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TILA RESCISSION: The war is NOT over contrary to bank disinformation

The banks have not asked for an order vacating a TILA RESCISSION because they know that following standard procedure would block  them from challenging TILA RESCISSION.

This is PROCEDURE vs SUBSTANCE. That is what this has always been about. As more courts continue to “rule” on TILA RESCISSION, getting it wrong every time, the effort to discredit TILA RESCISSION is picking up steam.

Here is the bottom line: I never said that the borrower would always prevail if challenged. I only said that the borrower must be challenged if a creditor wants to avoid the consequences of rescission. And failing to do that means that the rescission stands, by operation of law. I have also said that only a party with standing can bring that challenge and that on its face such a party does not seem to be the same as the party seeking to enforce the paper.

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

Purchase now Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense webinar including 3.5 hours of lecture, questions and answers, plus course materials that include PowerPoint Presentations. Presenters: Attorney and Expert Neil Garfield, Forensic Auditor Dan Edstrom, Attorney Charles Marshall and and Private Investigator Bill Paatalo. The webinar and materials are all downloadable.

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).

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!

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

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In the past couple of weeks I have received hate mail from those who are pretending  to be on the side of homeowners whilst adamantly opposing TILA Rescission. The banks are more scared of TILA RESCISSION than anything else. So their effort is directed at discrediting the express wording of the statute, the Supreme Court decision directly on point and of course anyone (e.g., me) who persists in pushing the use of TILA RESCISSION. I will say openly that the courts have managed to tie up rescission now just as they did before SCOTUS stopped them. And once again, SCOTUS will administer a stern warning about playing with the express wording a clearly worded statute.

Remember when the general rule was that rescission was a claim and not an event — i.e., that homeowners had to bring an action to enforce rescission in order for rescission to be effective? That’s gone now.

So now they are saying that the likelihood of the defeat of the homeowner in a hypothetical lawsuit directed at vacating the TILA RESCISSION means that the rescission should be ignored (but not subject to a final judgment in which the TILA Rescission is vacated. That will be gone soon too.

Judges are not empowered to render decisions based upon a hypothetical lawsuit. The lawsuit to vacate the rescission must be real and must be filed by a party with standing. And standing cannot be based upon the note and mortgage which are void by operation of law. Standing in such a suit can ONLY be established by a party to whom the underlying debt is owed.

These purveyors of “bad news” will continue to report each erroneous court decision (as I predicted) until once again, the US Supreme Court smacks down the bad decisions for (a) not following the statute, (b) not following the SCOTUS Jesinoski decision and (c) not following standard due process procedure. Such a decision is extremely likely considering the unanimous Jesinoski decision.

And I would ask them — “If you are so sure that TILA Rescission is a dead horse, why are YOU spending any time rebutting TILA RESCISSION?”

Once again these paid shills for the banks are intentionally confusing procedure with substance. I never said that the borrower would always prevail if TILA RESCISSION was properly challenged. I only said that the borrower’s rescission must be challenged if a creditor wants to avoid the consequences of rescission. And failing to do that means that the rescission stands, by operation of law. I have also said that only a party with standing can seek relief from a court including bringing that challenge. I have also said that on its face such a “creditor” party does not seem to be the party seeking to enforce the paper and oddly enough, might not exist at all.

The error that occurred in the remanded Jesinoski case was the assumption or presumption that the party claiming to be beneficiary under the deed of trust was an actual creditor instead of a possessor or holder of the note. As per the express wording of the TILA RESCISSION statute, such a party relying upon paper documents are relying upon a note and mortgage that are void by operation of law and thus could never be the basis of legal standing to challenge TILA RESCISSION.

The court and the parties continued with a basic erroneous assumption:  that somehow a party who claims only to be holder of a note or mortgage can somehow challenge the notice of TILA RESCISSION. By failing to challenge their opposition on the question of standing (because the note and mortgage were void) the Jesinoskis sealed their own doom. This in turn enables the sometimes nonexistent claimant for a nonexistent claim to twist legal procedure and simply attack the notice of rescission with a motion and/or affidavit instead of a complaint in which it alleges standing to sue based upon the underlying debt.

The remand of the Jesinoski case to the trial court should have resulted in a stay of the proceedings for a defined period allowing the “creditor” to affirmatively allege that it has standing because it is the party who would suffer financial injury and that all disclosures were made, —thus requesting from the court that the rescission be vacated — something that has yet to be done anywhere — despite direct advice and counsel from lawyers for the banks. The problem they face is that the banks were given 20 days to challenge rescission— just as the homeowners being given up to 3 years to invoke rescission.

Despite the FACT that a TILA RESCISSION is effective upon mailing or delivery by operation of law, the courts simply refuse to treat it that way. As a result, no order has been entered nor has it been requested by the banks — a court order in which the rescission was vacated. The banks have not asked because they know that following procedure would block  them from challenging TILA RESCISSION.

You can’t blame them. Steamrolling seems to work for the banks. It’s better than law!

But a decision from the US Supreme Court along the lines expressed in this article is likely to materially effect many of not most foreclosures where the notice of rescission was delivered prior to the foreclosure sale or the foreclosure judgment.

PRACTICE HINT: If you are dealing with a party claiming rights to foreclose on the basis of being “holder”, that is probably an admission that they are not a creditor. Hence they would not have legal standing to demand relief from a court when seeking to vacate the rescission. If they had purchased the underlying debt, in all probability, they would assert themselves as having the status of a “holder in due course” (and of course prove it). This needs to be fleshed out in discovery — and by demanding discovery on the issue of standing you are highlighting the fact that the rescission is effective and that a challenge to rescission must be a pleading of a case of action — in other words, where they are forced to allege their basis for asserting legal standing.

What and Who is a Creditor?

Practically everyone thinks they know what is a creditor even if they cannot identify who is the creditor. The reason that this is important is that the lawyers for the banks have created a divergence of the money trial and the paper trail. One is worth every cent claimed and the other is worth nothing, but for the repeated acceptance of a claim as proof in and of itself that a real transaction is referenced in the paper trail. In most cases, it isn’t.

Let us help you plan your narrative and strategy: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.
Register now for Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense webinar.
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).
https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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The problem is very real when you look at it through a semantic lens.

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What is a creditor? In court it has come to mean anyone with a claim. What it does not automatically mean is that the so-called creditor owns the debt. In normal situations before claims of securitization, ownership of the debt was presumed to be underlying the claim for money and thus the term creditor and owner of the debt were used interchangeably. That is what the TBTF banks were counting on and that is what they got.

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The “creditor” in foreclosures is just a party holding paper. If the paper is fabricated or otherwise does not represent an actual transaction in real life it should be struck since the paper doesn’t prove anything. A note is evidence of the debt. It is not the debt. That is why we have the merger doctrine to prevent double liability. But the merger doctrine only operates if the Payee on the note and the owner of the debt are the same.

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If the party seeking the foreclosure cannot produce the proof that the Payee and debt owner are the same, then the note lacks foundation and would be disallowed as evidence. The mortgage being incident to the note would therefore secure nothing and would be equally invalid and subject to being removed from the country records. More than a decade of experience shows that you won’t get anywhere at trial with his knowledge UNLESS you have conducted proper discovery and pursued it through motions to compel.

*

But what we are left with is entirely counter-intuitive. You end up with a debt owner with no paperwork and the homeowner having two liabilities — one in the form of a debt that arises by operation of law when the debt owner advanced money and the homeowner received it — and one in the form of a potential liability in the form of a note that has no reference point in the real world, but if acquired by value in good faith and with no knowledge of the borrower’s defenses, can nonetheless be enforced leaving the maker (homeowner) to seek remedies from other parties who tricked him. {See Holder in Due Course}

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This type of analysis is not well received by courts who come to each situation with a bias toward what they perceive to be “the bank” who wouldn’t be in court if they were not the owner of the debt. But as we have seen in most instances “the bank” is not appearing on its own behalf but merely as a representative of what is most often a nonexistent common law trust. If there is any bank involved at all it must be the underwriter of “securities” that were issued under the name of an alleged REMIC Trust.

Nonetheless we see the courts referring to the case at U.S. Bank adv the homeowner instead of saying XYZ Trust adv the homeowner for the simple reason that in practice styling the case refers to the first name that appears on the pleadings. So invariably the case is referred to as “U.S. Bank. adv John Smith.”

*

This continually reinforces the erroneous presumption that this is a case of a financial institution versus the homeowner; in fact, however, it is a case of an unlicensed unregistered private entity (the alleged REMIC Trust) outside the world of banking or finance whose existence as a trust entity is problematic at best, especially if the subject loan was never purchased by the Trust (acting  through the Trustee).

*

Without the debt being entrusted to the Trustee on behalf of the Trust there is no trust. The existence of an assignment, absent evidence of purchase, merely means that the alleged Trust has “ownership” of the paper, not the debt. But in practice owning the paper raises a presumption of ownership of the debt — which is why so much effort must be made toward preventing the application of the presumption through objections to foundation that are themselves founded on prior discovery showing the failure or refusal to provide proof of ownership and in fact, proof the paper chain being congruent with the money trial.

*

Hence the claim of creditor status may be true as to the paper but untrue as to the debt or any other monetary transaction in the real world.

When and What is Consummation of Contract?

Like many other “Black letter law” situations, when it comes to foreclosures the courts are ignoring all precedent, statutes, rules and regulations when they consider a loan contract consummated when one party signs documents — without the other side showing it signed documents and performed its obligations. Without consideration passing both ways, there is no contract to enforce.

The argument that there is nothing for the lender to sign is without merit. The further argument that therefore the only signature that counts in a written contract is the signature of one side is equally ridiculous. It is true that lenders don’t sign the notes and mortgages. But for lenders, their part of the contract only comes alive when they comply with TILA and perform — i.e., they give the loan of money.

To view it any other way would be saying that performance by the “lender” is optional. And that would by all accounts be an executory contract that would be unenforceable until the optional performance was completed. Hence consummation can only be (a) when the money appears (b) from the “lender” identified on the disclosure documents.

The banks craftily spotted the loophole that lenders don’t sign the actual instruments that provide evidence of a written loan contract. But those instruments may not be used to sidestep mutuality and reciprocity that MUST be present in every situation where a party is relying upon paper instruments instead of proving the loan from scratch. If a third party performs the duties promised by the originator there is no enforceable contract even if there is a separate remedy for recovery of money.

Consummation and consideration should be treated as fair game in discovery instead of annoying protests from the homeowner. The Courts have the power to make legal decisions — not political ones.

Let us help you plan your discovery requests: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.
Register now for Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense webinar.
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).
https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Hat tip to Greg (cement boots)

Consummation vs Closing

Seems like various state laws redefine “consummation” as not the actual consummation (the initial fulfillment of promises made by both parties to a contract – think marriage) but instead, make it apply to the moment that a written obligation of a debtor (the wife) is signed at a “closing” in a loan transaction… These definitions do not take into account the duty of the originator or alleged lender (the husband) to timely perform their duties, especially to provide a record of the funding in the purported debtor’s name toward the discharge of the contracted obligation. This occurs most often in “refinance” deals where there is no seller or buyer, simply a rearranging of computer entries between financial institutions. This leaves the alleged debtor (the wife) wanting for proof of fidelity, consideration and performance while operating under the presumed legal disability created by the state’s definition. As you can imagine, and we have seen, this can have a deleterious effect on a judge’s or debtor’s ability to accurately calculate the deadline to timely file a TILA rescission notice within the three year statute of repose.

I think this comment is correct. By defining consummation as the moment when one party signs documents without regard to when or even whether the other party signs and performs contractual duties, the courts are letting originators off the hook for fraud, TILA violations and more. Like the debt itself the obligation is not open ended to anyone who claims it. It is owed to the party that owns the debt or obligation.

In normal contract law there is some fuzziness about consummation and sometimes rules of estoppel apply. But the normal rule is simply that the transaction is consummated and the documents are effective when the documentation is completed and executed by both sides, and consideration has passed both ways.

By considering consummation to be when only one party signs the courts are ignoring a basic legal doctrine that has been solid for centuries — consideration must pass before the documents can be used for enforcement.

This is particularly important in the modern era where “lenders” have been replaced by “originators.” In many cases the originator is not the lender. Hence no enforceable contract can be said to exist unless there is proof that the originator was acting for a third party Lender.

If the third party was not disclosed they would be admitting to a TILA violation. If the third party is not a lender either but rather a conduit, then we have (a) no consideration and (b) nondisclosure at “closing” as to the identity of the lender.

By “no consideration” I don’t mean that the homeowner did not receive money or the benefits of a disbursement.  I mean that nobody in the chain starting with the originator has paid that consideration and thus nobody in that chain of command is party to an enforceable contract. Like the fabricated assignments, allonges and endorsements, the existence of a paper instrument even if signed does not mean that the provisions contained therein are enforceable. Under contract law it is the transaction that must have consummated between the parties to the written contract. THAT is something that does not occur, even in the c leanest of cases, until after the closing and sometimes months or even years after.

By revealing the absence of a payment by the originator, one accomplishes two things. (1) the written loan contract (note and mortgage or Deed of Trust) was never enforceable and thus cannot be enforced by successors. (2) clear violations of TILA disclosure requirements have been violated.

BUT none of this means that there is no debt — assuming that money appeared after closing. The debt exists. The homeowner does owe money. And while the homeowner does not owe just anyone, he/she owes money to the person or parties who are out of pocket for the loan. Their remedy is probably an action in equity seeking to claim the paperwork AFTER they have proven that they are the real parties in interest. Or, their remedy would be simply the equitable action for unjust enrichment. In the first case they MIGHT preserve the mortgage encumbrance. In the second, they have no collateral.

Lateral Appeal in BKR to District Judge Often Overlooked

The PHH case underscores the statistics and the substance of actions brought in U.S> Bankruptcy Court. The fact is that BKR judges, once called magistrates, do not have the jurisdiction or power of ordinary District Court Judges.

In addition out of the three possible venues for appeal from BKR rulings and decisions, the one that gets the most traction the most often is directly to the sitting District Court judge in whose courthouse the BKR proceedings are pending. District judges are the most likely to find that the BKR “judge” lacked jurisdiction or power to even hear many matters.

Let us write the narrative for your appeal: 202-838-6345
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).
https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Hat tip to Dan Edstrom

see PHH v Sensenich US Dist Lexis 207801

There are three possible routes for appeal. The one that gets the best results is rarely used for unknown reasons. So here are some pointers on bringing an appeal from a ruling or decision entered by a BKR judge:

  1. Lateral appeal to District Court Judge: Success rate around 50%
  2. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP): Success rate around 15%
  3. Direct appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals: Success rate less than 15%.

This anomaly was first pointed out by a Bankruptcy Court Judge in Arizona who as presenting at a CLE Bar Seminar for Bankruptcy lawyers. The seminar was in 2009 and still we are waiting for BKR practitioners to pick up the ball.

An apparently little known fact is that BKR courts are courts of limited jurisdiction as to what they can hear and how they can hear the issues. Many practitioners avoid an appeal from BKR to the Federal District Court Judge because they think that the District judge is on the same level as the BKR judge. And they think that two judges on the same bench are not going to rule against each other.

This view is simply wrong. They are not on the same bench. District Judges have authority over everything that happens in BKR court. BKR court is itself broken up into two categories. One category is simple rulings on motions in the administrative court proceeding (which is why the BKR “Judges” were called magistrates).

Most of what happens in the administrative phase of a bankruptcy is ministerial. Rulings that cross the line of ruling from ministerial to substantive judgments on the law regarding consumer rights, foreclosures etc. are subject to challenge and are as likely to get overturned by the District Judge as not. This is the part most people have some familiarity.

The other category is Adversary actions. This means someone has filed a lawsuit in Bankruptcy Court that is separately served and subject to the same rules of procedure as an action filed in U.S. District Court. But the similarity ends there. Many adversary actions go far beyond the jurisdiction of the BKR judge.

Lack of jurisdiction means the judgment or ruling is void. Those void judgments are generally reversed by the District Court judge and not necessarily by the BAP or Circuit Court probably because nobody brings up the issue of whether the BKR action was in the correct court.

Generally speaking there are two categories of appeal: procedural and substantive. Appeals citing errors in procedure (including jurisdiction) generally get the most traction. Appeals citing substantive law or worse, citing errors in apprehending the evidence, have the lowest success rate.

In the case cited above, Federal District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford reversed a bankruptcy judge’s ruling that had imposed sanctions against a creditor “based on Rule 3002.1(i) of the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the bankruptcy court’s inherent authority, and Bankruptcy Code section 105.”

The sanctions were awarded in three cases where debtors had to make mortgage payments pursuant to chapter 13 plans.  The mortgage servicer had billed the debtors for fees that the bankruptcy trustee asserted were improper. At a trustee’s request, the bankruptcy court imposed sanctions against the servicer of $375,000: $25,000 for each case under Rule 3002.(i) and $300,000 total for violations of court orders under its inherent powers and section 105.

Rule 3002.1 permits bankruptcy courts to provide relief to debtors when mortgage creditors fail to disclose certain fees and charges. Rule 3002.1(i) allows courts to remedy violations of certain provisions of Rule 3002.1 by (among other things) “award[ing] other appropriate relief, including reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees caused by the failure.” Whether Rule 3002.1 authorizes punitive sanctions was a matter of first impression. Neither the parties nor the court had found a case where a bankruptcy court had invoked the rule to support sanctions in this manner.

Judge Crawford reasoned that, because Rule 3002.1 is a procedural rule, it cannot enlarge the substantive authority of the bankruptcy courts. If bankruptcy courts do not have the substantive authority under statute and case law to issue punitive sanctions, then a mere procedural rule cannot alter the lack of substantive authority. The court thus concluded that the question under Rule 3002.1(i) was reducible to the question under a bankruptcy court’s inherent powers and section 105.

For homeowners this ruling helps. Citing it puts the banks in the position of opposing a ruling that went in their favor, i.e., this PHH case.  This also puts the homeowner on notice to check carefully before filing an adversary action instead of a collateral action that is directly before the District Judge or even State Court.

The problem is that most BKR attorneys who mostly do Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, have little or no litigation experience. Thus it may be necessary to NOT  charge your BKR lawyer with there responsibility of filing an adversary or collateral action and to bring in separate trial counsel even if the decision is made to file an adversary complaint.

 

 

 

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.

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

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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…
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Posted by Isaac Gradman at 3:46 PM

Ally $52 Million settlement for “Deficient Securitization”

All of these adjectives describing securitization add up to one thing: the claims were false. For the most part none of the securitizations ever happened.

And that means that the REMIC trusts never purchased the debt, note or mortgage.

And THAT means the “servicer” claiming the right to administer a loan on behalf of the trust is false.

And THAT arguably means the business records of the servicer are not business records of the creditor.

And THAT my friends means what I have been saying for 10 years: virtually none of the foreclosures were legal, moral or justified. The real transaction was never revealed and never documented. The “closing” documents were fake, void and fraudulent. And THAT is grounds for cancellation of the note and mortgage.

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.
—————-

see http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/compliance-regulation/ally-to-pay-52m-to-settle-subprime-rmbs-investigation-1091364-1.html

It is hard to imagine any scenario under which Government cannot know what I have been saying for years — that the claims of securitization are false and the documents for the loans were fraudulent. Government has decided to ignore the facts thus transforming a nation of laws into a nation of men.

In plain English the decision was made to let the chips fall on borrowers, who were victims of the double blind fraud, despite clear and irrefutable evidence that the banks malevolent behavior caused the 2008 meltdown. The choice was made: based upon information from the birthplace of securitization fraud, Government decided that it was better to artificially prop up the securities markets and TBTF banks than to preserve the purchasing power and household wealth of the ordinary man and woman. The economy — driven by consumer spending (70% of GDP) — had the rug pulled out from under it. And THAT is why the effects of rescission are still with us 8 years after the great meltdown.

The fact that there are 7,000 community banks, credit unions and savings banks using the exact same electronic payments platform as the TBTF banks was washed aside by the enormous influence exerted by a dozen banks who controlled Washington, DC, the state legislatures, and the executive branch in most of the states.

The American voter came to understand that they had been screwed by their representatives in Government. They voted for Sanders, they voted for Trump and they voted for anyone who was for busting up government. But they still face daunting challenges as they continue to crash into a rigged system that favors a handful of merciless bankers who have bought their way into the Federal and State Capitals.

Chipping away at the monolithic Government Financial complex individual homeowners are winning case after case in court without notice by the media. It isn’t noticed because in most instances the cases are settled, even after judgment, with a seal of confidentiality. Most people don’t fight it at all. They sweep up and leave the keys on the counter believing they have committed some wrong and now they must pay the price. THAT is because they have not received the necessary information to realize that they can and should fight back.

Goldman Sachs Fined $5 Billion for Violations Dating Back to 2008

…should anyone who owns a home that is subject to claims of securitization of their mortgage be at risk of losing their property?

…the government should stop the arrogant policy of letting most of the burden fall onto middle class property owners.

For a description of our services  click here: https://wordpress.com/post/livinglies.wordpress.com/32498

So we have another “settlement” with one of the major players in the greatest economic crime in human history. But the cover-up of the actual transgressions  emanating from corruption on Wall Street continues. Government investigators should have had a press conference in which they clearly stated the nature of the violations — all of them. People deserve to hear the truth; and the government should stop the arrogant policy of letting most of the burden fall onto the middle class property owners.

The defects in government intervention give rise the illusion that these settlements only have effect on the investors and other financial institutions who were defrauded. Both the charges and the settlements seem far away from the ground level loans and foreclosures. But that is only because of deals in which the government’s continued complicity in “protecting the banking system — a policy that has rewarded trillion dollar banks and given them unfair advantage over the 7,000 other banks and credit unions.

Government now knows the truth about what Wall Street did. But they are restricting their comments in the fear that maybe notes and mortgages would be obviously void, making the MBS bonds worthless causing some world-wide panic and even aggression against the United States for allowing these enormous crimes to occur and continue.

For example, if the government investigators actually said that the REMIC Trusts were never funded, then the cases pending in which the REMIC Trust is named as the initiator of the foreclosure would dissolve into nothing. There would be no Plaintiff in judicial states and there would be no beneficiary in non-judicial states. Thus the filing of a substitution of trustee on a deed of trust would be void. It would raise jurisdictional issues in addition to the absence of any foundation for the assertion of the right to foreclose.

If government investigators identified patterns of conduct in the fabrication, forgery and utterance of false instruments, recording false instruments, then presumptions of validity might not apply to documents presented in court as evidence. Instead of the note being all the evidence needed from a “holder”, the actual underlying transactions would need to be proven by parties seeking foreclosure. If those transactions don’t actually exist, then it follows that the note, mortgage and claim are worthless.

And a borrower could point to the finding by administrative agencies and law enforcement agencies that these practices constitute customary and usual practices in the industry — a statement that would go a long way to convincing a judge that he or she should not assume or presume anything without proof of payment (consideration) in the origination of the loan with whoever ended up as Payee on the note. The same analysis would apply for the alleged acquisition of the “loan.”

If the party on the note or the party claiming they acquired the loan was NOT a party to an actual transaction in which they made the loan or paid to acquire it, then the note is evidence of a transaction that does not exist. Instead government is continuing to cover-up the fact that a policy decision has been made in which borrowers can fend for themselves against perpetrators of financial violence.

The view from the bench still presumes that they would not have a case to decide if there wasn’t a valid loan transaction and a valid acquisition of the loan. They see defects in documentation as splitting hairs. And to make matters worse I have personally seen judges strike virtually all discovery requests that address the issue of whether real transactions took place. And I have seen lawyers retreat over the one issue that would mean success or failure for their client. The task of defending illegal foreclosures would be far easier if the consensus view from the bench was that all the loans are suspect and need to be proven as to ownership, balance and authority.

These issues are almost impossible to prove at trial because the parties with the actual information and proof are not even at the trial. But they can be reached in discovery where on a motion to compel answers and a hearing on the objections from the “bank” or “servicer” the homeowner presses his demand for data and documents that show the actual existence or nonexistence of these transactions.

It would seem that the U.S. Department of Justice is coming out of the shadows on this. They are looking back to 10 years ago when the violations were at their most extreme. We may yet see criminal prosecutions. But putting people in jail does not address the essential issue, to wit: should anyone who owns a home that is subject to claims of securitization of their mortgage be at risk of losing their property?

 

The Devil is in the Details — The Mortgage Cannot Be Enforced, Even If the Note Can Be Enforced

Cashmere v Department of Revenue

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

————————————

Editor’s Introduction: The REAL truth behind securitization of so-called mortgage loans comes out in tax litigation. There a competent Judge who is familiar with the terms of art used in the world of finance makes judgements based upon real evidence and real comprehension of how each part affects another in the “securitization fail” (Adam Levitin) that took us by surprise. In the beginning (2007) I was saying the loans were securitized and the banks were saying there was no securitization and there was no trust.

Within a short period of time (2008) I deduced that there securitization had failed and that no Trust was getting the money from investors who thought they were buying mortgage backed securities and therefore the Trust could never be a holder in due course. I deduced this from the complete absence of claims that they were holders in due course. Whether they initiated foreclosure as servicer, trustee or trust there was no claim of holder in due course. This was peculiar because all the elements of a holder in due course appeared to be present because that is what was required in the securitization documents — at least in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement and prospectus.

If the foreclosing party was a holder in due course they would merely have to show what the securitization required — a purchase in good faith of the loan documents for value without knowledge of any of borrower’s defenses.  This would bar virtually any defense by the borrower and allow them to get a judgment on the note and a foreclosure based upon the auxiliary contract for collateral — the mortgage. But they didn’t allege that for reasons that I have described in recent articles — they could not, as part of their prima facie case, prove that any party in their “chain” had funded or paid any money for the loan.

After analyzing this case, consider the possibility that there is no party in existence who has the power to foreclose. The Trust beneficiaries clearly don’t have that right. The Trust doesn’t either because they didn’t pay anything for it. The Trustee doesn’t have that right because it can only assert the rights of the Trust and Trust beneficiaries. The servicer doesn’t have that right because it derives its authority from the Pooling and Servicing Agreement which does not apply because the loan never made it into the Trust. The originator doesn’t have the right both because they never loaned the money and now disclaim any interest in the mortgage.

Then consider the fact that it is ONLY the investors who have their money at risk but that they failed to get any documentation securing their “involuntary loans.” They might have actions to recover money from the borrower, but those actions are far from secured, and certainly subject to numerous defenses. The investors are barred from enforcing either the note or the mortgage by the terms of the instruments, the terms of the PSA and the rule of law. They are left with an unsecured common law right of action to get what they can from a claim for unjust enrichment or some other type of claim that actually reflects the true facts of the original transaction in which the borrower did receive a loan, but not from anyone represented at the loan closing.

Now we have the Cashmere case. The only assumption that the Court seems to get wrong is that the investors were trust beneficiaries because the court was assuming that the Trust received the proceeds of sale of the bonds. This does not appear to be the case. But the case also explains why the investors wanted to take the position that they were trust beneficiaries in order to get the tax treatment they thought they were getting. So here we have the victims and perpetrators of the fraud taking the same side because of potentially catastrophic results in tax treatment — potentially treating principal payments as ordinary income. That would reduce the return on investment below zero. They lost.

http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Cashmere-v-Dept-of-Revenue.pdf

I have changed fonts to emphasize certain portion of the following excerpts from the Case decision:

“Cashmere’s investments merely gave Cashmere the right to receive specific cash flows generated by the assets of the trust at specific times. But if the REMIC trustee failed to pay Cashmere according to the terms of the investment, Cashmere had no right to sell the mortgage loans or the residential property or any other asset of the trust to satisfy this obligation. Cf. Dep’t of Revenue v. Sec. Pac. Bank of Wash. Nat’/ Ass’n, 109 Wn. App. 795, 808, 38 P.3d 354 (2002) (deduction allowed because mortgage companies transferred ownership of loans to taxpayer who could sell the oans in event of default). Cashmere’s only recourse would be to sue the trustee for performance of the obligation or attempt to replace the trustee. The trustee’s successor would then take legal title to the underlying securities or other assets of the related trust. At no time could Cashmere take control of trust assets and reduce them to cash to satisfy a debt obligation. Thus, we hold that under the plain language of the statute, Cashmere’s investments in REMICs are not primarily secured by mortgages or deeds of trust.
12
“Cashmere argues that the investments are secure because the trustee is obligated to protect the investors’ interests and the trustee has the right to foreclose. But, this is not always the case. The underlying mortgages back all of the tranches, and a trustee must balance competing interests between investors of different tranches. Thus, a default in one tranche does not automatically give the holders of that tranche a right to force foreclosure. We hold that if the terms of the trust do not give beneficiaries an investment secured by trust assets, the trustee’s fiduciary obligations do not transform the investment into a secured investment.

“In a 1990 determination, DOR explained why interest earned from investments in REMICs does not qualify for the mortgage tax deduction. see Wash. Dep’t of Revenue, Determination No. 90-288, 10 Wash. Tax Dec. 314 (1990). A savings and loan association sought a refund of B&O taxes assessed on interest earned from investments in REMICs. The taxpayer argued that because interest received from investments in pass-through securities is deductible, interest received on REMICs
should be too. DOR rejected the deduction, explaining that with pass-through securities, the issuer holds the mortgages in trust for the investor. In the event of individual default, the issuer, as trustee, will foreclose on the property to satisfy the terms of the loan. In other words, the right to foreclose is directly related to homeowner defaults-in the event of default, the trustee can foreclose and the proceeds from foreclosure flow to investors who have a beneficial ownership interest in the underlying mortgage. Thus, investments in pass-through securities are “primarily secured by” first mortgages.

“By contrast, with REMICs, a trustee’s default may or may not coincide with an individual homeowner default. So, there may be no right of foreclosure in the event a trustee fails to make a payment. And if a trustee can and does foreclose, proceeds from the sale do not necessarily go to the investors. Foreclosure does not affect the trustee’s obligations vis-a-vis the investor. Indeed, the Washington Mutual REMIC here contains a commonly used form of guaranty: “For any month, if the master servicer receives a payment on a mortgage loan that is less than the full scheduled payment or if no payment is received at all, the master servicer will advance its own funds to cover the shortfall.” “The master servicer will not be required to make advances if it determines that those advances will not be recoverable” in the future. At foreclosure or liquidation, any proceeds will go “first to the servicer to pay back any advances it might have made in the past.” Similarly, agency REMICs, like the Fannie Mae REMIC Trust 2000-38, guarantee payments even if mortgage borrowers default, regardless of whether the issuer expects to recover those payments. Moreover, the assets held in a REMIC trust are often MBSs, not mortgages.

“So, if the trustee defaults, the investors may require the trustee to sell the MBS, but the investor cannot compel foreclosure of individual properties. DOR also noted that it has consistently allowed the owners of a qualifying mortgage to claim the deduction in RCW 82.04.4292. But the taxpayer who invests in REMICs does not have any ownership interest in the MBSs placed in trust as collateral, much less any ownership interest in the mortgage themselves. By contrast, a pass-through security represents a beneficial ownership of a fractional undivided interest in a pool of first lien residential mortgage loans. Thus, DOR concluded that while investments in pass-through securities qualify for the tax deduction, investments in REMICs do not. We should defer to DOR’s interpretation because it comports with the plain meaning of the statute.

“Moreover, this case is factually distinct. Borrowers making the payments that eventually end up in Cashmere’s REMIC investments do not pay Cashmere, nor do they borrow money from Cashmere. The borrowers do not owe Cashmere for use of borrowed money, and they do not have any existing contracts with Cashmere. Unlike HomeStreet, Cashmere did not have an ongoing and enforceable relationship with borrowers and security for payments did not rest directly on borrowers’ promises to repay the loans. Indeed, REMIC investors are far removed from the underlying mortgages. Interest received from investments in REMICs is often repackaged several times and no longer resembles payments that homeowners are making on their mortgages.

“We affirm the Court of Appeals and hold that Cashmere’s REMIC investments are not “primarily secured by” first mortgages or deeds of trust on nontransient residential real properties. Cashmere has not shown that REMICs are secured-only that the underlying loans are primarily secured by first mortgages or deeds of trust. Although these investments gave Cashmere the right to receive specific cash flows generated by first mortgage loans, the borrowers on the original loans had no obligation to pay Cashmere. Relatedly, Cashmere has no direct or indirect legal recourse to the underlying mortgages as security for the investment. The mere fact that the trustee may be able to foreclose on behalf of trust beneficiaries does not mean the investment is “primarily secured” by first mortgages or deeds of trust.

Editor’s Note: The one thing that makes this case even more problematic is that it does not appear that the Trust ever paid for the acquisition or origination of loans. THAT implies that the Trust didn’t have the money to do so. Because the business of the trust was the acquisition or origination of loans. If the Trust didn’t have the money, THAT implies the Trust didn’t receive the proceeds of sale from their issuance of MBS. And THAT implies that the investors are not Trust beneficiaries in any substantive sense because even though the bonds were issued in the name of the securities broker as street name nominee (non objecting status) for the benefit of the investors, the bonds were issued in a transaction that was never completed.

Thus the investors become simply involuntary direct lenders through a conduit system to which they never agreed. The broker dealer controls all aspects of the actual money transfers and claims the amounts left over as fees or profits from proprietary trading. And THAT means that there is no valid mortgage because the Trust got an assignment without consideration, the Trustee has no interest in the mortgage and the investors who WERE the original source of funds were never given the protection they thought they were getting when they advanced the money. So the “lenders” (investors) knew nothing about the loan closing and neither did the borrower. The mortgage is not enforceable by the named “originator” because they were not the lender and they did not close as representative of the lenders.

There is no party who can enforce an unenforceable contract, which is what the mortgage is here. And the note is similarly defective — although if the note gets into the hands of a party who DID PAY value in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses and DID GET DELIVERY and ACCEPT DELIVERY of the loans then the note would be enforceable even if the mortgage is not. The borrower’s remedy would be to sue the people who put him into those loans, not the holder who is suing on the note because the legislature adopted the UCC and Article 3 says the risk of loss falls on the borrower even if there were defenses to the loan. The lack of consideration might be problematic but the likelihood is that the legislative imperative would be followed — allowing the holder in due course to collect from the borrower even in the absence of a loan by the so-called “originator.”

Powers of Attorney — New Documents Magically Appear

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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BONY/Mellon is among those who are attempting to use a Power of Attorney (POA) that they say proves their ownership of the note and mortgage. In No way does it prove ownership. But it almost forces the reader to assume ownership. But it is not entitled to a presumption of any kind. This is a document prepared for use in litigation and in no way is part of normal business records. They should be required to prove every word and every exhibit. The ONLY thing that would prove ownership is proof of payment. If they owned it they would be claiming HDC status. Not only doesn’t it PROVE ownership, it doesn’t even recite or warrant ownership, indemnification etc. It is a crazy document in substance but facially appealing even though it doesn’t really say anything.

The entire POA is hearsay, lacks foundation, and is irrelevant without the proper foundation be laid by the proponent of the document. I do not think it can be introduced as a business records exception since such documents are not normally created in the ordinary course of business especially with such wide sweeping powers that make no sense — unless you recognize that they are dealing with worthless paper that they are trying desperately to make valuable.

They should have given you a copy of the settlement agreement referred to in the POA and they should have identified the original PSA that is referred to in the settlement agreement. Those are the foundation documents because the POA says that the terms used are defined in the PSA, Settlement agreement or both. I want all documents that are incorporated by reference in the POA.

If you have asked whether the Trust ever paid for your loan, I would like to see their answer.

If CWALT, Inc. or CWABS, Inc., or CWMBS, Inc is anywhere in your chain of title or anywhere else mentioned in any alleged origination or transfer of your loan, I assume you asked for those and I would like to see them too.

The PSA requires that the Trust pay for and receive the loan documents by way of the depositor and custodian. The Trustee never takes possession of the loan documents. But more than that it is important to distinguish between the loan documents and the debt. If there is no debt between you and the originator (which means that the originator named on the note and mortgage never advanced you any money for the loan) then note, which is only evidence of the debt and allegedly containing the terms of repayment is only evidence of the debt — which we know does not exist if they never answered your requests for proof of payment, wire transfer or canceled check.

If you have been reading my posts the last couple of weeks you will see what I am talking about.

The POA does not warrant or even recite that YOUR loan or anything resembling control or ownership of YOUR LOAN is or was ever owned by BONY/Mellon or the alleged trust. It is a classic case of misdirection. By executing a long and very important-looking document they want the judge to presume that the recitations are true and that the unrecited assumptions are also true. None of that is correct. The reference to the PSA only shows intent to acquire loans but has no reference or exhibit identifying your loan. And even if there was such a reference or exhibit it would be fabricated and false — there being obvious evidence that they did not pay for it or any other loan.

The evidence that they did not pay consists of a lot of things but once piece of logic is irrefutable — if they were a holder in due course you would be left with no defenses. If they are not a holder in due course then they had no right to collect money from you and you might sue to get your payments back with interest, attorney fees and possibly punitive damages unless they turned over all your money to the real creditors — but that would require them to identify your real creditors (the investors who thought they were buying mortgage bonds but whose money was never given to the Trust but was instead used privately by the securities broker that did the underwriting on the bond offering).

And the main logical point for an assumption is that if they were a holder in due course they would have said so and you would be fighting with an empty gun except for predatory and improper lending practices at the loan closing which cannot be brought against the Trust and must be directed at the mortgage broker and “originator.” They have not alleged they are a holder in course.

The elements of holder in dude course are purchase for value, delivery of the loan documents, in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. If they had paid for the loan documents they would have been more than happy to show that they did and then claim holder in due course status. The fact that the documents were not delivered in the manner set forth in the PSA — tot he depositor and custodian — is important but not likely to swing the Judge your way. If they paid they are a holder in due course.

The trust could not possibly be attacked successfully as lacking good faith or knowing the borrower’s defenses, so two out of four elements of HDC they already have. Their claim of delivery might be dubious but is not likely to convince a judge to nullify the mortgage or prevent its enforcement. Delivery will be presumed if they show up with what appears to be the original note and mortgage. So that means 3 out of the four elements of HDC status are satisfied by the Trust. The only remaining question is whether they ever entered into a transaction in which they originated or acquired any loans and whether yours was one of them.

Since they have not alleged HDC status, they are admitting they never paid for it. That means the Trust is admitting there was no payment, which means they were not entitled to delivery or ownership of the note, mortgage, or debt.

So that means they NEVER OWNED THE DEBT OR THE LOAN DOCUMENTS. AS A HOLDER IN COURSE IT WOULD NOT MATTER IF THEY OWNED THE DEBT — THE LOAN DOCUMENTS ARE ENFORCEABLE BY A HOLDER IN DUE COURSE EVEN IF THERE IS NO DEBT. THE RISK OF LOSS TO ANY PERSON WHO SIGNS A NOTE AND MORTGAGE AND ALLOWS IT TO BE TAKEN OUT OF HIS OR HER POSSESSION IS ON THE PARTY WHO TOOK IT AND THE PARTY WHO SIGNED IT — IF THERE WAS NO CONSIDERATION, THE DOCUMENTS ARE ONLY SUCCESSFULLY ENFORCED WHERE AN INNOCENT PARTY PAYS REAL VALUE AND TAKES DELIVERY OF THE NOTE AND MORTGAGE IN GOOD FAITH WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF THE BORROWER’S DEFENSES.

So if they did not allege they are an HDC then they are admitting they don’t own the loan papers and admitting they don’t own the loan. Since the business of the trust was to pay for origination of loans and acquisition of loans there is only one reason they wouldn’t have paid for the loan — to wit: the trust didn’t have the money. There is only one reason the trust would not have the money — they didn’t get the proceeds of the sale of the bonds. If the trust did not get the proceeds of sale of the bonds, then the trust was completely ignored in actual conduct regardless of what the documents say. Which means that the documents are not relevant to the power or authority of the servicer, master servicer, trust, or even the investors as TRUST BENEFICIARIES.

It means that the investors’ money was used directly for fees of multiple people who were not disclosed in your loan closing, and some portion of which was used to fund your loan. THAT MEANS the investors have no claim as trust beneficiaries. Their only claim is as owner of the debt, not the loan documents which were made out in favor of people other than the investors. And that means that there is no basis to claim any power, authority or rights claimed through “Securitization” (dubbed “securitization fail” by Adam Levitin).

This in turn means that the investors are owners of the debt but lack any documentation with which to enforce the debt. That doesn’t mean they can’t enforce the debt, but it does mean they can’t use the loan documents. Once they prove or you admit that you did get the loan and that the money came from them, they are entitled to a money judgment on the debt — but there is no right to foreclose because the deed of trust, like a mortgage, is made out to another party and the investors were never included in the chain of title because the intermediaries were  making money keeping it from the investors. More importantly the “other party” had no risk, made no money advance and was otherwise simply providing an illegal service to disguise a table funded loan that is “predatory per se” as per REG Z.

And THAT is why the originator received no money from successors in most cases — they didn’t ask for any money because the loan had cost them nothing and they received a fee for their services.

Levitin and Yves Smith – TRUST=EMPTY PAPER BAG

Living Lies Narrative Corroborated by Increasing Number of Respected Economists

It has taken over 7 years, but finally my description of the securitization process has taken hold. Levitin calls it “securitization fail.” Yves Smith agrees.

Bottom line: there was no securitization, the trusts were merely empty sham nominees for the investment banks and the “assignments,” transfers, and endorsements of the fabricated paper from illegal closings were worthless, fraudulent and caused incomprehensible damage to everyone except the perpetrators of the crime. They call it “infinite rehypothecation” on Wall Street. That makes it seem infinitely complex. Call it what you want, it was civil and perhaps criminal theft. Courts enforcing this fraudulent worthless paper will be left with egg on their faces as the truth unravels now.

There cannot be a valid foreclosure because there is no valid mortgage. I know. This makes no sense when you approach it from a conventional point of view. But if you watch closely you can see that the “loan closing” was a shell game. Money from a non disclosed third party (the investors) was sent through conduits to hide the origination of the funds for the loan. The closing agent used that money not for the originator of the funds (the investors) but for a sham nominee entity with no rights to the loan — all as specified in the assignment and assumption agreement. The note and and mortgage were a sham. And the reason the foreclosing parties do not allege they are holders in due course, is that they must prove purchase and delivery for value, as set forth in the PSA within the 90 day period during which the Trust could operate. None of the loans made it.

But on Main street it was at its root a combination pyramid scheme and PONZI scheme. All branches of government are complicit in continuing the fraud and allowing these merchants of “death” to continue selling what they call bonds deriving their value from homeowner or student loans. Having made a “deal with the devil” both the Bush and Obama administrations conscripted themselves into the servitude of the banks and actively assisted in the coverup. — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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John Lindeman in Miami asked me years ago when he first starting out in foreclosure defense, how I would describe the REMIC Trust. My reply was “a holographic image of an empty paper bag.” Using that as the basis of his defense of homeowners, he went on to do very well in foreclosure defense. He did well because he kept asking questions in discovery about the actual transactions, he demanded the PSA, he cornered the opposition into admitting that their authority had to come from the PSA when they didn’t want to admit that. They didn’t want to admit it because they knew the Trust had no ownership interest in the loan and would never have it.

While the narrative regarding “securitization fail” (see Adam Levitin) seems esoteric and even pointless from the homeowner’s point of view, I assure you that it is the direct answer to the alleged complaint that the borrower breached a duty to the foreclosing party. That is because the foreclosing party has no interest in the loan and has no legal authority to even represent the owner of the debt.

And THAT is because the owner of the debt is a group of investors and NOT the REMIC Trust that funded the loan. Thus the Trust, unfunded had no resources to buy or fund the origination of loans. So they didn’t buy it and it wasn’t delivered. Hence they can’t claim Holder in Due Course status because “purchase for value” is one of the elements of the prima facie case for a Holder in Due Course. There was no purchase and there was no transaction. Hence the suing parties could not possibly be authorized to represent the owner of the debt unless they got it from the investors who do own it, not from the Trust that doesn’t own it.

This of course raises many questions about the sudden arrival of “assignments” when the wave of foreclosures began. If you asked for the assignment on any loan that was NOT in foreclosure you couldn’t get it because their fabrication system was not geared to produce it. Why would anyone assign a valuable loan with security to a trust or anyone else without getting paid for it? Only one answer is possible — the party making the assignment was acting out a part and made money in fees pretending to convey an interest the assignor did not have. And so it goes all the way down the chain. The emptiness of the REMIC Trust is merely a mirror reflection of the empty closing with homeowners. The investors and the homeowners were screwed the same way.

BOTTOM LINE: The investors are stuck with ownership of a debt or claim against the borrowers for what was loaned to the borrower (which is only a fraction of the money given to the broker for lending to homeowners). They also have claims against the brokers who took their money and instead of delivering the proceeds of the sale of bonds to the Trust, they used it for their own benefit. Those claims are unsecured and virtually undocumented (except for wire transfer receipts and wire transfer instructions). The closing agent was probably duped the same way as the borrower at the loan closing which was the same as the way the investors were duped in settlement of the IPO of RMBS from the Trust.

In short, neither the note nor the mortgage are valid documents even though they appear facially valid. They are not valid because they are subject to borrower’s defenses. And the main borrower defense is that (a) the originator did not loan them money and (b) all the parties that took payments from the homeowner owe that money back to the homeowner plus interest, attorney fees and perhaps punitive damages. Suing on a fictitious transaction can only be successful if the homeowner defaults (fails to defend) or the suing party is a holder in due course.

Trusts Are Empty Paper Bags — Naked Capitalism

student-loan-debt-home-buying

Just as with homeowner loans, student loans have a series of defenses created by the same chicanery as the false “securitization” of homeowner loans. LivingLies is opening a new division to assist people with student loan problems if they are prepared to fight the enforcement on the merits. Student loan debt, now over $1 Trillion is dragging down housing, and the economy. Call 520-405-1688 and 954-495-9867)

The Banks Are Leveraged: Too Big Not to Fail

When I was working with Brad Keiser (formerly a top executive at Fifth Third Bank), he formulated, based upon my narrative, a way to measure the risk of bank collapse. Using a “leverage” ration he and I were able to accurately define the exact order of the collapse of the investment banks before it happened. In September, 2008 based upon the leverage ratios we published our findings and used them at a seminar in California. The power Point presentation is still available for purchase. (Call 520-405-1688 or 954-495-9867). You can see it yourself. The only thing Brad got wrong was the timing. He said 6 months. It turned out to be 6 weeks.

First on his list was Bear Stearns with leverage at 42:1. With the “shadow banking market” sitting at close to $1 quadrillion (about 17 times the total amount of all money authorized by all governments of the world) it is easy to see how there are 5 major banks that are leveraged in excess of the ratio at Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill Lynch et al.

The point of the article that I don’t agree with at all is the presumption that if these banks fail the economy will collapse. There is no reason for it to collapse and the dependence the author cites is an illusion. The fall of these banks will be a psychological shock world wide, and I agree it will obviously happen soon. We have 7,000 community banks and credit unions that use the exact same electronic funds transfer backbone as the major banks. There are multiple regional associations of these institutions who can easily enter into the same agreements with government, giving access at the Fed window and other benefits given to the big 5, and who will purchase the bonds of government to keep federal and state governments running. Credit markets will momentarily freeze but then relax.

Broward County Court Delays Are Actually A PR Program to Assure Investors Buying RMBS

The truth is that the banks don’t want to manage the properties, they don’t need the house and in tens of thousands of cases (probably in the hundreds of thousands since the last report), they simply walk away from the house and let it be foreclosed for non payment of taxes, HOA assessments etc. In some of the largest cities in the nation, tens of thousands of abandoned homes (where the homeowner applied for modification and was denied because the servicer had no intention or authority to give it them) were BULL-DOZED  and the neighborhoods converted into parks.

The banks don’t want the money and they don’t want the house. If you offer them the money they back peddle and use every trick in the book to get to foreclosure. This is clearly not your usual loan situation. Why would anyone not accept payment in full?

What they DO want is a judgment that transfers ownership of the debt from the true owners (the investors) to the banks. This creates the illusion of ratification of prior transactions where the same loan was effectively sold for 100 cents on the dollar not by the investors who made the loan, but by the banks who sold the investors on the illusion that they were buying secured loans, Triple AAA rated, and insured. None of it was true because the intended beneficiary of the paper, the insurance money, the multiple sales, and proceeds of hedge products and guarantees were all pocketed by the banks who had sold worthless bogus mortgage bonds without expending a dime or assuming one cent of risk.

Delaying the prosecution of foreclosures is simply an opportunity to spread out the pain over time and thus keep investors buying these bonds. And they ARE buying the new bonds even though the people they are buying from already defrauded them by NOT delivering the proceeds fro the sale of the bonds to the Trust that issued them.

Why make “bad” loans? Because they make money for the bank especially when they fail

The brokers are back at it, as though they haven’t caused enough damage. The bigger the “risk” on the loan the higher the interest rate to compensate for that risk of loss. The higher interest rates result in less money being loaned out to achieve the dollar return promised to investors who think they are buying RMBS issued by a REMIC Trust. So the investor pays out $100 Million, expects $5 million per year return, and the broker sells them a complex multi-tranche web of worthless paper. In that basket of “loans” (that were never made by the originator) are 10% and higher loans being sold as though they were conventional 5% loans. So the actual loan is $50 Million, with the broker pocketing the difference. It is called a yield spread premium. It is achieved through identity theft of the borrower’s reputation and credit.

Banks don’t want the house or the money. They want the Foreclosure Judgment for “protection”

 

When an assignment of a mortgage is invalid, does it require a foreclosure case to be dismissed?

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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There seems to be confusion about what is necessary to file a foreclosure. To start with the basics, the debt is created when the borrower receives the funds or when the funds are disbursed for the benefit of the borrower. This requires no documentation. The receipt of funds presumptively implies a loan that is a demand loan. The source of funding is the creditor and the borrower is the debtor. The promissory note is EVIDENCE of the debt and contains the terms of repayment. In residential loan transactions it changes the terms from a demand loan to a term loan with periodic payments.

But without the debt, the note is worthless — unless the note gets into the hands of a party who claims status as a holder in due course. In that case the debt doesn’t exist but the liability to pay under the terms of the note can be enforced anyway. In foreclosure litigation based upon paper where there are claims or evidence of securitization, there are virtually all cases in which the “holder” of the note seeks enforcement, it does NOT allege the status of holder in due course. To the contrary, many cases contain an admission that the note doesn’t exist because it was lost or destroyed.

The lender is the party who loans the money to the borrower.  The lender can bring suit against the borrower for failure to pay and receive a money judgment that can be enforced against income or non-exempt property of the borrower by writ of garnishment or attachment. There is no limit to the borrower’s defenses and counterclaims against the lender, assuming they are based on facts that show improper conduct by the lender. The contest does NOT require anything in writing. If the party seeking to enforce the debt wishes to rely on a note as evidence of the debt, their claim about the validity of the note as evidence or as information containing the terms of repayment may be contested by the borrower.

If the note is transferred by endorsement and delivery, the transferee can enforce the note under most circumstances. But the transferee of the note takes the note subject to all defenses of the borrower. So if the borrower says that the loan never happened or denies it in his answer the lender and its successors must prove the loan actually took place. This is true in all cases EXCEPT situations where the transferee purchases the note for value, gets delivery and endorsement, and is acting in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses (UCC refers to this as a holder in due course). The borrower who signs a note without receiving the consideration of the loan is taking the risk that he or she has created a debt or liability if the eventual transferee claims to be a holder in due course. Further information on the creation and transfer of notes as negotiable paper is contained in Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

Thus the questions about enforceability of the note or recovery on the debt are fairly well settled. The question is what happens in the case where collateral for the loan secures the performance required under the note. This is done with a security instrument which in real property transactions is a mortgage or deed of trust. This is a separate contract between the lender and the borrower. It says that if the borrower does not pay or fails to pay taxes, maintain the property, insure the property etc., the lender may foreclose and the borrower will forfeit the collateral. This suit is an action to enforce the security instrument (mortgage, deed of trust etc.) seeking to foreclose all claims inferior to the rights of the lender established when the mortgage or deed of trust was recorded.

The mortgage is a contract that does not qualify as a negotiable instrument and so is not covered by Article 3 of the UCC. It is covered by Article 9 of the UCC (Secured Transactions). The general rule is that a party who purchases the mortgage instrument for value in good faith and without knowledge of the  borrower’s defenses may enforce the mortgage if the contract is breached by the borrower. This coincides with the requirement that the holder of the mortgage must also be a holder in due course of the note — if the breach consists of failure to pay under the terms of the note. Any party may assign their rights under a contract unless the contract itself says that it is not assignable or assignment is barred by statute or administrative rules.

The “assignment” of the mortgage or deed of trust is generally taken to be an instrument of conveyance. But forfeiture of collateral, particularly one’s home, is considered to be a much more severe remedy against the borrower than a money judgment for economic loss caused by breach of the borrower in making payments on a legitimate debt. So the statute (Article 9, UCC)  requires that the assignment be the result of an actual transaction in which the mortgage is purchased for value. The confusion that erupts here is that no reasonable person would merely purchase a mortgage which is not really an asset deriving its value from a borrower’s promise to pay. That asset is the note.

So if the note is purchased for value, and assuming the purchaser receives delivery and endorsement of the note, as a holder in due course there is no question that the mortgage assignment is valid and enforceable by the assignee. The problems that have emerged is when, if ever, any value was paid to anyone in the “chain” on either the note or the mortgage. If no value was paid then the note might be enforceable subject to borrower’s defenses but the mortgage cannot be enforced. Additional issues emerge where the “proof” (often fabricated robo-signed documents) imply through hearsay that the note was the subject of a transaction at a different time than the date on the assignment. Denial and/or discovery would reveal the fraud upon the Court here — assuming you can persuasively argue that the production of evidence is required.

Another interesting question comes up when you seen the language of endorsement on the mortgage. This might be seen as splitting hairs, but I think it is more than that. To assign a mortgage in form that would ordinarily be accepted in general commerce — and in particular by banks — the assignment would be in the form that recites the ownership of the mortgage and the intention to convey it and on what terms. Instead, many cases show that there is an additional page stapled to the mortgage which contains only the endorsement to a particular party or blank endorsement. The endorsement is not recordable whereas a facially valid assignment is recordable.

The attachment of the last page could mean nothing was conveyed or that it was accidentally done in addition to a proper assignment. But I have seen several cases where the only evidence of assignment was a stamped endorsement, undated, in which there was no assignment. This appears to be designed to confuse the Judge who might be encouraged to apply the rules of transfer of the note to the circumstances of transfer of the mortgage. This smoke and mirrors approach often results in a foreclosure judgment in favor of a party who has paid nothing for the debt, note or mortgage. It leaves the actual lender out in the cold without a note or mortgage which they should have received.

It is these and other factors which have resulted in trial and appellate decisions that appear to be in conflict with each other. Currently in Florida the Supreme Court is deciding whether to issue an opinion on whether the assignment after the lawsuit has begun cures jurisdictional standing. The standing rule in Florida is that if you don’t own the mortgage at the time you declare a default, acceleration and sue, then those actions are essentially void.

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Valid assignment is necessary for the plaintiff to have standing in a foreclosure case. (David E. Peterson, Cracking the Mortgage Assignment Shell Game, The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 85, No. 9, November, 2011, page 18).

In BAC Funding Consortium v. Jean-Jeans and US Bank National Association, the Second District of Florida reversed summary judgment for a foreclosure for bank because there was no evidence that the bank validly held the note and mortgage. BAC Funding Consortium Inc. ISAOA/ATIMA v. Jean-Jacques 28 So.2d, 936.

BAC has been negatively distinguished by two cases:

  • Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, 36 So.3d 932, (Fla.App. 4 Dist.,2010) was distinguished from BAC, because in BAC the bank did not file an affidavits that the mortgage was properly assigned; in Riggs they did. The 4th District held that the “company’s possession of original note, indorsed in blank, established company’s status as lawful holder of note, entitled to enforce its terms.” [Editor’s note: The appellate court might have erred here. The enforcement of the note and the enforcement of the mortgage are two different things as described above].
  • Dage v. Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co., 95 So.3d 1021, (Fla.App. 2 Dist.,2012) was distinguished from BAC, because in Dage, the homeowners waited two years to challenge the foreclosure judgment on the grounds that the bank lacked standing due to invalid assignment of mortgage. The court held that a lack of standing is merely voidable, not void, and the homeowners had to challenge the ruling in a timely manner. [Editor’s note: Jurisdiction is normally construed as something that cannot be invoked at a later time. It can even be invoked for the first time on appeal.]

In his article, “Cracking the Mortgage Assignment Shell Game,” Peterson in on the side of the banks and plaintiffs in foreclosure cases, but his section “Who Has Standing to Foreclosure the Mortgage?” is full of valuable insights about when a case can be dismissed based on invalid assignment. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’ve copied and pasted the section below:

It should come as no surprise that the holder of the promissory note has standing to maintain a foreclosure action.34 Further, an agent for the holder can sue to foreclose.35 The holder of a collateral assignment has sufficient standing to foreclose.36 [Editor’s note: Here again we see the leap of faith that just because someone might have standing to sue on the note, they automatically have standing to sue on the mortgage, even if no value was paid for either the note or the mortgage].

Failure to file the original promissory note or offer evidence of standing might preclude summary judgment.37 Even when the plaintiff files the original, it might be necessary to offer additional evidence to show that the plaintiff is the holder or has rights as a nonholder. In BAC Funding Consortium, Inc. v. Jean-Jacques, 28 So. 3d 936 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010), for example, the court reversed a summary judgment of foreclosure, saying the plaintiff had not proven it held the note. The written assignment was incomplete and unsigned. The plaintiff filed the original note, which showed an indorsement to another person, but no indorsement to the plaintiff. The court found that was insufficient. Clearly, a party in possession of a note indorsed to another is not a “holder,” but recall that Johns v. Gillian holds that a written assignment is not needed to show standing when the transferee receives delivery of the note. The court’s ruling in BAC Funding Consortium was based on the heavy burden required for summary judgment. The court said the plaintiff did not offer an affidavit or deposition proving it held the note and suggested that “proof of purchase of the debt, or evidence of an effective transfer” might substitute for an assignment.38 [e.s.]

In Jeff-Ray Corp. v. Jacobson, 566 So. 2d 885 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990), the court held that an assignment executed after the filing of the foreclosure case was not sufficient to show the plaintiff had standing at the time the complaint was filed. In WM Specialty Mortgage, LLC v. Salomon, 874 So. 2d 680 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004), however, the court distinguished Jeff-Ray Corp., stating that the execution date of the written assignment was less significant when the plaintiff could show that it acquired the mortgage before filing the foreclosure without a written assignment, as permitted by Johns v. Gilliam.39

When the note is lost, a document trail showing ownership is important. The burden in BAC Funding Consortium might be discharged by an affidavit confirming that the note was sold to the plaintiff prior to foreclosure. Corroboratory evidence of sale documents or payment of consideration is icing on the cake, but probably not needed absent doubt over the plaintiff’s rights. If doubt remains, indemnity can be required if needed to protect the mortgagor.40 [e.s.] 34  Philogene v. ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc., 948 So. 2d 45 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2006); Fla. Stat. §673.3011(1) (2010).

35                  Juega v. Davidson, 8 So. 3d 488 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2009); Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v. Revoredo, 955 So. 2d 33, 34, fn. 2 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2007) (stating that MERS was holder, but not owner and “We simply don’t think that this makes any difference. See Fla. R.Civ. P. 1.210(a) (action may be prosecuted in name of authorized person without joining party for whose benefit action is brought)”). [Editor’s note: This is an example of judicial ignorance of what is really happening. MERS is a conduit, a naked nominee, whose existence is meaningless, as is its records of transfer or ownership of the the debt, the note or the mortgage]

36                  Laing v. Gainey Builders, Inc., 184 So. 2d 897 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1966) (collateral assignee was a holder); Cullison v. Dees, 90 So. 2d 620 (Fla. 1956) (same, except involving validity of payments rather than standing to foreclose).

37                  See Fla. Stat. §673.3091(2) (2010); Servedio v. US Bank Nat. Ass’n, 46 So. 3d 1105 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2010).

38                  BAC Funding Consortium, Inc. v. Jean-Jacques, 28 So. 3d at 938-939 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2010). See also Verizzo v. Bank of New York, 28 So. 3d 976 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2010) (Bank filed original note, but indorsement was to a different bank). But see Lizio v. McCullom, 36 So. 3d 927 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2010) (possession of note is prima facie evidence of ownership). [Editor’s note: this is the nub of the problems in foreclosure litigation. The law requires purchase for value for ownership, along with other criteria described above. This court’s conclusion places an unfair burden of proof on the borrower. The party with the sole care, custody and control of the actual evidence and information about the transfer or sale of the ndebt, note or mortgage is the Plaintiff. The plaintiff should therefore be required to show the details of the transaction in which the debt, note or mortgage was acquired. To me, that means showing a cancelled check or wire transfer receipt in which the reference was to the loan in dispute. Anything less than that raises questions about whether the loan implied by the note and mortgage ever existed. See my previous articles regarding securitization where the actual loan was actually applied from third party funds. hence the originator, who did not loan any money, was never paid for note or mortgage because consideration from a third party had already passed.]

39                  See also Glynn v. First Union Nat. Bank, 912 So. 2d 357 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2005), rev. den., 933 So. 2d 521 (Fla. 2006) (note transferred before lawsuit, even though assignment was after). [Editor’s note: if the note and mortgage were in fact transfered for actual value (with proof of payment) then a “late” assignment might properly be categorized as a clerical issue rather than a legal one — because the substance of the transaction actually took place long before the assignment was executed and recorded. But the cautionary remark here is that in all probability, nobody who relies upon the “Chain” ever paid anything but fees to their predecessor. Why would they? If the consideration already passed from third party — i.e., pension fund money — why would the originator or any successor be entitled to demand the value of the note and mortgage? The originator in that scenario is neither the lender nor the owner of the debt and therefore should be given no rights under the note and mortgage, where title was diverted from the third party who DID the the loan to the originator who did NOT fund the loan. 40 Fla. Stat. §673.3091(2) (2010); Fla. Stat. §69.061 (2010).-David E. Peterson, “Cracking the Mortgage Assignment Shell Game”, The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 85, No. 9, November, 2011.

I also came across a blog post from another attorney on how to argue Florida assignments of judges. I don’t know how reliable this is, but it does cite several cases, and may be a useful resource to you: http://discoverytactics.wordpress.com/tactics-strategies/how-to-argue-florida-assignments-to-judges/. Someone also posted the content of the above link verbatim in a comment on my blog at http://livinglies.me/foreclosure-defense-forms/people-players-and-resources/state-laws/florida-laws/.

 

Banks Use Trial Modifications as a Pathway to Foreclosure — Neil Garfield Show 6 P.M. EDT Thursdays

Banks Use Modifications Against Homeowners

Click in or phone in at The Neil Garfield Show

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

It is bad enough that they outright lie to homeowners and tell them they MUST be 90 days behind in payments to get a modification. That isn’t true and it is a ruse to get the homeowner to stop paying and get into a default situation. But the reports from across the country show that the banks are using a variety of tricks and scams to dishonor modification agreements. First they say that just because they did the underwriting and approved the trial modification doesn’t mean that they are bound to make the modification permanent. Most courts disagree. If you make a deal with offer, acceptance and consideration, and one side performs (the homeowner made the trial payments) then the other side must perform (the Bank).

What is really happening is that the bank is converting the loan from a loan funded by investors to a loan NOT funded by the bank. They are steering people into “in house” loans. The hubris of these people is incredible. Why are the investors sitting on their hands? Do they STILL not get it?
Regardless of whether the modification is enforced or forced into foreclosure or converted to an in house loan, the investor loses with the stamp of approval from the court. And the borrower is now paying a party that already collected his loan principal several times over while the real lender is getting birdseed. The investors lose no matter how the case is decided. And the Courts are failing to realize that the fate of the money from a Pension Fund is being decided without any opportunity for the investors to have notice, much less be heard.
Why is this important? Because the banks converted one debt from the borrower into many debts — all secured by the same mortgage. It doesn’t work that way in real life — except now, when courts still refuse to educate themselves on the theory and reality of securitization of debt.
http://www.occupy.com/article/when-fighting-your-home-becomes-biggest-fight-your-life
——————————-FROM RECENTSHOWHOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? — Introducing two upcomingCLE Seminars from the Garfield Continuum onVoir Dire of corporate representatives in foreclosure litigation. The first is atwo hour telephone conference devoted exclusively tovoir dire examination and the second is a full day on onlyvoir dire pluscross examination. The show is free. Topreregister for the mini seminar onvoir dire or the full seminar onvoir dire andcross examination (at a discount) call 954-495-9867.

  • Overview of Foreclosure Litigation in Florida and Other States
  • The need for copies of actual case law and even memoranda supporting your line of questioning
  • The Three Rules for Questioning
  • —– (1) Know why you want to inquire
  • —– (2) Listen to the Answer
  • —– (3) Follow up and comment
  • What to ask, and when to ask it
  • The difference between voir dire and cross examination
  • Getting traction with the presiding Judge
  • Developing your goals and strategies
  • Developing a narrative
  • Impeaching the witness before he or she gets started
  • Preparing your own witnesses for voir dire questions

 

IF YOU MISSED IT: Go to blog radio link and click on the Neil Garfield Show — past shows include—-

News abounds as we hear of purchases of loans and bonds. Some of these are repurchases. Some are in litigation, like $1.1 Billion worth in suit brought by Trustees against the broker dealer Merrill Lynch, which was purchased by Bank of America. What do these purchases mean for people in litigation. If the loan was repurchased or all the loan claims were settled, does the trust still exist? Did it ever exist? Was it ever funded? Did it ever own the loans? Why are lawyers unwilling to make representations that the Trust is a holder in due course? Wouldn’t that settle everything? And what is the significance of the $3 trillion in bonds purchased by the Federal Reserve, mostly mortgage backed bonds? This and more tonight with questions and answers:

Adding the list of questions I posted last week (see below), I put these questions ahead of all others:

  1. If the party on the note and mortgage is NOT REALLY the lender, why should they be allowed to have their name on the note or mortgage, why are those documents distributed instead of returned to the borrower because he signed in anticipation of receiving a loan from the party disclosed, as per Federal and state law. Hint: think of your loan as a used car. Where is the contract (offer, acceptance and consideration).
  2. If the party receiving an assignment from the false payee on the note does NOT pay for it, why are we treating the assignment as a cure for documents that were worthless in the first place. Hint: Paper Chase — the more paper you throw at a worthless transaction the more real it appears in the eyes of others.
  3. If the party receiving the assignment from the false payee has no relationship with the real lender, and neither does the false payee on the note, why are we allowing their successors to force people out of their homes on a debt the “bank” never owned? Hint: POLITICS: What is the position of the Federal reserve that has now purchased trillions of dollars of the “mortgage bonds” from banks who never owned the bonds that were issued by REMIC trusts that never received the proceeds of sale of the bonds.
  4. If the lenders (investors) are receiving payments from settlements with the institutions that created this mess, why is the balance owed by the borrower the same after the settlement, when the lender’s balance has been reduced? Hint: Arithmetic. John owes Sally 5 bananas. Hank gives Sally 3 bananas and says this is for John. How many bananas does John owe Sally now?
  5. And for extra credit: are the broker dealers who said they were brokering and underwriting the issuance of mortgage bonds from REMIC trusts guilty of anything when they don’t give the proceeds from the sale of the bonds to the Trusts that issued those bonds? What is the effect on the contractual relationship between the lenders and the borrowers? Hint: VANISHING MONEY replaced by volumes of paper — the same at both ends of the transaction, to wit: the borrower and the investor/lender.

1. What is a holder in due course? When can an HDC enforce a note even when there are problems with the original loan? What does it mean to be a purchaser for value, in good faith, without notice of borrower’s defenses?

2. What is a holder and how is that different from a holder with rights to enforce? What does it mean to be a holder subject to all the maker’s defenses including lack of consideration (i.e. no loan from the Payee).

3. What is a possessor of a note?

4. What is a bailee of a note?

5. If the note cannot be enforced, can the mortgage still be foreclosed? It seems that many people don’t know the answer to this question.

6. The question confronting us is FORECLOSURE (ENFORCEMENT) OF A MORTGAGE. If the status of a holder of a note is in Article III of the UCC, why are we even discussing “holder” when enforcement of mortgages is governed by Article IV of the UCC?

7. Does the question of “holder” or holder in due course or any of that even apply in the original loan transaction? Hint: NO.

8. Homework assignment: Google “Infinite rehypothecation”

For more information call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688.

 

A Foreclosure Judgment and Sale is a Forced Assignment Against the Interests of Investors and For the Interests of the Bank Intermediaries

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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Successfully hoodwinking a Judge into entering a Judgment of Foreclosure and forcing the sale of a homeowner’s property has the effect of transferring the loss on that loan from the securities broker and its co-venturers to the Pension Fund that gave the money to the securities broker. Up until the moment of the foreclosure, the loss will fall on the securities brokers for damages, refunds etc. Once foreclosure is entered it sets in motion a legal cascade that protects the securities broker from further claims for fraud against the investors, insurers, and guarantors.

The securities broker was thought to be turning over the proceeds to the Trust which issued bonds in an IPO. Instead the securities broker used the money for purposes and in ways that were — according to the pleadings of the investors, the government, guarantors, and insurers — FRAUDULENT. Besides raising the issue of unclean hands, these facts eviscerate the legal enforcement of loan documents that were, according to those same parties, fraudulent, unenforceable and subject to claims for damages and punitive damages from borrowers.

There is a difference between documents that talk about a transaction and the transaction documents themselves. That is the essence of the fraud perpetrated by the banks in most of the foreclosure actions that I have reviewed. The documents that talk about a transaction are referring to a transaction that never existed. Documents that “talk about” a transaction include a note, mortgage, assignment, power of attorney etc. Documents that ARE the transaction documents include the actual evidence of actual payments like a wire transfer or canceled check and the actual evidence of delivery of the loan documents — like Fedex receipts or other form of correspondence showing that the recipient was (a) the right recipient and (b) actually received the documents.

The actual movement of the actual money and actual Transaction Documents has been shrouded in secrecy since this mortgage mess began. It is time to come clean.

THE REAL DEBT: The real debt does NOT arise unless someone gets something from someone else that is legally recognized as “value” or consideration. Upon receipt of that, the recipient now owes a duty to the party who gave that “something” to him or her. In this case, it is simple. If you give money to someone, it is presumed that a debt arises to pay it back — to the person who loaned it to you. What has happened here is that the real debt arose by operation of common law (and in some cases statutory law) when the borrower received the money or the money was used, with his consent, for his benefit. Now he owes the money back. And he owes it to the party whose money was used to fund the loan transaction — not the party on paperwork that “talks about” the transaction.

The implied ratification that is being used in the courts is wrong. The investors not only deny the validity of the loan transactions with homeowners, but they have sued the securities brokers for fraud (not just breach of contract) and they have received considerable sums of money in settlement of their claims. How those settlement effect the balance owed by the debtor is unclear — but it certainly introduces the concept that damages have been mitigated, and the predatory loan practices and appraisal fraud at closing might entitle the borrowers to a piece of those settlements — probably in the form of a credit against the amount owed.

Thus when demand is made to see the actual transaction documents, like a canceled check or wire transfer receipt, the banks fight it tooth and nail. When I represented banks and foreclosures, if the defendant challenged whether or not there was a transaction and if it was properly done, I would immediately submit the affidavits real witnesses with real knowledge of the transaction and absolute proof with a copy of a canceled check, wire transfer receipt or deposit into the borrowers account. The dispute would be over. There would be nothing to litigate.

There is no question in my mind that the banks are afraid of the question of payment and delivery. With increasing frequency, I am advised of confidential settlements where the homeowner’s attorney was relentless in pursuing the truth about the loan, the ownership (of the DEBT, not the “note” which is supposed to be ONLY evidence of the debt) and the balance. The problem is that none of the parties in the “chain” ever paid a dime (except in fees) and none of them ever received delivery of closing documents. This is corroborated by the absence of the Depositor and Custodian in the “chain”.

The plain truth is that the securities broker took money from the investor/lender and instead of of delivering the proceeds to the Trust (I.e, lending the money to the Trust), the securities broker set up an elaborate scheme of loaning the money directly to borrowers. So they diverted money from the Trust to the borrower’s closing table. Then they diverted title to the loan from the investor/lenders to a controlled entity of the securities broker.

The actual lender is left with virtually no proof of the loan. The note and mortgage is been made out in favor of an entity that was never disclosed to the investor and would never have been approved by the investor is the fund manager of the pension fund had been advised of the actual way in which the money of the pension fund had been channeled into mortgage originations and mortgage acquisitions.

Since the prospectus and the pooling and servicing agreement both rule out the right of the investors and the Trustee from inquiring into the status of the loans or the the “portfolio” (which is nonexistent),  it is a perfect storm for moral hazard.  The securities broker is left with unbridled ability to do anything it wants with the money received from the investor without the investor ever knowing what happened.

Hence the focal point for our purposes is the negligence or intentional act of the closing agent in receiving money from one actual lender who was undisclosed and then applying it to closing documents with a pretender lender who was a controlled entity of the securities broker.  So what you have here is an undisclosed lender who is involuntarily lending money directly a homeowner purchase or refinance a home. The trust is ignored  an obviously the terms of the trust are avoided and ignored. The REMIC Trust is unfunded and essentially without a trustee —  and none of the transactions contemplated in the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement ever occurred.

The final judgment of foreclosure forces the “assignment” into a “trust” that was unfunded, didn’t have a Trustee with any real powers, and didn’t ever get delivery of the closing documents to the Depositor or Custodian. This results in forcing a bad loan into the trust, which presumably enables the broker to force the loss from the bad loans onto the investors. They also lose their REMIC status which means that the Trust is operating outside the 90 day cutoff period. So the Trust now has a taxable event instead of being treated as a conduit like a Subchapter S corporation. This creates double taxation for the investor/lenders.

The forced “purchase” of the REMIC Trust takes place without notice to the investors or the Trust as to the conflict of interest between the Servicers, securities brokers and other co-venturers. The foreclosure is pushed through even when there is a credible offer of modification from the borrower that would allow the investor to recover perhaps as much as 1000% of the amount reported as final proceeds on liquidation of the REO property.

So one of the big questions that goes unanswered as yet, is why are the investor/lenders not given notice and an opportunity to be heard when the real impact of the foreclosure only effects them and does not effect the intermediaries, whose interests are separate and apart from the debt that arose when the borrower received the money from the investor/lender?

The only parties that benefit from a foreclosure sale are the ones actively pursuing the foreclosure who of course receive fees that are disproportional to the effort, but more importantly the securities broker closes the door on potential liability for refunds, repurchases, damages to be paid from fraud claims from investors, guarantors and other parties and even punitive damages arising out of the multiple sales of the same asset to different parties.

If the current servicers were removed, since they have no actual authority anyway (The trust was ignored so the authority arising from the trust must be ignored), foreclosures would virtually end. Nearly all cases would be settled on one set of terms or another, enabling the investors to recover far more money (even though they are legally unsecured) than what the current “intermediaries” are giving them.

If this narrative gets out into the mainstream, the foreclosing parties would be screwed. It would show that they have no right to foreclosure based upon a voidable mortgage securing a void promissory note. I received many calls last week applauding the articles I wrote last week explaining the securitization process — in concept, as it was written and how it operated in the real world ignoring the REMIC Trust entity. This is an attack on any claim the forecloser makes to having the rights to enforce — which can only come from a party who does have the right to enforce.

see http://livinglies.me/2014/09/10/securitization-for-lawyers-conflicts-between-reality-the-documents-and-the-concept/

Securitization for Lawyers: Conflicts between reality, the documents and the concept.

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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Editor’s Note: The solution is obvious. Remove the servicers, Trustees and other “collection” entities from the situation. Those entities have been working against investors, lenders, the Trusts, and borrowers from the start. They continue to obstruct settlements and modifications because they have substantial liability for performing loans.

Their best strategy is to create the illusion of defaults even when the creditor has been paid in full.

Our best strategy is to remove them from the mix. And then let the chips fall. Since they ignored the PSA they are not authorized to act anyway.

For those who are religious about free market forces, this should be appealing inasmuch as it lets the marketplace function without being hijacked by players who illegally cornered the marketplace in finance, currency and economic activity. — Neil Garfield, livinglies.me

Continuing with my article THE CONCEPT OF SECURITIZATION, and my subsequent article How Securitization Was Written by Wall Street, we continue now with the reality. What we find is predictable conflict arising out of the intentional ambiguity and vagueness of the securitization documents (Prospectus, Pooling and Servicing Agreement, Assignment and Assumption Agreement etc.). The conclusion I reach is that the Banks gambled on their ability to confuse lender/investors, borrowers, regulators, the rating agencies, the insurers, guarantors, counterparties to credit default swaps, the courts and the gamble has paid off, thus far.

THE ECONOMICS OF TOXIC WASTE MORTGAGE LOANS

It is easy to get lost in the maze of documents and transactional analysis. The simple fact is that the banks wanted to make more risky loans than the less risky loans that always worked but gave them only a sliver of the potential profit they would make if they threw their status and reputations to the wind. If they could cash in on the element of “trust” and that people would rather keep their money in a bank than under their mattress there was literally no end to the amount of money they could make. They could even use their hundred year old brand names to create the illusion that THEY would never do something as stupid as what I am about to show you:

  1. To make things simple assume that a pension fund has $1,000 that the fund manager wishes to invest in a low risk “investment.”
  2. Assume that the fund manager wants a 5% return on investment (ROI)
  3. That means of course that the fund manager expects to get his money back ($1,000) PLUS $50 per year (5% of $1,000 invested).
  4. So the fund manager calls one of his “trusted” brokers and tells the broker what the pension is looking for as a return.
  5. The broker tells the fund manager that there is an investment that qualifies.
  6. The fund manager sends the $1,000 from the pension fund to the broker.
  7. The broker lends 25% or $250 out of the $1,000, or so it seems, for interest at 5%, as demanded by the fund manager. It looks good enough that the fund manager wants to give the broker more money.
  8. The fund manager gets deposits of $50 per year and is quite happy.
  9. Skipping a few steps assume that the pension fund has been happily buying into this “investment” for a while.
  10. But the broker takes the next $1,000 and lends out only $500 at 10%, yielding a rate of return of 10% or $50. Oddly, the dollar return is exactly what the fund manager is expecting — $50 per year for each thousand invested.
  11. But the “investment” is only $500.
  12. So the broker forms a series of companies and has his “proprietary trading desk” execute a transaction in which the $500 loan is sold to the pension fund for $1,000. No money exchanges hands because the broker has already “invested” the money for his own purposes. Neither the pension fund nor the Trust gets anything from the broker-controlled entity that “sold” the loan that in many cases had not even been yet originated!
  13. The pension fund’s money is traveling a road very different than the one portrayed in the Prospectus and the Pooling and Servicing agreement. That pension money was used to originate most of the loans without even the originator knowing it. Unknown to the pension fund the pension money was sued to fund origination and acquisition of loans; this is opposite to the apparent IPO scenario where the Trust issued “mortgage-backed bonds” that the lender/investors thought they were buying. The transaction between the REMIC Trust and the pension fund was never completed. The REMIC Trust is left unfunded and the contract documents for the formation and operation of the REMIC Trust were completely ignored in reality, while the illusion was created that the REMIC Trusts (completely controlled by the broker who “sold” the “bonds”) were operating with the money from the pension fund.
  14. It is the money of the pension fund that appears at closing, having been sent there by the broker. The only lender is the pension fund and the only debt is between the homeowner and the pension fund. But that loan is never documented and that is how the brokers get to claim almost anything. They are quintessential pretender lenders operating through a veil of cloaks and curtains and peculiarly NOT branding the product because they knew it was beyond wrong. It was probably criminal.
  15. This evens things out — the fund manager sees his $1,000 “invested” and the return of $50 per year. So the fund manager is clueless as to what is happening. The fund manager does not realize that the pension fund is the direct creditor of the debtor/homeowner.
  16. Now assume that the “investment” is a bond issued by a trust that will loan money or acquire loans.
  17. That means the “sale” transaction is between the Trust created and controlled by the broker and the company that is created and controlled by the broker to loan the money. This trade occurs at the proprietary trading desk of the broker. It shows up as a sale between the Trust and, for example, Countrywide. Countrywide gets no money and delivers no documents. The Trust pays no money nor receives any documents (note or mortgage). The “depositor” for the Trust is left out of all transactions.
  18. And THAT means the broker can declare a “profit” from his proprietary trading desk of $500 — because he only loaned $500 and the pension fund gave him $1,000. That leaves $500 of uninvested capital that the broker converts to “profit” at the broker’s trading desk.
  19. The broker knows that the $500 loan is priced at 10% interest because there is a substantial likelihood that the borrower will default. The higher the risk, the higher the interest rate. Nobody would question that. This gives the broker a chance to “bet” on the failure of the loans and the consequent failure of “bonds” that derived their value from the nonexistent assets of the Trust. Frequently at “closing” the title and liability insurance names a payee other than the originator — maintaining the distance between the originator and the closing.
  20. Getting insurance and credit default swaps is difficult because of the higher risk. So the broker buys a credit default swap from another Trust he has created where the loans are conventional 5% loans. This is the conventional loan Trust, which is also probably mostly unfunded. The sale of the swap actually means that the conventional loan trust has agreed to buy the toxic loan Trust “assets” (which do not exist) if there are a sufficient number of defaults on loans on the list for that toxic waste Trust.
  21. This means that the Trust “selling” the credit default swap will make up for losses in the toxic waste trust containing loans at interest rates of 10% or higher.
  22. When the Trust with the 10% loans goes up in smoke because the loans fail at predictable rates, the conventional Trust is on the hook to bail out the toxic waste trust.
  23. The bailout virtually bankrupts the conventional trust. Both the toxic waste trust and the conventional trust have been essentially wiped out. But the pension fund continues to receive payments as long as the broker can maintain the illusion — a device created as “servicer advances” so that the pension fund will continue to buy more of these bonds which were sold as loans to the Trust.
  24. This causes a “credit event” which the broker declares and sends to the insurance company that insured the risk on the conventional loan trust. The insurer (AIG, AMBAC etc) pays the loss declared by the broker as “Master Servicer”. This further enhances the illusion that the Trust was funded and that the bonds were in fact sold and issued by the Trust in exchange for the investment by the pension fund.
  25. The losses in the toxic waste trust are covered by the credit default swap with the conventional loan trust, and the losses in the conventional loan trust are covered by insurance.
  26. When the borrower in the toxic waste trust finally stops paying, the broker orders the servicer to declare a default and foreclose. The “default” is declared based upon the provisions of the note executed at the borrower’s loan closing. But the note is evidence of a loan that does not exist — i.e., a loan by the originator to the borrower. And the mortgage therefore exists to provide security for a nonexistent debt based upon legal presumptions regarding the note, which in actuality is worthless and should be re turned to the borrower for destruction.
  27. Meanwhile the pension fund continues to get the $50 per year from the broker. So the fund manager is blissfully ignorant of the fact that the “investment” was a scam that has already blown up.
  28. Eventually the loan in “default” is sold at a foreclosure sale in the name of the broker-controlled Trust.
  29. The proceeds are not sent to the pension fund because that would alert the fund manager of the default. So the property is kept as “REO” property as long as possible. As long as the pension fund is buying bonds, the bank retains the property in REO status and keeps paying the pension fund $50 per year.
  30. CONCLUSION: The broker has created a $500 “profit” from the proprietary trading desk, the pension fund is going to get a loss from a loan that was not what they ordered, and the broker collects the proceeds of the credit default swap and the insurance without accounting to anyone. Altogether, the broker makes around $1500 on a $500 loan in which the broker received $1,000 from the pension fund. This is a general and oversimplified example of what happened in virtually all the REMIC trust financing.
  31. If the broker had put the money into the Trust and made the loans from the trust then the profit of $1500 disappears. Any profit becomes the profit of the Trust and the Trust beneficiaries. And the broker is left accepting only his typical sliver of the pie as a commission. Why accept the miniscule commission when you can claim it all and then some?
  32. When most loans are originated, they are funded by the pension fund without the pension knowing about it. In standard transactional analysis that makes the pension fund the creditor and the borrower the debtor.
  33. But the only way the broker could make his “proprietary trading profits” is by placing the name of a third party on the note and mortgage. This raises the prospect of “moral hazard” where originators claim loans as their own even though the money for the loan came from third parties. The originator thinks the money came from an aggregator. In  that scenario, the aggregator would be getting the money from the Trust but in fact, the aggregator gets no money which stays with the broker. The entire “chain” is an illusion culminating with the illusion that the Trust was an actual real party in interest. But in that case the Trust would be a holder in due course. That is the way it is supposed to be as per the Concept and the Securitization documents. Experience shows that no claims of any holder in due course are ever made.
  34. The broker’s position was protected by (a) the Assignment and Assumption Agreement with the originator and (b) control over the money going into each loan closing and coming out of it.
  35. The Assignment and Assumption Agreement is executed before the loan is originated and governs the transaction without disclosure to the borrower. It is the ONLY real assignment (sort of) in that it is the contract in which actual funds are sent to the closing table — albeit not from the originator.
  36. The originator does not get to touch the money and has no rights to the note and mortgage even if the originator’s name is on it. But to make sure, many loans were made using MERS as nominee which was also bank controlled, thus preventing the originator from “moral hazard” in claiming the loan as its own. The real purpose of MERS was not to sidestep recording fees (a perk of the plan) but rather to make sure originators had no legal or equitable claim to the fake mortgage paper that was executed by the borrower. This might constitute an admission in conduct that neither the note nor the mortgage should have been executed, much less delivered and recorded. This leads to the conclusion that none of the mortgages or notes are in actuality enforceable unless they end up in the hands of a holder in due course.
  37. To further protect the broker from the originator taking delivery of the note and doing something with it, the instructions were to destroy the note signed by the borrower which would be resurrected later through mechanical means as needed. (See Katherine Ann Porter study —2007 — when she was at University of Iowa).
  38. Control over the fictitious note and mortgage was thus secured to the broker.
  39. When and if the loan goes into foreclosure and it is contested, then the false paper is mechanically created and signed and then sent up a chain of companies none of which pays any money for the loan because none of their predecessors had anything to sell. Eventually when a loan goes into foreclosure, the paperwork appears and the assignment to the Trust is then created and executed by robo-signors etc.
  40. The only time an assignment appears is when the loan is sent into foreclosure. I have made hundreds of attempts to get the closing documents and assignments to the Trust where the loans were NOT in “default”. None of the banks had the documents. Creative discovery directed at the records custodian will confirm this basic fact.
  41. Loan are sent into foreclosure because the borrower stopped paying — even though the creditor has continued to receive all expected payments. Hence the real creditor, the pension fund, has not experienced a “Credit event” (i.e., a default). Legally no default exists unless the creditor fails to receive a required payment. In nearly all cases the creditor continued to get paid regardless of whether the payments were made by borrowers on the “faulty” notes and mortgages (see below). So the notice of default is merely the intermediaries covering their tracks as often as possible luring people into the illusion of a default or just declaring it even if the payments are current. And that is why modifications and settlements are kept to a minimum so that the government sees efforts being made to help borrowers when in fact the only real instruction is to foreclose because the $500 loan represents at least $1500 in liability to the broker and its co-venturers.
  42. In court, the broker-controlled foreclosing party asserts ownership over the debt, the note and the mortgage. The loans are “scrubbed” by LPS in Jacksonville or some other company or division (like Chase) so that only one party is selected to claim rights to enforce the false closing documents. Occasionally they still get it wrong and two parties sue for foreclosure each filing the “original” note.  In truth the debt is the property of the pension fund who will receive very little money even after the property is completely liquidated, because each of the participants in this scheme gets fees for the “work” they are doing.
  43. The REMIC Trust is left as an unfunded entity except for loans that are the subject of a final judgment of foreclosure in the name of the Trust, which is why they didn’t name the Trust as Plaintiff until recently when they couldn’t avoid it.
  44. The final judgment ends the potential liability to refund the $1500 in “profits” that the broker “made” because it is proof that the loan failed. Then the broker eventually collects the proceeds of liquidation of the property acquired in foreclosure. If such liquidation is not possible, then the broker abandons the property and it is demolished. (see Detroit, Cleveland and other cities where entire neighborhoods were demolished and parks put in their place).
  45. By adding a healthy scoop of toxic waste loans and nearly toxic waste loans to the mix, the broker makes far more money in fees, profits and commissions than the original principal of the loan. By adding multiple sales to the mix of the same loan or the same bond, they made even more. And each time a foreclosure judgment is entered, and each time a foreclosure sale is said to be completed, the brokers are laughing their heads off because they got away with it.

The gamble has worked very well for the brokers (investment banks) because even now, all these parties are assuming there is at least some truth in what the Banks are saying in Court. They are wrong. Most of the positions taken in court are directly in conflict with the actual facts, the actual transactions and the actual movement of money. These banks continue to profit from the confusion and the inability or unwillingness of all those parties to actually read the documents and then demand proof that the transactions were real.

The press has not done much good either. Take a look at virtually any article written by financial and other types reporters. They get close to the third rail of journalism but they fail or refuse to take it to the next step — a report or declaration that most of the mortgages are fatally defective, incapable of being legally enforced, and leaving the borrowers and lenders with nothing but their own wits to figure out what to do with the debt that was created. Such a paradigm shift would mirror the policy adopted in Iceland where household debt was reduced by more than 25% providing the earliest evidence of a stimulus to a failing economy — producing positive GDP growth and low unemployment far ahead of the gains reported in other economies, including the U.S. The fact remains that the debt is no longer as much as what was loaned, it is not owned by any of the strangers who are enforcing them, and the note and mortgage are fatally defective.

If I am a borrower and I receive a loan of money from one person and then I am tricked into signing a note and mortgage in favor of someone else, there are TWO potential liabilities created — in exchange for ONE loan of money. If the signed paperwork gets into the hands of someone who is a Holder in Due Course, the fact that the borrower was cheated is irrelevant. I will owe the entire loan to both the person who loaned me the money AND the person who paid for the fake paperwork in good faith without knowledge of my defenses. But if the end party with the paperwork does NOT claim Holder in Due Course status, then the borrower has a right to show the loan on THAT PAPERWORK never happened. So then I will owe only the person from whom I received the money — a loan that is undocumented (except for proof of payment) and thus unsecured. Thus borrowers should not be seen as seeking relief; they should be seen as seeking justice — one debt for one loan.

The fact is that the borrower is treated as the party with the burden of proving that no loan actually underlies the paperwork upon which the forecloser is placing reliance. It is unfair to place the burden on the borrower, and within the Judge’s discretion, based upon common law, the Judge has the power to require the foreclosing party to prove the underlying loan if it is merely denied (as opposed to appearing in the affirmative defenses).

Both the closing documents with the lender (pension fund) and the closing documents with the borrower (homeowner) should be considered void, in the nature of a wild deed. Hence there could be no foreclosure and any foreclosure that already happened would be wrongful. In a quiet title action the mortgage on record should be nullified first, and then the homeowner could move on to seeking a declaration of rights from the court in which his title is not impaired by the bogus mortgage based upon a bogus note which is evidence of a loan of money that does not exist.

If I am lender and I give a broker money to deliver to a trust that is the borrower in my transaction and then the broker gives my money to someone else as a loan, the same reasoning applies. The mistake made is calling these lenders “investors”. They are not. They think they are investors and everyone calls them that but they have not invested in any Trust because their money was never delivered to the intended borrower and was instead loaned to borrowers that the lender would never have approved in a manner that was specifically prohibited by the securitization documents (which were routinely ignored).

Like the borrower, the lenders are stuck with documentation for a loan that never happened. The loan was intended (concept and written documents) to be between themselves and a trust. But the REMIC Trust never got the money. The lender (pension fund) is left with an undocumented loan to an actual borrower without a note or mortgage made in favor of the lender or any agent of the lender. Neither the common law nor the securitization documents were followed — delivery of the loan documents simply never happened; nor did payment for those documents (except for exorbitant fees and “profits” declared by the participants in the scheme).

If you look at an article like Trustees Seek $4.5 Billion Settlement with JP Morgan, you see the usual code language. But like the court room, follow-up questions would be appropriate. “Mortgage-bond trustees including U.S. Bank N.A. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. asked a New York state court judge to approve a $4.5 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) over investor claims of faulty home loans.”

US Bank is consolidating its position as the Trustee of multiple REMIC Trusts whose documents name other parties and conditions for replacement of Trustee that prohibit US Bank from becoming the “new Trustee.” This is like a stranger to the transaction in non-judicial states who declares that it the beneficiary without proving it and then names a “substitute trustee” on the deed of trust. This substitution is frequently bogus. But if it goes unchallenged, it becomes the law of that case. The “beneficiary” under the deed of trust is nothing of the kind and the substitution of trustee is just plain wrong.

Bank of New York Mellon is essentially clueless as to what actions are pending in its name and they never produce a witness even when they are the plaintiff in the judicial foreclosure states. The current common practice is to rotate “servicers” such that the witness at a foreclosure trial is a person employed by a servicer who is new to the transaction — long after the loan was claimed to be in default and long after the “assignment” appeared and long after even the foreclosure litigation commenced. There also exists a confused claim because of rotation of Plaintiffs without amendment to the pleadings.  Plaintiffs are rotated as though it were only a name change. At trial there exists an amorphous claim of being the owner of the debt which is more like an implication or presumption.

The broker (investment banks) never claim to be a holder in due course because THAT would require proof of payment, delivery of the documents, good faith and lack of knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. But worse, it would reveal that BONY/Mellon has no records, knowledge, possession or accounts relating to the trust, the pool or any individual loan — except those that have been foreclosed on false pretenses.

JP Morgan has been caught in flat out lies repeatedly as to “ownership” of loans allegedly obtained from Washington Mutual for a price of “ZERO” without any agreement or assignment even claiming that the loans were purchased by Chase. Many of their claims are based upon “loans” originated by non-existent entities like American Broker’s Conduit. We see the same entities or non entities used by Wells Fargo, Bank of America and CitiMortgage with great regularity.

“Faulty home loans” is a phrase frequently used in press releases and press reports. What does that mean? If they were faulty, in what way? If they were faulty how could they be enforceable? This goes back to what I said above. The real loan was never documented.  And what was documented was not a real loan. This enabled the banks to create the illusion of normal paperwork for “standard home loans” as they frequently claim through their attorneys in court. By trick and intentional confusion they often convince a Judge to treat them as though they were holders in due course even without the claim of HDC status thus defeating the borrower before the case ever gets to trial.

So why are they settling for $4.5 Billion on more than $75 Billion in “securitized” “mortgage backed” bonds? Notice that 5 of them won’t settle which is to say they won’t join the party. The rest are willing to continue playing games with these worthless bonds and worthless loan documents. By “settling” for $4.5 Billion, the Trustees are taking about 6 cents on the dollar. They are also pretending that they are the ultimate owners of the bonds and mortgages. And they are pretending that the bonds and mortgages are real, hoping that the courts will continue to treat them as such. Hence they maintain the illusion that securitization of home loans was real.

The real problem can be seen by reference to the shadow banking marketplace, where the nominal value of cash equivalent instruments are now estimated to be around 1 quadrillion dollars — which is around 12-14 times the actual amount of all the government fiat money issued in the current world. Nobody knows if there is any real value in those instruments but current estimates are that they might be worth as much as $27 Trillion which is still more than 1/3 of all government fiat money issued in the current world. Why so much?

The loans and the bonds were all sold multiple times under various disguises. The simple truth is that a final deed issued as a result of an “auction” from a foreclosure seals off much of the liability for returning the money that the banks received when they posed as lenders and sold, insured or hedged their interest in the bonds and mortgages, neither of which could they possibly own and neither of which had any value in the first place. The original debt between the lenders (pension funds etc) and the borrowers (homeowners) remains in place and is continued to be carried on the books of multiple institutions who think they own it.

The practical solution might be a court recognition of the banks as agents of the lenders, and allocating the multiple payments received by the lenders, the banks and all the other intermediaries. This will vastly reduce or even eliminate the debt from the homeowner leaving the defrauded lender/investors to sue the banks not for 6 cents on the dollar but for 100 cents on the dollar. Any other resolution leaves homeowners holding the bag on transactions they could not possibly have understood because the information — that would have alerted them to these issues — was intentionally withheld.

The behavior of the brokers (investment banks) lends considerable support to the defense of unclean hands. Even if they somehow validated or ratified the closing foreclosure procedures they should be left with an unenforceable mortgage and then a note on which they could sue — if they could prove that the loan of money came from someone in their alleged chain of title.

The solution is to recognize the obvious. This will restore household wealth and prevent further gains by the banks who created this mess.

 

 

Giunta Prevails on Wells Fargo Motion to Dismiss — Federal Court

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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Patrick Giunta, Esq. the lead litigator for the livinglies team has done it again. He filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo while the trial on a foreclosure was underway. Wells Fargo now faces a loss in the foreclosure where their witness admitted to being unable to explain the chain of ownership, the balance and the reason why Wells Fargo refused to cooperate in the sale of the property that would have paid them in full.

This corroborates my strategy that presumes that the foreclosers don’t want the house or the money. What the banks want is a foreclosure judgment that forces the loan onto an investor who does not even know of the existence of the proceedings. besides it being illegal and unfair, it raises questions of jurisdiction and standing, because the actual source of funds — the investors who in reality own the debt directly — receive no notice of the proceeding — and they think they barred by the terms of the Prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement from even inquiring about the status of the “pool” (which is most likely non-existent except where foreclosure judgments have been entered).

Here Judge Dimitroleas, Federal Judge in the Southern District of Florida, ruled that the Homeowner has rights of action for money damages against dubious claims from “holders”, “servicers” and even “trustees.” Along with other claims, Giunta survived a motion to dismiss the homeowner’s claim for fraudulent misrepresentation — as to the status of the loan, the ownership and the balance.

The fact pattern of this case clearly corroborates the fact that “servicers” are claiming ownership or rights to enforce debts that they don’t own and don’t have any authority to represent the creditor because they are making false claims of securitization. Thus the banks cannot say they actually represent the investors who THOUGHT they were buying mortgage backed securities from a funded trust that was originating and acquiring loans. If they admit the facts in reality they are admitting to committing fraud on the investors, the insurers, the guarantors, and of course the borrowers. The presumption regarding ownership or rights to enforce is directly contrary to the actual facts. And the threshold for rebutting those presumptions is fast falling in Federal and State courts.

Patrick Giunta is located in Broward County Florida.

see Grave – (DE28) – Order on Motion to Dismiss

Maine Moving toward the Truth About the Mortgages, MERS and Foreclosures

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The Maine Supreme Court has been active in the last few months – issuing several decisions that will likely impact foreclosure actions in that state. The decisions covered a full range of foreclosure issues, from whether a lender can establish standing when it holds an assignment of the mortgage from Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) to the amount a borrower must pay to cure a default. If you originate and/or service RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS in this state, you may want to review these recent cases. This alert focuses on the court’s holdings in one of these cases, Bank of America, N.A. v. Greenleaf, — A.3d —-, 2014 WL 2988236 (Me., July 3, 2014) (Review the Maine Supreme Court Opinion.)

Assignment from MERS May Only Transfer Right to Record Mortgage

The Maine Supreme Court’s decision in Greenleaf may require lenders to make some changes before they initiate FORECLOSURE actions in this state in which the mortgage identifies MERS as the nominee for the lender. This case presented some simple basic facts, but the court’s holdings may raise concerns. In 2006, Scott Greenleaf executed a promissory note for $385,000 to RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE Services, Inc. (“RMS”) and signed a mortgage securing the debt. The note was endorsed in blank. The mortgage listed RMS as the lender and MERS as the nominee for the lender.
In 2011, Bank of America, N.A. (“BofA”) initiated FORECLOSURE proceedings against Greenleaf. It was undisputed that Greenleaf had failed to make payments on the loan since 2008. Although some interim drama played out in the FORECLOSURE proceeding, a trial was held in 2013. BofA presented the following documents to the court: the original note, the mortgage, and a document recorded in 2011 reflecting the assignment of the mortgage from MERS to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP (“BAC”), an entity that subsequently merged with BofA. The court entered a judgment of FORECLOSURE IN favor of BofA and Greenleaf appealed.
Greenleaf alleged, among other things, that BofA lacked standing to seek foreclosure of the property since BofA did not have an interest in both the promissory note and the mortgage securing that note. Since the note was endorsed in blank and BofA had possession of the note, the Maine Supreme Court held that BofA met the first prong of the standing test. However, the court found that BofA failed to establish the second prong of the test, ownership of the mortgage.
The court struggled with the 2011 assignment of the mortgage by MERS to BAC. The court focused on one sentence in the 2006 mortgage that specifically provided that MERS was the mortgagee of record for purposes of recording the mortgage. The court held that this provision of the mortgage only granted MERS the right to record the mortgage as the lender’s nominee. When MERS then assigned its interest to BAC, the court held that it granted BAC only the right that it possessed, the right to record the mortgage as nominee for the lender. When BAC then merged with BofA, BofA only obtained the right that BAC had possessed, the right to record the mortgage as nominee. The court also noted that there was no separate and independent assignment of the mortgage from RMS to MERS, BAC, or BofA. As such, the court held that the record only demonstrated a series of assignments of the right to record the mortgage as nominee. In the absence of evidence that BofA owned the Greenleaf mortgage, the Maine Supreme Court held that BofA lacked standing to seek foreclosure and vacated the lower court’s judgment of foreclosure.
Since similar “right to record” language is included in many mortgage forms, lenders and servicers should pay particular attention to whether they are relying on assignments from MERS before initiating a foreclosure action in this state. Unless a lender holds or can obtain an assignment of the mortgage from the originating lender (and many of this lenders may no longer be in business), a lender may need to explore other options for establishing the second prong of the standing test in Maine. A mortgage assignment by MERS, standing alone, may not be sufficient to prove an assignment of a mortgage.
In response to the Greenleaf decision, many of the title insurers in the state have issued guidance regarding title issues under various scenarios in which MERS had assigned the mortgages. At least one title insurer has indicated that if MERS assigned the mortgage in a pending foreclosure action, an assignment from the original lender to the FORECLOSING mortgagee will be required in order for title to be insured without exception.

No Adjustments to Disclosed Payoff Amount Permitted During Cure Period

The Greenleaf court also defined the amount a borrower can be required to pay to cure a default. The notice of default and right to cure sent to Greenleaf included an itemization of all past due amounts and identified the total amount required to be paid by Greenleaf to cure the default. This total amount included a footnote reference that Greenleaf should “[c]ontact the servicer to obtain an up to date figure for outstanding attorney fees, unpaid taxes and costs before sending payment” and the notice also separately provided that Greenleaf should contact BAC at a prescribed telephone number “to obtain an up to date figure before sending payment.” Similar disclosures are generally included in the right to cure notices provided by many lenders and servicers.
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, § 6111 provides that the contents of the notice of default and right to cure must include, among other things, an itemization of all past due amounts causing the loan to be in default and an itemization of any other charges that must be paid in order to cure the default. Greenleaf argued that the addition of the “call for updated information” references did not meet the statutory requirement that the notice itself must provide an itemization of other charges that must be paid in order to cure the default. The Maine Supreme Court agreed with Greenleaf and held that state law effectively freezes additions to the payoff amount during the cure period.
As such, the amount stated in the notice of default and right to cure is the only amount the borrower can be required to pay to cure the default during the 35 day cure period. Any attorneys’ fees incurred in continuing efforts to recover on the loan and advances made for property taxes or insurance during the cure period – none of these amounts can be added to the amount a borrower may be required to pay to cure the default. The court noted that the incorrect “call for updated information” references in the cure notice were an independent basis on which they could have vacated the lower court’s foreclosure judgment.

Changing Landscape?

Lenders and servicers should work closely with their foreclosure counsel to ensure they can establish standing before initiating a foreclose action in Maine. Lenders and servicers may also want to work with the title insurers to address any title issues that may arise in connection with MERS assignments. With certain changes in their foreclosure practices, lenders and servicers should still be able to prove up ownership of each mortgage sufficient to pass the Greenleaf court’s standing scrutiny. In addition, lenders and servicers should review their cure notice form templates used in this state and any corresponding policies and procedures to ensure that a borrower is never advised or required to pay more than the total amount due as disclosed in the cure notice. The Greenleaf court may have stirred the lobster pot – but lenders and services have options to adapt to the court’s recipes.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Securitization for Lawyers: How it was Written by Wall Street Banks

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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Continuing with my article THE CONCEPT OF SECURITIZATION from yesterday, we have been looking at the CONCEPT of Securitization and determined there is nothing theoretically wrong with it. That alone accounts for tens of thousands of defenses” raised in foreclosure actions across the country where borrowers raised the “defense” securitization. No such thing exists. Foreclosure defense is contract defense — i.e., you need to prove that in your case the elements of contract are absent and THAT is why the note or the mortgage cannot be enforced. Keep in mind that it is entirely possible to prove that the mortgage is unenforceable even if the note remains enforceable. But as we have said in a hundred different ways, it does not appear to me that in most cases, the loan contract ever existed, or that the acquisition contract in which the loan was being “purchased” ever occurred. But much of THAT argument is left for tomorrow’s article on Securitization as it was practiced by Wall Street banks.

So we know that the concept of securitization is almost as old as commerce itself. The idea of reducing risk and increasing the opportunity for profits is an essential element of commerce and capitalism. Selling off pieces of a venture to accomplish a reduction of risk on one ship or one oil well or one loan has existed legally and properly for a long time without much problem except when a criminal used the system against us — like Ponzi, Madoff or Drier or others. And broadening the venture to include many ships, oil wells or loans makes sense to further reduce risk and increase the likelihood of a healthy profit through volume.

Syndication of loans has been around as long as banking has existed. Thus agreements to share risk and profit or actually selling “shares” of loans have been around, enabling banks to offer loans to governments, big corporations or even little ones. In the case of residential loans, few syndications are known to have been used. In 1983, syndications called securitizations appeared in residential loans, credit cards, student loans, auto loans and all types of other consumer loans where the issuance of IPO securities representing shares of bundles of debt.

For logistical and legal reasons these securitizations had to be structured to enable the flow of loans into “special purpose vehicles” (SPV) which were simply corporations, partnerships or Trusts that were formed for the sole purpose of taking ownership of loans that were originated or acquired with the money the SPV acquired from an offering of “bonds” or other “shares” representing an undivided fractional share of the entire portfolio of that particular SPV.

The structural documents presented to investors included the Prospectus, Subscription Agreement, and Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA). The prospectus is supposed to disclose the use of proceeds and the terms of the payback. Since the offering is in the form of a bond, it is actually a loan from the investor to the Trust, coupled with a fractional ownership interest in the alleged “pool of assets” that is going into the Trust by virtue of the Trustee’s acceptance of the assets. That acceptance executed by the Trustee is in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement, which is an exhibit to the Prospectus. In theory that is proper. The problem is that the assets don’t exist, can’t be put in the trust and the proceeds of sale of the Trust mortgage-backed bonds doesn’t go into the Trust or any account that is under the authority of the Trustee.

The writing of the securitization documents was done by a handful of law firms under the direction of a few individual lawyers, most of whom I have not been able to identify. One of them is located in Chicago. There are some reports that 9 lawyers from a New Jersey law firm resigned rather than participate in the drafting of the documents. The reports include emails from the 9 lawyers saying that they refused to be involved in the writing of a “criminal enterprise.”

I believe the report is true, after reading so many documents that purport to create a securitization scheme. The documents themselves start off with what one would and should expect in the terms and provisions of a Prospectus, Pooling and Servicing Agreement etc. But as you read through them, you see the initial terms and provisions eroded to the point of extinction. What is left is an amalgam of options for the broker dealers selling the mortgage backed bonds.

The options all lead down roads that are absolutely opposite to what any real party in interest would allow or give their consent or agreement. The lenders (investors) would never have agreed to what was allowed in the documents. The rating agencies and insurers and guarantors would never have gone along with the scheme if they had truly understood what was intended. And of course the “borrowers” (homeowners) had no idea that claims of securitization existed as to the origination or intended acquisition their loans. Allan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman, said he read the documents and couldn’t understand them. He also said that he had more than 100 PhD’s and lawyers who read them and couldn’t understand them either.

Greenspan believed that “market forces” would correct the ambiguities. That means he believed that people who were actually dealing with these securities as buyers, sellers, rating agencies, insurers and guarantors would reject them if the appropriate safety measures were not adopted. After he left the Federal Reserve he admitted he was wrong. Market forces did not and could not correct the deficiencies and defects in the entire process.

The REAL document is the Assignment and Assumption Agreement that is NOT usually disclosed or attached as an exhibit to the Prospectus. THAT is the agreement that controls everything that happens with the borrower at the time of the alleged “closing.” See me on YouTube to explain the Assignment and Assumption Agreement. Suffice it to say that contrary to the representations made in the sale of the bonds by the broker to the investor, the money from the investor goes into the control of the broker dealer and NOT the REMIC Trust. The Broker Dealer filters some of the money down to closings in the name of “originators” ranging from large (Wells Fargo, Countrywide) to small (First Magnus et al). I’ll tell you why tomorrow or the next day. The originators are essentially renting their names the same as the Trustees of the REMIC Trusts. It looks right but isn’t what it appears. Done properly, the lender on the note and mortgage would be the REMIC Trust or a common aggregator. But if the Banks did it properly they wouldn’t have had such a joyful time in the moral hazard zone.

The PSA turned out to be the primary document creating the Trusts that were creating primarily under the laws of the State of New York because New York and a few other states had a statute that said that any variance from the express terms of the Trust was VOID, not voidable. This gave an added measure of protection to the investors that the SPV would not be used for any purpose other than what was described, and eliminated the need for them to sue the Trustee or the Trust for misuse of their funds. What the investors did not understand was that there were provisions in the enabling documents that allowed the brokers and other intermediaries to ignore the Trust altogether, assert ownership in the name of a broker or broker-controlled entity and trade on both the loans and the bonds.

The Prospectus SHOULD have contained the full list of all loans that were being aggregated into the SPV or Trust. And the Trust instrument (PSA) should have shown that the investors were receiving not only a promise to repay them but also a share ownership in the pool of loans. One of the first signals that Wall Street was running an illegal scheme was that most prospectuses stated that the pool assets were disclosed in an attached spreadsheet, which contained the description of loans that were already in existence and were then accepted by the Trustee of the SPV (REMIC Trust) in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement. The problem was that the vast majority of Prospectuses and Pooling and Servicing agreements either omitted the exhibit showing the list of loans or stated outright that the attached list was not the real list and that the loans on the spreadsheet were by example only and not the real loans.

Most of the investors were “stable managed funds.” This is a term of art that applied to retirement, pension and similar type of managed funds that were under strict restrictions about the risk they could take, which is to say, the risk had to be as close to zero as possible. So in order to present a pool that the fund manager of a stable managed fund could invest fund assets the investment had to qualify under the rules and regulations restricting the activities of stable managed funds. The presence of stable managed funds buying the bonds or shares of the Trust also encouraged other types of investors to buy the bonds or shares.

But the number of loans (which were in the thousands) in each bundle made it impractical for the fund managers of stable managed funds to examine the portfolio. For the most part, if they done so they would not found one loan that was actually in existence and obviously would not have done the deal. But they didn’t do it. They left it on trust for the broker dealers to prove the quality of the investment in bonds or shares of the SPV or Trust.

So the broker dealers who were creating the SPVs (Trusts) and selling the bonds or shares, went to the rating agencies which are quasi governmental units that give a score not unlike the credit score given to individuals. Under pressure from the broker dealers, the rating agencies went from quality culture to a profit culture. The broker dealers were offering fees and even premium on fees for evaluation and rating of the bonds or shares they were offering. They HAD to have a rating that the bonds or shares were “investment grade,” which would enable the stable managed funds to buy the bonds or shares. The rating agencies were used because they had been independent sources of evaluation of risk and viability of an investment, especially bonds — even if the bonds were not treated as securities under a 1998 law signed into law by President Clinton at the behest of both republicans and Democrats.

Dozens of people in the rating agencies set off warning bells and red flags stating that these were not investment grade securities and that the entire SPV or Trust would fail because it had to fail.  The broker dealers who were the underwriters on nearly all the business done by the rating agencies used threats, intimidation and the carrot of greater profits to get the ratings they wanted. and responded to threats that the broker would get the rating they wanted from another rating agency and that they would not ever do business with the reluctant rating agency ever again — threatening to effectively put the rating agency out of business. At the rating agencies, the “objectors” were either terminated or reassigned. Reports in the Wal Street Journal show that it was custom and practice for the rating officers to be taken on fishing trips or other perks in order to get the required the ratings that made Wall Street scheme of “securitization” possible.

This threat was also used against real estate appraisers prompting them in 2005 to send a petition to Congress signed by 8,000 appraisers, in which they said that the instructions for appraisal had been changed from a fair market value appraisal to an appraisal that would make each deal work. the appraisers were told that if they didn’t “play ball” they would never be hired again to do another appraisal. Many left the industry, but the remaining ones, succumbed to the pressure and, like the rating agencies, they gave the broker dealers what they wanted. And insurers of the bonds or shares freely issued policies based upon the same premise — the rating from the respected rating agencies. And ultimate this also effected both guarantors of the loans and “guarantors” of the bonds or shares in the Trusts.

So the investors were now presented with an insured investment grade rating from a respected and trusted source. The interest rate return was attractive — i.e., the expected return was higher than any of the current alternatives that were available. Some fund managers still refused to participate and they are the only ones that didn’t lose money in the crisis caused by Wall Street — except for a period of time through the negative impact on the stock market and bond market when all securities became suspect.

In order for there to be a “bundle” of loans that would go into a pool owned by the Trust there had to be an aggregator. The aggregator was typically the CDO Manager (CDO= Collateralized Debt Obligation) or some entity controlled by the broker dealer who was selling the bonds or shares of the SPV or Trust. So regardless of whether the loan was originated with funds from the SPV or was originated by an actual lender who sold the loan to the trust, the debts had to be processed by the aggregator to decide who would own them.

In order to protect the Trust and the investors who became Trust beneficiaries, there was a structure created that made it look like everything was under control for their benefit. The Trust was purchasing the pool within the time period prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code. The IRC allowed the creation of entities that were essentially conduits in real estate mortgages — called Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMICs). It allows for the conduit to be set up and to “do business” for 90 days during which it must acquire whatever assets are being acquired. The REMIC Trust then distributes the profits to the investors. In reality, the investors were getting worthless bonds issued by unfunded trusts for the acquisition of assets that were never purchased (because the trusts didn’t have the money to buy them).

The TRUSTEE of the REMIC Trust would be called a Trustee and should have had the powers and duties of a Trustee. But instead the written provisions not only narrowed the duties and obligations of the Trustee but actual prevented both the Trustee and the beneficiaries from even inquiring about the actual portfolio or the status of any loan or group of loans. The way it was written, the Trustee of the REMIC Trust was in actuality renting its name to appear as Trustee in order to give credence to the offering to investors.

There was also a Depositor whose purpose was to receive, process and store documents from the loan closings — except for the provisions that said, no, the custodian, would store the records. In either case it doesn’t appear that either the Depositor nor the “custodian” ever received the documents. In fact, it appears as though the documents were mostly purposely lost and destroyed, as per the Iowa University study conducted by Katherine Ann Porter in 2007. Like the others, the Depositor was renting its name as though ti was doing something when it was doing nothing.

And there was a servicer described as a Master Servicer who could delegate certain functions to subservicers. And buried in the maze of documents containing hundreds of pages of mind-numbing descriptions and representations, there was a provision that stated the servicer would pay the monthly payment to the investor regardless of whether the borrower made any payment or not. The servicer could stop making those payments if it determined, in its sole discretion, that it was not “recoverable.”

This was the hidden part of the scheme that might be a simple PONZI scheme. The servicers obviously could have no interest in making payments they were not receiving from borrowers. But they did have an interest in continuing payments as long as investors were buying bonds. THAT is because the Master Servicers were the broker dealers, who were selling the bonds or shares. Those same broker dealers designated their own departments as the “underwriter.” So the underwriters wrote into the prospectus the presence of a “reserve” account, the source of funding for which was never made clear. That was intentionally vague because while some of the “servicer advance” money might have come from the investors themselves, most of it came from external “profits” claimed by the broker dealers.

The presence of  servicer advances is problematic for those who are pursuing foreclosures. Besides the fact that they could not possibly own the loan, and that they couldn’t possibly be a proper representative of an owner of the loan or Holder in Due Course, the actual creditor (the group of investors or theoretically the REMIC Trust) never shows a default of any kind even when the servicers or sub-servicers declare a default, send a notice of default, send a notice of acceleration etc. What they are doing is escalating their volunteer payments to the creditor — made for their own reasons — to the status of a holder or even a holder in due course — despite the fact that they never acquired the loan, the debt, the note or the mortgage.

The essential fact here is that the only paperwork that shows actual transfer of money is that which contains a check or wire transfer from investor to the broker dealer — and then from the broker dealer to various entities including the CLOSING AGENT (not the originator) who applied the funds to a closing in which the originator was named as the Lender when they had never advanced any funds, were being paid as a vendor, and would sign anything, just to get another fee. The money received by the borrower or paid on behalf of the borrower was money from the investors, not the Trust.

So the note should have named the investors, not the Trust nor the originator. And the mortgage should have made the investors the mortgagee, not the Trust nor the originator. The actual note and mortgage signed in favor of the originator were both void documents because they failed to identify the parties to the loan contract. Another way of looking at the same thing is to say there was no loan contract because neither the investors nor the borrowers knew or understood what was happening at the closing, neither had an opportunity to accept or reject the loan, and neither got title to the loan nor clear title after the loan. The investors were left with a debt that could be recovered probably as a demand loan, but which was unsecured by any mortgage or security agreement.

To counter that argument these intermediaries are claiming possession of the note and mortgage (a dubious proposal considering the Porter study) and therefore successfully claiming, incorrectly, that the facts don’t matter, and they have the absolute right to prevail in a foreclosure on a home secured by a mortgage that names a non-creditor as mortgagee without disclosure of the true source of funds. By claiming legal presumptions, the foreclosers are in actuality claiming that form should prevail over substance.

Thus the broker-dealers created written instruments that are the opposite of the Concept of Securitization, turning complete transparency into a brick wall. Investor should have been receiving verifiable reports and access into the portfolio of assets, none of which in actuality were ever purchased by the Trust, because the pooling and servicing agreement is devoid of any representation that the loans have been purchased by the Trust or that the Trust paid for the pool of loans. Most of the actual transfers occurred after the cutoff date for REMIC status under the IRC, violating the provisions of the PSA/Trust document that states the transfer must be complete within the 90 day cutoff period. And it appears as though the only documents even attempted to be transferred into the pool are those that are in default or in foreclosure. The vast majority of the other loans are floating in cyberspace where anyone can grab them if they know where to look.

Securitization for Lawyers

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

The CONCEPT of securitization does not contemplate an increase in violations of lending laws passed by States or the Federal government. Far from it. The CONCEPT anticipated a decrease in risk, loss and liability for violations of TILA, RESPA or state deceptive lending laws. The assumption was that the strictly regulated stable managed funds (like pensions), insurers, and guarantors would ADD to the protections to investors as lenders and homeowners as borrowers. That it didn’t work that way is the elephant in the living room. It shows that the concept was not followed, the written instruments reveal a sneaky intent to undermine the concept. The practices of the industry violated everything — the lending laws, investment restrictions, and the securitization documents themselves. — Neil F Garfield, Livinglies.me

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“Securitization” is a word that provokes many emotional reactions ranging from hatred to frustration. Beliefs run the range from the idea that securitization is evil to the idea that it is irrelevant. Taking the “irrelevant” reaction first, I would say that comes from ignorance and frustration. To look at a stack of Documents, each executed with varying formalities, and each being facially valid and then call them all irrelevant is simply burying your head in the sand. On the other hand, calling securitization evil is equivalent to rejecting capitalism. So let’s look at securitization dispassionately.

First of all “securitization” merely refers to a concept that has been in operation for hundreds of years, perhaps thousands of years if you look into the details of commerce and investment. In our recent history it started with “joint stock companies” that financed sailing expeditions for goods and services. Instead of one person or one company taking all the risk that one ship might not come back, or come back with nothing, investors could spread their investment dollars by buying shares in a “joint stock company” that invested their money in multiple sailing ventures. So if some ship came in loaded with goods it would more than offset the ships that sunk, were pirated, or that lost their cargo. Diversifying risk produced more reliable profits and virtually eliminated the possibility of financial ruin because of the tragedies the befell a single cargo ship.

Every stock certificate or corporate or even government bond is the product of securitization. In our capitalist society, securitization is essential to attract investment capital and therefore growth. For investors it is a way of participating in the risk and rewards of companies run by officers and directors who present a believable vision of success. Investors can invest in one company alone, but most, thanks to capitalism and securitization, are able to invest in many companies and many government issued bonds. In all cases, each stock certificate or bond certificate is a “derivative” — i.e., it DERIVES ITS VALUE from the economic value of the company or government that issued that stock certificate or bond certificate.

In other words, securitization is a vehicle for diversification of investment. Instead of one “all or nothing” investment, the investors gets to spread the risk over multiple companies and governments. The investor can do this in one of two ways — either manage his own investments buying and selling stocks and bonds, or investing in one or more managed funds run by professional managers buying and selling stocks and bonds. Securitization of debt has all the elements of diversification and is essential to the free flow of commerce in a capitalistic economy.

Preview Questions:

  • What happens if the money from investors is NOT put in the company or given to the government?
  • What happens if the certificates are NOT delivered back to investors?
  • What happens if the company that issued the stock never existed or were not used as an investment vehicle as promised to investors?
  • What happens to “profits” that are reported by brokers who used investor money in ways never contemplated, expected or accepted by investors?
  • Who is accountable under laws governing the business of the IPO entity (i.e., the REMIC Trust in our context).
  • Who are the victims of misbehavior of intermediaries?
  • Who bears the risk of loss caused by misbehavior of intermediaries?
  • What are the legal questions and issues that arise when the joint stock company is essentially an instrument of fraud? (See Madoff, Drier etc. where the “business” was actually collecting money from lenders and investors which was used to pay prior investors the expected return).

In order to purchase a security deriving its value from mortgage loans, you could diversify by buying fractional shares of specific loans you like (a new and interesting business that is internet driven) or you could go the traditional route — buying fractional shares in multiple companies who are buying loans in bulk. The share certificates you get derive their value from the value of the IPO issuer of the shares (a REMIC Trust, usually). Like any company, the REMIC Trust derives its value from the value of its business. And the REMIC business derives its value from the quality of the loan originations and loan acquisitions. Fulfillment of the perceived value is derived from effective servicing and enforcement of the loans.

All investments in all companies and all government issued bonds or other securities are derivatives simply because they derive their value from something described on the certificate. With a stock certificate, the value is derived from a company whose name appears on the certificate. That tells you which company you invested your money. The number of shares tells you how many shares you get. The indenture to the stock certificate or bond certificate describes the voting rights, rights to  distributions of income, and rights to distribution of the company is sold or liquidated. But this assumes that the company or government entity actually exists and is actually doing business as described in the IPO prospectus and subscription agreement.

The basic element of value and legal rights in such instruments is that there must be a company doing business in the name of the company who is shown on the share certificates — i.e., there must be actual financial transactions by the named parties that produce value for shareholders in the IPO entity, and the holders of certificates must have a right to receive those benefits. The securitization of a company through an IPO that offers securities to investors offer one additional legal fiction that is universally enforced — limited liability. Limited liability refers to the fact that the investment is at risk (if the company or REMIC fails) but the investor can’t lose more than he or she invested.

Translated to securitization of debt, there must be a transaction that is an actual loan of money that is not merely presumed, but which is real. That loan, like a stock certificate, must describe the actual debtor and the actual creditor. An investor does not intentionally buy a share of loans that were purchased from people who did not make any loans or conduct any lending business in which they were the source of lending.

While there are provisions in the law that can make a promissory note payable to anyone who is holding it, there is no allowance for enforcing a non-existent loan except in the event that the purchaser is a “Holder in Due Course.” The HDC can enforce both the note and mortgage because he has satisfied both Article 3 and Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The Pooling and Servicing Agreements of REMIC Trusts require compliance with the UCC, and other state and federal laws regarding originating or acquiring residential mortgage loans.

In short, the PSA requires that the Trust become a Holder in Due Course in order for the Trustee of the Trust to accept the loan as part of the pool owned by the Trust on behalf of the Trust Beneficiaries who have received a “certificate” of fractional ownership in the Trust. Anything less than HDC status is unacceptable. And if you were the investor you would want nothing less. You would want loans that cannot be defended on the basis of violation of lending laws and practices.

The loan, as described in the origination documents, must actually exist. A stock certificate names the company that is doing business. The loan describes the debtor and creditor. Any failure to describe the the debtor or creditor with precision, results in a failure of the loan contract, and the documents emerging from such a “closing” are worthless. If you want to buy a share of IBM you don’t buy a share of Itty Bitty Machines, Inc., which was just recently incorporated with its assets consisting of a desk and a chair. The name on the certificate or other legal document is extremely important.

In loan documents, the only exception to the “value” proposition in the event of the absence of an actual loan is another legal fiction designed to promote the free flow of commerce. It is called “Holder in Due Course.” The loan IS enforceable in the absence of an actual loan between the parties on the loan documents, if a third party innocent purchases the loan documents for value in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defense of failure of consideration (he didn’t get the loan from the creditor named on the note and mortgage).  This is a legislative decision made by virtually all states — if you sign papers, you are taking the risk that your promises will be enforced against you even if your counterpart breached the loan contract from the start. The risk falls on the maker of the note who can sue the loan originator for misusing his signature but cannot bring all potential defenses to enforcement by the Holder in Due Course.

Florida Example:

673.3021 Holder in due course.

(1) Subject to subsection (3) and s. 673.1061(4), the term “holder in due course” means the holder of an instrument if:

(a) The instrument when issued or negotiated to the holder does not bear such apparent evidence of forgery or alteration or is not otherwise so irregular or incomplete as to call into question its authenticity; and
(b) The holder took the instrument:

1. For value;
2. In good faith;
3. Without notice that the instrument is overdue or has been dishonored or that there is an uncured default with respect to payment of another instrument issued as part of the same series;
4. Without notice that the instrument contains an unauthorized signature or has been altered;
5. Without notice of any claim to the instrument described in s. 673.3061; and
6. Without notice that any party has a defense or claim in recoupment described in s. 673.3051(1).
673.3061 Claims to an instrument.A person taking an instrument, other than a person having rights of a holder in due course, is subject to a claim of a property or possessory right in the instrument or its proceeds, including a claim to rescind a negotiation and to recover the instrument or its proceeds. A person having rights of a holder in due course takes free of the claim to the instrument.
This means that Except for HDC status, the maker of the note has a right to reclaim possession of the note or to rescind the transaction against any party who has no rights to claim it is a creditor or has rights to represent a creditor. The absence of a claim of HDC status tells a long story of fraud and intrigue.
673.3051 Defenses and claims in recoupment.

(1) Except as stated in subsection (2), the right to enforce the obligation of a party to pay an instrument is subject to:

(a) A defense of the obligor based on:

1. Infancy of the obligor to the extent it is a defense to a simple contract;
2. Duress, lack of legal capacity, or illegality of the transaction which, under other law, nullifies the obligation of the obligor;
3. Fraud that induced the obligor to sign the instrument with neither knowledge nor reasonable opportunity to learn of its character or its essential terms;
This means that if the “originator” did not loan the money and/or failed to perform underwriting tests for the viability of the loan, and gave the borrower false impressions about the viability of the loan, there is a Florida statutory right of rescission as well as a claim to reclaim the closing documents before they get into the hands of an innocent purchaser for value in good faith with no knowledge of the borrower’s defenses.

 

In the securitization of loans, the object has been to create entities with preferred tax status that are remote from the origination or purchase of the loan transactions. In other words, the REMIC Trusts are intended to be Holders in Due Course. The business of the REMIC Trust is to originate or acquire loans by payment of value, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. Done correctly, appropriate market forces will apply, risks are reduced for both borrower and lenders, and benefits emerge for both sides of the single transaction between the investors who put up the money and the homeowners who received the benefit of the loan.

It is referred to as a single transaction using doctrines developed in tax law and other commercial cases. Every transaction, when you think about it, is composed of numerous actions, reactions and documents. If we treated each part as a separate transaction with no relationship to the other transactions there would be no connection between even the original lender and the borrower, much less where multiple assignments were involved. In simple terms, the single transaction doctrine basically asks one essential question — if it wasn’t for the investors putting up the money (directly or through an entity that issued an IPO) would the transaction have occurred? And the corollary is but for the borrower, would the investors have been putting up that money?  The answer is obvious in connection with mortgage loans. No business would have been conducted but for the investors advancing money and the homeowners taking it.

So neither “derivative” nor “securitization” is a dirty word. Nor is it some nefarious scheme from people from the dark side — in theory. Every REMIC Trust is the issuer in an initial public offering known as an “IPO” in investment circles. A company can do an IPO on its own where it takes the money and issues the shares or it can go through a broker who solicits investors, takes the money, delivers the money to the REMIC Trust and then delivers the Trust certificates to the investors.

Done properly, there are great benefits to everyone involved — lenders, borrowers, brokers, mortgage brokers, etc. And if “securitization” of mortgage debt had been done as described above, there would not have been a flood of money that increased prices of real property to more than twice the value of the land and buildings. Securitization of debt is meant to provide greater liquidity and lower risk to lenders based upon appropriate underwriting of each loan. Much of the investment came from stable managed funds which are strictly regulated on the risks they are allowed in managing the funds of pensioners, retirement accounts, etc.

By reducing the risk, the cost of the loans could be reduced to borrowers and the profits in creating loans would be higher. If that was what had been written in the securitization plan written by the major brokers on Wall Street, the mortgage crisis could not have happened. And if the actual practices on Wall Street had conformed at least to what they had written, the impact would have been vastly reduced. Instead, in most cases, securitization was used as the sizzle on a steak that did not exist. Investors advanced money, rating companies offered Triple AAA ratings, insurers offered insurance, guarantors guarantees loans and shares in REMIC trusts that had no possibility of achieving any value.

Today’s article was about the way the IPO securitization of residential loans was conceived and should have worked. Tomorrow we will look at the way the REMIC IPO was actually written and how the concept of securitization necessarily included layers of different companies.

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