Enforcement of Note vs. Enforcement of Mortgage

Watch out for the discrepancy between enforcement of a note and enforcement of an encumbrance. Enforcement of the note requires proof that the claimant is the owner of the debt, or has been authorized by the owner of the debt to enforce the note. Enforcement of the mortgage requires that the claimant be the owner of the debt. 

Judgment on the note can be rendered based upon legal presumptions arising from the UCC as adopted by state law as it applies to negotiable instruments. Mortgages (deeds of trust) are not negotiable instruments. The courts err when they apply Article 3 presumptions to the enforcement of a mortgage.

And take note that not all promissory notes are necessarily negotiable instruments and that therefore they too are not entitled to the benefit of legal presumptions under Article 3.

Always remember that legal presumptions are not intended to created findings of act that are contrary to reality. Quite the contrary, they are intended only as a convenience by which the court, in the absence of any meaningful objection, can presume such facts as part of its conclusion; no presumption should be employed if the evidence is tinged with a self serving nature and produced by the named claimant, and all such presumptions are rebuttable by exposing the reality. 

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Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com. Order a PDR BASIC to have us review and comment on your notice of TILA Rescission or similar document.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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 Possession of the original note usually results in a presumption that the possessor is a holder, and being holder usually results in the presumption that the holder is authorized to enforce as an agent of the owner of the debt.

Those are the rules for negotiable paper (notes). It is easier to state a case for enforcement of the note than enforcement of a mortgage or deed of trust. The intent in the law is to make it easy for notes to flow through the marketplace as cash equivalents. 

It is entirely possible for the same party to be awarded judgment on a note and denied judgment for enforcement of a mortgage or deed of trust, which are not negotiable instruments. An assignment of mortgage without a transfer of the debt is a nullity. But when the note is transferred, that is generally treated as though title to the debt has been transferred. That is an error in most cases involving claims of “securitization.” The reason it is an error is that the transferor of the note did not own the debt.

Both the endorsement of the note and the assignment of the mortgage can be attacked on the basis that authorization from the owner of the debt has not been shown. But the burden is on the claimed debtor (You) to rebut the assumptions and presumptions.

The only way to do that appears to be through discovery in which you request the owner of the debt to be identified. This is tricky and the other side knows it. They will reply that a designated party has some sort of authority to claim ownership without actually saying that they are the owner. So if you merely ask for the owner of the debt to be identified you probably won’t get very far.

You need to probe deeper than that. Go to an accountant and find out what the attributes are under GAAP and the FASB of an owner of the debt. The answer will be that the owner will have entries in its own books and records of an asset consisting of the claimed debt. Those entries must include an entry on the asset side of the amount of the supposed debt. Usually on the liability side there is a reserve for bad debt or default.

Any accountant will tell you that if the loan is not carried as  an asset on the books and records of the named claimant, they are not the owner of the debt.

This dichotomy is revealed easily in Article 3 UCC as adopted by state statute, which applies to notes and Article 9 UCC as adopted by state statute which applies to mortgages.

The legislative intent is that nobody should be allowed to enforce a mortgage without actually owning the debt. This is backed up by your jurisdictional argument, to wit: the party named as claiming the right to foreclose is not the party who will receive the benefits of that remedy because they have no financial injury in the first place. 

It’s one thing to get a money judgment against someone. But the legislature of every state has already decided that is quite another thing to take the homestead away from a homeowner. The big safeguard is the requirement that the claimant in foreclosure actually has ownership of the debt and therefore would be injured financially if the encumbrance were not enforced. 

FLA S Ct Reverses Course on Homeowner’s Award of Attorney Fees and Raises Other Issues for Defense of Foreclosures

For those of us that have access to the data, we know that homeowners are winning foreclosure cases all the time. Nobody else knows because as soon as a homeowner wins or gets into a winning position they are offered money for their silence. The situation worsened when Florida and courts in other states turned down the homeowner’s demand for attorney fees after the homeowner had flat out won the case — especially where the case was dismissed for lack of standing.

Here the homeowner once again wins, having advanced several defense narratives. The homeowner applies for recovery of attorney fees and the demand is rejected because the loan contract no longer exists or because the party seeking to use it was shown not to be party to it, at least when suit was commenced. The Florida Supreme Court reversed that decision and rejected others like it.

Recognizing the danger of the erroneous rulings from the trial court and the district courts of appeal, the Court rejected arguments that a dismissal, voluntary or otherwise, based upon lack of standing meant that the loan contract no longer existed. While not completely abandoning the lower courts the Florida Supreme Court has narrowed the issues such that it is again almost always arguable and even inevitable that if the homeowner wins the foreclosure case an award of fees will follow.

fla s ct attny fees 1-4-19 sc17-1387 Glass v Nationwide

see also Follow Up Article to this Article

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Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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This case opens a can of worms for the banks and servicers and corroborates much of what I have been writing for 12 years.

At issue was the homeowner’s right to prevail on an attorney fees award after winning the case in the trial court. This has previously been denied on the basis that cases dismissed for lack of standing meant that there was not contract. But the Florida Supreme Court says that the fact that just because the party involved had no right to enforce the contract doesn’t mean there was no contract.

The clear implication here is that the court did not want the erroneous rulings of trial courts and appellate district courts to be construed as completely canceling the loan contract. Any other ruling would be inherently ruling on the rights of unidentified third parties who DID have a right to collection of payment from the borrower’s debt and who did have a right to enforcement — without any notice to them because they are undisclosed and unknown.

The Supreme Court ruled that failure to allege or prove standing does not negate the fact that the homeowner is the prevailing party and entitled to fees under F.S. 57.105(7).

Citing its own decision in 1989, Katz v Van Der Noord 546 So 2d 1047, the Supreme Court held that even if the contract is rescinded or held to be unenforceable the prevailing party is still entitled to fees under the reciprocity provisions of F.S. 57.105(7).

This upends a basic strategy of the banks and servicers. Up until this decision they were virtually guaranteed an award of fees and costs if they won and immunity to fees if they lost. This reopens the fees issue and may give attorneys a reason to accept foreclosure defense cases — even on contingency or partial contingency.

But the court, perhaps in dicta, also mentions whether the note is negotiable, quoting from the homeowner’s arguments and pleadings.

Up until now the mere existence of the original note and in many cases a copy of the note, was sufficient to regard the note as a negotiable instrument. But the Florida Supreme Court is hinting at something here that the banks and servicers really don’t want to hear, to wit: it takes more that announcing the existence of a note to make it negotiable. This is not so.

Which brings me to my final point: read carefully the day the claimant is introduced and you will probably find that the note and assignment are not facially valid because they require reference to parole or extrinsic evidence. This bars legal presumptions, at least in the absence of a specific reference to the documents supporting the execution of the instrument as a substitution of trustee, an assignment or an endorsement.

The court was more than hinting at the idea that subsequent treatment of the note, which may have been a negotiable instrument at the time of execution (if the “lender” was in fact the lender). The question is whether the note is facially valid, to wit: whether the note specifically names a maker, payee and an unconditional promise to pay. If the originator was not the lender then extrinsic evidence would be required to prove the loan and the debt and the party who would have been appropriately named as payee on the note.

If subsequent indorsements or assignments for a note that WAS negotiable remove certainty from one or more of the elements of a facially valid instruments, then it is no longer a negotiable instrument. And THAT means that the all “reasonable” assumptions and legal preemptions are taken off the table.

The reason is simple. In order to be a negotiable instrument the assignee or successor must have certainty as to the parties and terms of the note. If extrinsic or parole evidence is required to provide that certainty the instrument is not negotiable and thus not entitled to any assumptions or presumptions.

So for example (taken from another case) when a Substitution of Trustee occurs in a nonjudicial state and it is executed by “U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee, in trust for registered Holders of First Franklin Mortgage Loan Trust, Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2007-FF I, by Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., as attorney-in-fact” then there are several points that require extrinsic or parole evidence, making the note non negotiable or at least arguably so.

In this scenario for an assignee to take a note from a party claiming rights to enforce in this instance one must know

  1. The name of the Trust, and the jurisdiction in which it was organized and is now existing.
  2. The instrument by which US Bank claims to be trustee
  3. Identification of “registered holders”
  4. The identification and content of the certificates
  5. The instrument by which SPS claims to be “attorney in fact”
  6. If you look closely you will also see that there is a question as to whom it is claimed that SPS is representing as attorney in fact. In any event “attorney in fact” means that a power of attorney exists but without specific reference to that power of attorney by date and parties, extrinsic or parole evidence is required meaning that no assumptions or legal presumptions may be made.

In other words the note cannot be accepted by anyone without extrinsic evidence. The fact that documents are apparently accepted by the assignees doesn’t change anything as to the facial validity of the document. Without facial validity there can be no negotiability under Article 3 of the UCC. Without negotiability there can be no assumptions or legal presumptions and thus the claimant must prove every element of its claim without presumptions.

And of course when the homeowner wins an award of attorney fees is now once again probable in addition to court costs.

Remember always: the point is not who can get away with enforcement. The point of the law is assuring that the owner of the debt is the one enforcing the debt and collecting the proceeds of enforcement. Before false claims of securitization this premise was almost universally true. Now it is rarely true that the true owner of the debt is represented.

And the apparent absence of such a party due to manipulation of the debt by intermediaries, does not legally create a vacuum into which anyone with knowledge and access to data may step in and claim rights of enforcement. As stated in California Ivanova decision the law does not allow the borrower’s debt to be owed to anyone whose premise is simply that they claim it.

Does the Debt Need to Transfer with the Mortgage?

The answer is yes but the movement of the debt is often, all too often, presumed to have occurred. After more than a decade of research and analysis I find no support for the informal “doctrine” that the debt, note and mortgage can be used interchangeably. But the human inclination is to treat them the same. In foreclosure defense it is the job of the advocate to establish the separate nature of each of them.

The debt is what arises, regardless of whether it is in writing or not, by virtue of money being paid to the recipient or paid on his/her/their behalf. The only way the debt is extinguished is by payment or a court order (e.g. bankruptcy) declaring that the debt no longer exists. The recipient of the money is the obligor. The party who paid the money is the obligee under the debt. The transaction itself gives rise to the duty to repay the loan. A writing (e.g. note or mortgage or deed of trust) that purports to relate to or memorialize the debt, is separate from the debt.

If the written instrument (note) is made payable to the obligee under the debt, then they both are saying the same thing. That causes the debt and the written instrument (note) to merge. That way the obligor does not subject himself to an additional liability (double liability) when he executes the note. The note is incident to the debt but not the debt itself. The mortgage is incident to the debt and is neither the note nor the debt itself.

The debt is a demand loan if there is no written instrument. The note, where merger has occurred, sets forth the plan of repayment. The mortgage (if merger occurred on the note) sets forth the plan for enforcement of the debt. The mortgage does not set forth the terms of enforcement of the note since the note already contains its own enforcement provisions.

If the debt and the note don’t say the same thing (i.e., if the obligee and the payee are different), the doctrine of merger does not apply. The obligation to repay still exists but not under the terms and conditions of any note nor is it subject to enforcement of the mortgage. The debt (obligation to repay), the note and the mortgage (or deed of trust) can each be transferred; but the transfer of one does not mean the transfer of all three. Transfer of a note or mortgage does not move the debt unless merger has occurred. And transfer of a mortgage without the debt is a nullity.

Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

I provide advice and consent to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

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NY Case Citation

see NY Court: Transfer of a mortgage without transfer of the debt

Common sense is not necessarily the law or policy. Any number of people can enforce a note even if they don’t own the debt and even if they don’t actually have physical possession of the note (although there is a lot of explaining to do).

BUT nobody can enforce a mortgage unless they are the owner of the debt and the owner of the mortgage or the owner of the beneficial interest under a deed of trust. The assignment of a mortgage or DOT cannot, under any circumstances CREATE an interest in the debt by either party. The assignor must own the debt for the assignment to transfer the debt. All states agree that an assignment means nothing if the assignor had nothing to assign. Such an assignment confers no rights on the assignor and the assignee gets nothing even though the “assignment” document physically exists.

BUT a facially valid note is given many presumptions as to enforcement of the note and those presumptions have led courts to erroneously conclude and presume that the enforcer of the note is the owner of the debt.

The only party who is entitled to claim ownership of the debt (obligation) is the one who paid for it. Any party claiming to represent the owner of the debt must show the agency connection between themselves and the owner of the debt. All other “transfer” documents are fabrications.

The only way the “agent” can prove the “agency” is by disclosing the identity of the owner of the debt, who can corroborate the claim of agency — if the party identified can prove ownership of the debt. Self serving statements are not without some value but if the party proffering self serving statements is unable or unwilling to proffer corroborating evidence at trial or in response to discovery, their self serving statements must be given scant weight.

So in the above link the Court summarized the law in the same way that the courts in all states — when pushed — understand the law. Note the huge difference between alleging standing and proving standing. The allegation makes it through a motion to dismiss. Failure of proof of standing results in denial of summary judgment or any judgment.

“A plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure action establishes its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by producing the mortgage, the unpaid note, and evidence of the defendant’s default (see Loancare v Firshing, 130 AD3d 787, 788 [2015]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Erobobo, 127 AD3d 1176, 1177 [2015]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v DeSouza, 126 AD3d 965 [2015]; Citimortgage, Inc. v Chow Ming Tung, 126 AD3d 841, 842 [2015]; US Bank N.A. v Weinman, 123 AD3d 1108, 1109 [2014]). Where, as here, a defendant challenges the plaintiff’s standing to maintain the action, the plaintiff must also prove its standing as part of its prima facie showing (e.s.)(see HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Roumiantseva, 130 AD3d 983 [2015]; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Baptiste, 128 AD3d 773, 774 [2015]; Plaza Equities, LLC v Lamberti, 118 AD3d 688, 689 [2014]).” LNV Corp. v Francois, 134 AD3d 1071, 1071—72 [2d Dept 2015].

“[A] plaintiff has standing where it is both the holder or assignee of the subject mortgage and the holder or assignee of the underlying note at the time the action is commenced. (Bank of NY v. Silverberg, 86 AD3d 274, 279 [2nd Dept. 2011], U.S. Bank N.A. v. Cange, 96 AD3d 825, [*3]826[2d Dept. 2012]; U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Collymore, 68 AD3d 752-754 [2d 2009]; Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v. Gress, 68 AD3d 709[2d Dpt. 2009].) Either a written assignment of the underlying note or the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action is sufficient to transfer the obligation, and the mortgage passes with the debt as an inseparable incident (citations omitted). However, a transfer or assignment of only the mortgage without the debt is a nullity and no interest is acquired by it, since a mortgage is merely security for a debt and cannot exist independently of it (citations omitted). Where…the issue of standing is raised by a defendant, a plaintiff must prove its standing in order to be entitled to relief (citations omitted).” (e.s.)Homecomings Fin., LLC v Guldi, 108 AD3d 506-508[2d Dept. 2013].

Bank Fraud From the Top Down

MERS is not, as its proponents claim, a device for eliminating the recording charges on legitimate purchases and sales of mortgage loans; instead it is a “layering” device (another Wall Street term) for creating the illusion of such transfers even though no transaction actually took place.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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I recently had the occasion to ghost write something for a customer in relation to claims based upon fraud, MERS, and “Successors.” Here is what I drafted, with references to actual people and entities deleted:

  •  MERS was created in 1996 as a means for private traders to create the illusion of loan transfers. On its website MERS states emphatically that it specifically disclaims any interest in any debt and disclaims any interest in any documentation of debt (i.e., a promissory note) and specifically disclaims any interest in any agreement for collateralizing the obligations stated on the note.
  • There is no agreement in which MERS is authorized as an agent of any creditor. The statement on the note and/or mortgage that it is named as nominee for a “lender” is false. No agreement exists that sets forth the terms or standards of agency relationship between the Payee on the subject “note” or the mortgagee on the subject mortgage. MERS is merely named on instruments without any powers to exercise on behalf of any party who would qualify as a bona fide mortgagee or beneficiary.
  • No person in MERS actually performs ANY action in connection with loans and no officer or employee of MERS did perform any banking activity in relation tot he subject loan. MERS is a passive database for which access is freely given to anyone who wants to make an entry, regardless of the truth or falsity of that entry. It is a platform where the person accessing the MERS IT system appoints themselves as “assistant secretary” or some other false status in relation to MERS. MERS is not, as its proponents claim, a device for eliminating the recording charges on legitimate purchases and sales of mortgage loans; instead it is a “layering” device (another wall Street term) for creating the illusion of such transfers even though no transaction actually took place.
  • Hence there is no basis under existing law under which MERS, in this case, was either a nominee for a real creditor and no basis under existing law under which MERS, in this case, could possibly claim that it was either a mortgagee or beneficiary under a deed of trust.
  • MERS has not claimed and never will claim that it is a mortgagee or beneficiary.
  • The lender, under the alleged “closing documents” was also a sham nominee. None of the parties in the alleged “chain” were at any times a creditor, lender, purchaser, mortgagee, beneficiary, or holder of any note. None of them have any financial interest or risk of loss in the performance of the alleged “loan” obligations.
  • Plaintiff reasonably relied upon the representations at the “Closing” that the originator who was named as Payee on the note was lending her money. But in fact the originator was merely acting as a broker, conduit or sales agent whose job was to get the Plaintiff to sign papers — an event that triggered windfall compensation to all the participants (except the Plaintiff), equal to or even greater than the amount of principal supposedly due from the “loan.”
  • In fact, the originator and multiple other parties had entered into a scheme that was memorialized in an illegal contract violating public policy regarding the disclosure of the identity of the “lender” and the compensation by all parties who received any remuneration of any type arising out the “Closing of the transaction.” The name of the contract is probably a “Purchase and Assumption Agreement” — a standard agreement that is used in the banking industry after the loan has been underwritten, approved and funded. In the case at bar those parties entered into the Purchase and Assumption Agreement before the subject “loan” was closed”, before the Plaintiff even applied for a loan.
  • The source of the money for the alleged “loan” was a “dark pool” (a term used by investment bankers) consisting of the money advanced by investors who thought they were buying mortgage bonds issued by a Trust, in which their money would be managed by the Trustee. In fact, the Trust is either nonexistent or inchoate having never been funded with the investors’ money. The dark pool contains money commingled from hundreds of investors in thousands of trusts.
  • The investors were generally stable managed funds including pension, retirement, 401K money for people relying upon said money for their living expenses after retirement. They are the unwitting, unknowing source of funds for the transaction described as a “closing.” Hence the loan contract upon which the Defendants rely is based upon fraudulent representations designed to mislead the court and mislead the Plaintiff and the byproduct of a broader scheme to defraud investors in “Mortgage backed securities” that were issued by a nonexistent trust that never owned the assets supposedly “backing” the “security” often described as a mortgage bond.
  • Thus the fraud starts with the misrepresentation to investors that the managed funds would be managed by a trustee and would be used to acquire existing loans rather than originate new loans. Instead their funds were used directly on the “closing” table by presumably unwitting “Closing agents.” The fact that the funds arrived created the illusion that the party named on the note and mortgage was actually funding the loan to the “borrower.” This was a lie. But it explains why the Defendants have continually refused to provide any evidence of the “purchase” of the loan by the parties they claim to form a “Chain.”
  • In the alleged “transfer” of the loan, there was no purchase and no payment of money because at the base of their chain, the originator, there was no right to receive the money that would ordinarily be a requirement for purchase of the loan. There also was no Purchase and Assumption Agreement, which is basic standard banking practice in the acquisition of loans, particularly in pools.
  • As Plaintiff as recently learned, the originator was not entitled to receive any payment from “successors” and not entitled to receive any money from the Plaintiff who was described as a “borrower.” In simple accounting terms there was no debit and so there could be no “corresponding” credit. And in fact, the originator never did receive any money for purchasing the loan nor any payments that were credited to a loan receivable account in its accounting records. Yet the originator executed or allowed instruments to be executed in which the completely fraudulent assertion that the originator had sold the loan was memorialized.
  • The “closing” was completely improper in which Plaintiff was fraudulently induced to execute a promissory note as maker and fraudulently induced to execute a mortgage as collateral for the performance under the note. Plaintiff was unaware that she had just created a second liability because the debt could not be legally merged into an instrument that named a party who was not the lender, not a creditor, and not a proper payee for a note memorializing a loan of money from the “lender” to the Plaintiff.
  • The purpose of the merger rule is to prevent a borrower from creating two liabilities for one transaction. The debt is merged into the note upon execution such that no claim can be made on the debt. None of these fine points of law were known to Plaintiff until recently. The reason she did not know is that the originator and the rest of the parties making claims based upon the fraudulent “loan” memorialized in the note all conspired to withhold information that was required to be disclosed to “borrowers” under Federal and State Law.
  • In the case at bar, the debt arises from the fact that Plaintiff did in fact receive money or the benefit of payments on her behalf — from third parties who have no contractual, constructive or other relationship with the source of funds for the transaction. The note is based upon a transaction that never existed — a loan from the originator to the Plaintiff. The debt is based upon the receipt of money from a party who was clearly not intending to make a gift to Plaintiff. The debt and the note are two different liabilities.
  • Assuming the original note exists, Plaintiff is entitled to its its cancellation and return, along with release and satisfaction of the mortgage that collateralizes the obligation set forth on the sham promissory note.
  • In the interim, as this case clearly shows, the Plaintiff is at risk of a second liability even if she prevails in her claim that the note was a sham, to wit: Under UCC Article 3, if an innocent third party actually purchases the mortgage or deed of trust, the statute shifts the risk of loss onto the maker of the instrument regardless of how serious and egregious the practices of the originator and the background “players” who engineered this scheme.
  • Further the financial identity and reputation of the Plaintiff was fraudulently used without her knowledge and consent to conduct “trades” based upon her execution of the above referenced false instruments in which many undisclosed players were reaping what they called “trading profits” arising from the “closing” and the illegal and unwanted misuse of her signatures on instruments in which she was induced to sign by fraudulent misrepresentations as to the nature and content of the documents.
  • Plaintiff suffered damages in that her title was slandered and emotional distress damages and damage to her financial identity and reputation. Further damages arising from violation of her right to quiet enjoyment of the property was violated by this insidious scheme.

Miami Judge: No Transaction=Unclean Hands. Judgment for Homeowner with Sanctions.

It’s time to sit up and take notice. Judges are turning the corner and getting pretty angry about what passed before as evidence. In April this order seemed like a shot in the dark. But now, we are seeing more and more judges actually study the chain of alleged transactions relied upon those who seek forced sale of a residence. The motivation of those seeking foreclosure is gradually being revealed this year. Not surprisingly they are not in the least bit interested in the property or the loan. They want a foreclosure judgment because THAT is what has value for them — getting the judge to unwittingly ratify all the preceding illegal acts and frauds perpetrated on the borrower and the courts. Once again our friends at Ocwen are named as the culprits, but this judge goes further when she says

‘This Court finds the AOM [assignment of mortgage] created in 2012 does not document a transaction that occurred in 2005, as Plaintiff suggests. The transaction described in the AOM never legally occurred.There was never a transaction between MERS and/or Freemont Investment and Loan that sold Defendant’s loan directly to the Trust. Not in 2012, not in 2005, not ever.’ (e.s.)

see ocwen-order

HSBC v Buset, Case # 12-38811 CA 01 Decided 4/26/16 Hon Beatrice Butchko

For about 10 years now I have endured taunts from people representing the banks or themselves citing case after case saying I was wrong in my legal analysis. I persisted because I knew I was right. The reality of a transaction is far more important than the self serving paperwork that parties use to justify their illegal actions  — the last decade notwithstanding. If there was no purchase of the loan then the assignee received nothing.

But more important than that is something that Judge Butchko seemed to pick up on. She asks the simple question: why would Ocwen violate a mandatory discovery order that would prove the Plaintiff’s case? Instead they tried to plow through without the reality of a single transaction in which a loan was made, purchased or sold.

If the alleged loan was not sold then why were there any papers showing a transfer of the “loan.” And if each party in the chain was paying nothing to the party before them, why was the assignor signing an assignment without getting paid for it. And if that is true for all the assignments and endorsements then was the originator a lender? If the originator received nothing in a purchase transaction for the alleged loan, the only logical conclusion is that there was no loan by the originator and there might have been no loan at all.

With that conclusion why would a party with no money in the “game” be suing for foreclosure? The answer must be completely separate from the loan because that is obviously of no consequence to those participating parties that were getting fees for executing documents that pretended that there was a purchase and sale of the debt. The answer is that foreclosure is the ONLY way they could cover their tracks in the false sales of mortgage bonds issued by an empty non-operating trust. If you look at decisions like this and thousands of other cases the conclusion is inescapable — a foreclosure judgment is the first and only legal document is the entire chain.

Here are some quotes

The Court takes judicial notice that on July 25, 2008, Freemont Investment and Loan (“Freemont”) entered into a voluntary liquidation and closing which did not result in a new institution. https://www5.fdic.gov/idasp/confirmation_outside.asp?inCert1=25653. As such, the status of MERS as nominee for Freemont ended when Freemont closed on July 25, 2008, which renders the AOM created in 2012 void ab initio.

This endorsement is contrary to the unequivocal terms of the PSA, in evidence over Plaintiff’s objection, which required all intervening endorsements be affixed to the face of the note because there was ample room for endorsements on the face of the note. There is also no evidence the endorsement was affixed before the originator went out of business in 2008.

The Court also finds unclean hands in Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the Court’s Discovery Order of April 27, 2015.

17. In that order, the Court overruled plaintiff’s blanket objections and found no basis for Plaintiff to object to providing any discovery under Fla. Stat. 655.059.

18. The Court then ordered Plaintiff to provide (1) the final executed documents evidencing the chain of title for the subject loan; (2) all records of any custodian related to the chain of custody of the note; and (3) all records showing how and when the specific endorsement on the promissory note was created.

The Court fails to comprehend why Plaintiff would not fully comply with the Court’s Order compelling discovery when the evidence sought by the Defendant would actually assist Plaintiff in establishing the missing link in the chain of ownership in the endorsement and assignment of mortgage.

The Court hereby enters an Order to Show Cause why Plaintiff should not be Sanctioned for violating the Court’s order on April 27, 2015, after representing that it fully complied on or before January 14, 2016.

23. Moreover, the Court hereby enters an Order to Show Cause why Plaintiff should not be sanctioned for the reasons set forth in Defendant’s Motion for Sanctions Under the Court’s Inherent Contempt Powers for Fraud Upon the Court filed on March 16, 2016.

24. Defendant is hereby ordered to conduct further discovery in support of these orders to show cause and set an evidentiary hearing on them at the Court’s earliest convenience.

Ms. Keeley testified the loan boarding process involved two steps. First, Ocwen confirmed that the categories for each column of financial data from the prior servicer matched or corresponded to the same name Ocwen used for that same column of financial data. Second, Ocwen confirmed the figures from the prior servicer transferred over such that the top figure from Litton became the bottom figure for Ocwen. The court notes that when testifying about Ocwen’s boarding process, Ms. Keeley appeared to be merely repeating a mantra or parroting what she learned the so called boarding process is without being able to give specific details regarding the procedure itself. 1 Her demeanor at trial although professional, was hesitant and lacking in confidence in this court’s estimation as the trier of fact.

To support the court’s concern regarding the lack of foundation of the so called boarded records in this case, the Court takes Judicial Notice of the Consent Order entered in the matter of Ocwen Financial Corporation, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC by the New York State Department of Financial Services dated December 22, 2014. This Consent Order documents Ocwen’s practice of backdating business records that it failed to fully resolve “more than a year after its initial discovery.”

1 This Court estimates that it has presided over hundreds of foreclosure bench trials since being assigned to the Civil Division in 2011. The court has accordingly heard hundreds of bank witnesses testify regarding their company’s boarding process and has accepted thousands of documents into evidence pursuant to same. The boarding process and training of personnel regarding the boarding of documents varies greatly from one institution to another.

the Court noted that the first two default letters in the inch thick stack which Plaintiff sought to admit into evidence were inexplicably dated a week apart and had a $1,900 difference in the amount required to cure the default.

the admission of the default letters mailed by an outside entity not testifying in court creates a double hearsay problem as there is no evidence of a boarding process of that third party vendor’s mailing practices and procedures. Nor did the Ocwen representative testify that she had received training regarding the procedure used by the third party vendor in mailing the default letters.

Both the endorsement and the assignment omit the Depositor, Freemont Mortgage Securities Corporation, from the transaction which constitutes a fatal break in the chain of title.

The Court gives great weight as the trier of fact to the testimony of Defendant’s

expert witness, Kathleen Cully. Ms. Cully is a Yale Law School graduate that worked her entire career in structured finance transactions since 1985. She was extremely well versed in the Uniform Commercial Code. Among many other tasks and accomplishments, Ms. Cully testified that she led the Citigroup team that created the first pooling and servicing agreement ever. She led Citigroup’s Global Securitization strategy. The Court finds Ms. Cully eminently qualified as an expert witness in the area of securitized transactions and their interplay with the Model Uniform Commercial Code.

The Court applies Ms. Cully’s reasoned analysis as it relates to the note and mortgage for the subject loan and to Article 3 of Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code. However, it is axiomatic that all promissory notes are not automatically negotiable instruments.

This Court finds that the Note is non-negotiable as the amounts payable under the Complaint include amounts not described in the Note and as the Note does not contain an unconditional promise to pay.

66. The promise is not unconditional because the Note is subject to and/or governed by another writing, namely the Mortgage. Moreover, rights or obligations with respect to the Note itself—as opposed to the collateral, prepayment or acceleration—are stated in another writing, namely the Mortgage.

The Court grants Defendants’ Motion for Involuntary Dismissal and enters judgment in favor of the Defendants who shall go forth without day.

83. The Court reserves jurisdiction to award prevailing party attorney’s fees and to impose sanctions against Plaintiff under the inherent contempt powers of the court for fraud on the court, and such other orders necessary to fully adjudicate these issues.

84. Plaintiff is ordered to produce a corporate representative with most knowledge regarding its efforts to comply with the discovery order dated April 27, 2015, for deposition at the offices of Defendant’s counsel within 15 days from the entry of this order.

 

Securitization for Lawyers

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

The CONCEPT of securitization does not contemplate an increase in violations of lending laws passed by States or the Federal government. Far from it. The CONCEPT anticipated a decrease in risk, loss and liability for violations of TILA, RESPA or state deceptive lending laws. The assumption was that the strictly regulated stable managed funds (like pensions), insurers, and guarantors would ADD to the protections to investors as lenders and homeowners as borrowers. That it didn’t work that way is the elephant in the living room. It shows that the concept was not followed, the written instruments reveal a sneaky intent to undermine the concept. The practices of the industry violated everything — the lending laws, investment restrictions, and the securitization documents themselves. — Neil F Garfield, Livinglies.me

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“Securitization” is a word that provokes many emotional reactions ranging from hatred to frustration. Beliefs run the range from the idea that securitization is evil to the idea that it is irrelevant. Taking the “irrelevant” reaction first, I would say that comes from ignorance and frustration. To look at a stack of Documents, each executed with varying formalities, and each being facially valid and then call them all irrelevant is simply burying your head in the sand. On the other hand, calling securitization evil is equivalent to rejecting capitalism. So let’s look at securitization dispassionately.

First of all “securitization” merely refers to a concept that has been in operation for hundreds of years, perhaps thousands of years if you look into the details of commerce and investment. In our recent history it started with “joint stock companies” that financed sailing expeditions for goods and services. Instead of one person or one company taking all the risk that one ship might not come back, or come back with nothing, investors could spread their investment dollars by buying shares in a “joint stock company” that invested their money in multiple sailing ventures. So if some ship came in loaded with goods it would more than offset the ships that sunk, were pirated, or that lost their cargo. Diversifying risk produced more reliable profits and virtually eliminated the possibility of financial ruin because of the tragedies the befell a single cargo ship.

Every stock certificate or corporate or even government bond is the product of securitization. In our capitalist society, securitization is essential to attract investment capital and therefore growth. For investors it is a way of participating in the risk and rewards of companies run by officers and directors who present a believable vision of success. Investors can invest in one company alone, but most, thanks to capitalism and securitization, are able to invest in many companies and many government issued bonds. In all cases, each stock certificate or bond certificate is a “derivative” — i.e., it DERIVES ITS VALUE from the economic value of the company or government that issued that stock certificate or bond certificate.

In other words, securitization is a vehicle for diversification of investment. Instead of one “all or nothing” investment, the investors gets to spread the risk over multiple companies and governments. The investor can do this in one of two ways — either manage his own investments buying and selling stocks and bonds, or investing in one or more managed funds run by professional managers buying and selling stocks and bonds. Securitization of debt has all the elements of diversification and is essential to the free flow of commerce in a capitalistic economy.

Preview Questions:

  • What happens if the money from investors is NOT put in the company or given to the government?
  • What happens if the certificates are NOT delivered back to investors?
  • What happens if the company that issued the stock never existed or were not used as an investment vehicle as promised to investors?
  • What happens to “profits” that are reported by brokers who used investor money in ways never contemplated, expected or accepted by investors?
  • Who is accountable under laws governing the business of the IPO entity (i.e., the REMIC Trust in our context).
  • Who are the victims of misbehavior of intermediaries?
  • Who bears the risk of loss caused by misbehavior of intermediaries?
  • What are the legal questions and issues that arise when the joint stock company is essentially an instrument of fraud? (See Madoff, Drier etc. where the “business” was actually collecting money from lenders and investors which was used to pay prior investors the expected return).

In order to purchase a security deriving its value from mortgage loans, you could diversify by buying fractional shares of specific loans you like (a new and interesting business that is internet driven) or you could go the traditional route — buying fractional shares in multiple companies who are buying loans in bulk. The share certificates you get derive their value from the value of the IPO issuer of the shares (a REMIC Trust, usually). Like any company, the REMIC Trust derives its value from the value of its business. And the REMIC business derives its value from the quality of the loan originations and loan acquisitions. Fulfillment of the perceived value is derived from effective servicing and enforcement of the loans.

All investments in all companies and all government issued bonds or other securities are derivatives simply because they derive their value from something described on the certificate. With a stock certificate, the value is derived from a company whose name appears on the certificate. That tells you which company you invested your money. The number of shares tells you how many shares you get. The indenture to the stock certificate or bond certificate describes the voting rights, rights to  distributions of income, and rights to distribution of the company is sold or liquidated. But this assumes that the company or government entity actually exists and is actually doing business as described in the IPO prospectus and subscription agreement.

The basic element of value and legal rights in such instruments is that there must be a company doing business in the name of the company who is shown on the share certificates — i.e., there must be actual financial transactions by the named parties that produce value for shareholders in the IPO entity, and the holders of certificates must have a right to receive those benefits. The securitization of a company through an IPO that offers securities to investors offer one additional legal fiction that is universally enforced — limited liability. Limited liability refers to the fact that the investment is at risk (if the company or REMIC fails) but the investor can’t lose more than he or she invested.

Translated to securitization of debt, there must be a transaction that is an actual loan of money that is not merely presumed, but which is real. That loan, like a stock certificate, must describe the actual debtor and the actual creditor. An investor does not intentionally buy a share of loans that were purchased from people who did not make any loans or conduct any lending business in which they were the source of lending.

While there are provisions in the law that can make a promissory note payable to anyone who is holding it, there is no allowance for enforcing a non-existent loan except in the event that the purchaser is a “Holder in Due Course.” The HDC can enforce both the note and mortgage because he has satisfied both Article 3 and Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The Pooling and Servicing Agreements of REMIC Trusts require compliance with the UCC, and other state and federal laws regarding originating or acquiring residential mortgage loans.

In short, the PSA requires that the Trust become a Holder in Due Course in order for the Trustee of the Trust to accept the loan as part of the pool owned by the Trust on behalf of the Trust Beneficiaries who have received a “certificate” of fractional ownership in the Trust. Anything less than HDC status is unacceptable. And if you were the investor you would want nothing less. You would want loans that cannot be defended on the basis of violation of lending laws and practices.

The loan, as described in the origination documents, must actually exist. A stock certificate names the company that is doing business. The loan describes the debtor and creditor. Any failure to describe the the debtor or creditor with precision, results in a failure of the loan contract, and the documents emerging from such a “closing” are worthless. If you want to buy a share of IBM you don’t buy a share of Itty Bitty Machines, Inc., which was just recently incorporated with its assets consisting of a desk and a chair. The name on the certificate or other legal document is extremely important.

In loan documents, the only exception to the “value” proposition in the event of the absence of an actual loan is another legal fiction designed to promote the free flow of commerce. It is called “Holder in Due Course.” The loan IS enforceable in the absence of an actual loan between the parties on the loan documents, if a third party innocent purchases the loan documents for value in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defense of failure of consideration (he didn’t get the loan from the creditor named on the note and mortgage).  This is a legislative decision made by virtually all states — if you sign papers, you are taking the risk that your promises will be enforced against you even if your counterpart breached the loan contract from the start. The risk falls on the maker of the note who can sue the loan originator for misusing his signature but cannot bring all potential defenses to enforcement by the Holder in Due Course.

Florida Example:

673.3021 Holder in due course.

(1) Subject to subsection (3) and s. 673.1061(4), the term “holder in due course” means the holder of an instrument if:

(a) The instrument when issued or negotiated to the holder does not bear such apparent evidence of forgery or alteration or is not otherwise so irregular or incomplete as to call into question its authenticity; and
(b) The holder took the instrument:

1. For value;
2. In good faith;
3. Without notice that the instrument is overdue or has been dishonored or that there is an uncured default with respect to payment of another instrument issued as part of the same series;
4. Without notice that the instrument contains an unauthorized signature or has been altered;
5. Without notice of any claim to the instrument described in s. 673.3061; and
6. Without notice that any party has a defense or claim in recoupment described in s. 673.3051(1).
673.3061 Claims to an instrument.A person taking an instrument, other than a person having rights of a holder in due course, is subject to a claim of a property or possessory right in the instrument or its proceeds, including a claim to rescind a negotiation and to recover the instrument or its proceeds. A person having rights of a holder in due course takes free of the claim to the instrument.
This means that Except for HDC status, the maker of the note has a right to reclaim possession of the note or to rescind the transaction against any party who has no rights to claim it is a creditor or has rights to represent a creditor. The absence of a claim of HDC status tells a long story of fraud and intrigue.
673.3051 Defenses and claims in recoupment.

(1) Except as stated in subsection (2), the right to enforce the obligation of a party to pay an instrument is subject to:

(a) A defense of the obligor based on:

1. Infancy of the obligor to the extent it is a defense to a simple contract;
2. Duress, lack of legal capacity, or illegality of the transaction which, under other law, nullifies the obligation of the obligor;
3. Fraud that induced the obligor to sign the instrument with neither knowledge nor reasonable opportunity to learn of its character or its essential terms;
This means that if the “originator” did not loan the money and/or failed to perform underwriting tests for the viability of the loan, and gave the borrower false impressions about the viability of the loan, there is a Florida statutory right of rescission as well as a claim to reclaim the closing documents before they get into the hands of an innocent purchaser for value in good faith with no knowledge of the borrower’s defenses.

 

In the securitization of loans, the object has been to create entities with preferred tax status that are remote from the origination or purchase of the loan transactions. In other words, the REMIC Trusts are intended to be Holders in Due Course. The business of the REMIC Trust is to originate or acquire loans by payment of value, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. Done correctly, appropriate market forces will apply, risks are reduced for both borrower and lenders, and benefits emerge for both sides of the single transaction between the investors who put up the money and the homeowners who received the benefit of the loan.

It is referred to as a single transaction using doctrines developed in tax law and other commercial cases. Every transaction, when you think about it, is composed of numerous actions, reactions and documents. If we treated each part as a separate transaction with no relationship to the other transactions there would be no connection between even the original lender and the borrower, much less where multiple assignments were involved. In simple terms, the single transaction doctrine basically asks one essential question — if it wasn’t for the investors putting up the money (directly or through an entity that issued an IPO) would the transaction have occurred? And the corollary is but for the borrower, would the investors have been putting up that money?  The answer is obvious in connection with mortgage loans. No business would have been conducted but for the investors advancing money and the homeowners taking it.

So neither “derivative” nor “securitization” is a dirty word. Nor is it some nefarious scheme from people from the dark side — in theory. Every REMIC Trust is the issuer in an initial public offering known as an “IPO” in investment circles. A company can do an IPO on its own where it takes the money and issues the shares or it can go through a broker who solicits investors, takes the money, delivers the money to the REMIC Trust and then delivers the Trust certificates to the investors.

Done properly, there are great benefits to everyone involved — lenders, borrowers, brokers, mortgage brokers, etc. And if “securitization” of mortgage debt had been done as described above, there would not have been a flood of money that increased prices of real property to more than twice the value of the land and buildings. Securitization of debt is meant to provide greater liquidity and lower risk to lenders based upon appropriate underwriting of each loan. Much of the investment came from stable managed funds which are strictly regulated on the risks they are allowed in managing the funds of pensioners, retirement accounts, etc.

By reducing the risk, the cost of the loans could be reduced to borrowers and the profits in creating loans would be higher. If that was what had been written in the securitization plan written by the major brokers on Wall Street, the mortgage crisis could not have happened. And if the actual practices on Wall Street had conformed at least to what they had written, the impact would have been vastly reduced. Instead, in most cases, securitization was used as the sizzle on a steak that did not exist. Investors advanced money, rating companies offered Triple AAA ratings, insurers offered insurance, guarantors guarantees loans and shares in REMIC trusts that had no possibility of achieving any value.

Today’s article was about the way the IPO securitization of residential loans was conceived and should have worked. Tomorrow we will look at the way the REMIC IPO was actually written and how the concept of securitization necessarily included layers of different companies.

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