TPS — Third Party Strangers in Mortgage Cases

I’m sharing the wording I use in my TERA and Case Analysis reports now. I think the benefit of this wording is that it fills in the blank on who is the real creditor (owner of the debt). Hopefully it answers the following informal question lurking in the context of mortgage litigation: “If the parties claiming enforcement rights are not the owners or representatives of the owners then who is?”

Those who have that question in mind are asking the wrong party when they pose it to the homeowner as if the homeowner had an obligation to present a credible narrative of what actually happened to their loan. And the strategy of the foreclosure mills is to keep the questions directed at homeowners instead of themselves so that their prima facie case is presumed and never proven.

Just to be clear — and to avoid confusion sewn by foreclosure mill lawyers — the owner of the debt would have the following characteristics:

  • Paid value for the debt

  • Expecting payment arising from the debt itself (i.e., in accounting terms the subject debt is carried as an asset that falls under the category of a receivable, in this case a loan receivable.

  • Unencumbered authority to transact any business affecting the subject debt .

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 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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Here is the current wording I use in my analysis and reports:

Standards and customary practices in commercial banking, lending, investment banking and auditing require, at a minimum, a reference to the date and parties to a transaction so that the data can be confirmed. This is also required in courts of law under the category of “foundation.” No such references are made in the entire paper chain relied upon by the current claimant. The wording of each document appears to side-step the issue of an actual financial transaction and skips to memorializing the proffered transaction. 

Our conclusion is that the payee on the note is almost certainly part of a failed securitization scheme. It follows then that the alleged loan transaction is a table-funded loan, and described as both against public policy and predatory under REG Z of the Federal Truth in Lending Act. We consider it certain that all actual funds came from a third party stranger (TPS) in a transaction predating the loan itself and/or predating the erroneously implied purchase of the loan or both. Hence in this case the TPS is the party who paid value for the debt and is therefore the owner of the debt. 

Standards and customary practices in commercial banking, lending, investment banking and auditing require, at a minimum, a reference to the TPS and any successors to TPS with sufficient descriptive certainty to confirm the authority of those persons or entities claiming ownership, rights to enforce, or rights to service the subject loan on behalf of the TPS or its successors, if any.

In the absence of any reference or proof of payment, payment is not presumed under generally accepted accounting principles as published by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. The failure to reference actual monetary payment causes a rebuttable presumption in auditing that there is an absence of an actual monetary payment and therefore that the documents memorializing a transaction are fabricated, entitled to no legal presumption of authenticity or validity.

An alternative explanation is that the documents were not fabricated but prepared in anticipation of an actual transaction that failed to occur. Either way the conclusion is the same, i.e., that the documents refer to a nonexistent transaction and should be discarded.

The normal and reasonable presumption is that the “predecessor” would only have transferred a valuable ownership interest in the subject debt upon payment of money or the equivalent; the lack of payment creates a presumption that there was nothing upon which a claim for payment could be made. Therefore the transfer of a promissory note as “title” to the debt from a party who had no right, title or interest in the debt conveys nothing, and a transfer of a mortgage or beneficial interest in a deed of trust would also convey nothing.

Presumptions are intended ONLY as a convenience — not to alter a result. If they would alter the result then they should be discarded. If there are two different results — one based upon legal presumptions and the other based on facts both the auditor and the court should discard the presumptions and go with the facts. 

The only thing I would add is that the title confusion and the convoluted schematics of failed securitization are not the result or fault of any action undertaken by homeowners —- ever. The burden of proving a prima facie case is and always has been on the party making the claim or initiating action for relief through foreclosure of a security interest. In our system of justice that is black letter bedrock of all legal matters in dispute.

Such a party has not proven a prima facie case if the entire body of evidence is based upon various presumptions — unless the homeowner fails to object. The objection does not change the homeowner’s burden of proof; it changes the would-be forecloser’s burden of proof. Upon timely and reasonable objection the presumptions falls away and the foreclosure mill must actually prove the facts they previously sought to be presumed. Theoretically there is no prejudice to the foreclosure mill; but we all know that most foreclosures would fail if actual proof was required.

As for the cataclysmic end of the financial system feared by judges, lawyers and regulators, blind justice requires that the chips fall where the evidence points. Anything less allows the system to punish homeowners for the errors and misdeeds of the banks.

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].

Maine Case Affirms Judgment for Homeowner — even with admission that she signed note and mortgage and stopped paying

While this case turned upon an  inadequate foundation for introduction of “business records” into evidence, I think the real problem here for Keystone National Association was that they did not and never did own the loan — something revealed by the usual game of musical chairs that the banks use to confuse and obscure the identity of the real creditor.

When you read the case it demonstrates that the Maine Supreme Judicial Court was not at all sympathetic with Keystone’s “plight.” Without saying so directly the court’s opinion clearly reveals its doubt as to whether Keystone had any plight or injury.

Refer to this case and others like it where the banks treated the alleged note and mortgage as being the object of a parlor game. The attention paid to the paperwork is designed by the banks to distract from the real issue — the debt and who owns it. Without that knowledge you don’t know the principal and therefore you can’t establish authority by a “servicer.”

The error in courts across the country has been that the testimony and records of the servicer are admissible into evidence even if the authority to act as servicer did not emanate from the real party in interest — the debt holder (the party to whom the MONEY is due.

Note that this ended in judgment for the homeowner and not an involuntary dismissal without prejudice.

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Hat Tip to Bill Paatalo

Keybank – maine supreme court

Here are some meaningful quotes from the Court’s opinion:

KeyBank did not lay a proper foundation for admitting the loan servicing records pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule. See M.R. Evid. 803(6).

KeyBank’s only other witness was a “complex liaison” from PHH Mortgage Services, which, he testified, is the current loan servicer for KeyBank and handles the day-to-day operations of managing and servicing loan accounts.

The complex liaison testified that he has training on and personal knowledge of the “boarding process” for loans being transferred from prior loan servicers to PHH and of PHH’s procedures for integrating those records. He explained that transferred loans are put through a series of tests to check the accuracy of any amounts due on the loan, such as the principal balance, interest, escrow advances, property tax, hazard insurance, and mortgage insurance premiums. He further explained that if an error appears on the test report for a loan, that loan will receive “special attention” to identify the issue, and, “[i]f it ultimately is something that is not working properly, then that loan will not . . . transfer.” Loans that survive the testing process are transferred to PHH’s system and are used in PHH’s daily operations.

The court admitted in evidence, without objection, KeyBank’s exhibits one through six, which included a copy of the original promissory note dated April 29, 2002;3 a copy of the recorded mortgage; the purported assignment of the mortgage by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., from KeyBank to Bank of America recorded on January9, 2012; the ratification of the January 2012 assignment recorded on March 6, 2015; the recorded assignment of the mortgage from Bank of America to KeyBank dated October 10, 2012; and the notice of default and right to cure issued to Kilton and Quint by KeyBank in August 2015. The complex liaison testified that an allonge affixed to the promissory note transferred the note to “Bank of America, N.A. as Successor by Merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP fka Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP,” but was later voided.

Pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule, M.R. Evid. 803(6), KeyBank moved to admit exhibit seven, which consisted of screenshots from PHH’s computer system purporting to show the amounts owed, the costs incurred, and the outstanding principal balance on Kilton and Quint’s loan. Kilton objected, arguing that PHH’s records were based on the records of prior servicers and that KeyBank had not established that the witness had knowledge of the record-keeping practices of either Bank of America or Countrywide. The court determined that the complex liaison’s testimony was insufficient to admit exhibit seven pursuant to the business records exception.

KeyBank conceded that, without exhibit seven, it would not be able to prove the amount owed on the loan, which KeyBank correctly acknowledged was an essential element of its foreclosure action. [e.s.] [Editor’s Note: This admission that they could not prove the debt any other way means that their witness had no personal knowledge of the amount due. If the debt was in fact due to Keystone, they could have easily produced a  witness and a copy of the canceled check or wire transfer receipt wherein Keystone could have proven the debt. Keystone could have also produced a witness as to the amount due if any such debt was in fact due to Keystone. But Keystone never showed up. It was the servicer who showed up — the very party that could have information and exhibits to show that the amount due is correctly proffered because they confirmed the record keeping of “Countrywide” (whose presence indicates that the loan was subject to claims of securitization). But they didn’t because they could not. The debt never was owned by Keystone and neither Countrywide nor PHH ever had authority to “service” the loan on behalf of the party who owns the debt.]

the business records will be admissible “if the foundational evidence from the receiving entity’s employee is adequate to demonstrate that the employee had sufficient knowledge of both businesses’ regular practices to demonstrate the reliability and trustworthiness of the information.” Id. (emphasis added).

 

With business records there are three essential points of reference when several entities are involved as “lenders,” “successors”, or “servicers”, to wit:

  1. The records and record keeping practices of the initial “lender.” [If there are none then that would point to the fact that the “lender” was not the lender.] Here you are looking for the first entries on a valid set of business records in which the loan and fees and costs were posted. Generally speaking this does not exist in most loans because the money came a third party source who knows nothing of the transaction.
  2. The records and record keeping practices of any “successors.” Note that this is a second point where the debt is separated from the paper. If a successor is involved there would correspondence and agreements for the purchase and sale of the debt. What you fill find, though, is that there is only a naked endorsement, assignment or both without any correspondence or agreements. This indicates that the paper transfer of any rights to the “loan” was strictly for the purpose of foreclosing and bore new relationship to reality — i.e., ownership of the debt.
  3. The records and record keeping practices of any “servicers.” In order for the servicer to be authorized, the party owning the debt must have directly or indirectly given authorization and come to an agreement on fees, as well as given instructions as to what functions the servicer was to perform. What you will find is that there is no valid document from an owner of the debt appointing the servicer or giving any instructions, like what to do with the money after it is collected from homeowners. Instead you find tenuous documentation, with no correspondence or agreements, that make assertions for foreclosure. The game of musical chairs has bothered judges for a decade: “Why do the servicers keep changing” is a question I have heard from many judges. The typical claims of authorization are derived from Powers of Attorney or a Pooling and Servicing agreement for an entity that neither e exists nor does it have any operating history.

2d Florida DCA Knocks Down CitiMortgage – PennyMac Dance

“In order to establish its entitlement to enforce the lost note, PennyMac could establish standing “through evidence of a valid assignment, proof of purchase of the debt, or evidence of an effective transfer.” BAC Funding Consortium, 28 So. 3d at 939. PennyMac’s filings in support of its motion for summary judgment did not present evidence of any of these things. In the absence of such evidence, the order of substitution standing alone was ineffective to establish PennyMac’s entitlement to enforce the lost note. See Geweye v. Ventures Trust 2013-I-H-R, 189 So. 3d 231, 233 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016); Creadon v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 166 So. 3d 952, 953-54 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015); Sandefur v. RVS Capital, LLC, 183 So. 3d 1258, 1260 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016); Lamb, 174 So. 3d at 1040-41.”

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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See http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/2017/02/16/houk-v-pennymac-corp-fl-2dca-pennymac-failed-to-meet-its-burden-of-showing-the-nonexistence-of-a-genuine-issue-of-material-fact-regarding-its-entitlement-to-enforce-the-lost-note/

The Second  District Court of Appeal in Florida has issued an opinion that diligently follows the law and the facts. This decision should serve as the blue print of foreclosure defense in all cases involving the dance between CitiMortgage and PennyMac. It is a shell game and the Court obviously is growing weary of the claims of “immunity” issued by the banks in foreclosure cases.

It all starts with self serving proclamations of owning the note, the mortgage or both. It NEVER starts with an allegation or assertion of ownership of the debt because they don’t own the debt. When the note was made payable to someone other than the owner of the debt, there could be no merger wherein the debt became merged into the note. And the reason for all this is that the mega banks were engaged in the a program of institutionalizing theft from investors.

The aim of the game is to get a court to enter an order which then raises the presumption that everything that preceded the entry of the order was legal — a presumption that is hard to rebut. So the strategic path for borrowers is to show that the program or scheme is not legal before the foreclosure is entered or to attack for damages based upon fraud after the foreclosure judgment or sale is entered.

In this decision lies the foundation for most cases involving foreclosure defense. The reader is encouraged to use the above link to read and then reread the decision. My comment on the highlights follows:

“In order to establish its entitlement to enforce the lost note, PennyMac could establish standing “through evidence of a valid assignment, proof of purchase of the debt, or evidence of an effective transfer.” BAC Funding Consortium, 28 So. 3d at 939.

COMMENT: Merely alleging that it was the holder of a note when it was lost is insufficient to assume standing to enter a judgment on behalf of the foreclosing party (in this case PennyMac). In the absence of physical possession of the note standing can be established by (1) EVIDENCE of (2) a VALID assignment or (3) PROOF of PURCHASE OF THE DEBT or (4) evidence of “effective” transfer.

The steamrolling presumptions that buried millions of homeowners are now hitting the wall. The main point here is that an allegation is not enough and most importantly standing to file suit does NOT mean that the party has standing for the entry of judgment in favor of the foreclosing party.

The error that both courts and lawyers for litigants have consistently made for the last 10 years is their assumption that a sufficient allegation that a party has legal standing at the time suit is filed (or notice of sale, notice of default, notice of acceleration) means that the party has proven standing with evidence. It does not. Like any other allegation it is subject to being discredited or rebutted. AND it requires proof, which places the burden of persuasion upon the party making that allegation. It is neither the law of the case nor subject to any twisted notion of res judicata to assume that matter is proven when merely alleged.

The 2d DCA shows it has a firm grasp of this basic fact. The fact that standing was challenged in an unsuccessful motion to dismiss does NOT mean the matter is resolved or has been litigated.

Fundamentally the issue in all these cases is about money. The question of foreclosure should always have been a secondary issue of much less importance. American jurisprudence is filled with recitations of how foreclosure was a severe remedy that requires greater scrutiny by the court. Up until about 15 years ago, Judges would sift through the paperwork and deny foreclosure even if it was uncontested if the paperwork raises some unanswered questions. That tradition follows centuries of tradition and doctrine.

Thus the 2d DCA has placed purchasing of the debt and ownership of the debt in the center of the table. In the absence of a party who owns the actual debt, it is possible for a party to seek enforcement of the note, the mortgage or both — but that can only be true if the foreclosing party has indeed acquired the right to enforce the instrument from an instrument signed by the owner of the debt; simply alleging that one is owner of the note has no effect at trial or summary judgment as to evidence of ownership of the debt. And without evidence of the true owner of the debt being the payee on the note, the grant of authority through Powers of Attorney, Servicing agreements or anything else is evidence of nothing.

The use of the word “effective” (i.e., effective transfer) in this decision also opens the door to the rescission debate that was actually settled by the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Jesinoski v Countrywide. What does it mean that something is effective? Reviewing court decisions and legislative histories it is clear that “effective” means that the event or thing has already happened at the moment of its rendering. Thus the court here is talking about an effective assignment (not just a piece of paper entitled “assignment”), meaning that all the elements of a proper assignment had been met, and NOT just the writing or execution of the instrument. It is not effective if the elements are missing. And the elements are missing if the proponent of the assignment does not prove the elements — not just allege them.

There is a difference between pleading and proof.

In the absence of such evidence, the order of substitution standing alone was ineffective to establish PennyMac’s entitlement to enforce the lost note. See Geweye v. Ventures Trust 2013-I-H-R, 189 So. 3d 231, 233 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016); Creadon v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 166 So. 3d 952, 953-54 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015); Sandefur v. RVS Capital, LLC, 183 So. 3d 1258, 1260 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016); Lamb, 174 So. 3d at 1040-41.”

COMMENT: This addresses the musical chairs tactics that have perplexed the Courts, borrowers and attorneys for nearly 2 decades. The court here is presenting for consideration the notion that substitution of parties does not confer anything on the apparent successor or new foreclosing party. What it DOES accomplish is removing the original party from having any legal standing for judgment to be entered in its favor. The claim of “succession”must be proven by the party making the claim — not by the party defending. What it does NOT accomplish is bootstrapping the allegations of standing from the original plaintiff or foreclosing party to a new party also having standing to pursue the judgment.

In all events therefore, the party alleging and/or asserting standing must prove it before the homeowner is required to rebut or even cross examine it.

 

 

Banks Fighting Subpoenas From FHFA Over Access to Loan Files

Whilst researching something else I ran across the following article first published in 2010. Upon reading it, it bears repeating.

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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WHAT IF THE LOANS WERE NOT ACTUALLY SECURITIZED?

In a nutshell this is it. The Banks are fighting the subpoenas because if there is actually an audit of the “content” of the pools, they are screwed across the board.

My analysis of dozens of pools has led me to several counter-intuitive but unavoidable factual conclusions. I am certain the following is correct as to all residential securitized loans with very few (2-4%) exceptions:

  1. Most of the pools no longer exist.
  2. The MBS sold to investors and insured by AIG and the purchase and sale of credit default swaps were all premised on a general description of the content of the pool rather than a detailed description with the individual loans attached on a list.
  3. Each Prospectus if it carried any spreadsheet listing loans, contained a caveat that the attached list was by example only and not the real loans.
  4. Each distribution report contained a caveat that the parties who created it and the parties who delivered it did not guarantee either authenticity or reliability of the report. They even had specific admonitions regarding the content of the distribution report.
  5. NO LOAN ACTUALLY MADE IT INTO ANY POOL. The evidence is clear: nothing was done to assign, indorse or deliver the note to the investors directly or indirectly until a case went into litigation AND a hearing was scheduled. By that time the cutoff date had been breached and the loan was non-performing by their own allegation and therefore was not acceptable into the pool.
  6. AT ALL TIMES LEGAL TITLE TO THE PROPERTY WAS MAINTAINED BY THE HOMEOWNER EVEN AFTER FORECLOSURE AND SALE. The actual creditor who submitted a credit bid was not the creditor. The sale is either void or voidable.
  7. AT ALL TIMES LEGAL TITLE TO THE LOAN WAS MAINTAINED BY THE ORIGINATING “LENDER”. Since there was no assignment, indorsement or delivery that could be recognized at law or in fact, the originating lender still owns the loan legally BUT….
  8. AT ALL TIMES THE OBLIGATION WAS BOTH CREATED AND EXTINGUISHED AT, OR CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH THE CLOSING OF THE LOAN. Since the originating lender was in fact not the source of funds, and did not book the transaction as a loan on their balance sheet (in most cases), the naming of the originating lender as the Lender and payee on the note, both created a LEGAL obligation from the borrower to the Lender and at the same time, the LEGAL obligation was extinguished because the LEGAL Lender of record was paid in full plus exorbitant fees for pretending to be an actual lender.
  9. Since the Legal obligation was both created and extinguished contemporaneously with each other, any remaining obligation to any OTHER party became unsecured since the security instrument (mortgage or deed of trust) refers only to the promissory note executed by the borrower.
  10. At the time of closing, the investor-lenders were the real parties in interest as lenders, but they were not disclosed nor were the fees of the various intermediaries who brought the investor-lender money and the borrower’s loan together.
  11. ALL INVESTOR-LENDERS RECEIVED THE EQUIVALENT OF A BOND — A PROMISE TO PAY ISSUED BY A PARTY OTHER THAN THE BORROWER, PREMISED UPON THE PAYMENT OR RECEIVABLES GENERATED FROM BORROWER PAYMENTS, CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS, CREDIT ENHANCEMENTS, AND THIRD PARTY INSURANCE.
  12. Nearly ALL investor-lenders have been paid sums of money to satisfy the promise to pay contained in the bond. These payments always exceeded the borrowers payments and in many cases paid the obligation in full WITHOUT SUBROGATION.
  13. NO LOAN IS IN ACTUAL DEFAULT OR DELINQUENCY. Since payments must first be applied to outstanding payments due, payments received by investor-lenders or their agents from third party sources are allocable to each individual loan and therefore cure the alleged default. A Borrower’s Non-payment is not a default since no payment is due.
  14. ALL NOTICES OF DEFAULT ARE DEFECTIVE: The amount stated, the creditor, and other material misstatements invalidate the effectiveness of such a notice.
  15. NO CREDIT BID AT AUCTION WAS MADE BY A CREDITOR. Hence the sale is void or voidable.
  16. ANY BALANCE DUE FROM THE BORROWER IS SUBJECT TO DEDUCTIONS FOR THIRD PARTY PAYMENTS.
  17. ANY BALANCE DUE FROM THE BORROWER IS SUBJECT TO AN EQUITABLE CLAIM FOR UNJUST ENRICHMENT THAT IS UNSECURED.
  18. ANY BALANCE DUE FROM THE BORROWER IS SUBJECT TO AN EQUITABLE CLAIM FOR A LIEN TO REFLECT THE INTENTION OF THE INVESTOR-LENDER AND THE INTENTION OF THE BORROWER.  Both the investor-lender and the borrower intended to complete a loan transaction wherein the home was used to collateralize the amount due. The legal satisfaction of the originating lender is not a deduction from the equitable satisfaction of the investor-lender. THUS THE PARTIES SEEKING TO FORECLOSE ARE SUBJECT TO THE LEGAL DEFENSE OF PAYMENT AT CLOSING BUT THE INVESTOR-LENDERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THAT DEFENSE.
  19. The investor-lenders ALSO have a claim for damages against the investment banks and the string of intermediaries that caused loans to be originated that did not meet the description contained in the prospectus.
  20. Any claim by investor-lenders may be subject to legal and equitable defenses, offsets and counterclaims from the borrower.
  21. The current modification context in which the securitization intermediaries are involved in settlement of outstanding mortgages is allowing those intermediaries to make even more money at the expense of the investor-lenders.
  22. The failure of courts to recognize that they must apply the rule of law results not only in the foreclosure of the property, but the foreclosure of the borrower’s ability to negotiate a settlement with an undisclosed equitable creditor, or with the legal owner of the loan in the property records.

Loan File Issue Brought to Forefront By FHFA Subpoena
Posted on July 14, 2010 by Foreclosureblues
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

foreclosureblues.wordpress.com

Editor’s Note….Even  U.S. Government Agencies have difficulty getting
discovery, lol…This is another excellent post from attorney Isaac
Gradman, who has the blog here…http://subprimeshakeout.blogspot.com.
He has a real perspective on the legal aspect of the big picture, and
is willing to post publicly about it.  Although one may wonder how
these matters may effect them individually, my point is that every day
that goes by is another day working in favor of those who stick it out
and fight for what is right.

Loan File Issue Brought to Forefront By FHFA Subpoena

The battle being waged by bondholders over access to the loan files
underlying their investments was brought into the national spotlight
earlier this week, when the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the
regulator in charge of overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, issued
64 subpoenas seeking documents related to the mortgage-backed
securities (MBS) in which Freddie and Fannie had invested.
The FHFA
has been in charge of overseeing Freddie and Fannie since they were
placed into conservatorship in 2008.

Freddie and Fannie are two of the largest investors in privately
issued bonds–those secured by subprime and Alt-A loans that were often
originated by the mortgage arms of Wall St. firms and then packaged
and sold by those same firms to investors–and held nearly $255 billion
of these securities as of the end of May. The FHFA said Monday that it
is seeking to determine whether issuers of these so-called “private
label” MBS misled Freddie and Fannie into making the investments,
which have performed abysmally so far, and are expected to result in
another $46 billion in unrealized losses to the Government Sponsored
Entities (GSE).

Though the FHFA has not disclosed the targets of its subpoenas, the
top issuers of private label MBS include familiar names such as
Countrywide and Merrill Lynch (now part of BofA), Bear Stearns and
Washington Mutual (now part of JP Morgan Chase), Deutsche Bank and
Morgan Stanley. David Reilly of the Wall Street Journal has written an
article urging banks to come forward and disclose whether they have
received subpoenas from the FHFA, but I’m not holding my breath.

The FHFA issued a press release on Monday regarding the subpoenas
(available here). The statement I found most interesting in the
release discusses that, before and after conservatorship, the GSEs had
been attempting to acquire loan files to assess their rights and
determine whether there were misrepresentations and/or breaches of
representations and warranties by the issuers of the private label
MBS, but that, “difficulty in obtaining the loan documents has
presented a challenge to the [GSEs’] efforts. FHFA has therefore
issued these subpoenas for various loan files and transaction
documents pertaining to loans securing the [private label MBS] to
trustees and servicers controlling or holding that documentation.”

The FHFA’s Acting Director, Edward DeMarco, is then quoted as saying
““FHFA is taking this action consistent with our responsibilities as
Conservator of each Enterprise. By obtaining these documents we can
assess whether contractual violations or other breaches have taken
place leading to losses for the Enterprises and thus taxpayers. If so,
we will then make decisions regarding appropriate actions.” Sounds
like these subpoenas are just the precursor to additional legal
action.

The fact that servicers and trustees have been stonewalling even these

powerful agencies on loan files should come as no surprise based on

the legal battles private investors have had to wage thus far to force

banks to produce these documents. And yet, I’m still amazed by the

bald intransigence displayed by these financial institutions. After

all, they generally have clear contractual obligations requiring them

to give investors access to the files (which describe the very assets

backing the securities), not to mention the implicit discovery rights

these private institutions would have should the dispute wind up in

court, as it has in MBIA v. Countrywide and scores of other investor

suits.

At this point, it should be clear to everyone–servicers and investors
alike–that the loan files will have to be produced eventually, so the
only purpose I can fathom for the banks’ obduracy is delay. The loan
files should, as I’ve said in the past, reveal the depths of mortgage
originator depravity, demonstrating convincingly that the loans never
should have been issued in the first place. This, in turn, will force
banks to immediately reserve for potential losses associated with
buying back these defective mortgages. Perhaps banks are hoping that
they can ward off this inevitability long enough to spread their
losses out over several years, thereby weathering the storm caused (in
part) by their irresponsible lending practices. But certainly the
FHFA’s announcement will make that more difficult, as the FHFA’s
inherent authority to subpoena these documents (stemming from the
Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008) should compel disclosure
without the need for litigation, and potentially provide sufficient
evidence of repurchase obligations to compel the banks to reserve
right away. For more on this issue, see the fascinating recent guest
post by Manal Mehta on The Subprime Shakeout regarding the SEC’s
investigation into banks’ processes for allocating loss reserves.

Meanwhile, the investor lawsuits continue to rain down on banks, with
suits by the Charles Schwab Corp. against Merrill Lynch and UBS, by
the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund against Countrywide, and by
Cambridge Place Investment Management against Goldman Sachs, Citigroup
and dozens of other banks and brokerages being announced this week. If
the congealing investor syndicate was looking for political cover
before staging a full frontal attack on banks, this should provide
ample protection. Much more to follow on these and other developments
in the coming days…
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Posted by Isaac Gradman at 3:46 PM

What Difference Does It Make?

It is in court that the “loan contract” is actually created even though it is a defective illusion. In truth and at law, placing the name of the originator on the note and/or mortgage was an act of deceit.

In a singular sweep of making public policy as opposed to following it, the Courts have been hell bent on letting strangers achieve massive windfalls through the illegal and improper use of state laws on foreclosure while ignoring Federal laws on TILA rescission, FDCPA and RESPA. The courts have a clear bias based upon the policy of allowing the financial industry to prosper while at the same time deeming individual consumers and homeowners worthy of sacrifice for the greater good.

This is evident in the ever popular questions from the bench — “what difference does it make, you got the loan, didn’t you.”

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.
—————-
In response to the question posed above most lawyers and pro se litigants readily admit they received “the loan.” The admission is wrong in most cases, but it gives the judge great clarity on what he/she must do next.

 

Having established that there was a loan and that the homeowner received it as admitted by the the lawyer or pro se litigant, there is no longer any question that the note and mortgage are void instruments as are the assignments, endorsements and powers of attorney that are proffered in evidence by complete strangers to the transaction.

 

The purpose of this article is to suggest that a different answer than “Yes, but” should be employed. In discussions with our senior forensic analyst, Dan Edstrom, he suggested an alternative answer that I think has merit and which avoids the deadly “Yes, but” answer.
 

 

We start from the presumption that the originator did not fund any transaction with the homeowner and in most cases didn’t have anything to with underwriting. The originator’s job was to sell financial products that were dubbed “loans.” “The loan” does not exist. Period.

 

Then we can assume that the first defect in the documents of the purported loan is that the the originator who unfortunately appears on the note as payee and on the mortgage (or deed of trust) as mortgagee or beneficiary was NOT the “lender.”

 

Hence placement of the name of the originator had no more foundation to it than placing the name of a closing agent or title agent or an attorney.

 

None of them are lenders or creditors. They are all vendors paid a fee for doing what they did.  And neither is the “originator” (a term with various inconsistent meanings).

 

Admission to the existence of “the loan” contract is an admission contrary to (a) the truth and (b) your defense. Once you have admitted that you received the loan you are implicitly admitting that you were party to a valid loan contract, consisting of the defective note and mortgage.

 

As a matter of law that means that you have admitted the note and mortgage were not void or even voidable but instead you have presented a closed cage in which the Judge has no choice but to proceed on “the law of the case,” to wit: the assumption that there was a valid loan, that the originator made the loan, and that the note and mortgage are valid instruments that are both evidence of the loan and instruments that set forth the duties of the homeowner who has admitted to being a borrower under that “loan contract.”

 

So it is in court that the “loan contract” is actually created even though it is a defective illusion. In truth and at law, placing the name of the originator on the note and/or mortgage was an act of deceit.

 

In MERS cases, being the “nominee” of the “lender”(who was incorrectly described as the lender), means nothing. And THAT is why when my deposition was taken in Phoenix AZ for 6 straight days by 16 banks (9am-5pm) I told them what I have consistently maintained for the past 10 years: “You might just as well have placed the name of Donald Duck or some other fictional character on the note and mortgage.”

 

ALL of the named players were in fact fictional characters for purposes of being represented in a nonexistent transaction (between the originator/”lender” and the homeowner/”borrower.”) Hence the term “pretender lender.” And the actions undertaken after the homeowner was induced (a) to avoid lawyers and (b) to sign the note and mortgage as though the originator had in fact loaned them money were all lies. Hence the title of this blog “Livinglies.”

Bottom Line: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE! Don’t admit anything. Don’t admit that the loan was assigned (say instead that a party executed a document entitled “assignment” which contained no warranties of title or interest.

Here is what Dan Edstrom wrote:
=====================================

What difference does it make?

By Daniel Edstrom
DTC Systems, Inc.

What difference does it make, you got the loan didn’t you?

No, I did not get a loan, no I did not authorize “the loan,” no I did not mean to enter into a contract with anyone other than the party who was lending me money and no I did not receive money from the party claiming to be a lender. [Editor’s note: fraud in the inducement and fraud in the execution — or best, a mistake].

Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corp., 365 P.3d 845, 62 Cal. 4th 919, 199 Cal. Rptr. 3d 66 (2016). laid this out (without an in depth review) when the court said (emphasis added):

Nor is it correct that the borrower has no cognizable interest in the identity of the party enforcing his or her debt. Though the borrower is not entitled to 938*938 object to an assignment of the promissory note, he or she is obligated to pay the debt, or suffer loss of the security, only to a person or entity that has actually been assigned the debt. (See Cockerell v. Title Ins. & Trust Co., supra, 42 Cal.2d at p. 292 [party claiming under an assignment must prove fact of assignment].) The borrower owes money not to the world at large but to a particular person or institution, and only the person or institution entitled to payment may enforce the debt by foreclosing on the security.

Here is more, much more:

Identification of Parties

The following is from: Jackson v. Grant, 890 F.2d 118 (9th Cir. 1989).

If an essential element of the contract is reserved for the future agreement of both parties, there is generally no legal obligation created until such an agreement is entered into. Transamerica Equip. Leasing Corp. v. Union Bank, 426 F.2d 273, 274 (9th Cir.1970); Ablett v. Clauson, 43 Cal.2d 280, 272 P.2d 753, 756 (1954); 1 Witkin Summary of California Law, Contracts §§ 142, 156 (9th ed. 1987). It is essential not only that the parties to the contract exist, but that it is possible to identify them. Cal.Civ.Code § 1558. See San Francisco Hotel Co. v. Baior, 189 Cal.App.2d 206, 11 Cal.Rptr. 32, 36 (1961) (names of seller and buyer are essential factors in considering whether contract is sufficiently certain to be specifically enforced); Cisco v. Van Lew, 60 Cal.App.2d 575, 141 P.2d 433, 437 (1943) (contract for sale of land must identify the parties to the transaction); Losson v. Blodgett, 1 Cal.App.2d 13, 36 P.2d 147, 149 (1934) (valid real property lease must contain names of parties).

And looking further at what Cisco v. Van Lew, 60 Cal. App. 2d 575, 141 P.2d 433 (Ct. App. 1943) actually says:

“There is a settled rule of law that a note or memorandum of a contract for a sale of land must identify by name or description the parties to the transaction, a seller and a buyer.” (Citing cases.)9

The statute of frauds, section 1624 of the Civil Code, provides that the following contracts are invalid unless the same or some note or memorandum thereof is in writing and subscribed by the party to be charged or by his agent:

“… 4. An agreement … for the sale of real property, or of an interest therein; …” In 23 Cal.Jur. page 433, section 13, it is said: “Matters as to Which Certainty Required.–The requirement of certainty as to the agreement made in order that it may be specifically enforced extends not only to its subject matter and purpose, but to the parties, to the consideration and even to the place and time of performance, where these are essential.” (Citing Breckenridge v. Crocker, 78 Cal. 529 [21 P. 179].) In that case it was held that when a contract of sale of real estate is evidenced by three telegrams, one from the agent of the owner of the property communicating a verbal offer, without naming the proposed purchaser; and second, from the owner to his agent, telling him to accept the offer; and a third from the agent addressed to the proposed purchaser by name, simply notifying him of the contents of the telegram from the owner, but not otherwise indicating who the purchaser was, the contract is too uncertain as to the purchaser to be enforced, or to sustain an action for damages for its breach. In that case it was held that the judgment granting a nonsuit was proper.(e.s.)

[2] The general rule stated in 25 Cal.Jur. page 506, section 34, is that

“a contract for the purchase and sale of real property must be mutual and reciprocal in its obligations. Otherwise, it is not obligatory upon either party. Hence, an agreement to convey property to another upon his making payment at a certain time of a named amount, without a reciprocal agreement of the latter to purchase and pay the amount specified, is unenforceable.” (See, also, 25 Cal.Jur. p. 503, sec. 32, and cases cited.)

This brings up many issues between a so called promissory note, which may or may not be a negotiable instrument, and a security instrument, which appears to be a transfer of an interest in real property.

The first question is: how can an endorsement in blank without an assignment EVER transfer an interest in real property? How can the security interest be enforced from a party that has not been identified?

– We know what the Supreme Court said in Carpenter v. Longan, 83 U.S. 271, 21 L. Ed. 313, 1873 U.S.L.E.X.I.S. 1157 (1873), but does that take the above into account? Does it need to? Does it conflict?

And then we have the issues of who advanced the money to fund the alleged loan closing, who are the parties to table funding, and what security interests or encumbrances were authorized by the homeowner PRIOR to delivery of the signed note and security instrument?

And further, the parties must exist and be identifiable. It is NOT ok if they existed in the past but do not exist now (at the time of the agreement or contract or assignment).

So the originator goes into bankruptcy and is dissolved, and then a year or more later they (somehow) record an assignment to another entity.

And in many cases the assignment from the originator comes after the originator already executed an assignment to one or more parties previously.

What really happens to a security interest when a company is dissolved or shutdown and they haven’t assigned it to another party or released the security interest? (and this is an interest in real property where the release or assignment has to be in writing).

What really happens if it is a person and they die? And then a year later the deceased assigns the security interest to somebody else?

In CA. the procedure for real property transactions is to comply with CA. Civ. Code 1096, which provides the following:

  1. Civ. Code 1096

Any person in whom the title of real estate is vested, who shall afterwards, from any cause, have his or her name changed, must, in any conveyance of said real estate so held, set forth the name in which he or she derived title to said real estate. Any conveyance, though recorded as provided by law, which does not comply with the foregoing provision shall not impart constructive notice of the contents thereof to subsequent purchasers and encumbrancers, but such conveyance is valid as between the parties thereto and those who have notice thereof.

See: Puccetti v. Girola, 20 Cal. 2d 574, 128 P.2d 13 (1942).

All of Prince’s property (real and personal) went into probate after he died. When they finally sell his real property, it won’t (or shouldn’t) be from Prince to John Doe, it should be something like Jerry Brown, executor of the estate of Prince to John Doe.

Does Yvanova Provide a Back Door to Closed Cases?

That is the question I am hearing from multiple people. My provisional answer is that in my opinion there is a strong argument for using it if the property has not been liquidated after the foreclosure auction. There might be a grey area while the property is REO and there might be a grey area where the property has been sold but the issue of a void assignment is raised in an eviction procedure. It will strain the minds of judges even more, but these issues are certain to come up. As things continue to progress Judges will shift from looking askance at borrowers and thinking their defenses are all hairsplitting ways to get out of a debt and get a free house. Upon reflection, over the next couple of years, you will see an increasing number of judges taking the same cynical view and turning it toward the banks and servicers who in most cases function neither as banks or servicers.

The Yvanova court took great pains to say that this was a very narrow ruling. Starting with that one might argue it only applied to that specific case. But they went further than that and we all know it. SO it stands for the proposition that a void assignment can be the basis of a wrongful foreclosure. AND most BANK LAWYERS agree that is a huge problem for them, at least in California but they think it will adopted across the country and I agree with the Bank lawyers on that assessment.

The reason is simple logic. If the foreclosure is wrongful then it seems stupidly simple to say that it was wrong in the first place. If it was “wrong” the questions that emerge in legal scholarship arise from two main paths.

What does “wrong” mean. Or to put it in Yvanova language is wrong the same as void or is it voidable. This would have a huge impact on issues of jurisdiction, res judicata, collateral estoppel etc. Does it mean that it was wrong and you can get damages or does it mean that it was wrong and therefore the homeowner still owns the house. I lean towards the former not by preference but by what I think the court was saying between the lines. The whole point of nonjudicial foreclosure (amongst two other points that are obvious) is to provide stability and confidence in the title system. So if a wrong foreclosure occurs the title would most likely remain in whoever bought it at auction — although the purgatory in which many properties remain (REO) might create a grey area in which there is no prejudice in vacating the sale. Indeed if the party holding the “FINAL” title did so by fraud (using a void assignment) then equity would seem to demand return of title to the homeowner. AND THEN you still have the problem of evictions or writs of possession or whatever they are called in your state. Title is one thing but possession is another. If you raise the void assignment can you defeat possession even if you can’t defeat the title transfer? It would SEEM not but equity would demand that a thief not further the rewards of his ill-gotten gains.

Next path. Procedure, evidence and objections. Going back in time the homeowner might have objected or even alleged things that the Yvanova court now finds to have merit. So a lay person might think that is all they need is to show the void assignment and presto they have title or money or both in their hands. Not so fast. Due process is intended to allow a person to be heard and the justice system is designed and created to FINALIZE disputes, whether the decision is right or wrong. SO questions abound about what happened at the trial court level. But there was a remedy for that. It is called an appeal. And there are choices to even go to Federal Court if the state court is rubber stamping void instruments. But the time for doing that has expired on all but a few cases and the judicial doctrine of finality is the most difficult to overcome. Even a condemned man usually will be put to death even if there is actual evidence of innocence after a period of time has expired and a number of appeals have been exhausted.

SO that is my long winded way of saying I don’t know. If Yvanova opens the door to many new openings of closed cases, it certainly doesn’t say so. But a defense of a current case — even one amended to cite Yvanova, might fare much better.

The real answer: pick a path and try it.

New Mexico Supreme Court: No Standing for Deutsch

WE HAVE REVAMPED OUR SERVICE OFFERINGS TO MEET THE REQUESTS OF LAWYERS AND HOMEOWNERS. This is not an offer for legal representation. In order to make it easier to serve you and get better results please take a moment to fill out our FREE registration form https://fs20.formsite.com/ngarfield/form271773666/index.html?1453992450583 
Our services consist mainly of the following:
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  2. 60 minute Consult — expert for lay people, legal for attorneys
  3. Case review and analysis
  4. Rescission review and drafting of documents for notice and recording
  5. COMBO Title and Securitization Review
  6. Expert witness declarations and testimony
  7. Consultant to attorneys representing homeowners
  8. Books and Manuals authored by Neil Garfield are also available, plus video seminars on DVD.
For further information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. You also may fill out our Registration form which, upon submission, will automatically be sent to us. That form can be found at https://fs20.formsite.com/ngarfield/form271773666/index.html?1452614114632. By filling out this form you will be allowing us to see your current status. If you call or email us at neilfgarfield@hotmail.com your question or request for service can then be answered more easily.
================================

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

—————-
Hat tip to Ken McLeod
So we are coming full circle where the assertions I advanced starting in 2007 are finally being accepted by the Courts. This is happening because the Courts are, at a minimum, highly suspicious of whether a real creditor exists and whether the banks are still involved in an illegal scheme in which they literally had to lie, cheat and steal to make their scheme work while at the same time making it look like “this is a standard foreclosure” which is the refrain used by bank lawyers in millions of cases.
*
The trial court, as usual, found that Deutsch had standing — even if they didn’t own the debt and even though it was apparent there a snowstorm of paper to cover up the fact that nobody involved in that foreclosure, except the homeowners, had any interest in the property, the debt, the note or the mortgage.
 *
The appellate court disagreed with the trial court and the Supreme court of New Mexico affirmed the appellate court with an opinion.
 *
The lawyers for Deutsch Bank, who probably knew nothing about the lawsuit, performed all sorts of gymnastics to “prove” they owned the loan. But what it really comes down to is that they were relying on legal presumptions as a substitute for proof. The attitude of the trial Judge was reflective of the pandemic of judicial tolerance for fraud. The plain fact is that if Deutsch actually owned the debt they would have said so. If Deutsch actually had paid for the debt, the loan, the loan documents they would have said so, asserting they are a holder in due course who had purchased for value in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses.
 *
The UCC in virtually all states accepts the proposition that the maker of a note, even if it was procured by fraud, bears the risk of loss on the note and on the mortgage if they were actually purchased for value, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. Why wouldn’t Deutsch have alleged that if they really owned the loan? The answer is obvious. The Trust is a sham with no business activity. The Trustee is window dressing who has no duties and whose Trust department has nothing to do with an empty trust.
 *
Since the sale of MBS to investors was NOT followed by payment to the Trustee on behalf of the Trust, there is nothing for the Trustee to administer and no duties to perform except receiving their monthly fee for keeping their mouth shut.
 *
This case is a good example of the double-speak offered by parties who wish to initiate foreclosure. The tide is turning. If the mistakes of the past are continued, we are opening the door to a new industry — trolling for debt, creating false assignments and enforcing the debts as though the assignment was real. I can even see how parties might simply troll mailboxes and give a new address and name for the payment of even a household bill. Some evidence of this new industry has already started in California and other states.
 *
It is not the fault of borrowers that there is no creditor to be found, resulting from the infinite intermingling of investor funds such that it is impossible to identify a creditor or even a group of creditors in some dynamic slush fund in which money is coming in every minute and money is going out every minute. Thousands of investors in thousands of alleged Trusts have lost any nexus between their money and any loans that were allegedly made.

 

Rockwell P. Ludden, Esq. — A Lawyer who gets it on Securitization and Mortgages

see FORECLOSURE, SECURITIZATION DON’T MIX ROCKY&#39S+ARTICLE+in+the+CAPE+COD+TIMES+February+21,+2015

As I write this, I have no recall of Mr. Ludden before today. BUT his article in of all places, the Cape Cod Times, struck me as astonishing in its concise description of the illegal foreclosures that are skimming past Judges desks with hardly a look much less the usually required judicial scrutiny. He says

No one should have the legal right to take your home merely by winking and nodding their way around a significant flaw in the securitization model and whatever burrs it may leave on the industry’s saddle. …

Is there anyone with a present contractual connection to you or the loan who has actually suffered a default? If not, any… foreclosure begins to bear an uncanny resemblance to double dipping.

It is time for Judges to dust off the principle of fundamental fairness that lies at the heart of our legal system, demand a level playing field, and stand behind alternatives to foreclosure that serve the legitimate interests of homeowner and industry alike.

His article is both insightful and concise, which is more than I can say for some of the things that I have written at length. And I guess if you are in the Cape Cod area it probably would be a good idea to contact him at rpl@luddenkramerlaw.com. He pierces through layers upon layers of subterfuge by the financial industry and comes up with the right conclusion — separation not just of note and mortgage — but more importantly the separation between the note and the ultimate certificate that spells out the rights of a creditor to repayment and the rights of anonymous individuals and entities to foreclose. In securitization practice the note ceases to exist.

He correctly concludes that the assignments (and I would add endorsements and powers of attorney) are a sham, designed to conceal basic flaws in the entire securitization model. The only thing I would add is something that has not quite made it to the surface of these chaotic waters — that the money from the investors never made it into the trust — something that is perfectly consistent with ignoring the securitization model and the securitization documents.

The ‘assignment’ creates the appearance of [the] missing connection. But it is all hogwash, the only discernible purpose of which is to grease the skids for an illegal foreclosure. It is done long after the Trust has closed its doors. [referring to both the cutoff date and the fact that the trust actually does not ever get to own the debt, loan, note or mortgage]

The banks kept the money and assigned the losses to the investors. Then they bet on the losses and kept the profits from their intentionally watered down underwriting practices. Then they stole the identity of the borrowers and the investors and bought insurance that covered “losses” that were never incurred by the named insured — the Banks. The family resemblance to Ponzi scheme seems closer than mere double dipping in an infinite scheme of dipping into the funds of thousands of institutional investors and into the lives of millions of homeowners.

see also A 21st Century Trust Indenture Act?

posted by Adam Levitin

Two Different Worlds — Note and Mortgage

Further information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688

No radio show tonight because of birthday celebration — I’m 68 and still doing this

==============================

The enforcement of promissory notes lies within the context of the marketplace for currency and currency equivalents. The enforcement of mortgages on real property lies within the the context of the marketplace for real estate transactions. While certainty is the aim of public policy in those two markets, the rules are different and should not be ignored.

==============================

see http://www.uniformlaws.org/Shared/Committees_Materials/PEBUCC/PEB_Report_111411.pdf

This article is not a substitute for getting advice from an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which your property is or was located.

Back in 2008 I had some correspondence and telephone conversations with an attorney in Chicago, Robert Wutscher when I was writing about the reality of the way in which banks were doing  what they called “securitization of mortgages.” Of course then they were denying that there were any trusts, denying that any transfers occurred and were suing in the name of the originator or MERS or anyone but the party who actually had their money used in loan transactions.  It wasn’t done the right way because the obvious intent was to play a shell game in which the banks would emerge as the apparent principal party in interest under the illusion created by certain presumptions attendant to being the “holder” of a note. For each question I asked him he replied that Aurora in that case was the “holder.” No matter what the question was, he replied “we’re the holder.” I still have the letter he sent which also ignored the rescission from the homeowner whose case I was inquiring about for this blog.

He was right that the banks would be able to bend the law on rescission at the level of the trial courts because Judges just didn’t like TILA rescission. I knew that in the end he would lose on that proposition eventually and he did when Justice Scalia, in a terse opinion, simply told us that Judges and Justices were wrong in all those trial court decisions and even appellate court decisions that applied common law theories to modify the language of the Federal Law (TILA) on rescission. And now bank lawyers are facing the potential consequences of receiving notices of TILA rescission where the bank simply ignored them instead of preserving the rights of the “lender” by filing a declaratory action within 20 days of the rescission. By operation of law, the note and mortgage were nullified, ab initio. Which means that any further activity based upon the note and mortgage was void. And THAT means that the foreclosures were void.

Is discussing the issue of the “holder” with lawyers and even doing a tour of seminars I found that the confusion that was apparent for lay people was also apparent in lawyers. They looked at the transaction and the rights to enforce as one single instrument that everyone called “the mortgage.” They looked at me like I had three heads when I said, no, there are three parts to every one of these illusory transactions and the banks fail outright on two of them.

The three parts are the debt, the note and the mortgage. The debt arises when the borrower receives money. The presumption is that it is a loan and that the borrower owes the money back. it isn’t a gift. There should be no “free house” discussion here because we are talking about money, not what was done with the money. Only a purchase money mortgage loan involves the house and TILA recognizes that. Some of the rules are different for those loans. But most of the loans were not purchase money mortgages in that they were either refinancing, or combined loans of 1st mortgage plus HELOC. In fact it appears that ultimately nearly all the outstanding loans fall into the category of refinancing or the combined loan and HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit that exactly matches the total loan requirements of the transaction (including the purchase of the home).

The debt arises by operation of law in favor of the party who loaned the money. The banks diverged from the obvious and well-established practice of the lender being the same party as the party named on the note as payee and on the mortgage as mortgagee (or beneficiary under a Deed of Trust). The banks did this through a process known as “Table Funded Loans” in which the real lender is concealed from the borrower. And they did this through agreements frequently called “Assignment and Assumption” Agreements, which by contract called for both parties (the originator and the aggregator to violate the laws governing disclosure (TILA and frequently state law) which means by definition that the contract called for an illegal act that is by definition a contract in contravention of public policy.

A loan contract is created by operation of law in which the borrower is obligated to pay back the loan to the source of the funds with or without a written instrument. If the loan contract (comprised of offer, acceptance and consideration) does not exist, then there is nothing to enforce at law although it is possible to still force the borrower to repay the money to the actual source of funds through a suit in equity — mainly unjust enrichment. The banks, through their lawyers, argue that the Federal disclosure requirements should be ignored. I think it is pretty clear that Justice Scalia and a unanimous United States Supreme Court think that argument stinks. It is the bank’s argument that should be ignored, not the law.

Congress passed TILA specifically to protect consumers of financial products (loans) from the overly burdensome and overly complex nature of loan documents. This argument about what is important and what isn’t has already been addressed in Congress and signed into law against the banks’ position that it doesn’t matter whether they really follow the law and disclose all the parties involved in the transaction, the true identity of the lender, the compensation of all the parties that made money as a result of the origination of the loan transaction. Regulation Z states that a pattern of behavior (more than 5) in which loans are table funded (disclosure of real lender withheld from borrower) is PREDATORY PER SE.

If it is predatory per se then there are remedies available to the borrower which potentially include treble damages, attorneys fees etc. Equally important if not more so is that a transaction, whether illusory or real, that is predatory per se, is therefore against public policy and the party seeking to enforce an otherwise enforceable document cannot do so because of the doctrine of unclean hands. In fact, if the transaction is predatory per se, it is dirty hands per se. And this is where Judges get stuck and so do many lawyers. The outcome of that unavoidable analysis is, they say, a free house. And their remedy is to give the party with unclean hands a free house (because they paid nothing for the origination or acquisition of the loan). I think the Supreme Court will not look kindly upon this “legislating from the bench.” And I think the Court has already signaled its intent to hold everyone to the strict construction of TILA and Regulation Z.

So there are two reason the debt can’t be enforced the way the banks want. (1) There is no loan contract because the source of the money and the borrower never agreed to anything and neither one knew about the other. (2) the mortgage cannot be enforced because it is an action in equity and the shell game of parties tossing the paperwork around all have unclean hands. And there is a third reason as well — while the note might be enforceable based merely on an endorsement, the mortgage is not enforceable unless the enforcer paid for it (Article 9, UCC).

And THAT is where the confusion really starts — which bank lawyers depend on every time they go to court. Bank lawyers add to the confusion by using the tired phrase of “the note follows the mortgage and the mortgage follows the note.” At one time this was a completely true presumption backed up by real facts. But now the banks are asking the courts to apply the presumption even when the courts actually know that the facts presumed by the legal presumption are untrue.

Notes and mortgages exist in two different marketplaces or different worlds, if you like. Public policy insists that notes that are intended to be negotiable remain negotiable and raise certain presumptions. The holder of a note might very well be able to sue and win a judgment ON THE NOTE. And the judgment holder might be able to record a judgment lien and foreclose on it subject to homestead exemptions.

But it isn’t as simple as the banks make it out to be.

If someone pays for the note in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses when the note is not in default, THAT holder can enforce the note against the signor or maker of the note regardless of lack of consideration or anything else unless there is a provable defense of fraud and perhaps conspiracy. But any other holder steps into the shoes of the original lender. And if there was no consummated loan contract between the payee on the note and the borrower because the payee never loaned any money to the borrower, then the holder might have standing to sue but they don’t have the evidence to win the suit. The borrower still owes the money to whoever was the source, but the “holder” of the note doesn’t get a judgment. There is a difference between standing to sue and a prima facie case needed to win. Otherwise everyone would get one of those mechanical forging machines and sign the name of someone with money and sue them on a note they never signed. Or they would promise to loan money, get the signed note and then not complete the loan contract by making the loan.

So public policy demands that there be reasonable certainty in the negotiation of unqualified promises to pay. BUT public policy expressed in the UCC Article 9 says that if you want to enforce a mortgage you must not only have some indication that it was transferred to you, you must also have paid valuable consideration for the mortgage.

Without proof of payment, there is no prima facie case for enforcement of the mortgage, but it does curiously remain on the chain of title of the property (public records) unless nullified by the fact that the mortgage was executed as collateral for the note which was NOT a true representation of the loan contract based upon the real debt that arose by operation of law. The public policy is preserve the integrity of public records in the real estate marketplace. That is the only way to have reasonable certainty of title and encumbrances.

Forfeiture, an equitable remedy, must be done with clean hands based upon a real interest in the alleged default — not just a pile of paper that grows each year as banks try to convert an assignment of mortgage into a substitute for consideration.

Hence being the “holder” might mean you have the right to sue on the note but without being a holder in due course or otherwise paying fro the mortgage, there is no automatic basis for enforcing the mortgage in favor of a party with no economic interest in the mortgage.

see also http://knowltonlaw.com/james-knowlton-blog/ucc-article-3-and-mortgage-backed-securities.html

MERS Assignments VOID

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see http://www.msfraud.org/law/lounge/mers-auroraslammed.pdf
While there are a number of cases that discuss the role of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), this tells the story in the shortest amount of time. MERS was only a nominee to track the off-record claims from multiple parties participating in what we call the securitization of loans. It now appears that the securitization in most cases never took place but the banks and their affiliates are foreclosing in the name of REMIC trusts anyway, relying on “presumptions” to “prove” that the Trust actually purchased and took possession of the alleged loan. In every case I know of  where the homeowner was allowed to probe deeply into the issues of whether the Trust actually received the loan, it has either been determined that the Trust didn’t own the loan, or the case was settled before the court could announce that ruling.

Decided in April of last year, this case slams Aurora, who was and remains one of the worst offenders in the category of fraudulent foreclosures. The Court decided that since the basis of the claim was an assignment from MERS who had no interest int he debt, note or mortgage, there were no “successors.” This logic is irrefutable. And as regular readers know from reading this blog I believe the same logic applies to any other party who has no interest in the debt, note or mortgage — like an unfunded “originator” whose name appears on not only the Mortgage, like MERS, but also on the note.

Judges have trouble with that analysis because in their minds they think the homeowner is trying to get a free house. Even if that were true, it doesn’t change the correct application of law. But the opposite is true. The homeowner is trying to stop the foreclosing party from getting a free house and the homeowner is trying  to find his creditor. I actually had a judge yesterday rule that the source of funds, ownership and balance was essentially irrelevant. Discovery on nearly all issues was blocked by his ruling, leaving the trial to be a very short affair since the defenses have been eliminated by that Judge by express ruling.

The attorney representing the bank basically argued that the case was simple and that anything that happened prior to the alleged default was also irrelevant. The Judge agreed. So when a trial judge makes such rulings, he or she is basically narrowing the issue down to when we were just starting out in 2007 in what I call the dark ages. The trial becomes mostly clerical in which the only relevant issues are whether the homeowner received a loan and whether the homeowner stopped paying. All other issues are treated as irrelevant defenses, including the behavior of the “servicer” whose authority cannot be questioned (because of the presumption raised by an apparently facially valid instrument of virtually ANY sort).

The moral of the story is persistence and appeal. I believe that such rulings are reversible potentially even as interlocutory appeals as to affirmative defenses and discovery. If anyone files a lawsuit they should be required to answer all potential questions about that that lawsuit in good faith. That is what discovery is for. The strategy of moving to strike affirmative defenses is meant to cut off discovery to the point where no defenses can be raised or proven. And cutting off discovery is what the foreclosers need to do or they will face sanctions, charges of fraud, perjury and worse when the real facts are revealed.

BAP Panel Raises the Stakes Against Deutsch et al — Secured Status May be Challenged

Fur Further Information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688

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ALERT FOR BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS — SECURED STATUS OF ALLEGED CREDITOR IS NOT TO BE ASSUMED

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I have long held and advocated three points:

  1. The filing of false claims in the nonjudicial process of a majority of states should not result in success where the same false claims could never be proven in judicial process. Nonjudicial process was meant as an administrative remedy to foreclosures that were NOT in dispute. Any application of nonjudicial schemes that allows false claims to succeed where they would fail in a judicial action is unconstitutional.
  2. The filing of a bankruptcy petition that shows property to be encumbered by virtue of a deed of trust is admitting a false representation made by a stranger to the transaction. The petition for bankruptcy relief should be filed showing that the property is not encumbered and the adversary or collateral proceeding to nullify the mortgage and the note should accompany each filing where the note and mortgage are subject to claims of securitization or a “new” beneficiary.
  3. The vast majority of decisions against borrowers result from voluntary or involuntary waiver, ignorance and failure to plead or object on the basis of false claims based on false documentation. The issue is not the signature (although that probably is false too); rather it is (a) the actual transaction which is missing and the (b) false documentation of a (i) fictitious transaction and (ii) fictitious transfers of fictitious (and non-fictitious) transactions. The result is often that the homeowner has admitted to the false assertion of being a borrower in relation to the party making the claim, admitting the secured status of the “creditor”, admitting that they are a creditor, admitting that they received a loan from within the chain claimed by the “creditor”, admitting the default, admitting the validity of the note and admitting the validity of the mortgage or deed of trust — thus leaving both the trial and appellate courts with no choice but to rule against the homeowner. Thus procedurally a false claim becomes “true” for purposes of that case.

see 11/24/14 Decision: MEMORANDUM-_-ANTON-ANDREW-RIVERA-DENISE-ANN-RIVERA-Appellants-v.-DEUTSCHE-BANK-NATIONAL-TRUST-COMPANY-Trustee-of-Certificate-Holders-of-the-WAMU-Mortgage-Pass-Through-Certificate-Series-2005-AR6

This decision is breath-taking. What the Panel has done here is fire a warning shot over the bow of the California Supreme Court with respect to the APPLICATION of the non-judicial process. AND it takes dead aim at those who make false claims on false debts in both nonjudicial and judicial process. Amongst the insiders it is well known that your chances on appeal to the BAP are less than 15% whereas an appeal to the District Judge, often ignored as an option, has at least a 50% prospect for success.

So the fact that this decision comes from the BAP Panel which normally rubber stamps decisions of bankruptcy judges is all the more compelling. One word of caution that is not discussed here is the the matter of jurisdiction. I am not so sure the bankruptcy judge had jurisdiction to consider the matters raised in the adversary proceeding. I think there is a possibility that jurisdiction would be present before the District Court Judge, but not the Bankruptcy Judge.

From one of my anonymous sources within a significant government agency I received the following:

This case is going to be a cornucopia of decision material for BK courts nationwide (and others), it directly tackles all the issues regarding standing and assignment (But based on Non-J foreclosure, and this is California of course……) it tackles Glaski and Glaski loses, BUT notes dichotomy on secured creditor status….this case could have been even more , but leave to amend was forfeited by borrower inaction—– it is part huge win, part huge loss as it relates to Glaski, BUT IT IS DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO CHASE/WAMU CASES……….Note in full case how court refers to transfer of “some of WAMU’s assets”, tacitly inferring that the court WILL NOT second guess what was and was not transferred………… i.e, foreclosing party needs to prove this!!

AFFIRMED- NO SECURED PARTY STATUS FOR BK PROVEN 

Even though Siliga, Jenkins and Debrunner may preclude the

Riveras from attacking DBNTC’s foreclosure proceedings by arguing

that Chase’s assignment of the deed of trust was a nullity in

light of the absence of a valid transfer of the underlying debt,

we know of no law precluding the Riveras from challenging DBNTC’s assertion of secured status for purposes of the Riveras’ bankruptcy case. Nor did the bankruptcy court cite to any such law.

We acknowledge that our analysis promotes the existence of two different sets of legal standards – one applicable in nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings and a markedly different one for use in ascertaining creditors’ rights in bankruptcy cases.

But we did not create these divergent standards. The California legislature and the California courts did. We are not the first to point out the divergence of these standards. See CAL. REAL EST., at § 10:41 (noting that the requirements under California law for an effective assignment of a real-estate-secured obligation may differ depending on whether or not the dispute over the assignment arises in a challenge to nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings).
We must accept the truth of the Riveras’ well-pled
allegations indicating that the Hutchinson endorsement on the
note was a sham and, more generally, that neither DBNTC nor Chase
ever obtained any valid interest in the Riveras’ note or the loan
repayment rights evidenced by that note. We also must
acknowledge that at least part of the Riveras’ adversary
proceeding was devoted to challenging DBNTC’s standing to file
its proof of claim and to challenging DBNTC’s assertion of
secured status for purposes of the Riveras’ bankruptcy case. As
a result of these allegations and acknowledgments, we cannot
reconcile our legal analysis, set forth above, with the
bankruptcy court’s rulings on the Riveras’ second amended
complaint. The bankruptcy court did not distinguish between the
Riveras’ claims for relief that at least in part implicated the
parties’ respective rights in the Riveras’ bankruptcy case from
those claims for relief that only implicated the parties’
respective rights in DBNTC’s nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings.

THEY REJECT GLASKI-

Here, we note that the California Supreme Court recently

granted review from an intermediate appellate court decision
following Jenkins and rejecting Glaski. Yvanova v. New Century
Mortg. Corp., 226 Cal.App.4th 495 (2014), review granted &
opinion de-published, 331 P.3d 1275 (Cal. Aug 27, 2014). Thus,
we eventually will learn how the California Supreme Court views
this issue. Even so, we are tasked with deciding the case before
us, and Ninth Circuit precedent suggests that we should decide
the case now, based on our prediction, rather than wait for the
California Supreme Court to rule. See Hemmings, 285 F.3d at
1203; Lewis v. Telephone Employees Credit Union, 87 F.3d 1537,
1545 (9th Cir. 1996). Because we have no convincing reason to
doubt that the California Supreme Court will follow the weight of
authority among California’s intermediate appellate courts, we
will follow them as well and hold that the Riveras lack standing
to challenge the assignment of their deed of trust based on an
alleged violation of a pooling and servicing agreement to which
they were not a party.

BUT……… THEY DO SUCCEED ON SECURED STATUS

Even though the Riveras’ first claim for relief principally

relies on their allegations regarding the assignment’s violation
of the pooling and servicing agreement, their first claim for
relief also explicitly incorporates their allegations challenging
DBNTC’s proof of claim and disputing the validity of the
Hutchinson endorsement. Those allegations, when combined with
what is set forth in the first claim for relief, are sufficient
on their face to state a claim that DBNTC does not hold a valid
lien against the Riveras’ property because the underlying debt
never was validly transferred to DBNTC. See In re Leisure Time
Sports, Inc., 194 B.R. at 861 (citing Kelly v. Upshaw, 39 Cal.2d
179 (1952) and stating that “a purported assignment of a mortgage
without an assignment of the debt which it secured was a legal
nullity.”).
While the Riveras cannot pursue their first claim for relief
for purposes of directly challenging DBNTC’s pending nonjudicial
foreclosure proceedings, Debrunner, 204 Cal.App.4th at 440-42,
the first claim for relief states a cognizable legal theory to
the extent it is aimed at determining DBNTC’s rights, if any, as
a creditor who has filed a proof of secured claim in the Riveras’
bankruptcy case.

TILA CLAIM UPHELD!—–

Fifth Claim for Relief – for violation of the Federal Truth In Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)

The Riveras’ TILA Claim alleged, quite simply, that they did
not receive from DBNTC, at the time of Chase’s assignment of the
deed of trust to DBNTC, the notice of change of ownership
required by 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)(1). That section provides:
In addition to other disclosures required by this
subchapter, not later than 30 days after the date on
which a mortgage loan is sold or otherwise transferred
or assigned to a third party, the creditor that is the
new owner or assignee of the debt shall notify the
borrower in writing of such transfer, including–

(A) the identity, address, telephone number of the new

creditor;

(B) the date of transfer;

 

(C) how to reach an agent or party having authority to

act on behalf of the new creditor;

(D) the location of the place where transfer of

ownership of the debt is recorded; and

(E) any other relevant information regarding the new

creditor.

The bankruptcy court did not explain why it considered this claim as lacking in merit. It refers to the fact that the
Riveras had actual knowledge of the change in ownership within
months of the recordation of the trust deed assignment. But the
bankruptcy court did not explain how or why this actual knowledge
would excuse noncompliance with the requirements of the statute.
Generally, the consumer protections contained in the statute
are liberally interpreted, and creditors must strictly comply
with TILA’s requirements. See McDonald v. Checks–N–Advance, Inc.
(In re Ferrell), 539 F.3d 1186, 1189 (9th Cir. 2008). On its
face, 15 U.S.C. § 1640(a)(2)(A)(iv) imposes upon the assignee of
a deed of trust who violates 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)(1) statutory
damages of “not less than $400 or greater than $4,000.”
While the Riveras’ TILA claim did not state a plausible
claim for actual damages, it did state a plausible claim for
statutory damages. Consequently, the bankruptcy court erred when
it dismissed the Riveras’ TILA claim.

LAST, THEY GOT REAR ENDED FOR NOT SEEKING LEAVE TO AMEND

Here, however, the Riveras did not argue in either the bankruptcy court or in their opening appeal brief that the court should have granted them leave to amend. Having not raised the issue in either place, we may consider it forfeited. See Golden v. Chicago Title Ins. Co. (In re Choo), 273 B.R. 608, 613 (9th Cir. BAP 2002).

Even if we were to consider the issue, we note that the

bankruptcy court gave the Riveras two chances to amend their
complaint to state viable claims for relief, examined the claims
they presented on three occasions and found them legally
deficient each time. Moreover, the Riveras have not provided us
with all of the record materials that would have permitted us a
full view of the analyses and explanations the bankruptcy court
offered them when it reviewed the Riveras’ original complaint and
their first amended complaint. Under these circumstances, we
will not second-guess the bankruptcy court’s decision to deny
leave to amend. See generally In re Nordeen, 495 B.R. at 489-90
(examining multiple opportunities given to the plaintiffs to
amend their complaint and the bankruptcy court’s efforts to
explain to them the deficiencies in their claims, and ultimately
determining that the court did not abuse its discretion in
denying the plaintiffs leave to amend their second amended
complaint).

Business Records Exception — The Loophole That Needs Closing

For further information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688

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see AppellateOpinion Holt v Calchas 4th DCA decision

The clear assumption in this case is that Wells Fargo had stepped into the shoes of the lender and that if Wells Fargo did not win or if its surrogate did not win, it was assumed that the homeowner would be getting a free house, a free ride and a windfall at the expense of Wells Fargo Bank. Despite years of articles and treatises written on the subject, the courts have still not caught up with the basic fact that both the lenders and borrowers were victims of an illegal and fraudulent scheme. At the very least, the court owes it to our society and to all parties involved in foreclosure litigation, to enforce the laws that already exist —  especially the rules concerning the burden of proof in a foreclosure action.

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The Holt decision is a curious case. There are a number of unique factors that occurred in the trial court and again in the appellate court. The first judge recused herself shortly into the trial and was replaced by a senior judge. There is no transcript of the proceedings prior to the point where the senior judge took over. At the same time the homeowners attorney was also replaced. So my first question is how anyone could have reached any decision. In the absence of the transcript of the proceedings leading up to the recusal of the original judge I find it troublesome that either the judge or the attorney for the homeowner could come to a decision or develop any trial strategy or theory of the case for the defense of this foreclosure case.

The second thing that I have trouble with is that the homeowner filed the appeal based on three different theories, to wit:

(1) the proffered promissory note, mortgage, and assignment of mortgage should not have been admitted into evidence—  an argument that the appellate court rejects;

(2)  the homeowner’s motion to dismiss should have been granted for failure to prove compliance with paragraph 22 [default, reinstatement and acceleration] of the mortgage —  with which the appellate court agreed. Since the appellate court agreed with this point and reversed the trial court it would seem that the case should have been dismissed, but instead the 4th District Court of Appeal chose to remand the case for further proceedings thus giving a second bite of the apple to the party who was claiming the right to foreclose —  despite the finding that the trial was over and on appeal and the foreclosing party had failed to make its case. If the homeowner had failed to prove its defenses, would the appellate court have issued legal advice to the homeowner and remanded for another bite at the apple?

(3)  the payment history should not have been admitted into evidence over the hearsay objection raised by the homeowner. The court goes into great lengths essentially tying itself into knots over this one, but eventually sides with the homeowner. Instead of ordering the entry of judgment for the homeowner, the court remanded the action for further proceedings in which the foreclosing party, having received legal advice from the District Court of Appeal, is now permitted to retry the case to fill in the blanks that the appellate court had pointed out with great specificity and particularity.

While I agree with much of the reasoning that is stated in this appellate decision, I still find it very troublesome that there remains an assumption and perhaps even a bias in favor of the foreclosing party. This is directly contrary to the rules of court, common law, and statutory law. The party bringing a claim for affirmative relief (like foreclosure) must bear the burden of proving every element required in their cause of action. This is not a motion to dismiss where every allegation is taken as true. At trial, it is the opposite — there is no case for the homeowner to defend unless the foreclosing party establishes all elements of its right to foreclose. If they fail to do so, the other side wins. In the interest of justice as well as finality courts do not easily allow either side to have another trial unless there are exceptional circumstances.

(In non-judicial states, this is particularly perplexing — the homeowner is required to sue for a TRO (temporary restraining order). In actuality the homeowner probably should have sued immediately upon the notice of the purported “substitution of trustee.” But the point is that the homeowner is required to prove a negative as the non-judicial statutes are construed. What SHOULD happen is that if the homeowner sues for the TRO and objects to the notices filed, challenges the standing of the “new” beneficiary on the deed of trust, and otherwise denies the elements of a foreclosure action, then the parties should be realigned with the new beneficiary required to plead and prove its standing, ownership and ability to prove the default and the balance owed.)

The next thing I find potentially troublesome is that the tactic of inserting a new entity as plaintiff or as servicer in order to shield the actual perpetrator was clearly employed in this case, although it seems not to have been mentioned in the trial court or on appeal. In this case an entity called Consumer Solutions 3 LLC was substituted for Wells Fargo. Then Wells Fargo was substituted for Consumer Solutions. This is a game of three card monte in which everyone loses except for the dealer — Wells Fargo.

As long as they are going back to trial, it would seem that the homeowner would be well served to do some investigations into the parties, and to determine what transactions if any had actually occurred. If there were no transactions, which I think is the case, then any paperwork generated from those fictitious transactions would be completely worthless, lacking in any foundation and could never be enforced against anybody —  with the possible exception of a holder in due course.

 BUSINESS  RECORDS EXCEPTION:

I am continually frustrated by the fact that most people simply do not consider the elements of the business records exception to the hearsay rule within the context of why the hearsay rule exists. By its very nature hearsay tends to be untrustworthy, untested and usually self-serving. That is why the rule exists. It bars any document or testimony offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted unless the person who spoke or wrote the words is present in court to be cross examined as to their personal knowledge, whether they had an interest in creating one appearance or another,  or whether the entire statement could be impeached.

Instead most people on all sides of foreclosure litigation seem to think that the business record should be admitted into evidence unless there is a compelling reason to the contrary. This is incorrect. And if you just scratched the surface of any of these claims you will find that the party who is seeking to introduce these hearsay statements into evidence has a vested interest in the outcome of the case and absolutely no direct knowledge of any of the facts of the case.

Like Chase Bank does with SPS, Wells Fargo has inserted this entity that is essentially run by a hedge fund (Cargill) to prevent any employee or contract party from testifying on behalf of Wells Fargo, because Wells Fargo knows that it has already been sanctioned millions of dollars for telling lies in court.

So instead they have somebody else come in to tell the lies, and that witness is trying to say that they are familiar with the record-keeping of their own company which includes the record-keeping of the previous company, Wells Fargo. Consumer Solutions is a shame shell that never did anything but rent its name for foreclosures while its parent, Cargill, received compensation  (a piece of the pie) for doing nothing.

This obvious ploy has worked for nearly a decade but is coming under increasing scrutiny — with Judges musing out loud about the shuffling of “servicers” and “lenders” and creditors. In an effort to stifle any real challenge to foreclosures courts have often held that the securitization documents are “irrelevant.”

So the courts take jurisdiction over the action and the parties by virtue of claims of securitization, authority allegedly granted by a pooling and servicing agreement, and ownership “proven” merely by claiming it on the basis of self-serving fabricated documents not subject to scrutiny, and a default and balance that excludes the payments received by the creditors from servicer advances and other third party payments paid without right of subrogation.

Then the courts limit discovery, overrule objections and allow the party initiating foreclosure to “prove” its case by using dubious legal “presumptions” instead of facts, most of which were denied by the homeowner.

And now that the Wall Street banks perceive a risk in having real people with real knowledge testify, because they might admit or testify to things that might hurt them, they insert a complete stranger to the process and double down on “business record exception” to get paperwork into evidence, much of which is completely fabricated and nearly all of which contains errors in computation by exclusion of (a) the fact that the creditors were paid every payment despite the declaration of default by the “servicer” and (b) deducting those payments from the original debt owed to those investors who advanced funds for the origination or acquisition of “loans.”

In the Holt decision the 4th DCA declares that the assignment was properly allowed into evidence because it was a “verbal act” and not offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Once in evidence however, the contents were taken as true shifting the burden of proof to the homeowner who was stone walled in discovery. The homeowner in many cases is not allowed to compel the production of evidence of payment or consideration for the assignment — without which the assignment is merely an empty document conferring no rights greater than the assignor had at the time of the alleged “assignment”. Most often the assignor did not require payment for the simple reason that they too had no money in the deal.

PAYMENT  HISTORY HEARSAY OBJECTION

The court inserts Florida Statute 90.803(6)(a), which is part of the evidence code, providing for exceptions to the hearsay rule for business records. In that statute is the general wording for the types of records that might qualify for the exception. But the court completely ignores the last words of that statute — “unless the sources of information or other circumstances show lack of trustworthiness.” (e.s.)

The question is why should we trust a servicer or its “professional witness”? The witness is there and was often hired for the sole purpose of testifying in foreclosure trials. If they lose, they risk their jobs. The “servicer” whether they are designated in the PSA or have been slipped in as another layer of obfuscation, has an interest that is in conflict with the the actual creditors — recovery of “servicer advances” (which were paid from funds provided by the Master Servicer — often the underwriter and seller of mortgage bonds to investors) and to make more money because they are allowed to collect a vast amount of “fees” for enforcement of a “non-performing” loan.

The fact is that the servicer advances negates the default and might give rise to a new cause of action for unjust enrichment against the homeowner but that claim would not be secured. This in turn leads to the unnatural conclusion of aggravating the the alleged damages by forced sale of the property as opposed to modification and reformation of the loan documents to (a) name the true creditor and (b) use the true balance owed to the creditors.

Thus both the specific witness and the company he or she represents have a vested interest in seeing to it that the foreclosure results in a forced sale for their own benefit and contrary to creditors who have no notice of the pending action. At the very least, this certainly raises the question of trustworthiness. Add to that the fraudulent servicing practices, the lies told during the “modification” process, and I would argue that the source and circumstances raise a presumption that the testimony and business records not trustworthy.

Quoting Florida Statute 90.803(6)(a) the court goes not to set forth the elements of the business records exception — the issue being that ALL elements must be met, not just some or even most of them:

  1. The record was made at or near the time of the event [so in many cases where SPS was inserted as the “servicer” when in fact it was merely an enforcer without knowledge of prior events, it is impossible for the records of SPS  to contain entries that were made at or near the time of any relevant event].
  2.  the record was made by or from information transmitted by a person with knowledge [ if the court permitted proper discovery, voir dire, and cross examination is doubtful that any witness would be able to testify that the record was made by a particular person who had actual knowledge]
  3.  the record was kept in the ordinary course of a regularly conducted business activity [ while it might be true that the actual servicer could claim that it’s records were in the ordinary course of a regularly conducted business activity, it is not true where the witness is a representative of a “new” servicer for plaintiff —  neither of whom were processing any data concerning the loan from the moment of origination through the date that the foreclosure was filed]
  4.  that the record was a regular practice of that business to make such a record [ here is where the courts are in my opinion making a singular error —  by accepting proof of only the fourth element required for the business records exception, trial court and appellate courts are ignoring the other elements and therefore allowing untrustworthy documents into evidence.  “While it is not necessary to call the individual who prepared a document, the witness to open a document is being offered must be able to show each of the requirements for establishing a proper foundation.” Hunter v  or Aurora loan services LLC, 137 S 3d 570 (Fla 1st DCA 2014).

The Holt Court then goes on to analyze several cases:

  1. Yisrael v State 993 So 2d 952, 956 (FLA 2008) — a Florida Supreme Court decision quoting the elements of the business records exception. see sc07-1030
  2. Glarum v LaSalle Bank, N.A. 83 So 3d (Fla 4th DCA 2011) — where the witness was unable to lay the proper foundation for the business records exception  because the witness testified that he “did not know who, how, or when the data entries were made into [ the previous mortgage holders’] system and he could not stated the records were made in the regular course of business.” ( My only objection to this is the wording that was used. The predecessors in the document chain are referred to as “mortgage holders” —  indicating an assumption which is probably not true). see Glarum v. LaSalle
  3. Weisenberg v Deutsch Bank N.A. 89 So 3d 1111 (FLA 4th DCA 2012) — Where the court held that “the deposition excerpts show that [the witness] knew how the data was produced and her testimony demonstrated that she was familiar with the bank’s record-keeping system and had knowledge about data is uploaded into the system.” (My problem with the Weisenberg decision is that the word “familiar” is used generically so that the witness is allowed to testify about the business records — without any personal knowledge about the trustworthiness of the data in those records — again with the apparent assumption that the foreclosing party SHOULD win and the second assumption being that the homeowner should not be allowed to take advantage of hairsplitting technicalities to get a free house.  In fact it is the servicer that is taking advantage of such technicalities by getting business records into evidence without verification that those are all the business records. For example, the question I often ask is who did the servicer pay after receiving payment from the borrower or anyone else? The records don’t show that — thus how can the court determine the balance on the creditor’s books and records? The underlying false assumption here is that the servicer records ARE the creditor’s records even though the creditors have not even been identified.)
  4. WAMCO v Integrated Electronic Environments 903 So 2d 230 (Fla 2d DCA 2005) —  Where another appellate court held that “a document which contains the amount of money owed on the loan was admissible under the business records exception even where the testimony as to the amount owed was based on information from a bank that previously held the loan.” (I think this decision was at least partially wrong. The witness testified that it was part of his duties to oversee the collection of loans that the bank urges and the initial members he used his calculations were provided by the previous bank.  In my opinion the court properly concluded that the witness to testify —  that he should have been limited to the business records of the company that employed him. Witness knew nothing about the previous bank practices and did not employ any verification processes. see 2D04-2717
  5. Hunter v Aurora Loan Services 137 So 3d 570 (Fla 1st DCA 2014) — where the witness was incompetent to testify and could not lay a proper foundation for the business records exception and in which the HOLT Court quotes from the Hunter decision with obvious approval:  “At trial, a witness who works for the current note holder, but never worked for the initial note holder, attempted to lay the foundation for the introduction of records pertaining to prior ownership and transfer of the note and mortgage as business records. The witness testified that based on his dealings with the original note holder, the original note holders business practice regarding the transfer of ownership of loans was standard across the industry. He could not testify, based on personal knowledge, who generated the information. He also testified, in general fashion and without any specifics, that some of the documents sought to be introduced were generated by a computer program used across the industry  and that records custodian for the loan servicer was the person who usually it puts the information obtained in the documents. The trial court admitted the documents into evidence.” see hunter-v-aurora-loan-servs-llc

The most interesting quote from the Hunter decision is “absent such personal knowledge, the witness was unable to substantiate when the records were made, whether the information they contain derived from a person with knowledge, whether the original note holder regularly make such records, or indeed, whether the records belong to the original note holder in the first place. The testimony about standard mortgage industry practice only arguably established that such records are generated and kept in the ordinary course of mortgage loan servicing.” 

Bank of America Ordered to Pay $1.2 BILLION for Fraudulent Mortgages

“Given the current environment where robo-signing became institutionalized as a practice even though it is the equivalent of forgery and where fabrication of documents by law offices and “document processors” were prepared according to a published menu of prices, why would anyone, least of all a court of law, apply general principles surrounding presumptions when established fact makes it more likely than not that the presumptions lead to the wrong conclusions? Where is the prejudice to anyone in abandoning these presumptions in light of all the information in the public domain?” — Neil Garfield, livinglies.me

THEY ACTUALLY CALLED IT “HUSTLE”

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan ruled nine months after jurors found Bank of America and former Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone liable for defrauding government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) through the sale of shoddy loans by the former Countrywide Financial Inc in 2007 and 2008.

The case centered on a mortgage lending process known as “High Speed Swim Lane,” “HSSL” or “Hustle,” and which ended before Bank of America bought Countrywide in July 2008.

Investigators said the program emphasized quantity over quality, rewarding employees for producing more loans and eliminating checkpoints designed to ensure the loans’ quality. (see link below)

Now that an actual employee of the Bank has also been ordered to pay $1 Million, maybe others will start coming out of the woodwork seeking immunity for their testimony. There certainly has been a large exodus of employees and officers of Bank of America to other Banks and even other industries. They are all trying to distance themselves from the inevitable down fall of the Bank. Meanwhile the corrupt system is heavily engaged with financial news reporting. For every article pointing out that Bank of America might have hundreds of Billions of dollars in legal liabilities for their fraudulent practices in originating, acquiring, servicing and foreclosing mortgages, there are five articles spread over the internet telling investors that BOA is a good investment and it is advisable to buy the stock. I know how that system works. For favors or money some people will write anything.

THE BURDEN OF PLEADINGS AND PROOF MUST BE CHANGED

The question I continue to raise is that if there was an administrative finding of fraud by an agency of the government, which there was, and if there was a jury finding of fraud involved in the Countrywide mortgages (and other mortgages) why are we presuming in court that that the mortgage is valid?

I understand the statutory and common law presumptions arising out of certain instruments that appear to be facially valid. But I propose that lawyers challenge those presumptions based upon the widespread knowledge and information across the public domain that many if not most of the mortgages were procured by fraud, processed fraudulently, serviced fraudulently, and foreclosed fraudulently. In my opinion it is time for lawyers to challenge that presumption in light of the numerous studies, agency investigations and findings that the mortgages, from beginning to end, were fraudulently originated, acquired and processed.

Why should the filings of a pretender lender receive the benefit of the presumptions of validity just because it exists when we already know it is more likely than not that there are no underlying facts to support the presumptions — and knowing that there was probably fraud involved? Why should the burden remain on the borrowers who have the least access to the information about that fraud and who get nothing from the banks during discovery?

Forfeiture of the private residence of a person is the worst outcome of any civil litigation. It is like the death penalty in criminal litigation. Shouldn’t it require intense scrutiny instead of a rocket docket that presumes the validity of the mortgage and note, and presumes that a possessor of a note (that more likely than not was fabricated and forged by a machine) has the right to enforce?

In a REAL transaction in the REAL world, the originator of a loan would demand that all underwriting restrictions be applied, and confirmation of the submissions by the borrower. If anyone was buying the loan in the secondary market, they would demand the same thing and proof that the assignor, endorser or transferor of the loan had title to it in every conceivable way.

The buyer would demand copies of the actual documentation so that they could enforce the loan. These documents would exist and be kept in a vault because the fate of the investment normally depends upon the ability of the “lender” or “purchaser” of the loan to prove that the loan was properly originated and transferred for value in good faith without knowledge of any defenses of the borrower.

In short, they would demand that they receive proof of all aspects in the chain of title such that they would be considered a Holder in Due Course.

Today, nobody seems to allege they are a holder in due course and nobody seems to want to identify any party as a Holder in Due Course or even a creditor. They use the term “holder” with its presumptions as a sword against the hapless borrower who doesn’t have the information to know that his or her loan is likely NOT owned by anyone in the chain claimed by the foreclosing party.

If it were otherwise, all foreclosure cases would end with a thud — the loan would be produced in all its glory with everything in its place and fully disclosed. The only defense left would be payment. Instead the banks are waiting years to run the statute on TILA rescission and TILA violations before they start actively prosecuting a foreclosure.

What bank with a legitimate claim for foreclosure would want to wait before it got its hands on the collateral for a loan in default? Incredibly, these delays which often amount to five years or more, are ascribed to borrowers who are “buying time” without looking at the docket to see that the delay is caused by the Plaintiff foreclosing party, not the borrower who has been actively seeking discovery.

What harm would there be to anyone who is a legitimate stakeholder in this process if we required the banks to plead and prove in all cases — judicial and nonjudicial — the following:

  1. All closing documents with the borrower conformed with Federal and State law as to disclosures, Good Faith Estimate and appraisals.
  2. Underwriting and due diligence for approval of the loan application was performed by [insert name of party].
  3. The payee on the note loaned money to the borrower.
  4. The mortgagee on the mortgage (or beneficiary on the deed of trust) was the source of funds for the loan.
  5. The “originator” of the loan was the lender.
  6. No investor or third party was the creditor, investor or lender at the closing of the loan.
  7. Attached to the pleading are wire transfer receipts or canceled checks showing that the borrower received the funds from the party named on the settlement documents as the lender.
  8. Each assignment in the chain of title to the loan was the result of a transaction in which the loan was sold by the owner of the loan for value in good faith without knowledge of borrower’s defenses.
  9. Each assignment in the chain of title to the loan was the result of a transaction in which the loan was purchased by a bona fide purchaser for value in good faith without knowledge of borrower’s defenses.
  10. Attached to the pleading are wire transfer receipts or canceled checks showing that the seller of the loan received the funds from the party named on the assignment or endorsement as the purchaser.
  11. The creditor for this debt is [name the creditor]. The creditor has notice of this proceeding and has authorized the filing of this foreclosure [see attached authorization document].
  12. The date of the purchase by the creditor Trust is [put in the date]. Attached to the pleading are wire transfer receipts or canceled checks showing that the seller of the subject loan received the funds from the REMIC Trust named in the pleadings as the purchaser.
  13. The purchase by the Trust conformed to the terms and conditions of the Trust instrument which is the Pooling and Servicing Agreement [attached, or URL given where it can be accessed]
  14. The Creditor’s accounts show a deficiency in payments caused by the failure of the borrower to pay under the terms of the note.
  15. All payments received by the creditor (owner of the loan) have been posted whether received directly or received indirectly by agents of the creditor.
  16. The creditor has suffered financial injury and has declared a default on its own account. [See attached Notice of Default].
  17. The last payment received by the creditor from anyone paying on this subject loan account was [insert date].

When I represented Banks and Homeowner Associations in foreclosures against homeowners and commercial property owners, I had all of this information at my fingertips and could produce them instantly.

Given the current environment where robo-signing became institutionalized as a practice even though it is the equivalent of forgery and where fabrication of documents by law offices and “document processors” were prepared according to a published menu of prices, why would anyone, least of all a court of law, apply general principles surrounding presumptions when established fact makes it more likely than not that the presumptions lead to the wrong conclusions? Where is the prejudice to anyone in abandoning these presumptions in light of all the information in the public domain?

see http://thebostonjournal.com/2014/07/30/bank-of-america-ordered-to-pay-1-27-billion-for-countrywide-fraud/

For consultations, services, title and securitization reports, reviews and analysis please call 520-405-1688 or 954-495-9867.

Using the Best Evidence Rule As You Follow the Money

The Best Evidence Rule in Florida and Federal Courts Applied to Notes, Mortgages and Assignments

The problem with foreclosure litigation is that the homeowner is dealing with rebuttable presumptions about the testimony and the documents admitted into evidence. They are admitted into evidence because there is no timely objection from the homeowner or the foreclosure defense attorney.

The note, mortgage and assignment are presumed to be valid instruments if they conform to the requirements of law as to form and content. In that case they are facially valid. That means there is a rebuttable presumption that there was a valid underlying transaction. Therefore. as a matter of law, the paper presented is not just facially valid but also presumptive evidence that the transaction existed. This gets tricky in application and is one of the many reasons why lawyers should study up on courtroom procedures, evidence and objections.

On the note, the underlying transaction is the debt. The debt exists not because of the note, but because Party A put money into the hands of Party B who accepted it. The debt arises regardless of whether or not a note was executed. The note is evidence of the debt and it is presumptive evidence that there was an underlying transaction in the amount of the note. The underlying transaction is therefore the payee putting money into the hands of the homeowner, who is the payor.

On the mortgage, the underlying transaction is still the debt and the existence of the note, because a valid mortgage does not exist except if it is based upon an instrument in writing. The mortgage is not presumptive evidence of the existence of the underlying transaction (the actual loan of money from Party A to Party B). Under normal circumstances the existence of a properly executed mortgage would corroborate the evidence supplied by the note.

On the assignment, the underlying transaction is a payment of money from Assignee to the Assignor. The assignment itself might be accepted by the court as presumptive evidence that such an underlying transaction exists (in the absence of an objection). If a proper objection is raised, the presumption vanishes.

So what is a proper objection under these circumstances? Remember if you fail to raise the objection then the burden of proving the transaction did not happen falls on the homeowner. The objective here is to hold the bank’s feet to the fire and make them prove their case. And the reason for this is not to exercise your vocal chords. It is to show that the underlying transaction between the parties stated in the document proffered by the bank never took place. And the reason you are doing that is because those transactions in fact, never occurred.

The hearsay rule is an appropriate objection because the document is being used to establish the truth of the matter implied — i.e., that there was an underlying transaction. But the better objection,in my opinion, is that the existence of the underlying transaction be subject to (1) lack of foundation and (2) best evidence. They are related in this instance.

Under the rules of evidence, the note, mortgage and assignment are secondary documents that imply that a transaction took place but do not show facts to verify that the transaction actually occurred. Hence, the BEST EVIDENCE of the underlying transaction is the canceled check or wire transfer receipt showing the payment and implied acceptance of the money used to fund the loan or purchase the mortgage. Anything less than that is not admissible evidence — unless the objection is overlooked or waived. It would therefore be true that the debt from the homeowner allegedly owed to the payee on the note (and mortgage) or the assignee on the assignment is not supported by foundation in the usual circumstances.

Special note here: I have seen in reported cases that it DOES occur that litigants, including banks, have doctored up copies of wire transfer receipts. Thus any effort to introduce the copy would be met by your objection on the basis of best evidence and the argument, if applicable, that the failure to disclose the document prior to trial deprived you of your ability to confirm the authenticity of the document. Verification is possible but he banks, Federal reserve etc., will not make it easy on you so a court order will be helpful.

Normally the corporate representative of the servicer is the witness. It will usually be established on voir dire or cross examination that the witness neither had access to nor ever personally viewed any records of the actual transaction and in fact never even saw the secondary evidence (the note, mortgage and assignment) until a few days before trial. Thus no testimony will be elicited, in the ordinary course of things, that the transaction took place (i.e., an ACTUAL transaction in which money from the payee was loaned to the homeowner or money from the Assignee was paid to the Assignor). Hence no foundation exists for any testimony or any document that the debt exists or that the loan was actually sold for consideration and then assigned.

This is not a technical matter. If I agree to pay you $100 for your toaster oven, I can’t demand the appliance until I have paid it. If that was the agreement, then the underlying transaction is the payment of money. The evidence — the best evidence — of the payment is a canceled check or wire transfer receipt. The exceptions to the best evidence rule do not seem to apply and there is no adequate explanation for why anything other than direct primary evidence of the transaction itself should be admitted.

In searching the internet I found that a lawyer in West palm beach wrote a pretty good article on the subject although he was concentrating on the use of the best evidence rule in connection with duplicates. see http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-is-the-best-evidence-rule-in-florida for the article by Mark R. Osherow, Esq.

Here are some excerpts from that article.

===================

The best evidence rule, set forth in Fla. R. Evid.’90.952 and Fed. Rules Evid. 1001, provides that, where a writing is offered in evidence, a copy or other secondary evidence of its content will not be received in place of the original document unless an adequate explanation is offered for the absence of the original. Fla. R. Evid. ‘90.9520-90.958; Fed. Rules Evid. 1002-1008….
Public records authentication is provided for by section 90.955 and Rule 1005. Under section 90.956 and Rule 1006 voluminous writings, recordings, or photographs which cannot be conveniently examined in court may be presented in the form of a chart, summary or calculation. Of course, admissibility of a summary depends upon the admissibility of the underlying documents. In order to use a summary, timely written notice is required with proof filed in court. Adverse parties must have sufficient time to investigate and inspect underlying records and summaries….
Fla. R. Evid. Section 90.957. Section 90.958 and Rule 1008 set forth the situations where the court determines admissibility and where the jury determines factual issues such as the existence of a document, its content, and the contents accuracy.
The best evidence rule arose during the days when a copy was usually made by a clerk or, worse, a party to the lawsuit. Courts generally assumed that, if the original was not produced, there was a good chance of either a scrivener’s error or fraud.
… there is always a danger of a party questioning a document, so it is important to remember that, unless you have a stipulation to the contrary, or your document fits one of the exceptions listed in the statute, you must be ready to produce originals of any documents involved in your case or to produce evidence of why you cannot.

BeforeYou Open Your Mouth Or Write Anything Down, Know What You Are Talking About

EDITOR’S NOTE: By popular demand I am writing a new workbook that is up to date on the theories and practices of real estate loans, documentation, securitizations and effective enforcement and foreclosure of the collateral (real property — i.e., the house). The book will be finished around the end of January. If you want to purchase an advance subscription to an advance copy we can give you a discount off the price of $599. You will receive the final edit drafts of each section as completed. And your comments might be included in the final text with attribution. This is an excerpt from what I have done so far ( the references to “boxes” is a reference to artwork that has not yet been completed but the meaning is clear enough from the words):

[Note: I did borrow some phrases and cites from Judge Jennifer Bailey’s Bench Book for Judges in Dade County. But things have changed substantially since she wrote that guide and my book is intended to update the various treatises, books and articles on the subject of mortgage related litigation in the era of securitization]

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The massive volume of foreclosures and real estate closings have resulted in a failure of the judicial system — both Judges and Attorneys to scrutinize the transactions and foreclosures and other enforcement actions for compliance with basic contract law. This starts with whether there is an actual loan at the base of the tree of assignments, endorsements, powers of attorney etc. If the party at the base of the tree did not in fact make any loan and was not possessed of any actual or apparent authority to represent the party who DID make the loan, then the instruments executed in favor of the originator are void, not voidable. This is simply because the loan contract like any contract requires offer, acceptance and consideration. Lacking any meeting of the minds and/or consideration, there was no contract regardless of what one of the parties signed.

 

The interesting issue at the start of our investigation is how to define the loan contract. Is it a contract that arises by operation of statutory or common law? Is it a contract that arises by execution of instruments? What if the borrower executes an instruments that acknowledges receipt of money he never received from the party he thought was giving him the money? Is it possible for the written instruments to create a conflict between the presumptions at law arising from written, properly executed instruments and the real facts that gave rise to a contract that was created by operation of law?

 

These questions come up because there is no actual written loan contract. The borrower and lender do not come together and sign a contract for loan. The contract is implied from the documents and actions contemporaneously occurring at or around the time of the loan “closing.” It appears to be a case of first impression that the borrower is induced to sign documents in favor of someone who, at the end of the day, does NOT give him the loan. This never was a defect before the era of claims of securitization. Now it is central to the issue of establishing the identity and rights of a creditor and debtor and whether the debt is secured or unsecured.

 

Even where the loan contract is solid, the same legal and factual problems arise at the time of the alleged acquisition of the loan where assignments lack consideration because, like the above origination, an undisclosed third party was the actual source of funds.

 

 

 

Definitions:

 

 

 

1)   Debt: in the context of loans, the amount of money due from the borrower to the lender. This may include successors to the lender. In a simple mortgage loan the amount of money due, the identity of the borrower and the identity of the lender are clear. In cases where the mortgage loan is subject to claims of assignments, transfers, sales or securitization by either the borrower or the party claiming to be the lender or the successor to the lender, there are questions of fact and law that must be determined by the court based on the method by which the money advanced to or on behalf of the borrower that leads to a finding by the court of the identity of the party who advanced the money for the origination of the debt or for the acquisition of the debt.

 

a)    In all cases the debt arises by operation of law at the moment that the borrower receives the advance of money from a lender regardless of the method utilized and regardless of the validity of any instruments that were executed by either the borrower or the lender.

 

i)     The acceptance of the money by the borrower raises a strong presumption that the advance of money in the context of the situation was not a gift.

 

ii)    In simple loans the legal instruments that were executed by the borrower at the loan closing are presumptively supported by consideration as expressed in the note or mortgage and a valid contract presumptively exists such that the court can enforce the note and the mortgage.

 

b)   The factual circumstances and any written instruments that were executed by the parties as part of a loan contract govern terms of repayment of the debt.

 

c)    Enforcement of the repayment obligation of the borrower requires either a lawsuit on the loan of money or a lawsuit on a promissory note.

 

i)     If the lawsuit is on the loan of money plaintiff must state the ultimate facts upon which relief could be granted including the factual circumstances of the loan and the fact that the loan was made. In Florida — F.R.C.P. 1.110 (b), Form 1.936

 

ii)    The lawsuit is on a note plaintiff must state the ultimate facts upon which relief could be granted including that the plaintiff owns and holds the note, that Defendant owes the Plaintiff money, and state the amount of money that is owed. In Florida — F.R.C.P. 1.110 (b), Form 1.934

 

(1)Where the Plaintiff alleges it is a party by virtue of a sale, assignment, transfer or endorsement of the note, Plaintiffs frequently fail to allege the required elements in which case the Court should dismiss the complaint — unless the Defendant has already admitted the debt, the note, the mortgage, and the default.

 

(2)The burden of pleading and proving the required elements is on the Plaintiff and cannot be shifted to the defendant without violating the constitutional requirements of due process.

 

(3)Requiring the Defendant to raise a required but missing element of a defective complaint filed by a Plaintiff would require the Defendant to raise the missing element and then deny it as an attempt at stating an affirmative defense that raises no issue other than an element that was required to be in the complaint of the Plaintiff. This is reversible error in that it improperly shifts the burden of pleading onto the Defendant and requires the Defendant to prove facts mostly in the sole control of the Defendant and which would establish standing to bring the action.

 

d)   In those cases where the loan is subject to claims of assignments, transfers, sales or securitization by either party the court must decide on a case-by-case basis whether the legal consideration for the loan (i.e., the advance of money from lender to borrower or for the benefit of the borrower) supports the debt described in the legal instruments that were executed by the borrower at the loan closing.

 

i)     If the Court finds that the legal instruments that were executed by the borrower at the loan closing are not supported by consideration, then the debt simply exists by operation of law and is not secured.

 

(1)Such a finding could only be based on the court determining that the lender described in the legal instruments is a different party than the party who actually loaned the money.

 

(2)Warehouse lending arrangements may be sufficient for the court to determine that the named payee on the note or the identified lender supplied consideration. The court must determine whether the warehouse lender was an actual lender or a strawman, nominee or conduit.

 

ii)    If the court finds that the legal instruments that were executed by the borrower at the loan closing are supported by consideration, then a valid contract may be found to exist that the court can enforce.

 

2)   Mortgage: a contract in which a borrower agrees that the lender may sell the real property (as described in the mortgage) for the purposes of satisfying a debt described in a promissory note that is described in the mortgage contract. It must be a written instrument securing the payment of money or advances made to or on behalf of the borrower. A lien to secure payment of assessments for condominiums, cooperatives and homeowner association is treated as a mortgage contract, pursuant to the enabling documents. See state statutes. For example, F.S. 702.09, Fla. Stat. (2010)

 

a)    a mortgage, if properly perfected, creates a specific lien against the property and is not a conveyance of legal title or of the right of possession to the real property described in the mortgage contract. See state statutes. For example section 697.02, Fla. Stat. (2010), Fla. Nat’l Bank v brown, 47 So 2d 748 (1949).

 

b)   Mortgagee: the party to home the real property is pledged as collateral against the debt described in the note. Mortgagee is presumptively the party named in the mortgage contract. With the advent of MERS and other situations where there is an assignment of the mortgage (expressly or by operation of law) the named mortgagee might be a strawman or nominee for a party described as the lender. In such cases there is an issue of fact as to perfection of the mortgage contract and therefore the mortgage encumbrance resulting from the recording of the mortgage contract. See state statutes. For example F.S. 721.82(6), Fla. Stat. (2010).

 

i)     In Florida the term mortgagee refers to the lender, the secured party or the holder of the mortgage lien. There are several questions of fact and law that the court must determine in order to define and apply these terms.

 

c)    Mortgagor

 

d)   Lender: the party who loaned money to the borrower. If the lender was identified in the mortgage contract by name then the mortgage contract is most likely enforceable.

 

i)     If the lender described in the mortgage contract is a strawman, nominee or conduit then there is an issue of fact as to whether any party could claim to be a secured party under the mortgage contract. Under such circumstances the mortgage contract must be treated as naming no identified secured party. Whether this results in a finding that the mortgage contract is not complete, not perfected or not enforceable is a question of fact that is decided on a case-by-case basis.

 

e)    No right to jury trial exists for enforcement of provisions of the mortgage. However, a right to jury trial exists if timely demanded provided that the foreclosing party seeks judgment on the note or the loan, to wit: financial damages for financial injury suffered by the Plaintiff.

 

i)     Bifurcation of the trial for damages and trial for enforcement of the mortgage contract may be necessary if the basis for the enforcement of the mortgage is non-payment of the note. Any properly raised affirmative defenses relating to setoff or enforceability of the note would be raised in the case for damages.

 

ii)    In that case the trial on the breach of the note would first be needed to render a verdict on the default and then a trial on enforcement of the mortgage would be held before the court without a jury.  Any properly raised defense relating to fees and other costs assessed in enforcement of the mortgage contract.

 

iii)  A question of fact and law must be decided by the court in actions in which the plaintiff merely seeks to enforce the mortgage by virtue of an alleged default by the plaintiff but does not seek monetary damages. Florida Form 1.944 (Foreclosure Complaint) is not specific as to whether it is allowing for a single trial without jury.

 

(1)Since foreclosures are actions in equity, no jury trial is required, but it can be allowed. Since actions for damages require jury trial if properly demanded, it would appear that this issue was not considered when the Florida Form was created.

 

iv)  The requirement that the Plaintiff must own the loan is a requirement that the Plaintiff is not acting in a representative capacity unless it brings the action on behalf of a principal that is disclosed and alleges and attaches to the complaint an instrument that confers upon Plaintiff its authority to do so.

 

v)    Owning the loan means, as set forth in Article 9 of the UCC that the Plaintiff paid for it in money or other consideration that was equivalent to money. The same thing holds true under Article 3 of the UCC for enforcement of the note if the Plaintiff seeks the exalted status of Holder in Due Course which requires payment PLUS no knowledge of defenses all of which must be alleged and proven by the Plaintiff. [1]

 

3)   Note: a written instrument describing the terms of repayment or terms of payment to the payee or a legal successor in interest. In mortgage loans the payor is often described as the borrower. This instrument is usually described in the mortgage contract as the basis for the forced sale of the property. The note is part of a contract for loan of money. It is often considered the total contract. The loan contract is not complete without the loan of money from the payee on the note. If the lender was identified in the note by name then the note is most likely enforceable.

 


[1] In non-judicial states where the power of sale is recognized as a contractual right, the issue is less clear as to the alignment of parties, claims and defenses. In actions to contest substitution of trustees, notices of sale, notices of default etc. it is the borrower who must bring the lawsuit and in some states they must do so within a very short time frame. Check applicable state statutes. The confusion stems from the fact that the Borrower is actually denying the allegations that would have been made if the alleged beneficiary under the deed of trust had filed a judicial complaint. The trustee on the deed of trust probably should file an action in interpleader if a proper objection is raised but this does not appear to be occurring in practice. This leaves the borrower as the Plaintiff and requiring allegations that would, in judicial states, be either denials or affirmative defenses. Temporary restraining orders are granted but usually only on a showing that the Plaintiff has a likelihood of  prevailing — a requirement not imposed on Plaintiffs in judicial states where the lender or “owner” must file the complaint.

 

Ohio Sets Back Steamrolling: First Things First

Mellon Bank v Shaffer Ohio Appeals Ct Says You can’t Fix Jurisdiction

In a decision that is interesting from many points of view an Ohio appellate court ruled that you can’t fix jurisdiction by assigning the loan and recording the documents after the foreclosure suit is filed. This could have substantial effects on non-judicial states as well. If at the time of the notice of sale the foreclosing party did not possess ownership of the loan the notice should be declared void and anything that happened after that point would be reversed. In this case the foreclosure judgment was reversed and so was the sale.

I find it interesting from other points of view as well. If you look at the style of the case you will see a sneaky attempt to correct fatal defects in the alleged securitization of the loan. As I have seen in numerous other cases especially those involving US Bank there is no actual trust mentioned as the plaintiff. In effect, nobody is suing. There are a lot of  places where the word “trust” is mentioned but there is nothing that actually says that interest exists or that a trust has been named as the plaintiff.

In previous articles I have outlined why I think that the investors are actually in a common-law general partnership and not as beneficiaries in the trust. In cases like this the first reason is that the trust doesn’t exist at all under the laws of any state. The second reason is that they are using the self-serving designation of “trustee” for a pile of certificates. In most cases the certificates do not exist on paper and therefore there is no pile. But even if there was a pile of certificates they would only be evidence of the issuance of a mortgage bond by an entity that doesn’t actually exist (the trust) or could only exist by operation of common law as a general partnership.  In effect each investor seems to own either an indivisible share or a divisible share of a cluster of loans —  but only if their money was used to purchase those loans or was used to pay for the origination of those loans. I have no doubt that the investor money was used for the origination of the loans.

The problem for the banks is that  the note and mortgage do not mention or name the individual investors or the investors as a group even though the money trail leads directly from the investors down to the closing agent, who will undoubtedly claim that they did not realize that the money was not coming from the party claiming to be the originator (the pretender lender) which is why the closing agent prepared a note and mortgage naming a party who was not the source of funds (and therefore not the lender) and who had no contractual relationship with the source of funds. In fact it is fair to assume that the closing agent had no idea of the identity or existence of the investors individually or as a group either as a general partnership or a trust.

This is the reason why I have expressed the opinion that the mortgage never became a perfected lien against the property even though it was recorded. It is either fraudulent or a wild deed.  whether the investors can claim the benefits of a contract signed by the borrower without assuming the liability for disclosures required under the truth in lending act is a question that has yet to be decided. But part of it has been decided. In Missouri and other states it is established law that there is no such thing as an equitable lien. It either exists because it conforms to state law or it does not exist.

Another thing about this decision which comes from the style of the case is that the plaintiff is supposedly the successor in interest to J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. This is where discovery and subpoenas aimed at the money trail will prove that no such transaction ever existed. As Judge Shack in New York has pointed out several times there is no reasonable business basis for the purchase of a loan that is already in default and where the collateral is either worthless or substantially below the amount due. While it is true that generally speaking the law does not look to the adequacy of consideration, is also true that where the consideration is wildly out of reason, that something other than the loan itself was conveyed, to wit: either the mortgage servicing rights or the right to receive income as “trustee”.

In the  last point I will make is simply that all of the entities mentioned in this specific case were heavily involved in the securitization scam. First they sold the mortgage bonds under false pretenses and then claimed ownership of the bonds and the underlying mortgages; second they received third-party mitigation payments under circumstances where there was an express waiver of subrogation or contribution from the borrower. Those payments were not sale of the bonds or the loans.

Thus the bond receivable account should have been correspondingly reduced by the amount of money received by the banks on behalf of the investors. This obviously would reduce the account receivable that was due to each investor.

If the account receivable was properly adjusted for payments received from third parties the amount due from anyone (including the borrower) would be correspondingly reduced.

Thus even if the securitization scheme was executed properly, most of the loans to borrowers should have reflected a decrease in the principal amount due because the creditors’ account receivable had been reduced by payment. This is why I say to follow the money trail before you follow the paper trail. The paper trail only talks about transactions. The money trail reveals the actual transactions against which you can compare the paper trail proffered by the banks in illegal and wrongful foreclosures.

Michigan Appellate Court Dismisses BOA Foreclosure for Lack of Standing — but for the wrong reason?

CHASE-WAMU MERGER CONSIDERED IN MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS AS NOT AN ASSIGNMENT.  BOA FORECLOSURE DISMISSED AND REMANDED FOR LACK OF STANDING.

And next is an interesting favorable decision in the State of Michigan entered June 6, 2013 but not yet published. Sobh-v-Bof-A, Chase et al

Bank of America was found to LACK STANDING to Foreclose. So far so good. But the reasoning of the Court leads me to question whether the right record was in front of them. They ASSUME that the Chase-Wamu merger transferred the loans only because, as I see it, nobody read the merger agreement. The receiver, as I pointed out in prior posts, acting on behalf of the FDIC, the trustee in WAMU bankruptcy, Chase and WAMU executives were sort of playing fast and loose with the rules.

It turns out that Chase never paid for anything. While it could be argued that they assumed the liability on billions of dollars in deposits, they also got the money that was on deposit. The agreement says the consideration is zero in no uncertain language. In fact, later on in the agreement and then again outside the agreement, they slipped in a provision wherein Chase was putting up $1.9 billion, but getting more than $2 billion back out of a tax refund owed to WAMU, so they had negative consideration and there is no recital of any net loss they were taking when they assumed the deposits of WAMU.

It also turns out that, straight from the receiver’s lips, if you are looking for an assignment, you won’t find one because there isn’t one. And the merger and assumption agreement specifically does NOT include the bogus mortgage loans and other liabilities (put back) in the securitization scheme which is most of all loans originated by WAMU. Chase didn’t want to buy the loans because they correctly perceived that the liabilities on those loans and the liabilities to alleged REMIC structures that never received an interest in the loans, and the liabilities to insures, counterparties on credit default swaps and to the Federal government and Federal Reserve might vastly exceed the nominal value of mortgages originated by WAMU. Then there was also the liability for predatory or fraudulent loan practices. Altogether, Chase didn’t want to be saying it owned ALL the loans. It just wanted to be able to say it some of the time when they had an uncontested foreclosure and they could get a free house.

So Chase got an affidavit from the receiver that said that Chase owned the loans by operation of law because of the merger. That affidavit has been used hundreds if not thousands of times in foreclosures where Chase perceived the risk to be low. Thus in uncontested cases, Chase alleged it owned the loans even if they were “securitized” and got away with it because, well, there was nobody to say otherwise.

A good thing that the Michigan court said was that the Chase had the burden of proving the chain of ownership which was the history of the piece of property. A bad thing that the Court said was that Chase “acquired” the loans but that the foreclosures were voidable because the assignment was never recorded. In Michigan the absence of a recorded assignment is deadly so they ran with that idea and decided fro the borrower and against Chase who will no doubt now enter into a settlement or modification for which they have no authority to even talk about because they do not now nor did they ever own the loans.

Just because the loans were considered a hot potato and nobody wanted them doesn’t mean that anyone can claim them. But that is exactly the plan of engagement adopted by Chase. So all that happened here was that Chase was chased out of Court with permission to come back when it had the assignment recorded. tricky business there. Will they fabricate that instrument or will they simply settle with the borrower for what they can get? Whatever they get, it is free money because at no time in the history of the loan has Chase ever been at risk unless, now that they are acting as though they have control over the loan portfolio, a court decides that if you fake it or made it. Greed has no bounds. If Chase had simply left the loan portfolio to wallow in its own crud, no argument could be made against Chase for all the chicanery that went on with the borrowers and investors. Now that they have led courts to believe they have apparent authority, maybe they have apparent liability as well.

Unrhetorical Questions — Money, Lies and Accounting Records: Gander and Goose

Why are our courts routinely accepting allegations and documents from foreclosing banks that they would summarily throw out if the same allegations and documents came from borrowers?

 How can possession of an ALLONGE construed as ownership

of the debt without any other evidence being presented?

Why is the standard definition of “Allonge” ignored?

IF THE COURT IS USING THE TERMS OF “ALLONGE”, “ASSIGNMENT”AND “ENDORSEMENT” INTERCHANGEABLY, WHY DOES ALL THE LITERATURE ON LEGAL DEFINITION AND ELEMENTS SAY OTHERWISE? ARE WE MAKING A NEW UCC?

WHY ARE COURTS ALLOWING ENDORSEMENTS (SHOULD BE SPELLED “INDORSEMENT”) IN BLANK TO TRANSFER THE LOAN WHEN THE BASIS OF THE PROPONENT’S AUTHORITY TO FORECLOSE IS A DOCUMENT THAT FORBIDS ACCEPTANCE OF  ENDORSEMENTS IN BLANK?

 I recently received a question from an old friend of mine who was a solicitor in Canada and who is frustrated with our court system that continues to assume the validity of loans that have already been thoroughly discredited. He has attempted on numerous occasions to get information through a qualified written request or a debt validation letter and has attempted to verify the authority of any party to whom he would address a request for modification of his loan in Florida. While chatting with him online I realized that this information might be of some value to attorneys and borrowers. The principal point of this article is the old expression “what is good for the goose is good for the gander.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with the old expression it means that there should be equality of treatment, all other things being equal. In mortgage litigation is apparent that when an allegation is made or a proffer is made through counsel rather than the introduction of evidence, the courts continue to function from both a misconception and  misapplication of the Rules of Court and the rules of evidence.

 When the case involves one institution against another, the same arguments that are summarily  rejected when they are advanced by a borrower are given considerable traction because the argument was advanced by a financial institution or financial player that identifies itself as a financial institution. In fact, a review of most cases reveals a much heavier burden on the party defending against the loss of their homestead than the party seeking to take it —  which is a complete reversal of the way our justice system is supposed to work.  The burden of proof in both judicial and nonjudicial states is constitutionally required to be on the party seeking affirmative relief and not on the party defending against it.

In the nonjudicial states, in my opinion, the courts are violating this basic constitutional requirement on a regular basis under circumstances where the party announcing a right to enforce a dubious deed of trust, collection on a dubious note, and therefore having the right to sell the property without judicial intervention despite the inability of the foreclosing entity to produce any evidence that it owns the debt, note, mortgage rights,  or even demonstrate a financial interest in the outcome of the foreclosure sale; to make matters worse the courts are allowing trustees on deeds of trust to be appointed or substituted even though they have a direct or indirect financial relationship with the alleged lender.

These trustees are accepting “credit bids” without any due diligence as to whether or not the party making the offer of the credit bid at auction is in fact the creditor who may submit such a credit bid according to the statutes governing involuntary auctions within that state.  In nonjudicial states the burden is put on the borrower to “make a case” and thus obtain a temporary restraining order preventing the sale of the property. This is absurd. These statutes governing nonjudicial sales were created at a time when the lender was easily identified, the borrower was easily identified, the chain of title was easily demonstrated, and the chain of money was also easily demonstrated. Today in the world of falsely securitized loans, the courts have maintain a ministerial attitude despite the fact that 96% of all loans are subject to competing claims by false creditors. The borrower is forced to defend against allegations that were never made but are presumed in a court of law. If anything is a violation of the due process requirements of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of most of the individual states of the union, this must be it.

 In the judicial states,  the problem is even more egregious because the same presumptions and assumptions are being used against borrowers as in the nonjudicial states. Thus in addition to being an unconstitutional application of an otherwise valid law, the judicial states are violating their own rules of civil procedure mandated by the Supreme Court of each such state (or to be more specific where the highest court is not called the Supreme Court, we could say the highest court in the state).  This is why I have strongly suggested for years that an action in mandamus be brought directly to the highest court in each state alleging that the laws and rules, as applied, violate constitutional standards and any natural sense of fairness.

 Here is the question posed by my Canadian friend:

(1)  The documents are phony documents (copies) produced by Ben Ezra Katz. It will cost me several thousand dollars to have a document expert evaluate the documents and then testify if they find them to be copies. At the beginning of this case, The Plaintiff’s attorney (Ben Ezra Katz associate) told the court (I do have a transcript) that they has found the ORIGINAL documents (note, mortgage, etc.) and that they had couriered the ORIGINAL documents to the clerk of Court. They did a Notice of Filing which on its’ face states ORIGINAL documents. I can not afford a document expert, however the AG in S. Florida has an open investigation into this case. Would I be out of line in requesting that they include this case per-se as part of their investigation and accordingly make a determination as to if or if not the subject documents which are on file with the clerk of court are originals or copies ??
(2)  The only nexus that Wells Fargo produces to establish themselves as a real party in interest is a hand filled out allonge (copy attached). Please note that the signer only signs as “assistant secretary” without further specifics. On the basis of what they provide it is virtually impossible to depose this person to determine if she actually did or did not sign this document, and if so what is her authority to do so.  I want to launch some sort of discovery that seeks to discover what else the Plaintiff has which would support the alleged allonge. Things such as any contracts, copies of any consideration, what was the consideration, who authorized the transaction, etc.  Do you have any suggestions in this regard. I bounced this off my attorney and I am not sure that we are on the same page. He wants to go to trial and have the proven phony documents as the main thrust. I agree with that, however I also would feel far better if we were able to cut them off at the knees as to standing such as the alleged allonge is part of the phony documents, and there are no documents that the Plaintiff can produce to support not only its’ authenticity, but its’ legitimate legal function. I do not like to have all of my eggs in one basket.

 And here is my response:

 You are most probably correct in your assessment of the situation. If they lied to the court and filed phony documents you should file motion for contempt. You should also file a motion for involuntary dismissal based on the fact that they have had plenty of time to either come up with the original documents or alleged facts to establish lost documents. The affidavit that must accompany the allegation of lost documents must be very specific as to the content of the documents and the path of the documents and it must the identify the person or records from which the allegations of fact are drawn. They must be able to state with certainty when they last had the original documents if they ever did have the original documents. If they didn’t ever have the original documents then an affidavit from them is meaningless. They have to establish the last party had physical custody of the original documents and establish the reason why they are missing. If they can’t do those things then their foreclosure should be dismissed. The more vague they are in explaining what happened to the original documentation the more likely it is that somebody else has the original documentation and may sue you again for recovery. So whatever it is that they allege should result in your motion to strike and motion to dismiss with prejudice. As far as the attorney general’s office you are correct that they ought to cooperate with you fully but probably incorrect in your assumption that they will do so.

I think you should make a point about the allonge being filled out by hand as being an obviously late in the game maneuver. You can also make a point about the “assistant Sec.” since that is not a real position in a corporation. Something as valuable as a note would be reviewed by a real official of the Corporation who would be able to answer questions as to how the note came into the possession of the bank (through interrogatories or requests for admission) and  what was paid and to whom for the possession and rights to the note, when that occurred and where the records are that show the payment and how Wells Fargo actually came into possession of the note or the rights to collect on the note. As you are probably aware the predecessor that is alleged to have originated the note or alleged to have had possession of the note must account for whether they provided the consideration for the note and what they did with it after the closing. If they say they provided consideration than they should have records showing a payment to the closing agent and if they received consideration from Wells Fargo they should have those records as well.

But the likelihood is that neither Option One nor Wells Fargo ever funded this mortgage which means that the note and mortgage lack consideration and neither one of them has any right to collect or foreclose.   In fact, since they are taking the position that the loan was not securitized and therefore that no securitization documents are relevant,  neither of them can take the position that they are representing the real party in interest as an authorized agent for the real lender.  And the reason you are seeing lawsuits especially by Wells Fargo in which it names itself as the foreclosing party is that the bank knows that Iit ignored and routinely violated essential and material provisions of the securitization documents including the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement upon which investors relied when they gave money to an investment banker.

In that case, since you seek to modify the loan transaction and determine whether or not it is now or is potentially subject to  a valid mortgage, you should seek to enforce a request for information concerning the exact path of the money that was used to fund the mortgage. And you should request any documentation or records showing any guarantee, payment, right to payment, or anything else that would establish a loan to you where actual money exchanged hands between the declared lender and yourself. The likelihood is that the money was in a co-mingled account somewhere —  possibly Wells Fargo —  which came from investors whose names should have been on the closing and the closing documents.  Those investors are the actual creditors. Or at least they were the actual creditors at the time that the loan money showed up at the alleged “loan closing.” Since then, hundreds of settlements and lawsuits were resolved based upon the bank tacitly acknowledging that it took the money and used it for different purposes than those disclosed in the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement. These settlements avoid the embarrassing proof problems of any institution since they not only ignored the securitization documents, more importantly, they chose to ignore all of the basic industry standards for the underwriting of a real estate loan because the parties who appeared to be underwriting the loan and funding the loan had absolutely no risk of loss and only had the incentive to close deals in exchange for sharing pornographic amounts of money that were identified as proprietary trading profits or fees.

And the reason why this is so important is that the mortgage lien could never be perfected in the absence of the legitimate creditor who had advanced actual money to the borrower or on behalf of the borrower. This basic truth undermines the industry and government claims about the $13 trillion in loans that still are alleged to exist (despite multiple payments from third parties in multiple resales, insurance contracts and contracts for credit default swaps). The abundant evidence in the public domain as well as the specific factual evidence in each case negates any allegation of ultimate facts upon which relief could be granted, to wit: the money came from third-party investors who are the only real creditors. The fact that the money went through intermediaries is no more important or relevant than the fact that you are a depository bank is intended to honor checks drawn on your account provided you have the funds available. The inescapable conclusion is that the investors were tricked into making unsecured loans to homeowners and that the entire foreclosure scandal that has consumed our nation for years is based on completely false premises.

Your attorney could pose the question to the court in a way that would make it difficult for the court to rule against you. If the lender had agreed to make a loan provided you put up the property being financed PLUS additional collateral in the form of ownership of a valid mortgage on another piece of property,  would the court accept a handwritten allonge from you as the only evidence of ownership or the right to enforce the other mortgage? I think it is clear that neither the banks nor the court would accept the hand written instrument as sufficient evidence of ownership and right to collect payment if you presented the same instruments that they are presenting to the court.

PRACTICE HINT: In fact, you could ask the bank for their policy in connection with accepting its mortgages on other property as collateral for a business loan or for a loan on existing property or the closing on a new piece of property being acquired by the borrower. You could drill down on that policy by asking for the identification of the individual or committee that would decide whether or not a handwritten allonge would be sufficient or would satisfy them that they had  adequate collateral in the form of a mortgage on the first property and the pledge of a mortgage on a second piece of property.

The answer is self-evident. No bank or other lending institution or lending entity would loan money on the basis of a dubious self-serving allonge.  There would be no deal. If you sued them for not making the loan after the bank issued a letter of commitment (which by the way you should ask for both in relation to your own case and in relation to the template used by the bank in connection with the issuance of a letter of commitment), the bank would clearly prevail on the basis that you provided insufficient documentation to establish the additional collateral (your interest in the mortgage on another piece of property).

The bank’s position that it would not loan money on such a flimsy assertion of additional collateral would be both correct from the point of view of banking practice and sustained by any court has lacking sufficient documentation to establish ownership and the right to enforce. Your question to the court should be “if justice is blind, what difference does it make which side is using an unsupportable position?”

HSBC Hit with Foreclosure Suit; FHA’s $115 Billion Loss Scenario; Return of the Synthetic CDO?
http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/hsbc-hit-with-foreclosure-suit-fhas-115-billion-dollar-loss-scenario-1059622-1.html
Massachusetts foreclosures decline 79% as local laws stall the process
http://www.housingwire.com/news/2013/06/05/massachusetts-foreclosures-decline-79-local-laws-stall-process
———————————————–
Money from thin air? If the bank does not create currency or money then where does the money come from? Answer investor deposits into what they thought was an account for a REMIC trust. And if the money came from investors then the banks were intermediaries whether they took money on deposit, or they were the underwriter and seller of mortgage bonds issued from non existent entities, backed by non existent loans. And any money received by the banks should have been for benefit of the investors or the REMIC trust if the DID deposit the money into a trust or fiduciary account.Dan Kervick: Do Banks Create Money from Thin Air?
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/06/dan-kervick-do-banks-create-money-from-thin-air.html

12 QUESTIONS THAT COULD END THE CASE

http://dtc-systems.net/2013/05/top-democrats-introduce-legislation-protect-military-families-foreclosure/

CALL OR WRITE TO FLORIDA GOVERNOR — THE CLOCK IS TICKING

Veto Clock Ticking on Florida Foreclosure Bill HB 87
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/05/30/veto-clock-ticking-on-florida-foreclosure-bill-hb-87/

DISCOVERY TIP: Has anyone asked for a received the actual agreement between the party designated as “lender” and MERS? Please send to neilfgarfield@hotmail.com.

Questions for interrogatory and request to produce, possible request for admissions:

(1) If we accept the proffer from opposing counsel that the transaction (i.e, the loan) was done for the express purpose of fulfilling an obligation to investors for backing mortgage bonds through a REMIC asset pool, then why was MERS necessary?

(2) Why wasn’t The asset pool disclosed to the borrower?

(3) Why wasn’t the asset pool made the payee on the promissory note at origination of the loan?

(4) Why wasn’t the asset pool shown on a recorded assignment immediately after closing as the new payee and secured party?

(5) What was the business purpose of using MERS?

(6) Was the lender the source of funding on the loan or was it too just another nominee?

(7) Is there any identified real party in interest on the note and mortgage as the creditor?

(8) If there is no real party in interest on the note and mortgage, then how can the mortgage be considered perfected when nobody has notice of who they can go to for a satisfaction or release or rescission of the mortgage?

(9) In which document and what provision are the parties at the loan “closing” empowered to identify a party other than the source of funds as the payee and secured party?

(10) Who were the parties to the loan? — (a) the borrower and the source of funds or (b) the borrower and the holder of paper documenting a transaction that is incomplete (the payee and secured party never fulfilled their obligation to fund the loan)?

(11)If the servicer’s scope of employment, authority or apparent authority was limited to tracking the payments of the borrower only, and did not include accounting for the creditor, then how does the servicer know what is contained in the creditor’s accounting records? — Since the creditor in any loan subject to claims of securitization received a bond whose indenture provided repayment terms different than those terms signed by the borrower to another party entirely, how can any finding of money damages be determined by any court without a full accounting for all transactions relating to the loan?

(12) What is the identity of the party who was injured by the refusal of the borrower to make any further payments? To what extent were they injured? Are they qualified to submit a “credit bid” or must they pay cash for the property at auction? If they are not qualified to submit a credit bid then (see below) then under what legal theory should they be permitted to foreclose or for that matter seek any collection? Are these intermediary parties violating the FDCPA because they are neither the creditor nor the agent of the creditor and yet demanding payment for themselves?

THE COURTS ARE STARTING TO GET THE POINT:

FLORIDA 5th DCA: To establish standing to foreclose, Plaintiff must show that it acquired the right to enforce the note before it filed suit to foreclose. Important: the right to enforce the note means either they were the injured party or they represent the injured party. An assignment from a party who is proffered to be the injured party must be established with proper foundation from a competent witness.

GREEN V CHASE 4-5-2013

————-

FLORIDA 4TH DCA: DATES MATTER: While the note introduced had a blank endorsement (note conflict with PSA, which is supposedly source of authority to represent creditor: note may not be endorsed in blank and in fact must be endorsed and assigned in recordable form and recorded where the law allows or requires it) and was sufficient [under normal rules governing commercial transactions — except if the parties agree otherwise which they certainly did in the PSA) to prove ownership by appellee, who possessed the note, nothing in the record (e.s) shows that the note was endorsed prior to filing of the complaint (or if you want to use this decision by analogy prior to initiation of the notice of default and notice of sale in non-judicial states). The endorsement did not cotnain a date, nor did the affidavit filed in support of the motion for summary judgment contain any sworn statement that the note was owned by the Plaintiff on the date that the suit was filed. [PRACTICE TIP: THEY DON’T WANT TO GIVE A DATE BECAUSE THAT WILL LEAD TO YOU ASKING FOR DETAILS OF THE TRANSACTION, PROOF OF PAYMENT, THE ASSIGNMENT AND WHETHER THE TRANSACTION CONFORMED TO THE PSA, NONE OF WHICH WILL BE PRODUCED. But  considering past behavior it is highly probable that they will fabricate documents that ALMOST give you a copy of the canceled check or wire transfer receipt but don’t quite get them to the finish line. Being aggressive on this point will clearly  put them on the defensive].

4th DCA Cromarty v Wells Fargo 4-17-2013

2d DCA: IS THE TRANSACTION GOVERNED BY THE UCC PROVISIONS EVEN IF THE PARTIES HAVE AGREED OTHERWISE? This is the nub of the issue in the Stone case (link below). We think that the courts are confused i applying ordinary rules from the UCC regarding the negotiation of commercial instruments and certainly we understand why — the UCC is the basis upon which we can conducted trusted business transaction and maintain liquidity in the marketplace. But if the party attempting to foreclose derives its powers from the Prospectus, PSA,or purchase and Assumption Agreement, then they cannot invoke the powers in those instruments on the one hand and disregard the provisions that prohibit blank endorsements of loans of dubious quality without an assignment that can only be accepted by the supposed creditor if it complies with the assignment provisions of the agreement under which the foreclosing party is claiming to have authority to enforce the note and mortgage. And this is precisely the risk and consequences of a lawyer not understanding claims of securitization and the reality of what the UCC means when it says things like “unless otherwise agreed” and “for value.” Without raising those issues on the record, the homeowner was doomed:

Stone v BankUnited May 3 2013

OCC: 13 Questions to Answer Before Foreclosure and Eviction

13 Questions Before You Can Foreclose

foreclosure_standards_42013 — this one works for sure

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.

SEE ALSO: http://WWW.LIVINGLIES-STORE.COM

The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.
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