Now You See Them, Now You Don’t

ARE LAW FIRMS CROSSING THE LINE FOR BANKS WHO WILL THROW THEM UNDER THE BUS?

It is a chaotic circular round of documents emanating ultimately by, for and from the same parties. And somehow it is becoming custom and practice to allow law firm employees to sign important documents that transfer possession, delivery, ownership and servicing rights from one party to another while those parties themselves sign nothing.

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

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I can’t help thinking about whether there is a motion in California and other nonjudicial states that allows you to challenge the right of the attorney to be the attorney of record when the law firm is a fact witness on issues that are central to the case. Having signed the proof of claim, being the trustee (who supposedly represents the party who signs a proof of claim), etc., the question is whether they are acting on their own behalf or on behalf of a third party who might indeed have some objections against the law firm representing the interests of parties whose interests might be antithetical to their own.

In a deed of trust you have the trustor (homeowner) and the Trustee in the middle between the trustor and the beneficiary who presumably is the creditor. By now we know that original beneficiary probably did not make the loan and that the alleged new beneficiary didn’t buy it. The beneficiaries’ claims are only as good as the words on the fabricated paper on which they are written and certain legal presumptions that are routinely misapplied.

So the first sign of trouble is the “Substitution of Trustee” wherein a “New” beneficiary executes a document appointing a new Trustee on the Deed of Trust. Why? What was wrong with the old one if everything was on the up and up? They substitute because they know the original Trustee won’t accept the instructions from the new party because the original Trustee has no objective reason to believe that the new “party” is a “beneficiary”. Who signs that “substitution of Trustee”?

It is usually someone who has been given instructions to sign it on the promise and premise that they have been appointed attorney in fact for the “new beneficiary.” In fact, in many cases their only job is signing documents that they have received instructions to sign. But the actual person signing knows absolutely nothing about the deal and has no knowledge about the facts behind the business of signing such documents — assuming their signature was not forged or robo-signed.

So in this and many if not nearly all cases, the actual signature is supplied by a third party who will then fabricate a power of attorney to do it — still without any facts about why the Trustee needs to be replaced. In most cases it is an employee of the law firm who by definition (?) has no actual interest in the loan, the debt, the note or the mortgage (Deed of Trust). This makes the person who signed it a fact witness and watch how the law firm fights to prevent that person from testifying at deposition or trial. In many cases they will assert that the person is no longer employed and they don’t know where he or she is now located.

And then you have the new Trustee who often turns out to be the same law firm who signed the Substitution of Trustee, making it a double self-serving document for which no legal presumptions should apply since there is no foundation in evidence that establishes the law firm as a real party in interest — and if such evidence existed the law firm would be disqualified from representing the allegedly new beneficiary and from being the Trustee AND advocate against the Trustor. If the legislature meant to allow that sort of thing they would have been violating the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution making the entire nonjudicial statutory scheme unconstitutional.

Who signs the power of attorney once it is fabricated? It is either the law firm employee or an employee who works for a “servicer” who in most cases is not named in any document as servicer. Who signs the validation of the foreclosure? Same person. It is a chaotic circular round of documents emanating ultimately by, for and from the same parties. And somehow it is becoming custom and practice to allow law firm employees to sign important documents that transfer possession, delivery, ownership and servicing rights from one party to another while those parties themselves sign nothing.

That is what they are talking about when they refer to “remote” vehicles. It is a situation where actions are taken and the people for whom the action was taken cannot be tied into the transaction in case someone needs to go to jail, or pay a fine or sanctions. But somehow the Courts have twisted this into meaning that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. The banks can distance themselves from liability for a fabricated transaction but they also can receive the benefits of the fabrication as though they were present.

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.

Hearsay on Hearsay: Bank Professional Witnesses Using Business Records Exception as Shield from Truth

Wells Fargo Manual “Blueprint for Fraud”

Hat tip to my law partner, Danielle Kelley, Esq., for sending me the manual and the reports on it. Anyone desirous of a consultation on the application of what is on this blog, must either be a lawyer or have a lawyer who is licensed in the jurisdiction in which the property is located. For scheduling call 954-495-9867 (South Florida Office), 850-765-1236 (North Florida Office), and 520-405-1688 (Western United States). International callers: The same rules apply.

Well that didn’t take long. Like the revelations concerning Urban Lending Solutions and Bank of America, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the the intermediary banks were hell bent for foreclosure regardless of what was best for the investors or the borrowers. This included, fraud, fabrication, unauthorized documents and signatures, perjury and outright theft of money and identities. I understand the agreement between the Bush administration and the large banks. And I understand the reason why the Obama administration continued to honor the agreements reached between the Bush administration and the large banks. They didn’t have a clue. And they were relying on Wall Street to report on its own behavior. But I’m sure the agreement did not even contemplate the actual crimes committed. I think it is time for US attorneys and the Atty. Gen. of each state to revisit the issue of prosecution of the major Wall Street banks.

With the passage of time we have all had an opportunity to examine the theory of “too big to fail.” As applied, this theory has prevented prosecutions for criminal acts. But more importantly it is allowing and promoting those crimes to be covered up and new crimes to be committed in and out of the court system. A quick review of the current strategy utilized in foreclosure reveals that nearly all foreclosures are based on false assumptions, no facts,  and a blind desire for expediency that  sacrifices access to the courts and due process. The losers are the pension funds that mistakenly invested into this scheme and the borrowers who were used as pawns in a gargantuan Ponzi scheme that literally exceeded all the money in the world.

Let’s look at one of the fundamental strategies of the banks. Remember that the investment banks were merely intermediaries who were supposedly functioning as broker-dealers. As in any securities transaction, the investor places in order and is responsible for payment to the broker-dealer. The broker-dealer tenders payment to the seller. The seller either issues the securities (if it is an issuer) or delivers the securities. The bank takes the money from the investors and doesn’t deliver it to an issuer or seller, but instead uses the money for its own purposes, this is not merely breach of contract —  it is fraud.

And that is exactly what the investors, insurers, government guarantors and other parties have alleged in dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of claims. Large banks have avoided judgment based on these allegations by settling the cases and claims for hundreds of billions of dollars because that is only a fraction of the money they diverted from investors and continue to divert. This continued  diversion is accomplished, among other ways, through the process of foreclosure. I would argue that the lawsuits filed by government-sponsored entities are evidence of an administrative finding of fact that causes the burden of proof to be shifted to the cloud of participants who assert that they are part of a scheme of securitization when in fact they were part of a Ponzi scheme.

This cloud of participants is managed in part by LPS in Jacksonville. If you are really looking for the source of documentation and the choice of plaintiff or forecloser, this would be a good place to start. You will notice that in both judicial and non-judicial settings, there is a single party designated as the apparent creditor. But where the homeowner is proactive and brings suit against multiple entities each of whom have made a claim relating to the alleged loan, the banks stick with presenting a single witness who is “familiar with the business records.” That phrase has been specifically rejected in most jurisdictions as proving the personal knowledge necessary for a finding that the witness is competent to testify or to authenticate documents that will be introduced in evidence. Those records are hearsay and they lack the legal foundation for introduction and acceptance into evidence in the record.

So even where the lawsuit is initiated by “the cloud” and even where they allege that the plaintiff is the servicer and even where they allege that the plaintiff is a trust, the witness presented at trial is a professional witness hired by the servicer. Except for very recent cases, lawyers for the homeowner have ignored the issue of whether the professional witness is truly competent,  and especially why the court should even be listening to a professional witness from the servicer when it is hearing nothing from the creditor. The business records which are proffered to the court as being complete are nothing of the sort. They are documents prepared for trial which is specifically excluded from evidence under the hearsay rule and an exception to the business records exception. And the easy proof is that they are missing payments to the investor. That is why discovery should be aggressive.

Lately Chase has been dancing around these issues by first asserting that it is the owner of a loan by virtue of the merger with Washington Mutual. As the case progresses Chase admits that it is a servicer. Later they often state that the investor is Fannie Mae. This is an interesting assertion which depends upon complete ignorance by opposing counsel for the homeowner and the same ignorance on the part of the judge. Fannie Mae is not and never has been a lender. It is a guarantor, whose liability arises after the loss has been completely established following the foreclosure sale and liquidation to a third-party. It is also a master trustee for securitized trusts. To say that Fannie Mae is the owner of the alleged loan is most likely an admission that the originator never loaned any money and that therefore the note and mortgage are invalid. It is also intentional obfuscation of the rights of the investors and trusts.

The multiple positions of Chase is representative of most other cases regardless of the name used for the identification of the alleged plaintiff, who probably doesn’t even know the action exists. That is why I suggested some years ago that a challenge to the right to represent the alleged plaintiff would be both appropriate and desirable. The usual answer is that the attorney represents all interested parties. This cannot be true because there is an obvious conflict of interest between the servicer, the trust, the guarantor, the trustee, and the broker-dealer that so far has never been named. Lawsuits filed by trust beneficiaries, guarantors, FDIC and insurers demonstrate this conflict of interest with great clarity.

I wonder if you should point out that if Chase was the Servicer, how could they not know who they were paying? As Servicer their role was to collect payments and send them to the creditor. If the witness or nonexistent verifier was truly familiar with the records, the account would show a debit to the account for payment to Fannie Mae or the securitized trust that was the actual source of funds for either the origination or acquisition of loans. And why would they not have shown that?  The reason is that no such payment was made. If any payment was made it was to the investors in the trust that lies behind the Fannie Mae curtain.

And if the “investor” had in fact received loss sharing payment from the FDIC, insurance or other sources how would the witness have known about that? Of course they don’t know because they have nothing to do with observing the accounts of the actual creditor. And while I agree that only actual payments as opposed to hypothetical payments should be taken into account when computing the principal balance and applicable interest on the loan, the existence of terms and conditions that might allow or require those hypothetical payments are sufficient to guarantee the right to discovery as to whether or not they were paid or if the right to payment has already accrued.

I think the argument about personal knowledge of the witness can be strengthened. The witness is an employee of Chase — not WAMU and not Fannie Mae. The PAA is completely silent about  the loans. Most of the loans were subjected to securitization anyway so WAMU couldn’t have “owned” them at any point in the false trail of securitization. If Chase is alleging that Fannie Mae in the “investor” then you have a second reason to say that both the servicing rights and the right to payment of principal, interest or monthly payments in doubt as to the intermediary banks in the cloud. So her testimony was hearsay on hearsay without any recognizable exception. She didn’t say she was custodian of records for anyone. She didn’t say how she had personal knowledge of Chase records, and she made no effort to even suggest she had any personal knowledge of the records of Fannie and WAMU — which is exactly the point of your lawsuit or defense.

If the Defendant/Appellee’s argument were to be accepted, any one of several defendants could deny allegations made against all the defendants individually just by producing a professional witness who would submit self-serving sworn affidavits from only one of the defendants. The result would thus benefit some of the “represented parties” at the expense of others.

Their position is absurd and the court should not be used and abused in furtherance of what is at best a shady history of the loan. The homeowner challenges them to give her the accurate information concerning ownership and balance, failing which there was no basis for a claim of encumbrance against her property. The court, using improper reasoning and assumptions, essentially concludes that since someone was the “lender” the Plaintiff had no cause of action and could not prove her case even if she had a cause of action. If the trial court is affirmed, Pandora’s box will be opened using this pattern of court conduct and Judge rulings as precedent not only in foreclosure actions, disputes over all types of loans, but virtually all tort actions and most contract actions.

Specifically it will open up a new area of moral hazard that is already filled with debris, to wit: debt collectors will attempt to insert themselves in the collection of money that is actually due to an existing creditor who has not sold the debt to the collector. As long as the debt collector moves quickly, and the debtor is unsophisticated, the case with the debt collector will be settled at the expense of the actual creditor. This will lead to protracted litigation as to the authority of the debt collector and the liability of the debtor as well as the validity of any settlement.

Citizens United Threatens Independence of Judicial System — Tennessee Answer to Problem

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COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary CLICK HERE TO GET COMBO TITLE AND SECURITIZATION REPORT

Editor’s Note: The New York Times editorial makes a good point. Many Judges are elcted and even those who are appointed are frequently appointed by elected officials. Having money pour into these campaigns from  banks and servicers, which is what is happening, will conform the worst fears of most citizens who are cocnerned about getting a fair hearing in court. It is difficult to be objective if the majority of your campaign money has come from the financial sector.

  • Remember the judicial system doesn’t actually guarantee justice of a fair result as you would see it. It is there to guarantee a fair hearing. You may think they are the same thing, but if you think about it, they are not the same.
  • This is why presentation and procedure is so important and that from the start you establish credibility — which means objecting to proffers of facts not in evidence and making it clear that you do not concede that the debt still exists, you do not concede that the debt is in default and you do not concede the standing or interest of the party seeking to foreclose or even settle, mediate or modify the loan.
  • That is why it is so essential that you obtain the COMBO Title and Securitization report, and you most probably should have the Loan Level Accounting report that frequently shows that the forecloser on the one hand is declaring a default and on the other hand paying the creditor curing the default. Adding the Forensic Loan Analysis (TILA+) may well pave the ground for damages, recover of attorney fees at an early stage to finance the rest of litigation and attacking the validity (not the existence) of the mortgage lien.
  • The issue is not whether you are right or wrong — a conclusion that is reached at trial. The issue is whether you can get into the CONTESTED factual assertions made by each side and to achieve the result of getting into the discovery stage. discovery. Once, there, most cases settle when the banks and servicers must come up with actual full accounting, actual documents and proof of transactions that referred to on fabricated transfer papers.

I think it is appropriate to ask the Judge in as non-threatening way as possible whether the Judge has any conflicts. Perhaps the question can be phrased that your client is concerned about the amount of money that is flowing into campaigns and the pension money that has been used to purchase what now appear to be worthless mortgage bonds or what may be valid bonds but worth far less depending upon the outcome of the cases that attack either the security instrument or the debt or the note supposedly evidencing the debt.

That way you are introducing the basic issues and at the same time you are asking the Judge to commit himself on record as to whether he has any conflicts or whether there is any relationship or investment which could influence his decisions.

If you are going to do that — and I recommend you do — make sure your client is there or it will seem that you are just using tactics or strategy. Whatever the answer, instruct your client to remain calm and passive.

The very conservative Tennessee Supreme Court has already recognized the problem and issued an order for automatic recusal (self removal by the Judge) where the problem surfaces.

A more interesting proposition is where the prosecutors are elected or appointed in the same way. Prosecutorial discretion (whether to prosecute or not) could undermine the criminal process. Remember that despite the efforts of the  newly constituted investigatory and prosecution units, the politics is running heavily in the direction of the banks despite the public outcry.

Perhaps the answer to all of this is to have retired Judges hear the cases and where appropriate appoint special prosecutors from the private sector.

A Reform for Fair Courts

New York Times Editorial January 28, 2012.

With rising special-interest spending in state judicial elections, there is an urgent need to protect judicial integrity from the flood of campaign cash. Tennessee is leading the way with a new rule prohibiting judges from hearing cases when campaign spending by lawyers or litigants raises a reasonable question of their impartiality.

Adopted earlier this month by the Tennessee Supreme Court, the recusal rule applies to both direct contributions and independent expenditures favoring a judge’s election. It requires judges to step aside when the level of campaign support raises a reasonable concern about his or her ability to be fair. Judges who deny a recusal request will need to provide their reasons in writing, and the final word on recusal will not be left to the challenged judge. The litigants will have a chance to appeal recusal decisions to the court’s other judges.

The United States Supreme Court in a 2009 case recognized the potential threat to public trust in the justice system posed by outsized campaign spending in judicial elections. But few of the 38 states that elect their top judges have tried to combat the problem with more rigorous recusal rules. If special interests knew their campaign spending would be likely to trigger recusal, they might not try as hard to buy up judges.

Tennessee’s good model should help prod court leaders in other jurisdictions to follow suit. Campaign spending problems have plagued judicial races in states like Illinois, Alabama and Pennsylvania. A sensible rule on recusal would significantly increase public confidence in judicial integrity.

LAWYER ADMITS SIGNING DOCUMENTS AS OFFICER OF HIS CLIENT

COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary SEE LIVINGLIES LITIGATION SUPPORT AT LUMINAQ.COM

EDITOR’S COMMENT: I’d like to see the expression of someone who sits on a Bar grievance committee that meets out discipline to lawyers, when they read this. In any situation, until the mortgage meltdown, if a lawyer signed documents and then presented them as his client’s “evidence” he would be subject to severe discipline if not disbarment. But as long as we have trillions of dollars at stake, nobody at the Bar associations is saying anything. Here we have, courtesy of stopforeclosurefraud.com, part of the transcript in which the lawyer testifies rather arrogantly, that “sure” he signed the documents, so what? No, he didn’t ever speak to anyone about doing it, no he never obtained permission or instructions,  he just did it. 

The bottom line is that as long as we delay applying the law as it was written and followed for hundreds of years concerning property rights, contract rights, lending and attorney misconduct, the foreclosures will continue, the housing mess will get larger, and the economy will continue to sag under the weight of 80 million mortgage transactions that in any other setting would be called grand theft. And as long as we continue to hear that correction and restoration of the wealth taken from investor-lenders and homeowners would be unfair to those who were not defrauded, we will continue to be subjected to Alice in Wonderland policies.

ROY DIAZ TRANSCRIPT

Full Deposition Transcript of ROY DIAZ Shareholder of Smith, Hiatt & Diaz, P.A. Law Firm

Excerpts:

Q. So through that corporate authority as
Exhibit 4 to this deposition, MERS assented to the terms
Of this assignment of mortgage?

A. Through me.

Q. So it was you that assented to the terms of
This assignment of mortgage.

A. The one in this case, yes.

Q. And no one else.

A. Correct

Q. And you signed as vice president of MERS
acting solely as a nominee for America’s Wholesale
Lender; is that correct?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. How did you know that MERS was nominee for
America’s Wholesale Lender?

A. By reviewing documentation.

Q. What documentation?

A. I don’t specifically recall what I reviewed
In this case to see that, to determine that, but I would
have reviewed either the mortgage or I would have
reviewed other documentation that would have established
that to me.

Q. So in this case you don’t remember a single
Document that you looked at that would establish the
Nominee status of MERS for America’s Wholesale Lenders;
Is that correct?

A. I don’t

Q. Did someone at America’s Wholesale Lender
Tell you that MERS was acting as the nominee?

A. No.

Q. Did someone at MERS tell you they were
Acting as Nominee for America’s Wholesale Lender?

A. NO.

Q. Was America’s Wholesale Lender in existence
On May 19, 2010?

A. don’t now.

Q. Did you check that before signing this
assignment of mortgage?

A. No.

<SNIP>

Q. Now, you’ve said you review the MERS
Website and you’ve seen documents like this, like
Composite Exhibit 6. Any reason why you wouldn’t review
the documents contained in Exhibit 6 before executing the
assignment of mortgage?

A. It’s not necessary.

Q. Why not?

A. Because it’s not. Because I decided it’s
not.

Q. You as vice president of MERS?

A. In every possible capacity as it relates to
This case.

Q. Did you sign this assignment of mortgage
after being retained as counsel for the plaintiff?

A. After my law firm was retained?

Q. (Nods head.)

A. Is that the question?

Q. Sure.

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. So you executed an assignment to be
Used as evidence in your case, correct?

A. Sure.

Q. Is that a yes?

A. It’s a sure.

Q. Is that a yes o a no?

A. You said sure earlier. Was that a yes or a
No?

Q. Okay. So…

A. It’s a yes.

Q. It’s a yes.

WHAT IF THE TRUSTEE DOESN’T QUALIFY UNDER LAW AS A TRUSTEE?

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. Just because the NAME WELLS FARGO APPEARS, IT MIGHT NOT BE QUALIFIED. If the entity named is a Wells Fargo subsidiary or other entity that is NOT a bank or other institution described here, then they can’t be a trustee. If they can’t be a Trustee, the Trust deed is probably no better than a nominee beneficiary which would be void or voidable.

Note SECTION B also — that the trustee cannot have a conflict of interest with the beneficiary. If they show up in court in one case claiming rights as as a beneficiary in a similar transaction involving the same pool, they are creating a question of fact that can only be resolved in a judicial foreclosure. And in the case of a substitution of trustee who facially or factually does not qualify, the substitution of trustee may be void or voidable.

33-803. Trustee of trust deed; qualifications

A. Except as provided in subsection B, the trustee of a trust deed shall be:

1. An association or corporation doing business under the laws of this state as a bank, trust company, savings and loan association, credit union, insurance company, escrow agent or consumer lender. [Question: what if they ARE a bank but not qualified under State law to conduct business as a bank in this particular state? Or to be more esoteric, what if they are qualified to do business as a bank but hey are not acting as a bank in this transaction?]

2. A person who is a member of the state bar of Arizona.

3. A person who is a licensed real estate broker under the laws of this state.

4. A person who is a licensed insurance producer under the laws of this state.

5. An association or corporation that is licensed, chartered or regulated by the federal deposit insurance corporation, the comptroller of the currency, the federal home loan bank, the national credit union administration, the farm credit administration, the federal reserve board or any successors.

6. The parent corporation of any association or corporation referred to in this subsection or any corporation all the stock of which is owned by or held solely for the benefit of any such association or corporation referred to in this subsection.

B. An individual trustee of a trust deed who qualifies under subsection A shall not be the beneficiary of the trust, but such restriction shall not preclude a corporate or association trustee that qualifies under subsection A and while acting in good faith from being the beneficiary, or after appointment from acquiring the interest of the beneficiary by succession, conveyance, grant, descent or devise.

C. A trustee of a trust deed who qualifies under subsection A shall not lend or delegate the trustee’s name or corporate capacity to any individual or entity that does not qualify as a trustee of a trust deed. An individual, company, association or corporation shall not circumvent the requirements of subsection A by acting in concert with a nonqualifying trustee.

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