Why I Think Homeowners Are Entitled to Receive a Second Payment From Investment Banks

All homeowners who think they have a mortgage loan have received one payment at a “closing” — or a payment allegedly made on their behalf. For reasons explained elsewhere on this blog, such payments on their behalf are mostly fictional where the underlying investment bank is the same “director” of funds.
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The significance is that a second tree springs up in which the scheme described below is duplicated — with little or no cost to the investment banks. Each time the myth of “refinancing” is employed a new securitization tree springs up with dozens if not hundreds of branches.
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The purpose of this article is to explain my view that homeowners are entitled to share in the revenues and profits generated by securitization schemes — and why I think that now is the time to demand it in litigation.
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This claim has been filed early in the course of the mortgage meltdown. In one case the Federal judge held onto it for 14 months before finally ruling that the complaint should be dismissed. It led to my deposition being taken for 6 straight days, 9am-5PM as an expert witness. I was having heart problems at that time and they were clearly trying to wear me down. I did not relent. I did get some stents shortly afterward. 16 banks and 16 law firms each took their turn beating me up.
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I think we have reached a different era in which these claims should be pressed again. We know a lot more than we did in 2007-2008. Subsequent events proved the basic points, to wit: that the paper trail did not match up to reality, which is why the paper trail consists entirely of false, fabricated, forged, backdated, and robosigned documents.
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1. Homeowners enter into transactions that appear to be loans to purchase or refinance property at market value. Even if the transactions were actual loans, the determination of market value was legally the responsibility of the lender under TILA. Market value never increased, but prices were grossly inflated because Wall Street flooded the market with money that appeared to be cheap.
  • By lowering the apparent monthly cost, they made the actual price appear to be irrelevant — which is part of the essential element of deception.
  • The common homeowner relied upon the appraisals that were required by investment banks to be inflated in order to complete the loan transaction or the illusion of a loan transaction.
  • The only way securities brokerage firms (investment banks) could sell more and more unregulated securities is if more and more deals were signed by unsuspecting homeowners.
  • Thus the transaction enabled the homeowner to purchase or refinance a home under the mistaken belief that the home had a market value in excess of the principal amount of the “loan.”
  • All such “loans” were bad, from a market perspective.
  • It meant that the homeowners took an immediate loss because market prices were stratospherically higher than market values (i.e., indicating a high known probability that prices would fall precipitously).
  • It also meant that if there was a lender, it also was taking an immediate loss because it could not report the value of the loan at face value since the loan principal was far in excess of the value of the collateral.
  • In addition, all such loans were bad because the impact of this phenomenon was to create an immediate incentive to default on the scheduled “loan” payments apparently due from homeowners.
  • The obvious conclusion is that for everyone except the homeowner, this was not a loan transaction.
2. The transaction was not a loan. If it was a loan, nobody would have been party to it. There was no lending intent. there was no profit incentive to engage in lending under the circumstances described above. Like the “new economy” of the 1990s, the entire housing market consisted of the myth of a new force that would permanently push housing prices ever higher.
  • So what homeowners are missing out on is claiming a share of a pie that almost everyone else got paid.
  • The paper (document) deal basically has the homeowner execute a document allowing for a virtual creditor without a loan account balance in order to create, issue, and sell unregulated securities, regardless of what the homeowner intended and regardless of what the homeowner believed.
  • Because of the undisclosed structure of the deal, the “seller” was able to recover all money paid to the homeowner contemporaneously with the “closing” of the paper transaction. This is true even though nobody made credit entries to a nonexistent loan account.
  • Neither the loan account nor any of its components (underlying obligation, legal debt, note or mortgage) was ever sold in a financial transaction in the real world.
  • This accounts for the ability of the investment banks to conduct multiple virtual sales of hedge instruments or interests in the performance data for the virtual loan.
  • This enabled the investment bank to convert the usual 15% underwriting fee to at least a 1200% profit plus whatever they could get from homeowners in monthly payments and foreclosures.
  • With exception of the homeowner, every person and every business entity that was recruited to participate in the selling scheme to homeowners got paid extra exorbitant fees for their participation.
  • Those were fees that would never have been paid and could never have been paid but for the absurd profits from the so-called securitization scheme.
  • The homeowner provided a service that is undeniable: the homeowner accepted the concept of a virtual creditor even though no such allowance existed under any laws, rules or regulations thus enabling these fees and “trading profits” to be generated without any offsetting entry to any nonexistent loan account.
  • If homeowners had been given the opportunity to negotiate terms for their acceptance of a transaction in which there was no lender, no compliance with TILA, and no stake by a lender in the success of the transaction, homeowners would have had the opportunity to bargain for better terms and competition in the industry would have resulted in better terms (a share of the pie) being offered.
  • We already know that incentives were offered to pay closing costs, the first few months of the “loan” etc. Homeowners occupied a special place in the securitization scheme.
  • Without the cooperation of homeowners, there was no securitization scheme. Other players could have been replaced but not homeowners.
  • So their share of the pie would have been substantial if they had the opportunity (i.e., if there was disclosure) to bargain and better terms would have been offered if there was disclosure and transparency as required by law.
  • In my opinion, there are two benchmarks that should be used to determine how much the homeowner should have been paid: (1) the amount the homeowner received at closing, making such payment a fee and (2) 15% of the total revenue generated from the scheme in e exchange for the issuance of the paper documents (note and mortgage).
    • These two benchmarks overlap. But what it basically comes down to is that each homeowner should have received the benefit of the real bargain: around 15% of the total revenue from that deal which means that in a typical $200,000 loan, with at least $2.4 million generated in fees and trading profits, the homeowner should have received at least $360,000.
    • The $200,000 “loan” might survive upon proper reformation reflecting all the elements of the real deal, but there is still an extra $160,000 that was due to the homeowner at the time of signing.
    • Right now that $360,000 is being shared with dozens of people and companies involved in the securitization scheme and dozens of companies involved in virtual foreclosure schemes — i.e., foreclosures in which lawyers acting under litigation immunity argue or imply that a loan account exists and that they represent the party who owns it.
    • The only reason why homeowners are excluded from that is that it would reduce the size of bonuses received by the existing players, most of whom are doing nothing other than lending their name to a virtual scheme.
    • I said in 2007  that homeowners did not really owe any money to anyone from these paper transactions and that in fact, it was the reverse — homeowners are the ones who are owed money by the investment banks, plus interest from the date of closing.

I think the failure of homeowners to aggressively pursue this line of practical and legal reasoning is largely responsible for the continued drain (anchor) on the U.S. economy, which is still suffering from the unfortunate decisions of multiple administrations to save and increase the profits of investment banks at the cost to and detriment of common homeowners.

Monday Livinglies Magazine: Crime and Punishment

Steal this Massachusetts Town’s Toughest New Foreclosure Prevention Ideas
http://www.keystonepolitics.com/2013/06/steal-this-massachusetts-towns-toughest-new-foreclosure-prevention-ideas/

Florida leads nation in vacated foreclosures — and it’s not even close http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=33330748

Editor’s Note:  it is only common sense. There are several things that are known with complete certainty in connection with the mortgage mess.

  • We know that the banks found it necessary to forge, fabricate and alter legal documents illegally in order to create the illusion that foreclosure was proper.
  • We know that the banks manipulated the published rates on which adjustable mortgages changed their payments.
  • We know that the banks typically abandon any property that the bank has deemed to be undesirable (then why did they foreclose, when they had a perfectly good homeowner who was willing to pay something including the maintenance and insurance of the house?).
  • And we can conclude that it is far more important to the banks that they be able to foreclose and have the deed issued then to actually take possession of the property for sale or rental.
  • And so we know that the mortgage and foreclosure markets have been turned on their heads. Lynn, Massachusetts has adopted a series of regulations which appeared to be constitutional and which make it very difficult for the banks to turn neighborhoods that were thriving into blight.  The actions of this city and others who are taking similar actions will continue to reveal the true nature of the mortgage encumbrances (the lanes were never perfected because the loan was never made by the party that is claiming to be secured) and the true nature of foreclosures (the cover-up to a Ponzi scheme and an illegal securities scam that does not and never did fall within the exemptions of the 1998 law claimed by the banks).

The Bank Of International Settlements Warns The Monetary Kool-Aid Party Is Over
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-23/bank-international-settlements-warns-monetary-kool-aid-party-over

Wells Fargo Sells Woman’s House In Foreclosure After She Reinstates Loan for $141,441.81
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/06/20/wells-fargo-sells-womans-house-in-foreclosure-after-she-reinstates-loan-for-141441-81/

Editor’s Note: In all of these cases you need to start with the premise that the bank has a gargantuan liability in the event that it took insurance, credit default swap proceeds, federal bailouts, or the proceeds of sales of mortgage bonds to the Federal Reserve. Most experts in finance and economics agree that if the Federal Reserve stops making payments on the “purchase” of mortgage bonds the entire housing market will collapse. I don’t agree.

It is the banks that will collapse in the housing market will finally recover bringing the economy back up with it. The problem for the Federal Reserve and the economy is that most likely they are buying worthless paper issued by a trust that was never funded and that therefore could never have purchased any loan. Thus the income and the collateral of the mortgage bond is nonexistent.

Many people in the financial world completely understand this and are terrified at the prospect of the largest banks being required to mark down their reserve capital;  if this happens, and it should, these banks will lack the capital to continue functioning as a mega-bank.

So why would a bank foreclose on house on which there was no mortgage and/or no default? The answer lies in the fact that they have accepted money from third parties on the premise that they lost money on these mortgages. If that turns out not to be true (which it isn’t) then they most probably owe a lot of money back to those third parties.

My estimate is that in the average case they owe anywhere from 7 to 40 times the amount of the mortgage loan.  It is simply cheaper to settle with the aggrieved homeowner even if they pay damages for emotional distress (which is permitted in California and perhaps some other states); it is even cheaper and far more effective for the bank to give the house back without any encumbrance to the homeowner. Without the foreclosure becoming final or worse yet, as the recent revelations from Bank of America clearly show, if the loan is modified and becomes a performing loan all of that money is due back to all of those third parties.

“Deed-In-Lieu” of Foreclosure and Other Things
http://www.fxstreet.com/education/related-markets/lessons-from-the-pros-real-estate/2013/06/20/

Editor’s Note: This has come up many times in  questions and discussions regarding dealing with the Wall Street banks. It seems that the banks have borrowers thinking that in order to file a deed in lieu of foreclosure they need the permission of the bank. I know of no such provision in the law of any state preventing the owner of the property from deeding the property to anyone.  Several lawyers are seeing an opportunity, to wit: once the homeowner deeds the properties to the party pretending to foreclose on the property, the foreclosure action against the homeowner must be dismissed. That leaves the question of a deficiency judgment.

The advantages to the homeowner appears to be that any lawsuit seeking to recover a deficiency judgment would be strictly about money and would require the allegation of a monetary loss and proof of the monetary loss which would enable the homeowner, for the first time, to pursue discovery on the money trail because there is no other issue in dispute.

In the course of that litigation the discovery may reveal the fact that the party who filed the foreclosure and misrepresented their right to the collateral would be subject to various causes of action for damages as a counterclaim; but the counterclaim would not be filed until after discovery revealed the problem for the “lender.” Therefore several lawyers are advising their clients to simply file the deed in favor of the party seeking foreclosure based upon the representation that they are in fact the right party to obtain a sale of the property.

The lawyers who are using this tactic obviously caution their clients against using it unless they are already out of the house or are planning to move. Homeowners who are looking to employ this tactic should check with a licensed attorney in the jurisdiction in which their property is located.

Must See Video: Arizona Homeowners Losing their Homes to Foreclosure Through Forged Documents
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/06/21/must-see-video-arizona-homeowners-losing-their-homes-to-foreclosure-through-forged-documents/

Monitor Finds Mortgage Lenders Still Falling Short of Settlement’s Terms

By SHAILA DEWAN

The biggest mortgage lenders in the United States have not met all of the terms of the $25 billion settlement over abuses, an independent monitor found.

British Commission Calls for New Laws to Prosecute Bankers for Fraud

By MARK SCOTT

As part of a 600-page report, the British parliamentary commission on banking standards is urging new laws that would make it a criminal offense to recklessly mismanage local financial institutions.

A Fit of Pique on Wall Street

By PETER EAVIS

Perhaps more than at any time since the financial crisis, Wall Street knows it must prepare for a world without the Federal Reserve’s largess.

S.E.C. Has a Message for Firms Not Used to Admitting Guilt

By JAMES B. STEWART

By requiring an admission of guilt in some cases, the S.E.C.’s new chairwoman is pressing for more accountability at financial firms.

Bank of America’s Foreclosure Frenzy
http://ml-implode.com/staticnews/2013-06-24_BankofAmericasForeclosureFrenzy.html

Foreclosure defense and offense: Filing an answer to a complaint

For general instructions on filing an answer, see this link. Remember that an answer is not the same as an affirmative defense and an affirmative defense is not the same as a counterclaim. In most cases for foreclosure and even bankruptcy you should be prepared to file an answer, affirmative defenses, and counterclaim, in state court proceedings, and an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy proceedings.

http://www.lawhelp.org/documents/273941C-5%20Filing%20an%20Answer.pdf?stateabbrev=/FL/

 

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