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.

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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.
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“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/.

 

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/

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.

It Was the Banks That Falsified Loan Documents

I know it doesn’t make sense. Why would a lender falsify documents in order to make a loan? I had a case in which a major regional bank had their loan representatives falsify loan documents by having the borrower certify that there were houses on his two vacant lots. The bank swore up and down that they were never involved in securitization.

When the client refused to make such a false statement — the bank did the loan anyway AS THOUGH THE NONEXISTENT HOMES WERE ON THE VACANT LOTS. Thus they loaned money out on a loan that was guaranteed to lose money unless the borrower simply paid up despite the obvious loss. The borrower’s error was in doing business with what were obviously unsavory characters. True enough. But he was dealing with the regional bank in his area that had the finest reputation in banking.

He figured they knew what they were doing. And he was right, they did know what they were doing. What he didn’t know is that they were doing it to him! And they were doing it to him in furtherance of a larger fraudulent scheme in which investors were systematically defrauded.

When I took the client’s history all I had to hear was this little vignette and I knew (a) the bank was involved in securitization and (b) this loan was securitized BEFORE the closing and even before any application for loan was solicited or accepted by the bank. The client balked at first, not believing that a bank would openly declare its non-involvement with Wall Street when the truth would so easily be known.

But the truth is not easily known — especially when the bank is involved in “private label” trusts in which there are no filing with the SEC or other agencies.

The real question is why would the bank ask the borrower to certify the existence of two homes that were never built? Why would they want to increase their risk by giving a loan on vacant land that supposedly had improvements? Or to put it bluntly, Why would a bank try to cheat itself?

The answer is that no bank, no lender, no investor would ever try to cheat themselves. The whole purpose of our marketplace is to allow market conditions to correct inefficiencies and moral hazards. So if the bank was cheating or lying, the only rational conclusion is not that they were lying to themselves, but rather lying to someone else. They were increasing the risk of non repayment and decreasing the probability that the loan would ever succeed, while maximizing the potential for economic loss to the lender. Why would anyone do that?

The answer is simple. These were not “overly exuberant” loans, misjudgments or “risky” behavior situations. The ONLY reason or bank or any lender or investor would engage in such behavior is that it was in their self interest to do it. And the only way it could be in their self interest to do it is that they were (a) not lending the money and (b) had no risk of of loss on any of these loans. There is no other conclusion that makes any sense. The bank was being paid to crank out loans that looked valid and viable on their face, but in fact the loans were neither valid nor viable.

Why would anyone pay a bank or other “originator” to pump out bad loans? The answer is simple again. They would pay the originator because they were being paid to solicit originators who would do this and then aggregate over-priced, non-viable loans into bundles where the top layer contained apparently good loans on credit-worthy individuals. And who would pay these aggregators? The CDO manager for the broker dealers that sold toxic waste mortgage bonds to unwitting investors. As for the risk of loss they created an empty unfunded trust entity upon whom they would dump defaulted loans after the 90 day cutoff period and contrary to the terms of the trust.

So it would LOOK LIKE there was a real lending entity that had approved, directly or indirectly, of the the “underwriting” of a loan. But there was no underwriting because there was no need for underwriting because the originators and aggregators never had a risk of loss and neither was the CDO manager of the broker dealer exposed to any risk, nor the broker dealer itself that did the underwriting and selling of the mortgage bonds.

Reynaldo Reyes states that “it is all very counter-intuitive.” That is code for “it was all a lie.” But we keep treating the securitization infrastructure as real. In the 2011 article (see below) in Huffpost, the Federal Reserve cited Wells Fargo for such behavior — and then the Federal Reserve started buying the toxic waste mortgage bonds at the rate of some $60 billion PER MONTH, which is to say that approximately $3 Trillion of toxic waste mortgage bonds have been purchased by the Federal Reserve from the Banks. The Banks settled with investors, insurers, guarantors, loss sharing agencies, and hedge counterparties for pennies on the dollar, but so far those settlements total nearly $1 Trillion, which is a lot of pennies.

Meanwhile in court, lawyers are neither receiving nor delivering the correct message in court. They seek a magic bullet that will end the litigation in their favor which immediately puts them in a classification of lawyers who lose foreclosure defense cases. The bottom line: the lawyers who win understand at least most of what is written in this article, have drawn their own conclusions, and are merciless during discovery and/or at trial. Then the opposition files a notice of voluntary dismissal or judgment is entered for the homeowner “borrower.” Right now, these losses are acceptable to banks who are still playing with other people’s money. If lawyers did their homeowner and litigated these cases aggressively, the bank’s illusion of securitization would end. And THAT means most foreclosures would end or never be started.

Wells Fargo Illegally Pushed Borrowers into SubPrime Mortgages

DUAL Tracking: The Game of “Chicken”

In their quest for a windfall they have given the homeowners a path to justice — one where the notice of default, notice of sale, notice of acceleration notice of right to reinstate and redemption rights are all screwed up (i.e., wrong and invalid). With 80%+ of the losses already paid, the loans could have been modified down to nothing or nearly nothing compared with the original balance showed on the note, whether the note was fabricated or not. The problem is not whether the remedy exists. The problem is whether the lawyers and litigants have the guts to pursue it.” Neil Garfield, www.Livinglies.me

OneWest was formed over a weekend by several wealthy investors who paid virtually nothing for billions of dollars in what were claimed as “portfolio” loans owned by IndyMac which went bankrupt and into FDIC receivership in September, 2008. The agreement specified that the FDIC would pay 80% of the losses incurred on the loans. The first problem is that it said it would pay OneWest the 80%.

The second problem is that One West maintained their claim for the full amount against homeowners even though they had already submitted the claims and collected — many times more than once, from our analysis. That payment was not subject to repayment, subrogation or anything else that we can find, so the “creditor” or “agent” of the creditor has been paid on that account, but the balance has not been reduced.

In their quest for a windfall they have given the homeowners a path to justice — one where the notice of default, notice of sale, notice of acceleration notice of right to reinstate and redemption rights are all screwed up (i.e., wrong and invalid). With 80%+ of the losses already paid, the loans could have been modified down to nothing or nearly nothing compared with the original balance showed on the note, whether the note was fabricated or not.

The real problem is that most lawyers are not presenting their cases with the confidence of knowing that whatever the position of their opposition, it is probably a misstatement of the truth — the opposing lawyers in most cases don’t even know that they are making false statements and representations. Practically every foreclosure trial or hearing begins with the words “This is a simple foreclosure, your honor.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Patrick Giunta, Esq. is co-counsel on several cases we are litigating in South Florida. One of them is a qui tam action against OneWest for false claims to the government. He has again brought to my attention the case decided in California (where almost everyone says it is hopeless) in which the homeowner stuck to their guns instead of accepting various offers of settlement. The reason we bring it to your attention again is that it demonstrates the fact that if you know you are right and you have the Judge on your side just for the raw elements of pleading or discovery, the confidence of the opposition is shattered even if they put on a good show of appearing otherwise.

My article from September 13, 2013 explains the scenario from the California case. Our current case goes even further alleging that OneWest intentionally misrepresented losses to the FDIC and the Federal Home Loan Housing Agency (and probably other private and public institutions) in order to collect multiple times on nonexistent losses. But it also dove-tails with the California case because they were steering homeowners into “modification” programs by the old trick “You have to be 90 days behind before you can be considered for modification.”

And by the way that trick phrase is not only untrue (designed to keep the modification “in house”) but also potentially criminal and illegal, because for one thing HAMP does not require delinquency in loans for modification. It gets worse. Most of the loans submitted for modification were in fact subject to claims of securitization and the authority of OneWest is questionable at best. The 90 day delinquency trick is wrong. It also constitutes the unauthorized practice of law. If a lawyer says it or anyone from his or her office under instructions from the lawyer, it might be grounds for a bar grievance. Practicing law without a license is an actual felony in many states subject to imprisonment, fine or both.

Virtually all servicers have trained their employees on how to say that without it appearing to be advice — but the homeowner hears it just the way the servicer wants them to hear it — I must go into default if I want the modification. THUS THE DEFAULT IS PROCURED INTENTIONALLY BY THE SERVICER WHICH IS INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH THE CONTRACT, IF IT EXISTS, BETWEEN THE BORROWER AND THE TRUST.That is an intentional tort enabling the Plaintiff Homeowner to allege damages far beyond economic damages and to even ask for punitive damages, exemplary damages or treble damages under statutory authority, sometimes including the cost of attorneys fees and costs.

The problem is that no modification is offered even if the homeowner makes trial payments on an “approved” modification. Worse yet, those payments are also frequently missed when the servicer or “creditor” issues a statement, report or notice. Or the modification actually raises the payments and makes it more impossible for the loan to work — which brings the servicer to the point they want: foreclosure to collect or keep the money they received on that loan, directly or indirectly, and which they never reported to the court, the borrower or anyone else.

The OneWest situation is only symptomatic of the rest of the “industry.” Virtually all servicers play the same games. These intermediaries and their co-venturers are collecting over and over again from loss sharing agreements, insurance, credit default swaps, and guarantees and other hedges, over and over again. They report it to nobody. And neither the Justice department or even our new CFPB seem to have any interest in the one factor that would bring down the number of foreclosures to nearly zero — giving credit where credit is due.

Practice Hint: For the bold and creative I would argue that that the entire profit earned from using the name of the homeowner to sell bonds,and profit from loss sharing and loss mitigation techniques should be disgorged to the borrower, whose note specifies how the payments are to be applied. One lawyer in Phoenix refers to this as my most obnoxious theory. I bet. It would disgorge all the money the banks made by declaring non existent losses.

If the “creditor” has received money directly or through payment to their agent, then the balance of the receivable is reduced — and in the simplest bookkeeping class we know that the corresponding payable from the borrower is also lost. The intermediaries could get to keep their ill-gotten claims on multiple reports of the same nonexistent loss, with a correction of the principal balance due from the borrower.

Instead they would rather get hit for a seven figure verdict or a six figure settlement when one out of a thousand gets up the nerve to really challenge them. The numbers all balance out in favor of Wall Street — as long as Wall Street keeps winning the game of “chicken.”

http://livinglies.me/2013/09/13/victory-for-homeowners-received-title-and-7-figure-monetary-damages-for-wrongful-foreclosure/

For further information please call 520-405-1688 or 954-494-6000. Consults available to homeowners’ attorneys, to wit: homeowners can attend only if they have a licensed attorney on the conference call. Workbooks on General Foreclosure Litigation, Evidence and Expert Witnesses are also available.

Why Is the PSA Relevant?

Many judges in foreclosure actions continue to rule that the securitization documents are irrelevant. This would be a correct ruling in the event that there were no securitization documents. Otherwise, the securitization documents are nothing but relevant.

There are three scenarios in which the securitization documents are relevant:

  1.  The party claiming to be a trustee of a trust is claiming to have the rights of collection and foreclosure.
  2.  The party claiming to be the servicer  for a trust is claiming to have the rights of collection and foreclosure.
  3.  The party claiming to be the holder with rights to enforce is claiming to have rights of collection and foreclosure. If the party claims to be a holder in due course, the inquiry ends there and the borrower is stuck with bringing claims against the intermediaries, being stripped of his right to raise defenses he/she could otherwise have made against the originator, aggregator or other parties.

The securitization scheme can be summarized as follows:

  1.  Assignment and Assumption agreement:  This governs procedures for the closing. This is an agreement between the apparent originator of the loan and an undisclosed third-party aggregator. This agreement exists before the first application for loan is received by the originator, and before the alleged “closing.” It governs the behavior of the originator as well as the rights and obligations of the originator. Specifically it states that the originator has no rights to the whatsoever. The aggregator is used as a conduit for the delivery of funds to the closing table at which the borrower is deceived into thinking that he received a loan from the originator when in fact the funds were wired by the aggregator on behalf of an unknown fourth party. The unknown fourth party is a broker-dealer acting as a conduit for the actual lenders. The actual lenders are investors who believe that they were buying mortgage bonds issued by a REMIC trust, which in turn would be using the money raised from the offering of the bonds for the purpose of originating or acquiring residential loans. Hence the assignment and assumption agreement is highly relevant because it dictates the manner in which the closing takes place. And it demonstrates that the loan was a table funded loan in a pattern of conduct that is indisputably “predatory per se.” It also demonstrates the fact that there was no consideration between originator and the borrower. And it demonstrates that there was no privity between the aggregator and the borrower. As the closing agent procured the signature of the borrower on false pretenses. Interviews with document processors for both originators closing agents now show that they would not participate in such a closing where the identity of the actual lender was intentionally withheld.
  2.  The pooling and servicing agreement: This governs the procedures for collection, disbursement and enforcement. This is the document that specifies the authority of the trustee, the servicer, the sub servicers, the documents that should be held by the servicer, the servicer advance payments, and the formulas under which the lenders would be paid. Without this document, none of the parties currently bring foreclosure actions would have any right to be in court. Without this document trustee cannot show its authority to represent the trust or the trust beneficiaries. Without this document servicer cannot show that it performed in accordance with the requirements of a contract, or that it was in privity with the actual lenders,  or that it had any right of enforcement, or that it computed correctly the amount of payment required from the borrower and the amount of payment required to be made to the lenders. It also specifies the types of third party payments that are made from insurance, swaps and other guarantors or co-obligors.
  3. Of specific importance is the common provision for servicer advances, in which the creditors are receiving payments in full despite the declaration of default by the servicer.  In fact, the declaration of default by the servicer is actually an attempt to recover money that was voluntarily paid to the creditor. It is not correctly seen as a declaration of default nor any right to demand reinstatement nor any right to accelerate because the creditor is not showing any default. It is a disguised attempt to assert a claim for unjust enrichment because the servicer made payments on behalf of the borrower, voluntarily, to the creditor that are not recoverable from the creditor. Usually they make this payment by the 25th of each month. Hence any prior delinquency is cured each month and eliminates the possibility of a default with respect to the creditor on the residential loan.

It is argued by the banks and accepted by many judges that mere possession of the note sufficient to enforce it in the amount demanded by the servicer. This is wrong. The amount demanded by the servicer and does not take into account the actual payments received by the actual creditor. Accordingly the computation of interest and principal is incorrect. This can only be shown by reference to the securitization documents, including the assignment and assumption agreement, the pooling and servicing agreement, the prospectus and supplements to the PSA and Prospectus.

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

Why Are Trusts Alleging Holder Status and Not Holder in Due Course?

THEY ARE ADMITTING THEY DIDN’T PAY FOR THE LOAN

THIS CORROBORATES THE ALLEGATION THAT THE TRUST WAS UNFUNDED

IF THE TRUST WAS UNFUNDED IT COULD NOT HAVE ORIGINATED OR ACQUIRED THE LOAN

In situations where the alleged REMIC Trust is the party initiating foreclosure, you will find in most instances that they are alleging that they are the holder. The fact that they are not alleging that they are the holder in due course raises some interesting questions. First, it is an admission that they did not pay for the loan for value in good faith and without notice of borrower’s defenses.

This in turn leads us to the PSA where you can see for yourself that only good loans properly underwritten can be included in the trust based upon the procedures for transfer and payment that are set forth or implied in the trust instrument (the PSA). Remember that the ONLY reason the party is appearing in court as the foreclosing entity is by virtue of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA). Their ONLY authority, as a “holder with rights to enforce” derives from the trust instrument (PSA). So any argument that the PSA is irrelevant is nonsense — it should be an exhibit in court or else the foreclosure should be dismissed. If they want to argue to the contrary, they must reveal the creditor and reveal the alternative authority to enforce apart from the trust instrument. If it has anything to do with the trust or trust beneficiaries however, the document (Power of Attorney) derives its power from the trust instrument as well (PSA).

The way the Banks tell it, an assignment dated not only after the cutoff date, but after the alleged declared default of the loan forces investors to accept that which they specifically excluded in the  trust instrument (PSA) — a bad loan that violates the REMIC provisions of the Internal Revenue Code subject them to adverse tax consequences and economic losses that were NOT built into the deal. How can a state judge in Florida or any other state order or enter judgment that forces a bad loan on investors who specifically called fro a cutoff of any new loans in the pool years before the foreclosure? If the loan was already declared in default. how can the trust beneficiaries be forced to accept a bad loan?

At the very least these John Does must be given notice and since the servicer knows who they are (because they have been paying them) they should give notice to the investors that their rights may be significantly impacted by a court decision in which the servicer or trustee of the REMIC trust is taking a position adverse to the interests of the trust beneficiaries and in violation of the trust indenture.

Since the requirements of the PSA always provide for circumstances that are identical to the definition of a holder in due course, why is the allegation that they are just a holder? The answer is plain: in order to establish that they are a holder in due course their proof would be limited to the fact that they paid for the loan, in good faith and without knowledge of borrower’s defenses. That proof would insulate the trust and trust beneficiaries from borrower’s defenses by definition (see Article 3, UCC). The allegation of only being a holder, exposes the trust and trust beneficiaries to defenses that were intended to be barred by virtue of being holders in due course of each and every loan. Thus this too is an allegation contrary or adverse to the interests of the trust and the trust beneficiaries. Again without notice to the trust beneficiaries that the trustee or at least lawyers for the trustee are taking positions adverse to the interests of the investors and the trust.

What difference does it make? It makes a difference because of money which is after all what this case is supposed to be about. The investors’ money either went into the REMIC trust or it didn’t. If it did, then the trust is the right vehicle for the transaction although most PSA’s say the trust cannot bring the foreclosure action. But if it didn’t go into the REMIC trust account, and the trust was ignored in the origination and/or acquisition of the, loan then the borrower is even more entitled to know what payments the investors (f/k/a/ trust beneficiaries) have received. If there have been settlements, then how much of the original debt is left? If there were servicer payments, was there ever a default and how much of the original debt is left? If there were third party payments to the creditors then how much of the original debt is left?

What seems to be an elusive concept for judges, lawyers and even borrowers is that their debt was paid by someone else. That is what happens when you have fraudulent transactions and the perpetrators get caught. In this case, there was plenty of money available to private settle more than $1 Trillion in claims of fraud from investors and fines that are steadily increasing into the tens of billions of dollars. Because the intermediary banks had essentially stolen the identity of the lenders and the borrowers, they made claims and got paid as though they were the lenders. Now they are using the proceeds of what were disguised sales of the same loan multiple times to settle with investors and settle only with those borrowers who present a credible threat. In the end the banks are wiling to pay trillions because they got illegally trillions more.

The big question is when it will occur to enough enough judges, lawyers and borrowers that they are entitled to offset for those payments that were actually received or on behalf of the actual creditors. It isn’t a difficult computation. Thus the notice of default, the notice of the right to reinstatement, the end of month statements, and the acceleration letter all state the wrong amounts and are fatally defective. They are misrepresentations that are part of a string of misrepresentations starting with the lies told to the managers of stable managed funds who purchased, and kept on purchasing mortgage bonds issued by an apparent REMIC trust whose terms were being routinely ignored.

Thus it is not RELIEF that the borrower is asking, it is JUSTICE. The creditor is only entitled to get paid once on each debt. The creditors are the investors or trust beneficiaries. The demands made on borrowers for the last 7 years have actually been demands from the intermediaries for payment of fees, commissions and advances made or earned by them, according to their story. They are not claims on the mortgage loan, which was either paid down or paid off without disclosure to the borrower. Had the pay down or payoff been recorded and applied, virtually all of the loans that were improperly foreclosed by strangers to the original transaction (no privity) would have been avoided because the amount of the payment could have been dropped easily under HAMP. As stated repeatedly on these pages, this is not a gift of principal REDUCTION. It is justice applying a principal CORRECTION due to payment received — the ultimate defense under any lawsuit for financial damages.

For more information please call 954-495-9867.

Fannie and Freddie Slammed by Massachusetts AG

Martha Coakley gets it. Read her letter. Being a politician she does not say that the abstract fear of strategic defaults on all loans across the board is absurd. Well, actually she does say it. Principal reductions and ending patently illegal policies preventing homeowners from buying back their own property at auction are at the center of the solution to the foreclosure mess along with one more thing: things will change when we get the answer to the question IF THESE POLICIES HURT LENDERS, INVESTORS AND BORROWERS, WHY WOULD ANYONE LISTEN TO A THIRD PARTY WHO BENEFITS?

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As the new head of the Federal Agency administrating Fannie and Freddie, Watts, replacing DeMarco, signals a major change in policy and regulations. The question is whether he means it. There is no doubt at the White House that the economy will continue to be dragged down by foreclosures. Their answer to the problem lies in modifications with “principal reductions” and loosening some standards for lending and securitization.

While the modification policies should be changed, this isn’t enough. Modification has been used as a tool of Wall Street to lure unwary borrowers into the illusion of immediate relief only to be faced with terms that are worse than the borrowers had before when underwriting was virtually nonexistent — albeit with some fees and other “skin in the game” restrictions that could slow up some of the continuing securitization fraud.

The issue is still the same and the fear is still there — will the entire system collapse if we stop putting the full brunt of the foreclosure mess on the backs of unsophisticated homeowners who were induced to buy loan products that were filled with false pretenses, false assumptions and nonexistent review, verification and other underwriting procedures.

At this point, considering the rampant appraisal fraud, homeowners should be given an opportunity to regain equity and have some skin in the game — as opposed to the all or nothing proposition they are fighting in court with complete strangers to their transactions 000 alleged by parties relying on evidentiary presumptions rather than real facts of each transaction.

In 2007 I proposed amnesty for everyone and that everyone share in the the losses from civil and perhaps criminal fraud caused by the banks taking money from investors and applying it to loans that were guaranteed to fail and then scaring government into thinking that the world would end if they were called on this predatory and illegal practice on the basis of being too big too fail.

Too big to fail is a myth. First, the banks can’t collapse because they are cash rich off shore. Trillions were siphoned out of pension funds, taxpayers and insurers and guarantors taking so much money that the federal reserve had to engage in various schemes of direct and disguised quantitative easing (like buying mortgage bonds that were worthless at 100% of par value). The losses claimed by the banks were also fictional.

At this point everyone at the levers of power knows the truth. The trusts were never funded and the trusts never acquired the loans. This places the investors in the position of being undifferentiated and unattached creditors for loans they funded but were never  given proper documentation in the form of notes payable tot he investors and mortgages pledging collateral to the investors, leaving them as unsecured creditors.

But now the government is committed financially to a policy of continuing fraud started by the banks which is the same thing that is happening in court. The issue is not whether a deadbeat homeowner will get a free house (that is a choice presented by the banks in a false set of presumptions). despite the dire straits of investors in worthless and fraudulent mortgage bonds, homeowners are mostly willing to offer new notes and new mortgages that reflect economic reality. No, those deadbeats are nothing of the sort. They are hard working, play by the rules people who simply want a fair deal and they are willing to shoulder the loss forced on them by the banks.

Want to test it out? Call us about our AMGAR project — 7 years in the making — in which we call the bluff of the banks. It takes money, but the investors are starting to line up to help, and the homeowners with independent assets to offer the money rather than the foreclosure are racking up wins in case after case. Watch the banks back peddle as they reject the money in favor of their much needed foreclosure judgment and sale so they can report the loan was a bust — and therefore the money the banks received in servicer payments to the investors, insurance tot he banks, guarantees and other proceed from other obligors won’t need to be paid back.

And if played properly, the tax revenue due from the banks for violations of the REMIC provisions, part of which will fall on investors who fail to make their case against the broker dealers who sold them that mortgage crap, will more than offset the lack of revenue on Federal and State levels. All they need to do is give up on too big to fail and give up on thinking that killing the middle class is a good idea because the burden must fall somewhere. In fraud, the burden falls on the perpetrators not the victims although it is rare that restitution ever equals the loss. Virtually every foreclosure is merely the court’s complicity in the continuing fraud.

Remember the playbook of the bank attorneys into undermine your confidence until the very last second when they submit their voluntary dismissal in court. Call their bluff, offer the money based upon YOUR terms or the terms of an investor who is willing to make the commitment. Your terms require proof of ownership and proof of balance after credits for third party payments. you will find they don’t own the loan and the balance of the loan has already been paid down or paid off entirely.

Don’t just file motions to enforce discovery. File motions with affidavits from forensic analysts that explain why you need what you are asking for. You’ll get the order. And as soon as you get the order, the offers of settlement will start pouring in.

For information and further assistance please call 520-405-1688 or 954-495-9867. We provide help and guidance to professionals that know foreclosure defense, foreclosure offense, modifications, short-sales, Hardest Hit Funds and other Federal, State and private programs. Remember to ask about AMGAR. It is time to strike back. Let the other side start feeling the pain.

see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/14/business/Melvin-Watt-shifts-course-on-fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac.html?ref=business&_r=0

 

Hooker Case Flirts With Reality – 9th Circuit

SEE AMICUS BRIEF AT END OF ARTICLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hooker v Northwest Trustee Services 11-35534

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

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

Fatal Flaws in the Origination of Loans and Assignments

The secured party, the identified creditor, the payee on the note, the mortgagee on the mortgage, the beneficiary under the deed of trust should have been the investor(s) — not the originator, not the aggregator, not the servicer, not any REMIC Trust, not any Trustee of a REMIC Trust, and not any Trustee substituted by a false beneficiary on a deed of Trust, not the master servicer and not even the broker dealer. And certainly not whoever is pretending to be a legal party in interest who, without injury to themselves or anyone they represent, could or should force the forfeiture of property in which they have no interest — all to the detriment of the investor-lenders and the borrowers.
There are two fatal flaws in the origination of the loan and in the origination of the assignment of the loan.

As I see it …

The REAL Transaction is between the investors, as an unnamed group, and the borrower(s). This is taken from the single transaction rule and step transaction doctrine that is used extensively in Tax Law. Since the REMIC trust is a tax creature, it seems all the more appropriate to use existing federal tax law decisions to decide the substance of these transactions.

If the money from the investors was actually channeled through the REMIC trust, through a bank account over which the Trustee for the REMIC trust had control, and if the Trustee had issued payment for the loan, and if that happened within the cutoff period, then if the loan was assigned during the cutoff period, and if the delivery of the documents called for in the PSA occurred within the cutoff period, then the transaction would be real and the paperwork would be real EXCEPT THAT

Where the originator of the loan was neither legally the lender nor legally a representative of the source of funds for the transaction, then by simple rules of contract, the originator was incapable of executing any transfer documents for the note or mortgage (deed of trust in nonjudicial states).

If the originator of the loan was not the lender, not the creditor, not a party who could legally execute a satisfaction of the mortgage and a cancellation of the note then who was?

Our answer is nobody, which I know is “counter-intuitive” — a euphemism for crazy conspiracy theorist. But here is why I know that the REMIC trust was never involved in the transaction and that the originator was never the source of funds except in those cases where securitization was never involved (less than 2% of all loans made, whether still existing or “satisfied” or “foreclosed”).

The broker dealer never intended for the REMIC trust to actually own the mortgage loans and caused the REMIC trust to issue mortgage bonds containing an indenture for repayment and ownership of the underlying loans. But there were never any underlying loans (except for some trusts created in the 1990’s). The prospectus said plainly that the excel spreadsheet attached to the prospectus contained loan information that would be replaced by the real loans once they were acquired. This is a practice on Wall Street called selling forward. In all other marketplaces, it is called fraud. But like short-selling, it is permissible on Wall Street.

The broker dealer never intended the investors to actually own the bonds either. Those were issued in street name nominee, non objecting status/ The broker dealer could report to the investor that the investor was the actual or equitable owner of the bonds in an end of month statement when in fact the promises in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement as to insurance, credit default swaps, overcollateralization (a violation of the terms of the promissory note executed by residential borrowers), cross collateralization (also a violation of the borrower’s note), guarantees, servicer advances and trust or trustee advances would all be payable, at the discretion of the broker dealer, to the broker dealer and perhaps never reported or paid to the “trust beneficiaries” who were in fact merely defrauded investors. The only reason the servicer advances were paid to the investors was to lull them into a false sense of security and to encourage them to buy still more of these empty (less than junk) bonds.

By re-creating the notes signed by residential borrowers as various different instruments, and there being no limit on the number of times it could be insured or subject to receiving the proceeds of credit default swaps, (and with the broker dealer being the Master Servicer with SOLE discretion as to whether to declare a credit event that was binding on the insurer, counter-party etc), the broker dealers were able to sell the loans multiple times and sell the bonds multiple times. The leverage at Bear Stearns stacked up to 42 times the actual transaction — for which the return was infinite because the Bear used investor money to do the deal.

Hence we know from direct evidence in the public domain that this was the plan for the “claim” of securitization — which is to say that there never was any securitization of any of the loans. The REMIC Trust was ignored, thus the PSA, servicer rights, etc. were all nonbinding, making all of them volunteers earning considerable money, undisclosed to the investors who would have been furious to see how their money was being used and the borrowers who didn’t see the train wreck coming even from 24 inches from the closing documents.

Before the first loan application was received (and obviously before the first “closing” occurred) the money had been taken from investors for the expressed purpose of funding loans through the REMIC Trust. The originator in all cases was subject to an assignment and assumption agreement which made the loan the property and liability of the counter-party to the A&A BEFORE the money was given to the borrower or paid out on behalf of the borrower. Without the investor, there would have been no loan. without the borrower, there would have been no investment (but there would still be an investor left holding the bag having advanced money for mortgage bonds issued by a REMIC trust that had no assets, and no income to pay the bonds off).

The closing agent never “noticed” that the funds did not come from the actual originator. Since the amount was right, the money went into the closing agent’s escrow account and was then applied by the escrow agent to fund the loan to the borrower. But the rules were that the originator was not allowed to touch or handle or process the money or any overpayment.

Wire transfer instructions specified that any overage was to be returned to the sender who was neither the originator nor any party in privity with the originator. This was intended to prevent moral hazard (theft, of the same type the banks themselves were committing) and to create a layer of bankruptcy remote, liability remote originators whose sins could only be visited upon the aggregators, and CDO conduits constructed by CDO managers in the broker dealers IF the proponent of a claim could pierce a dozen fire walls of corporate veils.

NOW to answer your question, if the REMIC trust was ignored, and was a sham used to steal money from pension funds, but the money of the pension fund landed on the “closing table,” then who should have been named on the note and mortgage (deed of trust beneficiary in non-judicial states)? Obviously the investor(s) should have been protected with a note and mortgage made out in their name or in the name of their entity. It wasn’t.

And the originator was intentionally isolated from privity with the source of funds. That means to me, and I assume you agree, that the investor(s) should have been on the note as payee, the investor(s) should have been on the mortgage as mortgagees (or beneficiaries under the deed of trust) but INSTEAD a stranger to the transaction with no money in the deal allowed their name to be rented as though they were the actual lender.

In turn it was this third party stranger nominee straw-man who supposedly executed assignments, endorsements, and other instruments of power or transfer (sometimes long after they went out of business) on a note and mortgage over which they had no right to control and in which they had no interest and for which they could suffer no loss.

Thus the paperwork that should have been used was never created, executed or delivered. The paperwork that that was created referred to a transaction between the named parties that never occurred. No state allows equitable mortgages, nor should they. But even if that theory was somehow employed here, it would be in favor of the individual investors who actually suffered the loss rather than the foreclosing entity who bears no risk of loss on the loan given to the borrower at closing. They might have other claims against numerous parties including the borrower, but those claims are unliquidated and unsecured.

The secured party, the identified creditor, the payee on the note, the mortgagee on the mortgage, the beneficiary under the deed of trust should have been the investor(s) — not the originator, not the aggregator, not the servicer, not any REMIC Trust, not any Trustee of a REMIC Trust, and not any Trustee substituted by a false beneficiary on a deed of Trust, not the master servicer and not even the broker dealer. And certainly not whoever is pretending to be a legal party in interest who, without injury to themselves or anyone they represent, could or should force the forfeiture of property in which they have no interest — all to the detriment of the investor-lenders and the borrowers.

Why any court would allow the conduits and bookkeepers to take over the show to the obvious detriment and damage to the real parties in interest is a question that only legal historians will be able to answer.

Wells Fargo Manual Serves as Basis for Deeper Discovery

Every lawyer defending Foreclosures has heard the same thing from the bench just before a ruling in favor of the pretender lender — the homeowner did not meet its burden of proof and therefore judgment is entered in favor of the “bank.” The fact that the pretender lender is a bank makes the judge more comfortable with his assumption that the loan is real, the default is real, the financial injury to the pretender lender is presumed, and that the family should be kicked out of their home me because they stopped paying on “the loan.”

More and more Judges are now questioning the assumption of viability of the forecloser’s position and are now entertaining the issue of whether the loan exists as an enforceable contract act and whether it has been already paid off or sold to third parties leaving the currently foreclosing party with a patently false claim.

Those of us who have been analyzing these “securitized” mortgages recognize the situation for what it is — a magic trick in a smoke and mirrors environment using the holographic image of an empty paper bag. The reasons Wells Fargo fought the introduction of its manual into Federal Court is simple — it is an open door in discovery that will most likely lead to definite proof that the money trail does not support the paper trail. That means the actual transactions were different than the events shown on the fabricated assignments, endorsements, allonges and other instruments of transfer.

But it also opens the door to the initial transaction in which “the loan” was created. It turns out that in most cases there were two transactions at the “origination” of each loan. One of those “transactions” is what we are all looking at — an apparently closed loop of offer, acceptance and consideration with most of the required disclosures under TILA.

So, as we shall see, there was a fake loan and a real loan. The fake one was fully and overly documented, whereas the real one is sparsely documented consisting of wire transfer receipt, wire transfer instructions and perhaps some correspondence. Neither was ever delivered to the fake lender or the real lender which is part of the problem that the Wells Fargo manual was intended to address. Discovery should proceed with the other banks where you find similar manuals.

This is the one everybody has their eye on, while the real transaction takes place right under the eye of the borrower who doesn’t catch the magic trick. So the fake transaction is the subject of a note where the lender is identified as such. Then the “lender” and perhaps some other strawman like MERS is also identified. MERS doesn’t make any claims to ownership of the loan (in fact it disclaims any such ownership on its website). The question is whether the “originator” was also a strawman, even if it was a commercial bank whose business included making loans.

Back to basics. The loan closing is described by most courts as a quasi contract because there is no written loan contract prior to the “closing.” But it must be interpreted under Federal and State lending and contract laws because there is no other viable classification for an alleged loan transaction.

The basics of a loan contract, like any other contract, are offer, acceptance and consideration. Federal and state law are also inserted into the inferred loan contract by operation of law. So the basic contractual question is whether there was an offer, whether there was acceptance and whether there was consideration. If any of those things are absent, there is no contract— or to be more specific there is no enforceable contract.

And that applies to mortgages more than anything because it is universally accepted that there is no such thing as an “equitable mortgage.” The short reason is that title and regular commerce would be forever undermined — no buyer would buy, except at a high discount, anything where it might turn out he wasn’t getting the title she or he expected.

So the loan contract must be real, and it must be in writing because the statute of frauds and other state laws require that any interest in land must be conveyed by a written instrument — and recorded in the Public Records (but the recording requirements are frequently a rabbit hole down which homeowners go at their peril).

This is where the magic trick begins and where Wells Fargo and the other major banks are holding their collective breath. The offer is communicated through a mortgage broker or”originator” and consists of the offer of the originator to loan a certain sum of money, in exchange for the promise by the borrower to repay it under certain terms.

It is inferred that the originator is making the offer on its own behalf but this is not the case. The truth is that investors have already advanced the money that will be used in the loan. So the offer is coming not from a “lender” but rather from a nominee or agent. The transaction at best is identified under RegZ and TILA as a table funded loan which is not only illegal, it is by definition “predatory.”

What is an”offer” to loan somebody else’s money? The answer is nothing unless the other party has consented to that loan or has executed a document that gives the “originator” a written authorization that is recordable and recorded. Where do we find such authorization? Theoretically one might refer to the Pooling and Servicing Agreement — but the problem is that any violation of the PSA results in a void transaction by operation of New York law, which is the governing law of most PSA’s.

Were the investors or the Trustee of the REMIC trust advised of the terms of the loan transaction proposed by the originator. No, and there is no way the originator can even fabricate that without disclosing the names of the investors, the trustee, and specific person at the “trustee” etc. So the question becomes whether the investors or trust beneficiaries conveyed written authority to enter into a transaction in which a loan was originated or acquired. In virtually all cases the answer is no.

One of the simpler reasons is that the investors money was never used to fund the trust, so the investors lost their tax benefit from using a REMIC trust in direct violation of their contract or quasi contract with the broker dealer who “sold mortgage bonds” allegedly issued by the empty, unfunded trust.

Another more complicated reason is that the loans probably do not and could never qualify as a minimum risk investment as the law requires for management of “Stable funds.” Those are fund units managed under strict restrictions because they hold pension money and other types of liabilities where capital preservation is far more important than growth or even income.

And the third aspect is the presence in virtually all cases of an Assignment and Assumption Agreement (see Neil Garfield on YouTube) BEFORE THE FIRST BOND IS SOLD AND BEFORE THE FIRST APPLICATION FOR LOAN IS RECEIVED.

Analysis of the loan transaction will show that for the fly-by-night originators who have long since vanished, they had no right or ability to even touch the money at closing, which was coming in reform a third party source with whom they had no relationship — which is why the Wall Street lawyers consider them both bankruptcy remote and liability remote (I.e., anything wrong at closing won’t be ascribed to either the broker dealer, or the investors (or their empty unfunded trust). Countrywide is a larger example of this.

All the sub entities of Countrywide and Lehman (Aurora, BNC etc.) are also examples despite their appearance as “institutions” they were merely sham entities operating as strawmen — nominees without authority to do anything and who never touched the closing money except for receipt of fees which in part were paid as set forth in the borrower’s closing documents, and in part paid without disclosure (another TILA violation) through a labyrinth of entities.

Thus the only reasonable conclusion is that there never was a complete offer with all material terms disclosed. No offer=no contract=no enforcement=no foreclosure is possible, although it is possible for a civil judgment to be obtained against the borrower if a real party in interest could allege and prove financial injury. It also means that the documents signed by the borrower neither disclosed the real terms or real parties, which means they were procured through false representations — the very same allegation the investors are making against the broker dealers (investment banks).

In the case of actual banks, like Wells Fargo, it is more counterintuitive than the fly by night “originators.” But discovery, deep inside the operations of the bank will show that the underwriting standards for portfolio loans in which the bank had a risk of loss were different than the underwriting standards for “securitized” loans. In fact they were run and processed on entirely different platforms. The repurchase agreement being discussed in the literature on structured finance actually results from the fictitious sale of the loan rather than the underwriting at origination.

When the borrower signed the closing document he or she was executing an acceptance of a deal that was only part of the complete offer, which contained numerous restrictions that would have insured to the benefit of both the borrower and the lender, which turns out to be the group of investors who gave their money to a broker dealer (investment bank). If you want to split hairs, it is possible that the “closing documents” were an offer from the borrower that was never accepted by anyone who could perform under the terms of the quasi contract.

So we clearly have a problem with the first two components of an enforceable contract — offer and acceptance.

The final component is consideration which is to say that someone actually parted with money to fund the loan. And low and behold this is the first time our boots fall on solid ground — albeit nowhere near the loan described in the loan documentation. There was indeed money sent to the closing agent. Who sent it? Not the originator, not the nominees, not the trust because it was never funded, and not the investors because they had already funded their “purchase” of the “mortgage bonds” by delivering money to the broker dealer. We can’t say nobody sent it, because that is plainly untrue. Where did the money come from? Did the closing agent err in applying money from an unknown party to the closing of the loan?

It came from a controlled account (superfund) spread out over multiple entities that were NOT identified by a particular REMIC Trust. There was a reason for that, but that is for another article. Whether it was American Broker’s Conduit, a fictitious name sometimes registered, sometimes not, or Wells Fargo itself, the name of the entity was being “rented” for purposes of closing just as it is being rented for purposes of foreclosure.

Therefore the consideration did not come from any party at closing and the inevitable conclusion is that no enforceable contract was created at closing. This does not mean the borrower doesn’t owe the money. It just means that nobody should be able to foreclose on a void mortgage and it is doubtful that anyone could obtain judgment on a promissory note with some many defects. But there are other actions, such as unjust enrichment, which have been discussed in recent cases. It is foreclosure that is legally impossible under the true scenario as I see it and as others see it now. My position has not changed in 7 years. The only thing that has changed is the way I say it.

So the issue of the Wells Fargo and its fabrication manual is that discovery will lead to deeper and deeper secrets that will undermine not only the entire foreclosure infrastructure, but also the financial statements that support ever growing stock prices for the major banks.

The Step Transaction and Single Transaction Doctrine

Jim Macklin and Dan Edstrom did a great job of packing a great deal of information into 28 minutes of talk time on the Neil Garfield Show last night. I am taking a couple of weeks off the show to do some common follow-up procedures to my heart surgery two years ago. Jim Macklin stepped in and did a great job of getting information into the hands of lawyers and other listeners in what turned out to be a mini-seminar on how to apply Federal tax law to the issue of ownership of the the loan. It should be heard more than once to get all the nuances they presented.

Their point was that all the binding commitments were in place before the mortgage bonds were sold and before any loans were even considered for approval. The bottom line is that the customary practice in the finance industry was to sell forward — i.e., sell the bonds based upon loans that either did not exist or had not yet been acquired by the REMIC trusts. THEN they went out originating loans and acquiring loans.

As we have previously discussed here and elsewhere, the trusts and the trustee never even had a bank account through which the “pass through” assets and income would be funneled to investors. But that only adds fuel to the fire that Edstrom and Macklin were talking about. From a federal tax law perspective, which should pre-empt any state interpretation, the loans belonged to the investors from the start — not the trusts.

The trusts could only be used as a representative entity in litigation if they were funded with the investors’ money. Our research strongly supports the conclusion that no such funding took place. In fact, our research indicates the funding of the trust with the investors money was impossible because no trust accounts were ever created.

Thus you have the “straight line” that goes from the investors to the borrower. This goes directly to the issue of standing. Because once it is established that the consideration for the only real single transaction flowed from the investors to the borrower, no transaction between intermediaries were true.

They were false transactions supported by fabricated documents with no payment of consideration. Article 9 of the UCC completely supports this interpretation along with decisions interpreting federal tax law as to the real parties in interest. As a result the issue of standing is resolved — only the investors have standing to collect on the loans for which borrowers concede they received the money or the benefit.

The assignments shown in court are between intermediary parties who had no actual transaction with no actual payment or consideration because the payment or consideration had already passed through binding commitments set up by the so-called securitization scheme. By not funding the trusts, the broker dealers were free to use the money as they wished and they did.

They broke every rule in the underwriting book because they were traveling under a different set of rules than the investors or the borrowers thought. Because they had promised to make the payments due under the trust document — the pooling and servicing agreement — and because their binding commitments to make the payments for principal, interest, taxes and insurance already existed prior to the sale the mortgage bonds and prior to the loan to the borrower (see servicer advances, trust advances etc.).

As a result, the investors who should have been on the notes and mortgages were deprived of the documentation they were promised in the PSA. In plain language the mortgage documents and the bond documentation were pure fabrications without any underlying transaction between the parties to those transactions. No transaction between the investor and the trust. And no transaction between the “lender” on the note and mortgage and the borrower.

Hence the allegation of investors in their claims against the broker dealers that the note and mortgage is unenforceable to the detriment of the investors, who are left with common law claims for recovery of damages without any security instrument to protect them. hence the claim that borrowers are being sued by intermediaries who were strangers to the ACTUAL transaction with REAL consideration and terms to which both lender and borrower were bound. The terms agreed by the lenders were vastly different than the terms disclosed to borrowers. There was no meeting of the minds.

GUEST HOST TONITE JAMES MACKLIN

Click in tonite— tune in at The Neil Garfield Show

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

Guest Host Tonight is Jim Macklin, Managing Director, Secure Document Research located in Nevada. He has been a guest on the show before. A dynamic speaker and presenter, he has assisted me in presenting seminars for CLE credit for lawyers. His guest is Dan Edstrom, senior forensic analyst for the Livinglies Team.

His Topic today will be how tax law determines ownership interests in REMIC assets. For you newcomers, REMIC means Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit — it is the trust (usually under New York Law) that supposedly was funded by investors through the broker-dealer that sold the alleged mortgage bonds to pension funds and other stable managed funds.

For those of you who have pondered how a stable managed fund got involved despite restrictions as to what risks are acceptable in investment strategies the answer is simple — they had a guarantee from the servicer and/or the trust and/or the trustee that they would receive the money each month including principal, interest, taxes and insurance REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE BORROWER PAID. Dan Edstrom and Jim Macklin were the first ones to bring this to my attention. It affects the alleged existence of a default when the creditor is getting paid, the terms of the alleged loan contract, and the alleged balance claimed as owed under the mortgage loan.

Florida Standard Jury Instructions as a Guide for Bench Trials

Danielle Kelley, esq., my law partner frequently says she likes to start with the jury instructions because that is where everything is boiled down to their simplest components. I think it is wise to make references to the standard jury instructions (plus the fact that they were introduced as an amendment to the Florida rules of Civil Procedure — thus overriding anything the Judge thought he knew).

For example, on evidence for use in motions and at trial —

SC12-1931 Opinion

301.5 EVIDENCE ADMITTED FOR A LIMITED PURPOSE

The (describe item of evidence) has now been received into evidence. It has been admitted only [for the purpose of (describe purpose)] [as to (name party)]. You may consider it only [for that purpose] [as it might affect (name party)]. You may not consider that evidence [for any other purpose] [as to [any other party] [(name other party(s)].

That admonishment is not just for jurors — its also for jurists. There is not one set of laws that apply to juries and an entirely different set of substantive law if the case is heard by the Judge. Of course the recent case decided by Judge William Zloch in Fort Lauderdale Federal Court might make these jury instructions directly relevant.

Another example, this time on third party beneficiaries — careful that this double edged sword does not swing back at you and the need for consideration for there to be an enforceable contract—

SC12-1931 Opinion

416.2 THIRD-PARTY BENEFICIARY

(Claimant) is not a party to the contract. However, (claimant) may be entitled to damages for breach of the contract if [he] [she] [it] proves that (insert names of the contracting parties) intended that (claimant) benefit from their contract.

It is not necessary for (claimant) to have been named in the contract. In deciding what (insert names of the contracting parties) intended, you should consider the contract as a whole, the circumstances under which it was made, and the apparent purpose the parties were trying to accomplish.

SOURCES AND AUTHORITIES FOR 416.2

See RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS § 302 (1981):

[A] beneficiary of a promise is an intended beneficiary if recognition of a right to performance in the beneficiary is appropriate to effectuate the intention of the parties and … the circumstances indicate that the promisee intends to give the beneficiary the benefit of the promised performance.

While the Supreme Court has not commented directly on the applicability of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 302 (1981) (but note Justice Shaw’s partial concurrence in Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. McCarson, 467 So.2d 277, 280-81 (Fla. 1985)), all five district courts of appeal have cited the Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 302 (1981). Civix Sunrise, GC, LLC v. Sunrise Road Maintenance Assn., Inc., 997 So.2d 433 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008); Technicable Video Systems, Inc. v. Americable of Greater Miami, Ltd., 479 So.2d 810 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985); Cigna Fire Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Leonard, 645 So.2d 28 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994); Warren v. Monahan Beaches Jewelry Center, Inc., 548 So.2d 870 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Publix Super Markets, Inc. v. Cheesbro Roofing, Inc., 502 So.2d 484 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987). See also A.R. Moyer, Inc. v. Graham, 285 So.2d 397, 402 (Fla. 1973), and Carvel v. Godley, 939 So.2d 204, 207-208 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006) (“The question of whether a contract was intended for the benefit of a third person is generally regarded as one of construction of the contract. The intention of the parties in this respect is determined by the terms of the contract as a whole, construed in the light of the circumstances under which it was made and the apparent purpose that the parties are trying to accomplish.”).

Thus servicer advances, FDIC loss mitigation payments, and insurance payments actually received by the creditor (presumed usually to be the trust beneficiaries in a REMIC New York Trust) decrease the amount due TO the creditor — which therefore means that the amount due FROM the borrower must be reduced by the same amount. The fact that out of all the parties to the contract requiring or providing for those payments to the creditor, directly or indirectly, none of them was thinking about a benefit to the homeowner borrowers does not mean it doesn’t count. The bank might not have thought about or even known you had an Aunt Tilly. But when she pays off your mortgage, it doesn’t matter where the money came from.

And as for the contract for loan that is sometimes referred to as a quasi contract, assuming the homeowner has defended by denying the existence of an enforceable contract, here we are —

SC12-1931 Opinion

416.3 CONTRACT FORMATION — ESSENTIAL FACTUAL ELEMENTS (Claimant) claims that the parties entered into a contract. To prove that a contract was

created, (claimant) must prove all of the following:
1. The essential contract terms were clear enough that the parties could understand

what each was required to do;

2. The parties agreed to give each other something of value. [A promise to do something or not to do something may have value]; and

3. The parties agreed to the essential terms of the contract. When you examine whether the parties agreed to the essential terms of the contract, ask yourself if, under the circumstances, a reasonable person would conclude, from the words and conduct of each party, that there was an agreement. The making of a contract depends only on what the parties said or did. You may not consider the parties’ thoughts or unspoken intentions.

Note: If neither offer nor acceptance is contested, then element #3 should not be given. If (Claimant) did not prove all of the above, then a contract was not created.

NOTE ON USE FOR 416.3

This instruction should be given only when the existence of a contract is contested. If both parties agree that they had a contract, then the instructions relating to whether a contract was actually formed would not need to be given. At other times, the parties may be contesting only a limited number of contract formation issues. Also, some of these issues may be decided by the judge as a matter of law. Users should omit elements in this instruction that are not contested so that the jury can focus on the contested issues. Read the bracketed language only if it is an issue in the case.

SOURCES AND AUTHORITIES FOR 416.3

1. The general rule of contract formation was enunciated by the Florida Supreme Court in St. Joe Corp. v. McIver, 875 So.2d 375, 381 (Fla. 2004) (“An oral contract … is subject to the basic requirements of contract law such as offer, acceptance, consideration and sufficient specification of essential terms.”).

2. The first element of the instruction refers to the definiteness of essential terms of the contract. “The definition of ‘essential term’ varies widely according to the nature and complexity of each transaction and is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.Lanza v. Damian Carpentry, Inc., 6 So.3d 674, 676 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009). See also Leesburg Community Cancer Center v. Leesburg Regional Medical Center, 972 So.2d 203, 206 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007) (“We start with the basic premise that no person or entity is bound by a contract absent the essential elements of offer and acceptance (its agreement to be bound to the contract terms), supported by consideration.”).

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3. The second element of the instruction requires giving something of value. In Florida, to constitute valid consideration there must be either a benefit to the promisor or a detriment to the promisee. Mangus v. Present, 135 So.2d 417, 418 (Fla. 1961). The detriment necessary for consideration need not be an actual loss to the promisee, but it is sufficient if the promisee does something that he or she is not legally bound to do. Id.

4. The final element of this instruction requires an objective test. “[A]n objective test is used to determine whether a contract is enforceable.” Robbie v. City of Miami, 469 So.2d 1384, 1385 (Fla. 1985). The intention as expressed controls rather than the intention in the minds of the parties. “The making of a contract depends not on the agreement of two minds in one intention, but on the agreement of two sets of external signs-not on the parties having meant the same thing but on their having said the same thing.” Gendzier v. Bielecki, 97 So.2d 604, 608 (Fla. 1957).

And as to whether the Plaintiff must prove they have been damaged by the defendant’s breach of contract —

SC12-1931 Opinion

416.4 BREACH OF CONTRACT – ESSENTIAL FACTUAL ELEMENTS

To recover damages from (defendant) for breach of contract, (claimant) must prove all of the following:

  1. (Claimant) and (defendant) entered into a contract;
  2. (Claimant) did all, or substantially all, of the essential things which the contract

required [him] [her] [it] to do [or that [he] [she] [it] was excused from doing those things];

3. [All conditions required by the contract for (defendant’s) performance had occurred;]

4. [(Defendant) failed to do something essential which the contract required [him] [her] [it] to do] [(Defendant) did something which the contract prohibited [him] [her] [it] from doing and that prohibition was essential to the contract]; and

Note: If the allegation is that the defendant breached the contract by doing something that the contract prohibited, use the second option.

5. (Claimant) was harmed by that failure.

SC12-1931 Opinion

NOTE ON USE FOR 416.4

In many cases, some of the above elements may not be contested. In those cases, users should delete the elements that are not contested so that the jury can focus on the contested issues.

SOURCES AND AUTHORITIES FOR 416.4

1. An adequately pled breach of contract action requires three elements: (1) a valid contract; (2) a material breach; and (3) damages. Friedman v. New York Life Ins. Co., 985 So.2d 56, 58 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008). This general rule was enunciated by various Florida district courts of appeal. See Murciano v. Garcia, 958 So.2d 423, 423-24 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007); Abbott Laboratories, Inc. v. General Elec. Capital, 765 So.2d 737, 740 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000); Mettler, Inc. v. Ellen Tracy, Inc., 648 So.2d 253, 255 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994); Knowles v. C.I.T. Corp., 346 So.2d 1042, 1043 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977).

2. To maintain an action for breach of contract, a claimant must first establish performance on the claimant’s part of the contractual obligations imposed by the contract. Marshall Construction, Ltd. v. Coastal Sheet Metal & Roofing, Inc., 569 So.2d 845, 848 (Fla. 1st DCA 1990). A claimant is excused from establishing performance if the defendant anticipatorily repudiated the contract. Hosp. Mortg. Grp. v. First Prudential Dev. Corp., 411 So.2d 181, 182- 83 (Fla. 1982). Repudiation constituting a prospective breach of contract may be evidenced by words or voluntary acts but refusal must be distinct, unequivocal and absolute. Mori v. Matsushita Elec. Corp. of Am., 380 So.2d 461, 463 (Fla. 3d DCA 1980).

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3. “Substantial performance is performance ‘nearly equivalent to what was bargained for.’” Strategic Resources Grp., Inc. v. Knight-Ridder, Inc., 870 So.2d 846, 848 (Fla. 3d DCA 2003). “Substantial performance is that performance of a contract which, while not full performance, is so nearly equivalent to what was bargained for that it would be unreasonable to deny the promisee the full contract price subject to the promisor’s right to recover whatever damages may have been occasioned him by the promisee’s failure to render full performance.” Ocean Ridge Dev. Corp. v. Quality Plastering, Inc., 247 So.2d 72, 75 (Fla. 4th DCA 1971).

4. The doctrine of substantial performance applies when the variance from the contract specifications is inadvertent or unintentional and unimportant so that the work actually performed is substantially what was called for in the contract. Lockhart v. Worsham, 508 So.2d 411, 412 (Fla. 1st DCA 1987). “In the context of contracts for construction, the doctrine of substantial performance is applicable only where the contractor has not willfully or materially breached the terms of his contract or has not intentionally failed to comply with the specifications.” National Constructors, Inc. v. Ellenberg, 681 So.2d 791, 793 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996).

5. “There is almost always no such thing as ‘substantial performance’ of payment between commercial parties when the duty is simply the general one to pay.” Hufcor/Gulfstream, Inc. v. Homestead Concrete & Drainage, Inc., 831 So.2d 767, 769 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002).

 

So if you look at both the pleading and the proof from the pretender lenders, they never actually say they paid for anything and they never actually say they were harmed and therefore, the Judge surmises incorrectly, that they don’t have to prove financial injury because it is somehow presumed. That is wrong. And since these jury instructions are published by the Florida Supreme Court, I don’t think the Judge has very much discretion to go outside these instructions when he or she is making the decision himself or herself — without (as the instructions from the Supreme Court say) unequivocally stating the grounds upon which the Judge deviated from the standard jury instruction.
And as for the origination of the loan, which definitely starts as an oral contract —

SC12-1931 Opinion

416.5 ORAL OR WRITTEN CONTRACT TERMS [Contracts may be written or oral.]

[Contracts may be partly written and partly oral.] Oral contracts are just as valid as written contracts.

NOTE ON USE FOR 416.5

Give the bracketed alternative that is most applicable to the facts of the case. If the complete agreement is in writing, this instruction should not be given.

SOURCES AND AUTHORITIES FOR 416.5

1. An “agreement, partly written and partly oral, must be regarded as an oral contract, the liability arising under which is not founded upon an instrument of writing.” Johnson v. Harrison Hardware Furniture Co., 160 So. 878, 879 (Fla. 1935).

2. An oral contract is subject to the basic requirements of contract law such as offer, acceptance, consideration, and sufficient specification of essential terms. St. Joe Corp. v. McIver, 875 So.2d 375, 381 (Fla. 2004).

3. “The complaint alleged the execution of an oral contract, the obligation thereby assumed, and a breach. It therefore set forth sufficient facts which taken as true, would state a cause of action for breach of contract.” Perry v. Cosgrove, 464 So.2d 664, 667 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985).

4. As long as an essential ingredient is not missing from an agreement, courts have been reluctant to hold contracts unenforceable on grounds of uncertainty, especially where one party has benefited from the other’s reliance. Gulf Solar, Inc. v. Westfall, 447 So.2d 363 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984); Community Design Corp. v. Antonell, 459 So.2d 343 (Fla. 3d DCA 1984). When the existence of a contract is clear, the jury may properly determine the exact terms of an oral contract. Perry v. Cosgrove, 464 So.2d 664, 667 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985).

5. “To state a cause of action for breach of an oral contract, a plaintiff is required to allege facts that, if taken as true, demonstrate that the parties mutually assented to ‘a certain and definite proposition’ and left no essential terms open.” W.R. Townsend Contracting, Inc. v. Jensen Civil Construction, Inc., 728 So.2d 297 (Fla. 1st DCA 1999). See also Carole Korn Interiors, Inc. v. Goudie, 573 So.2d 923 (Fla. 3d DCA 1990) (company which provided interior design services sufficiently alleged cause of action for breach of oral contract, when company alleged that: it had entered into oral contract with defendants for interior design services; company had provided agreed services; defendants breached contract by refusing to remit payment; and company suffered damages); Rubenstein v. Primedica Healthcare, Inc., 755 So.2d 746, 748 (Fla. 4th DCA 2000) (“In this case, appellant sufficiently pled that Primedica, upon acquiring Shapiros’ assets, which included their oral agreement with appellant, mutually

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assented to appellant’s continued employment under the same terms and conditions as with Shapiro. Further, he alleged that he suffered damages as a result of his termination.”).

So if the offer  to loan money came from a party who did not loan the money then there is no contract, oral or written, and no documents that could be used as evidence of an enforceable contract because the basic elements of contract are absent. The same would hold true for assignments. Thus the pile of “transfer documents” are all meaningless and worthless unless there was an original enforceable contract.

As for the duty to disclose all intermediary parties and their compensation and the rise of an implied contract —-
SC12-1931 Opinion

416.6 CONTRACT IMPLIED IN FACT

Contracts can be created by the conduct of the parties, without spoken or written words. Contracts created by conduct are just as valid as contracts formed with words.

Conduct will create a contract if the conduct of both parties is intentional and each knows, or under the circumstances should know, that the other party will understand the conduct as creating a contract.

In deciding whether a contract was created, you should consider the conduct and relationship of the parties as well as all of the circumstances.

NOTE ON USE FOR 416.6

Use this instruction where there is no express contract, oral or written, between the parties, and the jury is being asked to infer the existence of a contract from the facts and circumstances of the case.

SOURCES AND AUTHORITIES FOR 416.6

1. “[A]n implied contract is one in which some or all of the terms are inferred from the conduct of the parties and the circumstances of the case, though not expressed in words.” 17A AM. JUR. 2d Contracts § 12 (2009).

2. “In a contract implied in fact the assent of the parties is derived from other circumstances, including their course of dealing or usage of trade or course of performance.” Rabon v. Inn of Lake City, Inc., 693 So.2d 1126, 1131 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997); McMillan v. Shively, 23 So.3d 830, 831 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009).

3. In Commerce Partnership 8098 Limited Partnership v. Equity Contracting Co., 695 So.2d 383, 387 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997), the Fourth District held:

A contract implied in fact is one form of an enforceable contract; it is based on a tacit promise, one that is inferred in whole or in part from the parties’ conduct, not solely from their words.” 17 AM. JUR. 2d Contracts § 3 (1964); Corbin, CORBIN ON CONTRACTS §§ 1.18-1.20 (Joseph M. Perillo ed. 1993). When an agreement is arrived at by words, oral or written, the contract is said to be “express.” 17 AM. JUR. 2d Contracts § 3. A contract implied in fact is not put into promissory words with sufficient clarity, so a fact finder must examine and interpret the parties’ conduct to give definition to their unspoken agreement. Id.; CORBIN ON CONTRACTS § 562 (1960). It is to this process of defining an enforceable agreement that Florida courts have referred when they have indicated that contracts implied in fact “rest upon the assent of the parties.” Policastro v. Myers, 420 So.2d 324, 326 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982); Tipper v. Great Lakes Chemical Co., 281 So.2d 10, 13 (Fla. 1973). The supreme court described the mechanics of this process in Bromer v. Florida Power & Light Co., 45 So.2d 658, 660 (Fla. 1950):

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[A] [c]ourt should determine and give to the alleged implied contract “the effect which the parties, as fair and reasonable men, presumably would have agreed upon if, having in mind the possibility of the situation which has arisen, they had contracted expressly thereto.” 12 AM. JUR. 2d 766.

See Mecier v. Broadfoot, 584 So.2d 159, 161 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991).

Common examples of contracts implied in fact are when a person performs services at another’s request, or “where services are rendered by one person for another without his expressed request, but with his knowledge, and under circumstances” fairly raising the presumption that the parties understood and intended that compensation was to be paid. Lewis v. Meginniss, 12 So. 19, 21 (Fla. 1892); Tipper, 281 So.2d at 13. In these circumstances, the law implies the promise to pay a reasonable amount for the services. Lewis, 12 So. at 21; Lamoureux v. Lamoureux, 59 So.2d 9, 12 (Fla. 1951); A.J. v. State, 677 So.2d 935, 937 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996); Dean v. Blank, 267 So.2d 670 (Fla. 4th DCA 1972); Solutec Corp. v. Young & Lawrence Associates, Inc., 243 So.2d 605, 606 (Fla. 4th DCA 1971).

….

For example, a common form of contract implied in fact is where one party has performed services at the request of another without discussion of compensation. These circumstances justify the inference of a promise to pay a reasonable amount for the service. The enforceability of this obligation turns on the implied promise, not on whether the defendant has received something of value. A contract implied in fact can be enforced even where a defendant has received nothing of value.

I think I made my point. Lawyers, follow Ms. Kelley’s suggestion. You might find your job in court a lot easier.

 

 

 

Quite a Stew: Wells Fargo Pressure Cooker for Sales and Fabricated Documents

Wells Fargo Investigated by 4 Agencies for Manual on Fabricating Foreclosure Documents

Wells Fargo is under investigation for a lot of things these days, just as we find in Bank of America and other major “institutions.” The bottom line is that they haven’t been acting very institutional and their culture is one that has led to fraud, identity theft and outright fabrication of accounts and documents.

There can be little doubt about it. Documents that a real bank acting like a bank would have in its possession appear to be completely absent in most if not all loans that are “performing” (i.e., the homeowner is paying, even if the party they are paying isn’t the right and even if the loan has already been paid off). But as soon as the file becomes subject to foreclosure proceedings, documents miraculously appear showing endorsements, allonges, powers of attorney and assignments. According to a report from The Real Deal (New York Real Estate News), these are frequently referred to as “ta-da endorsements” a reference from magic acts where rabbits are pulled from the hat.

Such endorsements and other fabricated documents have been taken at face value by many judges across the country, despite vigorous protests from homeowners who were complaining about everything from “they didn’t have the documents before, so where did they get them?” to luring homeowners into false modifications that were designed to trap homeowners into foreclosure.

After 7 years of my reporting on the fact that the documents do not exist, including a report from Katherine Anne Porter at what was then the University of Iowa that the documents were intentionally destroyed and “lost” it has finally dawned on regulators and law enforcement that something is wrong. They could have done the same thing that I did. I had inquiries from hundreds (back then, now thousands) of homeowners looking for help.

So the first thing I did was I  sent qualified written requests to the parties who were claiming to be the “lenders.” After sending out hundreds of these the conclusion was inescapable. Any loan where the homeowner was continuing to make their payments have no documentation. Any loan where the homeowner was in the process of foreclosure had documentation of appear piece by piece as it seemed to be needed in court. This pattern of fabrication of documents was pandemic by 2007 and 2008. They were making this stuff up as they went along.

It has taken seven years for mainstream media and regulators to ask the next obvious question, to wit: why would the participants in an industry based on trust and highly complex legal instruments created by them fall into patterns of conduct in which nobody trusted them and where the legal instruments were lost, destroyed and then fabricated? In my seminars I phrased the question differently. The question I posed is that if you had a $10 bill in your hand, why would you stick it in a shredder? The promissory note and the other documents from the alleged loan closings were the equivalent of cash, according to all legal and common sense standards. Why would you destroy it?

As I said in 2008 and continue saying in 2014, the only reason you would destroy the $10 bill is that you had told somebody you were holding something other than a $10 bill. Perhaps you told them it was a $100 bill. Now they want to see it. Better to “lose” the original bill then admit that you were lying in the first place. One is simple negligence (losing it) and the other is criminal fraud (lying about it). The banking industry practically invented all of the procedures and legal papers associated with virtually every type of loan. The processing of loans has been the backbone of the banking industry for hundreds of years. Did they forget how to do it?

The answers to these questions are both inconvenient and grotesque. I know from my past experience on Wall Street that bankers did not deserve the trust that everyone seemed to repose in them. But this conduct went far beyond anything I ever saw on Wall Street. The answer is simply that the bankers traded trust for money. They defrauded the investors, most of whom were stable managed funds guarding the pensions of millions of people. Then they defrauded homeowners creating a pressure cooker of sales culture in which banking evolved simply into marketing and sales. Risk analysis and risk control were lost in the chaos.

The very purpose for which banks came into existence was to have a place of safety in which you could deposit your money with the knowledge that it would still be there when you came back. Investors were lured into a scheme in which they thought their money was being used to fund trusts; those trusts issued mortgage bonds that in most cases were never certificated. In most cases the trust received no money, no assets and no income. The fund managers who were the investors  never had a chance.

The money from the investors was instead kept by the broker-dealers who then traded with it like drunken sailors. They pumped up real estate PRICES  far above real estate VALUES, based on any reasonable appraisal standards. The crash would come, and they knew it. So after lying to the investor lenders and lying to the homeowner borrowers they lied to the insurers, guarantors, co-obligors and counterparties to credit default swaps that had evolved from intelligent hedge products to high flying overly complicated contracts that spelled out “heads I win, tails you lose.”

In order to do all of that they needed to claim the loans and the bonds as though they were owned by the broker-dealers when in fact the broker-dealers were merely the investment banks that had taken the money from investors and instead of using it in the way that the investors were told, they created the illusion (by lying) of the scheme that was called securitization when in fact it was basically common fraud, identity theft of both the lenders and borrowers, in a Ponzi scheme. When Marc Dreier was convicted of similar behavior the amount was only $400 million but it was the larger scheme of its kind ever recorded.

When Bernard Madoff was convicted of similar behavior the amount was only $60 billion, but the general consensus was that this was the largest fraud in history and would maintain that status for generations. But when the Madoff scandal was revealed it was obvious that members of the banking industry had to be involved; what was not so obvious is that the banking industry itself had already committed a combination of identity theft, fraud and corruption that was probably 300 times the size of the Madoff scandal.

The assumption that these are just loans that were to be enforced just like any other loans is naïve. The lending process described in the paperwork at the closings of these loans was a complete lie. The actual lender did not know the closing had occurred, never received the note and mortgage, nor any other instrument that protected the investor lenders. The borrower did not know the actual lender existed. Closing agent was at best negligent and at worst part of the scheme. Closing agent applied money from the investors to the closing of the “loan” and gave the paperwork that should’ve gone to the investors to third parties who didn’t have a dime invested in the deal. Later the investment banks would claim that they were suffering losses, but it was a lie, this time to the taxpayers and the government.

The reason the investment banks need to fabricate documentation is simply because their scheme required multiple sales of the same loan to multiple parties. They had to wait until they couldn’t wait any longer in order to pick a plaintiff to file a foreclosure lawsuit or pick a beneficiary who would appear out of nowhere to start the nonjudicial sale of property in which they were a complete stranger to the transaction.

The reason that homeowners should win in any reasonable challenge to a foreclosure action is that neither the forecloser nor the balance has been correctly stated. In many cases the balance “owed” by the borrower is negative! Yes that means that money is owed back to the borrower even know they stopped making payments. This is so counter intuitive that it is virtually impossible for most people to wrap their brains around this concept and that is exactly what Wall Street banks have been counting on and using against us for years.

LA Times Report on Wells Fargo Sales Culture

Is Donald Duck Your Lender?

 

I was asked a question a few days ago that runs to the heart of the problem for the banks in enforcing false claims for foreclosure and false claims of losses that should really allocated to the investors so that the investor would get the benefits of those loss mitigation payments. This is the guts of the complaints by insurers, investors, guarantors et al against the investment banks — that there was fraud, not breach of contract, because the investment bank never intended to follow the plan of securitization set forth in the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement. The question asked of me only reached the issue of whether borrowers could claim credit for third party payments to the creditor. But the answer, as you will see, branches much further out than the scope of the question.

If you look at Steinberger in Arizona and recent case decisions in other jurisdictions you will see that if third party payments are received by the creditor, they must be taken into account — meaning the account receivable on their books is reduced by the amount of the payment received. If the account receivable is reduced then it is axiomatic that the account payable from the borrower is correspondingly reduced. Each debt must be taken on its own terms. So if the reduction was caused by a payment from a third party, it is possible that the third party might have a claim against the borrower for having made the payment — but that doesn’t change the fact that the payment was made and received and that the debt to the trust or trust beneficiaries has been reduced or even eliminated.

The Court rejected the argument that the borrower was not an intended third party beneficiary in favor of finding that the creditor could only be paid once on the debt. I am finding that most trial judges agree that if loss-sharing payments were made, including servicer advances (which actually come from the broker dealer to cover up the poor condition of the portfolio), the account is reduced as to that creditor. The court further went on to agree that the “servicer” or whoever made the payment might have an action for unjust enrichment against the borrower — but that is a not a cause of action that is part of the foreclosure or the mortgage. The payment, whether considered volunteer or otherwise, is credited to the account receivable of the creditor and the borrower’s liability is corresponding reduced. In the case of servicer payments, if the creditor’s account is showing the account current because it received the payment that was due, then the creditor cannot claim a default.

A new “loan” is created when a volunteer or contractual payment is received by the creditor trust or trust beneficiaries. This loan arises by operation of law because it is presumed that the payment was not a gift. Thus the party who made that payment probably has a cause of action against the borrower for unjust enrichment, or perhaps contribution, but that claim is decidedly unsecured by a mortgage or deed of trust.

You have to think about the whole default thing the way the actual events played out. The creditor is the trust or the group of trust beneficiaries. They are owed payments as per the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreements. If those payments are current there is no default on the books of creditor. If the balance has been reduced by loss- sharing or insurance payment, the balance due and the accrued interest are correspondingly reduced. And THAT means the notice of default and notice of sale and acceleration are all wrong in terms of the figures they are using. The insurmountable problem that is slowly being recognized by the courts is that the default, from the perspective of the creditor trust or trust beneficiaries is a default under a contract between the trust beneficiaries and the trust.

This is the essential legal problem that the broker dealers (investment banks) caused when they interposed themselves as owners instead of what they were supposed to be — intermediaries, depositories, and agents of the investors (trust beneficiaries). The default of the borrower is irrelevant to whether the trust beneficiaries have suffered a loss due to default in payment from the trust. The borrower never promised that he or she or they would make payment to the trust or the trust beneficiaries — and that is the fundamental flaw in the actual mortgage process that prevailed for more than a dozen years. There would be no flaw if the investment banks had not committed fraud and instead of protecting investors, they diverted the money, ownership of the note and ownership of the mortgage or deed of trust to their own controlled vehicles. If the plan had been followed, the trusts and trust beneficiaries would have direct rights to collect from borrowers and foreclose on their property.

If the investment banks had not intended to divert the money, income, notes and mortgages or deeds of trust from the creditor trust or trust beneficiaries, then there would have no allegations of fraud from the investors, insurers and government guarantee agencies.

If the investment banks had done what was represented in the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreements, then the borrower would have known that the loan was being originated for or on behalf of the trust or beneficiaries and so would the rest of the world have known that. The note and mortgage would have shown, at origination, that the loan was payable to the trust and the mortgage or deed of trust was for the benefit of the trust or trust beneficiaries, as required by TILA and all the compensation earned by people associated with the origination of the loan would have had to have been disclosed (or returned to the borrower for failure to disclose). That would have connected the source of the loan — the trust or trust beneficiaries — to the receipt of the funds (the homeowner borrowers).

Instead, the investment banks hit on a nominee strawman plan where the disclosures were not made and where they could claim that (1) the investment bank was the owner of the debt and (2) the note and mortgage or deed of trust were executed for the benefit of a nominee strawman for the investment bank, who then claimed an insurable interest as owner of the debt. As owner of the debt, the investment banks received loss sharing payments from the FDIC. As agents for the investors those payments should have been applied to the balance owed the investors with a corresponding reduction in the balance due from the borrower —- if the payments were actually made and received and were not hypothetical or speculative. The investment banks did the same thing with the bonds, collecting payments from insurers, counterparties to credit default swaps, and guarantees from government sponsored entities.

When I say nominee or strawman I do not merely mean MERS which would have been entirely unnecessary unless the investment banks had intended to defraud the investors. What I am saying is that even the “lender” for whom MERS was the “nominee” falls into the same trapdoor. That lender was also merely a nominee which means that, as I said 7 years ago, they might just as well have made out the note and mortgage to Donald Duck, a fictitious character.

Since no actual lender was named in the note and mortgage and the terms of repayment were actually far different than what was stated on the borrower’s promissory note (i.e., the terms of the mortgage bond were the ONLY terms applicable to the plan of repayment to the creditor investors), the loan contract (or quasi loan contract, depending upon which jurisdiction you are in) was never completed. Hence the mortgage and note should never have been accepted into the file by the closing agent, much less recorded.

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