Foreclosures: The Lie We Are Living

Most people, including homeowners, believe that the homeowners do owe the money and that the entities that are attempting to foreclose should win. That is why the free house myth is so pervasive.

The result is that foreclosures are being granted to entities that (a) do not exist or (b) have nothing to do with the loan, debt, note or mortgage or both. The benefits of foreclosure all run in favor of the megabanks and against the real parties in interest, the investors. These banks have managed to separate the debt from the paperwork in a highly effective way that can be, but usually isn’t, challenged on cross examination and well-founded objections.

The truth is that the homeowners do not owe any money to the people who are collecting or enforcing the loan. End of story. The rest is a lie.

Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.

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

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see tps-third-party-strangers-in-mortgage-cases/

One of my favorite lawyers is getting discouraged. He says that it is virtually impossible for a homeowner to successfully defend a foreclosure action especially if it involves a blank endorsement (bearer paper). Foreclosure defense is indeed an uphill battle but it is one in which the homeowner can — and should — prevail.

I don’t agree with the premise that homeowners will and should lose foreclosure cases. I think most of the foreclosures are built on an illusion created and fabricated by the megabanks. I think we would have won the cases we won even without the standing issue, with or without blank or special indorsements.

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The compounding error that keeps recurring is the difference between enforcement of the note and enforcement of the mortgage. You can enforce the note without owning the debt but you can’t enforce the mortgage without owning the debt. But in court they are conflated because few people draw the distinction.
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Possession of bearer paper (the note) raises a presumption that the debt was transferred. But that is a rebuttable presumption and proof at trial should be required as to the transfer (purchase) of the debt for value. But if the debt was actually transferred that would mean it was purchased for value. And if it was purchased for value then any transferee with half a brain would assert status of a holder in due course. They don’t assert HDC status because they didn’t pay value for the debt because the debt was never transferred and the fictitious delivery of the original note was intended to deceive the homeowner, his/her lawyer and the court.
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If a trust is involved, the existence of the trust should be pled and proven. Nobody is raising that issue even though it is a winner.
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It is an uphill battle and many judges will disregard the appropriate arguments because they don’t see or don’t want to see the consequences of their assumptions and bias.
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As a result we have a name being used as a DBA by multiple layers of conduits that don’t lead back to the actual owner of the debt. Homeowners did not create this problem nor should they suffer the consequences of bank chicanery. Banks did it because the big lie was extremely overwhelmingly and pornographically profitable. Banks have already made windfall profits on the loan whether the borrower pays or not. They then get an extra windfall by foreclosing because they can. At the same time the foreclosure sale raises yet another false presumption that everything that went before the sale was valid and authorized.
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This all happens under the cover of why should homeowners get a windfall free house? Most people don’t believe that the banks are getting a windfall for an investment that has been paid off multiple times. They believe the lie that the homeowner’s debt is still out there and belongs to someone who ultimately is connected to the entities that seek foreclosure or collection. It is a lie. Windfall results are more common than most people realize. It frequently happens that one litigant, because of a decision or the wording some legislation will get a windfall. In many cases the question is which party should get the windfall?
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The real question is who should get the windfall that has been created by the banks? Should it be the banks who have already profited in multiples of the loan amount or the homeowner whose signature and credit reputation was used as the foundation for the multiple sales of his loan? On a level playing field, the courts ought to tilt toward the homeowners who have mostly been lured into loans based upon wildly false appraisals on terms that they could not afford — and remember that under law the affordability of the loan is the responsibility of the lender, not the borrower.
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Finding excuses to rule in favor of a foreclosing party that usually doesn’t even exist much less own the debt, note and mortgage is simply the wrong way to go. This is not a matter of policy for the legislature although the legislatures could intervene. It is a matter of equity and foreclosures are in a court of equity not at law. The party who caused the mess and who brought the country to its knees should not be the party who is rewarded with a foreclosure to cover a nonexisting loss.
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If the investors were included I could see why both investors and homeowners would be considered victims and how the court could rule in favor of the investors. But the investors are decidedly NOT involved. They are unaffected by foreclosure of the loans because in reality they have only received a promise to pay from one of the megabanks doing business as “XYZ Trust”. They are completely uninformed about the debt or its enforcement and do not get the proceeds of a foreclosure sale.
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The underwriting is done by the megabank but the loan comes from investors who believe they are investing in a trust when in fact they are merely making a deposit with the underwriting investment bank.
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The whole reason why these banks were converted from investment banks to commercial banks over a weekend was not just to gain access to the Fed window to sell worthless mortgage bonds. It was because they had already been acting as though they were commercial banks by taking money from investors and merely starting an “account” for each of the investors wherein the only party who could draw money out of it was the “bank.”
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So after our experience in the courts, it is unfair to homeowners and unfair to us as the attorneys who made it happen, to say that it is impossible for homeowners to win foreclosure cases. Good cross examination, and trial practice including the use of well-founded objections still wins the day more often than not. 

“Resecuritization”

the basic thrust of the defense is to point out what is absent rather than attack what is not absent.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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As predicted on my blog back in 2008, we are seeing new names of Trusts emerge in foreclosure cases — involving old loans that were declared in default years ago by parties asserting they represent the alleged servicer of either a named bank or servicer or an old trust. What happened? As our sources had revealed, the alleged trusts had nothing in them and were the source of extreme liability of the Master Servicer acting as underwriter to the investors and third parties who traded in securities based upon the representation that the Trust actually owned the debts of millions of homeowners.
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We have not seen the agreements, but we are told, and our analysis confirms, that the old trusts were “retired” and that new trusts, also empty, are now being used wherein the paperwork for the new “Trusts” is far more complete than what we have previously seen.
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As far as we have determined thus far the mechanics of the change of trust name are along the following lines:
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  1. There is probably a purchase and sale agreement between the old trust and the new trust. Like previous documentation there are no warranties of ownership but ownership of the debts is implied.
  2. Like the old Trusts, foreclosures are brought in the name of the new trusts, using US Bank or other major institution as the “Trustee.”
  3. Investors in the old trusts are given certificates in the new trust as settlement of claims brought by investors for malfeasance in the handling of their money — namely the origination of loans instead of the acquisition of loans and the granting of loans that were far lower in quality than agreed and far higher risks than allowed for stable managed funds.
  4. This “resecuritization” process is a sham just like the original old trust. But it follows the playbook the banks have been using for over a decade. By adding another level of paper to fabricated documents based upon nonexistent transactions, it promotes the illusion of valid transactions and valid documents.
  5. Like all other trusts and hybrid situations in which trusts were involved but not named, the entire scheme is based upon a simple premise. The banks have managed information and data such that there remains a false sense of security that they are still credible sources of information — despite all evidence to the contrary. The additional layer of documents then adds to the illusion because it is counterintuitive to believe that these high level complex documents represent transactions in the real world that don’t exist.
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Defense strategies remain the same, however. The issues in evidence laws and rules are foundation, and hearsay.The basic defects in the bank’s credibility must be revealed even if it does not get to the point where everything is revealed. The rent-a-name practice for appointment of trustees that have no obligations or duties continues. The “apparent authority” of the servicers is based upon a trust document of an entity in which there is no asset. But the website of US Bank and others suggest that they have business records — which in actuality do not exist. Hence, the basic thrust of the defense is to point out what is absent rather than attack what is not absent.
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This takes strict logical analysis by the attorney representing the homeowner — an exercise that in most cases cannot be accomplished by a pro se litigant. It may be beyond the confidence of the lawyer too, but there are many people in the country who provide services that assist with the logical analysis and factual analysis — including but not limited to the team at LivingLies and LendingLies. The analyst should be well-steeped in the three classes of securitization — concept, written documents and actual practice in order to come to conclusions that are not only correct but are likely to give traction in court.
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While tempting, attacking the existing documentation on the basis of authenticity or validity is a rabbit hole. The only parties that actually have the proof as to the fabrication of any one particular transaction are the parties with whom you are in litigation and the parties who created them and use them as sham conduits. They resist by all means available any attempt to provide access tot he real information and the real monetary transactions which look very different from the ones portrayed in court.
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By making an allegation you are now required to prove what you have said by evidence that the other side simply will not give up. This is not to say that there is no value in sending a QWR (Qualified Written Request), (DVL) Debt Validation Letter, or a complaint to the state AG or the CFPB. Much of the inconsistent statements come from those responses and can be used in court. And there is also considerable value in seeking discovery even if we know that in most cases, while it should be allowed, the judge will issue protective orders or sustain objections to requests seeking the identity of the owner of the debt.
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The value of those apparently futile endeavors can be that at trial the foreclosing party will almost certainly rely on legal presumptions that depend upon information contained in your discovery request.
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OBJECTIONS AT TRIAL: This requires research and analysis of potential objections and how they should be used. While a motion in limine before trial would seem to be the better practice, the real traction seems to come at trial when the homeowner raises objections and moves to exclude evidence that relies upon data contained in discovery they refused to answer and which the court ruled was irrelevant. It is of utmost importance, however, that in order to use the discovery exchanges, you must file a motion to compel and set it for hearing and get it heard. The risk of a motion in limine is that the court is more likely to deny it and then when raised at trial in an objection will regard your objection as a second bite an apple that has already been the subject of a dispositive ruling.
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Cross examination of the robo-witness should be aggressive and relentless pointing to the actual lack of knowledge of the witness about anything other than the script from which he was trained to testify.

“Participants” in False Claims of Securitization

What do you think the average homeowner would have said if he was told “Look, the actual lender is someone else but we want you to name us as the lender.”

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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see http://bpinvestigativeagency.com/beware-the-lsf9-master-participation-trust-is-operating-as-a-secret-agent/

Bill Paatalo has uncovered another layer of onion skin revealing the emptiness of the claims of participants who say they were involved in either the lending of money to homeowners or involved in the transfer of the obligation to repay the alleged loan. As he points out, some refer to “participants” who are ill-defined and essentially unknown quantities. There are many such entities lurking behind the curtain. The one thing they have in common is that they are all making pornographic amounts of money that ultimately comes out of the pockets of investors who were deceived into buying, hedging or insuring bogus and worthless MBS.

The essential fact is that those mortgage backed securities are (a) not backed by anything (b) issued by an empty SPV (Trust) entity existing only on paper (c) completely unrelated to any actual transaction and (d) completely unrelated to the documentation that was fabricated and executed at the “loan” closing.

GASLIGHT: None of the “participants” are who they appear or claim. What is emerging is that in addition to playing musical chairs with actual entities, the banks have created musical terms to the multiple players who are in constant motion switching roles on paper. Several judges have either mused from the bench or confided their discomfort as to why the servicers keep changing and the ownership goes through so many iterations.

The good news is that this is leading to inconsistencies between their correspondence with the borrower, their pleading in court and their proof — often with last minute Powers of Attorney. It appears that all of them are sham conduits for the the ultimate sham entities — the underwriter (“Master Servicer”) of MBS issued by the empty trust and the Seller of those securities. Revealing those inconsistencies often leads to victory (successful defense) in court. And it often can lead to large cash awards for damages arising from violations of FDCPA, FCCPA, RESPA and common law doctrines like wrongful foreclosure — with aggravating circumstances permitting the award of punitive damages.

The reason for all of this chicanery is simple: the party who gave the homeowner money didn’t even know it was their money on the “closing” table. But the moral and legal view on this is that he who gave the money is owed the money in return (unless it is a gift). This is true regardless of what documents are drafted or even executed by homeowners whose signature was obtained by fraud in the inducement.

What do you think the average homeowner would have said if he was told “Look the actual lender is someone else but we want you to name us as the lender.” THAT is a cause of action for common law rescission and cancellation of the instrument — once the homeowner finds out that he made the “check” out to the wrong person. Since the designated “lender” gave no money of its own and assumed no risk of loss the homeowner cannot be required to give “back” what he or she never received from the fake lender.

Adam Levitin might be right in calling it “Securitization Fail” because the securitization never happened; but it assumes that the intent was to have securitization succeed. This is not the case. The entire business model of the banks, as confirmed by industry insiders, was to take the money out of the securitization chain that had been created on paper.  Actual securitization of debt in residential “transactions” was never intended to happen. It was always supposed to be an illusion to cover criminal and civil theft.

PRACTICE HINT: Assume none of the transactions that are represented, assumed or presumed ever happened. Aim your discovery, motions, trial objections and cross examination at that and you will have the best shot at hitting the bulls-eye. That is exactly how Patrick Giunta and I won our cases.

Attacking Legal Presumptions:”False in One, False in All”

Anyone defending a foreclosure these days should start with the assumption that the entire infrastructure of “loans” and foreclosures consists of lies. This assists in planning objections and cross examination. More importantly it provides the narrative that casts doubt on the trustworthiness of testimony and documentary evidence — which in turn can deprive the the foreclosing party of the essential ingredient to its case: legal presumptions.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Dan Edstrom, senior forensic analyst does a lot of legal research in addition to his work as a forensic analyst. He has reminded me of a concept that is neither a statute nor a legal doctrine, as such, but which is nonetheless applied in many different kinds of cases, I think he is right in his assertion that it ought to be utilized in foreclosure litigation.
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The basic premise of the case for foreclosure is that the homeowner received a loan from the originator and that the current party has purchased the loan. Neither assertion is true in most instances. So the foreclosing party relies on legal presumptions attached to facially valid documents and robo-witnesses that testify to the virtually nonexistent “boarding process.”
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Those legal presumptions are liberally applied in favor of the banks and servicers, who often bring the case in the name of a party who is a complete stranger to the alleged loan. But if the presentation of evidence is interrupted by appropriate objections and followed up with appropriate cross examination it is not uncommon that the witness is lying about the source and authenticity of business records and other documents that are used to “prove” the case for foreclosure.
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The next step, often missed, is to raise the issue of trustworthiness of the testimony and the documents such that the legal presumptions should not apply. Those presumptions, by all accounts, are to be applied in certain circumstances UNLESS there are indications of a lack of trustworthiness.
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Thus the case that should be made is to prove lack of trustworthiness, rather than the virtually futile attempt to prove facts that are almost certainly within the sole care, custody and control of the banks and servicers and who withhold that information because it would show that they are pretenders in their alleged roles. Exposing the lies requires cross examination revealing inconsistencies in the documents or the testimony or both.
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Hence the material necessary for victory could be in the evidence proffered by the the foreclosing party at trial. The more lies you expose, the less relevant are the legal presumptions. And there should be no prejudice to the the opposing side to being required to prove their case without legal presumptions — i.e., proving the loan and the subsequent sales of the loan.
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After exposing these lies then, the defender could move to strike the documents that were admitted based upon legal presumptions, thus requiring the foreclosing party to prove its case without legal presumptions. The motion also serves as a signal to the trier of fact that the evidence admitted over objection from the homeowner should be given little or no weight.
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Here is what Dan sent me, which provoked my writing this article:

The concept of false in one, false in all is frequently used across the country in jury instructions in regards to witness testimony. See California Civil Jury Instructions (“CACI”) 107. Witnesses; see also Book of Approved Jury Instructions (“BAJI”) 2.22; See Bandana Trading Co., Inc. v. Quality Infusion Care, Inc., 164 Cal. App. 4th 1440, 80 Cal. Rptr. 3d 495 (Ct. App. 2008). See also in a criminal case: State v. Ernst, 32 N.J. 567 (1960). More Civil cases: See Lawnton v. Virginia Stevedoring Co., 50 N.J. Super. 564, 581 (App. Div. 1958), Hargrave v. Stockloss, 127 N.J.L. 262, 266 (E.&A. 1941), Coleman v. Public Service Coordinated Transport, 120 N.J.L. 384, 387 (Sup. Ct. 1938). For a full discussion of the use and application of the maxim, see, Vol. 3A Wigmore on Evidence (1970) Sec. 1008 et. seq. “It should certainly not be of importance to tell the ordinary man of the world that he should distrust the statements of a witness whom he believes to be a liar.” (Wallace v. Pacific Electric Ry. Co. (1930) 105 Cal.App. 664, 671 [288 P. 834].)

BAJI 2.22: “A witness, who is willfully false in one material part of is or her testimony, is to be distrusted in others. You may reject the whole testimony of a witness who willfully has testified falsely as to a material point, unless, from all the evidence, you believe the probability of truth favors his or her testimony in other particulars.”

When the conduct of [Plaintiff] in this proceeding is viewed in its entirety, it compels the Court to invoke the ancient and venerable principle of “Falsus in uno, falsus in omni” (Latin; “false in one, false in all”) upon [Defendant] which, after review, is wholly appropriate in the context presented, Deering v. Metcalf 74 NY 501 (1878).

Here is footnote 35 from In re Telfair, 745 F. Supp. 2d 536 – Dist. Court, D. New Jersey 2010
Latin maxim “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” is neither a provision adopted by means of any United States statute, regulation, etc., nor a legal canon of any kind. Literally translated into English as “false in one thing, false in everything,” the maxim: (a) prompts logical caution as to the entirety of the position taken by the speaker who, as part of his/her position, misrepresents a certain fact; and, as such, (b) has been adopted into the panoply of policies of American jurisprudence related to the propriety of findings made by the trier of fact. See Kanawha & M.R. Co. v. Kerse, 239 U.S. 576, 581, 36 S.Ct. 174, 60 L.Ed. 448 (1916); Telephone Cases, 126 U.S. 1, 8 S.Ct. 778, 31 L.Ed. 863 (1888) (“[The falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus] rule does not necessarily mean that the man who falsifies once is a liar; but it means that justice will not rest on testimony a substantial part of which is proved to be false”); Hargrave v. Stockloss, 127 N.J.L. 262, 21 A.2d 820 (N.J. (Ct.E. & App.) 1941) (explaining that the maxim is not a rule of law but a guidance that – if testimony of a witness on a material issue is willfully false and given with an intention to deceive, the jurors may disregard the entirety of that witness’ testimony).
Thx,
Office: 916.207.6706

Bank Media Blitz: End of Foreclosure Era: FALSE

The false pronouncements that the mortgage crisis is over have led many attorneys and homeowners to give up on winning cases.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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For years the banks having been gradually ramping up a PR campaign that carries the message: the foreclosure crisis is over. “Institutions” like Black Knight (formerly known as the infamous Lender Processing Services —LPS) have been issuing statements that foreclosures are essentially over. The newest round of these false pronouncements is that foreclosures  have sunk to a 9 year low.

The truth is more nuanced and “counter-intuitive” as Reynaldo Reyes, VP of Deutsch Bank “asset management” said many years ago. What the banks have done (using LPS/Black Knight) is play Wackamo with the states and counties. They ramp up foreclosures to an all time high and then switch to another county. Then the report is that the county with the all time high is now declining — because the banks have moved on to another county or state.

After the decline, they come back again and ramp it back up, sometimes stopping short of another all time high.

The facts are that there have been some 9 million foreclosures since the mortgage crisis began and there will be at least another 6 million foreclosures under cover of what is being reported as a crisis that is over. There are hundreds of thousands of foreclosures that were put on hold in cases where the homeowner put up a fight. Some of them are over ten years old — and courts, rather than dismissing them for lack of prosecution or adequate prosecution have (a) let them continue and (b) blamed the homeowner for the delays. Those cases are also coming to a head now and the banks are starting to show losses in court that were never reported before because they were only pursuing cases that were uncontested.

The truth is that the banks were playing the odds. The number of homeowners who put up a fight is only around 4-6%. By putting the contested foreclosures on hold, the banks were able to get millions of fraudulent foreclosures completed at a rate of 100%. Out of the contested ones, they still have the advantage much there record of success is much lower and getting lower every day as courts wake up to the fact that the banks are not being truthful in court nor with borrowers.

The soft underbelly is that the banks were not truthful with investors, from whom they essentially stole the money that was advanced for the purchase of mortgage backed securities that were issued by empty trusts.

PRACTICE HINT: There are three basic classifications of foreclosures into which every foreclosure falls.

  1. Foreclosures without “issues.”
  2. Foreclosures with factual issues
  3. Foreclosures with procedural issues.

The first two can be won and should be won 100% of the time (speaking of loans in which multiple “transfers” and claims of securitization were made).  The third one can be more challenging because either the pro se litigant or an attorney made admissions or already missed deadlines or otherwise failed to raise and press appropriate defenses.

The result of winning is an involuntary or voluntary dismissal when you win, but then you have the statute of limitations to deal with when they come back and sue again on more fraudulent paperwork. Attorney fees are generally awarded as long as you included the demand in the filings for the homeowner.

By foreclosures without issues I mean an apparent “default:” that the homeowner did stop making payments before the delinquency or default letter. These cases can only be won by good trial practice: timely proper objections, watching what evidence comes in and well-planned cross examination (which means good trial preparation). If you do the work your chances of winning at trial level or appeal, if necessary are very good.

By foreclosures with factual issues I mean situations in which the “servicer” created the illusion of a default by negligently or intentionally posting payments to the wrong ledger. This includes lump sum payments for reinstatement, insurance and other matters. The “borrower” never defaulted even if the note and mortgage were valid and even if the assignments were valid. The result is dismissal usually without prejudice. But if you also show that they were lying about the transfer to the trust or other foreclosing party, the case could be dismissed with prejudice and even with sanctions.

By foreclosures with procedural issues I mean situations in which procedural errors are present that require leniency of the court to correct them in order to properly defend. This usually occurs when pro se (aka pro per) litigants attempt to represent themselves because they think they have found some magic bullet. 95% of such cases are lost thus skewing the overall percentage of wins and losses for homeowners who put up a fight.

No case falls 100% into any specific category but each case can be generally categorized using the above analysis.

In all cases the homeowners’ attorney should make every effort to destroy the case asserted by the foreclosing party through vigorous and timely objections and brutal cross examination. Depending upon the rulings on objections and motions to strike testimony or documentary evidence, the defense should rest if there are no factual issues to present. This is especially true in cases without issues. If you don’t have the defense of payment or that the demand for reinstatement was inaccurate, there is nothing to present by the homeowner except for attempts at prejudicial comments about the lawyers and the servicers etc.

In a recent (August, 2016) case I had “without issues”, Patrick Giunta and I surprised the opposition by resting at the conclusion of the bank’s case. In nonjudicial states this is not so easy to do procedurally although it is possible in isolated instances. By resting at the conclusion of the bank’s case in a judicial foreclosure, the judge is forced to consider whether the evidence on the record supports a judgment for the plaintiff. Some judges will rule for the bank by the seat of their pants.

But by using objections vigorously, we had preserved multiple issues on appeal — namely we had excluded many pieces of evidence that were vital to the Plaintiff’s case. We were fortunate to have a judge that was serious about his job of being a judge. Like a jury would do, the judge took the case, the filings and the evidence into Chambers and read every page. He concluded that there were fatally defective elements and missing elements in the Plaintiff’s case and announced judgment for the homeowner.

In the final analysis the issue is always tacitly or explicitly legal and procedural standing. And one thing to keep in mind is that trial judges are not entirely persuaded by legal argument. But they ARE persuaded by facts admitted into evidence and facts excluded from evidence.

On a final note, I want remind practitioners that the admission of an objectionable document into evidence does two things: (1) it raises an issue for appeal and (2) it opens the door to challenge the probity of the evidence admitted. Once a document is admitted into evidence, it is in — in its entirety and for all purposes and for all parties.

For example when the PSA is admitted into evidence, make sure you have examined it and raise issues on cross examination as to whether it was signed, whether the exhibits were complete etc. Of course the main exhibit is the Mortgage Loan Schedule (MLS) which never contained real loans even where the PSA was complete and in many cases has no actual MLS exhibit, thus defeating the assertion that the Trust ever acquired any loan much less the loan of your client.

Tampa Trial Judge Rules for Borrower Where Correct Objections Were Made

Patrick Giunta, Esq. brought this case to my attention.

Here is a case between the famed Florida Default Law Group, who reached distinction amidst accusations of fabricated documents, and an ordinary borrower represented by a St. Peterburg trial lawyer, John R. Cappa, who apparently knows the timing and content of the right objections. The result was involuntary dismissal against the foreclosing party.

The basis of the ruling was that the default had never been proven, the Plaintiff never offered proof of “rights to enforce” and tangentially the business records were not qualified as an exception to the hearsay rule. The witness admitted he knew nothing about the payment history of the borrower and was relying on the reports in front of him — something that is hearsay on hearsay. If anything corroborates my insistence on denying everything that is deniable, this case does exactly that. If the borrower admitted the default, admitted the note, admitted the mortgage, all that would be off bounds at trial because they would be facts NOT in issue.

In this case, like so many others the Plaintiff offered the letter giving notice of default BEFORE the FOUNDATION was established that there was in fact a default. I might add that non-payment is not a default if the actual creditor received payments anyway (servicer advances etc.), which is why I make a big deal about identifying the party who is the creditor — the person or entity that is actually owed the money. So the objections are relevance, foundation and hearsay.

Note that the Plaintiff failed to introduce proof of the right to enforce, even if they had THE note or any note. This has been the subject of numerous articles on this website. Being a holder means you can file suit, but without proving you are a holder with rights to enforce, you lose. And the way to prove that you have the rights to enforce is to provide some sort of written instrument that specifically says you have the right to enforce. It is the only logical ruling. Otherwise anyone could steal a note and enforce it without ever committing perjury.

While there are other objections that I think could have been raised, Cappa was confident enough in his position that he narrowed his attack onto issues that the Judge was required to follow. The Judge was confident that an appellate court would affirm his decision.

Take a look at the transcript and see if you don’t agree that there is something to be learned here. Forcing the Plaintiff to actually prove their case frequently results in judgment for the borrower. The reason is simple where you have originators who admit they actually did the loan on behalf of others and there are questions as to who was the servicer and when. Most importantly, there is a quote here in which Cappa says “just because they sent a default letter doesn’t mean that a default occurred” He’s right. It only means they sent the letter. The truth of the matter asserted (default) is hearsay. And being “familiar with a report allegedly gleaned from business records doesn’t mean you can testify that the payments were processed properly nor that you have any personal knowledge of the record keeping procedures that were used — even with 20+ years experience in the business.

Trial PHH Mortgage v. Parish

 

The most important thing about cross examination in foreclosure cases

Whether it is on voir dire, which is a limited examination before the witness testifies to determine the legal competency of the witness, or on actual cross examination, the object is to bring out facts that are helpful in making your case or defending your position. When I teach cross examination, I refer to the triad — three things you must do in order to reach your goal. The three things are first to have a simple question with a goal in mind. Second to listen to the answer. Third, is the follow up, because you knew the probable answer and now you want to bring home your point. This applies to every question.

The first requires preparation for trial in which you decide your narrative and then develop the key points necessary to bring the court to the point where the trier of fact (mostly judges in foreclosure cases) joins your narrative. You’ll know if they have joined you or are leaning that way by their ruling on objections, by the questions they ask — and one warning sign that you are losing them is when they ask you for the relevancy of your question. Without preparation and a strong narrative to which you are committed, you won’t be able to answer the question about relevancy and you will have no issue preserved for appeal. You are probably looking to establish a question of ownership of the loan and to establish a question of the balance due, if any. The details on this are left out of this article because the opposition reads this and will be ready for you if we publish the series of retreads that apply to trying a foreclosure case.

Second is listening. This is something that lawyers need to do and is the reason they were hired in the first place. The homeowner is too emotionally attached to listen. They hear but they don’t listen and they don’t understand the significance of the question or the answer. Coming to court with a list of questions is a good idea. But many lawyers and pro se litigants fail because of the difference between hearing and listening. The answer is that most people just hear what’s being said. Others take the time to actually listen to what’s being said. There is a significant and monumental difference between hearing and listening. Hearing means that someone “hears” what’s being said and then translates the message into a meaning for himself. When you listen, however, you also take an extra moment to think about the person who’s speaking. It’s only then that you’ll have a clear understanding of what is trying to be conveyed. And only then can you move on to the third step.

The third step is follow-up. This is often confused with moving on to the next question. But your first question in the triad is merely the set up. The real stuff is in your follow-up because you actually listen to exactly what is being said. If the lawyer for the bank asks if the witness is familiar with the books and records of the Servicer, your objection is going to be leading, lack of foundation, and potentially hearsay. If you don’t object then the testimony comes in simply because you failed to object and thus preserve the issue for appeal. You will be subject to the same objections from the other side if you don’t have your ducks in a row.

So if the witness says he is “familiar” with the books and records, you should ask why, and then follow up with questions directed at how he prepared, how he actually knows (personal knowledge) that there was a loan from ABC, and exactly what he looked at in terms of documentation or computer screens. The answers will surprise you in some cases. Take the time to listen to the surprise answer and pause a moment on what you want to do with it and how you can make that answer serve the interests of your client.

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Explains Wells Fargo Servicer Advances

In order to obtain forensic reports including servicer advances please go to www.livingliesstore.com or call 520-405-1688. for litigation support to attorneys call 850-765-1236.

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Mortgage Lenders Network v Wells Fargo, Chapter 11, Case 07-10146(PJW), Adv. Proc., Case 07-51683(PJW)

In an adversary proceeding in which evidence was presented, Judge Walsh dissected the confusing complex agreements involving the real set of co-obligors’ liability to the Creditor REMIC trust. Many thanks to our legal intern, Sara Mangan, currently a law student at FSU.

I had no idea the case existed. It apparently got buried because of all the ancillary issues presented. If you really want to understand the complexity of repayments to the creditor, this is one case that deserves your full attention.

As usual the best decisions are found when the adversaries are both institutions. We are looking for more such cases. This certainly applies to any Wells Fargo case and explains the nervousness of the witness during trial when I asked him about whether the records he brought were complete.

The LPS Desktop system (formerly Fidelity) INCLUDES servicer advances and computations made based upon that. The unavoidable conclusion, drawn by this Judge, is that everything we have been saying about servicer advances is true. Everything in our forensic report is true as to all properties. The servicer makes those payments based upon a payment of enlarged fees for taking the risk on itself, according to the agreements. Whether there is an actual right to recover from anyone is actually not specifically stated except that the net proceeds of liquidation of REO properties after the auction are subject to servicer claims. This might include other insurance or guarantees.

There is no default experienced by the creditor. There is a new potential for a new party (not mentioned in note or mortgage) for recovery outside the terms of the note and mortgage. The expectation is that there will be a foreclosure and there will be a sale. If there is no foreclosure and there is no sale, then the amounts are not recoverable — unless the servicer too is insured. But all of those insurance contracts seem to have been purchased and procured by the broker-dealer (investment bank) that sold the bogus mortgage bonds. The conclusion to be drawn is that the default notice to the homeowner-borrower might be valid (probably not, because servicer advances have already begun) but it is cured immediately after it is sent by payments, often from the same party who sent the default notice.

Remember the language in US Bank and Chase et al. The servicer SHALL make the advances unless it believes the advances are not recoverable. If the servicer was merely making a loan to the trust beneficiaries there would be little doubt that the advances were recoverable. They can argue that the advances are recoverable in substance from the borrower, but that is only AFTER the foreclosure Judgement and AFTER the sale and AFTER the liquidation of the property after the auction sale.

In this case, the following issues are addressed:

1. Servicer advances — in 4 categories. Why they are advanced and when and how they might be recoverable — when the properties are liquidated. There is some confusing language in there about the trusts, so you need to read it carefully. But the main point is that this is a case of prior servicer and new servicer, both of whom take on the obligation of making servicer advances whether the borrower pays or not. If there is a short fall, the servicer pays — or an insurer. In reality, and not addressed by the Court is the fact that in all probability the actual money advanced by the servicer most likely comes from a slush fund created by language buried deep inside the Prospectus or Pooling and Servicing Agreement that allows the investment banker to pay the trust beneficiaries using their own money advanced by them when they became trust beneficiaries.
2. Recovery is clearly stated as whatever money is left after the REO property has been liquidated or from the borrower. [Note there is ONE reference by the Judge to recovering from the Trust but he doesn’t explain it nor does he cite to anything in the agreements]. Since this provision is not referenced in the mortgage, they cannot be traveling under the mortgage and there is no mention of the mortgage provisions in this decision. Since those proceeds frequently are far less than the amount advanced, there is ono direct right of action by the servicer against the borrower, although I postulate that they could potentially bring an unsecured claim for restitution or unjust enrichment.
3. In the end one previous servicer owes the other new servicer the advances, not the trust and not the borrower.
4. There is insurance that makes sure that if the servicer doesn’t make the payments, then the insurer will make-up the shortfall. The insurers do not appear to have any recourse against anyone.

5. There can be no doubt that there are two types of default — one where the borrower stops paying on a note and mortgage (assuming the note and mortgage are valid) and the other, where the REMIC trust beneficiaries fail to get the required distribution as set forth by the Prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement.

6. The conclusion I draw is that the recovery of advances “by the servicer” takes place after the mortgage has been foreclosed, by which time the initial homeowner borrower is out of the picture. Hence, it seems that while there are “proceeds” that can be claimed by the servicer, it is under a separate transaction with the REMIC Trust and under a potential right to claim money from the borrower for contribution or unjust enrichment — with unjust enrichment being a center-point of this case.

This case also explains many other transactions that occur between the servicer and other entities. It isn’t the encyclopaedia of servicer advances, but it explains a lot of what I have been talking about. When the borrower stops making payments for any reason (and perhaps legal reasons for withholding payment, or being prevented from making payments by a servicer who proclaims the loan to be in default), the creditor keep getting paid. So even if the allegation is that the cessation of payments was a default under the note and mortgage, the fact remains that the creditor is not experiencing any default because payments are being made in full by various parties to the creditor. Hence, my question to corporate representatives, about whether they are showing the full record, and whether the books of the creditor show a default. They don’t, if servicer advances were made. I have personally seen a Wells Fargo witness get quite agitated as I approached this subject.

Servicers have kept this information away from borrowers and have withheld it from the courts when they do their accounting.  I would add that if the  argument from opposing counsel is that the servicer advances are secured by the mortgage because of language that includes the word “advances” then they are admitting at this point that the entire structure of the loan as presented to the homeowner borrower was a lie. Under the federal truth in lending act such disclosure was entirely necessary to complete the transaction.

It will also be inevitably argued that this gives the homeowner borrower a free ride. Of course we all know that there is no free ride in this. The homeowner has usually made a substantial down payment and has made monthly payments for years. The homeowner had spent a lot of money on furnishing and completing the house. There is no free ride. But the best argument against the “free ride” allegation is that this is asserted by the party with unclean hands (and often intentionally withheld information from the court or even committed perjury).

read all about it: case on servicer advances and unjust enrichment

WEIDNER: SHARP LAWYERING = NO FORECLOSURE CASE

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Editorial Comment: Hat tip to Weidner: The bottom line is that the pretender lender was prevented from introducing evidence of “default” and was further prevented from introducing evidence establishing the pretender’s right to foreclose.

The reason was a series of objections in which the shell game became apparent to the Judge and the Judge refused to play. In the end proffers of counsel for the pretenders are no substitute for the admission of evidence. Facts are different from evidence. Facts may exist, but unless they are accepted into evidence, the court may not consider it. So this Judge entered an order of involuntary dismissal (directed verdict, as the term is sometimes used, usually in a jury trial) and the homeowner won the case.

This is a precise example of why I say that there are no cases in which the facts in dispute are heard all the way through to a verdict. Once it gets to the point where the pretender can no longer fake their way around the judge, the truth is left lying on the floor — that the pretender has no idea whether there is a default, has no idea of the balance due under the mortgage, does not represent any real creditor and seeks to foreclose in its own name merely as the “holder” without ever disclosing any principal (because in most cases there is no principal).

When I say there is no principal I mean one of two things. Either the principal creditor has already received a a settlement and therefore has been been fully satisfied or the principal wants no part of any litigation in which it could be named as a counter-defendant for predatory or deceptive lending practices. Either way, the real creditor is never in the room.

It is at this point that cases go into the mode of what Matt Weidner correctly coined the term “cash register justice.” When it look like they have run out of options they dismiss the case and then hit the investor with a bill that is, like in a case recently reported, 140% of the actual loss. Where does the other 40% come from? Well of course it comes from any place the servicer can get it which is out of the payments received from borrowers whose notes specifically state that their payments should only be booked as payments to reduce their debt, and not for any other purpose.

And need we add that the request for modification would have left the investor with approximately 50% of the loan intact — which means the investor took a bath for 90% while the servicer got paid in full, the banks were always paid in full because they only used investor money to fund mortgages, and of course the banks also got to keep the bailout money, insurance money, and proceeds of credit default swaps and cross collateralization.

With the banks owning the service companies and the trustees and other “foreclosure specialist” companies, the banks get all the money coming in PLUS the house, leaving the investor with net losses far in excess of their initial investment.

Somehow Eric Holder, our Attorney General has arrived at the conclusion that this might not be illegal. Ask the investor how legal this is. Ask this homeowner who now has a clear shot at clear title through a quiet title action, with no mortgage, no note and no obligation.

As an add-on to what this very good lawyer did at “trial” I would say that the lawyer should have conducted a voir dire examination of the witness proffered by the pretender. The witness admitted only 18 months experience with PHH and no experience or knowledge as to the actual trail of payments. He further admitted that he had no direct knowledge as to how or why payments were posted in this case and implied that he had no knowledge as to whether the accounting was complete, which we all know means that the payments the actual unidentified creditor received was never shown nor intended to be shown in a court of law. The best the witness could pretend to know were the business procedures AFTER declaration of default with no knowledge of what happened before that or outside of the relationship between the borrower and the servicer.

The lawyer made his point but almost missed it when he showed that the paper presented did not have the name of PHH anywhere on it and instead had a name that was neither in the pleading nor the exhibits: a mistake often made by lawyers (but not by this one) was that once you get the pleadings and exhibits from the would-be forecloser and the chance to amend has expired, they have no right to introduce evidence contrary to their own allegations and exhibits. This lawyer correctly held the pretender to stay within the four  corners of the complaint and the exhibits attached.

A Foreclosure Trial Transcript, Evidentiary Objections Made and SUSTAINED, Judgment for Defendant!

February 23rd, 2012 | Author:

mortgage-civil-action

I want to share with the class a transcript of a foreclosure trial where defense counsel rattles off the evidentiary objections, many of which were properly sustained by the judge.

Servicers have a very real problem proving their cases over proper and clear evidence objections….they just cannot link up their evidence from one servicer to another without real effort…and in some cases they will not be able to do it.

So this is a roadmap that shows how to do it correctly….bone up folks, work hard.

Fight like every single case represents the very fate and future of the entire American judicial system.

because every case does

PARRISTRANSCRIPT

Assignments to Non MERS Members Further Cloud Title

Your case should first be summarized by your securitization expert who relies upon the expert opinions of others as to underwriting, appraisal, mortgage brokers etc. Then those other experts come in. After that, the forensic analyst and homeowner come in to fill in the facts upon which the experts relied.

But you build your case in reverse of the order of presentation, starting with the homeowner, then the forensic analyst, then the sub-experts, and finally the securitization expert.

From: Tony Brown

Editor’s Note: I have not bothered to edit the following comment because for those of you who are attending the forensic workshop I wanted you to see how information is often presented. Here is clear evidence of (a) why a forensic analyst is essential and (b) why you need a method of presentation that gives the Judge a clear picture of the true nature of a securitized transaction.

The other lesson to be gleaned is that forensic analysts should stick to facts and expert witnesses should stick to opinions. Lawyers should stick to argument. Any overlap will result in a brutal cross examination that will, quite rightfully, draw blood.

I’m planning a workshop whose working name is Motion Practice and Discovery for late in May. You see there is method to our madness here notwithstanding our critics.

Your case should first be summarized by your securitization expert who relies upon the expert opinions of others as to underwriting, appraisal, mortgage brokers etc. Then those other experts come in. After that, the forensic analyst and homeowner come in to fill in the facts upon which the experts relied.

But you build your case in reverse of the order of presentation, starting with the homeowner, then the forensic analyst, then the sub-experts, and finally the securitization expert.

Mers was named nominee on the mortgage and filed at the Register Of Deeds in Greenville SC, supposedly according to a lost note affidavit the original lender RBMG sold the note and according to MERS servicer ID the loan was transferred off of the MERS system and MIN# deactivated because of a sale to a non-mers member in 2002. NO ASSIGNMENT WAS RECORDED.Now the new owner EMC sold the loan to Bear Stearns which deposited into the Asset Backed Securities which did an assignment/sell to JP MORGAN CHASE as trustee. Now there has been a foreclosure started on the loan in March 2009 by The Bank OF New York Mellon as successor trustee for JP MORGAN CHASE who claims to be the real party in interest and hold the note. By way Of an assignment which was recorded at the ROD after the LIS-PENDENS and after the filing of complaint.Here is more fraud because the assignment was from MERS on behalf of the original lender RBMG which is defunct and has been since 2005 to the THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON. MERS has no authority to do an assignment because the loan was transferred from them in 2002 and Mers was Longer the mortgagee as nominee of record.Now are you with me( no chain of title) the BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON produced in discovery to me an allonge RBMG to EMC along with the lost note affidavit. EMC showed an allonge to JP MORGAN CHASE which skipped BEAR STEARNS. BEAR STEARNS was the depositor into the securities. First let start with the allonges: according to the UCC an allonge is only used when there is NO ROOM ON THE ORIGINAL NOTE FOR ENDORSEMENT and must be firmly attached as to become a part of the note. AN ALLONGE cannot be used to transfer interest and is invalid if there is room on the note for endorsements and is invalid it not attached. A lost note and two allonges that were not signed and not dated and even skipped BEAR STEARNS that deposited it into the securities is the purported chain of title , now let’s look at the prospectus:Bear Stearns Asset Backed Securities Inc · 424B5 · Bear Stearns Asset Backed Certificates Series 2003-2 · On 6/30/03 Document 1 of 1 · 424B5 · Prospectus . Assignment of the Mortgage Loans; Repurchase At the time of issuance of the certificates, the depositor will cause the mortgage loans, together with all principal and interest due with respect to such mortgage loans after the cut-off date to be sold to the trust. The mortgage loans in each of the mortgage loan groups will be identified in a schedule appearing as an exhibit to the pooling and servicing agreement with each mortgage loan group separately identified. Such schedule will include information as to the principal balance of each mortgage loan as of the cut-off date, as well as information including, among other things, the mortgage rate,the borrower’s monthly payment and the maturity date of each mortgage note. In addition, the depositor will deposit with Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota, National Association, as custodian and agent for the trustee, the following documents with respect to each mortgage loan: (a) except with respect to a MOM loan, the original mortgage note, endorsed without recourse in the following form: “Pay to the order of JPMorgan Chase Bank, as S-40——————————————————————————– trustee for certificate-holders of Bear Stearns Asset Backed Securities, Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2003-2 without recourse,” with all intervening endorsements, to the extent available, showing a complete chain of endorsement from the originator to the seller or, if the original mortgage note is unavailable to the depositor, a photocopy thereof, if available, together with a lost note affidavit; (b) the original recorded mortgage or a photocopy thereof, and if the related mortgage loan is a MOM loan, noting the applicable mortgage identification number for that mortgage loan; (c) except with respect to a mortgage loan that is registered on the MERS(R) System, a duly executed assignment of the mortgage to “JPMorgan Chase Bank, as trustee for certificate-holders of Bear Stearns Asset Backed Securities, Inc., Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2003-2, without recourse;” in recordable form, as described in the pooling and servicing agreement; (d) originals or duplicates of all interim recorded assignments of such mortgage, if any and if available to the depositor; (e) the original or duplicate original lender’s title policy or, in the event such original title policy has not been received from the insurer, such original or duplicate original lender’s title policy shall be delivered within one year of the closing date or, in the event such original lender’s title policy is unavailable, a photocopy of such title policy or, in lieu thereof, a current lien search on the related property; and (f) the original or a copy of all available assumption, modification or substitution agreements, if any. In general, assignments of the mortgage loans provided to the custodian on behalf of the trustee will not be recorded in the appropriate public office for real property records, based upon an opinion of counsel to the effect that such recording is not required to protect the trustee’s interests in the mortgage loan against the claim of any subsequent transferee or any successor to or creditor of the depositor or the seller, or as to which the rating agencies advise that the omission to record therein will not affect their ratings of the offered certificates. In connection with the assignment of any mortgage loan that is registered on the MERS(R) System, the depositor will cause the MERS(R) System to indicate that those mortgage loans have been assigned by EMC to the depositor and by the depositor to the trustee by including (or deleting, in the case of repurchased mortgage loans) in the computer files (a) the code in the field which identifies the trustee and (b) the code in the field “Pool Field” which identifies the series of certificates issued. Neither the depositor nor the master servicer will alter these codes (except in the case of a repurchased mortgage loan). A “MOM loan” is any mortgage loan as to which, at origination, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. acts as mortgagee, solely as nominee for the originator of that mortgage loan and its successors and assigns. S-41——————————————————————————– The custodian on behalf of the trustee will perform a limited review of the mortgage loan documents on or prior to the closing date or in the case of any document permitted to be delivered after the closing date, promptly after the custodian’s receipt of such documents and will hold such documents in trust for the benefit of the holders of the certificates. In addition, the seller will make representations and warranties in the pooling and servicing agreement as of the cut-off date in respect of the mortgage loans. The depositor will file the pooling and servicing agreement containing such representations and warranties with the Securities and Exchange Commission in a report on Form 8-K following the closing date. After the closing date, if any document is found to be missing or defective in any material respect, or if a representation or warranty with respect to any mortgage loan is breached and such breach materially and adversely affects the interests of the holders of the certificates in such mortgage loan, the custodian, on behalf of the trustee, is required to notify the seller in writing. If the seller cannot or does not cure such omission,defect or breach within 90 days of its receipt of notice from the custodian, the seller is required to repurchase the related mortgage loan from the trust fund at a price equal to 100% of the stated principal balance thereof as of the date of repurchase plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon at the mortgage rate to the first day of the month following the month of repurchase. In addition, if the obligation to repurchase the related mortgage loan results from a breach of the seller’s representations regarding predatory lending, the seller will be obligated to pay any resulting costs and damages incurred by the trust. Rather than repurchase the mortgage loan as provided above, the seller may remove such mortgage loan from the trust fund and substitute in its place another mortgage loan of like characteristics; however, such substitution is only permitted within two years after the closing date. With respect to any repurchase or substitution of a mortgage loan that is not in default or as to which a default is not imminent, the trustee must have received a satisfactory opinion of counsel that such repurchase or substitution will not cause the trust fund to lose the status of its REMIC.

I’m not a MOM loan the loan transferred off of MERS, Mers no longer tracked the assignments and let’s not forget I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION THE ORIGINAL NOTE STAMPED FULLY PAID AND SATISFIED NEGOTIATED TO ME FROM RBMG. The note is date stamped MARCH 2002 and has been in my possession since 2004 along with a letter from the RBMG stating the loan is fully paid and satisfied address to me which is the declaratory letter.

FORECLOSURE DEFENSE: EVIDENCE — Knowing the Rules

I SUGGEST THE READER TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THE COMMENTS SECTIONS UNDER “ABOUT NEIL GARFIELD” AND ELSEWHERE AS POSTED BY MARIO KENNY. HE’S DONE A LOT OF WORK FOR ALL OF US. THANK YOU MARIO. HE SHOWS WHERE THE SEC REPORTING CONTAINS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW, IN SWORN DOCUMENTS. YOU SEE, IF THEY LIE TO THE SEC THEY GO TO JAIL. IF THEY LIE TO YOU, THEY GET RICH.

See also cyruswellstexascase-excellent-verbiage-on-securitization-conspiracy-with-charts-and-causes-of-action

THE HARDEST PART FOR BOTH LAY PERSONS AND LAWYERS IS THE MASTERY OF THE RULES OF EVIDENCE. FOLLOW THEM AND YOU HAVE A CASE. IGNORANCE WILL DEFEAT YOU EVEN IF YOU HAVE THE GREATEST CASE IN THE WORLD.

Evidence

It is often difficult for mortgage servicers, particular if they are not the original lender, to prove the true status of an account. Affidavits are often submitted to prove default that are conclusory and insufficient. Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co. v. Medina, 01 C 768, 2001 WL 1558278 (N.D.Ill., Dec. 5, 2001); Cole Taylor Bank v. Corrigan, 230 Ill.App.3d 122, 595 N.E.2d 177, 181 (2d Dist. 1992). Computer-generated bank records or testimony based thereon are often offered without proper foundation, or are summarized without being introduced. Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co. v. Medina, supra, 01 C 768, 2001 WL 1558278 (N.D.Ill., Dec. 5, 2001); FDIC v. Carabetta, 55 Conn.App. 369, 739 A.2d 301 (1999).

Testimony, whether live or in the form of an affidavit, to the effect that the witness has reviewed a loan file and that the loan file shows that the debtor is in default is hearsay and incompetent; rather, the records must be introduced after a proper foundation is provided. New England Savings Bank v. Bedford Realty Corp., 238 Conn. 745, 680 A.2d 301, 308-09 (1996), later opinion, 246 Conn. 594, 717 A.2d 713 (1998); Cole Taylor Bank v. Corrigan, supra, 230 Ill.App.3d 122, 595 N.E.2d 177, 181 (2d Dist. 1992). It is the business records that constitute the evidence, not the testimony of the witness referring to them. In re A.B., 308 Ill.App. 3d 227, 719 N.E.2d 348 (2d Dist. 1999).

Nor is such an affidavit made sufficient by omitting the fact that it is based on a review of loan records, if it appears that the affiant did not personally receive or observe the reception of all of the borrower’s payments. Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union v. Keka, 94 Haw. 213, 11 P.3d 1, 10 (2000). If the underlying records are voluminous, a person who has extracted the necessary information may testify to that fact, but the underlying records must be made available to the court and opposing party. In re deLarco, 313 Ill.App.3d 107, 728 N.E.2d 1278 (2d Dist. 2000).

Counsel should challenge any such testimony or affidavits. Counsel should not simply assume that the mortgage company must be right in claiming a default; there are reported decisions in which it turned out that the lender’s right hand did not know what the left hand was doing and that there was really no basis for a claimed default. In re Hart, 246 B.R. 709 (Bankr. D.Mass. 2000); In re McCormack, 96-81-SD, 1996 WL 753938 (D.N.H. 1996). See also, FNMA v. Bryant, 62 Ill.App.3d 25, 378 N.E.2d 333 (5th Dist. 1978), where the court found that the lender had foreclosed too quickly and that the default had been cured. Frequently, mortgage servicers attempt to service loans without consulting the loan documents, with the result that they depart from the their terms. In other cases, mortgage companies have been unable to prove that they actually own the loan and gave notice of acceleration as required by the loan documents. In re Kitts, 2002 WL 416912 (Bankr. E.D.Tenn. Feb. 28, 2002).

There is a common assumption that mortgage companies desire performing loans, not to foreclose and acquire real estate. This assumption is no longer well founded. There are an increasing number of “scavengers” that buy bad debts, including mortgages, for a fraction of face value and attempt to enforce them. Such entities profit by foreclosure. “Mortgage sources confide that some unscrupulous lenders are purposely allowing certain borrowers to fall deeper into a financial hole from which they can’t escape. Why? Because it pushes these consumers into foreclosure, whereupon the lender grabs the house and sells it at a profit.” Robert I. Heady, The People’s Money, “Foreclosure, You Must Avoid It,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Feb. 25, 2002, 2002 WL 2949282. In addition, particularly if the loan is guaranteed (by private mortgage insurance or the government), a mortgage company may find it more profitable to foreclose and make a claim on the guarantee rather than work with a “difficult” borrower.

Furthermore, production of original records often reveals unauthorized charges and other improprieties that may give rise to a claim against the mortgage company.

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