PennyMac Laundromat: Is anything real there?

PennyMac appears to be a vehicle of “cleaning” fatal title deficiencies to the debt, note and/or mortgage on loans. It operates on behalf of CitiMortgage and multiple other entities on loans where the selection of a claimant is essentially random.

The basic playbook of the banks is to insert a real business entity with no actual connection or transaction involving payment of value for the debt, note or mortgage and fabricating documents to imply that such transactions exist. My investigation and that of others reveals that PennyMac is one such sham conduit, in order to create documents that give rise to the legal presumptions that are available when a document appears to be facially valid.

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I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
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Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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PennyMac is generally used as a vehicle to launder bad title and pursue foreclosures on behalf of entities that have no right, title or interest in the debt, note or mortgage. Generally speaking all of the documents that purport to involve PennyMac and its predecessors are fabricated and false. They are false because they falsely imply the existence of financial transactions in which value was paid for the debt.
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All residential home loans are about money and nothing else. The banks seek to distract you and the courts from looking at the money and instead, direct you into looking to documents. If I produced a document that looked facially valid, a judge might accept it as valid and true even though the matter asserted in the document is actually untrue. So for example if I were to produce a “facially valid” document saying I am your father, it wouldn’t be true but it would still be taken as true until you rebut the presumption arising from the “facially valid document.
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So the first step is really examining a document to determine whether it is facially valid. There are times, strategies and tactics where it might be wise to direct the court’s attention to this issue by simply filing a motion that disputes the facial validity of a particular pleading oir document and asks for an evidentiary hearing on the subject. Some judges grant such motions because a ruling from such a proceeding might propel the case to an early end.
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A facially valid means what is says. If the document recites all the elements required by statute and it is properly signed (and notarized if so required), the document is facially valid and the legal presumptions are available to the proponent of such a document or pleading.
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So the court takes as true all assertions on the face of the document. A document is not facially valid if it is impossible to determine what is asserted as factually true.
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A reference to an external document that is not attached or even identified frequently results in a dispute over the facial validity of the document which may require an evidentiary hearing on the validity and authenticity of the document. But if the opposing party fails to raise such an objection the document will be accepted as facially valid and then the factual assertions contained or implied by the document will generally be taken as true.
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The debt lies at the root of the loan, the servicing, the collection, and the enforcement of the loan. Without the debt, there is no authority. Without the debt the action is not a foreclosure even though the lawyers label it as a foreclosure. The lawsuit or notice of sale is merely a device to generate revenue which is expressly void against public policy and law.
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The problem is that the banks developed a scheme by which investors paid for the debt and never received ownership of the debt, note or mortgage. This means that third parties receive borrower payments, insurance payments, bailout payments and proceeds of foreclosure sales — something which is not allowed under current law, nor should it be allowed.
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None of these third parties ever turn over such money to the investors who paid for value but did not pay value in exchange for ownership of the debt. As a result, any document implying the transfer of the debt through payment of value is substantively invalid because no such transaction ever occurred in the real world.
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There is no reason for a “successor” to pay a “predecessor” if neither of them owned the debt. The only way you get to own a debt is by paying for it with real value which means money. When you ask for a description of such transactions you will be met with a variety of obscure objections whereas if they had it, they would gleefully reveal it. Neither the note nor the mortgage (or deed of trust) can be actually fully separated from the debt because the obligation to make payment on the debt is all that those documents are about.
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I’m not saying the debt doesn’t exist. I’m saying based upon review and analysis of documents, there is nobody in the chain of title relied upon by your opposition who has ever participated in a transaction in which value was paid for the debt. Ownership of the debt can only be accomplished, based upon my research, by payment of value for the debt. See Article 9 §203 of the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted by all U.S. jurisdictions including your own.
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Payment of value for the debt is a condition precedent to enforcement of the debt. This is both common sense and statutory law. If “servicing”, administration, collection or enforcement of the debt is performed on behalf of a claimant that does not own the debt, then the condition precedent is not met. Such actions are illegal and any documents that are created to support such illegal actions are void.
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If the “servicer” or holder of a limited power of attorney, as in many cases, is not the legally authorized representative of a party who possesses ownership of the debt (i.e., they paid for it) then their actions are illegal, unauthorized and probably fraudulent. In a foreclosure the court must know (not hope) that the proceeds of the foreclosure sale will go to a party or group of parties who paid value in exchange for ownership of the debt. If the court does not know that, it isn’t a foreclosure, which is a remedy exclusively designed to provide restitution of an unpaid debt. 
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The issue confronting you is that the documents, at first blush, appear to be facially valid. But the reference to an unidentified unattached external document like a Power of Attorney in lieu of an actual servicing agreement reciting the authority of the parties, makes such documents facially invalid but still subject to proof. Upon proving authority as I have outlined above, the document could be deemed valid, if the proffering party proves the line of succession that starts with an owner of the debt. In virtually all “securitization” cases I don’t think any such line of succession exists.

Navigating LOST COMMUNICATION With “Servicers” Who Are in Reality Merely Steering You Into Foreclosure

The main point is that borrowers must calibrate their thinking. Debtors are not dealing with anyone who wants to collect payments. They are dealing with someone who wants a foreclosure so they can steal the proceeds. The forced sale of the house generates revenue that is distributed to several players involved in the foreclosure effort and several players involved in the REO sale and eviction.

The rest of the money goes to the securities brokerage firm (investment bank) where there is no loan receivable account against which to credit the deposit. In short, while labeled as various vaguely described transactions, the substance of the deposit is that it is revenue even if it is not declared as such for tax purposes.

Against this backdrop a common complaint I receive is that borrowers are in good faith attempting to make payments or send documents requested by the “servicer” only to find that they are unable to do so or that the documents were lost. So they ask me what to do next.

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GET FREE HELP: Just click here and submit  the confidential, free, no obligation, private REGISTRATION FORM. The key to victory lies in understanding your own case.
Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 954-451-1230. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com. Order a PDR BASIC to have us review and comment on your notice of TILA Rescission or similar document.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM 
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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RULE #1: STOP CALLING THEM “THE BANK.” THEY ARE MOST LIKELY NOT THE BANK — AND THEY DO NOT EVEN QUALIFY AS SERVICERS IN MOST INSTANCES. THINK OF THEM AS SCAM ARTISTS WHO HAVE GAINED YOUR CONFIDENCE (I.E. CON MEN) TO PREVENT YOU FROM INQUIRING ABOUT WHO SHOULD BE RECEIVING YOUR PAYMENTS OR THE PROCEEDS OF A FORECLOSURE SALE. 

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Technically you are most likely NOT dealing with anyone who qualifies as a creditor nor even a debt collector, who could only be functioning on authority from an actual creditor. So theoretically you would be well within your legal rights to simply not pay money to a party who is not entitled to receive them.
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Reality is different from theory. While in past times anyone attempting to collect, process or enforce a debt would be required to disclose everything about their ownership, agency or authority, today virtually everyone presumes that any such party has legal status. Because of that presumption, refusing to make payments as demanded is fraught with the risk that (1) the pretender lender will declare you to be in default and (2) start enforcement proceedings against you based upon fabricated but nonetheless facially valid documentation.
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So my usual and primary advice is to refrain from any action or inaction that puts you in a worse position than the one you find yourself. And I always recommend at least consulting with local counsel before deciding on any course of action.
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That usually means you make the payments.
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The only other alternative is to file a lawsuit in which you ask to deposit the funds in the court registry because you want to make the payments but you don’t believe the party demanding those payments has any actual legal right to do so.
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INTERPLEADER: An interesting twist on this type of pleading could be that you file your lawsuit, asking for attorney fees, and name both the servicer demanding payment and the investment bank (securities brokerage firm(s)) that is/are most likely behind the securitization scheme. This would be an interpleader lawsuit that basically says I have this money, it is for a debt I owe, Party A demands it, but I think Party B might be the one to whom it is owed. I have no assurance from Party A that the money would be given to Party B or any other entity that has paid for the debt and is therefore entitled to receive the proceeds of my payments. I don’t care who gets it. I just want to know who to pay. 
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In a further twist (which could negate your right to receive attorney fees) such an action could also include a count for disgorgement if the court finds that the party demanding payment was not entitled to receive it. That could mean return or deposit of all money ever received by the parties named as respondents in the interpleader action.

Generally, disgorgement is a form of “[r]estitution measured by the defendant’s wrongful gain.” Restatement (Third) of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment § 51, Comment a, p. 204 (2010) (Restatement (Third)). Disgorgement requires that the defendant give up “those gains … properly attributable to the defendant’s interference with the claimant’s legally protected rights.” Ibid . Beginning in the 1970’s, courts ordered disgorgement in SEC enforcement proceedings in order to “deprive … defendants of their profits in order to remove any monetary reward for violating” securities laws and to “protect the investing public by providing an effective deterrent to future violations.”Texas Gulf,312 F.Supp., at 92.

Kokesh v. Sec. & Exch. Comm’n, 137 S. Ct. 1635, 1640 (2017)

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Federal jurisdiction could apply.

Whereas statutory interpleader may be brought in the district where any claimant resides ( 28 U.S.C. § 1397), Rule interpleader based upon diversity of citizenship may be brought only in the district where all plaintiffs or all defendants reside ( 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (a)). And whereas statutory interpleader enables a plaintiff to employ nationwide service of process ( 28 U.S.C. § 2361), service of process under Rule 22 is confined to that provided in Rule 4. See generally 3 Moore, Federal Practice ¶ 22.04.

State Farm Fire Cas. Co. v. Tashire, 386 U.S. 523, 530 n.3 (1967)

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In all events any attempts at communication or payment that are frustrated by the party demanding that payment should be documented by U.S. Postal Service, Certified Mail, return receipt requested — because your attempts will be denied. The robowitness or affiant on an affidavit will say there is no record of such attempts. LIke the above, an interim measure would be to pay the money into a trust account administered by an attorney or some other legally recognized escrow agent.
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I have seen many judges ask the borrower who relates this story what they did with the money after it was refused. If there answer is that they spent it, the judge often construes that as undermining the credibility of the borrower’s testimony. But if the borrower says it was paid into escrow where it still remains most judges regard that in a light favorable to the borrower and it raises their antagonism toward the lawyers and the servicer who are now presumed to have screwed things up even if they were actually entitled to collect, process or enforce the debt.
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PRACTICE NOTE: While actual tender of actual payment certainly bars any legal enforcement action to collect the tendered payment, it does not render the entire lien unenforceable. BUT if the notice of default and end of month statements show an amount due that should have been reduced by the amount of the tendered payment then the notice of default and subsequent notice of sale or lawsuit could be defective. And if the refusal to accept payment was part of a larger scheme to steer the borrower into foreclosure, that i sone building block in a case for illegal, fraudulent and/or wrongful foreclosure. 
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Beware of the proof requirements against a court bias that the borrower was probably trying to game the system. We all know that it is the other side gaming the system but the court presumes otherwise, partly because it is legally required to do so based upon the facial validity of the documents presented — even if they are fabricated. For that reason I frequently suggest attempts at payment or delivery of documents in person at a branch or regional office, witnesses to such attempts, photos, and even video, where it is legal to do so. Signs posted to the effect that there is video surveillance might suffice as permission to record. Check with local counsel.
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In addition, in litigation you can demand copies of recordings made at particular locations and/or times. The response will be they don’t have that recording but if you can get a judge to require them to produce the recordings on either side of the time frame in which the contact occurred, they will likely retreat because the absence of the video or audio recording will speak volumes about their conduct.

Investors Were Not Injured By Non Payment from Homeowners. They Were Injured by Non Payment from Investment Banks

The trap door is thinking that investors were hurt by borrowers failing to make payments when in fact they were injured by brokerage companies not paying them regardless of how much money was being received and created. This trap door inevitably leads one into thinking that the money proceeds from a forced sale of property in foreclosure are being paid to investors. That is just not true.

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GET FREE HELP: Just click here and submit  the confidential, free, no obligation, private REGISTRATION FORM. The key to victory lies in understanding your own case.
Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 954-451-1230. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com. Order a PDR BASIC to have us review and comment on your notice of TILA Rescission or similar document.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM 
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Exchange between me and fairly knowledgeable client:

Client: “But if investors put up the money then they would be the injured party if borrowers don’t pay, or at least if things were normal.”

From me:

Incorrect. Investors were injured by  the failure of brokerage firms to make payments to them that were purely optional. Investors were not injured by failure of borrowers to pay their mortgage payments as defined in the promissory note.

At the option of the investment bank, the investors who paid value for the certificates issued by the investment bank, continue to receive payments. Those payments come from a reserve pool of money funded entirely by the investors initial purchase of certificates (but they are labeled “Servicer advances”).

You are falling through the trap door that the banks and their lawyers have created. Investors did not put up money to purchase your loan or acquire it or originate your loan. They had no legal part in that unless a judge were to enter an order stating that while the form of the transaction says they had nothing to do with your loan, the investors were nonetheless substantively the “lenders.” The banks and the investors would argue against that since it would make investors liable for lending and servicing violations.

You are presuming something that the banks want you to presume. The truth is that the investors were told that they would be paid by the brokerage firm that set up the plan of what they called “securitization.”

The promise received by investors was from the brokerage firm not the borrower. The money on deposit with the brokerage firm was used to originate or acquire loans as a cost of doing business, to wit: the business of issuing and trading in derivative securities to which neither the investors nor “borrowers” were parties and therefore received no compensation despite the fact that without them none of those trades could have taken place.

The promise (certificate or mortgage bond) was issued in the name of a “trust” that at best was inchoate” under law (i.e., “sleeping”). The trust name was merely a business name under which the brokerage firm was doing business. The promise was not secured by any interest in the debt, note or mortgage on any loan. In fact, at the time of investment there were no loans in any portfolio that were the subject of the investment. There was a promise to aggregate such a portfolio and the list of loans attached to the prospectus is subject to the disclaimer that it is not the real list but rather an example of the kind of data the investors will see when the offering of certificates is complete.

The certificates themselves do not convey and right, title or interest to the debt, note or mortgage on any loan. The investors merely hold an unsecured promise to pay where the promissor is the brokerage firm (Investment bank) and the amount of payments to be received by investors are indexed on the data for an aggregate of loans; but such payments are entirely dependent upon the sole discretion of the investment bank (Brokerage firm) and the performance of the index — i.e., the performance of borrowers.

Investors thus receive money as long as the investment bank wants them to receive money regardless of actual performance of loans. The non performance of borrowers represents an excuse for the investment bank to stop paying the entire amount of their promise, if the managers of the investment bank so choose.

But since the investment bank (brokerage firm) was using money deposited on account the net result is that the investors paid value for the origination or acquisition of the debt but never got to own it under current law.

And the investment bank briefly became the “owner” of the debt without having actually paid for it, and then created a “sale” at its trading desk in which the loans were “sold” to the “trust” at an enormous premium (second tier yield spread premium) from the amount that was actually loaned to borrowers at much higher interest rates than the amount demanded by the investors. 

Bottom Line: Under current law in all jurisdictions nobody qualifies as the owner of the debt by reason of having paid for it because those two functions were split by the investment bank.

The value was paid by investors who did not receive ownership of the debt. The ownership of the debt as in the hands of the brokerage firm that started the securitization scheme and then transferred to itself using the name of the fictional trust. Hence the brokerage firm, directly or indirectly continued to “own” the debt without having actually paid for it. This is legally impossible under current law.

Under current law, nobody can claim to own or enforce a debt without having paid value for it. A transfer of rights to a mortgage is a legal nullity unless there is a concurrent payment of value for the debt. The only possible claimant in a court of equity is the investment bank, but they continue to hide behind multiple layers of sham conduits who actually have no contractual or other relationship with the investment bank. All such “securitized” loans are therefore orphans under current law where the debt, note and mortgage cannot be legally enforced.

The only way they have been enforced has the acceptance by the courts of erroneous presumptions that effectively reconstitute the debt, note and mortgage out of the prior transactions that split it all up. This produced the opportunity for profits that were far in excess of the loan itself which was viewed by the investment bank as simply a cost of doing business rather than an actual loan. Besides violating current law under the Uniform Commercial Code it also violates public policy as explicitly enunciated under the Federal Truth in Lending Act and public policy stated in various state laws prohibiting deceptive lending and servicing practices.

Those excessive profits should, in my opinion, be the subject of reallocation that includes the investors and borrowers without whom those profits could not exist. These are the actions for disgorgement and recoupment to which I have referred elsewhere on this blog. But in order to have real teeth I believe it is necessary to join the investment banks who had a role in the claimed “securitization.”

In affirmative defenses you can name a third party but you must express the defense as something for which the actual named claimant is vicariously accountable. Otherwise you need to file a counterclaim, the downside of which is that many such claims are barred by the statute of limitations whereas affirmative defenses are not usually subject to the statute of limitations.

The reason you can’t get a straight answer to discovery is that ownership and payment have been split between two entirely different parties. Yet current law demands that the enforcing party be (a) the owner of the debt, note and mortgage and (b) the party who paid value for the loan. In most situations involving claims of securitization that requirement cannot and is not meant to be fulfilled.

Clearly  changes in the law are required to allow for securitizations as practiced. But in order to do that the laws regarding disclosures to investors and borrowers must get far more specific and rigorous so that freer market forces can apply. With transparency market corrections for excessive or even unconscionable transactions are possible — allowing both borrowers and investors to bargain for a share of the bounty created by securitization arising from the investment of investors and borrowers.

Current law supports disgorgement of such profits because they were not disclosed. But current law fails to identify such “trading profits” as arising from the the actual transaction with investors, on one hand, and the borrowers on the other hand. This might be accomplished in the courts.

But a far better alternative is to level the playing field with clearly worded statutes that prevent what had been merely intermediaries from draining of money and other value from the only two real parties in interest as defined by both the single transaction doctrine and the step transaction doctrine.

Post Judgment Assignments Continue to Baffle Homeowners and Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

Charles Koppa in San Diego was the first person  to point out to me that the activities after even a nonjudicial sale told the real story about the what was going on. That was back in 2008. Lately I have been getting questions relating to post-sale or post judgment activities.

There is a doctrine that says that upon judgment in a judicial state or upon sale in a nonjudicial state, the mortgage or deed of trust is merged into the judgment or sale respectively.

The most recent questions I have received suggest that perhaps the debt, note and mortgage or deed of trust is extinguished by the judgment or sale. They are not. Merger is different from invalidation or extinguishment. And vacating a judgment or sale merely restores the parties back to where they were before the judgment or sale.

But sloppy orders from the bench sometimes creates doubt or uncertainty as to the rights and duties of the parties.

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GET FREE HELP: Just click here and submit  the confidential, free, no obligation, private REGISTRATION FORM. The key to victory lies in understanding your own case.
Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 954-451-1230. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com. Order a PDR BASIC to have us review and comment on your notice of TILA Rescission or similar document.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM 
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Here is the answer to a recent question posed by a reader:

The law does not prevent someone from executing an assignment of mortgage. The question is whether such an assignment has any effect, and if so, what is that effect?

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 This question appears to be coming up with increasing frequency and I am ignorant of the reasons why this is suddenly rearing its head.
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First I will say that any attempt to position yourself such that the judgment eliminated the note and mortgage and therefore you are exempt from writ of possession or liability on the debt is a false position and would undermine your credibility in court, in my opinion. If the Judgment is vacated it merely returns the parties to the position they were in before the judgment was entered. Neither the mortgage nor note nor debt have been extinguished in such circumstances.
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Second the entry of a final judgment of foreclosure has the effect of replacing the rights under the mortgage and note with rights arising from entry of the final judgment. In plain language this means that once Judgment is entered, the forced sale of the property may be scheduled and conducted and a new deed upon such sale has the effect of transferring title from the homeowner to the successful bidder at auction.
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The successful bidder can be and often is the party named as the claimant in the foreclosure action. Instead of bidding with cash, the bid is normally a “credit bid” which means that the claimant in the successful foreclosure case uses the money award in the final judgment in place of cash.
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Many different legal presumptions arise from each step of the foreclosure process.
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There can be an “assignment” after foreclosure judgment has been entered but it is not technically an assignment of mortgage which is generally treated as merged into the final judgment of foreclosure. A document that purports to be an assignment of mortgage post-judgment would probably be ineffective to assign the mortgage which no longer legally exists, even though it remains in the title record. It would also be ineffective to assign the debt unless a court chose to treat the assignment as an assignment of rights under the final judgment of foreclosure.
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The law does not prevent someone from executing an assignment of rights under the final judgment. But like all documents it must be both facially and actually valid. If it is facially valid then it is the burden of the homeowner to show that it actually had no validity. It has no validity if there was no completion of the transaction as required by law. By “the transaction” I mean the transaction implied by the assignment. No reasonable person would give up rights to a mortgage worth hundreds of thousands of dollars without payment.
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As with most documents arising from claims of “securitized” loans there is no actual transaction in which money exchanged hands because the original consideration came from a third party outside of the entire chain of title. This the only party entitled to receive payment, under current law, would be the last party to pay value.
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While I am not aware of any specific case law that deals with assignment of bidding rights or any other post judgment assignments, it seems likely that such an assignment would be required to meet the same test as an assignment of mortgage, to wit: that the assignment is a legal nullity (i.e., it never happened, it has no legal effect) unless there was a concurrent financial transaction in which value was paid for the debt.

This is definitely the requirement under current law in all U.S. jurisdictions. While the courts have twisted their interpretations beyond all recognition to make it seem like the requirement of payment of value has been satisfied, this can only be done through legal presumptions.

And the legal presumptions can be rebutted.

The key strategy for revealing the falsity of the presumption is discovery where the homeowner borrower asks the simple questions about the dates and parties to transaction in which value was paid for the debt, note or mortgage.

Generally speaking you will never see answer to such questions because if they did answer they would be admitting that nobody in the chain of title ever paid value as required by law. And generally speaking there are very few occasions where the court won’t order them to answer it. And generally speaking there are very few occasions where they don’t violate the court order which opens the door to inferences and presumptions in favor of the homeowner’s defensive position.

Interesting NY Decision on Acceleration: U.S. Bank N.A. v. Gordon, 176 A.D.3d 1006 (2d Dept. 2019)

 “failure to pay this delinquency, plus additional payments and fees that may become due, will result in the acceleration of your Mortgage Note. Once acceleration has occurred, a foreclosure action . . . may be initiated.”

the Notice of Default stated that “[t]o avoid the possibility of acceleration,” Defendants were required to make certain payments by a specific time, or ASC “will proceed to automatically accelerate your loan.” (Emphasis added).

see https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ny-appellate-court-holds-default-letter-29981/

So it seems that in New York a notice of intention to accelerate or any notice that says that the supposed “lender” will accelerate is not the same as an actual acceleration. Actually that makes sense because any other interpretation would defy the intent of the notice of default. the notice of default is for the purpose of giving the borrower notice that unless they bring their payments up to date, the entire loan will become due.

The inherent logical and legal problem with this decision is that it is inconsistent with Florida (see Bartram case) and other states who made decisions as to implied “deceleration” for purposes of evading the effects of the statute of limitation. In fact, this very decision uses such “logic” to arrive at the conclusion that the “lender” is not barred because there was no acceleration. There was only an expression of an intent to do so. therefore any claims arising from acceleration could not arise.

In short the courts are speaking out multiple sides of their mouths.

On the one hand they say that deceleration which has never been claimed or noticed occurs upon the rendition of an order dismissing a defective foreclosure action and that the statute of limitations does not run on the balance where the “lender” has  given “notice” that it is intending to accelerate. The courts have thus “interpreted” a legal fiction into practical existence contrary to the rules of law. The acceleration is rendered void upon losing in court. There are various possible criticisms of such doctrine but the best one I think is “nuts.”

On another hand (or mouth) they are approving of “interpretation” of a notice of default declaring an intent to accelerate as actual being the acceleration for purposes of foreclosure. This is also crazy. If the notice of intention to accelerate was the actual acceleration then the notice would be fatally defective pursuant to paragraph 22 — which requires notice of default and an opportunity to cure it without paying the whole balance. So “intent to accelerate” cannot be the same as declaring acceleration since it would violate both law and contact. yet there it is in most courts where the “intent” is sufficient (according to most judges) to be an actual declaration of acceleration.

And still on another hand (or mouth) they are saying that acceleration does not occur where the lender declares only an intent to accelerate. This again is insane in the context of the foregoing “doctrines” imposed by the courts.

And of course the declaration of intent is contained in a “notice of default” that is a complete legal nullity, to wit: it is declared on behalf of U.S. Bank and a trust neither of which have any interest in the loan.

In short, the courts are willing to bend every rule, break any logical flow, and divert every rule in order to rule in favor of nonentities just like this case. U.S. Bank had no right, title or interest in the loan, debt, note or mortgage and neither suffered any financial loss for nor was it exposed to any default  declared or otherwise. And neither did any entity supposedly or presumably represented by U.S. Bank.

Note that acceleration can be accomplished through filing of a lawsuit where acceleration is declared. But in nonjudicial states, this is not possible if nonjudicial foreclosure is pursued.

To Appeal or Not To Appeal — What was the Question?

Making a mistake is not appealable unto itself. You must show that the error caused an improper decision. And by “improper” I mean that there is no way under existing law that the decision was based upon the law or, if you wish to pursue a still higher standard of review, that the law as applied violates constitutional protections.

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So the judge is quite certain that she has no sympathy for your position. Nonetheless, if you plan to appeal, and the rules of Court permit it, it may be to your advantage to file a motion for rehearing which focuses in on one or two points that could be right for appeal. This focuses the attention of the clerk for the appellate judge who orders the case to be put in one pile (affirmed) or another (review). That one decision — usually made by a clerk — either gives air to your appeal or kills it.

Remember that an appeal is solely directed at the question of whether or not there was any basis upon which the trial court could have entered the final judgement. it is not a retrial of the case. It is an entirely different inquiry looking for “fundamental error.” As long as the court record has anything in it that supports the ultimate decision it is extremely likely that the judgement, even if disliked, will be affirmed.

FAST FACTS: 1 in 6 appeals are successful to any degree. Of those more than half are in criminal cases where the stakes are perceived as much higher than civil cases. That means that less than 1 in 12 civil appeals will accomplish anything. And of the ones that accomplish something only a fraction are actually reversed with judgment for the losing side in the trial court.

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The fact that nobody else would have decided the case that way is not a basis for appeal. Bias is not a basis for appeal either unless the record clearly shows that the judge had a direct interest in the outcome of the case.
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An appeal is about whether anyone sitting as Judge could have decided the case as written in the findings of fact and law. That is different from the case at the trial level, which is about who should win. Appeals are about who could win. If the party who won at trial is party who could win under existing law, the decision will almost always be affirmed.

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The question in your case is whether or not the trial court appropriately applied legal presumptions to arrive at the conclusion that the plaintiff actually owns the loan, and was therefore an injured party, and was therefore entitled to foreclosure. The first such question focuses on whether there were any legal presumptions to be applied, and if so, for whose benefit they should be applied.
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The presence of facially valid documents definitely triggers the court discretion on whether to apply legal presumptions of fact. So the remaining questions relate to whether or not there are fatal inconsistencies in the facially valid documents or whether evidence is in the court record that requires rejection of the legal presumption of fact. A rejection of the legal presumption of fact means that the party relying on such presumptions must actually introduce evidence of the facts that had previously been presumed.
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If argued well in trial court, the judge can be educated as to the effect of legal presumptions and might slow the inevitable outcome once the presumptions are applied.
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As Dean Wigmore has explained, ” the peculiar effect of a presumption “of law” (that is, the real presumption) is merely to invoke a rule of compelling the (trier of Fact) to reach a conclusion in the absence of evidence to the contrary from the opponent. If the opponent offer evidence to the contrary (sufficient to satisfy the judge’s requirement of some evidence), the presumption disappears as a rule of law, and the case is in the (factfinder’s) hands free from any rule.” As more poetically the explanation has been put, “(p)resumtions… may be looked on as the bats of the law, flitting in the twilight, but disappearing in the sunshine of actual facts.”
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In the absence of either legally permissible presumptions or real evidence, the plaintiff fails on the proof, to wit: it fails to satisfy the requirements for a prima facie case.
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So the question here needs to focus on the Essential Elements of the Prima facie case. And the essential element above all others is whether the case has produced a judgement that will be used to satisfy a just debt owed to a party who paid value for it.
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While there are plenty of good strong legal and logical arguments to challenge the existence of the debt, I know of no instance In which court has been the least bit receptive to that narrative. It leaves open the unanswered question about what happened to the debt and does that absolve the borrower of all liability to pay anything.
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You don’t need to prove where the money is going. You only need to raise sufficient questions about the evidence such that the legal presumptions should have been discarded.
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In your case, with the legal presumptions discarded, the Plaintiff would have had to introduce credible evidence that it was the owner of the debt in order to establish ownership of the mortgage, which in turn is needed to prove authority to foreclose. The Plaintiff is allowed to rely completely on legal presumptions if the case is based on facially valid documents — although a complete absence of actual evidence is frequently the excuse for an appellate court to question and then reverse the trial court’s decision.
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In your case the reliance on legal presumptions has led to an attenuated conclusion of fact that could be challenged on appeal. As per the Court’s finding of fact, the mortgage was transferred several times. At one point it was transferred to U.S. Bank as trustee for a trust and then, after that transferred to Bank of America.
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An instrument purporting to transfer a mortgage without a contemporaneous transfer of the debt is a legal nullity in all U.S. jurisdictions. The transfer of a debt occurs ONLY upon satisfaction of one condition — that value has been paid  by the transferee to the transferor who had in turn paid value for the debt. That is universally true. It requires proof of payment OR it requires sufficient evidence to raise the presumption that payment was made.
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In your case the Judge has expressly ruled that value was paid. Since there was no evidence of any proof of payment there can only be one possible explanation for such a finding — i.e., that the court was relying upon presumptions of fact arising from facially valid documents.
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Transfer of the debt is presumed when the original note is transferred because it is presumed that the original note is evidence of the debt and should be accorded the effect of title to the debt. Since promissory notes are cash-equivalent instruments, there is no rational reason why a note would be transferred without payment; hence payment is presumed.
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This presumption is defeated only if the court record demonstrates that there either was no financial transaction in which the debt was acquired or where the record raises sufficient questions such that the presumption should not have been applied. This is exactly where the courts frequently commit error but not necessarily reversible error.
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In most loans that were ever subject to claims of securitization, the origination of the loan took place between an “originator” and the borrower, not the actual lender and the borrower. In plain language that means that the since the originator had never paid any value for the debt, they never owned it and therefore the mortgage naming the originator was void, which in turn means that any assignments of the void mortgage were also void.
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This precisely why the Truth in Lending Act says that table funded (third party funded) loans are against public policy. But the Truth in Lending Act does not expressly state that such loans are void, meaning that acting in a representative capacity at a loan closing without the knowledge of the borrower is frowned upon but not explicitly outlawed.
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So we must accept the idea that somehow the mortgage is valid but that does not address the question of who can enforce it or transfer it. The answer to that question in all jurisdictions is that it is only the party who has suffered a financial injury resulting from nonpayment. That is both a constitutional and statutory requirement.
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In order to suffer financial injury from non payment you must have paid value for the loan. Payment of value is established upon proof of payment or a presumption that such payment was made.
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The problem in your case is that the Judge presumed that such payment was made not just because she thinks she was allowed to do so, but because she actually believes it. She is assuming that even if there were “technical” irregularities or mistakes, that the foreclosure will result in payment to the party (ies) who paid value for the debt. And the problem with that, as we all know or at least suspect, is that she is wrong.
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The money will go to players who were angling for revenue and the parties who actually advanced the money for the origination or acquisition of the loan are long gone. They won’t see one cent from the sale of the home.
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The problem for you is therefore whether the judge was rightfully exercising her authority, jurisdiction and discretion to use legal presumptions in lieu of legal proof by proof of payment. You can’t introduce new evidence on appeal. So you must rely entirely upon what is in the court record or absent from it. And it is not enough to be correct; you must be convincing to a panel of judges who at best don’t care whether you win or lose. 

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