Ocwen: Investors and Borrowers Move toward Unity of Purpose!

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Please consult an attorney who is licensed in your jurisdiction before acting upon anything you read on this blog.

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Anyone following this blog knows that I have been saying that unity of investors and borrowers is the ultimate solution to the falsely dubbed “Foreclosure crisis” (a term that avoids Wall Street corruption). Many have asked what i have based that on and the answer was my own analysis and interviews with Wall Street insiders who have insisted on remaining anonymous. But it was only a matter of time where the creditors (investors who bought mortgage backed securities) came to realize that nobody acting in the capacity of underwriter, servicer or Master Servicer was acting in the best interests of the investors or the borrowers.

The only thing they have tentatively held back on is an outright allegation that their money was NOT used by the Trustee for the Trust and their money never made it into the Trust and that the loans never made it into the Trust. That too will come because when investors realize that homeowners are not going to walk away, investors as creditors will come to agreements to salvage far more of the debts created during the mortgage meltdown than the money salvaged by pushing cases to foreclosure instead of the centuries’ proven method of resolving troubled loans — workouts. Nearly all homeowners would execute a new clean mortgage and note in a heartbeat to give investors the benefits of a workout that reflects economic reality.

Practice hint: If you are dealing with Ocwen Discovery should include information about Altisource and Home Loan Servicing Solutions, investors, and borrowers as it relates to the subject loan.

Investors announced complaints against Ocwen for mishandling the initial money, the paperwork and the subsequent money and servicing on loans created and a acquired with their money. The investors, who are the actual creditors (albeit unsecured) are getting close to the point where they state outright what everyone already knows: there is no collateral for these loans and every disclosure statement involving nearly all the loans violated disclosure requirements under TILA, RESPA, and Federal and state regulations.
The fact that (1) the loan was not funded by the payee on the note and mortgagee on the mortgage and (2) that the money from creditors were never properly channeled through the REMIC trusts because the trusts never received the proceeds of sale of mortgage backed securities is getting closer and closer to the surface.
What was unthinkable and the subject of ridicule 8 years ago has become the REAL reality. The plain truth is that the Trust never owned the loans even as a pass through because they never had had the money to originate or acquire loans. That leaves an uncalculated unsecured debt that is being diminished every day that servicers continue to push foreclosure for the protection of the broker dealers who created worthless mortgage bonds which have been purchased by the Federal reserve under the guise of propping up the banks’ balance sheets.

“HOUSTON, January 23, 2015 – Today, the Holders of 25% Voting Rights in 119 Residential Mortgage Backed Securities Trusts (RMBS) with an original balance of more than $82 billion issued a Notice of Non-Performance (Notice) to BNY Mellon, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, US Bank, and Wells Fargo, as Trustees, Securities Administrators, and/or Master Servicers, regarding the material failures of Ocwen Financial Corporation (Ocwen) as Servicer and/or Master Servicer, to comply with its covenants and agreements under governing Pooling and Servicing Agreements (PSAs).”
  • Use of Trust funds to “pay” Ocwen’s required “borrower relief” obligations under a regulatory settlement, through implementation of modifications on Trust- owned mortgages that have shifted the costs of the settlement to the Trusts and enriched Ocwen unjustly;
  • Employing conflicted servicing practices that enriched Ocwen’s corporate affiliates, including Altisource and Home Loan Servicing Solutions, to the detriment of the Trusts, investors, and borrowers;
  • Engaging in imprudent and wholly improper loan modification, advancing, and advance recovery practices;
  • Failure to maintain adequate records,  communicate effectively with borrowers, or comply with applicable laws, including consumer protection and foreclosure laws; and,

 

  • Failure to account for and remit accurately to the Trusts cash flows from, and amounts realized on, Trust-owned mortgages.

As a result of the imprudent and improper servicing practices alleged in the Notice, the Holders further allege that their experts’ analyses demonstrate that Trusts serviced by Ocwen have performed materially worse than Trusts serviced by other servicers.  The Holders further allege that these claimed defaults and deficiencies in Ocwen’s performance have materially affected the rights of the Holders and constitute an ongoing Event of Default under the applicable PSAs.  The Holders intend to take further action to recover these losses and protect the Trusts’ assets and mortgages.

The Notice was issued on behalf of Holders in the following Ocwen-serviced RMBS: see link The fact that the investors — who by all accounts are the real parties in interest disavow the actions of Ocwen gives rise to an issue of fact as to whether Ocwen was or is operating under the scope of services supposedly to be performed by the servicer or Master Servicer.
I would argue that the fact that the apparent real creditors are stating that Ocwen is misbehaving with respect to adequate records means that they are not entitled to the presumption of a business records exception under the hearsay rule.
The fact that the creditors are saying that servicing practices damaged not only the investors but also borrowers gives rise to a factual issue which denies Ocwen the presumption of validity on any record including the original loan documents that have been shown in many cases to have been mechanically reproduced.
The fact that the creditors are alleging imprudent and wholly improper loan modification practices, servicer advances (which are not properly credited to the account of either the creditor or the borrower), and the recovery of advances means that the creditors are saying that Ocwen was acting on its own behalf instead of the creditors. This puts Ocwen in the position of being either outside the scope of its authority or more likely simply an interloper claiming to be a servicer for trusts that were never actually used to acquire or originate loans, this negating the effect of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement.  Hence the “servicer” for the trust is NOT the servicer for the subject loan because the loan never arrived in the trust portfolio.
The fact that the creditors admit against interest that Ocwen was pursuing practices and goals that violate laws and proper procedure means that no foreclosure can be supported by “clean hands.” The underlying theme here being that contrary to centuries of practice, instead of producing workouts in which the loan is saved and thus the investment of the creditors, Ocwen pursued foreclosure which was in its interest and not the creditors. The creditors are saying they don’t want the foreclosures but Ocwen did them anyway.
The fact that the creditors are saying they didn’t get the money that was supposed to go to them means that the money received from lost sharing with FDIC, guarantees, insurance, credit default swaps that should have paid off the creditors were not paid to them and would have reduced the damage to the creditors. By reducing the amount of damages to the creditors the borrower would have owed less, making the principal amounts claimed in foreclosures all wrong. The parties who paid such amounts either have or do not have separate unsecured actions against the borrower. In most cases they have no such claim because they explicitly waived it.
This is the first time investors have even partially aligned themselves with Borrowers. I hope it will lead to a stampede, because the salvation of investors and borrowers alike requires a pincer like attack on the intermediaries who have been pretending to be the principal parties in interest but who lacked the authority from the start and violated every fiduciary duty and contractual duty in dealing with creditors and borrowers. Peal the onion: the reason that their initial money is at stake is that these servicers are either acting as Master Servicers who are actually the underwriters and sellers of the mortgage backed securities,
I would argue that the fact that the apparent real creditors are stating the Ocwen is misbehaving with respect to adequate records means that they are not entitled to the presumption of a business records exception under the hearsay rule.
The fact that the creditors are saying that servicing practices damaged not only the investors but also borrowers gives rise to a factual issue which denies Ocwen the presumption of validity on any record including the original loan documents that have been shown in many cases to have been mechanically reproduced.
The fact that the creditors are alleging imprudent and wholly improper loan modification practices, servicer advances (which are not properly credited to the account of either the creditor or the borrower), and the recovery of advances means that the creditors are saying that Ocwen was acting on tis own behalf instead of the creditors. This puts Ocwen in the position of being either outside the scope of its authority or more likely simply an interloper claiming to be a servicer for trusts that were never actually used to acquire or originate loans, this negating the effect of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement.
The fact that the creditors admit against interest that Ocwen was pursuing practices and goals that violate laws and proper procedure means that no foreclosure can be supported by “clean hands.” The underlying theme here being that contrary to centuries of practice, instead of producing workouts in which the loan is saved and thus the investment of the creditors, Ocwen pursued foreclosure which was in its interest and not the creditors. The creditors are saying they don’t want the foreclosures but Ocwen did them anyway.
The fact that the creditors are saying they didn’t get the money that was supposed to go to them means that the money received from lost sharing with FDIC, guarantees, insurance, credit default swaps that should have paid off the creditors were not paid to them and would have reduced the damage to the creditors. By reducing the amount of damages to the creditors the borrower would have owed less, making the principals claimed in foreclosures all wrong. The parties who paid such amounts either have or do not have separate unsecured actions against eh borrower. In most cases they have no such claim because they explicitly waived it.
This is the first time investors have even partially aligned themselves with Borrowers. I hope it will lead to a stampede, because the salvation of investors and borrowers alike requires a pincer like attack on the intermediaries who have been pretending to be the principal parties in interest but who lacked the authority from the start and violated every fiduciary duty and contractual duty in dealing with creditors and borrowers.

Reg Z TILA Amendment requires new owners and assignees of mortgage loans to notify consumers of the sale or transfer

The Federal Reserve Board has issued an interim final rule under Regulation Z to implement the recent Truth in Lending Act (TILA) amendment that requires new owners and assignees of mortgage loans to notify consumers of the sale or transfer.

While mostly helpful in foreclosure defense,  the rule leaves open the question of ownership of the loans. Because of the practice of “assignment” of the loans to a special purpose vehicle, the Fed stopped there in its inquiry. If it had taken one step further it would have seen that the indenture to the mortgage backed bond conveyed an ownership interest in the loans supposedly assigned. it also leaves open the problem of whether the loans were accepted into the pool or were time-barred or were defective for failure to meet the requirements of recordation or recordable form set forth in the enabling documents.

The TILA requirement has been in effect since the May 20, 2009, enactment of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. Compliance with the specifics of the new rule is optional until January 19, 2010. As a result, new owners may (but need not) rely on the new rule immediately to ensure they are in compliance with TILA. Violations give rise to liability for statutory damages, including up to $4,000 per violation in individual actions or up to $500,000 in a class action.

The transfer notice requirement applies to all closed-end and open-end consumer-purpose mortgage loans secured by a consumer’s principal residence. It requires any person that acquires more than one mortgage loan in any 12-month period to provide a transfer notice without regard to whether the new owner would otherwise be a “creditor” subject to TILA. Mere servicers of mortgage loans and investors in mortgage-backed securities or other interests in pooled loans do not acquire legal title to loans and are not subject to the new rule. However, trusts or other entities acquiring legal title to the securitized loans are subject to the rule. The notice requirement is triggered by a transfer of the underlying loan, regardless of whether the assignment is recorded. Thus, assignees are not exempt from the duty to provide notice merely because the mortgage (as opposed to the note) is in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), for example.

The new rule does not affect the separate notification requirement under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) for servicing transfers on mortgage loans. Accordingly, new owners who acquire both legal title to a mortgage loan and the servicing rights will need to satisfy both the TILA and RESPA notification requirements.

  • The notice must be given on or before the 30th calendar date after the date the new owner acquires the loan, with the acquisition date deemed to be the date that the acquisition is recognized in the new owner’s books and records. In the case of short-term repurchase agreements, the acquirer is not required to give the notice if the transferor has not treated the transfer as a loan sale on its own books and records. However, if a repurchase does not occur, the acquirer must give the notice within 30 days after it recognizes the transfer as an acquisition on its books and records.
  • The notice must be given even where the new and former owners are affiliates, but a combined notice may be sent where one company acquires a loan and subsequently transfers it to another company so long as the content and timing requirements are satisfied as to both entities.
  • The notice must contain the information specified by the new rule, including contact information for any agents used by an owner to receive legal notices and resolve payment issues.
  • The required information also includes a disclosure of the location where ownership of the debt is recorded. If a transfer has not been recorded in the public records at the time the notice is provided, a new owner may satisfy this requirement by stating that fact.

Obama Gets a Set — Accepts Volcker’s View

Editor’s Comment: Finally! The president has now played out the Geithner-Summers scenario and seen the results — a large middle finger raised in the air from an arrogant bunch of people who are tone deaf to the needs of the nation and the world. This decision brings us into line with the rest of the world, whose central bankers have been waiting for ANY signal from Washington that we were ready to get real about financial services and currency weakness.

This is a massive break from the Bush era of “free-market” self regulation and a recognition of the truth — that the markets are anything but free. As of now, the financial markets and our economy are in the death grip of a very small coterie of people more bent on power and privilege than commerce, profit, accountability to shareholders, fairness to the consumer and respect for the taxpayers whom they bilked for trillions of dollars after stealing trillions from homeowners and investors through destruction of the lives and prospects of most middle class Americans.

The lone voice in the inner circle has been the chairman of economic advisers, Paul Volcker who until now has been marginalized, discounted and generally avoided. Joined by the former Fed Chairman Greenspan who now admits the mistakes of “free-market” thinking and the consequences of taking the referees off the playing field, Volcker proposes a whole new paradigm. By breaking up the large “too big to fail” institutions we break up the oligopoly that is running our government.

We have a very long road ahead. Deflating the bubble that still exists in trading proprietary currency-equivalents (derivatives, mostly) will take a long time and will no doubt have both negative and positive, intended and unintended consequences. Nothing is perfect. But what is perfect is a nation that can go through peaceful revolution and come out the other end with a healthier, safer, free society where the goal is opportunity for everyone and protection from those who would economically enslave people and systematically dumb them down through starving educational initiatives.

Following through on this initiative means we can really address the jobs problem and the corporate welfare drain on the American taxpayer. Those must end as quickly as possible. Changing the context to consumer protection and transparency in the financial markets means that the reality of the foreclosure crisis can be stated openly: neither the obligations nor the property were ever worth what they were sold for and they never will rise to those levels again in any meaningful amount of time.The ONLY honest answer is principal reduction. The only open questions are how to share the losses amongst all the affected losers.

Recent realistic projections show that the largest wave of foreclosures is yet to come in 2012 and 2013. Unwinding the increasingly damaged titles of property encumbered by fabricated documents asserting false terms could take generations. If the President follows through on this announcement, our ordeal, now projected to be 20-30 years and beyond, could be shortened considerably with a real brass ring at the end instead of a simple sigh of relief and resignation that the b–tards are always in charge.

The President promised change. Now he is aiming for it. Let’s hope he makes it. Write your congressman, senators, governors and legislators supporting this initiative. Give the President as much support as you can — he’s going to need it in the battle ahead. Believe in yourself and not in the messages blasted at us through institutionalized advertisements and a lazy media. And keep fighting the battle against foreclosure. You are warriors on behalf of yourself and what will be a grateful nation.

By JACKIE CALMES and LOUIS UCHITELLE

Published: January 20, 2010

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Thursday will publicly propose giving bank regulators the power to limit the size of the nation’s largest banks and the scope of their risk-taking activities, an administration official said late Wednesday.

The president, for the first time, will throw his weight behind an approach long championed by Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and an adviser to the Obama administration. The proposal will put limits on bank size and prohibit commercial banks from trading for their own accounts — known as proprietary trading.

The White House intends to work closely with the House and Senate to include these proposals in whatever bill dealing with financial regulation finally emerges from Congress.

Mr. Volcker flew to Washington for the announcement on Thursday. His chief goal has been to prohibit proprietary trading of financial securities, including mortgage-backed securities, by commercial banks using deposits in their commercial banking sectors. Big losses in the trading of those securities precipitated the credit crisis in 2008 and the federal bailout.

The president will speak at an appearance on Thursday at the White House with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, an administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the talks were private. It will come after a meeting with Mr. Volcker.

A similar discussion is percolating in Europe, led by Mervyn King, head of the Bank of England.

The president’s announcement comes as his popularity in public opinion polls is falling because of stubborn unemployment and the stagnant economy, and just days after he suffered a stinging loss when the Republicans won the Senate seat from Massachusetts.

It will be the third time in just a week that he has waded into the battle heating up in Congress over tightening regulation of financial institutions to avoid the sort of abuses that contributed to the near collapse on Wall Street. Last week he proposed a new tax on some 50 of the largest banks to raise enough money to recover the losses from the financial bailout, which ultimately could cost up to $117 billion, the Treasury estimates.

And this week, he served notice to senior lawmakers that he wants an independent agency to protect consumers as part of any financial overhaul legislation.

Only a handful of large banks would be the targets of the proposal, among them Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street trading house, became a commercial bank during this latest crisis, and it would presumably have to give up that status.

“The heart of my argument,” Mr. Volcker said, “is who we are going to save and who we are not going to save. And I don’t want to save what is not at the heart of commercial banking.”

Mr. Volcker has been trying for weeks to drum up support — on Wall Street and in Washington — for restrictions similar to those passed in the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933. That law separated commercial banking and investment banking, so that the investment arm could no longer use a depositor’s money to purchase stocks, sometimes drawing money from a savings account, for example, without the depositor’s knowledge.

The 1929 stock market crash and subsequent Depression made a shambles of that practice. But Glass-Steagall was watered down over the years and revoked in 1999.

Now the concern is a new type of activity in which financial giants like Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase engage. They now operate on two fronts. On the one hand, they are commercial banks, taking deposits, making standard loans and managing the nation’s payment system. On the other hand, they trade securities for their own accounts, a hugely profitable endeavor. This proprietary trading, mainly in risky mortgage-backed securities, precipitated the credit crisis in 2008 and the federal bailout.

Mr. Volcker, chairman of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, a panel of outside advisers set up at the start of the Obama administration, has gradually lined up big-name support for restrictions on such trading.

But the Obama administration until now focused on regulating the activities of the existing financial institutions, not breaking them up or limiting their activities. Under the new approach, commercial banks would no longer be allowed to engage in proprietary trading, using customers’ deposits and borrowed money to carry out these trades.

“Major institutions with a deposit facility should not be allowed to invest in subprime obligations under any conditions,” said Henry Kaufman, an economist and money manager, and one of a dozen prominent Wall Street figures who have told Mr. Volcker that they support his proposal, in principle if not in detail.

Others include William H. Donaldson, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Roger C. Altman, chairman of Evercore and a Treasury official in the Clinton administration, and John S. Reed, a former chairman of Citigroup.

“When I was running Citi,” Mr. Reed said of his tenure in the 1980s and 1990s, “we simply did not trade for our own account.”

Jackie Calmes reported from Washington, and Louis Uchitelle from New York.

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