DEFICIENCY JUDGMENTS AND ARBITRATION CLAUSES IN NOTES AND MORTGAGES

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Editor’s Notes:  

When I was on Wall Street, we had an expression “Bears make money, bulls make money but pigs never make money.” It means that people who think the market is going down have a number of ways to bet in that direction and protect their risks. People who think the market is going up have the same options. But those who seek to overreach and get all the money going both ways will lose.

In this case, National Bank is the pig. After invoking the power of sale in a non-judicial foreclosure, they sued for a deficiency they created by submitting a low bid at the “auction.” If the loan was securitized, (which presumably it was not or it was not brought to the attention of the trial court and therefore was not in the record on appeal) there is a good chance that the auction was rigged and faked because the trustee would have been a controlled or owned entity and the credit bid was false because it was not submitted by a party who was “the beneficiary in full or partial satisfaction of the contract secured by the trust deed. A.R.S. § 33-801(5) (2007). Bank asserted $675,000 was the fair market value at the time of the sale.”

In virtually ALL cases, the credit bid accepted by the trustee was from a party that was not, at the time the bid was submitted, a party whose description conformed to the definition of a beneficiary (creditor) in the statute. Thus the bid was an empty bid, void from inception, and should have been disregarded by the trustee (which of course was never done because they were taking their orders from the pretender lender instead of following the state statute. In this case the record on appeal is devoid of any evidence that National Bank was not the originator AND the lender at the time of the foreclosure, so you need to keep that in mind, if you are going to use this case for anything.

The Court appeals was completely perplexed by the action brought by National bank for a deficiency judgment against the “former” homeowners who probably have every right to reverse the foreclosure sale, remove or discredit the deed upon foreclosure and return to having full title and right of possession. The Court just didn’t understand why the deficiency action was ever filed, but was willing to rule on the arbitration clause, on the outside chance that there was something else besides a foreclosure invovled. IF not, the deficiency action should obviously be dismissed:

In the footnotes of the decision the Court makes it clear that the anti deficiency statutes apply, and hints that if the pretender lender sues for the deficiency they might be invalidating the foreclosure by their own actions because the Arizona statute gives a choice between foreclosure or suing on the note. Under no circumstances do the Arizona statutes allow the lender to pursue both remedies for the obvious reason that the so-called deficiency is artificially created by a self-serving “credit bid” and self serving statement as to the value of the property.

 

“1

A credit bid is a bid made by the beneficiary in full or partial satisfaction of the contract secured by the trust deed. A.R.S. § 33-801(5) (2007). Bank asserted $675,000 was the fair market value at the time of the sale.

2

The record is devoid of an explanation as to why the anti- deficiency statutes are inapplicable here. We are unable to discern if the property was too large or that the promissory note was not for purchase money or why the anti-deficiency statutes do not apply to homeowners.

We note that Arizona has two anti-deficiency statutes: (1) A.R.S. § 33–729(A), which applies to purchase money mortgages and purchase money deeds of trust that are judicially foreclosed, Baker v. Gardner, 160 Ariz. 98, 770 P.2d 766 (1988); and (2) A.R.S. § 33– 814(G), for deeds of trust foreclosed by trustee’s sale whether or not they secure purchase money obligations. And both anti- deficiency statutes prohibit the entry of a deficiency judgment after the forced sale of a parcel of “property of two and one-half acres or less which is limited to and utilized for either a single one-family or a single two-family dwelling.” A.R.S. §§ 33–729(A) and –814(G).

Arizona also has an election of remedies statute applicable to mortgages. Under A.R.S. § 33–722, a mortgagee can sue to judicially foreclose its mortgage or can sue on the note and waive the mortgage, but it cannot maintain both actions simultaneously. See Tanque Verde Anesthesiologists L.T.D. Profit Sharing Plan v. Proffer Group, Inc., 172 Ariz. 311, 313, 836 P.2d 1021, 1023 (App. 1992).”

The Appellate Court overruled the trial court as to its ruling on the deficiency action being “ancillary” to the foreclosure in order to reach its legal conclusion that if an action can be arbitrated it should be arbitrated:

“The Bank argues, as it has before3, that the deficiency action is “ancillary” to its statutory foreclosure action and therefore excepted from the arbitration agreement. Specifically stating:

‘Consequently, a deficiency action arises out of, relates to, and is dependent upon the non-judicial foreclosure of a deed of trust. The deficiency action is thus an “ancillary remedy” necessarily related to the non- judicial foreclosures.’

The trial court adopted that reasoning, finding:

[t]here would be no deficiency without a foreclosure; deficiency arises from the foreclosure. Therefore, a deficiency action is excluded from arbitration under the terms of the Note.

We disagree.

It is a challenge to interpret this decision. It swings one way and then it swings the other way, bat apparently only to preserve the right to binding arbitration if it has already been agreed between the parties. But it restates those statutes that are clearly intended to make Arizona an anti-deficiency state.

To read the entire opinion click here:  CV100772-opinion

 


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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 http://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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Madison v. MERS et al

Madison v MERS et al

Editor’s Comment:

The Madison decision from the Arizona Appellate Court is an example of two warnings that I have repeatedly stated on these pages, in my books and in my seminars.  First doing an appeal yourself without getting appropriate advice from competent licensed counsel is most likely to result in failure.  It is a rare layman who understands the Rules of Civil Procedure.  And it is even more rare that a layman understands the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

As a result, the Madison decision will be used as yet more ammunition against homeowners, borrowers, and lawyers to “prove” that their defenses are frivolous when in fact the court of appeals decision states the opposite – even while they rule against the borrower.  On appeal the only thing the appellate court is permitted to review are those items on the record.  This is further restricted by the items that are presented as issues on appeal.  The homeowner, appearing on her own behalf, missed two opportunities to force the pretender lenders into a contested adversary position.

Like many other states, Arizona has section 33-811[c]which mandates waiver of all defenses to a trustee’s sale if the objecting party fails to obtain an injunction before the sale date.  The problem here is that the statute is worded improperly but that issue was never raised.  Obtaining an injunction requires a lawsuit filed against the Trustee and the pretender lenders which results in the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and which the homeowner will result in the issuance of a permanent restraining order.

Virtually all non-judicial states have a similar provision.  The obvious problem with this provision which violates due process on its face is that it requires the homeowner to first prove his or her case in court before being allowed to assert and pursue defenses and counterclaims. 

This is precisely the issue addressed in the second edition Attorney’s Workbook regarding the realignment of parties.  In a judicial state all that a homeowner is required to do is deny the allegations of the pretender lender.  This puts the matter at issue and allows the homeowner/borrower to proceed with discovery and all other pre-trial motions.  The Arizona statute relied upon by the appellate court requires the homeowner to utilize a crystal ball to determine the allegations of the pretender lender and then win at a preliminary hearing on the merits of the defenses to a claim that has never been filed. 

The issuance of the TRO in non-judicial states is discretionary and not ministerial or mandatory.  Thus the burden of proof is improperly put on the defending party before the proponent seeking affirmative relief (taking the house) is required to file any pleadings or produce any evidence that could be subject to court scrutiny or challenge by the homeowner. 

As applied, Arizona Revised Statue 33-811 [c] is clearly unconstitutional and violates due process.  The homeowner should simply be permitted to deny the factual allegations contained in the Notice of Default and Notice of Sale.  The appropriate party to bring a lawsuit is not the borrower but either the Trustee or Beneficiary.  Once the borrower has denied the factual allegations, the matter should be converted to a judicial foreclosure which is provided for in Arizona Statutes.  In the absence of the beneficiary starting such a lawsuit, it is the trustee who should file an action in interpleader stating that the Trustee is an uninterested party with no stake in the outcome and alleging that there are two parties each of whom allege an interest in the subject matter of the lawsuit and which are in conflict with each other.  The Trustee, not having the power to conduct hearings (the Trustee is not a special master) has no choice but to take unresolved issues to the court and make its claim for attorney’s fees, costs and expenses to having had to file the interpleader.

Naturally Maidson failed to raise any of these issues. So the appellate court was left with a statue which is “on the books” and which operates to waive all defenses of the homeowner to the Trustee’s sale – in the event the homeowner fails to obtain an injunction before the sale date.  In the Madison case, needless to say, the homeowner failed to obtain and apparently failed to seek an injunction prior to the sale.  Therefore the appellate court was perfectly within its right to simply affirm the trial court’s decision that stated that the homeowner had no right in this instance to assert any defenses.

In such cases of such conflicts of obvious due process the ACLU and other such organizations have occasionally been successful in having an appellate court rule on an issue that was never presented in the trial court and may not even have been presented in the initial briefs of the parties on appeal. 

Hence the outcome of this case, like so many others, was a foregone conclusion simply based on the most simple application of statutory law and the rules of civil procedure as they are currently applied in Arizona. 

Failing to obtain the TRO is therefore the same as admitting all of the allegations of fact contained in the Notice of Default and Notice of Sale and all of the allegations that would have been pled in a judicial foreclosure.  The court affirmed the trial court’s decision to dismiss the homeowner’s lawsuit. 

The kicker in this case is that the appellate court went on to overrule the trial court for having declared Madison a vexatious litigant and further restricting her ability to file future lawsuits.  This was not only a violation of due process it was a demonstration of court bias and I invite attorneys who are committed to the movement to assist Madison in attacking the bias of the trail judge and getting the decision of the trial judge vacated thus rendering the appellate decision moot. 

It is plainly outrageous for any judge to declare that a litigant is vexatious or frivolous when they clearly have never been heard on the merits of any of their claims or defenses.  The retired judge who heard this case should be prevented from hearing any further cases involving foreclosures or related evictions or any other such cases. 

Without beating a dead horse the section of the opinion entitled “background” clearly shows that Madison failed to deny the essential elements of the foreclosure and therefore all of the obvious issues regarding the identity of the creditor, the status of the loan, the nature of the actual transaction, the substitution of beneficiary, the substitution of trustee, and all the other claims and defenses were deemed admitted by both the trial court and the appellate court.  If the case can be reopened on the basis of the bias of the judge and the bias can be shown to have predated the decision that was appealed and if that results in vacating the entire order the homeowner might have had an opportunity to obtain the injunction and assert the claims and defenses, and attack the statute as it is applied.

 This is the reason why I reluctantly agreed to start a national law firm to assist homeowners and borrowers and their lawyers.  I have been doing nothing but writing, educating, and consulting for 5 years only to see the work and analysis performed by me or my team to be presented improperly and after which most defenses and claims were waived.  In the GarfieldFirm.com all of the attorneys recruited will be required to follow appropriate professional standards in the research and advocacy of the positions of clients who sign up for representation. 

There is no guarantee of any result when you hire any attorney or any professional.  The only guarantee is that they will apply their best efforts on your behalf.  The GarfieldFirm.com is a operating under a business model which requires a 50-state rollout to oppose all of the foreclosure mills who currently act in concert with each other.  Their opposition will now be an organized and consistent challenge to the fraudulent proffers of false, forged and fabricated facts and evidence in and out of court.  As I have stated before, we are only halfway through this mighty contest.  Until now we have been taking all the punches.  Now it is our turn.

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Objections and Preserving Your Rights on Appeal: From, Whose Lien Is It Anyway? by Neil F Garfield

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Editor’s Comment:

Foreclosure cases are won or lost on procedure more than on the merits of the case offered by either side. Lawyer and especially pro se litigants tend to use the right of appeal, as though it was a vehicle for entertaining evidence, objections or motions that should have been made. These make up a large percentage of the 85% of cases that are affirmed on appeal.[1]

The appellate court rarely has even the power to consider affidavits or other evidence that was not proffered and which does not show up on the record on appeal sent by the clerk of the court on the “trial” level. The appellate court is limited to what DID happen and not what SHOULD have happened. If the matter was properly raised in the lower court, then the matter may be considered by the appellate court. If not, then they must simply state that the grounds for appeal were not properly preserved for appeal and affirm the decision of the lower court Judge.

In foreclosure cases, most of the objections that should be made are known in advance and quite probably should be brought or offered as a motion in limine before the actual hearing, so that the complete focus of the court is on the issue that  would be presented by opposing counsel  and the objections raised by the borrower homeowner. In those cases, where the objections are known in advance, you should not only state that you have an objection, but the state the reasons for your objection and include a memorandum of law on the point, complete with copies of the most relevant cases.

Most of the errors that I see on the trial court level amounts to denial of due process in that the Court refuses to hear the merits or to allow the parties to conduct discovery. If that is the case in your case, you should mention it even though it is “fundamental error” that the appellate court could hear even without raising the objection contemporaneously with the subject of your objection.

This assures (along with the transcription from a court reporter) that everything about that objection was stated, presented and denied, if such is the case. It might also alert the Judge that you are ready to make such an appeal. If the objection is procedural relating to whether a proper foundation has been laid for the introduction of evidence, or whether the Court is accepting the proffer of counsel without any evidence in the record to support it, then you must make that point clearly and with support from citations in your own state. If the court refuses to hear the objections in limine then you still have the matters raised as part of the court record but you must raise the objection in the hearing or you might well have waived them unless your main point (ill advised) is that the court abused its discretion in denying the motion in limine without hearing it on the merits.

In every case I have seen reversed on appeal, there was something in the record that contradicted or nothing in the record that supported the position taken on appeal.

There are no magic words or bullets on objections. What is necessary is that you state it, without rambling on tangent subjects, with sufficient specificity so that the appellate court will understand in a flash what your objection related to, and what grounds and what law upon which you were relying. Do not combine objections. If you have more than one then state that you have 2 or more objections and proceed with the first.

The mistake I see in appeals and trial proceedings is that the attorney for the homeowner borrower remains silent while opposing counsel states facts that are not in the record (because there has not been an adversary proceeding and that you deny those facts, as they are in issue between the two sides). In many cases the Judge takes silence as a concession that the facts are true as stated and that your defense relates to something other than contesting the facts being proffered by opposing counsel.

The appellate court might agree, particularly if you are not clear in immediately identifying the fact that there was a real transaction in which money exchanged hands and then another event which involved the signing of papers but in which there was no actual transaction. The fact that the borrower believed the papers to be true while everyone else knew they were not, cannot now be used to further the fraud upon your client.

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[1] It has been pointed out by some bankruptcy court judges that out of the three possibilities for appeal of a bankruptcy court ruling, petitioners and their counsel usually bypass the appeal laterally to the sitting District Court Judge charged with hearing civil cases with Federal jurisdiction and with hearing appeals from decisions made in the bankruptcy court. Sources tell us that the percentage of reversals and remand is possibly as high as 50% when brought to the District Judge rather than the BAP or Circuit Court of Appeals.

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