Tonight! The Neil Garfield Show with Illinois Attorney Dan Khwaja — LOPEZ Case

US Bank v Lopez

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It is always a pleasure to speak with an attorney who is an ardent advocate for consumers. And it is good to know they are out there even though everyone is complaining about not finding an attorney. Dan wins cases and motions because he fights every step of the way — but like every good litigator he thinks about the case before he writes or says anything.

Here the note was sent for endorsement AFTER suit was filed. Truth is stronger than fiction. In the Lopez case an Illinois Appellate Court reversed the trial judge and dismissed the foreclosure. Then the same court reversed its own decision en banc and affirmed the foreclosure. Now Khwaja is taking it to the Illinois Supreme Court. He has the law and the rules on his side. You can see what he filed here: US Bank, Trustee v Lopez.

Included in the above link is what was filed with the attached appendix and relevant documents. It has the first complaint and note, second complaint and note, the affidavit of Robert Rappe Jr admitting the note was sent for endorsement after the foreclosure was filed. The first and second opinions. Everything is here that you need to look at if you want to review it.

At issue now is whether the rules mean anything or if the rules promulgated by the Illinois Supreme Court can be ignored. This of course has been the continuing cry of homeowners who were seeking workouts and modifications only to be inexorably drawn into foreclosure. In a word, the access of borrowers to their creditors has always been continually blocked during the modern era that involves false claims of securitization.

The fact pattern involves the familiar US Bank as Trustee for a presumed Trust. The parties continue to refer to the Plaintiff as “US Bank” which of course is not the case. The named Trust is the Plaintiff — if it exists. If it doesn’t exist then there is no Plaintiff notwithstanding the size of US Bank. Since the style of cases is a  shorthand “US Bank” becomes shorthand for US Bank, as trustee for the XYZ Trust.

Guest Information:

Daniel Khwaja, Esq.
Attorney at Law
ph (312)-933-4015
 

Thank you for the inspiration

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Editor’s Comment:  

We get many letters thanking us for our efforts to set things straight. And as I embark on escalating those efforts I found this letter especially timely and uplifting. While many of our readers write in with their successes, the distinguishing feature of this thank you letter was despite losses, so far in the courts. I think the next major push should be with administrative agencies regulating the banks where there are procedures for review and the possibility of administrative hearings to consider the quest for truth.

I have followed your blog semi-religiously for several years now.  I started long before I filed a RICO suit against IndyMac/MERS in Federal District Court in Seattle (May 2011).  So for certain my complaint was laced as best I could with the very arguments which you have been espousing and refining over the years.  Of course my Complaint was dismissed (not unexpected since, after all, I am a pro se know-nothing in the eyes of the “justice system”).  I appealed to the Ninth Circuit case No. 11-358626, got evicted in the interim and now await a decision from the Appeals Court.  I am telling you this not as a plea for assistance or pity but as a thank you for your tenacity in trying to set things straight.

Until the bubble burst in 2008, I was a self-employed homebuilder for the previous 35 years. Prior to that, I had obtained a 2 year associates degree in Tampa (1975). Dealing with an unconscionable truth has different impacts on different people. For me (and I am only 3 years or so younger than yourself), the impact prompted me to return to college at the University of Washington at the branch campus in Bothell.  This town is nearby to my former home which I still own but from which I was exiled.  Soon after my exile I became intrigued by a new degree program offered by UWB called “Law, Economics and Public Policy”.  I wondered if it was what it appeared to be and if my college credits from 37 years ago would transfer, well, yes and yes.  I am midway through my second quarter now.  Doing great.  The class sizes are quite small, usually 25 or less, so in-class discussions are encouraged and frequent.   This quarter, the book “The Big Short” was a required reading for one class.  Having already read that book 2 years ago, I’m sure you can imagine what sort of flavor that a fellow of my background and attitude might bring to the table in a room full of clueless kids who could easily pass as my grandchildren.

I know you’ve had some recent health issue which I hope are behind you.  I don’t have the time (or patience, quite frankly) to engage in the blogging which follows your every post, including your most recent one regarding the familiar theme of corrupted titles and Canadian neophytes.  On this Friday evening, I just wanted to wish you well and thank you for your inspiration.  The next generation must not be denied the truth.  I’ll keep talking to the kids (and the professors, some half my age) at UWB.  In a classroom environment, none of them can hide from me.  So yes, thanks once again.  We hear you and by proxy, they hear you too.

Best regards,

Name redacted for privacy


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Getting the RIGHT Report: Rebutting the Presumptions That the Original Note and Transfers Had Any Legal Effect

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Editor’s Comment: The biggest problem to knocking the banks on their ass is the feeling deep down inside the homeowner that the loan is valid and so is the mortgage. So people are thinking in terms of buying time rather than winning the case. Lawyers are saying the same things to themselves even as they take your money to represent you which is why I started www.garfieldfirm.com — so we would have lawyers who are NOT thinking that way and to get hundreds of other firms to compete with passion in their hearts that the homeowner is the victim.

The current state of affairs is that in most cases, misguided Judges are forcing investors to take bad loans that do not conform with their agreement (e.g. cutoff required under Internal revenue Code and express PSA terms and conditions) in a process that  does not conform to the process of origination and transfer expressly stated in the PSA (as expressed in the prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement), thus enabling the investment bank to throw the loss onto the investor in a newly fabricated (see Congress decision from June 8 in Alabama Appellate Court) — and the kicker is that investor knows nothing about the transaction or litigation and is presumed to have accepted the assignment of a non-existent loan. The borrower is being forced to pay on a non-existent loan or lose his or her house. And still the borrowers persist on thinking they are getting what they deserve, thus leaving the banks with the money while the investors and homeowners get nothing.

Only 2% of the mortgage loans are contested in any meaningful way and 80% go about it in the wrong way. I mean to change that 2% to 75% of the mortgages being contested, and reduce the number of mistakes such that only a small fraction of mortgage contests are done incorrectly.

Have you heard the term “Master Servicer”. Yes, well they are the ones actually orchestrating events on behalf of the investment bank that put up this illusion that we call securitization. They sold the pension funds on what? The pension funds advanced money to the investment banking firm which was placed into a super fund account from which closing money found its way to the closing table with the so-called borrower.

The real reports and accounting are those that are given to the creditor, not the borrower. The reports to the creditor come from the Master Servicer whereas the reports to the borrower come from the subservicer which doesn’t  have access to to creditor’s accounts so it is in no position to report, account or testify through affidavit or in person what the creditor’s ending balance is as of the day of the declaration of default or the day of the testimony. The subservicer’s proffer of testimony should be subject to voir dire in which they admit that there is a master servicer that keep the accounts for the creditor and the subservicer has no knowledge or access tot hat.

This is followed by an objection to the competency of the witness to testify as to anything other than transactions in which it received money from the borrower and transactions (never included) in which it paid out those moneys to the creditor.

Take great care here not to suddenly find yourself carrying the burden of proof on facts that are exclusively within the hands of the pretender or the agents of the pretender. Your motion should be directed at the incompetency of the witness to tesify as to the conclusion that there was a default and the fact that they declared the default without gaining access to the information from the Master Servicer. Hence the objection also to any documents being proffered to the court as evidence, since they clearly do not and cannot by definition establish the default. 

You don’t want to find youself in the position of having the Judge rule that the proffer of that evidence is sufficient for a prima facie case and that if you wish to rebut it you must come forward with proof of other payments. Since THEY are the party seeking affirmative relief, the burden should ALWAYS be on them to produce all relevant accounting and reports nefore they take the home away from a homeowner.

What the borrower and the Courts are getting are simple subservicer reports which amount to no more than a printout from a computer that may or may not have the right data, the right loan or the right starting figures. It may or may not have charges that are permissible or not permissible against the account. But the real information about the account balance is what the creditor is showing on its books and that information comes from the distribution reports and discovery of the accounting records of the Master Servicer and the Tax statements for the creditor.

But here is the kicker. The investment bank (Master Servicer) is NOT reporting the receipt of proceeds from insurance, credit default swaps, and other credit enhancements — not even to the investor. So they are manufacturing (fabricating) a loss that does not exist, at least in part. This is relevant to everything in a foreclosure including the identity of the creditor who is allowed to declare the default, and the identity of the creditor and the amount due so that real creditor can submit a real bid that is called a credit bid because it is the equivalent of the amount due ON THE ACCOUNT.

The magic sleight of hand trick being played is that the subservicer is giving the court an accounting of transactions with the alleged borrower when in fact the creditor is getting a completely different report, many of which show continuing payment from the subservicer or Master Servicer.

The borrower and borrower’s counsel are unaware and in most cases don’t even know enough to ask for these reports. The creditor is entitled to payment on his account — once and only once.  The fact is that insurance and credit default swaps are right there in the pooling and servicing agreements, and so are credit enhancements like overcollateralization and cross collateralization.

That is money that (a) should be reported and paid to the investor creditors and (b) allocated to the loan accounts’ principal reduction as an additional payment. In many cases the creditor’s balance is zero because the creditor has been paid off in total, settled or traded the bogus mortgage bonds for something else of value — which is to say that the “pool” or “trust” proffered by the attorney fro the pretender lender does not even exist anymore.

All this money came from “players” who knew the Wall Street game and were gambling with pension money, depositors money etc, contrary to law and common sense. In no way was any homeowner even mentioned by name much less offered the opportunity to look at the terms offered to the lender, which were substantially different that the terms offered to the homeowner. The homeowners’ signature on “loan papers” was in actuality the issuance of a security that was traded furiously even if it was procured by fraud in the inducement and fraud in the execution.

The result of this frenzy is that through multiple channels including the Federal discount window and the TARP bailout, together with the maiden-lane disposal of toxic waste loans, the creditors were satisfied leaving the homeowner owing nothing to the creditor that loaned him the money. The insurer and the issuer of the credit default swap expressly waived any right to enforce against the homeowner.

AND the homeowner was the innocent bystander who thought he was borrowing money from one party, received it from another and then issued negotiable paper that was filled with misrepresentations. So the pretenders have nothing but dirty hands and the borrowers are clean.

So there is an obligation out there that the homeowner might owe — but the debt that was created at the time of receipt of the funds was never described in any document. In fact, the debt described in the promissory note and mortgage never arose because there was no loan transaction between the homeowner and the originator. This actual debt arising out of an actual transaction in which money was received by or on behalf of the borrower came from a pipeline outside the transactions described in the origination documents and outside the scope of transactions referred to in allonges, assignments and endorsements all fabricated in order to keep the Judge’s eye on the wrong ball.

The real transaction was NOT subject to, described in or referred to in any deed of trust or mortgage and therefore was not secured. If not secured, no valid foreclosure could occur without some sort of waiver by the homeowner that was clear and unequivocal or some order of the court based upon a judicial proceeding in which the terms of the loan are established by court order as of a date that the order says it is effective. Every document relied upon by the pretender lenders was a lie. It described transactions that never occurred. Thus every foreclosure based upon such documents was also a lie.

Interrogatories, requests for Admission and especially requests to produce (not just the documents but the financial records showing that consideration was paid by the party or to the party stated in the instrument), Motions to set aside, vacate, recuse, remove counsel, sanctions, discovery, and reconsideration are being filed to (a) obtain relief and (b) allow the record to be created for appellate review. Without a good record on appeal, the appellate court is hamstrung to affirm a decision it thinks was wrong.

Distribution reports are your first clue that they left out an accounting that they had and we didn’t and they refused to give up. Notice that WF is the party reporting and disclaims the accuracy. Then who DOES know what went on, where are they and was the loan balance even computed on the day that the loan was declared in default — i.e., what did the CREDITOR (not the subservicer) show as the balance due? Getting the “accounting” from the subservicer is useless. If you had 10 children and you gave them each $100 with the responsibility to account for the money, why would you only take the accounting from one of them?

 

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Information vs. Evidence: Challenge to Affidavit in Support of Summary Judgment

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Editor’s Comment:

I’ll be appearing soon at one of Darrell Blomberg’s Strategy Meetings (which take place every Tuesday evening at Macayo Restaurant in Central Phoenix) to do a session on evidence on June 19. The analysis below is the type of thing I do to support lawyers and litigants when the pretender lender submits a bogus “affidavit” in support of some action, usually a Motion for Summary Judgment. Among other things this is what we’ll be talking about on June 19 and this will be subject of much more discussion on July 26 at my 1/2 day seminar overview for Lawyers.

Analysis of Declaration in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment

  1. “These facts are personally known to me to be true.” How does he know them? — was he there, did he hear, did he see or was he told and he believes them and therefore he means “personally known” as meaning he knows the people who told him the facts. NOTE: if he was a supervisor of a specific department dealing with the past factual issues leading up to the foreclosure and related issues, and if he can prove that the documents or statements were made in the ordinary course of business and at that time they had no fear or thought of being used in litigation, then it MIGHT be an exception to the hearsay rule.
  2. Otherwise anything he was told or shown are excluded because they (OBJECTION:) lack FOUNDATION because he is not a competent witness to establish the authenticity of the document nor the truth of the matters asserted therein.
  3. In this case the entire affidavit should be struck, it should not be considered to support the motion for summary judgment, and the motion for summary judgment MUST be denied unless they have other affidavits timely filed from people who can establish that they have personal knowledge.
  4. He is the President which most likely means that he had nothing to do with any of the facts of this case and only became aware of the the existence of the case when he was called to execute an affidavit. In fact he identifies himself as the President of a company whose function was to be (1) the “foreclosure trustee” and (2) limited signing agent for the beneficiary under “the deed of trust” without identifying the deed of trust.
  5. Unless he was doing the work himself he is admitting that he is relying upon the word and work of others and is subject to a hearsay objection.
  6. The business records exclusion to the hearsay rule must be proven by the proponent of the exemption, not the objector which means he must prove with documents and testimony how the facts upon which he is testifying became known to him in the ordinary course of business which means that he reviews all documents as they come in, which of course he does not. Neither does he perform the work involved. The trap door to avoid here is that even if he were to satisfy all the requirements, which he obviously cannot, his knowledge is ALL limited to events that occurred before the decision was made to foreclose and there fore the receipt of an accounting from the sub-servicer, no account from the master-servicer and no accounting or instruction or authority from the creditor to go ahead with the foreclosure and submit a credit bid in the name of the identified creditor.
  7. Since his company is the “foreclosure trustee” he is admitting that they only have knowledge on their own as to matter that occurred AFTER they received the file or instructions and we ought to know which it was — the file or the instructions.
  8. Since he identifies his company as the foreclosure trustee he is admitting that the sole purpose of the company, even though it was called a trustee, was to foreclose on the property after the substitution of trustee.
  9. They were ordered to foreclose and NOT to perform due diligence or to take any action to protect BOTH the homeowner and the purported creditor, who in this case is a stranger to the transaction as required by statute.
  10. The Trustee is a substitute for the court and if the facts are in dispute the trustee has no power to decide the merits of competing claims (trustee is a not a special master who can conduct hearings and rule on evidence or make recommendations of findings to the court), which means that the his company was duty bound, upon learning of competing claims, to take the matter to court if the parties could not resolve their differences.
  11. Specifically the “trustee” should have filed an interpleader action in which the trustee would have stated that they had no stake in the transaction (something that was untrue since they were a controlled or owned entity by the party pretending to be the creditor) and that that there is a dispute of facts concerning the procedure and substance of the foreclosure and that the court must rule on the competing claims of the parties — after BOTH have submitting pleadings stating their positions and then proving the claims in accordance with the rules of civil procedure, due process and the rules of evidence and the doctrines concerning the burden of proof.
  12. If you sign this response as an affidavit, then the burden shifts to them to show that they are truly a trustee and not just an agent of the pretender creditor.
  13. Since the party seeking affirmative relief is the pretender creditor seeking to take the house using a credit bid instead of cash when they are not the creditor, the pretender creditor would be required first to submit the pleading and exhibits upon which they depend, and second the homeowner would be required to file responsive pleading — motion to dismiss, motion to strike, etc. or answer, affirmative defenses and counterclaim.
  14. He identifies the COMPANY as the limited signing agent for the beneficiary. There is no definition of limited signing agent. A review of statutes and common law reveals that this term has never been used in any legal document or case EXCEPT where it refers to a notary who is identified by name and license number. It does NOT refer to the authority of any company or person to sign on behalf of another party or company without a separate document providing said authority properly executed and binding under the laws of the state in which the grantor is located and the laws in which the document is to be used. LIke MERS was a naked nominee and the “lender” was a “naked nominee” a limited signing agent is a naked nominee meaning, in the parlance of the industry a bankruptcy remote vehicle that will perform acts which might otherwise subject the principals to criminal or civil liability. It is also used to conceal the the identity of the principals.
  15. Which deed of trust? The one allegedly executed by the homeowner which may or may not be the one produced as the original but without scrutiny cannot be authenticated as anything more than a fabricated document utilizing modern technology and a color printer?
  16. “I have personally reviewed the files.” This phrase has been repeatedly thrown out as establishing the business record exception. The fact  is that somehow he saw documents without establishing how they came into his possession and who the parties are (why are THEY not testifying?) and what knowledge THEY had, who prepared the documents in the file, what security was used for the posting of data to the files, and what security was employed in maintaining the security of the files?
  17. This is layers upon layers of hearsay without any valid exemption. Motion to strike the affidavit.
  18. Motion to remove NDEX as trustee,
  19. Motion to void the substitution of trustee and install the original trustee as the trustee on the deed of trust or some other actually independent party.
  20. Objection in title registry office to the recording of the substitution of trustee because they knew that NDEX was not a trustee but rather was the foreclosure agent, as admitted by this affidavit, masquerading as the substituted trustee
  21. Motion for sanctions and cause of action for slander of title for filing false substitution of trustee directed at parties named on the substitution of trustee and the parties who prepared it and the lawyers who presented it knowing that it was a falsified, fabricated and forged fraudulent document.
  22. “My experience as the officer of the company provides the foundation for my knowledge referenced herein.” This is an outright admission and should be the leading the point. He is saying that he has been in the business a long time so looking at the the records of the homeowner in this case is like looking at the records of thousands of others where he made the same decision (but we must emphasize that he undoubtedly did not and specifically does not say that he reviewed other documents). It is an admission that he has NO PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE of the documents, that therefore the affidavit is worthless, and that therefore the affidavit is not the required foundation for admission of the documents because he, the affiant is not a  competent witness (look up competent witness in CA statutes and common law requiring OATH, PERSONAL perception sight,hearing etc., MEMORY and the ABILITY to COMMUNICATE. In fact, he has disqualified his entire firm as a foundation witness since by definition (foreclosure trustee) they received the documents after the decision was made by parties outside the chain of title to foreclose.
  23. “I have personal knowledge of the accuracy of the records.” He already said he doesn’t and that he (a) received the documents when they were to be foreclosed and (b) relied upon his experience when he reviewed the documents, but still fails to state who prepared the data or documents, how they were kept, when they were kept, where they were kept and who was involved. ALl of this could be easily resolved had they chosen the people who actually DID have knowledge, But they didn’t do that. Why? Because either those people refuse to testify to the facts that they want or those people are MIA after being downsized.
  24. At no time does he say that his company acted as the servicer, creditor, or master servicer. He merely says that they received data and documents from unknown undisclosed sources AFTER the decision to foreclose was already made. By definition neither he nor his company would be competent to testify to facts or documents or data that occurred PRIOR to the time that his company was the “foreclosure trustee”
  25. There is no reason to believe that any unauthorized person had access. Nor is there any reason to believe that unauthorized access didn’t occur on a regular basis, just like MERS.
  26. The rest of the paragraphs say what I said above — he knows nothing, saw nothing, heard nothing and was never in any contract with borrower or anyone else as a servicer, never handled any money, and posting, or anything else.
  27. Paragraph 16 is a particularly interesting because to corroborates the argument that they were NOT acting as trustee, they were acting as agent. He says that his company acts ONLY as a limited signatory agent to sign and record the Notice of Default (why doesn’t the creditor do that if this company is not the service nor the conduit or collector of any funds) and that the ONLY other function was to serve as “foreclosure trustee.”
  28.  The last paragraph says it all. They foreclosed because they acted on instructions from the loan servicer without any regard for what the homeowner had to say in objection to the allegations of the loan servicer. (see discussion on interpleader above).

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Information vs. Evidence

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Editor’s Comment:

I’ll be appearing soon at one of Darrell Blomberg’s Strategy Meetings (which take place every Tuesday evening at Macayo Restaurant in Central Phoenix) to do a session on evidence. And in fact, I am thinking about a half-day seminar on evidence, with Darrell as a co-presenter, he may not be a lawyer but he gets it — there is a huge difference between information (data) and evidence. And there is a huge difference between evidence and admissible evidence. And in discovery, you have the right to pursue information in interrogatories, requests for admissions and requests to produce for INFORMATION that might lead to the “discovery” of admissible evidence.

I am adding this overview into the 2d edition Workbook, Treatise and Practice manual. I want to get this lesson out to lawyers and litigants as quickly as possible. And the reason is that these people have forgotten or never knew the difference and they certainly are confused about the procedure. Take a look at the appeals court decisions that slap down the borrower. There is almost always a statement in the opinion that appellant argues XYZ but we don’t see X or Y in the record. In the absence of X and Y being in the record, the appellate court has no authority to find Z and rule in favor of the appellant (borrower).

Every appellate case I have read that ruled against the homeowner falls into this category. Every one of them has a recitation of “facts”, “history” or “background” that is simply untrue but has been made part of the record and which is regarded as “evidence” because it is in the record.

Example: The primary recital in these appeals usually says something like, “The appellant is John Jones. John Jones applied for and received a loan from Mama’s Money Farm on October 16, 2008 in the amount of $869,000. Jones promised to repay the money in monthly installments as set in the promissory note and mortgage (or Deed of Trust) which he signed. Wells Fraudgo is the current holder of that note and seeks enforcement through the power of sale (or in judicial states, through a foreclosure lawsuit) seeking collection of the money due and sale of the home at auction to the extent that the borrower is unable to make the required payments. Jones defaulted on the note by failing to comply with the schedule of payments in the note he executed for the loan he received, to wit: he stopped making the payments that were due under the note on January 1, 2009.”

How did this recital get into the record so that the appellate court could include it in its opinion justifying the affirmation of the trial court’s decision throwing the borrower out of court and even telling the borrower they were “vexatious” etc (Madison v. MERS et al see previous blog post 6-6-2012 entitled “They Will Get You on Procedure Every time”)?  It got there without any evidentiary hearing or without any hearing in which the borrower’s claims and defenses could be given a fair hearing, with full rights of discovery etc.

This could only happen if the litigant was quiet while the lawyer for the pretender lender “proffered” these facts in his opening narrative of each hearing and the homeowner or his attorney failed to object immediately. “Wait your turn” is the polite way of saying let the other guy talk. But if you let the other guy talk and THEN bring up your defenses and claims, your procedural objections, the Judge has already formulated an opinion about the nature of this case. You might buy some time with procedural irregularities but you won’t win the case, force the other side into a settlement, mediation or modification and you certainly won’t get rid of the mortgage that is recorded in the county title registry.

You will be treated like a deadbeat because you have inadvertently confessed to being a dead beat. You have agreed, without realizing you agreed, that everything the lawyer for the pretender lender has said is true, which means that the statements (proffers) of the other lawyer are now evidence in the record, and the rest of the case was you saying “yes but….”

Trial note 101: Never let go of the narrative regardless of who is speaking but always be polite, courteous and respectful in your words even if you make various faces and expressions that the court reporter is missing. Oh yes — if you want a record on appeal you need a court reporter. Your statements about what the Judge said or what happened in court in your appellate brief is useless and will be properly disregarded by any court reviewing the actions in the court below.

So here is what you want the appellate court to see in the record. First a Notice of filing of everything you would offer into evidence that might be rejected by the court. This would include my expert declaration (although I think we found a couple more people with the right credentials to survive as experts located in Maryland) and all exhibits to the reports, opinions and affidavits that you have showing that that you have some reason (not necessarily proof) for denying the debt, denying the default, denying the note, denying the mortgage and denying that the pretender lender is either the lender or anyone who purchased the loan.

Second, a Motion to set discovery schedule together with a SHORT version of your discovery requests.

Third, a transcript showing continual interruptions with proper objections like “Objection your Honor, we demand proof of authority to represent. In cases all over the country this pretender lender and others are represented by lawyers who never speak with the client, don’t get retained by the client and who only know that someone gave them a file that was recently minted from the fabrication factory of fake, forged and fraudulent documents.”

“Objection your honor, counsel is attempting to proffer facts that are not in evidence and that are vehemently denied by the homeowner who is being improperly identified as the borrower.”

“Objection your honor, counsel is attempting to proffer facts or even testify as to matters that are not in the record. If counsel wants to testify then let’s get him sworn in and put in a witness chair where I can cross examine him as to the foundation for his pretender personal knowledge regarding this bogus loan and fraudulent foreclosure.”

Objection: “Counsel is attempting to get into the record that which he could never get into evidence were this an evidentiary hearing. The homeowner vehemently denies that the application on file was filled out by him or that he authorized it. My client denies the signature is valid either because it was forged or it was procured by fraud in the execution in which case he thought he was signing something else while hands covered the true nature of the document.”

“Objection your honor.  Counsel is trying to proffer information into the record that will be perceived as evidence. My client rejects that recital and denies that he ever received a loan from Mama’s Loan Kitchen, denies that the promissory note correctly recited the terms of the loan and therefore denies that the mortgage lien was properly perfected. He further denies that there was any default on any loan and therefore denies that any assignment from Mama to Fraudgo could have been valid. He further denies that the assignments stating “for value received” involved any transaction where any value was received and therefore failed for lack of consideration. He further denies that even if the documents relied upon by the Fraudgo were valid, there would still be no default because the creditor was being paid without interruption according to their very own Pooling and Servicing Agreement and he denies there ever was a meeting of the minds (although the Fraudgo agents from Mama’s Money Kitchen made it appear to the homeowner that the proper disclosures were made, that the lender agreed to these terms) when in fact the lender (the actual source of funds) agreed to an entirely different set of terms for repayment.”

“Your honor it is our position that the promissory note described a transaction that never occurred and that the mortgage was an encumbrance based upon the false representations of the note. This is like one lying and the other swearing to it. If they are not afraid of proving their allegations then by all means we don’t want to deprive the pretender lender of an opportunity to be heard in court. But the homeowner is entitled to the same consideration under the requirements of due process. The homeowner denies that he failed to make any payment that was due and he denies that the obligation to the real lenders (creditors) in this case is currently in default.”

Evidence is whatever the Court lets in as evidence in which case the court says it is letting the information in as evidence to prove that ABC happened. Or, as is usually the case in these foreclosure cases, evidence comes from silence of the lambs.

So if you want to box in the trial judge and the appellate court let there be a record that shows you followed the rules, there were genuine issues of material fact and the trial court still would not allow the homeowner to proceed. That’s enough to eventually get a ruling that allows discovery to proceed.   And Discovery is the magic key to the kingdom of settlement — but probably not until after 5-6 motions to compel answers or better answers to our discovery requests.

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9TH CIRCUIT: MERS and ReconTrust act to usurp Appellant’s property without lawful authority”

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FROM THE BRIEFS:

“MERS Cannot be and in fact is not the beneficiary of the
DOT. There is no named beneficiary in the SOT and ANY and ALL beneficiaries
must be named in the SOT. Therefore the SOT (and consequently the NTS) is
seriously defective and void as an instrument to be implemented to supplant
Appellant from his property.”

“Countrywide was an active conspirator as it allowed BondCorp to utilize its
technological assets, its underwriting resources, account numbering system and
other aids and benefits to entrap Appellant into a loan that was damaging, stated
the wrong parties and took illegal and undisclosed fees.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The 9th Circuit is inching closer and closer to an outright statement that the foreclosures were fraudulent and illegal. And for the first time it is taking issue with the appointment by Bank of America of ReContrust as “trustee” under the deed of trust. Clearly the replacement of the court system with a qualified trustee was intended to expedite due process, not eliminate it. Every time a substitution of trustee is executed it raises the high probability that the would-be forecloser is appointing itself as the trustee in order to escape the reality that it is not a creditor or proper holder of the loan.

CARNEY vs. BANK OF AMERICA | 9th Circuit Ct. Appeals “It is clear that MERS and ReconTrust act to usurp Appellant’s property without lawful authority”

CARNEY vs. BANK OF AMERICA | 9th Circuit Ct. Appeals “It is clear that MERS and ReconTrust act to usurp Appellant’s property without lawful authority”

MERS, something of a phantom entity and ReconTrust, subsidiary of BAC and not an independent entity, acting in BAC/BANA/Countrywide’s interests, now are trying to come in and clean up the mess made by the fraudulent DOT and Note by BondCorp in a conspiracy with Countrywide, not because they are any real beneficiary and have or will experience any real loss, but rather to gain substantial fees from the SARM 2005-19XS Trust for foreclosing on Appellant’s property.

It is truly curious as to why the proper parties in this matter are not named and Appellant posits that other, unrelated legal actions are likely a reason. That said, Appellant has shown good cause why a trustee’s sale should not proceed so that the status quo is maintained while he presses his case in the District Court.”

No. 11-56421

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

________________________________________________________
MICHAEL M. CARNEY
Plaintiff

v.

BANK OF AMERICA CORP., ET AL.
Defendants-Appellees

EXCERPT:

III. Merits Of Case Are Compelling And Clear And Likely to Be Successful.
It is clear that MERS and ReconTrust act to usurp Appellant’s property
without lawful authority. MERS Cannot be and in fact is not the beneficiary of the
DOT. There is no named beneficiary in the SOT and ANY and ALL beneficiaries
must be named in the SOT. Therefore the SOT (and consequently the NTS) is
seriously defective and void as an instrument to be implemented to supplant
Appellant from his property.

Defendants act hurriedly and without authority not because they are
uninformed or have made an excusable mistake, but rather because they wish to
elude the central facts and claims against them, hold the wrongful trustee’s sale
and gain title and possession of Appellant’s property to gain a superior position.

The facts are that BondCorp, who has yet to respond to any complaint or
motion related to this case, was in fact named as “Grantee” when it never proffered
any funds and was used by Countrywide to both gain secret, concealed fees and
allow Countrywide to further gain based on intentional concealments, lies,
misrepresentations and related actions.

As has been stated, the core of this matter is the claims against BondCorp
acting at the behest of Countrywide. If BondCorp was found to have acted
fraudulently, as asserted and supported by facts, every other claim and defense is
affected accordingly.

What this court is presented with is a defendant in BondCorp who has
chosen to remain silent in the face of substantial allegations and facts against it,
and a foreclosing entity defendant (MERS) that is acting without authority and in
clear violation of the law.

Meanwhile, Appellant has had to defend and counter all such actions and to
drag out all the facts, all while in the face of losing his family home and efforts to
understand what options would be available to him to avert such a catastrophic
result.

Up until August/September of 2010, Appellant was resigned to the fact that
his misfortune would likely lead to the loss of his family home. It wasn’t until he
received and further researched the information regarding the assignment/transfer
of his DOT and Note to US BANK (June 2010) that was entirely first time news to
him, that he began to understand and realize the fraud, malfeasance and
misfeasance enacted upon him and then which drove him to seek relief and
damages for.

The facts of the case as pertains to BondCorp are clear and undisputed.
BondCorp was not the “lender”. It only acted as such to attain secret fees.
BondCorp utilized illegal, fraudulent means to sell and convince Appellant that the
loan BondCorp wished to engage him in was in his best interests, when it was not
and that all the facts represented to him regarding the alleged loan were true, when
they were not and the real facts were concealed from him and that he was
defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars in the process.

Countrywide was an active conspirator as it allowed BondCorp to utilize its
technological assets, its underwriting resources, account numbering system and
other aids and benefits to entrap Appellant into a loan that was damaging, stated
the wrong parties and took illegal and undisclosed fees.

MERS, something of a phantom entity and ReconTrust, subsidiary of BAC
and not an independent entity, acting in BAC/BANA/Countrywide’s interests, now
are trying to come in and clean up the mess made by the fraudulent DOT and Note
by BondCorp in a conspiracy with Countrywide, not because they are any real
beneficiary and have or will experience any real loss, but rather to gain substantial
fees from the SARM 2005-19XS Trust for foreclosing on Appellant’s property.
It is truly curious as to why the proper parties in this matter are not named
and Appellant posits that other, unrelated legal actions are likely a reason. That
said, Appellant has shown good cause why a trustee’s sale should not proceed so
that the status quo is maintained while he presses his case in the District Court

www.StopForeclosureFraud.com

  1. CARNEY v. BANK OF AMERICA | California Dist. Court “TRO, MERS Interest Discrepancies, ReconTrust may NOT be the Proper Trustee w/ Legal Authority” UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN DIVISION…
  2. BAKRI v MERS, BONY, TROTT & TROTT PC | Michigan Appeals Court REVERSED “MERS did not have the authority to foreclose by advertisement, No interest in Note” S T A T E  O F  M I C…
  3. CERVANTES RE 9th CIRCUIT OPINION CONTAINS ERROR ON MERS’ LEGAL TITLE Via: LIVING LIES DISTINCTION BETWEEN LENDER AND BENEFICIARY ROOT OF…
  4. BOMBSHELL – JUDGE ORDERS INJUNCTION STOPPING ALL FORECLOSURE PROCEEDINGS BY BANK OF AMERICA; RECONTRUST; HOME LOAN SERVICING; MERS ET AL Via: 4ClosureFraud (St. George, UT) June 5, 2010 – A…
  5. U.S. Bank Natl. Assn. v Mayala | NY Appeals Court 2nd Jud. Dept. Affirms, Consolidated Case “That certain mortgages held by MERS on the subject real property are invalid in their entirety” Decided on August 23, 2011 SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE…

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– who has written 2743 posts on FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA.

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2 Responses to “CARNEY vs. BANK OF AMERICA | 9th Circuit Ct. Appeals “It is clear that MERS and ReconTrust act to usurp Appellant’s property without lawful authority’

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California Homeowner Challenges Wells Fargo, Could Set a Legal Precedent

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FROM STOP FORECLOSURE NOW

see game-changer-california-homeowner-challenges-wells-fargo-could-set-a-legal-precedent

GAME CHANGER? | California Homeowner Challenges Wells Fargo, Could Set a Legal Precedent

GAME CHANGER? | California Homeowner Challenges Wells Fargo, Could Set a Legal Precedent

DEMUCHA v WELLS FARGO | California Appeals Court Reverses & Remands “QUIET TITLE, FRAUD & MISREPRESENTATION, SLANDER OF CREDIT”

A Bakersfield homeowner is taking on a bank, in a battle that could have sweeping implications for people facing foreclosure.

Mark Demucha wants Wells Fargo to prove it owns his home loan. And, if his lawsuit is successful, it could set a legal precedent that slows or even stops foreclosures across the state.

[KGET]

www.StopForeclosureFraud.com
Related posts:

  1. DEMUCHA v WELLS FARGO | California Appeals Court Reverses & Remands “QUIET TITLE, FRAUD & MISREPRESENTATION, SLANDER OF CREDIT” IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA…
  2. FULL DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPT OF ALDEN BERNER WELLS FARGO LEGAL PROCESS SPECIALIST Alden Berner, Legal Process Specialist Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Signed…
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  4. NJ Appeals Court Reverses SJ “Failed To Have Standing” WELLS FARGO v. SANDRA A. FORD NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION…
  5. Wells Fargo Loses Bid to Dismiss Fraud Claims: GUSTAVO REYES, ET AL., v. WELLS FARGO UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA GUSTAVO REYES,…

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dinsfla – who has written 2181 posts on FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA.

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2d DCA Fla: Another Bank Loses on Failure to Follow Notice Provisions in Documents

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EDITOR’S ANALYSIS: We all knew that when the appellate courts got hold of these cases, the banks’ cases would fall like dominoes. That is exactly what is happening. The reluctance with which courts had been approaching foreclosures is giving way to an examination of exactly what is provided in the actual documents and exactly what is required by law. Here the bank failed to follow the notice provisions in the documents themselves. The devil is in the details and if you persist, and make a proper record on appeal, you will see an increasing number of cases, including your own, turn the corner. Foreclosure is an extreme remedy and has always regarded as such by the courts because it deprives the homeowner of a roof over his head. Finally the courts are acting like these defenses matter. And as we all know, teh deeper they drill, the weaker the cases become.

These foreclosures should not be  in court — in fact they shouldn’t be anywhere because in most cases, the forecloser is simply an entity that is attempting to convince the court that they should have the house even if they don’t have any interest in the obligation, note or mortgage. In plain language, most of the cases that have been filed can easily be overturned by insistence that the appellate court, or even the trial court take another look and apply basic black letter law.

Categorized | STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD

FL 2DCA Reverses SJ “acceleration letter failed to state the default as required by the mortgage terms”

| KONSULIAN v. BUSEY BANK, NA

FL 2DCA Reverses SJ “acceleration letter failed to state the default as required by the mortgage terms” | KONSULIAN v. BUSEY BANK, NA

SARKIS KONSULIAN, Appellant,
v.
BUSEY BANK, N.A. AS SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST BY ACQUISITION OF TARPON COAST NATIONAL BANK, Appellee.

Case No. 2D10-2163.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District.

Opinion filed June 1, 2011.

Gregg Horowitz, Sarasota, for Appellant.

Mark A. Horowitz of Warchol, Merchant & Rollings, LLP, Cape Coral, for Appellee.

BLACK, Judge.

Sarkis Konsulian appeals the trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Busey Bank (“Busey”). On appeal, Konsulian argues that Busey failed to meet a condition precedent to the filing of the complaint. Specifically, Konsulian asserts that Busey filed suit prematurely, giving Konsulian incomplete and inadequate notice and opportunity to cure. In addition to being prematurely filed, Konsulian claims that the acceleration letter failed to state the default as required by the mortgage terms. We agree and reverse. Because our ruling is based on the conditions precedent issue, we do not reach the issue of the accuracy of the damages calculation as challenged in Konsulian’s affidavit.

On October 6, 2008, Busey sent a preacceleration letter to Konsulian. On October 9, 2008, only three days later, the bank filed a mortgage foreclosure action against Konsulian. However, pursuant to paragraph twenty-two of the mortgage, Busey was required to give Konsulian thirty days notice prior to filing suit. Paragraph twenty-two of Konsulian’s mortgage provides as follows:

22. Acceleration; Remedies. Lenders shall give notice to the Borrower prior to acceleration following Borrower’s breach of any covenant or agreement in this Security Instrument (but not prior to acceleration under Section 18 unless Applicable Law provides otherwise). The notice shall specify: (a) the default; (b) the action required to cure the default; (c) a date, not less than thirty (30) days from the date the notice is given to Borrower, by which the default must be cured; and, (d) that the failure to cure the default on or before the date specified in the notice may result in an acceleration of the sums secured by this Security Instrument, foreclosure by judicial proceeding and sale of the Property. The notice shall inform Borrower of the right to reinstate after acceleration and the right to assert in the foreclosure proceedings the non-existence of a default or any other defense of Borrower to acceleration and foreclosure. If the default is not cured on or before the date specified in the notice, a Lender, at its option, may require immediate payment in full of all sums secured by this Security Instrument by judicial proceeding. Lender shall be entitled to collect all expenses incurred in pursuing the remedies provided in this Section 22, including, but not limited to all attorneys’ fees and costs of title evidence.

Konsulian appropriately raised both the timeliness argument and the sufficiency of the acceleration letter argument in his affirmative defenses. In addition, Konsulian filed an affidavit in opposition to the summary judgment motion contesting the amounts claimed by Busey. Konsulian challenged the interest and late fee calculation, as well as whether all payments were credited. At the time of the summary judgment hearing, the affirmative defenses were still viable.

On April 19, 2010, the trial court entered final judgment of foreclosure, which resulted in the sale of the property to Busey. The final judgment does not address the merits or disposition of Konsulian’s defenses.

Summary judgment cannot be granted unless the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file together with affidavits, if any, conclusively show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.510(c). The standard of review for an order granting summary judgment is de novo. See Volusia Cnty. v. Aberdeen at Ormond Beach, L.P., 760 So. 2d 126, 130 (Fla. 2000). When reviewing a ruling on summary judgment, an appellate court must examine the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See Suarez v. City of Tampa, 987 So. 2d 681, 682-83 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008)Garden St. Iron & Metal, Inc. v. Tanner, 789 So. 2d 1148, 1149 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001)). “The party moving for summary judgment has the burden of showing the nonexistence of [a] genuine issue of material fact.” Richardson v. Wal-Mark Contracting Group, LLC, 814 So. 2d 534, 535 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002) (citing Holl v. Talcott, 191 So. 2d 40, 43-44 (Fla. 1966)). A summary judgment must not only establish that no genuine issues of material fact exist as to the parties’ claims, but it also must either factually refute the affirmative defenses or establish that they are legally insufficient. Moroni v. Household Fin. Corp. III, 903 So. 2d 311, 312 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005). (citing

Here, nothing in Busey’s complaint, motion for summary judgment, or affidavits indicates that Busey gave Konsulian the notice which the mortgage required. The language in the mortgage is clear and unambiguous. The word “shall” in the mortgage created conditions precedent to foreclosure, which were not satisfied. See Frost v. Regions Bank, 15 So. 3d 905, 906 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009). Under Florida law, contracts are construed in accordance with their plain language, as bargained for by the parties. Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Anderson, 756 So. 2d 29, 34 (Fla. 2000). Further, Busey did not refute Konsulian’s defenses nor did it establish that Konsulian’s defenses were legally insufficient. Because Busey did not prove that it met the conditions precedent to filing for foreclosure, it failed to meet its burden, and it is not entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Reversed and remanded.

CASANUEVA, C.J., and WHATLEY, J., Concur.

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED.

WISCONSIN APPEALS CT: AURORA IS NOT OWNER OF NOTE — TRIAL COURT REVERSED

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EDITOR’S NOTE: WISCONSIN COURT GETS IT: HEARSAY, PROOF, HOLDER NOT THE SAME AS CREDITOR, ETC. AFFIDAVIT THROWN OUT FOR LACK OF PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE. In short everything we have been saying here was followed by the Court. Expect more decisions like this coming from other states.

In other words, false papers and representations by counsel are no substitute for good old-fashioned proof. And proof is what the pretenders don’t have which is why they are pretenders — and losers. The parties initiating foreclosures, declaring the defaults, denying modifications, and buying the home at auction with a “credit bid” are and always have been tricksters who have now screwed up at least 10 million real estate transactions and probably closer to 100 million real estate transactions. These are the people who received the bailout, while the buyers of empty bogus mortgage bonds and the owners of homes with undocumented loans looked on in disbelief.

The great securitization scam, the appraisal fraud, the predatory lending and the TILA violations are coming to light in a wave that possibly not even the trillion dollar banking oligarchy can stop. This case is one of dozens of examples.

STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUD

WIS. APPEALS COURT REVERSED “FAILED MERS ASSIGNMENT, FAILED AFFIDAVIT, FAILED STANDING, FAILED CASE” AURORA v. CARLSEN

WIS. APPEALS COURT REVERSED “FAILED MERS ASSIGNMENT, FAILED AFFIDAVIT, FAILED STANDING, FAILED CASE” AURORA v. CARLSEN

AURORA LOAN SERVICES LLC,

PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,

V.

DAVID J. CARLSEN AND NANCY L. CARLSEN,

DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.

APPEAL from a judgment of the circuit court for Rock County:

JAMES WELKER, Judge. Reversed.

Before Vergeront, P.J., Lundsten and Blanchard, JJ.

¶1 LUNDSTEN, J. This appeal involves a foreclosure action initiated by Aurora Loan Services against David and Nancy Carlsen. Following a court trial, the circuit court granted judgment of foreclosure in favor of Aurora, finding that Aurora is the holder of the note and owner of the mortgage and that the Carlsens were in default. We conclude that the circuit court’s finding that Aurora was the holder of the note, a finding essential to the judgment, is not supported by admissible evidence. We therefore reverse the judgment.

Background

¶2 Aurora Loan Services brought a foreclosure suit against David and
Nancy Carlsen, alleging that Aurora was the holder of a note and owner of a
mortgage signed by the Carlsens encumbering the Carlsens’ property. The
Carlsens denied several allegations in the complaint and, especially pertinent here,
denied that Aurora was the holder of the note. Aurora moved for summary
judgment, but that motion was denied.

¶3 A trial to the court was held on June 9, 2010. Aurora called one of
its employees, Kelly Conner, as its only witness. Aurora attempted to elicit
testimony from Conner establishing a foundation for the admission of several
documents purportedly showing that Aurora was the holder of a note that
obligated the Carlsens to make payments and that the Carlsens were in default. It
is sufficient here to say that the Carlsens’ attorney repeatedly objected to questions
and answers based on a lack of personal knowledge and lack of foundation, and
that the circuit court, for the most part, sustained the objections. Aurora’s counsel
did not move for admission of any of the documents into evidence. After the
evidentiary portion of the trial, and after hearing argument, the circuit court made
findings of fact and entered a foreclosure judgment in favor of Aurora. The
Carlsens appeal. Additional facts will be presented below as necessary.

Discussion

¶4 It is undisputed that, at the foreclosure trial, Aurora had the burden
of proving, among other things, that Aurora was the current “holder” of a note
obligating the Carlsens to make payments to Aurora. Because Aurora was not the
original note holder, Aurora needed to prove that it was the current holder, which
meant proving that it had been assigned the note. There appear to be other failures
of proof, but in this opinion we focus our attention solely on whether Aurora
presented evidence supporting the circuit court’s findings that “the business
records of Aurora Loan Services show … a chain of assignment of that … note”
and that “Aurora is the holder of the note.”

¶5 As to assignment of the note, the Carlsens’ argument is simple: the
circuit court’s findings are clearly erroneous because there was no admissible
evidence supporting a finding that Aurora had been assigned the note. The
Carlsens contend that, during the evidentiary portion of the trial, the circuit court
properly sustained objections to Aurora’s assignment evidence, but the court then
appears to have relied on mere argument of Aurora’s counsel to make factual
findings on that topic. We agree.

¶6 We focus our attention on a document purporting to be an
assignment of the note and mortgage from Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems to Aurora. At trial, this document was marked as Exhibit D. Although
Aurora’s counsel seemed to suggest at one point that certain documents, perhaps
including Exhibit D, were certified, the circuit court determined that the
documents were not certified. Under WIS. STAT. § 889.17,1 certified copies of
certain documents are admissible in evidence based on the certification alone.
Aurora does not contend that Exhibit D is admissible on this basis.

¶7 Aurora argues that Conner’s testimony is sufficient to support the
circuit court’s finding that Aurora had been assigned the note. Our review of her
testimony, however, reveals that Conner lacked the personal knowledge needed to
authenticate Exhibit D. See WIS. STAT. § 909.01 (documents must be
authenticated to be admissible, and this requirement is satisfied “by evidence
sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent
claims”). Relevant here, Conner made general assertions covering several
documents. Conner either affirmatively testified or agreed to leading questions
with respect to the following:

  • · She works for Aurora.
  • · She “handle[s] legal files” and she “attend[s] trials.”
  • · “Aurora provided those documents that are in [her] possession.”
  • · She “reviewed the subject file” in preparing for the hearing.
  • · She declined to agree that she is the “custodian of records for
  • Aurora.”

  • · She “look[s] at documentation … [does] not physically handle
  • original notes and documents, but [she does] acquire
    documentation.”

  • · “Aurora [is] the custodian of records for this loan.”
  • · She is “familiar with records that are prepared in the ordinary course
    of business.”
  • · She has “authority from Aurora to testify as to the documents, of
    [Aurora’s] records.”

As it specifically pertains to Exhibit D, the document purporting to evidence the
assignment of the note and mortgage from Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems to Aurora, Conner testified:

  • · Aurora has “possession of Exhibit D.”
  • · Exhibit D is “an assignment of mortgage.”

With respect to possession of Exhibit D, Conner did not assert that Exhibit D was
an original or that Aurora had possession of the original document. For that
matter, Conner did not provide a basis for a finding that any original document she
might have previously viewed was what it purported to be.2

¶8 Thus, Conner did no more than identify herself as an Aurora
employee who was familiar with some unspecified Aurora documents, who had
reviewed some Aurora documents, and who had brought some documents,
including Exhibit D, to court. Although Conner was able to say that Exhibit D, on
its face, was an assignment, she had no apparent personal knowledge giving her a
basis to authenticate that document. See WIS. STAT. § 909.01.

¶9 Aurora points to various provisions in WIS. STAT. chs. 401 and 403,
such as those relating to the definition of a “holder” (WIS. STAT.
§ 401.201(2)(km)), to a person entitled to enforce negotiable instruments (WIS.
STAT. § 403.301), and to the assignment of negotiable instruments (WIS. STAT.
§§ 403.203, 403.204, and 403.205). This part of Aurora’s argument addresses the
underlying substantive law regarding persons entitled to enforce negotiable
instruments, such as the type of note at issue here, but it says nothing about
Aurora’s proof problems. That is, Aurora’s discussion of the underlying law does
not demonstrate why Exhibit D was admissible to prove that Aurora had been
assigned the note and was, under the substantive law Aurora discusses, a party
entitled to enforce the note.

¶10 Similarly, Aurora discusses the relationship between a note and a
mortgage and, in particular, the equitable assignment doctrine. But here again
Aurora’s discussion fails to come to grips with Aurora’s failure to authenticate
Exhibit D, the document purporting to be an assignment of the note to Aurora.
Aurora points to testimony in which Conner asserted that Aurora acquired and
possessed Exhibit D, but possession of Exhibit D is meaningless without
authentication of the exhibit.

¶11 Aurora argues that we may look at the “record as a whole,”
including summary judgment materials, to sustain the circuit court’s factual
findings. Thus, for example, Aurora asks us to consider an affidavit filed with its
summary judgment motion. In that affidavit, an Aurora senior vice-president
avers that the note was assigned to Aurora, that the assignment was recorded with
the Rock County Register of Deeds, and that Aurora is the holder of the note. This
argument is meritless. Aurora was obliged to present its evidence at trial. It could
not rely on the “record as a whole” and, in particular, it could not rely on summary
judgment materials that were not introduced at trial. See Holzinger v. Prudential
Ins. Co., 222 Wis. 456, 461, 269 N.W. 306 (1936). For that matter, even if Aurora
had, at trial, proffered the affidavit of its senior vice-president, the affidavit would
have been inadmissible hearsay. See WIS. STAT. § 908.01(3) (“‘Hearsay’ is a
statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or
hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.”).

¶12 In sum, Aurora failed to authenticate Exhibit D, the document
purporting to be an assignment of the note. Thus, regardless of other alleged proof
problems relating to that note and the Carlsens’ alleged default, the circuit court’s
finding that Aurora was the holder of the note is clearly erroneous—no admissible
evidence supports that finding. Aurora failed to prove its case, and it was not
entitled to a judgment of foreclosure.

By the Court.—Judgment reversed.

_______________________________________

1 All references to the Wisconsin Statutes are to the 2009-10 version unless otherwise noted.

2 Our summary of Conner’s testimony omits several assertions Conner made that were
stricken by the circuit court. Similarly, we have not included examples of the circuit court
repeatedly sustaining hearsay and foundation objections. For example, the court repeatedly
sustained objections to Aurora’s attempts to have Conner testify that Aurora “owns” the note.
Aurora does not and could not reasonably argue that the Carlsens have not preserved their
authentication objections. The Carlsens’ attorney repeatedly and vigorously objected on hearsay,
foundation, and authentication grounds. The record clearly reflects that the Carlsens were
objecting to the admission of all of Aurora’s proffered documents on the ground that Conner
lacked sufficient knowledge to lay a foundation for admission.

J CURLEY AZ BKR CT: “No Docs To Show Ownership Of Loan Or Standing”

ONE ON ONE WITH NEIL GARFIELD ONE ON ONE WITH NEIL GARFIELD

COMBO ANALYSIS TITLE AND SECURITIZATION

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Judge Curley has been wrestling with these issues for more than 2 years. She has heard every argument, seen every memorandum, Expert Declaration (mine) and considered everything else possible. She was led to the inescapable conclusion that BOA’s position was a farce. She denied the Motion to Lift Stay, which effectively puts into question whether BAC or BOA is a creditor at all. In this well-reasoned and extremely well-written opinion, she outlines her analysis and reasoning. IN plain language, we are a nation of laws and civil procedure and not a nation of men and power. Not even the largest Bank on Earth can escape the requirements of our laws.

Arizona Bankruptcy Court Denies BAC “No Docs To Show Ownership Of Loan Or Standing” In re: ZITTA

Arizona Bankruptcy Court Denies BAC “No Docs To Show Ownership Of Loan Or Standing” In re: ZITTA

In re MIKE ZITTA AND IRENA ZITTA, Debtors.
BAC HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP FKA COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS
SERVICING LP, its assignees and/or successors in interest, Movant,
v.
MIKE ZITTA AND IRENA ZITTA, Respondents.

No. 09-bk-19154-SSC

UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

DATED: January 21, 2011.

Not for Publication-Electronic Docketing ONLY

AMENDED1 MEMORANDUM DECISION

I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
This Court recently received a Notice of Appeal filed by BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P., f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, L.P.(“BAC”) on December 23, 2010. The Notice of Appeal concerns the Court’s denial of a Motion for Reconsideration filed by BAC relating to its Motion for Relief from Stay in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Mike and Irena Zitta (“Debtors”). Because BAC may have prematurely filed its Notice of Appeal, and because this Court had anticipated an opportunity to execute some sort of Order, with an appended memorandum decision on the issues presented, this Court will amplify its reasoning in denying the Motion for Reconsideration and clarify the record so that the Motion for Reconsideration may be heard on appeal.

BAC filed its Motion for Relief from Stay on August 30, 2010.2 Copies of the interest-only promissory note (“Note”), along with an allonge (“Allonge”), the recorded deed of trust (“Deed of Trust”), and the Broker’s price opinion were attached to the Motion.3 BAC also filed a declaration in support of the Motion.4 However, no assignment of the Deed of Trust from any entity to BAC was included. The Debtors filed a response/objection to the relief requested.5 The Court denied BAC’s Motion by Minute Entry Order issued on October 20, 2010 (the “Minute Entry Order”), because BAC had failed to provide a copy of an assignment of the Deed of Trust with its Motion.6 The October 20 Minute Entry Order was not executed by this Court.

On October 29, 2010, BAC filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Minute Entry Order, asserting that under Arizona law, an assignment of the Deed of Trust was not necessary to establish standing to move for relief from the automatic stay.7 The Court heard the Motion for Reconsideration on December 15, 2010, and denied the requested relief. BAC never submitted a form of order denying the Motion for Reconsideration, and although a minute entry order was generated that same day outlining briefly the Court’s denial of the Motion, the minute entry order was never executed by this Court.8 Rather than wait for an appropriate form of order to be entered, BAC chose to file a Notice of Appeal on December 23, 2010.

In this Memorandum Decision, the Court has set forth its findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Rule 7052 of the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. The issues addressed herein constitute a core proceeding over which this Court has jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1334(b) and 157(b) (West 2010).

II. FACTUAL DISCUSSION
In the Motion for Relief from Stay filed on August 30, 2010, BAC asserted that it was the “holder in due course” and that it was the “payee and a holder in due course under that certain Promissory Note dated March 20, 2007.”9 The Note attached to the Motion for Relief from Stay stated that GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc., had provided the financing to the Debtors so that the Debtors could acquire the real property located at 5100 East Blue Jay Lane, Flagstaff, Arizona (“Property”).10 The Note further stated that anyone taking the Note “by transfer and who [was] entitled to receive payments under [the] Note [was] called the “Note Holder.”11 The Allonge, dated March 20, 2007, stated as follows: “Pay to the Order of BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP f/k/a Countrywide Home Loan Servicing, LP without recourse.”12 GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. had executed the Allonge, although the signature is difficult to discern.13 The Deed of Trust attached to the Motion for Relief from Stay stated that GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. was the lender and that MERS was the nominee for the lender. Specifically, the Deed of Trust stated:

(E) “MERS” is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. MERS is a separate corporation that is acting solely as a nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns. MERS is the beneficiary under this Security Instrument.14

The Deed of Trust stated that the Debtors acknowledged or executed the document on March 21, 2007, although the Allonge and the Note had an execution date of March 20, 2007. Finally, the Declaration submitted in support of the Motion for Relief from Stay stated that “[it] is in the regular course and scope and business for BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP to prepare and maintain books and records relating to the status of the servicing of Movant’s Deed of Trust.”15 The Declaration also stated that “Movant is the payee under that certain Promissory Note dated March 20, 2007…. Further, Movant is the present holder and owner of that certain First Deed of Trust of same date…. securing said Note against Debtors’ property….”16 Thus, BAC’s Declaration creates an ambiguity as to whether BAC is the servicer of the loan or whether it is the Note Holder who is entitled to payments under the Debtors’ Note obligation. The documentation presented by BAC also includes a security agreement, granting BAC a security interest in the Note.17

A review of the Motion for Relief from Stay reflects the myriad problems that this and other Courts are facing in attempting to handle the tremendous volume of such motions that are filed in the numerous bankruptcy cases that are pending across the country. First, the Motion that was filed in this case appears to be a form that may have been imperfectly tailored to the facts of this case. For instance, the Motion for Relief from Stay alleges that GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. “was the original lender on the subject Note and Deed of Trust. Thereafter, GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. assigned all of its rights, title and interest in and to said [N]ote and Deed of Trust to BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P., f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, L.P. by way of an Allonge….”18 However, as noted previously, the Declaration seems to indicate that BAC was acting as a servicer. If BAC was simply the servicer, then for whom was BAC receiving payments under the Note? If BAC was holding the Note as the servicer, for whom was it acting? If BAC was the Note Holder, as defined in the Note, then why does the Declaration state that BAC operates as a servicer? Another way to state the problem is that the Motion for Relief from the Stay and the Declaration seem to reflect imperfectly the transfer of the various interests in the Note and Deed of Trust. Given the posture of the record presented to the Court, and the lack of clarity, the Court denied the Motion for Relief from Stay by Minute Entry Order on October 20, 2010. Rather than clarify the record by filing the appropriate assignment, a further declaration or affidavit, or some other documentation, BAC filed its Motion for Reconsideration. BAC chose to provide no further information to the Court from a factual standpoint.

III. LEGAL DISCUSSION
The Motion for Reconsideration

As outlined above, part of the problem with the issues to be decided is the context in which the matters have been presented to the Court. When a motion for relief from stay is filed, the Bankruptcy Code, the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the Local Rules of this Court are immediately applicable or implicated.

11 U.S.C. §362 (d) states that the bankruptcy court may, for instance, terminate, modify, or condition the automatic stay (1) “for cause, including the lack of adequate protection of an interest in property of such party in interest,” or (2) “with respect to a stay of an act against
property under subsection (a) of this section if-(A) the debtor does not have an equity interest in such property; and (B) such property is not necessary to an effective reorganization.”19 Section 362(g) states that the party requesting relief from the automatic stay has the burden of proof of whether the debtor has any equity in the property at issue.20 The Local Rules of the Arizona Bankruptcy Court further require that a party filing a motion for relief from the automatic stay be able to provide some support for the relief requested. For instance, if the party is stating that it is a secured creditor requesting relief from the automatic stay to pursue a trustee’s sale under Arizona law, the secured creditor should be able to provide support in the motion that it has a perfected security interest in property of the estate in which the debtor or debtor in possession also has an interest.21

In reviewing the sufficiency of any motion for relief from the automatic stay, the court must also consider under what provision of the Bankruptcy Code the debtor has filed. For instance, if the individual debtor has filed a chapter 7 petition, a trustee in bankruptcy is appointed that must collect and liquidate property of the estate, that has not been claimed exempt by the debtor, for distribution to the debtor’s creditors, according to the priorities set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.22 The trustee in bankruptcy may increase the amount of property of the estate available for distribution to creditors by exercising certain avoidance powers enumerated, inter alia, in Bankruptcy Code Sections 544, 547, and 548.23 An individual debtor may acquire the same duties and responsibilities of a trustee in bankruptcy by filing a chapter 11 petition, seeking to reorganize or to file a plan of liquidation.24 Because the debtor in possession is vested with the same powers of the trustee, the debtor in possession may pursue avoidance actions as well.25 In this case, the individual Debtors filed a chapter 11 petition seeking to reorganize, and no bankruptcy trustee has yet been appointed in this case. As a result, the Debtors exercise the rights of a bankruptcy trustee concerning the ability to avoid certain transfers or transactions.

Because of the avoidance powers of the bankruptcy trustee or the debtor in possession, this Court requires that if a party seeking relief from the automatic stay asserts a perfected security interest in any property of the estate, that moving party must be able to present at least a prima faciecase that it has such a perfected security interest under applicable law.26 The fact that the transaction is not avoidable between the parties to the underlying loan transaction is not dispositive of whether the transaction may be avoided by third parties that are, for instance, bona fidepurchasers.27

Turning to the standards of a motion for reconsideration, the moving party must show a manifest error of fact, a manifest error of law, or newly discovered evidence. School Dist. No. 1J Multnomah County, OR v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993); In re Gurr, 194 B.R. 474 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 1996). A motion for reconsideration is not specifically contemplated by the Federal Rules. To the extent it is considered by the Court, it is under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) to alter or amend an order or judgment. In re Curry and Sorensen, Inc., 57 B.R. 824, 827 (Bankr. 9th Cir. 1986). Because BAC presented no new evidence to this Court and has not outlined any manifest error of fact, the sole basis for the BAC Motion for Reconsideration must be a manifest error of law by this Court. BAC has outlined several bases for what it believes is this Court’s manifest error of law.

 

(A) Is the Movant the Real Party in Interest?

A colleague in the Arizona Bankruptcy Court has stated that a party that brings a motion for relief from the automatic stay must first establish a “colorable claim.” “In order to establish [such a claim], a movant…. bears the burden of proof that it has standing to bring the motion.” In re Weisband, 427 B.R. 13, 18 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 2010) (citing In re Wilhelm, 407 B.R. 392, 400 (Bankr. D. Idaho 2009)). In the Weisband decision, the Court states that the moving party may establish standing by showing that it is a “real party in interest.”28 The Weisband Court next states that a holder of a note is a “real party in interest” under FRCP 17 because, under the Arizona Revised Statute (“ARS”) § 47-3301, the note holder has the right to enforce it. Weisband at 18. Relying on a decision from a bankruptcy court in Vermont, the Weisband Court next opines that “[b]ecause there is no federal commercial law which defines who is a note holder, the court must look to Arizona law to determine whether [movant] is [such] a holder.” Id. (citing In re Montagne, 421 B.R. 65, 73 (Bankr. D. Vt. 2009)). Finally, the Weisband Court states that under Arizona law, a holder of a note is defined as, inter alia, “the person in possession of a negotiable instrument that is payable either to bearer or to an identified person that is the person in possession.” Id. (citing ARS § 47-1201(B)(21)(a)).

BAC’s citation to Weisband fails to address this Court’s concerns. In the Motion for Relief, BAC contends that it is the “payee and a holder in due course.” However, the Declaration that it filed appears to reflect that BAC is the servicer for some other party. Obviously there is a difference. A servicer acts pursuant to a separate agreement with the Note Holder and is paid a separate fee to determine what payments have been made, or not made, by a given borrower. However, the servicer would not normally list the loan on its balance sheet as one of its assets. The Note Holder, according to the definition in the Note, is the party that is entitled to receive the payments under the Note, because it has arguably paid some consideration for the transfer of the obligation to it, and has listed the obligation as an asset in its books and records.29 BAC has not provided any additional facts to clarify whether it is the servicer pursuant to an agreement with the Note Holder, or contrary to its Declaration, it actually acquired the loan and has placed the loan on its balance sheet as one of its assets.

From the documentation provided by BAC, it appears that GreenPoint provided the original funding for the loan to the Debtors so that they could acquire the Property. Yet, at the time of the closing, GreenPoint immediately assigned its interest in the Note to BAC. The Declaration submitted by BAC, however, seems to indicate that BAC is only in the business of servicing loans-perhaps for some other entity associated or related to BAC. If BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, is acting as the servicer of a Bank of America entity, for which entity is it acting? Conversely, if GreenPoint transferred the Debtors’ loan from its books and records to some other entity, was it BAC? If BAC alleges in its Motion for Relief from the Stay that it is the Note Holder, is it, in fact, the one legally entitled, because of the purchase of the Debtors’ obligation, to receive the Debtors’ payments?

As a part of its prima faciecase, BAC should have provided the Court with more factual information in support of its position. As a result, this Court may deny the Motion for Reconsideration, and the underlying Motion for Relief from the Stay, on the basis that BAC has failed to provide sufficient documentation to this Court so that the Court may ensure that BAC is the proper Note Holder, or servicer if appropriate, to pursue such a Motion for Relief from the Stay.

Thus, the focus of the BAC’s Motion for Reconsideration does not consider all of the factual and legal issues that it should. It does not address whether BAC, in this matter, has presented an appropriate factual and legal basis to proceed on this loan concerning the Debtors and their Property. BAC could have easily supplemented the record to provide the appropriate documentation to proceed, but chose not to do so.

(B) Has BAC Set Forth a Prima Facie Case That It Has
A Perfected Security Interest in the Property Given the Status
Of the Debtors As Debtors In Possession?

In its Motion for Reconsideration, BAC relies on ARS § 33-817, which states, “The transfer of any contract or contracts secured by a trust deed shall operate as a transfer of the security for such contract or contracts.” ARS § 33-817. BAC further points out that the Supreme Court of Arizona has held that a mortgage is a “mere incident to the debt,” and its “transfer or assignment does not transfer or assign the debt or the note,” but “the mortgage automatically goes along with the assignment or transfer” of the note. Hill v. Favour, 84 P.2d 575, 578 (Ariz. 1938) (emphasis added). However, at the hearing on December 15, 2010, the Court expressly stated its concern about the ability of BAC to proceed given that it had not provided any information as to a recorded assignment of the Deed of Trust. The Court asked counsel how her analysis was appropriate given (1) the status of the Debtors as Debtors in Possession who had objected to the relief requested, and (2) ARS § 33-818 which provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

[A]ssignment of a beneficial interest under a trust deed,… shall from the time of being recorded impart notice of the content to all persons, including subsequent purchasers and encumbrancers for value.
As outlined above, the Debtors, as Debtors in Possession, acquire the status of a bona fide purchaser and are able to set aside any real estate transaction, concerning their Property, for which the creditor has not taken appropriate steps under Arizona law. See 11 U.S.C. § 544(a)(3) (West 2010). Arizona law requires that if a secured creditor with a lien on the Debtors’ Property wishes to ensure that said interest is not subject to the claims of a bona fide purchaser, that said secured creditor record an assignment of its interest with the Recorder in the County where the Debtors’ Property is located. If notice of the assignment has not been provided, through recordation, the secured creditor may have its interest avoided by a bona fide purchaser. See Rodney v. Arizona Bank, 836 P.2d 434, 172 Ariz. 221 (Ariz. App. Div. 2 1992) (Unless and until the transferee of the beneficial interest in the deed of trust records an assignment of the deed of trust, the security interest in the real property remains unperfected.)

At the time of the hearing on the Motion for Reconsideration, BAC’s counsel agreed that although vis-a-vis the original parties to the transaction, no assignment of the Deed of Trust need be produced or recorded, because of the Debtors’ filing of a bankruptcy petition, ARS § 33-818 required that an assignment be prepared and properly recorded given the new status of the Debtors as Debtors in Possession.30 It is unclear why BAC has not simply supplemented the record to provide the assignment of the Deed of Trust.

The request that an assignment be recorded is not a burdensome requirement. MERS, through its registration system, keeps track of the transfers of the beneficial interests, under a deed of trust, from member to member in the system. When there is some type of default under the loan transaction, MERS generally prepares an assignment of the beneficial interest in the deed of trust for signature and then records the assignment with the appropriate state authority, which in Arizona would be the Recorder in the County where the real property that is subject to the secured creditor’s lien is located. This recordation of the assignment provides the requisite notice to third parties, as required under Arizona law.

Although BAC relies on the decision of Rodney v. Arizona Bank, 836 P.2d 434, 172 Ariz. 221 (Ariz. App. Div. 2 1992), the decision actually supports this Court’s understanding of the importance of the recordation of the assignment of the deed of trust. In Rodney, the borrowers were the Vasquezes, who received purchase money financing from the initial lender, Hal Clonts (“Clonts”), to purchase real property (“Property”) located in Mohave County. The Vasquezes executed a promissory note and deed of trust in favor of Clonts to provide him with a lien on their Property to secure repayment of the note. It is important to keep in mind that the Vasquezes remained the borrowers throughout a series of subsequent transactions that only affected the lender or the party that had a security interest in the promissory note and deed of trust.

Clonts transferred his interest to the Fidlers through an assignment of the beneficial interest in the promissory note and deed of trust. Id. at 435. However, on April 11, 1985, the Fidlers entered into a separate loan transaction in which they borrowed money from a third party, State Bank, later called Security Pacific Bank Arizona (“Security Pacific”). The Fidlers provided security to Security Pacific for their loan transaction by pledging “all monies” received by the Fidlers in “Escrow # 85-02-9290.” Id. Security Pacific immediately notified the title company, for the subject escrow, as to Security Pacific’s interest in the escrow funds. In September 1986, the Fidlers again transferred their beneficial interest in the promissory note and deed of trust to Theron Rodney (“Rodney”). The Fidlers received $20,000 from Rodney for the transfer of their interest. The Fidlers executed an assignment of the beneficial interest under the deed of trust. Rodney recorded his interest in the deed of trust with the Mohave County Recorder’s Officer where the Property was located. Not surprisingly, Security Pacific and Rodney disagreed as to the priority of their respective security interests in the loan proceeds. Security Pacific argued that the interest in the loan proceeds could only be perfected pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code. Conversely, Rodney argued that the real property provisions of Arizona law were applicable. Id. at 436.

The sole issue to be addressed by the Appellate Court was whether Article Nine of the Uniform Commercial Code (as adopted in Arizona) applied to the creation and perfection of a security interest in a promissory note when the note itself was secured by a deed of trust in real property. Id. Before considering the analysis by the Court, let’s diagram the various loan transactions.

+——————————————————————————————————–+———————————————+
| The Vasquezes |                                                                                                                                                  Clonts |
| —- | |
+——————————————————————————————————–+———————————————+
| initial borrowers purchase money financing |                                                                                     initial lender |
+——————————————————————————————————–+——————————————————————+
| Vasquezes continue to pay on the original note and deed of trust to the title company, as escrow agent | (1) transfer of the interest in the note and deed of trust for consideration to the Fidlers |
|                                                                                                                                                                                                                   | (2) separate loan to the Fidlers–security interest in the note and deed of trust given to Security Pacific-consideration given to Fidlers |
|                                                                                                                                                                                                                   | (3) Fidlers again seek financing–security interest in the note and deed of trust given to Rodney |
|                                                                                                                                                                                                                   | for $20,000. |
+——————————————————————————————————–+——————————————————————–+
| | |
+——————————————————————————————————–+——————————————————————–+

Thus, it is only the parties on one side of the initial loan transaction that are in disagreement as to the priority of their security interests. Noting that Security Pacific only wanted to obtain a perfected security interest in the promissory note proceeds, the Court stated “we find that Security Pacific received a corollary security interest in the real property evidenced by the deed of trust, along with its interest in the note, although the corollary interest remained unperfected.” Id. The Court then stated that Security Pacific need not have a perfected security interest in the real property, because Security Pacific’s interest was only in the note which was a security interest in personal property under ARS § 47-1201(37). Id. at 436-37. The Court concluded that “Arizona case law holds that a mortgage note and the debt evidenced thereby are personal property (citing to Hill v. Favour, 52 Ariz. at 571, 84 P.2d at 579). Article Nine of the UCC applies to security interests in personal property….” Id. at 437. However, Article Nine of the Uniform Commercial Code does not apply to obtaining a lien on real property. In considering the somewhat murky area of “realty paper,” the Court relied on Commentators J White and R. Summers, who described “realty paper” as follows:

B mortgages his real estate to L. L gives B’s note and the real estate mortgage to Bank as security for a loan. Article Nine does not apply to the transaction between L and B, but does apply to that between L and Bank.

Id.31 Turning to the facts of this case, BAC is arguing that its security interest in the Note and Deed of Trust is perfected as to all others, rather than to just other mortgagees. It has forgotten the other side of the transaction, which is the “mortgagor” in the White and Summers analysis, or someone that may acquire an interest from the mortgagor, such as a bona fide purchaser. To perfect its interest as to the “mortgagor,” which would be the Zittas, or someone who may acquire an interest in the Property from the Zittas, BAC needed to record its assignment in the Deed of Trust, as required under real property law, such as ARS § 33-818 (West 2010). BAC has not shown this Court that any such assignment exists, so its Motion for Reconsideration must be denied as a matter of law.

BAC also relies on In re Smith, 366 B.R. 149 (Bank. D. Colo. 2007), which is inapposite. The debtor had been in a chapter 13 proceeding, but had converted his case to one under chapter 7. Id. at 150. Bank of New York, N.A. (“Bank of New York”) subsequently requested relief from the automatic stay as to the real property owned by the debtor. The debtor did not oppose the motion, and a foreclosure sale, pursuant to Colorado law, subsequently occurred. Bank of New York then recorded a deed upon sale as to the debtor’s real property. Without seeking any stay of the foreclosure proceedings, the debtor filed an adversary proceeding with the bankruptcy court. The debtor asserted that the Bank of New York was not the real party in interest, and therefore, it was unable to proceed with a foreclosure of his real property. The bankruptcy court reviewed the evidence presented and determined that Bank of New York was the holder of the promissory note at the time it commenced its foreclosure sale. The court stated that Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., which had originally provided the financing to the debtor, had endorsed the promissory note in blank. Under Colorado law, such a blank endorsement allowed the promissory note to become “payable to bearer.” However, Bank of New York did submit a Certification of Owner and Holder of the Evidence Debt, which allowed the Colorado court to conclude that Bank of New York was the “holder of the original evidence of debt.” The court then reviewed the deed of trust, determining that it was recorded at approximately the same time as the loan closing between the debtor and Countrywide Home Loan, Inc. The bankruptcy court then concluded that the promissory note was assigned to the Bank of New York. As such, once the promissory note was assigned to the Bank of New York, MERS then functioned as the nominee for the Bank of New York. Id. at 151. Presumably, as a result of MERS nominee status, the bankruptcy court concluded, sub silentio, that no additional action needed to be taken by Bank of New York vis-a-vis the debtor.

This Court questions the analysis by the Smith court.32 Although the Smith court relies on a 2002 decision from the Colorado Supreme Court, the court does not analyze the concept of “realty paper” or discuss White and Summers. As noted by this Court supra, the lender in the original loan transaction or a party that may subsequently obtain a security interest in the promissory note, as a result of a separate loan transaction, may be protected, but this Court is viewing the transaction from a different viewpoint: that of the Debtors in Possession that acquire the status of bona fide purchasers. There is no discussion, in Smith, as to how Colorado law would treat such third parties. Moreover, it is unclear whether Colorado has a similar provision as Arizona’s ARS § 33-818 that focuses on the separate requirements of a creditor that may have a beneficial interest under a deed of trust assigned to it.

In considering the ability of the debtor to pursue a claim under 11 U.S.C. § 544, the Colorado court concludes that the debtor does not have the standing of the bankruptcy trustee. Smith at 152. Such an analysis is correct, since the debtor pursued his claim against the Bank of New York only after he had converted his case to one under chapter 7. The chapter 7 trustee also failed to join with the debtor in the adversary proceeding or to pursue the claim separately.33 However, as to the facts before this Court, the Debtors, as Debtor in Possession, in this chapter 11 proceeding do have the standing to pursue claims under Section 544.34 Thus, this Court must reject the analysis in the Smith case.

This Court concludes that given the summary nature of motions for relief from the automatic stay, 35 the general requirements in the case law and the Local Rules of this Court36 that a creditor alleging a security interest in certain property of the debtor and/or the bankruptcy estate at least set forth a prima facie case as to its perfected security interest, 37 BAC should have provided an assignment of the Deed of Trust. It failed to do so; however, the Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay was denied without prejudice. BAC still has the opportunity to refile the Motion with the appropriate documents as exhibits thereto.

IV. CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, the Court denies BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP’s Motion for Reconsideration of this Court’s Denial of the Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay. The Court

SARAH SHARER CURLEY, Bankruptcy Judge

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