The FHFA said Monday that it
is seeking to determine whether issuers of these so-called “private
label” MBS misled Freddie and Fannie into making the investments,
which have performed abysmally so far, and are expected to result in
another $46 billion in unrealized losses to the Government Sponsored
Entities (GSE).

Though the FHFA has not disclosed the targets of its subpoenas, the
top issuers of private label MBS include familiar names such as
Countrywide and Merrill Lynch (now part of BofA), Bear Stearns and
Washington Mutual (now part of JP Morgan Chase), Deutsche Bank and
Morgan Stanley. David Reilly of the Wall Street Journal has written an
article urging banks to come forward and disclose whether they have
received subpoenas from the FHFA, but I’m not holding my breath.

The FHFA issued a press release on Monday regarding the subpoenas
(available here). The statement I found most interesting in the
release discusses that, before and after conservatorship, the GSEs had
been attempting to acquire loan files to assess their rights and
determine whether there were misrepresentations and/or breaches of
representations and warranties by the issuers of the private label
MBS, but that, “difficulty in obtaining the loan documents has
presented a challenge to the [GSEs’] efforts. FHFA has therefore
issued these subpoenas for various loan files and transaction
documents pertaining to loans securing the [private label MBS] to
trustees and servicers controlling or holding that documentation.”

The FHFA’s Acting Director, Edward DeMarco, is then quoted as saying
““FHFA is taking this action consistent with our responsibilities as
Conservator of each Enterprise. By obtaining these documents we can
assess whether contractual violations or other breaches have taken
place leading to losses for the Enterprises and thus taxpayers. If so,
we will then make decisions regarding appropriate actions.” Sounds
like these subpoenas are just the precursor to additional legal
action.

The fact that servicers and trustees have been stonewalling even these

powerful agencies on loan files should come as no surprise based on

the legal battles private investors have had to wage thus far to force

banks to produce these documents. And yet, I’m still amazed by the

bald intransigence displayed by these financial institutions. After

all, they generally have clear contractual obligations requiring them

to give investors access to the files (which describe the very assets

backing the securities), not to mention the implicit discovery rights

these private institutions would have should the dispute wind up in

court, as it has in MBIA v. Countrywide and scores of other investor

suits.

At this point, it should be clear to everyone–servicers and investors
alike–that the loan files will have to be produced eventually, so the
only purpose I can fathom for the banks’ obduracy is delay. The loan
files should, as I’ve said in the past, reveal the depths of mortgage
originator depravity, demonstrating convincingly that the loans never
should have been issued in the first place. This, in turn, will force
banks to immediately reserve for potential losses associated with
buying back these defective mortgages. Perhaps banks are hoping that
they can ward off this inevitability long enough to spread their
losses out over several years, thereby weathering the storm caused (in
part) by their irresponsible lending practices. But certainly the
FHFA’s announcement will make that more difficult, as the FHFA’s
inherent authority to subpoena these documents (stemming from the
Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008) should compel disclosure
without the need for litigation, and potentially provide sufficient
evidence of repurchase obligations to compel the banks to reserve
right away. For more on this issue, see the fascinating recent guest
post by Manal Mehta on The Subprime Shakeout regarding the SEC’s
investigation into banks’ processes for allocating loss reserves.

Meanwhile, the investor lawsuits continue to rain down on banks, with
suits by the Charles Schwab Corp. against Merrill Lynch and UBS, by
the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund against Countrywide, and by
Cambridge Place Investment Management against Goldman Sachs, Citigroup
and dozens of other banks and brokerages being announced this week. If
the congealing investor syndicate was looking for political cover
before staging a full frontal attack on banks, this should provide
ample protection. Much more to follow on these and other developments
in the coming days…
Technorati Links • Save to del.icio.us • Digg This! • Stumble It!

Posted by Isaac Gradman at 3:46 PM

BAP Panel Raises the Stakes Against Deutsch et al — Secured Status May be Challenged

Fur Further Information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688

——————————–

ALERT FOR BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS — SECURED STATUS OF ALLEGED CREDITOR IS NOT TO BE ASSUMED

——————————–

I have long held and advocated three points:

  1. The filing of false claims in the nonjudicial process of a majority of states should not result in success where the same false claims could never be proven in judicial process. Nonjudicial process was meant as an administrative remedy to foreclosures that were NOT in dispute. Any application of nonjudicial schemes that allows false claims to succeed where they would fail in a judicial action is unconstitutional.
  2. The filing of a bankruptcy petition that shows property to be encumbered by virtue of a deed of trust is admitting a false representation made by a stranger to the transaction. The petition for bankruptcy relief should be filed showing that the property is not encumbered and the adversary or collateral proceeding to nullify the mortgage and the note should accompany each filing where the note and mortgage are subject to claims of securitization or a “new” beneficiary.
  3. The vast majority of decisions against borrowers result from voluntary or involuntary waiver, ignorance and failure to plead or object on the basis of false claims based on false documentation. The issue is not the signature (although that probably is false too); rather it is (a) the actual transaction which is missing and the (b) false documentation of a (i) fictitious transaction and (ii) fictitious transfers of fictitious (and non-fictitious) transactions. The result is often that the homeowner has admitted to the false assertion of being a borrower in relation to the party making the claim, admitting the secured status of the “creditor”, admitting that they are a creditor, admitting that they received a loan from within the chain claimed by the “creditor”, admitting the default, admitting the validity of the note and admitting the validity of the mortgage or deed of trust — thus leaving both the trial and appellate courts with no choice but to rule against the homeowner. Thus procedurally a false claim becomes “true” for purposes of that case.

see 11/24/14 Decision: MEMORANDUM-_-ANTON-ANDREW-RIVERA-DENISE-ANN-RIVERA-Appellants-v.-DEUTSCHE-BANK-NATIONAL-TRUST-COMPANY-Trustee-of-Certificate-Holders-of-the-WAMU-Mortgage-Pass-Through-Certificate-Series-2005-AR6

This decision is breath-taking. What the Panel has done here is fire a warning shot over the bow of the California Supreme Court with respect to the APPLICATION of the non-judicial process. AND it takes dead aim at those who make false claims on false debts in both nonjudicial and judicial process. Amongst the insiders it is well known that your chances on appeal to the BAP are less than 15% whereas an appeal to the District Judge, often ignored as an option, has at least a 50% prospect for success.

So the fact that this decision comes from the BAP Panel which normally rubber stamps decisions of bankruptcy judges is all the more compelling. One word of caution that is not discussed here is the the matter of jurisdiction. I am not so sure the bankruptcy judge had jurisdiction to consider the matters raised in the adversary proceeding. I think there is a possibility that jurisdiction would be present before the District Court Judge, but not the Bankruptcy Judge.

From one of my anonymous sources within a significant government agency I received the following:

This case is going to be a cornucopia of decision material for BK courts nationwide (and others), it directly tackles all the issues regarding standing and assignment (But based on Non-J foreclosure, and this is California of course……) it tackles Glaski and Glaski loses, BUT notes dichotomy on secured creditor status….this case could have been even more , but leave to amend was forfeited by borrower inaction—– it is part huge win, part huge loss as it relates to Glaski, BUT IT IS DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO CHASE/WAMU CASES……….Note in full case how court refers to transfer of “some of WAMU’s assets”, tacitly inferring that the court WILL NOT second guess what was and was not transferred………… i.e, foreclosing party needs to prove this!!

AFFIRMED- NO SECURED PARTY STATUS FOR BK PROVEN 

Even though Siliga, Jenkins and Debrunner may preclude the

Riveras from attacking DBNTC’s foreclosure proceedings by arguing

that Chase’s assignment of the deed of trust was a nullity in

light of the absence of a valid transfer of the underlying debt,

we know of no law precluding the Riveras from challenging DBNTC’s assertion of secured status for purposes of the Riveras’ bankruptcy case. Nor did the bankruptcy court cite to any such law.

We acknowledge that our analysis promotes the existence of two different sets of legal standards – one applicable in nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings and a markedly different one for use in ascertaining creditors’ rights in bankruptcy cases.

But we did not create these divergent standards. The California legislature and the California courts did. We are not the first to point out the divergence of these standards. See CAL. REAL EST., at § 10:41 (noting that the requirements under California law for an effective assignment of a real-estate-secured obligation may differ depending on whether or not the dispute over the assignment arises in a challenge to nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings).
We must accept the truth of the Riveras’ well-pled
allegations indicating that the Hutchinson endorsement on the
note was a sham and, more generally, that neither DBNTC nor Chase
ever obtained any valid interest in the Riveras’ note or the loan
repayment rights evidenced by that note. We also must
acknowledge that at least part of the Riveras’ adversary
proceeding was devoted to challenging DBNTC’s standing to file
its proof of claim and to challenging DBNTC’s assertion of
secured status for purposes of the Riveras’ bankruptcy case. As
a result of these allegations and acknowledgments, we cannot
reconcile our legal analysis, set forth above, with the
bankruptcy court’s rulings on the Riveras’ second amended
complaint. The bankruptcy court did not distinguish between the
Riveras’ claims for relief that at least in part implicated the
parties’ respective rights in the Riveras’ bankruptcy case from
those claims for relief that only implicated the parties’
respective rights in DBNTC’s nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings.

THEY REJECT GLASKI-

Here, we note that the California Supreme Court recently

granted review from an intermediate appellate court decision
following Jenkins and rejecting Glaski. Yvanova v. New Century
Mortg. Corp., 226 Cal.App.4th 495 (2014), review granted &
opinion de-published, 331 P.3d 1275 (Cal. Aug 27, 2014). Thus,
we eventually will learn how the California Supreme Court views
this issue. Even so, we are tasked with deciding the case before
us, and Ninth Circuit precedent suggests that we should decide
the case now, based on our prediction, rather than wait for the
California Supreme Court to rule. See Hemmings, 285 F.3d at
1203; Lewis v. Telephone Employees Credit Union, 87 F.3d 1537,
1545 (9th Cir. 1996). Because we have no convincing reason to
doubt that the California Supreme Court will follow the weight of
authority among California’s intermediate appellate courts, we
will follow them as well and hold that the Riveras lack standing
to challenge the assignment of their deed of trust based on an
alleged violation of a pooling and servicing agreement to which
they were not a party.

BUT……… THEY DO SUCCEED ON SECURED STATUS

Even though the Riveras’ first claim for relief principally

relies on their allegations regarding the assignment’s violation
of the pooling and servicing agreement, their first claim for
relief also explicitly incorporates their allegations challenging
DBNTC’s proof of claim and disputing the validity of the
Hutchinson endorsement. Those allegations, when combined with
what is set forth in the first claim for relief, are sufficient
on their face to state a claim that DBNTC does not hold a valid
lien against the Riveras’ property because the underlying debt
never was validly transferred to DBNTC. See In re Leisure Time
Sports, Inc., 194 B.R. at 861 (citing Kelly v. Upshaw, 39 Cal.2d
179 (1952) and stating that “a purported assignment of a mortgage
without an assignment of the debt which it secured was a legal
nullity.”).
While the Riveras cannot pursue their first claim for relief
for purposes of directly challenging DBNTC’s pending nonjudicial
foreclosure proceedings, Debrunner, 204 Cal.App.4th at 440-42,
the first claim for relief states a cognizable legal theory to
the extent it is aimed at determining DBNTC’s rights, if any, as
a creditor who has filed a proof of secured claim in the Riveras’
bankruptcy case.

TILA CLAIM UPHELD!—–

Fifth Claim for Relief – for violation of the Federal Truth In Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)

The Riveras’ TILA Claim alleged, quite simply, that they did
not receive from DBNTC, at the time of Chase’s assignment of the
deed of trust to DBNTC, the notice of change of ownership
required by 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)(1). That section provides:
In addition to other disclosures required by this
subchapter, not later than 30 days after the date on
which a mortgage loan is sold or otherwise transferred
or assigned to a third party, the creditor that is the
new owner or assignee of the debt shall notify the
borrower in writing of such transfer, including–

(A) the identity, address, telephone number of the new

creditor;

(B) the date of transfer;

 

(C) how to reach an agent or party having authority to

act on behalf of the new creditor;

(D) the location of the place where transfer of

ownership of the debt is recorded; and

(E) any other relevant information regarding the new

creditor.

The bankruptcy court did not explain why it considered this claim as lacking in merit. It refers to the fact that the
Riveras had actual knowledge of the change in ownership within
months of the recordation of the trust deed assignment. But the
bankruptcy court did not explain how or why this actual knowledge
would excuse noncompliance with the requirements of the statute.
Generally, the consumer protections contained in the statute
are liberally interpreted, and creditors must strictly comply
with TILA’s requirements. See McDonald v. Checks–N–Advance, Inc.
(In re Ferrell), 539 F.3d 1186, 1189 (9th Cir. 2008). On its
face, 15 U.S.C. § 1640(a)(2)(A)(iv) imposes upon the assignee of
a deed of trust who violates 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)(1) statutory
damages of “not less than $400 or greater than $4,000.”
While the Riveras’ TILA claim did not state a plausible
claim for actual damages, it did state a plausible claim for
statutory damages. Consequently, the bankruptcy court erred when
it dismissed the Riveras’ TILA claim.

LAST, THEY GOT REAR ENDED FOR NOT SEEKING LEAVE TO AMEND

Here, however, the Riveras did not argue in either the bankruptcy court or in their opening appeal brief that the court should have granted them leave to amend. Having not raised the issue in either place, we may consider it forfeited. See Golden v. Chicago Title Ins. Co. (In re Choo), 273 B.R. 608, 613 (9th Cir. BAP 2002).

Even if we were to consider the issue, we note that the

bankruptcy court gave the Riveras two chances to amend their
complaint to state viable claims for relief, examined the claims
they presented on three occasions and found them legally
deficient each time. Moreover, the Riveras have not provided us
with all of the record materials that would have permitted us a
full view of the analyses and explanations the bankruptcy court
offered them when it reviewed the Riveras’ original complaint and
their first amended complaint. Under these circumstances, we
will not second-guess the bankruptcy court’s decision to deny
leave to amend. See generally In re Nordeen, 495 B.R. at 489-90
(examining multiple opportunities given to the plaintiffs to
amend their complaint and the bankruptcy court’s efforts to
explain to them the deficiencies in their claims, and ultimately
determining that the court did not abuse its discretion in
denying the plaintiffs leave to amend their second amended
complaint).

It Makes No Sense

For further information and consultations please call 520-405-1688 or 954-495-9867. We offer litigation support to attorneys throughout the country. Consultations outside of Florida require an attorney to be on the line with you.

———

We received so many calls from my post on Friday asking me to write more on the Burden of Proof that I decided to write a supplement. See The Burden of Proof Must be Changed: BofA Slammed Again

IT MAKES NO SENSE

“Your Honor this is a simple foreclosure on an ordinary mortgage.” Those words, uttered by most foreclosure attorneys are very misleading. Because the attorneys don’t have the information I have, the attorney might actually think the words he or she is speaking are true. But they are not true in most cases.

  • If this was an ordinary loan with an ordinary loan closing why did the banks engage in fraudulent behavior in foreclosure cases — robo-signing, forgery, fabrication and even foreclosing on loans that were neither delinquent nor properly declared in default?
  • If it was so ordinary why are the trial and appellate courts dealing with the issue of jurisdictional standing — because the owner of the loan is in doubt, to say the least?

As for securitization they are right — if it was done right. If you start with the proposition that the intent was for the brokers on Wall Street to create residential loans and give their clients a slightly higher yield from a portfolio of loans than the other bonds the investors were buying, and that ordinary underwriting practices had been employed in approving loans, then

  • why are the Banks so reluctant to allege and prove the identity of the lender?
  • Why have so many studies concluded that the foreclosers are mostly “strangers” to the transaction (San Francisco and Baltimore Study) or that at least half the loan documents were destroyed or lost?
  • Why would a lender or purchaser of loans destroy cash equivalent notes unless they had something to hide?
  • Why do they employ professional “testifiers” instead of actual employees or officers of the creditors?
  • Why are so many foreclosures failing because they failed to prove their case (a rising number with each passing month)?

None of it makes sense. These banks have been dealing with paper instruments for hundreds of years. The plan is laid out in the PSA.

  • Why were the loan settlement documents not delivered to the Depository for the alleged REMIC trust? Why is there no evidence of the Trust actually buying the loan within the cutoff period in the PSA?
  • What were the brokers doing with the investors money while the investors thought the money had gone to the trust in exchange for the mortgage bonds issued and sold by the trust?
  • What were the brokers doing with the closing paperwork after using the investor’s money, without disclosure to anyone, to either buy or originate loans without specifically and expressly protecting the bond buyers in written instruments that were properly and timely recorded?

I submit that there are no GOOD reasons or GOOD answers to those questions. I submit that if you start with the premise that the brokers started with the intent to steal the money and steal the loans, then everything DOES make sense.

  • It makes sense that the loans were nearly all table-funded which is predatory per se according to Reg Z. But it doesn’t make sense if the brokers wanted clean loans with total transparency as required by law. It makes sense that they were concealing the actual source of funds (the investors directly instead of through the REMIC trust). And it makes sense that the Wall Street brokers and the web they spun of multiple layers of multiple companies were collecting and keeping undisclosed compensation that was largely an instant loss to the investors.
  • It makes sense that the money was not deposited into a Trust account where a real trustee would have control over the funds and make sure that the terms of the trust were followed. If they had given the money to the trust, then the brokers would not have been able to play with that money as if it were their own.
  • It makes sense that the investors’ money was used directly, instead of the coming from the trust because if it came directly from a trustee for the trust, then the trust would have had to get the settlement documents deposited with the depository and the required documents for instant ownership of the loan for which the investors’ money was used. By using the investors money under the illusion of a REMIC trust it makes it appear as though a trust is involved when in fact it is the broker who is controlling the transaction, not disclosing to the investors the real nature of the loans that were being approved, and leaving the buyers of those bogus mortgage bonds either without any disclosure to alert them that something was wrong or barred from finding out because of restrictions on inquiries contained in the PSA.
  • And if makes sense that they used multiple layers of nominees without the slightest actual interest or risk in the loan to divert ownership of the loan away from the investors to the broker’s trading desk. By diverting the transaction away from the Trust and the Trust Beneficiaries they were able to create the illusion of a sale of the actual loan with an interest rate of 9% as though it was a 5% loan. That makes sense because the brokers were able to claim a “profit” on that Sale” — a 5% loan sells at twenty times earnings. So the broker sold the loan on its proprietary trading desk for nearly twice the loan amount — bequeathing an instant 50%-70% loss to the investors who thought their money was going through a carefully monitored trustee process and scrutiny.
  • And it makes sense that they kept paying the investors even though the loan portfolio was collapsing, reporting loans as performing when the borrowers were not paying. If they didn’t do that — with a reserve created out of the investors money — then bond buyers would stop buying.
  • And it makes sense that they would seek foreclosure as their first goal because that is the only way to create the illusion of clearing title. If they don’t foreclose as many loans as possible, the whole plan blows up because in a workout of the loan terms the brokers would be required to account for the profits and compensation and losses attributable to their plan. They would be required to refund or repurchase all the crazy loans they made that were made to fail.
  • It makes sense that the brokers, controlling the servicers, would engage in a policy of luring the borrowers into “default” by stating that that the borrower would get a modification only if they are at least 3 months behind on their payments. If they didn’t engage in policies and practices designed to cause foreclosures to be filed, then their story about the crisis being related to loan defaults,falls apart. It would become obvious that the crisis occurred because the brokers took 20%-120% out the money flow created by investments from bond buyers.
  • It makes sense that they don’t have a designated person at trial or can actually testify to each step in each transaction and whether the trust exists and what actual figures are shown on the books of account for the real creditors — the bond purchasers — as to the existence of a default and the principal balance due.

I guess I could go on forever. But you get the point. Start with the premise that the brokers set out on an illegal enterprise and everything falls into place. Start with premise that they were just doing their job according to law, and everything falls apart and MAKES NO SENSE.

How the Banks Literally “Made” Money Out of Nothing

For the last few weeks I have been harping on the concepts of holder in due course, holder with rights of enforcement, and holder. They are all different. The challenge in court is to get them treated as different in Court as they are in the statutes.

The Banks knew through their attorneys that the worst paper in the world could be turned into real value if they could dress up junk paper and sell it to an unsuspecting innocent third party. They did it with junk bonds, and then they did it again when they created a strategy of creating junk bonds that looked like investment grade securities, got the Triple A rating from the agencies and even got them insured as though they were the highest quality and lowest risk investment — thus enabling stable managed funds to buy them despite restrictions on what such fund managers could buy as investments for their pension fund, retirement fund etc.

The reason they were able to do it is that regardless of the defective nature of the loan closing, including the lack of any loan of money by the “lender”, the law protects and presumes the validity of the paper, subject to defenses of the borrower that might defeat that value. The one exception that the Banks saw as an opportunity to commit fraud and get away with it is if they could manage to sell the unenforceable mortgage documents to an innocent third party who was acting in good faith, paid real value for the loan, and knew nothing about the predatory nature of the loans, lack of consideration, and other defenses of the borrower, then the paper, no matter how bad, could still be enforced against the person who signed it. It doesn’t matter if there was a real contract, or if the transaction violated Federal and state laws or anything else like that.

Such an innocent third party is called a holder in due course. And the reason, like it or not, is that the legislatures around the country and the Federal statutes, favor the free flow of “negotiable instruments” if they qualify as negotiable instruments. If you sign a note in exchange for a loan you never received (and especially if you didn’t realize you didn’t received a loan from someone other than the “lender”) you are taking a risk that the loan documents will be enforced against you successfully even though you could have defeated the original lender easily.

The normal process, which the Banks knew because they invented the process, was for a “closing” to take place in which the loan documents, settlements statements, note, mortgage and other papers are signed by the borrower, and then the loan is funded usually after final review by the underwriters at the lender. But in the mortgage meltdown there was no real underwriting but there was someone called an aggregator (e.g. Countrywide, ABn AMRO et al) who was approving loans that qualified to be approved for sale into investment pools. And in the mortgage meltdown you signed papers but never received a loan of actual money from the party in whose favor you signed the papers. They were unenforceable, illegal and possibly criminal, but those signed papers existed.

All the Banks had to do was to claim temporary ownership over the loans and they were able to sell the “innocent” pension fund managers on buying bonds whose value was derived from these worthless loan papers. If they didn’t know what was going on, they had no knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. If they were not getting kickbacks for buying the bonds, they were proceeding in good faith. That is the classic definition of a Holder in Due Course who can enforce the loan documents despite any real defenses the the homeowner might possess. The homeowner is the maker of the note and should have had a lawyer at closing who would insist on seeing the wire transfer receipt and wire transfer instructions to the escrow agent.

No lawyer worth his salt would allow his client to sign papers, nor would he allow the escrow agent to retain such signed papers, much less record them, if he knew or suspected that the documents signed by his client were going to create a problem later. The delivery of the note to a party who had NOT made the loan created two debts — one to the source of the loan money which arises by operation of law, and the other to whoever ended up with the paper even though there was a complete lack of consideration at closing and no money exchanged hands in the assignment or transfer of the loan, debt, note or mortgage.

Since the paperwork went into the equivalent of a food processor, the banks were able to change various data points on each loan, and create sales and disguised sales over and over again on the same loan, the same loan pool, the same mortgage bonds, the same tranche, or the same hedges. Now they even the the technology to deliver  what appears to be an “original” note to as many people as they want. Indeed we have seen court cases where both foreclosing parties tendered the “original” note to the court as part of the foreclosure process, as is required in Florida.

Thus borrowers are stuck arguing that it is not the debt that cannot be enforced, it is the paper. The actual debt was never documented making it appear as though the allegation of 4th party funding seem ludicrous — until you ask for the wire transfer receipt and instructions, until you ask for the way the participating parties booked the transaction on their own financial statements, and until you ask for the date, amount and people involved in the transfer or assignment of the worthless paper. The reason why clerical people were allowed to sign away note and mortgages that appeared to be worth billions and trillions of dollars, is that what they were signing was toxic waste — worse than unenforceable it carried huge liabilities to both the borrower and all the people who were scammed into buying the same worthless paper over and over again.

The reason the records custodian of the Bank or servicer doesn’t come into court or at least certify the “business records” as an exception to hearsay as permitted under Florida statutes and the laws of other states, is that no records custodian is going to risk perjury. The records custodian knows the documents were faked, never delivered, and not in the possession of the foreclosing party. So they get a professional witness who testifies he or she is “familiar with the record keeping” at one servicer, but upon voir dire and cross examination they know nothing in their personal knowledge and are therefore only giving voice to what is contained on the reports he brought to trial — classic hearsay to be excluded from evidence every time.

Like the robo-signors and “assistant secretaries”, “signing officer,” (and other made up names) these people who serve as professional witnesses at trial have no actual access to any of the raw data contained in any record keeping system. They don’t know what came in, they don’t know what went out, they don’t know who paid any money into the pool because there are so many channels of money being paid on these loans (directly or indirectly), they don’t even know if the servicer paid the creditors the amount that was due under the creditors’ part of the loan contract — the prospectus and PSA.

In fact, there is no production of any information to show that the REMIC trust was ever funded with the investor’s money. If there was such evidence, we never would have seen forgery, fabrication and robo-signing. It wouldn’t have been necessary. These witnesses might suspect they are lying, but since they don’t know for sure they feel insulated from prosecutions for perjury. But those witnesses are the first people to be thrown under the bus if somehow the truth comes out.

Thus the banks literally created money out of thin air by taking worthless, fraudulently obtained paper (junk) and then treating it at some point as though it was negotiable paper that was sold to an Innocent holder in due course. Under the law if they claimed status as Holder in Due Course (or confused a court into believing that is what they were alleging), the paper suddenly was enforceable even though the borrowers’ defenses were absolute.

BUT THAT TRANSACTION NEVER OCCURRED EITHER. Numbers don’t lie. If you take $100 million from an investor and put it on the closing tables for the origination or acquisition of loans, then you can’t ALSO put the money in the REMIC trust. Thus the unfunded trust has no money to transaction ANY business. But once again, in the illusion of securitization, it looks real to judges, lawyers and even borrowers who feel guilty that fighting the bank is breaking some moral code.

Amazingly, it is the victims who feel guilty and shamed and who are willing to pay even more money to intermediary banks whose fees and profits passed unconscionable 10 years ago. I’m not sure what word would apply as we look at the point of unconscionability in our rear view mirror.

And they sold it over and over again. The reason why there was no underwriting standards applied was that it didn’t matter whether the borrower paid or not. What mattered is that the Banks were able to sell the junk paper multiple times. Getting 100 cents on the dollar for an investment you never made is very lucrative — especially when you do it over and over again on each loan. It sure beats getting 5%. The reason the servicer made advances was that they were not using their own money to make payments to the investors. It is the perfect game. A PONZI scheme where the investors continue to get paid because the reserve fund and incoming investors are contributing to that reserve fund, such that the servicer has access to transmit funds to the investors as though the trust owned the loan and the loans were all performing. Yet as “servicers” they declared a default because the borrower had stopped paying (sometimes even if the borrower was paying).

And the Banks sprung into action claiming that the failure of the borrower to make a payment is the only thing that mattered. The Courts bought it, despite the proffer of proof or the demand for discovery to show that the creditor — the investors — were actually showing a default. I didn’t make this up. This is what the investors are alleging each time they present a claim or file suit for fraud against the broker dealer who did the underwriting on the mortgage bonds issued by the REMIC trust who should have received the money from the sale of the bonds. In all cases the investors, insurers, government guarantors, and other parties have alleged the same thing — fraud and mismanagement of funds.

The settlements of fines and buy backs and damages to this growing list of claimants on Wall Street is growing close to $1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion dollars). In all the cases where I have submitted an expert witness declaration or have given testimony the argument was not whether what I was saying was right, but were there ways they could block my testimony. They never offered a competing declaration or any expert who would contradict me in over 7 years in thousands of cases. They have never offered an explanation of how I am wrong.

The Banks knew that if they could fool the fund managers into buying junk bonds because they looked like they were high rated bonds, they could convince Judges, lawyers and even borrowers that their case was hopeless because the foreclosing party would be treated as a Holder in Due Course — even if they never said it — and even if they were the holders of junk paper subject to all of the borrower’s defenses. So far they have pillaged our economy with 6 million foreclosures displacing 15 million  families on loans that were paid in full long before the origination or acquisition of the loan.

And here is their problem: if they start filing suit against homeowners for the money advanced on behalf of the homeowners (in order to keep the investments coming), then they will be admitting that most foreclosures are being filed for the sake of the intermediaries without any tangible benefit to the investors who put up the money in the first place. The result is like an old ribald joke, the Wolf of wall Street screws the investors, screws the borrowers, screws the third party obligors (including the government) takes the pot of gold and leaves. Only to add insult to injury they claimed non existent losses that were actually suffered by the investors who trusted the banks when the junk mortgage bonds were sold. And they were paid again.

Another Short Treatise on Securitization

Patrick Giunta brought this article to my attention. He practices in South Florida and I co-counsel cases with him. Although there are some errors in facts and I have some differences of opinion with the writer, I think the article is a MUST-READ for anyone effected by “securitization” — especially foreclosure defense attorneys. If nothing else there is corroboration of what I have said all along. The entire thing is the emperor’s new clothes — see article I wrote about 7 years ago. If you don’t understand that, then you don’t know how to cross examine the “corporate representative” at trial.

The following is an excerpt from the article, and the link to the entire article is below:

“A serious problem with modern securitization is that it destroys “privity.” Privity of contract is the traditional notion that there are two parties to a contract and that only a party to the contract can enforce or renegotiate that contract. Put simply, if A and B have a contract, C cannot enforce B’s rights against A (unless A expressly agrees or C otherwise shows a lawful agency relationship with B). The frustration for Joe is that he cannot find the other party to his transaction. When Joe talks to his “bank” (really his Servicer) and tries to renegotiate his loan, his bank tells him that a mysterious “investor” will not approve. He can’t do this because they don’t exist, have been paid or don’t have the authority to negotiate Joe’s loan.

“Joe’s ultimate “investor” is the Fed, as evidenced by the trillion of MBSs on its balance sheet. Although Fannie/Freddie purportedly now “own” 80 percent of all U.S. “mortgage loans,” Fannie/Freddie are really just the Fed’s repo agents. Joe has no privity relationship with Fannie/Freddie. Fannie, Freddie and the Fed know this. So they are using the Bailout Banks to frontrun the process – the Bailout Bank (who also have no cognizable connection to the note and therefore no privity relationship with Joe) conducts a fraudulent foreclosure by creating a “record title” right to foreclose and, when the fraudulent process is over, hands the bag of stolen loot (Joe’s home) to Fannie and Freddie.”

http://butlerlibertylaw.com/foreclosure-fraud/

Hooker Case Flirts With Reality – 9th Circuit

SEE AMICUS BRIEF AT END OF ARTICLE

It is interesting to watch the evolution of thought in the Courts. But it is also infuriating. They treat false claims of securitization as a novel issue; but in fact, there is nothing novel about Ponzi Schemes, and other types of fraud. Yet the Court continue to ponder the issue, probably wondering how they could possibly explain their prior decisions, the millions of foreclosures that have already occurred, and the 15 million people who were ejected from homes and lifestyles, jobs, and even lives (murder-suicides).

This is not rocket science despite the layers upon layers of paper that Wall Street throws at the issue. The simple facts and law governing loans, and secured loans in particular, need only be applied as they were written and interpreted for centuries.

If I loan you money, you must pay it back. If I don’t loan you money then I have no reason to demand you pay it “back” because I never loaned you money in the first instance. If I purchase a real loan for real money, then you owe the money to me. If I don’t purchase the loan, then I have no right to your money.

If some other person gives the loan you were looking for then that is a matter between you and them — not you and me. Whether I race to the courthouse or not, I cannot collect, get a judgment or foreclose unless you fail to contest it. The only way I could ever obtain a judgment against you on a false claim is if you don’t answer it. That isn’t because it is right that I should have a judgment against you and for me, it is just because the rules work that way. But even after that you still have some options to set aside the judgment or action on the alleged debt that doesn’t really exist.

Possessing an assignment from a party who never owned the loan has never been considered as conferring some right on the assignee. And Faulty, notes, mortgages, indorsements and assignments have very clear laws and precedent. The defective ones are thrown out. Why? Because the object is to identify REAL transactions in which real value exchanged hands. And because the object is to ignore documentation that REFERS to a transaction that never took place.

It is one thing to have an executed note or some other testimony of proffered evidence of a loan, and another to show the Court the actual canceled check in which you advanced the money. One document talks about the transaction while the other IS the transaction. It is the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. Talking about Paris doesn’t get you there.

You might have received a loan from someone at closing but the odds are that you didn’t get it from the Payee on the note, the mortgagee on the mortgage, the nominee, the beneficiary on the deed of trust or any of the other parties that were disclosed.

Finally the Courts are asking about the reality that Judge Shack in New York and Judge Boyco in Ohio were talking about 6 years ago, which was picked up by a number of Judges that were suddenly rotated out of the position to hear foreclosure cases. Politics frequently trumps the law, at least for a while. And politics is all about money. And if it is about money, then the banks are the obvious place to look.

I commend to your reading, the short Hooker Case (Link below) and the Amicus Brief (link below) submitted by laymen for your review and study. While not exactly what we would like to see both provide compelling evidence of a movement on the bench toward reality and away from the smoke and mirrors of the largest economic crime in human history.

The implications for both pleading and discovery are, I believe, self evident. HINT: I have it on good authority that the IRS form mentioned in the Amicus Brief is feared by Wall Street as the lynchpin of their position: once pulled the whole thing falls apart as it becomes obvious that the “trusts” neither received funds from the investors nor did they receive loans from the aggregators. That Amicus Brief also contains the only valid diagram of the actual practice of securitization in existence (other than the ones I have drawn in seminars). Notice how different it is from the diagrams of securitization that trace the wording of the securitization documents. it is the simple difference between truth (what happened) and fiction (what they say happened and why you shouldn’t be allowed to ask what really happened).

Hooker v Northwest Trustee Services 11-35534

Wells-Fargo-v-Erobobo-Amicus-Brief_1-14

For information on lawyers, litigation assistance (to lawyers), how to research applicable laws, litigation, modification, short-sale, Hardest Hit Funds, and other Federal, State and private programs call 520-405-1688 or 954-495-9867. Ask about AMGAR our latest program for assistance to homeowners.

Use of Factual Findings of Servicer Advances

It is important that the content of the report dealing withservicer advances be argued strenuously.Servicer advances have been received by the creditor, thus reducing the amount the creditor is expecting to be paid. Hence there should be reduction in the amount that is due from the borrower — to the extent thatactual payments have been received by that creditor on this account whether the borrower was the source of those payments or not.The servicer has agreed to make the payments to the creditor regardless of whether the Borrower paid or not and has continued to make payments apparently right up through the present. The Title and Securitization report says that.

Hence there could have been no default. The acceleration was a breach of contract, the amount due for reinstatement was wrong, the amount due in the Notice of Default was wrong, and the amount due as claimed in the lawsuit is wrong. simply stated, there is no basis for a foreclosure lawsuit or even a suit on the note.

The servicer is trying to convert a hypothetical claim against the borrower fro advancing payments into a claim by the creditor. It is masking the fact that the creditor has been paid and that the servicer wants to recover the amounts advanced in lieu of payments from the borrower.

That would, at best, be an action for unjust enrichment, if they were able to prove the elements and it would not be secured by the mortgage.

The mortgage only secures indebtedness on the note — not to a claim outside of the note where a third party either as volunteer or intermeddler made the payments. The note is evidence of a debt owed by borrower (debtor) to the creditor. The creditor is the Trust according to their own pleadings.

Hence the creditor is not alleged to have a default on its books and records because it has been paid. The mortgage only secures THAT debt to THAT creditor. If it were otherwise, off record transactions would cloud the title on  virtually every mortgage loan creating uncertainty in the marketplace where no lender would make loans because they could never be sure whether some off record activity had occurred and that the payoff of the previous “lender” had included the money due to the secured party. Such a subsequent lender might inadvertently be placing itself in a  position of liability to the borrower for an overpayment to the creditor.

I provide litigation assistance and expert witnesses with real credentials who will corroborate this in expert declarations, affidavits and live testimony, if the facts match what is stated above. call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688.

 

Glaski Court refuses to “depublish” decision, two judges recuse themselves.

Corroborating what I have been saying for years on this blog, the Supreme Court of the state of California is reasserting its position that if entity ABC wants to collect on a debt in California, then that particular entity must own the debt. This is basic common sense and simply follows article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. If a court were to adopt the position of the banks, then a new industry would be born, to wit: spying on people to determine whether or not they are behind on any payment to anyone and then beating the real creditor to court, filing a complaint and getting a judgment without the real creditor even knowing about it. The Supreme Court of the state of California obviously understands this.

This is not really complicated although the words used are complicated. If you find out that your neighbor is behind in payments on their credit cards, it is obvious that you cannot serve your neighbor and collect. You don’t own the debt because you never loaned any money and because you never purchased the debt. If you are allowed to sue and collect on the credit card debt, you and the court would be committing a fraud on the actual creditor. This is why it is absurd for lawyers or judges to say “what difference does it make who they owe the debt to?  They stopped making payments and they are clearly in default.”  Any lawyer or judge makes that statement is wrong. It lacks the foundation of the factual determinations required to establish the existence of the debt, the current balance of the debt after deductions for all payments received from all parties on this account, and the ownership of the debt.

In the first year of law school, we learned that the note is not the debt.  The note is evidence of the debt and the terms of repayment but it is not a substitute for the actual transaction documents. Those transaction documents would have to include proof of transfer of consideration, which in this case would mean wire transfer receipts and wire transfer instructions. The banks don’t want to show the court this because it will show that the originator in most cases never made any loan at all and was merely serving as a sham nominee for an undisclosed lender. The banks are attempting to use this confusion to make themselves real parties in interest when in fact they were never more than intermediaries. And as intermediaries that misused their positions of trust to misrepresent and create fraudulent “mortgage bond” transactions with investors that led to fraudulent loans being made to borrowers.

The banks diverted or stole money from investors on several different levels through multiple channels of conduit sham entities that they called “bankruptcy remote vehicles.” The argument of “too big to fail” is now being rejected by the courts. That is a policy argument for the legislative branch of government. While the bank succeeded in scaring the executive and legislative branches into believing the risk of “too big to fail” most of the people in the legislative and executive branches of government on the federal and state level no longer subscribe to this myth.

There are dozens of other courts on the trial and appellate level across the country that are also grasping this issue. The position of the banks, which is been rejected by Congress and the state legislatures for good reason, would mean  the end of negotiable paper. The banks are desperate because they know they are not the owner of the debt, they are not the creditor, they have no authority to represent the creditor, and their actions are contrary to the interests of the creditor. They are pushing millions of homeowners into foreclosure, or luring them into an apparent default and foreclosure with false promises of modification and settlement.

The reason is simple. Without a foreclosure sale at auction, the banks are exposed to an enormous liability for all the money they collected on the alleged defaulted loans. The amount of the liability is vastly in excess of the entire principal of the loans, which is why I say that the major banks are publishing financial statements that are based on fictitious assets and fictitious income. Nobody can ignore the fact that the broker-dealers (investment banks) are getting sued by investors, insurers, counterparties on credit default swaps, government agencies who have already paid for alleged “losses”, and government agencies that have paid on guarantees for mortgages that did not conform to the required industry-standard underwriting practice.

This latest decision in which the Glaski court, at the request of the banks, revisited its prior decision and then reaffirmed it as a law of the land in the state of California, is evidence that the courts are turning the corner in favor of the real creditors and the real debtors. The recusal by two judges on the California Supreme Court is interesting but at this point there are no conclusions that can be drawn from that.

This opens the door in the state of California for people to regain title to their property or damages for the loss of title. It also serves to open the door to discovery of the actual money trail in order to trace real transactions as opposed to fictitious ones based upon fabricated documentation which often contain forgery, backdating, and are signed by people without authority or people claiming authority through a fictitious power of attorney.

Glaski Court Reaffirms Law of the Land In California: If you don’t own the debt, you cannot collect on it.

Bank Lawyers Beware!

I know from past experience that the prosecuting attorneys at bar associations tend to move in packs. There is actually a pretty good reason for this. Certain practices by attorneys are emulated by other attorneys and spreads from state to state. Based upon a recent decision in New York State, I believe we’re going to see some serious prosecutions against attorneys for the pretender lenders.

In this case the censured attorney, David A. Cohen,  and his Long Island firm was trying to collect debts from people who weren’t already pay their bills or were not the ones who owed money to the firm’s client – creditors. I will concede that this is not the case against a foreclosure mill. And I think there is still political resistance to going after the lawyers  who represent the pretender lenders. But if you look at the reasoning in this case, it is not hard to see where the New York State Bar Association is going with this.

There were voluminous complaints about the firm spanning a 16 year period. That suggests that in cases where the homeowner believes that the attorney representing the pretender lender is violated ethical rules, or where the attorney for the homeowner believes that to be the case, a grievance should be filed.  But I caution people about doing this because they  frequently don’t know enough about the facts to be sure if a violation occurred.  It is unfair to attribute unethical conduct to an attorney who was merely advocating on behalf of a client and taking positions with which you do not agree. False filings will also create a paper jam in which the real filings for real violations get lost. SO don’t take this article as a green light to pepper the Bar Associations with vague grievances.

Cohen and his firm received numerous admonitions about his firm’s practices.

The court concluded in Matter of Cohen & Slamowitz, 2008-10218, that Cohen and Cohen & Slamowitz “engaged in a pattern and practice of conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice” under the Code of Professional Responsibility DR 1-102(A)(5)(223 NYCRR 1200.3[a][5]. The judges said an attorney does not necessarily have to have personal knowledge of the specifics of his firm’s misconduct to be held responsible.“Even if the individual respondent lacked personal knowledge of the particular client matters … the pattern and practice of misconduct established at the hearing, which were pervasive within C&S [Cohen & Slamowitz] since 1996, were sufficient to impute such knowledge to him as senior partner of C&S,” [e.s.] the panel held in its per curiam ruling. The judges added that not only was Cohen personally advised in 2002 to “exercise caution,” “supervise [his] staff adequately,” and put in place “appropriate and reasonable procedures” that could be monitored, but he and his firm also received numerous letters of caution and admonition. The court said Cohen & Slamowitz has about 300 employees, including attorneys, paralegals and other staff.

Among the problems noted by the court was an attempt in 2005 to collect from a debtor identified as “Ghulam Mujtaba” of Flushing. The court said that Cohen & Slamowitz mistakenly pursued collection from Dr. Gholam Mujtaba of Corona.
 Given the various settlement and OCC consent decrees that have been entered against virtually all of the major banks and servicers, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which the lawyers have not been put on notice of the existence of major defects in the claims of their clients. Unlike civil litigation, lawyers are held to a higher standard of behavior in connection with their practice of law. The ethical and disciplinary rules make it clear that the lawyer should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Here in this case, the court opened up the possibility for imputing knowledge to the attorney even though there are attempts to create compliance departments and other organizational tools that are meant to isolate the actual licensed attorneys from the illegal conduct perpetrated by their firm.
 If a bank came to me for representation in the foreclosure properties based upon loans that are subject to claims of securitization, I would make absolutely certain that there were procedures in effect within the bank to make sure that we were naming the right plaintiff, naming the right defendant, that a default was definitely present, and that we could account for the balance due. I would ask the bank “are you actually owed the money on this loan?”
 The use of professional witnesses that are hired specifically for that purpose is somewhat understandable given the volume of foreclosure litigation. What is not understandable or forgivable is hiring people specifically for the purpose of giving false testimony based upon records that were specially prepared for trial and not prepared in the ordinary course of business. It is improper and perhaps perjury to state that the entire business record is present when it clearly does not show the original loan transaction, all the transactions that occurred between the time of the loan closing and the filing of foreclosure, and all the transactions that occurred as disbursements to trust beneficiaries or other third parties. It is improper and perhaps perjury to state that the entire business record is present when the witness cannot state from personal knowledge or with the use of business records that qualify as an exception to the hearsay rule, that the record of disbursements is also present —  including all payments received by the alleged creditor.
 Some attorneys haven’t thrown under the bus, but there are dozens of other law firms that may be involved in the production or proffering of false, fraudulent, fabricated or forged documents.
 On the other hand it should be stated that withholding evidence is not necessarily a violation of the code of conduct for attorneys —  unless the withholding of that evidence results in making prior testimony or evidence subject to a charge of perjury. I don’t think that attorneys can or should be held to a standard in which their conduct is subject to variable interpretations. Any grievance filed on these grounds must be very specific as to what is being alleged is a violation. I publish this article merely as a prediction and warning that certain behavior which is now condoned in the foreclosure mills can be and probably will be imputed to the partners, regardless of how well they think they have insulated themselves.
 One of the things I wonder about is the practice of asserting in court that the attorney for the foreclosure represents “everybody.” The risk here is twofold: first that might include the trust beneficiaries that his client is screwing; second that might include the borrower because some of the parties included in “everybody” have a fiduciary duty to the borrower. I wonder if there are potential trap doors for the attorneys who are representing pretender lenders that include not only disciplinary complaints but perhaps joinder as defendants in a lawsuit filed for negligent undertaking.
 As always, nothing in this article should be interpreted as a definitive statement on the law. Pro se litigants should consult with an attorney licensed in the area in which the property is located before making a decision or taking any action. Attorneys should do their own research and make their own decisions as to what constitutes a breach of ethics or a breach of the disciplinary rules.

Here it is: Nonjudicial Foreclosure Violates Due Process in Complex Structured Finance Transactions

No, there isn’t a case yet. But here is my argument.

The main point is that we are forced to accept the burden of disproving a case that had not been filed — the very essence of nonjudicial foreclosure. In order to comply with due process, a simple denial of the facts and legal authority to foreclosure should be sufficient to force the case into a courtroom where the parties are realigned with the so-called new beneficiary is the Plaintiff and the homeowner is the Defendant — since it is the “beneficiary” who is seeking affirmative relief.

But the way it is done and required to be done, the Plaintiff must file an attack on a case that has never been alleged anywhere in or out of court. The new beneficiary anoints itself, files a fraudulent substitution of trustee because the old one would never go along with it, and then files a notice of default and notice of sale all on the premise that they have the necessary proof and documents to support what could have been an action in foreclosure brought by them in a judicial manner, for which there is adequate provision in California law.

Instead nonjudicial foreclosure is being used to sell property under circumstances where the alleged beneficiary under the deed of trust could never prevail in a court proceeding. Nonjudicial foreclosure was meant to be an expedient method of dealing with the vast majority of foreclosures when the statute was passed. In that vast majority, the usual procedure was complaint, default, judgment and then sale with at least one hearing in between. Nearly all foreclosures were resolved that way and it become more of a ministerial act for Judges than an actual trier of fact or judge of procedural rights and wrongs.

But the situation is changed. The corruption on Wall Street has been systemic resulting in whole sale fraudulent fabricated forged documents together with perjury by affidavit and even live testimony. Contrary to the consensus supported by the banks, these cases are complex because the party seeking affirmative relief — i.e., the new “beneficiary” is following a complex script established long before the homeowner ever applied for a loan or was solicited to finance her property.

The San Francisco study concluded, like dozens of other studies across the country that most of the foreclosures were resolved in favor of “strangers to the transaction.” By definition, the use of several layers of companies and multiple sets of documents defining two separate deals (one with the investor lenders and one with the borrower, with the only party in common being the broker dealer selling mortgage bonds and their controlled entities) has turned the mundane into highly complex litigation that has no venue. In non-judicial foreclosures the Trustee is the party who acts to sell the property under instructions from the beneficiary and does so without inquiry and without paying any attention to the obvious conflict between the title record, the securitization record, the homeowner’s position and the prior record owner of the loan.

The Trustee has no power to conduct a hearing, administrative or judicial, and so the dispute remains unresolved while the Trustee proceeds to sell the property knowing that the homeowner has raised objections. Under normal circumstances under existing common law and statutory authority, the Trustee would simply bring the matter to court in an action for interpleader saying there is a dispute that he doesn’t have the power to resolve. You might think this would clog the court system. That is not the case, although some effort by the banks would be made to do just that. Under existing common law and statutory law, the beneficiary would then need to file a complaint, verified, sworn with real exhibits and that are subject to real scrutiny before any burden of proof would shift to the homeowner. And as complex as these transactions are they all are subject to simple rules concerning financial transactions. If there was no money in the alleged transaction then the allegation of a transaction is false.

It was and remains a mistake to allow such loans to be foreclosed through any means other than strictly judicial where the “beneficiary” must allege and prove ownership and the balance due on the loan owed to THAT beneficiary. Requiring homeowners with zero sophistication in finance and litigation to bear the initial burden of proof in such highly complex structured finance schemes defies logic and common sense as well as being violative of due process in the application of the nonjudicial statutes to these allegedly securitized loans.

By forcing the parties and judges who sit on the bench to treat these complex issues as though they were simple cases, the enabling statutes for nonjudicial foreclosure are being applied unconstitutionally.

New Mexico Supreme Court Wipes Out Bank of New York

bony-v-romero_nm-sup.ct.-reverses-with-instruction_2-14

There are a lot of things that could be analyzed in this case that was very recently decided (February 13, 2014). The main take away is that the New Mexico Supreme Court is demonstrating that the judicial system is turning a corner in approaching the credibility of the intermediaries who are pretending to be real parties in interest. I suggest that this case be studied carefully because their reasoning is extremely good and their wording is clear. Here are some of the salient quotes that I think it be used in motions and pleadings:

We hold that the Bank of New York did not establish its lawful standing in this case to file a home mortgage foreclosure action. We also hold that a borrower’s ability to repay a home mortgage loan is one of the “borrower’s circumstances” that lenders and courts must consider in determining compliance with the New Mexico Home Loan Protection Act, NMSA 1978, §§ 58-21A-1 to -14 (2003, as amended through 2009) (the HLPA), which prohibits home mortgage refinancing that does not provide a reasonable, tangible net benefit to the borrower. Finally, we hold that the HLPA is not preempted by federal law. We reverse the Court of Appeals and district court and remand to the district court with instructions to vacate its foreclosure judgment and to dismiss the Bank of New York’s foreclosure action for lack of standing.

The Romeros soon became delinquent on their increased loan payments. On April 1, 2008, a third party—the Bank of New York, identifying itself as a trustee for Popular Financial Services Mortgage—filed a complaint in the First Judicial District Court seeking foreclosure on the Romeros’ home and claiming to be the holder of the Romeros’ note and mortgage with the right of enforcement.

The Romeros also raised several counterclaims, only one of which is relevant to this appeal: that the loan violated the antiflipping provisions of the New Mexico HLPA, Section 58-21A-4(B) (2003).[They were lured into refinancing into a loan with worse provisions than the one they had].

Litton Loan Servicing did not begin servicing the Romeros’ loan until November 1, 2008, seven months after the foreclosure complaint was filed in district court.

At a bench trial, Kevin Flannigan, a senior litigation processor for Litton Loan Servicing, testified on behalf of the Bank of New York. Flannigan asserted that the copies of the note and mortgage admitted as trial evidence by the Bank of New York were copies of the originals and also testified that the Bank of New York had physical possession of both the note and mortgage at the time it filed the foreclosure complaint.

{9} The Romeros objected to Flannigan’s testimony, arguing that he lacked personal knowledge to make these claims given that Litton Loan Servicing was not a servicer for the Bank of New York until after the foreclosure complaint was filed and the MERS assignment occurred. The district court allowed the testimony based on the business records exception because Flannigan was the present custodian of records.

{10} The Romeros also pointed out that the copy of the “original” note Flannigan purportedly authenticated was different from the “original” note attached to the Bank of New York’s foreclosure complaint. While the note attached to the complaint as a true copy was not indorsed, the “original” admitted at trial was indorsed twice: first, with a blank indorsement by Equity One and second, with a special indorsement made payable to JPMorgan Chase.

the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s rulings that the Bank of New York had standing to foreclose and that the HLPA had not been violated but determined as a result of the latter ruling that it was not necessary to address whether federal law preempted the HLPA. See Bank of N.Y. v. Romero, 2011-NMCA-110, ¶ 6, 150 N.M. 769, 266 P.3d 638 (“Because we conclude that substantial evidence exists for each of the district court’s findings and conclusions, and we affirm on those grounds, we do not addressthe Romeros’ preemption argument.”).

We have recognized that “the lack of [standing] is a potential jurisdictional defect which ‘may not be waived and may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even sua sponte by the appellate court.’” Gunaji v. Macias, 2001-NMSC-028, ¶ 20, 130 N.M. 734, 31 P.3d 1008 (citation omitted). While we disagree that the Romeros waived their standing claim, because their challenge has been and remains largely based on the note’s indorsement to JPMorgan Chase, whether the Romeros failed to fully develop their standing argument before the Court of Appeals is immaterial. This Court may reach the issue of standing based on prudential concerns. See New Energy Economy, Inc. v. Shoobridge, 2010-NMSC-049, ¶ 16, 149 N.M. 42, 243 P.3d 746 (“Indeed, ‘prudential rules’ of judicial self-governance, like standing, ripeness, and mootness, are ‘founded in concern about the proper—and properly limited—role of courts in a democratic society’ and are always relevant concerns.” (citation omitted)). Accordingly, we address the merits of the standing challenge.[e.s.]

the Romeros argue that none of the Bank’s evidence demonstrates standing because (1) possession alone is insufficient, (2) the “original” note introduced by the Bank of New York at trial with the two undated indorsements includes a special indorsement to JPMorgan Chase, which cannot be ignored in favor of the blank indorsement, (3) the June 25, 2008, assignment letter from MERS occurred after the Bank of New York filed its complaint, and as a mere assignment

of the mortgage does not act as a lawful transfer of the note, and (4) the statements by Ann Kelley and Kevin Flannigan are inadmissible because both lack personal knowledge given that Litton Loan Servicing did not begin servicing loans for the Bank of New York until seven months after the foreclosure complaint was filed and after the purported transfer of the loan occurred. 
[NOTE BURDEN OF PROOF]

(“[S]tanding is to be determined as of the commencement of suit.”); accord 55 Am. Jur. 2d Mortgages § 584 (2009) (“A plaintiff has no foundation in law or fact to foreclose upon a mortgage in which the plaintiff has no legal or equitable interest.”). One reason for such a requirement is simple: “One who is not a party to a contract cannot maintain a suit upon it. If [the entity] was a successor in interest to a party on the [contract], it was incumbent upon it to prove this to the court.” L.R. Prop. Mgmt., Inc. v. Grebe, 1981-NMSC-035, ¶ 7, 96 N.M. 22, 627 P.2d 864 (citation omitted). The Bank of New York had the burden of establishing timely ownership of the note and the mortgage to support its entitlement to pursue a foreclosure action. See Gonzales v. Tama, 1988-NMSC- 016, ¶ 7, 106 N.M. 737, 749 P.2d 1116

[THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REMEDIES ON THE NOTE AND REMEDIES ON THE MORTGAGE]

(“One who holds a note secured by a mortgage has two separate and independent remedies, which he may pursue successively or concurrently; one is on the note against the person and property of the debtor, and the other is by foreclosure to enforce the mortgage lien upon his real estate.” (internal quotation marks and citation omitted)).

3. None of the Bank’s Evidence Demonstrates Standing to Foreclose

{19} The Bank of New York argues that in order to demonstrate standing, it was required to prove that before it filed suit, it either (1) had physical possession of the Romeros’ note indorsed to it or indorsed in blank or (2) received the note with the right to enforcement, as required by the UCC. See § 55-3-301 (defining “[p]erson entitled to enforce” a negotiable instrument). While we agree with the Bank that our state’s UCC governs how a party becomes legally entitled to enforce a negotiable instrument such as the note for a home loan, we disagree that the Bank put forth such evidence.

a. Possession of a Note Specially Indorsed to JPMorgan Chase Does Not Establish the Bank of New York as a Holder

{20} Section 55-3-301 of the UCC provides three ways in which a third party can enforce a negotiable instrument such as a note. Id. (“‘Person entitled to enforce’ an instrument means (i) the holder of the instrument, (ii) a nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder, or (iii) a person not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the [lost, destroyed, stolen, or mistakenly transferred] instrument pursuant to [certain UCC enforcement provisions].”); see also § 55-3-104(a)(1), (b), (e) (defining “negotiable instrument” as including a “note” made “payable to bearer or to order”). Because the Bank’s arguments rest on the fact that it was in physical possession of the Romeros’ note, we need to consider only the first two categories of eligibility to enforce under Section 55-3-301.

{21} The UCC defines the first type of “person entitled to enforce” a note—the “holder” of the instrument—as “the person in possession of a negotiable instrument that is payable either to bearer or to an identified person that is the person in possession.” NMSA 1978, § 55-1-201(b)(21)(A) (2005); see also Frederick M. Hart & William F. Willier, Negotiable Instruments Under the Uniform Commercial Code, § 12.02(1) at 12-13 to 12-15 (2012) (“The first requirement of being a holder is possession of the instrument. However, possession is not necessarily sufficient to make one a holder. . . . The payee is always a holder if the payee has possession. Whether other persons qualify as a holder depends upon whether the instrument initially is payable to order or payable to bearer, and whether the instrument has been indorsed.” (footnotes omitted)). Accordingly, a third party must prove both physical possession and the right to enforcement through either a proper indorsement or a transfer by negotiation. See NMSA 1978, § 55-3-201(a) (1992) (“‘Negotiation’ means a transfer of possession . . . of an instrument by a person other than the issuer to a person who thereby becomes its holder.”). [E.S.] Because in this case the Romeros’ note was clearly made payable to the order of Equity One, we must determine whether the Bank provided sufficient evidence of how it became a “holder” by either an indorsement or transfer.

Without explanation, the note introduced at trial differed significantly from the original note attached to the foreclosure complaint, despite testimony at trial that the Bank of New York had physical possession of the Romeros’ note from the time the foreclosure complaint was filed on April 1, 2008. Neither the unindorsed note nor the twice-indorsed

7

note establishes the Bank as a holder.

{23} Possession of an unindorsed note made payable to a third party does not establish the right of enforcement, just as finding a lost check made payable to a particular party does not allow the finder to cash it. [E.S.]See NMSA 1978, § 55-3-109 cmt. 1 (1992) (“An instrument that is payable to an identified person cannot be negotiated without the indorsement of the identified person.”). The Bank’s possession of the Romeros’ unindorsed note made payable to Equity One does not establish the Bank’s entitlement to enforcement.

We are not persuaded. The Bank provides no authority and we know of none that exists to support its argument that the payment restrictions created by a special indorsement can be ignored contrary to our long-held rules on indorsements and the rights they create. See, e.g., id. (rejecting each of two entities as a holder because a note lacked the requisite indorsement following a special indorsement); accord NMSA 1978, § 55-3-204(c) (1992) (“For the purpose of determining whether the transferee of an instrument is a holder, an indorsement that transfers a security interest in the instrument is effective as an unqualified indorsement of the instrument.”).

[COMPETENCY OF WITNESS]

the Bank of New York relies on the testimony of Kevin Flannigan, an employee of Litton Loan Servicing who maintained that his review of loan servicing records indicated that the Bank of New York was the transferee of the note. The Romeros objected to Flannigan’s testimony at trial, an objection that the district court overruled under the business records exception. We agree with the Romeros that Flannigan’s testimony was inadmissible and does not establish a proper transfer.

Litton Loan Servicing, did not begin working for the Bank of New York as its servicing agent until November 1, 2008—seven months after the April 1, 2008, foreclosure complaint was filed. Prior to this date, Popular Mortgage Servicing, Inc. serviced the Bank of New York’s loans. Flannigan had no personal knowledge to support his testimony that transfer of the Romeros’ note to the Bank of New York prior to the filing of the foreclosure complaint was proper because Flannigan did not yet work for the Bank of New York. See Rule 11-602 NMRA (“A witness may testify to a matter only if evidence is introduced sufficient to support a finding that the

9

witness has personal knowledge of the matter. [E.S.] Evidence to prove personal knowledge may consist of the witness’s own testimony.”). We make a similar conclusion about the affidavit of Ann Kelley, who also testified about the status of the Romeros’ loan based on her work for Litton Loan Servicing. As with Flannigan’s testimony, such statements by Kelley were inadmissible because they lacked personal knowledge.

[OBJECTION TO HEARSAY BUSINESS RECORDS REVERSED AND SUSTAINED]

When pressed about Flannigan’s basis of knowledge on cross-examination, Flannigan merely stated that “our records do indicate” the Bank of New York as the holder of the note based on “a pooling and servicing agreement.” No such business record itself was offered or admitted as a business records hearsay exception. See Rule 11-803(F) NMRA (2007) (naming this category of hearsay exceptions as “records of regularly conducted activity”).

The district court erred in admitting the testimony of Flannigan as a custodian of records under the exception to the inadmissibility of hearsay for “business records” that are made in the regular course of business and are generally admissible at trial under certain conditions. See Rule 11-803(F) (2007) (citing the version of the rule in effect at the time of trial). The business records exception allows the records themselves to be admissible but not simply statements about the purported contents of the records. [E.S.] See State v. Cofer, 2011-NMCA-085, ¶ 17, 150 N.M. 483, 261 P.3d 1115 (holding that, based on the plain language of Rule 11-803(F) (2007), “it is clear that the business records exception requires some form of document that satisfies the rule’s foundational elements to be offered and admitted into evidence and that testimony alone does not qualify under this exception to the hearsay rule” and concluding that “‘testimony regarding the contents of business records, unsupported by the records themselves, by one without personal knowledge of the facts constitutes inadmissible hearsay.’” (citation omitted)). Neither Flannigan’s testimony nor Kelley’s affidavit can substantiate the existence of documents evidencing a transfer if those documents are not entered into evidence. Accordingly, Flannigan’s trial testimony cannot establish that the Romeros’ note was transferred to the Bank of New York.[E.S.]

[REJECTION OF MERS ASSIGNMENT]

We also reject the Bank’s argument that it can enforce the Romeros’ note because it was assigned the mortgage by MERS. An assignment of a mortgage vests only those rights to the mortgage that were vested in the assigning entity and nothing more. See § 55-3-203(b) (“Transfer of an instrument, whether or not the transfer is a negotiation, vests in the transferee any right of the transferor to enforce the instrument, including any right as a holder in due course.”); accord Hart & Willier, supra, § 12.03(2) at 12-27 (“Th[is] shelter rule puts the transferee in the shoes of the transferor.”).

[MERS CAN NEVER ASSIGN THE NOTE]

As a nominee for Equity One on the mortgage contract, MERS could assign the mortgage but lacked any authority to assign the Romeros’ note. Although this Court has never explicitly ruled on the issue of whether the assignment of a mortgage could carry with it the transfer of a note, we have long recognized the separate functions that note and mortgage contracts perform in foreclosure actions. See First Nat’l Bank of Belen v. Luce, 1974-NMSC-098, ¶ 8, 87 N.M. 94, 529 P.2d 760 (holding that because the assignment of a mortgage to a bank did not convey an interest in the loan contract, the bank was not entitled to foreclose on the mortgage); Simson v. Bilderbeck, Inc., 1966-NMSC-170, ¶¶ 13-14, 76 N.M. 667, 417 P.2d 803 (explaining that “[t]he right of the assignee to enforce the mortgage is dependent upon his right to enforce the note” and noting that “[b]oth the note and mortgage were assigned to plaintiff.

[SPLITTING THE NOTE AND MORTGAGE]

(“A mortgage securing the repayment of a promissory note follows the note, and thus, only the rightful owner of the note has the right to enforce the mortgage.”); Dunaway, supra, § 24:18 (“The mortgage only secures the payment of the debt, has no life independent of the debt, and cannot be separately transferred. If the intent of the lender is to transfer only the security interest (the mortgage), this cannot legally be done and the transfer of the mortgage without the debt would be a nullity.”). These separate contractual functions—where the note is the loan and the mortgage is a pledged security for that loan—cannot be ignored simply by the advent of modern technology and the MERS electronic mortgage registry system.

[THE NOBODY ELSE IS CLAIMING ARGUMENT IS EXPLICITLY REJECTED]

Failure of Another Entity to Claim Ownership of the Romeros’ Note Does Not Make the Bank of New York a Holder

{37} Finally, the Bank of New York urges this Court to adopt the district court’s inference that if the Bank was not the proper holder of the Romeros’ note, then third-party-defendant Equity One would have claimed to be the rightful holder, and Equity One made no such claim.

11

{38} The simple fact that Equity One does not claim ownership of the Romeros’ note does not establish that the note was properly transferred to the Bank of New York. In fact, the evidence in the record indicates that JPMorgan Chase may be the lawful holder of the Romeros’ note, as reflected in the note’s special indorsement.

[HOLDER MUST PROVE ENTITLEMENT TO ENFORCE — NO PRESUMPTION ALLOWED]

Because the transferee is not a holder, there is no presumption under Section [55-]3-308 [(1992) (entitling a holder in due course to payment by production and upon signature)] that the transferee, by producing the instrument, is entitled to payment. The instrument, by its terms, is not payable to the transferee and the transferee must account for possession of the unindorsed instrument by proving the transaction through which the transferee acquired it.

[LENDER’S OBLIGATION TO ASSURE THAT THE LOAN IS VIABLE]

B. A Lender Must Consider a Borrower’s Ability to Repay a Home Mortgage Loan in Determining Whether the Loan Provides a Reasonable, Tangible Net Benefit, as Required by the New Mexico HLPA

{39} For reasons that are not clear in the record, the Romeros did not appeal the district court’s judgment in favor of the original lender, Equity One, on the Romeros’ claims that Equity One violated the HLPA. The Court of Appeals addressed the HLPA violation issue in the context of the Romeros’ contentions that the alleged violation constituted a defense to the foreclosure complaint of the Bank of New York by affirming the district court’s favorable ruling on the Bank of New York’s complaint. As a result of our holding that the Bank of New York has not established standing to bring a foreclosure action, the issue of HLPA violation is now moot in this case. But because it is an issue that is likely to be addressed again in future attempts by whichever institution may be able to establish standing to foreclose on the Romero home and because it involves a statutory interpretation issue of substantial public importance in many other cases, we address the conclusion of both the

12

Court of Appeals and the district court that a homeowner’s inability to repay is not among “all of the circumstances” that the 2003 HLPA, applicable to the Romeros’ loan, requires a lender to consider under its “flipping” provisions:

No creditor shall knowingly and intentionally engage in the unfair act or practice of flipping a home loan. As used in this subsection, “flipping a home loan” means the making of a home loan to a borrower that refinances an existing home loan when the new loan does not have reasonable, tangible net benefit to the borrower considering all of the circumstances, including the terms of both the new and refinanced loans, the cost of the new loan and the borrower’s circumstances.

Section 58-21A-4(B) (2003); see also Bank of N.Y., 2011-NMCA-110, ¶ 17 (holding that “while the ability to repay a loan is an important consideration when otherwise assessing a borrower’s financial situation, we will not read such meaning into the statute’s ‘reasonable, tangible net benefit’ language”).

[DOOMED LOANS — WHO HAS THE RISK?]

We have been presented with no conceivable reason why the Legislature in 2003 would consciously exclude consideration of a borrower’s ability to repay the loan as a factor of the borrower’s circumstances, and we can think of none. Without an express legislative direction to that effect, we will not conclude that the Legislature meant to approve mortgage loans that were doomed to end in failure and foreclosure. Apart from the plain language of the statute and its express statutory purpose, it is difficult to comprehend how an unrepayable home mortgage loan that will result in a foreclosure on one’s home and a deficiency judgment to pay after the borrower is rendered homeless could provide “a reasonable, tangible net benefit to the borrower.”

[LENDER’S OBLIGATION TO MAKE SURE IT IS A VIABLE TRANSACTION] a lender cannot avoid its own obligation to consider real facts and circumstances [E.S.] that might clarify the inaccuracy of a borrower’s income claim. Id. (“Lenders cannot, however, disregard known facts and circumstances that may place in question the accuracy of information contained in the application.”) A lender’s willful blindness to its responsibility to consider the true circumstances of its borrowers is unacceptable. A full and fair consideration of those circumstances might well show that a new mortgage loan would put a borrower into a materially worse situation with respect to the ability to make home loan payments and avoid foreclosure, consequences of a borrower’s circumstances that cannot be disregarded.

if the inclusion of such boilerplate language in the mass of documents a borrower must sign at closing would substitute for a lender’s conscientious compliance with the obligations imposed by the HLPA, its protections would be no more than empty words on paper that could be summarily swept aside by the addition of yet one more document for the borrower to sign at the closing.

[THE BLAME GAME]

Borrowers are certainly not blameless if they try to refinance their homes through loans they cannot afford. But they do not have a mortgage lender’s expertise, and the combination of the relative unsophistication of many borrowers and the potential motives of unscrupulous lenders seeking profits from making loans without regard for the consequences to homeowners led to the need for statutory reform. See § 58-21A-2 (discussing (A) “abusive mortgage lending” practices, including (B) “making . . . loans that are equity-based, rather than income based,” (C) “repeatedly refinanc[ing] home loans,” rewarding lenders with “immediate income” from “points and fees” and (D) victimizing homeowners with the unnecessary “costs and terms” of “overreaching creditors”).

[FEDERAL PREEMPTION CLAIM FROM OCC STATEMENT DOES NOT PROVIDE BANK OF NEW YORK ANY PROTECTION]

 

While the Bank is correct in asserting that the OCC issued a blanket rule in January 2004, see 12 C.F.R. § 34.4(a) (2004) (preempting state laws that impact “a national bank’s ability to fully exercise its Federally authorized real estate lending powers”), and that the New Mexico Administrative Code recognizes this OCC rule, neither the Bank nor our administrative code addresses several actions taken by Congress and the courts since 2004 to disavow the OCC’s broad preemption statement.

 

Applying the Dodd-Frank standard to the HLPA, we conclude that federal law does not preempt the HLPA. First, our review of the NBA reveals no express preemption of state consumer protection laws such as the HLPA. Second, the Bank provides no evidence that conforming to the dictates of the HLPA prevents or significantly interferes with a national bank’s operations. Third, the HLPA does not create a discriminatory effect; rather, the HLPA applies to any “creditor,” which the 2003 statute defines as “a person who regularly [offers or] makes a home loan.” Section 58-21A-3(G) (2003). Any entity that makes home loans in New Mexico must follow the HLPA, regardless of whether the lender is a state or nationally chartered bank. See § 58-21A-2 (providing legislative findings on abusive mortgage lending practices that the HLPA is meant to discourage).

Unconscionable and Negligent Conduct in Loan Modification Practices

JOIN US EVERY THURSDAY AT 6PM Eastern time on The Neil Garfield Show. We will discuss the Stenberger decision and other important developments affecting consumers, borrowers and banks. We had 561 listeners so far who were on the air with us or who downloaded the show. Thank you — that is a good start for our first show. And thank you Patrick Giunta, Esq. (Broward County Attorney) as our first guest. For more information call 954-495-9867.

In the case of Wane v. Loan Corp. the 11th Circuit struck down the borrower’s attempt to rescind. The reasoning in that case had to do with whether the originator was the real lender. I think, based upon my review of that and other cases, that the facts were not totally known and perhaps could have been and then included in the pleading. It is one thing to say that you don’t think the originator actually paid for the loan. It is quite another to say that a third party did actually pay for the loan and failed to get the note and mortgage or deed of trust executed properly to protect the real source of funds. In order to do that you might need the copy of the wire transfer receipt and wire transfer instructions and potentially a forensic report showing the path of “securitization” which probably never happened.

The importance of the Steinberger decision (see prior post) is that it reverts back to simple doctrines of law rather the complexity and resistance in the courts to apply the clear wording in the Truth in Lending Act. The act says that any statement indicating the desire to rescind within the time limits set forth in the statute is sufficient to nullify the mortgage or deed of trust by operation of law unless the alleged creditor/lender files an action within the prescribed time limits. It is a good law and it covers a lot of the abuses that we see in the legal battleground. But Judges are refusing to apply it. And that includes Appellate courts including the 9th Circuit that wrote into the statute the requirement that the money be tendered “back to the creditor” in order for the rescission to have any legal effect.

The 9th Circuit obviously is saying the they refuse to abide by the statute. The tender back to the creditor need only be a statement that the homeowner is prepared to execute a note and mortgage in favor of the real lender. To tender the money “back” to the originator is to assume they made the loan, which ordinarily was not the case. The courts are getting educated but they are not at the point where they “get it.”

But with the Steinberger decision we can get similar results without battling the rescission issue that so far is encountering nothing but resistance. That case manifestly agrees that a borrower can challenge the authority of those who are claiming money from him or her and that if there are problems with the mortgage, the foreclosure or the modification program in which the borrower was lured into actions that caused the borrower harm, there are damages for the “lender” to pay. The recent Wells Fargo decision posted a few days ago said the same thing. The logic behind that applies to the closing as well.

So lawyers should start thinking about more basic common law doctrines and use the statutes as corroboration for the common law cause of action rather than the other way around. Predatory practices under TILA can be alleged under doctrines of unconscionability and negligence. Title issues, “real lender” issues can be attacked using common law negligence.

Remember that the common allegation of the “lenders” is that they are “holders” — not that they are holders in due course which would require them to show that they paid value for the note and that they have the right to enforce it and collect because the money is actually owed to them. The “holders” are subject to claims detailed in the Steinberger decision without reference to TILA, RESPA or any of the other claims that the courts are resisting. As holders they are subject to all claims and defenses of the borrower. And remember as well that it is a mistake to assume that the mortgage or deed of trust is governed by Article 3 of the UCC. Security instruments are only governed by Article 9 and they must be purchased for value for a party to be able to enforce them.

All of this is predicated on real facts that you can prove. So you need forensic research and analysis. The more specific you are in your allegations, the more difficult it will be for the trial court to throw your claims and defenses out of court because they are hypothetical or too speculative.

Question: who do we sue? Answer: I think the usual suspects — originator, servicers, broker dealer, etc. but also the closing agent.

%d bloggers like this: