C&E Strategy is the beginning of a successful attack on the claimed enforcement of a mortgage or deed of trust.

Attacks on technical deficiencies of assignments of mortgage is a great place to start, but it is not the finish line.

This is a follow up with the radio show we did last week on cancellation of assignments of mortgage, and upon successful cancellation of the assignment(s), the further cancellation of the notice of substitution of trustee, the notice of default, the notice of sale, and/or the lis pendens and foreclosure lawsuit.

The C&E (Cancel and Expunge) strategy has some good and even essential attributes of the defense and counterattack on the would-be enforcer of a mortgage. But here are some potential weak points. If you are not ready for them the strategy will fail.

see https://livinglies.me/2019/04/11/cal-3d-dca-wrongful-foreclosure-you-can-cancel-the-assignment-notice-of-default-notice-of-sale-and-reverse-the-sale/

You are still on the right track — especially where the notary certifies that the person signing had authority to do so. That is simply a lie. The notary has no idea. The problem with the C&E strategy is that it appeals to lay people and not lawyers.

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The lay people like it because it sounds like a magic bullet that enables them  to avoid litigation over whether the claimant is real and whether the claim is real. The lawyers are reluctant because they know that courts will almost always side with the party who appears to be losing the benefit of an actual bargain in which the claimant paid money. It’s all about money, whether you like it or not.

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The reality is that they are both right. And the place to start is always at the beginning — when and where and why the offending document was executed.

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Lay people don’t understand what it means to have a facially valid document. They want to get a court to get rid of the whole document (and the presumed transaction behind it, whether it exists or not) because of some perceived invalid procedure in its execution. The world doesn’t work like that, nor should it.
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The court looks at the substance. If someone paid for the loan they don’t lose their money because of a signature that is missing or in the wrong place. They are at least given opportunities to correct errors. If the errors are not corrected then that is a different matter. Even a frivolous lawsuit can result in a judgment and levy against property if the defendant failed to answer or appeal. That is the way the system works.
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The court might temporarily decline to enforce an instrument because it does not comply with statutory requirements for facial validity — but it won’t invalidate the presumed transaction UNLESS the presumed transaction is either proven not to exist or the presumed transaction is not proven to exist. There is a difference between those two. Both involve proof. The difference is in who has the burden of proof.
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Even with a deed lacking a witness —- the deed is valid as between the grantor and the grantee and anyone who knows about it. There are differences between states but the substance is the same.
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If Person A executes a deed to Person B and Person B pays Person A then the court, in equity, will not allow person C to exercise the rights of a title owner in fee simple absolute unless Person C also paid Person A (assuming person A had title) AND the state has a race to record statute. If the state is not a “race” state, then the deed is valid against all who have notice of it.
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At the end of the day courts will not ordinarily issue an order in which they think a party is getting cheated out of the benefits of a legitimate deal. The dominant public policy is preservation of contracts and legitimate transactions first, not the strict adherence to statutory requirements in execution of contracts or conveyances. So the only defense that works with consistency is the one in which either the claim or the claimant’s existence is not supported by sufficient evidence. This is the gray area that lay people don’t want to hear about.
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But all that said, the attack on the assignments for lack of statutory requirements is correct in its strategy and its goals. The reason that is correct is not that the document is just defective in some technical way. The reason it is effective strategy is (a) the court should not enforce it until the needed correction is effectuated and (b) they can’t correct it without revealing the creditor who owns the debt.
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The 20 year effort to conceal the identity of anyone who owns the debt is testimony to the fact that the investment banks don’t want anyone to know. The answer would be highly complex and probably involve matters of novel fact patterns and law.
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By selling off the risk of loss did the investment bank thus sell the debt? If they sold the debt, but did not sell the rights to enforce the debt, note or mortgage, did the investment bank retain the right to enforce?  If so, that probably conflicts with all law in all jurisdictions that requires that the enforcer of a mortgage be the owner of the debt. If the enforcement is allowed what assurances does the court have that the proceeds of foreclosure will go to the benefit of the owner of the debt, however that ownership is defined?
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While the courts have assiduously avoided addressing such questions they are moving inexorably in the direction of being required to address them and to finally decide what to do with the confusion and chaos created not by borrowers, but by the investment banks who sought to and did in fact create profits that were multiples of the amount loaned without paying the borrower for use of his/her name, signature or reputation.
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So the attacks on technical deficiencies of assignments of mortgage is a great place to start, but it is not the finish line.

 

Cal. 3d DCA: WRONGFUL FORECLOSURE — You Can Cancel the Assignment, Notice of Default, Notice of Sale and Reverse the Sale.

This decision “Not for publication” takes one more step toward unravelling the false claims of securitization that resulted in millions of fake foreclosures over at least 15 years. The pure nonsense being peddled by Wall Street investment banks still remains as the underlying basis for assumptions and presumptions that are contrary to fact and contrary to legal and equitable principles.

But the window is now open to include the investment banks as defendants in complaints for damages and disgorgement, because as this decision reveals, the courts may not be willing to take a giant leap of faith that someone must be the lender and that “someone” is part of the chain of players who are pursuing foreclosure. Without that leap of faith, without that bias, their “doctrine” is left dangling in the wind.

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See http://lawzilla.com/blog/rainn-gauna-v-jpmorgan-chase-bank/

YES it does stand for the proposition that at least this court says that cancellation of instruments is the one cause of action that in fact does exist because the assignment was from an assignor that had no interest in the debt. I think that it is important to make it clear that the words “no beneficial interest” means “no ownership of the debt.” But the use of the words “no beneficial interest” implies the validity of the deed of trust by which the property was encumbered in favor of a “lender” (or its agent “MERS”) who was a sales agent and not a lender and from whom the borrower received no funds.

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This twisted concept seems to be saying to the judicial world that we know that table funded loans occur but we are not going to invalidate the enforcement of contracts lacking in consideration because there must be someone in the mix who did provide consideration and who was in some kind of relationship with the sales agent. Hecne the courts are thinking that they are following substance over form and thus preventing a windfall to borrowers. Instead they are stepping over the facts.
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The money came from an investment bank and yes the investment bank knew that the “originator” would be named as lender. The purpose of this arrangement was to shield the investment bank from liability for violations of lending laws of which we all know there were many spanning the categories of appraisal fraud, avoidance of underwriting risk (without which nobody could be considered a lender), to concealment instead of disclosure of terms, compensation etc.
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You can’t pick up one end of the stick without  picking up the other. If we are going to accept the notion that in foreclosure cases we are going to treat a contract as enforceable even though it lacked consideration and nobody else that is named in the chain has ever paid value, then the assumption is that an unnamed party who actually did pay value, is the real party in interest. That is the investment bank. And THAT can ONLY mean that the investment bank was present in underwriting and granting the loan through its naked nominee, the sales agent or “originator.”
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If that is so then the liability for lending violations MUST attach to the investment bank. And if that is so then at least in judicial states, by alleging those lending violations through the affirmative defense of recoupment, the foreclosure can be mitigated or defeated entirely. In nonjudicial states one would need to allege active concealment preventing the borrower from knowing the real party in interest with whom he was dealing.

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This could be the end of nonjudicial foreclosures at least as to LBMT-WAMU-Chase. It should be treated as such. If I had time, I could literally write a book about this decision as it is so instructive as to pleading requirements and common mistakes made by trial and appellate courts like for example, assuming that a legal default exists when nobody who owned the debt declared such a default or even said that payment was delinquent in some way.

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It also shows the lengths that many courts will go to avoid “fraud.” While they will accept the notion that something was wrongful and that the defendants knew it was wrongful, contrary to fact and law, they refuse so see it as fraud. A quick look at any FTC action will reveal that such restrictions do not apply if the same allegations come from a governmental agency.
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The case is also instructive in that it repeats a very common scenario regarding the origination and progression of the loan. This court and other courts will eventually face the day when their assertions come full circle: for now, they are saying that just because there was no consideration between then named lender and the borrower doesn’t mean there was no enforceable contract.

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Yes it does mean that in every context other than foreclosure litigation. But because of the rules in UCC Article 3 the maker of a note takes a risk when they execute the promissory note without having received any consideration because the note represents, under law, the right to enforce it, which if it is acquired for value might mean the enforcement would be free from borrower”s defenses. That liability does not create an enforceable loan contract. Even common sense dictates that for a loan contract to be enforceable there must be a loan between the parties to the contract.

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PRACTICE NOTE: All that said, this case only stands for the proposition that a complaint is sufficient when it pleads that the party on whose behalf an assignment was made had no ownership in the debt. The proof of the pudding will be at trial. How will you prove this basic proposition. The answer is that you have taken the first step which is that you put the matter in issue. The second step is discovery. And the third step, if it ever gets to that, is establishing at trial that the supposed beneficiary under a deed of trust or the mortgagee under a mortgage deed had not satisfied its burden of proof showing an ownership interest in the underlying debt.”

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The opposition to that narrative will be what it has always been. That possession of the “original” note raises the legal presumption that the named beneficiary under the deed of trust in fact was the legal beneficiary under the deed of trust. Possession of the note, they will argue equals ownership of the debt. If the judge accepts that proposition, the burden of proof will then fall on the borrower to rebut that presumption — a leap that most judges have already demonstrated they don’t want to make. So the persuasiveness of then presentation including an unrelenting march toward revelation of the truth is the only thing that carries the day.

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The banks know that what they’re doing is wrong. But history shows that they can get away with it except with the apparently rare homeowner who aggressively and relentlessly defends the foreclosure.

Cancellation of Void Instrument

Consider this an add-on to the workbook entitled Whose Lien is It Anyway also known as Volume II Workbook from Garfield Continuum Seminars.

Several Attorneys, especially from California are experimenting with a cause of action in which an instrument is cancelled — because it throws the burden of proof onto the any party claiming the validity or authenticity of the instrument.

I have been researching and analyzing this, and I think they are onto something but I would caution that your pleadings must adopt the deny and discover strategy and that you must be prepared to appeal. There is also a resurgence of tacit procuration doctrines, in which the receiver of communication has a definite duty to respond.

Here is Part I of the analysis: There will be at least one more installment:

Cancellation of Void Instrument

In most cases loans that are later subject to claims of securitization (assignment) are equally subject to cancellation. There are potential defenses to the motion or pleading demanding cancellation of the instrument; but if framed properly, the motion or pleading could be utilized as an advanced discovery tool leading to a final order. This is particularly true if a RESPA 6 (Qualified Written Request) precedes the motion or pleading.

Cancellation of a void instrument is most often directed at a Mortgage or Deed of Trust that is recorded. The elements of cancellation of an instrument include that the document is void (not just the recording). That means that what you are saying is that there is nobody in existence with any legal right, justification or excuse to attempt to use or enforce the document.

I believe that it requires the pleader to allege that the parties on the instrument are unknown to the Pleader in that there never was a financial transaction between the pleader and the the other parties mentioned and accordingly the recording of the document is at best a mistake and at worst, fraud. The element of fraud usually is involved whether you plead it or not.  However the same principles and elements might well apply to the following:

Substitution of Trustee
Notice of Default
Notice of Sale
Deed recorded as a result of foreclosure auction
Judgment for Eviction or Unlawful Detainer
Mortgage Bond
Unrecorded instruments like promissory notes, pooling and servicing agreements, and mortgage bonds, credit default swaps etc.

Another word of caution: an existing document carries a certain amount of the appearance of authenticity and validity. That appearance may rise to an informal presumption by a Judge who believes he understands the “facts” of the case. The informal presumption might be elevated by state or federal statute that may describe the presumption as rebutable, or presumed to be rebuttable. In some cases, the rebutable presumption could be elevated to an irrebutable presumption, which might mean that nobody is permitted to challenge the validity or authenticity of the document. But even irrefutable presumptions are subject to challenge if they are procured by deceit or fraud in the inducement, or fraud in the execution.

The scenario assumed here is that no loan receivable was legally created because there was no financial transaction between the homeowner and whoever is on the note, mortgage or whatever document you are seeking to cancel. Where appropriate, the pleader can allege that they deny ever having signed the instrument to that it was signed with expectation that the parties designated as lender, beneficiary or payee never completed the transaction by funding.

It is probably fair to say that presumptions are only successfully challenged if the allegations involve fraud or at least breach of presumed facts or promises. A note is evidence of an obligation and is presumed to validly recite the terms of repayment of a legitimate debt. But it also possible that the note might be evidence of the amount of the obligation, but not its terms of repayment if the facts and circumstances show that the offer was unclear or the acceptance was unclear. In the case of so-called securitized loans, accepting the allegations made by foreclosers, the offer of the loan contained terms that were never communicated to the borrower. This is because an instrument containing the terms of repayment was at material variance with the terms recited in the note. The instrument received by the lender was a mortgage bond. And most importantly the lender and the borrower were never in direct communication with one another.

The interesting effect of the substitution of the mortgage bond for a loan receivable is that the mortgage bond is NOT signed by the homeowner and is no payments of principal and interest are due to the investor except from the REMIC issuing entity that never received any enforceable documents from the homeowner.

Nor were the terms for repayment ever disclosed to the homeowner. And the compensation of the intermediaries was not disclosed as required under TILA. This constellation of factors throws doubt, at the very least, as to whether the closing was ever completed even without the the funding. The fact that the funding never took place from the designated payee or “lender” more or less seals the deal.

You must have at the ready your clear argument that if the “trust” was the lender or any of its investors then the note should have said so and there would be no argument about funding, or whether the note or mortgage were valid instruments. But Wall Street had other plans for “ownership” of the loan and substituted a series a naked nominees or straw-men for their own financial benefit and contrary to the terms expressed to the investor (pension fund) and the homeowner (borrower).

Wire Transfer instructions to the closing agents tell another story. They do not show any indication that the transfer to the closing agent was for the benefit of the designated lender, whose name was simply borrowed by Wall Street banks in order to trade the “loans” as if they were real and as if the banks owned the bonds instead of the trusts or the investors. This could only have been accomplished by NOT having the investors money travel through the REMIC trust. Hence the moment of origination of the obligation took place when the homeowner received the money from the investors through accounts that were maintained by the banks not for the REMICS but for the investors. This means that investors who believe their rights emanate from the origination documents of the trust are mistaken because of the false statements by the banks when they sold the bogus mortgage bonds.

If that is the case, their is no perfected lien, because the only mortgage or deed of trust recorded shows that it is to protect the payee “lender” (actually a naked nominee) in the vent the borrower fails to make payments and otherwise comply with the terms of the note and mortgage. But the note and mortgage relate to an unfunded transaction in which at not time was any party in the alleged securitization chain the source of funds for origination, and at not time was there ever “value received” for any assignments, bogus or otherwise, robo-signed or otherwise.

It also means that the investors must be disclosed and that for the first time the homeowners and pension funds who actually were involved in the transaction, can compare notes and decide on the balance of the obligation, if any, and what to do about it. Allowing the banks to foreclose as servicer, trustee of an asset-backed trust, or in any other capacity is unsupported by the evidence. The homeowner, as in any mortgage foreclosure, is entitled to examine the loan receivable account from the item of origination through the present. If there is agreement, then the possibility of a HAMP or other modification or settlement is possible.

Allowing the servicers to intermediate between the investors and the homeowners is letting the fox into the hen-house. If any deal is struck, then all the money they received for credit de fault swaps and insurance might be due back to the payors, since the mortgages declared in default are actually still performing loans AND at present are not secured by any perfected lien.

Cancellation of the note does not cancel the obligation. In most cases it converts the obligation from one that provided for periodic payments to a demand loan. Success of the borrower could be dangerous and lead the borrower to adopt portions of the note as evidence of the terms of repayment while challenging other parts of the recitals of the note. Cancellation of the note would also eviscerate the promise of collateral which is a separate agreement that offers the home as collateral to secure the faithful performance  of the terms of the note. Hence the mortgage or deed of trust would be collaterally canceled merely by canceling the note.

If the note is cancelled, the action can move on to cancel the mortgage instrument. In the context of securitized loans it seems unlikely that there could be any success without attacking both the mortgage, as security, and the note, as evidence of an obligation. In its simplest form, the attack would have the highest chance of success by successfully attacking the obligation. If a lender obtains a note from a borrower and then fails to fund the loan, no obligation arises. It follows logically that the recitals of the note would then be meaningless as would the recitals in the mortgage. Having achieved the goal of proving the instrument as invalid or meaningless, the presence of the instrument in the county recorder’s office would naturally cause damage to other stakeholders and should be cancelled.

If the mortgage is in fact cancelled, then the next logical step might be a quiet title action that would have the court declare the rights and obligations of the stakeholders, thus eliminating any further claims based upon off-record transactions or the absence of actions presumed to be completed as stated in the instrument itself.

It must be emphasized that this is not a collateral attack or a flank attack on the obligation based upon theories of securitization, the pooling and servicing agreement or the prospectus. cancellation of an instrument can only be successful if the party who would seek to use the instrument under attack cannot substantiate that the instrument is supported by the facts.

The facts examined usually include the issues of offer, acceptance and consideration at the time of origination of the instrument under attack. A later breach will most likely not be accepted as reasons for cancellation unless the later event is payment of a debt. Failure to return the cancelled note would be a proper subject of cancellation if the allegation was made that the the obligation was completely satisfied. The presence of the original note after such payment and refusal or inability to return the note as cancelled is reason enough for the court to enter an order canceling the note. Any attempt to sell the note or assign it would be ineffective as against the maker of the note and could subject the assignor to both civil and criminal penalties.

Both payment and origination issues arise in connection with the creation of loan documents. The originator (and any successors) must be able to establish offer, acceptance and consideration. The signature element missing from most of the document chains subjecting all deeds of trusts, notes, mortgages and assignments to cancellation is the lack of consideration.

In a money transaction, consideration means money. If money was not tendered by the originator of the documents despite the requirements to do so as set forth in the documents, the putative borrower or debtor who executed the documents is entitled to cancellation.
In the case of securitized loans, the appearance of propriety is created by reams of documents that cover up the origination documents, giving the appearance that numerous parties agreed that the proper elements were present at the time of the origination of the loan. This has successfully been used by banks to create the informal presumption that the essential elements were present at origination — offer, acceptance and consideration.

The originator (or its successors) can easily avoid cancellation by simply establishing the identity of itself as the lender, the signature of the borrower, and the proof of a cashed check, wire transfer or ACH confirmation showing the payment by the originator to the borrower. In loans subject to claims of securitization and multiple assignments, they cannot do this because the original transaction was never completed.

The issue in securitized loans is that while wire transfer instructions exist and might even mention the borrower by name and could even make reference to the originator, the instructions always include directions on where to send the surplus funds, if any exist. Those funds are clearly not to be given or sent to the originator but rather back to the undisclosed lender, which makes the transaction a table funded loan defined as illegal predatory practices under the Federal Truth in Lending Act.

If the documents named the actual lender, then the offer, acceptance and consideration could be shown as being present. Originators may not “borrow” consideration from a deal between the borrower and another party and use it to establish the consideration for the closing loan documents with the originator. That would create two obligations — the one evidenced by the note and the other evidenced by the mortgage bond, that asserts ownership of the obligation.

Borrowers and creditors are restricted by one simple fact. For every dollar of principal borrowed there must be a dollar paid on that obligation. Putting aside the issue of interest on the loan, the creditor is entitled only to one dollar for each dollar loaned, and the borrower is only required to make a payment on an obligation that is due. The obligation becomes due the moment the borrower accepts the money or the benefits of the money, regardless of whether any documents are drafted or executed. The converse is also true — the creation, and even execution of documents does not create the obligation. It is only the actual money transaction that creates the obligation.

Stripping away all other issues and documentation at the time of origination of the loan, it can fairly assumed that in most of the subject cases of “securitization” that the originator was either not a depository institution or was not acting under its charter as a depository or lending institution. If it was not a lending institution, then it loaned money to the borrower out of its borrowed or retained capital — with the source of funds coming from their own bank account. Based upon a review of hundreds of wire transfer instructions, none of the non-lending institutions was the source of funds, yet their name was used specifically recited in the note as “lender.” The accompanying disclosure documents and settlement statement describes the “lender” as being the named originator. Hence, without funds, no consideration was present. If there was an absence of consideration for the documents that were putatively executed, then the documents are worthless.

The originator in the above scenario lacked two capacities: (1) it could not enforce the note or mortgage because it lacked a loan receivable account that would suffer financial damage and (2) it could not legally execute a satisfaction, cancellation or release of the obligation or the putative lien.  Such an originator at the moment of closing is therefore missing the necessary elements to survive a request to cancel the instrument at that time or any other time. No assignments, allonges, indorsements, or even delivery of the loan documents can improve the survival of the loan documents originated, even if some assignee up the chain paid for it.

Yet at the same time that there was no consideration from the originator, there was a loan received by the borrower. If it didn’t come from the originator, and the money actually arrived, the question is properly asked to identify the source of funds and whether that party had the capacity to enforce collection of the loan and could execute a release or satisfaction or cancellation of the note and mortgage. Here is where the hairs split. The source of funds is owed the money regardless of whether there was a note or mortgage or settlement documents or disclosures — simply because they do have a loan receivable that would be damaged by non-payment. But that loan receivable is not supported by any documentation that one would ordinarily find in a mortgage loan.

The creation of documents reciting a false transaction, “borrowing” the fact that the homeowner did receive funds from another source, does NOT create a second obligation. Hence the note, mortgage (Deed of trust) and obligation presumed in favor of the named originator must be cancelled.

Since the sources of funds are neither the owner of the loan, the payee on the note, the lender identified on the note, mortgage and settlement documents, they lack the power to enforce any of those documents and secondly, lack the power to cancel, release or satisfy a note or mortgage on which they are not the payee or secured party. Hence the fact that the borrower received funds gives rise to a demand obligation against the borrower to repay the loan. All the funding source needs is evidence of the payment from their bank account and the receipt by the borrower.

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