They Will Get You on Procedure Everytime

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Madison v. MERS et al

Madison v MERS et al

Editor’s Comment:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Attorney Workbook, Treatise & Practice Manual – 2012 Edition

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INTRODUCTION (draft)

If you want to trace the genesis of the mortgage meltdown then I suggest that you purchase a copy of my original workbook that was published before the crash. It accurately predicted the crash, the reasons, and the strategies that were employed by the banks, as well as predicting those strategies that would assist people who wanted to challenge what we eventually named the “Pretender Lender.” This is the first revision of the Attorney’s Workbook first published in 2008, when foreclosure, mortgage, priority, securitization claims were in their infancy. Since then, hundreds of decisions have been rendered, new statutes have been passed, and revelations (many accurately predicted and written in the 2008 workbook) have passed into mainstream media.

Regulatory agencies have awakened to the problem only to fail the people by limpid enforcement of required restitution. Reputable reports from San Francisco and several recording offices of several states report that the foreclosures show evidence that the party who bid on the property was a complete stranger and that they had no right to submit a “credit bid”.  So the question must be asked, why are we even discussing the resolution to an obvious problem? The answer unfortunately is political.

We are at one of many crossroads our nation has endured wherein the question must be answered, “Are we a Nation of Laws” or a nation of men where power gets increasingly limited to the biggest bully on the block?

The purpose of this Workbook is to provide a treatise treatment and a practice manual on the subject of residential and commercial mortgages in which there is the possibility of a securitization claim being asserted with respect to past, present or future transactions.

There are many things we now know that we could only surmise at the time of the first workbook. We accurately spotted robosigning before it was called that, notary fraud before it caused numerous notaries to receive license discipline, and most of all, the money trail which we emphatically stated and still maintain was simply a transaction between the investors and the borrowers, with all other parties being conduits or intermediaries with no right, title or ownership of the obligation. We suggested that the note and mortgage might be fatally flawed, but we now have far more evidence of that because we know that the real lender was not only not named in the closing papers with the borrower, it was actively concealed.

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DO You Want It To Slow Down or to Stop

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Real Property, Mortgages, Workouts and Foreclosures in the United States

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Someone sent me a story about a guy who did one of those “California” stops at a stop sign, rolling through at a slightly slower speed than he had been going. A policeman stops him and informs the driver he had not made a full stop. The driver replied that he had made a rolling stop which is the same thing — after all he had slowed down because of the stop sign. The police officer invites him out of the car whereupon the policeman commences beating the driver around the head and body and then says to to the driver “Do you want me to slow down or do you want me to stop?”

The story is funny —sort of — because it makes a point. And I would make the same point about the foreclosures. Do we want a slow down in stealing of property away from people through foreclosures, even short-sales and other delays, or do we just want them to stop. The answer for me is that I want them to stop — except in those cases where the loan was between a normal borrower and a normal lender whose name is properly on the paperwork and who actually loaned the money.

Slowing down the pace of foreclosures because of the presence of forgeries, fabrications and fraud is not the answer. Stopping them and reversing the ones that occurred is the answer. And giving HAMP an actual chance to work (or some other mediated settlement) is the rest of the answer.

These “loans” are between parties who have no documentation as to their positions (the investor/lenders and the homeowner/borrowers) and whose presence was unknown to the other because of cloaks and subterfuge by investment bankers. The chain of documentation refers to a loan from an originator who never loaned a dime and never booked the loan as a receivable on their balance sheet in most cases. And so the entire chain of documents leading up the “securitization” chain are empty documents referring to transactions that never occurred and thus could never result ina perfected security interest in the property.

The solution is what homeowners are offering — converting an undocumented unsecured interest into a documented, secured interest reflecting current economic realities and that will provide the investor/lenders with far greater benefits than foreclosure which leads to ghost towns, bull dozing neighborhoods and other societal problems all for the single purpose of justifying taking every penny as fees for banks, servicers and other parties in the chain, which now, under the April 12 Bulletin from the CFPB, are to be considered just as responsible as banks and servicers.

It should be noted that the homeowners are in most instances offering MORE than the home is worth as the principal due on the note and waiving all other litigation rights.

So do we want it slowed down or stopped. Do we want speed or justice. Do we want the common man to be given back a chance at happiness and prosperity or do we want theft of wealth from the common man to be rewarded with amnesty and further subsidies?


WSJ: Home Ownership at 15 Year Low

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Editor’s Comment:

If you read what the realtors are putting out these days you would have the impression that the housing Market is at bottom, that this is the time to buy (all realtors say that all the time) and that the Market has nowhere to go but up. Reality Check: that is exactly what they said in 2011, 2010, 2009, etc. Meanwhile the Market keeps going down because the median income (the ability to pay for housing) of the average person is going down each month. Case/Schiller have proven in an analysis and chart that goes back to the 1880’s that home prices and median income are inextricably linked.

The banks also want you to think the Market has hit bottom and they are journalists and other shills to say so. The faster they get rid of the real estate the less likely they think it will be that the old homeowner will come back and reclaim the property.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that home ownership is at a 15 year low while assets and income at the banks are at an all-time high. 1998 was the last year we saw so few people owning their own home. Take a look at the purported balance sheets of banks then and now. You will understand the figures — the degree to which the banks siphoned money out of the economy. Remember the only reason we let Wall Street exist is that it is supposedly the capitalist engine providing liquidity to consumers and small business owners alike who buy the things that are made.

Before we developed amnesia about why Wall Street exists and it’s job, the financial sector contributed 16% of this nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Now it is up near 50% which means we are reporting revenues and profits based upon derivatives whose value is derived from other derivatives and after a while you finally get to a real transaction where somebody made something and somebody bought something.

This is unsustainable and more reminiscent of the total lack of understanding that French aristocracy demonstrated when starving people from the streets chopped their heads off with the collusion of the merging merchant class. The control of our society by the banks will stop because it is impossible to sustain. What is surprising is that the lopsided figures in our economy don’t produce more outcries and predictions of disaster which undoubtedly will come to pass unless the bankers are put back in their place at 16% of GDP. That means someone in power needs to trim back the TBTF banks by 2/3. It’s a tall order, but somebody needs to do it.

 It is not as hard as it seems. Most of the assets reported on the balance sheets of the TBTF banks are fake anyway.

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