Financial Industry Caught with Its Hand in the Cookie Jar

Like the infamous NINJA loans, the REMICs ought to be dubbed NEITs — nonexistent inactive trusts.

The idea of switching lenders without permission of the borrower has been accepted for centuries. But the idea of switching borrowers without permission of the “lender” had never been accepted until the era of false claims of securitization.

This is just one example of how securitization, in practice, has gone far off the rails. It is significant to students of securitization because it demonstrates how the debt, note and mortgage have been separated with each being a commodity to sell to multiple buyers.

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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see https://asreport.americanbanker.com/news/new-risk-for-loan-investors-lending-to-a-different-company

Leveraged loan investors are now concerned about whether they are funding a loan to one entity and then “by succession” ending up with another borrower with a different credit profile, reputation, etc. You can’t make this stuff up. This is only possible because the debt has been separated from the promissory note — the same way the debt, note and mortgage were treated as entirely separate commodities in the “securitization” of residential mortgage debt. The lack of connection between the paper and the debt has allowed borrowers to sell or transfer their position as borrower to another borrower leaving the “lender” holding a debt from a new borrower. This sounds crazy but it is nevertheless true. [I am NOT suggesting that individual homeowners try this. It won’t work]

Keep in mind that most certificates issued by investment bankers purportedly from nonexistent inactive trusts (call them NEITs instead of REMICs) contain an express provision that states in clear unequivocal language that the holder of the certificate has no right, title or interest to the underlying notes and mortgages. This in effect creates a category of defrauded investors using much the same logic as the use of MERS in which MERS expressly disclaims and right, title or interest in the money (i.e., the debt), or the mortgages that reregistered by third party “members.”

Of course those of us who understand this cloud of smoke and mirrors know that the securitization was never real. The single transaction rule used in tax cases establishes conclusively that the only real parties in interest are the investors and the borrowers. Everyone else is simply an intermediary with no more interest in any transaction than your depository bank has when you write a check on your account. The bank can’t assert ownership of the TV you just paid for. But if you separate the maker of the check from the seller of the goods so that neither knows of the existence of the other then the intermediary is free to make whatever false claims it seeks to make.

In the world of fake securitization or as Adam Levitin has coined it, “Securitization Fail”, the successors did not pay for the debt but did get the paper (note and mortgage or deed of trust). All the real monetary transactions took place outside the orbit of the falsely identified REMIC “Trust.” The debt, by law and custom, has always been considered to arise between Party A and Party B where one of them is the borrower and the other is the one who put the money into the hands of the borrower acting for its own account — or for a disclosed third party lender. In most cases the creditor in that transaction is not named as the lender on the promissory note. Hence the age-old “merger doctrine” does not apply.

This practice allows the sale and resale of the same loan multiple times to multiple parties. This practice is also designed to allow the underwriter to issue investors a promise to pay (the “certificate” from a nonexistent inactive trust entity) that conveys no interest in the underlying mortgages and notes that supposedly are being acquired.

It’s true that equitable and perhaps legal rights to the paper (i.e., ownership) have attached to the paper. But the paper has been severed from the debt. Courts have inappropriately ignored this fact and stuck with the presumption that the paper is the same as the debt. But that would only be true if the named payee or mortgagee (or beneficiary on a Deed of Trust) were one and the same. In the real world, they are not the same. Thus we parties who don’t own the debt foreclosing on houses because the real parties in interest have no idea how to identify the real parties in interest.

While the UCC addresses situations like this Courts have routinely ignored statutory law and simply applied their own “common sense” to a nearly incomprehensible situation. The result is that the courts apply legal presumptions of facts that are wrong.

PRACTICE NOTE: In order to be able to litigate properly one must understand the basics of fake securitization. Without understanding the difference between real world transactions and paper instruments discovery and trial narrative become corrupted and the homeowner loses. But if you keep searching for things that ought to exist but don’t — thus undercutting the foundation for testimony at deposition or trial — then your chances of winning rise geometrically. The fact is, as I said in many interviews and on this blog as far back as 2007, they don’t have the goods — all they have is an illusion — a holographic image of an empty paper bag.

Fannie and Freddie Unloading Bogus “Mortgage” Bonds

Standard Operating Procedure: Create more bogus paper on top of piles of old bogus paper and you contribute to the illusion that any of it is real. The “business model” still leaves out the basic fallacy: that most loans were never actually securitized into the trusts that are claiming them. Hence the at the base of this pyramid, is an MBS issued by an entity without any assets in cash, property or loans.

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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see http://blogs.barrons.com/incomeinvesting/2014/06/30/government-support-for-gse-mortgage-transfer-securities-unrealistic-fitch/

The actual goal here is to spread the risk so wide that the impact is reduced when it is finally conceded that the original MBS had no value and every successor synthetic derivative is just as worthless as the one before it.

At ground level, this creates a dichotomy. First the act of a Government Sponsored Entity (GSE) engaging in a “re-REMIC” transfer adds to the illusion that the issuing trust ever acquired the loan in the first place. But second, it corroborates the finding by me, Adam Levitin and others who know and have studied the situation: the foreclosure based upon claims from alleged REMIC Trusts are false claims.

If the original MBS had real value because it was issued by a real REMIC Trust, the process described as “re-REMIC” would not be necessary. Hedge products would be sufficient to cover the changing risk from alleged defaults on loans that were legitimately made by originators. The fact is that the “loans” did not produce loan contracts because one party was owed the debt while another party was named on the bogus note.

And THAT corroborates the experience of millions of homeowners who attempted to learn about the fictitious financial transaction in which “successors” to the “originator” paid nothing for the “transfer” of the loan because it could not be sold by the preceding party who had no ownership.

Who Are the Creditors?

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Since the distributions are made to the alleged trust beneficiaries by the alleged servicers, it is clear that both the conduct and the documents establish the investors as the creditors. The payments are not made into a trust account and the Trustee is neither the payor of the distributions nor is the Trustee in any way authorized or accountable for the distributions. The trust is merely a temporary conduit with no business purpose other than the purchase or origination of loans. In order to prevent the distributions of principal from being treated as ordinary income to the Trust, the REMIC statute allows the Trust to do its business for a period of 90 days after which business operations are effectively closed.

The business is supposed to be financed through the “IPO” sale of mortgage bonds that also convey an undivided interest in the “business” which is the trust. The business consists of purchasing or originating loans within the 90 day window. 90 days is not a lot of time to acquire $2 billion in loans. So it needs to be set up before the start date which is the filing of the required papers with the IRS and SEC and regulatory authorities. This business is not a licensed bank or lender. It has no source of funds other than the IPO issuance of the bonds. Thus the business consists simply of using the proceeds of the IPO for buying or originating loans. Since the Trust and the investors are protected from poor or illegal lending practices, the Trust never directly originates loans. Otherwise the Trust would appear on the original note and mortgage and disclosure documents.

Yet as I have discussed in recent weeks, the money from the “trust beneficiaries” (actually just investors) WAS used to originate loans despite documents and agreements to the contrary. In those documents the investor money was contractually intended to be used to buy mortgage bonds issued by the REMIC Trust. Since the Trusts are NOT claiming to be holders in due course or the owners of the debt, it may be presumed that the Trusts did NOT purchase the loans. And the only reason for them doing that would be that the Trusts did not have the money to buy loans which in turn means that the broker dealers who “sold” mortgage bonds misdirected the money from investors from the Trust to origination and acquisition of loans that ultimately ended up under the control of the broker dealer (investment bank) instead of the Trust.

The problem is that the banks that were originating or buying loans for the Trust didn’t want the risk of the loans and frankly didn’t have the money to fund the purchase or origination of what turned out to be more than 80 million loans. So they used the investor money directly instead of waiting for it to be processed through the trust.

The distribution payments came from the Servicer directly to the investors and not through the Trust, which is not allowed to conduct business after the 90 day cutoff. It was only a small leap to ignore the trust at the beginning — I.e. During the business period (90 days). On paper they pretended that the Trust was involved in the origination and acquisition of loans. But in fact the Trust entities were completely ignored. This is what Adam Levitin called “securitization fail.” Others call it fraud, pure and simple, and that any further action enforcing the documents that refer to fictitious transactions is an attempt at making the courts an instrument for furthering the fraud and protecting the perpetrator from liability, civil and criminal.

And that brings us to the subject of servicer advances. Several people  have commented that the “servicer” who advanced the funds has a right to recover the amounts advanced. If that is true, they ask, then isn’t the “recovery” of those advances a debit to the creditors (investors)? And doesn’t that mean that the claimed default exists? Why should the borrower get the benefit of those advances when the borrower stops paying?

These are great questions. Here is my explanation for why I keep insisting that the default does not exist.

First let’s look at the actual facts and logistics. The servicer is making distribution payments to the investors despite the fact that the borrower has stopped paying on the alleged loan. So on its face, the investors are not experiencing a default and they are not agreeing to pay back the servicer.

The servicer is empowered by vague wording in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement to stop paying the advances when in its sole discretion it determines that the amounts are not recoverable. But it doesn’t say recoverable from whom. It is clear they have no right of action against the creditor/investors. And they have no right to foreclosure proceeds unless there is a foreclosure sale and liquidation of the property to a third party purchaser for value. This means that in the absence of a foreclosure the creditors are happy because they have been paid and the borrower is happy because he isn’t making payments, but the servicer is “loaning” the payments to the borrower without any contracts, agreements or any documents bearing the signature of the borrower. The upshot is that the foreclosure is then in substance an action by the servicer against the borrower claiming to be secured by a mortgage but which in fact is SUPPOSEDLY owned by the Trust or Trust beneficiaries (depending upon which appellate decision or trial court decision you look at).

But these questions are academic because the investors are not the owners of the loan documents. They are the owners of the debt because their money was used directly, not through the Trust, to acquire the debt, without benefit of acquiring the note and mortgage. This can be seen in the stone wall we all hit when we ask for the documents in discovery that would show that the transaction occurred as stated on the note and mortgage or assignment or endorsement.

Thus the amount received by the investors from the “servicers” was in fact not received under contract, because the parties all ignored the existence of the trust entity. It was a voluntary payment received from an inter-meddler who lacked any power or authorization to service or process the loan, the loan payments, or the distributions to investors except by conduct. Ignoring the Trust entity has its consequences. You cannot pick up one end of the stick without picking up the other.

So the claim of the “servicer” is in actuality an action in equity or at law for recovery AGAINST THE BORROWER WITHOUT DOCUMENTATION OF ANY KIND BEARING THE BORROWER’S SIGNATURE. That is because the loans were originated as table funded loans which are “predatory per se” according to Reg Z. Speaking with any mortgage originator they will eventually either refuse to answer or tell you outright that the purpose of the table funded loan was to conceal from the borrower the parties with whom the borrower was actually doing business.

The only reason the “servicer” is claiming and getting the proceeds from foreclosure sales is that the real creditors and the Trust that issued Bonds (but didn’t get paid for them) is that the investors and the Trust are not informed. And according to the contract (PSA, Prospectus etc.) that they don’t know has been ignored, neither the investors nor the Trust or Trustee is allowed to make inquiry. They basically must take what they get and shut up. But they didn’t shut up when they got an inkling of what happened. They sued for FRAUD, not just breach of contract. And they received huge payoffs in settlements (at least some of them did) which were NOT allocated against the amount due to those investors and therefore did not reduce the amount due from the borrower.

Thus the argument about recovery is wrong because there really is no such claim against the investors. There is the possibility of a claim against the borrower for unjust enrichment or similar action, but that is a separate action that arose when the payment was made and was not subject to any agreement that was signed by the borrower. It is a different claim that is not secured by the mortgage or note, even if the  loan documents were valid.

Lastly I should state why I have put the “servicer”in quotes. They are not the servicer if they derive their “authority” from the PSA. They could only be the “servicer” if the Trust acquired the loans. In that case they PSA would affect the servicing of the actual loan. But if the money did not come from the Trust in any manner, shape or form, then the Trust entity has been ignored. Accordingly they are neither the servicer nor do they have any powers, rights, claims or obligations under the PSA.

But the other reason comes from my sources on Wall Street. The service did not and could not have made the “servicer advances.” Another bit of smoke and mirrors from this whole false securitization scheme. The “servicer advances” were advances made by the broker dealer who “sold” (in a false sale) mortgage bonds. The brokers advanced money to an account in which the servicer had access to make distributions along with a distribution report. The distribution reports clearly disclaim any authenticity of the figures used, the status of the loans, the trust or the portfolio of loans (non-existent) as a whole. More smoke and mirrors. So contrary to popular belief the servicer advances were not made by the servicers except as a conduit.

Think about it. Why would you offer to keep the books on a thousand loans and agree to make payments even if the borrowers didn’t pay? There is no reasonable fee for loan processing or payment processing that would compensate the servicer for making those advances. There is no rational business reason for the advance. The reason they agreed to issue the distribution report along with money that was actually under the control of the broker dealer is that they were being given an opportunity, like sharks in a feeding frenzy, to participate in the liquidation proceeds after foreclosure — but only if the loan actually went into foreclosure, which is why most loan modifications are ignored or fail.

Who had a reason to advance money to the creditors even if there was no payment by the borrower? The broker dealer, who wanted to pacify the investors who thought they owned bonds issued by a REMIC Trust that they thought had paid for and owned the loans as holder in due course on their behalf. But it wasn’t just pacification. It was marketing and sales. As long as investors thought the investments were paying off as expected, they would buy more bonds. In the end that is what all this was about — selling more and more bonds, skimming a chunk out of the money advanced by investors — and then setting up loans that had to fail, and if by some reason they didn’t they made sure that the tranche that reportedly owned the loan also was liable for defaults in toxic waste mortgages “approved” for consumers who had no idea what they were signing.

So how do you prove this happened in one particular loan and one particular trust and one particular servicer etc.? You don’t. You announce your theory of the case and demand discovery in which you have wide latitude in what questions you can ask and what documents you can demand — much wider than what will be allowed as areas of inquiry in trial. It is obvious and compelling that asked for proof of the underlying authority, underlying transaction or anything else that is real, your opposition can’t come up with it. Their case falls apart because they don’t own or control the debt, the loan or any of the loan documents.

Alabama Appeals Court Slams U.S. Bank Down on “Magic” Fabricated Allonge

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NY Trust Law — PSA Violation is FATAL

RE: Congress (yes that is really her name) versus U.S. Bank 2100934

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

Editor’s Comment:

Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism has it right in the article below and you should not only read it but study it. The following are my comments in addition to the well written analysis on Naked Capitalism.

  1. Alabama is a very conservative state that has consistently disregarded issues regarding the rules of evidence and civil procedure until this decision from the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals was handed down on June 8, 2012. Happy Birthday, Brother! This court has finally recognized (a) that documents are fabricated shortly before hearings and (b) that it matters. They even understand WHY it matters.
  2. Judges talk to teach other both directly and indirectly. Sometimes it almost amounts to ex parte contact because they are actually discussing the merits of certain arguments as it would effect cases that are currently pending in front of them. I know of reports where Judges have stated in open Court in Arizona that they have spoken with other Judges and DECIDED that they are not going to give relief to deadbeat borrowers. So this decision in favor of the borrower, where a fabricated “Allonge” was used only a couple of days before the hearing is indicative that they are starting to change their thinking and that the deadbeats might just be the pretender lenders.
  3. But they missed the fact that an allonge is not an instrument that transfers anything. It is not a bill of sale, assignment or anything else like that. It is and always has been something added to a previously drafted instrument that adds, subtracts or changes terms. See my previous article last week on Allonges, Assignments and Endorsements.
  4. What they DID get is that under New York law, the manager or trustee of a so-called REMIC, SPV or “Trust” cannot do anything contrary to the instrument that appointed the manager or trustee to that position. This is of enormous importance. We have been saying on these pages and in my books that it is not possible for the trustee or manager of the “pool” to accept a loan into the pool if it violates the terms expressly stated in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement. If the cut-off date was three years ago then it can’t be accepted. If the loan is in default already then it cannot be accepted. So not only is this allonge being rejected, but any actual attempt to assign the instrument into the “pool” is also rejected.
  5. What that means is that like any contract there are three basic elements — offer, consideration and acceptance. The offer is clear enough, even if it is from a party who doesn’t own the loan. The consideration is at best muddy because there are no records to show that the REMIC or the parties to the REMIC (investors) ever funded the loan through the REMIC. And the acceptance is absolutely fatal because no investor would agree or did agree to accept loans that were already in default.
  6. The other thing I agree with and would expand is the whole notion of the burden of proof. In this case we are still dealing with a burden of proof on the homeowner instead of the pretender lender. But the door is open now to start talking about the burden of proof. Here, the Court simply stated that the burden of proof imposed by the trial judge should have been by a preponderance (over 50%) of the evidence instead of clear and convincing (somewhere around 80%) of the evidence. So if it is more likely than not that the instrument was fabricated, the document will NOT be accepted into evidence. The next thing to work on is putting the burden of proof on the party seeking affirmative relief — i.e., the one seeking to take the home through foreclosure. If you align the parties properly, all of the other procedural problems disappear. That will leave questions regarding admissible evidence (another time).
  7. Keep in mind that this decision will have rumbling effects throughout Alabama and other states but it is only persuasive, not authoritative. So the fact that this appellate court made this decision does not mean you win in your case in Arizona.
  8. But it can be used to say “Judge, I know how the bench views these defenses and claims. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that the party seeking to foreclose is now and always was a pretender. And further, it is equally apparent that they are submitting fabricated and forged documents. 
  9. ‘More importantly, they are trying to get you to participate in a fraudulent scheme they pursued against the investors who advanced money without any proper documentation. This Alabama Appellate Court understands, now that they have read the Pooling and Servicing Agreement, that it simply is not possible for the investors to be forced into accepting a defaulted loan long after the cut-off date established in the PSA.
  10. ‘If you rule for the pretender creditor here you are doing two things: (1) you are providing these pretenders with the argument that there is a judicial ruling requiring the innocent investors to take the defaulted loan and suffer the losses when they never had any interest in the loan before and (2) you are allowing and encouraging a party who is not a creditor and never was a creditor to submit a credit bid at auction in lieu of cash thus stealing the property from both the homeowner and in violation of their agency or duty to the investors.
  11. ‘This Court and hundreds of others across the country are reading these documents now. And what they are finding is that pension funds and other regulated managed funds were tricked into buying non-existent assets through a bogus mortgage bond. The offer and promise made to these investors, upon whom millions of pensioners depend to make ends meet, was that these were industry standard loans in good standing. None of that was true and it certainly isn’t true now. Yet they want you to rule that you can force investors from another state or country to accept these loans even though they are either worthless or worth substantially less than the amount represented at the time of the transaction where the investment banker took the money from the investor and put it into a giant escrow fund without regard to the REMIC’s existence.

We don’t deny the existence of an obligation, but we do deny that this trickster should be given the proceeds of ill-gotten gains. The actual creditors should be given an opportunity to reject non-conforming loans that are submitted after the cut-off date and are therefore indispensable parties to this transaction.”

Alabama Appeals Court Reverses Decision on Chain of TitleCase, Ruling Hinges on Question of Bogus Allonges

In a unanimous decision, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals reversed a lower court decision on a foreclosure case, U.S. Bank v. Congress and remanded the case to trial court.

We’d flagged this case as important because to our knowledge, it was the first to argue what we call the New York trust theory, namely, that the election to use New York law in the overwhelming majority of mortgage securitizations meant that the parties to the securitization could operate only as stipulated in the pooling and servicing agreement that created that particular deal. Over 100 years of precedents in New York have produced well settled case law that deems actions outside what the trustee is specifically authorized to do as “void acts” having no legal force. The rigidity of New York trust has serious implications for mortgage securitizations. The PSAs required that the notes (the borrower IOUs) be transferred to the trust in a very specific fashion (endorsed with wet ink signatures through a particular set of parties) before a cut-off date, which typically was no later than 90 days after the trust closing. The problem is, as we’ve described in numerous posts, that there appears to have been massive disregard in the securitization for complying with the contractual requirements that they established and appear to have complied with, at least in the early years of the securitization industry. It’s difficult to know when the breakdown occurred, but it appears that well before 2004-2005, many subprime originators quit bothering with the nerdy task of endorsing notes and completing assignments as the PSAs required; they seemed to take the position they could do that right before foreclosure. Indeed, that’s kosher if the note has not been securitized, but as indicated above, it is a no-go with a New York trust. There is no legal way to remedy the problem after the fact.

The solution in the Congress case appears to have been a practice that has since become troublingly become common: a fabricated allonge. An allonge is an attachment to a note that is so firmly affixed that it can’t travel separately. The fact that a note was submitted to the court in the Congress case and an allonge that fixed all the problems appeared magically, on the eve of trial, looked highly sus. The allonge also contained signatures that looked less than legitimate: they were digitized (remember, signatures as supposed to be wet ink) and some were shrunk to fit signature lines. These issues were raised at trial by Congress’s attorneys, but the fact that the magic allonge appeared the Thursday evening before Memorial Day weekend 2011 when the trial was set for Tuesday morning meant, among other things, that defense counsel was put on the back foot (for instance, how do you find and engage a signature expert on such short notice? Answer, you can’t).

The case was ruled in favor of the US Bank, in a narrow and strained opinion (which was touted as significant by reliable securitization industry booster Paul Jackson). It argued that the case was an ejectment action (the final step to get the borrower out after the foreclosure was final) so that, per securitization expert, Georgetown law professor Adam Levitin,

..the question of ownership of the note was not an issue of standing, but an affirmative defense for which the homeowner had the burden of proof…Crazy or not, however, this meant that the homeowner wasn’t actually challenging the trust’s standing. From there it was a small step for the court to say that the homeowner couldn’t invoke the terms of the PSA because she wasn’t a party to it…..

The case has been remanded back to trial court, and the judges put the issue of the allonge front and center.

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Nevada Supreme Court: You Gotta Prove Chain of Title

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Nevada Supreme Court: You Gotta Prove Chain of Title

posted by Adam Levitin

A pair of very interesting foreclosure rulings were handed down today by the Nevada Supreme Court. They provide further evidence that documentation problems are rife in the mortgage industry, including documents showing chain of title. They also provide another example of a state supreme court demanding proof of valid chain of title before permitting foreclosure.

Both cases arise from Nevada’s foreclosure mediation program. In one case, Pasillas v. HSBC Bank USA, the Nevada Supreme Court ordered sanctions against HSBC for failing to mediate in good faith. What was the failure? HSBC failed to show up at the mediation with the required loan documentation, namely two pages of the mortgage note were missing, the assignment to HSBC was incomplete, a BPO rather than an appraisal was provided.  Moreover, HSBC didn’t show up at the mediation with authority to settle because it still required “investor approval.” The foreclosure mediator refused on these ground to authorize the foreclosure. The district court ordered the foreclosure to proceed, but the Nevada Supreme Court reversed the ruling and remanded with instructions for the district court to determine appropriate sanctions.  

Three things are of note in this case.  First, it shows that the Nevada Supreme Court takes a very serious view of enforcing the requirements of the state’s foreclosure mediation program. This was a unanimous decision. Second, it’s another illustratation of the mortgage documentation SNAFU. And third, there’s a very long footnote discussing and endorsing the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling in Ibanez v US Bank:  “We agree with the rationale that valid assignments are needed when the beneficiary of a deed of trust seeks to foreclose on a property.”  That’s now two states Supreme Courts now that are making clear that there’s got to be good chain of title.  We can add to that the NC Court of Appeals and arguably New Jersey. 

All of this brings us to the second case, Levya v. National Default Servicing, Inc., another unanimous decision. Again, this case arose from a foreclosure mediation. At the mediation, Wells Fargo produced a certified original copy of the note and deed of trust naming another entity as the lender.  Wells did not produce any assignments, just a notarized statement that it was in possession of the original note and DOT and any assignments thereto. (Gosh, I wonder if that employee had personal knowledge of the fact or not… Do you really think the employee looked at the physical paper?). The mediator found that Wells Fargo hadn’t met the statutory requirements for the mediation, but didn’t make a finding of bad faith.  The homeowner petitioned the district court for review, arguing that Wells Fargo acted in bad faith and should be sanctioned.  The district court concluded that there was no bad faith. The Nevada Supreme Court reversed on appeal.

What’s interesting in this case is an extended discussion of what constitutes a valid assignment of deeds of trust and of notes. For starters, the court noted that the transfers “are distinctly separate.” Nevada, like Massachusetts, is a title theory state. That indicates that the mortgage follows the note theory just doesn’t work there. And it’s not as if the Nevada Supreme Court were unaware of UCC Article 9. The court discusses Judge Markell’s 9th Circuit BAP decision in In re Veal that includes a detailed discussion of the working of UCC Article 9. [In re Veal never addressed the issue of whether UCC 9-203(g) applies to deeds of trust (which are sale and repurchases, not liens); the language of 9-203(g) could be read not to apply, but that need not concern us here.]  Instead, Nevada’s views a deed of trust as a conveyance of land, so the state’s Statute of Frauds applies, and it requires a written assignment. Wells never produced a chain of assignments from the originator to whatever trust was involved. Maybe Wells could do so, but it didn’t.

Similarly, without being able to prove that the note had been endorsed or otherwise transferred to Wells (meaning that it was given to Wells for the purpose of enforcement), Wells “has not demonstrated authority to mediate the note.”  Put differently, Wells failed to prove standing.

Now let me emphasize that just because Wells didn’t prove standing doesn’t mean that it can’t. But this should be raising a lot of questions. Does the paper exist? Can we verify that it is in fact the original and the dating of the signatures? If so, why isn’t Wells producing it? Who is bearing the cost of these screw-ups? Is it MBS investors or is Wells eating it?

This strikes me as further evidence that the proposed BoA MBS settlement is just too hasty. There’s simply too much evidence of major problems in the system for investors to settle without knowing more. It’s a very different settlement if the documentation is fine, but the servicer’s just incompetent and can’t produce it than if the documentation was never done right in the first place and there’s nothing the servicer can do. If I were an MBS investor, I’d want to know which situation I was facing.

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