Insurance and Hedge Proceeds Applied to Loan Balances

One of the more controversial statements I have made is that certain types of payments from third party sources should be applied, pro rata, against loan balances. Some have stated that the collateral source rule bars using third party payments as offset to the debt. But that rule is used in tort cases and contract cases are different. There are certain types of payments, like guarantees from Fannie and Freddie that might not be susceptible to use as offset because they are caused by the default of the debtor and because they are not paid until the foreclosure is complete.

But the insurance, credit default swaps and other hedge products that caused the banks to receive payment are a different story. Those are not paid because of a default by any particular borrower but rather are caused by a unilateral declaration of a “credit event” declared by the Master Servicer and are paid to the holder of the mortgage bonds. The mortgage bonds are issued by a trust based upon the advance of money by investors who wish to pool their money into an asset pool and receive income with what was thought to be a minimum of risk.

Since the broker-dealers (investment banks) were acting as agents for the trust and the bond holders, any money received by them should have first been allocated to the trust, then pro rata to the bond holders. Whether or not this money was actually forwarded to the bond holders is irrelevant if the investment banks were the agents of the investment vehicle and thus owed a duty to the investors to whom they sold the mortgage bonds.

Logic dictates that if the money was paid to the banks as “holders” of the bond (because they were issued in street name as nominee securities) that the balance owed by the trust to the investors was correspondingly reduced — reflecting the devaluation of the bonds declared by the master servicer based upon such criteria as the lack of liquidity of the bonds that had been trading freely on a weekly basis, or because of the severe drop in real estate prices down to their actual values, or because of other factors.

It should be noted that the declaration of the banks is unilateral and in their sole discretion and not subject to challenge by anyone because the declaration creates an irrefutable presumption that the content of the declaration is true. Thus the insurance company must pay, the credit default swap counterparty must pay and other hedge partners must pay as a result of an act by the bank, not the investor nor the borrower.

All the loans contained in the asset pool subject to the declared credit event are affected. And since the reason for the declaration has little relationship to defaults, and plenty of other more important reasons, the amount owed to investors is reduced by the receipt of the payments by their agent, the bank. That means the account receivable of the lender is reduced, regardless of which bank account the money happens to be deposited.

If the account receivable is reduced before, during or after a delinquency of the borrower (assuming the loan is actually in existence) then the borrowers’ balances should be reduced, pro rata for each loan in the asset pool that was the subject of the declaration of a credit event. It is therefore my opinion that the homeowner could and probably should file an affirmative defense for offset for the pro rata share of insurance, credit default swaps etc.

There is one more source that should be considered for offset. Several investors have made claims against the banks claiming that their money was misused and that the terms of the loan were not followed including, bad underwriting and unenforceable documents created at closing. Many of them have already settled those claims and received payment, thus reducing their account receivable from the trust (and by pure logic reducing, dollar for dollar the account payable from the trust). Since the sole source of payment on the bond is the payment of the mortgages, it follows that by utilizing the most simple of accounting standards, the balance owed by the homeowner would be correspondingly be reduced, pro rata, dollar for dollar.

The fact that the underwriting was bad, the loans were not viable or enforceable and based upon inflated appraisals and lies about the income of the borrower, is not something caused by the borrower. The fact that the money was paid to all of the investors in that particular asset pool means that each investor should get a share equal to the amount of money they invested compared to all the money that was invested in that pool.

As to figuring out how much of the offset goes to the borrower’s account payable, it should be calculated in the same way. The amount of the borrower’s debt should be compared with the total amount of loans in the asset pool. This percentage should be applied against all third party payments that did not arise out of the default by the borrowers. In fact, it should be applied against all borrowers whose loans were claimed by that asset pool, whether they were in default or not. This would be grounds for a claim by people who are “current” in their payments for a credit or refund of the amount received from insurance, credit default swaps, or payments by the banks in settlement of investors’ claims of fraud.

This approach should be brought up very early in litigation so that there is plenty of time to pursue the discovery required to determine the amount received and the proper calculation of pro rata shares. If you do it at trial, the best you can hope for is that the judge will take notice of the fact that the foreclosing party only brought part of the documents relating to the loan instead of all of them, which should be the subject of a subpoena for the designated witness of the bank to bring with her or him all of the documents relating to the subject loan or any instrument deriving its value in whole or in part from the subject loan’s existence.

Thus at trial you can have a two pronged attack, getting them coming and going. The first is of course the fact that the originator did not fund the loan and that the break between the money trail (actual transactions) and the paper trail (fictitious transactions) occurred at the closing table. In most cases that is true, but it can be replaced or buttressed by the fact that the same argument holds true for acquired loans that were previously originated. The endorsement of the note or assignment of mortgage is a fictitious instrument if there was no sale of the loan. The important thing is to talk about the money first and then use that to show that the documents are fabricated relating to no real transaction.

Then you also have the argument of offset which hopefully by then you will have set up by discovery.

Practice Note: Many lawyers are accepting fee retainers far below the level that would support properly litigating these cases. Now that the marketplace has matured, lawyers should reconsider their pricing and their prosecution of the defenses, affirmative defenses and counterclaims. Even clients who announce a goal of just staying as long as possible without paying rent or mortgage are probably saying that because they think they owe more money than is actually the case.

REMIC EVASION of TAXES AND FRAUD

I like this post from a reader in Colorado. Besides knowing what he is talking about, he raises some good issues. For example the original issue discount. Normally it is the fee for the underwriter. But this is a cover for a fee on steroids. They took money from the investor and then “bought” (without any paperwork conveying legal title) a bunch of loans that would produce the receivable income that the investor was looking for.

So let’s look at receivable income for a second and you’ll understand where the real money was made and why I call it an undisclosed tier 2 Yield Spread Premium due back to the borrower, or apportionable between the borrower and the investor. Receivable income consists or a complex maze designed to keep prying eyes from understanding what theya re looking at. But it isn’t really that hard if you take a few hours (or months) to really analyze it.

Under some twisted theory, most foreclosures are proceeding under the assumption that the receivable issue doesn’t matter. The fact that the principal balance of most loans were, if properly accounted for, paid off 10 times over, seems not to matter to Judges or even lawyers. “You borrowed the money didn’t you. How can you expect to get away with this?” A loaded question if I ever heard one. The borrower was a vehicle for the commission of a simple common law and statutory fraud. They lied to him and now they are trying to steal his house — the same way they lied to the investor and stole all the money.

  1. Receivable income is the income the investor expects. So for example if the deal is 7% and the investor puts up $1 million the investor is expecting $70,000 per year in receivable income PLUS of course the principal investment (which we all know never happened).

  2. Receivable income from loans is nominal — i.e., in name only. So if you have a $500,000 loan to a borrower who has an income of $12,000 per year, and the interest rate is stated as 16%, then the nominal receivable income is $80,000 per year, which everyone knows is a lie.

  3. The Yield Spread premium is achieved exactly that way. The investment banker takes $1,000,000 from an investor and then buys a mortgage with a nominal income of $80,000 which would be enough to pay the investor the annual receivable income the investor expects, plus fees for servicing the loan. So in our little example here, the investment banker only had to commit $500,000 to the borrower even though he took $1 million from the investor. His yield spread premium fee is therefore the same amount as the loan itself.  Would the investor have parted with the money if the investor was told the truth? Certainly not. Would the borrower sign up for a deal where he was sure to be thrown out on the street? Certainly not. In legal lingo, we call that fraud. And it never could have happened without defrauding BOTH the investor and the borrower.

  4. Then you have the actual receivable income which is the sum of all payments made on the pool, reduced by fees for servicing and other forms of chicanery. As more and more people default, the ACTUAL receivables go down, but the servicing fees stay the same or even increase, since the servicer is entitled to a higher fee for servicing a non-performing loan. You might ask where the servicer gets its money if the borrower isn’t paying. The answer is that the servicer is getting paid out of the proceeds of payments made by OTHER borrowers. In the end most of the ACTUAL income was eaten up by these service fees from the various securitization participants.

  5. Then you have a “credit event.” In these nutty deals a credit event is declared by investment banker who then makes a claim against insurance or counter-parties in credit default swaps, or buys (through the Master Servicer) the good loans (for repackaging and sale). The beauty of this is that upon declaration of a decrease in value of the pool, the underwriter gets to collect money on a bet that the underwriter would, acting in its own self interest, declare a write down of the pool and collect the money. Where did the money come from to pay for all these credit enhancements, insurance, credit default swaps, etc? ANSWER: From the original transaction wherein the investor put up $1 million and the investment banker only funded $500,000 (i.e., the undisclosed tier 2 yield spread premium).

  6. Under the terms of the securitization documents it might appear that the investor is entitled to be paid from third party payments. Both equitably, since the investors put up the money and legally, since that was the deal, they should have been paid. But they were not. So the third party payments are another expected receivable that materialized but was not paid to the creditor of the mortgage loan by the agents for the creditor. In other words, his bookkeepers stole the money.

Very good info on the securitization structure and thought provoking for sure. Could you explain the significance of the Original Issue Discount reporting for REMICs and how it applies to securitization?

It seems to me that the REMIC exemptions were to evade billions in taxes for the gain on sale of the loans to the static pool which never actually happened per the requirements for true sales. Such reporting was handled in the yearly publication 938 from the IRS. A review of this reporting history reveals some very interesting aspects that raise some questions.

Here are the years 2007, 2008 and 2009:

2009 reported in 2010
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p938.pdf

2008? is missing and reverts to the 2009 file?? Don’t believe me. try it.
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p938–2009.pdf

2007 reported in 2008
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p938–2007.pdf

A review of 2007 shows reporting of numerous securitization trusts owned by varying entities, 08 is obviously missing and concealed, and 2009 shows that most reporting is now by Fannie/Freddie/Ginnie, JP Morgan, CIti, BofA and a few new entities like the Jeffries trusts etc.

Would this be simply reporting that no discount is now being applied and all the losses or discount is credited to the GSEs and big banks, or does it mean the trusts no longer exist and the ones not paid with swaps are being resecuritized?

Some of the tell tale signs of some issues with the REMIC status especially in the WAMU loans is a 10.3 Billion dollar tax claim by the IRS in the BK. It is further that the balance of the entire loan portfolio of WAMU transferred to JPM for zero consideration. A total of 191 Billion of loans transferred proven by an FDIC accounting should be enough to challenge legal standing in any event.

I believe that all of the securitized loans were charged back to WAMU’s balance sheet prior to the sale of the assets and transferred to JPM along with the derivative contracts for each and every one of them. [EDITOR’S NOTE: PRECISELY CORRECT]

The derivatives seem to be accounted for in a separate mention in the balance sheet implying that the zeroing of the loans is a separate act from the derivatives. Add to that the IRS claim which can be attributed to the gain on sale clawback from the voiding of the REMIC status and things seem to fit.

I would agree the free house claim is a tough river to row but the unjust enrichment by allowing 191 billion in loans to be collected with no Article III standing not only should trump that but additionally forever strip them of standing to ever enforce the contract.

The collection is Federal Racketeering at the highest level, money laundering and antitrust. Where are the tobacco litigators that want to handle this issue for the homeowners? How about an attorney with political aspirations that would surely gain support for saving millions of homes for this one simple case?

Documents and more info on the FDIC litigation fund extended to JPM to fight consumers can be found here:

http://www.wamuloanfraud.com

You can also find my open letter to Sheila Bair asking her to personally respond to my request here:

http://4closurefraud.org/2010/06/09/an-open-letter-to-sheila-bair-of-the-federal-deposit-insurance-corporation-fdic-re-foreclosures/

Any insight into the REMIC and Pub. 938 info is certainly appreciated

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