CHECKLIST — FDCPA Damages and Recovery: Revisiting the Montana S Ct Decision in Jacobson v Bayview

What is unique and instructive about this decision from the Montana Supreme Court is that it gives details of each and every fraudulent, wrongful and otherwise illegal acts that were committed by a self-proclaimed servicer and the “defective” trustee on the deed of trust.

You need to read the case to see how many different times the same court in the same case awarded damages, attorney fees and sanctions against Bayview who persisted in their behavior even after the judgment was entered.

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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This case overall stands for the proposition that the violations of federal law by self proclaimed servicers, trusts, trustees, substituted trustees, etc. are NOT insignificant or irrelevant. The consequences of merely applying the law in a fair and balanced way could and should be devastating to the TBTF banks, once the veil is pierced from servicers like Bayview, Ocwen et al and the real players are revealed.

I offer the following for legal practitioners as a checklist of issues that are usually present, in one form or another, in virtually all foreclosure cases and the consequences to the bad actors when the law is actually applied. The interesting thing is that this checklist does not just represent my perspective. It comes directly from the Jacobson decision by the high court in Montana. That decision should be read, studied and analyzed several times. You need to read the case to see how many different times the same court in the same case awarded damages, attorney fees and sanctions against Bayview who persisted in their behavior even after the judgment was entered.

One additional note: If you think about it, you can easily see how this case represents the overall infrastructure employed by the super banks. It is obvious that all of Bayview’s actions were at the behest of Citi, who like any other organized crime figure, sought to avoid getting their hands dirty. The self proclamations inevitably employ the name of US Bank whose involvement is shown in this case to be zero. Nonetheless the attorneys for Bayview and Peterson sought to pile up paper documents to create the illusion that they were acting properly.

  1. FDCPA —abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors
  2. FDCPA who is a debt collector — anyone other than the creditor
  3. FDCPA Strict Liability 
  4. FDCPA for LEAST SOPHISTICATED CONSUMER
  5. FDCPA STATUTORY DAMAGES
  6. FDCPA COMPENSATORY DAMAGES
  7. FDCPA PUNITIVE DAMAGES
  8. FDCPA INHERENT COURT AUTHORITY TO LEVY SANCTIONS
  9. CUMULATIVE BAD ACTS TEST — PATTERN OF CONDUCT
  10. HAMP Modifications Scam — initial and incentive payments
  11. Estopped and fraud: 90 day delinquency disinformation — fraud and UPL
  12. Rejected Payment
  13. Default Letter: Not authorized because sender is neither servicer nor interested party.
  14. Default letter naming creditor
  15. Default letter declaring amount due — usually wrong
  16. Default letter with deadline date for reinstatement: CURE DATE
  17. Late charges improper
  18. Extra interest improper
  19. Fees even after they lose added to balance “due.”
  20. Notice of acceleration based upon default letter which contains inaccurate information. [Not authorized because sender is neither servicer nor interested party.]
  21. Damages: Negative credit rating — [How would bank feel if their investment rating dropped? Would their stock drop? would thousands of stockholders lose money as a result?]
  22. damages: emotional stress
  23. Damages: Lost opportunities to save home
  24. Damages: Lost ability to receive incentive payments for modification
  25. FDCPA etc: Use of nonexistent or inactive entities
  26. FDCPA Illegal notarizations
  27. Illegal notarizations on behalf of nonexistent or uninvolved entities.
  28. FDCPA naming self proclaimed servicer as beneficiary (creditor/mortgagee)
  29. Assignments following self proclamation of beneficiary (creditor/mortgagee)
  30. Falsely Informing homeowner they cannot reinstate
  31. Wrongful appointment of Trustee under deed of trust
  32. Wrongful and non existent Power of Attorney
  33. False promises to modify
  34. False representations to the Court
  35. Musical entities
  36. False and fraudulent utterance of a document
  37. False and fraudulent recording of a false document
  38. False representations concerning “US Bank, Trustee” — a whole category unto itself. (the BOA deal and others who “sold” trustee position of REMICs to US Bank.) 

Jesinoski Update: Homeowner, Bank and Court All Get it Wrong

We get it. Judges don’t like statutory rescission under TILA. They are not required to like TILA rescission but they are required to follow it. This decision openly defies the SCOTUS ruling and refuses to apply it.

Despite clear legislative intent to prevent banks from stonewalling rescission they are succeeding in doing so nonetheless as they play upon the bias of courts against TILA Rescission.

This Federal Judge attempts to grapple with the issue of damages claimed by Jesinoski’s rescission. It is stunning that these are the same people who argued the case before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The plain truth is that nobody in that courtroom seemed to understand rescission or how to apply it. The singular overriding point is that the only substantive part of the rescission statute is that when mailed, rescission is effective and the loan contract is canceled, the mortgage and note are void.  There is no maybe in that statement. Nor is there a sentence that starts with “well, not if….”.

It appears in this case that this Jesinoski proceeding clouded the issues when plaintiff sued for damages under rescission. In so doing they apparently were trying to prove the basis of their rescission which was sent, as per SCOTUS, within the 3 years. Pleading the basis of rescission was a mistake because it raised the very issue that the statute and the SCOTUS decision said was unnecessary. The factual issue for Plaintiff was whether the rescission had been sent. PERIOD. Whether it was proper when sent was an issue the Defendant was required to raise, not the Plaintiff.

The next move within 20 days of receipt of the rescission would be for a creditor to plead a case to vacate the rescission. The danger here is that this decision could be affirmed because it was Jesinoski who raised the issue of whether or not the rescission was properly sent. Jesinoski might have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. By raising the issue of whether the rescission was proper, Jesinoski might have waived their objection that would be based upon the fact that no creditor had filed any lawsuit at any time, much less within the 20 day window.

But the court probably erred when it ignored the fact that the rescission was effective, plain and simple. It compounded the error by effectively ruling that rescission was only effective if a Court said it was effective and only if the borrower showed the ability to tender the full amount allegedly owed. In short this federal Judge was effectively overruling SCOTUS — a legal impossibility.

The statute and the SCOTUS decision on Jesinoski both clearly state that neither a lawsuit nor tender nor anything else is required of the borrower in the unique statutory scheme of rescission. The court is once again re-introducing common law rescission in direct contravention of the unanimous SCOTUS decision. Justice Scalia made it clear that NOTHING is required from the borrower after sending that notice.

Once the rescission is effective, the Court can only vacate it upon timely proper pleading from a party claiming injury. All the rest of the rescission statute is procedural. The failure of the creditor to actually bring an action to vacate the rescission within 20 days was fatal. Any other reading would require us to overrule SCOTUS and re-write the statute. It would mean that the rescission is NOT effective when mailed despite the clear wording of the statute that says it IS effective when mailed.

We get it. Judges don’t like statutory rescission under TILA. They are not required to like TILA rescission but they are required to follow it. This decision openly defies the SCOTUS ruling and refuses to apply it.

But the Plaintiff seems to have contributed to the problem. The damages sought are not based upon whether the rescission was proper. It was based upon the statute that says only if all three conditions are satisfied may the creditor demand any money. One of those conditions is the payment of all money ever paid to the “lender”. Those are the damages.

The issue is only the factual determination of the amount of those damages — not whether they are due at all. All three parties seem to have missed that point — Plaintiff, Defendant and Judge.

By inserting the tender requirement the Judge was not only ruling opposite to the content of the statute and opposite to the SCOTUS decision; it was expressly opposite the reasoning behind the “no-tender” component of TILA rescission, to wit: that payment could only be requested after the cancellation of the note, the release of the mortgage encumbrance, and the return of all money paid by the borrower since inception.

The clear reasoning behind this was that legislators in Congress expressly did not want to provide any method of stonewalling rescission. By requiring the disgorgement of money and the release of the encumbrance, the borrower was given the means to pay through application of the money received from the bank and the ability to get a new mortgage without damage to his/her/their credit. It was presumed by Congress that virtually no homeowner would have the means to tender without being able to cancel the old mortgage, release the encumbrance and get back their money FIRST.

Judges seem not to like the punitive nature of the statute. It is intended to be punitive, covering a wide array of possible lending violations and failures — instead of establishing a huge Federal agency that would review every mortgage loan.

The idea was to make the consequences of such behavior so gothic that the banks would police themselves. There is no Judge in the country who has the power or authority to re-write this very clear statute to match their own perceptions and belief that this statute is too draconian in its results. Public policy is for the legislative branch to decide. By resisting TILA rescission courts are encouraging more of the same bank behavior that still threatens all of the world’s economies and societies. By refusing to apply TILA rescission the courts are making themselves complicit in the greatest economic crime in human history.

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Larry D. Jesinoski and Cheryle Jesinoski, individuals, Plaintiffs,
v.
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., d/b/a America’s Wholesale Lender, subsidiary of Bank of America N.A.; BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, a subsidiary of Bank of America, N.A., a Texas Limited Partnership f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP; Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., a Delaware Corporation; and John and Jane Does 1-10, Defendants.

Civil No. 11-474 (DWF/FLN).United States District Court, D. Minnesota.

July 21, 2016.Larry D. Jesinoski, Plaintiff, represented by Bryan R. Battina, Trepanier MacGillis Battina, P.A. & Daniel P. H. Reiff, Reiff Law Office, PLLC.

Cheryle Jesinoski, Plaintiff, represented by Bryan R. Battina, Trepanier MacGillis Battina, P.A. & Daniel P. H. Reiff, Reiff Law Office, PLLC.

Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Defendant, represented by Andre T. Hanson, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Joseph Mrkonich, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Ronn B. Kreps, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP & Sparrowleaf Dilts McGregor, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, Defendant, represented by Andre T. Hanson, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Joseph Mrkonich, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Ronn B. Kreps, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP & Sparrowleaf Dilts McGregor, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., Defendant, represented by Andre T. Hanson, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Joseph Mrkonich, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Ronn B. Kreps, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP & Sparrowleaf Dilts McGregor, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment brought by Defendants Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“Countrywide”), Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”) and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) (together, “Defendants”) (Doc. No. 51).[1] For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Defendants’ motion.

BACKGROUND

I. Factual Background

This “Factual Background” section reiterates, in large part, the “Background” section included in the Court’s April 19, 2012 Memorandum Opinion and Order. (Doc. No. 23.)

On February 23, 2007, Plaintiffs Larry Jesinoski and Cheryle Jesinoski (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) refinanced their home in Eagan, Minnesota, by borrowing $611,000 from Countrywide, a predecessor-in-interest of BANA. (Doc. No. 7 (“Am. Compl.”) ¶¶ 7, 15, 16, 17; Doc. No. 55 (“Hanson Decl.”) ¶ 5, Ex. D (“L. Jesinoski Dep.”) at 125.) MERS also gained a mortgage interest in the property. (Am. Compl. ¶ 25.) Plaintiffs used the loan to pay off existing loan obligations on the property and other consumer debts. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 114-15; Hanson Decl. ¶ 6, Ex. E (“C. Jesinoski Dep.”) at 49-50; Am. Compl. ¶ 22.)[2] The refinancing included an interest-only, adjustable-rate note. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 137.) Plaintiffs wanted these terms because they intended to sell the property. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 125-26, 137; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 38, 46-7.)

At the closing on February 23, 2007, Plaintiffs received and executed a Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) Disclosure Statement and the Notice of Right to Cancel. (Doc. No. 56 (Jenkins Decl.) ¶¶ 5, 6, Exs. C & D; L. Jesinoski Dep. at 61, 67, 159; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 30-33; Hanson Decl. ¶¶ 2-3, Exs. A & B.) By signing the Notice of Right to Cancel, each Plaintiff acknowledged the “receipt of two copies of NOTICE of RIGHT TO CANCEL and one copy of the Federal Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement.” (Jenkins Decl. ¶¶ 5, 6, Exs. C & D.) Per the Notice of Right to Cancel, Plaintiffs had until midnight on February 27, 2007, to rescind. (Id.) Plaintiffs did not exercise their right to cancel, and the loan funded.

In February 2010, Plaintiffs paid $3,000 to a company named Modify My Loan USA to help them modify the loan. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 79-81; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 94-95.) The company turned out to be a scam, and Plaintiffs lost $3,000. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 79-81.) Plaintiffs then sought modification assistance from Mark Heinzman of Financial Integrity, who originally referred Plaintiffs to Modify My Loan USA. (Id. at 86.) Plaintiffs contend that Heinzman reviewed their loan file and told them that certain disclosure statements were missing from the closing documents, which entitled Plaintiffs to rescind the loan. (Id. at 88-91.)[3] Since then, and in connection with this litigation, Heinzman submitted a declaration stating that he has no documents relating to Plaintiffs and does not recall Plaintiffs’ file. (Hanson Decl. ¶ 4, Ex. C (“Heinzman Decl.”) ¶ 4.)[4]

On February 23, 2010, Plaintiffs purported to rescind the loan by mailing a letter to “all known parties in interest.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 30; L. Jesinoski Dep., Ex. 8.) On March 16, 2010, BANA denied Plaintiffs’ request to rescind because Plaintiffs had been provided the required disclosures, as evidenced by the acknowledgments Plaintiffs signed. (Am. Compl. ¶ 32; L. Jesinoski Dep., Ex. 9.)

II. Procedural Background

On February 24, 2011, Plaintiffs filed the present action. (Doc. No. 1.) By agreement of the parties, Plaintiffs filed their Amended Complaint, in which Plaintiffs assert four causes of action: Count 1—Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq.; Count 2—Rescission of Security Interest; Count 3—Servicing a Mortgage Loan in Violation of Standards of Conduct, Minn. Stat. § 58.13; and Count 4—Plaintiffs’ Cause of Action under Minn. Stat. § 8.31. At the heart of all of Plaintiffs’ claims is their request that the Court declare the mortgage transaction rescinded and order statutory damages related to Defendants’ purported failure to rescind.

Plaintiffs do not dispute that they had an opportunity to review the loan documents before closing. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 152-58; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 56.) Although Plaintiffs each admit to signing the acknowledgement of receipt of two copies of the Notice of Right to Cancel, they now contend that they did not each receive the correct number of copies as required by TILA’s implementing regulation, Regulation Z. (Am. Compl. ¶ 47 (citing C.F.R. §§ 226.17(b) & (d), 226.23(b)).)

Earlier in this litigation, Defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings based on TILA’s three-year statute of repose. In April 2012, the Court issued an order granting Defendants’ motion, finding that TILA required a plaintiff to file a lawsuit within the 3-year repose period, and that Plaintiffs had filed this lawsuit outside of that period. (Doc. No. 23 at 6.) The Eighth Circuit affirmed. Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 729 F.3d 1092 (8th Cir. 2013). The United States Supreme Court reversed, holding that a borrower exercising a right to TILA rescission need only provide his lender written notice, rather than file suit, within the 3-year period. Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 790, 792 (2015). The Eighth Circuit then reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings. (Doc. No. 38.) After engaging in discovery, Defendants now move for summary judgment.

DISCUSSION

I. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate if the “movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Courts must view the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Weitz Co. v. Lloyd’s of London, 574 F.3d 885, 892 (8th Cir. 2009). However, “[s]ummary judgment procedure is properly regarded not as a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather as an integral part of the Federal Rules as a whole, which are designed `to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action.'” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 1).

The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Enter. Bank v. Magna Bank of Mo., 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996). A party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment “must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986); see also Krenik v. Cty. of Le Sueur, 47 F.3d 953, 957 (8th Cir. 1995).

II. TILA

Defendants move for summary judgment with respect to Plaintiffs’ claims, all of which stem from Defendants’ alleged violation of TILA—namely, failing to give Plaintiffs the required number of disclosures and rescission notices at the closing.

The purpose of TILA is “to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to him and avoid the uninformed use of credit . . .” 15 U.S.C. § 1601(a). In transactions, like the one here, secured by a principal dwelling, TILA gives borrowers an unconditional three-day right to rescind. 15 U.S.C. § 1635(a); see also id. § 1641(c) (extending rescission to assignees). The three-day rescission period begins upon the consummation of the transaction or the delivery of the required rescission notices and disclosures, whichever occurs later. Id. § 1635(a). Required disclosures must be made to “each consumer whose ownership interest is or will be subject to the security interest” and must include two copies of a notice of the right to rescind. 12 C.F.R. § 226.23(a)-(b)(1). If the creditor fails to make the required disclosures or rescission notices, the borrower’s “right of rescission shall expire three years after the date of consummation of the transaction.” 15 U.S.C. § 1635(f); see 12 C.F.R. § 226.23(a)(3).

If a consumer acknowledges in writing that he or she received a required disclosure or notice, a rebuttable presumption of delivery is created:

Notwithstanding any rule of evidence, written acknowledgment of receipt of any disclosures required under this subchapter by a person to whom information, forms, and a statement is required to be given pursuant to this section does no more than create a rebuttable presumption of delivery thereof.

15 U.S.C. §1635(c).

A. Number of Disclosure Statements

Plaintiffs claim that Defendants violated TILA by failing to provide them with a sufficient number of copies of the right to rescind and the disclosure statement at the closing of the loan. (Am. Compl. ¶ 47.) Defendants assert that Plaintiffs’ claims (both TILA and derivative state-law claims) fail as a matter of law because Plaintiffs signed an express acknowledgement that they received all required disclosures at closing, and they cannot rebut the legally controlling presumption of proper delivery of those disclosures.

It is undisputed that at the closing, each Plaintiff signed an acknowledgement that each received two copies of the Notice of Right to Cancel. Plaintiffs argue, however, that no presumption of proper delivery is created here because Plaintiffs acknowledged the receipt of two copies total, not the required four (two for each of the Plaintiffs). In particular, both Larry Jesinoski and Cheryle Jesinoski assert that they “read the acknowledgment . . . to mean that both” Larry and Cheryle “acknowledge receiving two notices total, not four.” (Doc. No. 60 (“L. Jesinoski Decl.”) ¶ 3; Doc. No. 61 (“C. Jesinoski Decl.”) ¶ 3.) Thus, Plaintiffs argue that they read the word “each” to mean “together,” and therefore that they collectively acknowledged the receipt of only two copies.

The Court finds this argument unavailing. The language in the Notice is unambiguous and clearly states that “[t]he undersigned each acknowledge receipt of two copies of NOTICE of RIGHT TO CANCEL and one copy of the Federal Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement.” (Jenkins Decl. ¶¶ 5, 6, Exs. C & D (italics added).) Plaintiffs’ asserted interpretation is inconsistent with the language of the acknowledgment. The Court instead finds that this acknowledgement gives rise to a rebuttable presumption of proper delivery of two copies of the notice to each Plaintiff. See, e.g., Kieran v. Home Cap., Inc., Civ. No. 10-4418, 2015 WL 5123258, at *1, 3 (D. Minn. Sept. 1, 2015) (finding the creation of a rebuttable presumption of proper delivery where each borrower signed an acknowledgment stating that they each received a copy of the disclosure statement—”each of [t]he undersigned acknowledge receipt of a complete copy of this disclosure”).[5]

The only evidence provided by Plaintiffs to rebut the presumption of receipt is their testimony that they did not receive the correct number of documents. As noted in Kieran, this Court has consistently held that statements merely contradicting a prior signature are insufficient to overcome the presumption. Kieran, 2015 WL 5123258, at *3-4 (citing Gomez v. Market Home Mortg., LLC, Civ. No. 12-153, 2012 WL 1517260, at *3 (D. Minn. April 30, 2012) (agreeing with “the majority of courts that mere testimony to the contrary is insufficient to rebut the statutory presumption of proper delivery”)); see also Lee, 692 F.3d at 451 (explaining that a notice signed by both borrowers stating “[t]he undersigned each acknowledge receipt of two copies of [notice]” creates “a presumption of delivery that cannot be overcome without specific evidence demonstrating that the borrower did not receive the appropriate number of copies”); Golden v. Town & Country Credit, Civ. No. 02-3627, 2004 WL 229078, at *2 (D. Minn. Feb. 3, 2004) (finding deposition testimony insufficient to overcome presumption); Gaona v. Town & Country Credit, Civ. No. 01-44, 2001 WL 1640100, at *3 (D. Minn. Nov. 20, 2001)) (“[A]n allegation that the notices are now not contained in the closing folder is insufficient to rebut the presumption.”), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 324 F.3d 1050 (8th Cir. 2003).

Plaintiffs, however, contend that their testimony is sufficient to rebut the presumption and create a factual issue for trial. Plaintiffs rely primarily on the Eighth Circuit’s decision in Bank of North America v. Peterson, 746 F.3d 357, 361 (8th Cir. 2014), cert. granted, judgment vacated, 135 S. Ct. 1153 (2015), and opinion vacated in part, reinstated in part, 782 F.3d 1049 (8th Cir. 2015). In Peterson, the plaintiffs acknowledged that they signed the TILA disclosure and rescission notice at their loan closing, but later submitted affidavit testimony that they had not received their TILA disclosure statements at closing. Peterson, 764 F.3d at 361. The Eighth Circuit determined that this testimony was sufficient to overcome the presumption of proper delivery. Id. The facts of this case, however, are distinguishable from those in Peterson. In particular, the plaintiffs in Peterson testified that at the closing, the agent took the documents after they had signed them and did not give them any copies. Id. Here, it is undisputed that Plaintiffs left with copies of their closing documents. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 94-95.) In addition, Plaintiffs did not testify unequivocally that they did not each receive two copies of the rescission notice. Instead, they have testified that they do not know what they received. (See, e.g., id. at 161.) Moreover, Cheryle Jesinoski testified that she did not look through the closing documents at the time of closing, and therefore cannot attest to whether the required notices were included. (C. Jesinoski Dep. at 85.)[6]

Based on the evidence in the record, the Court determines that the facts of this case are more line with cases that have found that self-serving assertions of non-delivery do not defeat the presumption. Indeed, the Court agrees with the reasoning in Kieran, which granted summary judgment in favor of defendants under similar facts, and which was decided after the Eighth Circuit issued its decision in Peterson. Accordingly, Plaintiffs have not overcome the rebuttable presumption of proper delivery of TILA notices, and Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted as to the Plaintiffs’ TILA claims.

B. Ability to Tender

Defendants also argue that Plaintiffs’ claims fails as a matter of law on a second independent basis—Plaintiffs’ admission that they do not have the present ability to tender the amount of the loan proceeds. Rescission under TILA is conditioned on repayment of the amounts advanced by the lender. See Yamamoto v. Bank of N.Y., 329 F.3d 1167, 1170 (9th Cir. 2003). This Court has concluded that it is appropriate to dismiss rescission claims under TILA at the pleading stage based on a plaintiff’s failure to allege an ability to tender loan proceeds. See, e.g., Franz v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, Civ. No. 10-2025, 2011 WL 846835, at *3 (D. Minn. Mar. 8, 2011); Hintz v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, Civ. No. 10-119, 2010 WL 4220486, at *4 (D. Minn. Oct. 20, 2010). In addition, courts have granted summary judgment in favor of defendants where the evidence shows that a TILA plaintiff cannot demonstrate an ability to tender the amount borrowed. See, e.g., Am. Mortg. Network, Inc. v. Shelton, 486 F.3d 815, 822 (4th Cir. 2007) (affirming grant of summary judgment for defendants on TILA rescission claim “given the appellants’ inability to tender payment of the loan amount”); Taylor v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co., Civ. No. 10-149, 2010 WL 4103305, at *5 (E.D. Va. Oct. 18, 2010) (granting summary judgment on TILA rescission claim where plaintiff could not show ability to tender funds aside from selling the house “as a last resort”).

Plaintiffs argue that the Supreme Court in Jesinoski eliminated tender as a requirement for rescission under TILA. The Court disagrees. In Jesinoski, the Supreme Court reached the narrow issue of whether Plaintiffs had to file a lawsuit to enforce a rescission under 15 U.S.C. § 1635, or merely deliver a rescission notice, within three years of the loan transaction. Jesinoski, 135 S. Ct. at 792-93. The Supreme Court determined that a borrower need only provide written notice to a lender in order to exercise a right to rescind. Id. The Court discerns nothing in the Supreme Court’s opinion that would override TILA’s tender requirement. Specifically, under 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b), a borrower must at some point tender the loan proceeds to the lender.[7] Plaintiffs testified that they do not presently have the ability to tender back the loan proceeds. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 54, 202; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 118-119.) Because Plaintiffs have failed to point to evidence creating a genuine issue of fact that they could tender the unpaid balance of the loan in the event the Court granted them rescission, their TILA rescission claim fails as a matter of law on this additional ground.[8]

Plaintiffs argue that if the Court conditions rescission on Plaintiffs’ tender, the amount of tender would be exceeded, and therefore eliminated, by Plaintiffs’ damages. In particular, Plaintiffs claim over $800,000 in damages (namely, attorney fees), and contend that this amount would negate any amount tendered. Plaintiffs, however, have not cited to any legal authority that would allow Plaintiffs to rely on the potential recovery of fees to satisfy their tender obligation. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ argument presumes that they will prevail on their TILA claims, a presumption that this Order forecloses.

C. Damages

Next, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs are not entitled to TILA statutory damages allegedly flowing from Defendants’ decision not to rescind because there was no TILA violation in the first instance. Plaintiffs argue that their damages claim is separate and distinct from their TILA rescission claim.

For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiffs’ TILA claim fails as a matter of law. Without a TILA violation, Plaintiffs cannot recover statutory damages based Defendants refusal to rescind the loan.

D. State-law Claims

Plaintiffs’ state-law claims under Minn. Stat. § 58.13 and Minnesota’s Private Attorney General statute, Minn. Stat. § 8.31, are derivative of Plaintiffs’ TILA rescission claim. Thus, because Plaintiffs’ TILA claim fails as a matter law, so do their state-law claims.

ORDER

Based upon the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. [51]) is GRANTED.

2. Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint (Doc. No. [7]) is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.

[1] According to Defendants, Countrywide was acquired by BANA in 2008, and became BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP (“BACHLS”), and in July 2011, BACHLS merged with BANA. (Doc. No. 15 at 1 n.1.) Thus, the only two defendants in this case are BANA and MERS.

[2] Larry Jesinoski testified that he had been involved in about a half a dozen mortgage loan closings, at least three of which were refinancing loans, and that he is familiar with the loan closing process. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 150-51.)

[3] Plaintiffs claim that upon leaving the loan closing they were given a copy of the closing documents, and then brought the documents straight home and placed them in L. Jesinoski’s unlocked file drawer, where they remained until they brought the documents to Heinzman.

[4] At oral argument, counsel for Plaintiffs requested leave to depose Heinzman in the event that the Court views his testimony as determinative. The Court denies the request for two reasons. First, it appears that Plaintiffs had ample opportunity to notice Heinzman’s deposition during the discovery period, but did not do so. Second, Heinzman’s testimony will not affect the outcome of the pending motion, and therefore, the request is moot.

[5] See also, e.g., Lee v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 692 F.3d 442, 451 (6th Cir. 2012) (rebuttable presumption arose where each party signed an acknowledgement of receipt of two copies); Hendricksen v. Countrywide Home Loans, Civ. No. 09-82, 2010 WL 2553589, at *4 (W.D. Va. June 24, 2010) (rebuttable presumption of delivery of two copies of TILA disclosure arose where plaintiffs each signed disclosure stating “[t]he undersigned further acknowledge receipt of a copy of this Disclosure for keeping prior to consummation”).

[6] This case is also distinguishable from Stutzka v. McCarville, 420 F.3d 757, 762 (8th Cir. 2005), a case in which a borrower’s assertion of non-delivery was sufficient to overcome the statutory presumption. In Stutzka, the plaintiffs signed acknowledgements that they received required disclosures but left the closing without any documents. Stutzka, 420 F.3d at 776.

[7] TILA follows a statutorily prescribed sequence of events for rescission that specifically discusses the lender performing before the borrower. See § 1635(b). However, TILA also states that “[t]he procedures prescribed by this subsection shall apply except when otherwise ordered by a court.” Id. Considering the facts of this case, it is entirely appropriate to require Plaintiffs to tender the loan proceeds to Defendants before requiring Defendants to surrender their security interest in the loan.

[8] The Court acknowledges that there is disagreement in the District over whether a borrower asserting a rescission claim must tender, or allege an ability to tender, before seeking rescission. See, e.g. Tacheny v. M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank, Civ. No. 10-2067, 2011 WL 1657877, at *4 (D. Minn. Apr. 29, 2011) (respectfully disagreeing with courts that have held that, in order to state a claim for rescission under TILA, a borrower must allege a present ability to tender). However, there is no dispute that to effect rescission under § 1635(b), a borrower must tender the loan proceeds. Here, the record demonstrates that Plaintiffs are unable to tender. Therefore, their rescission claim fails on summary judgment.

 

FDCPA Claims Upheld in 9th Circuit Class Action

The court held that the FDCPA unambiguously requires any debt collector – first or subsequent – to send a section 1692g(a) validation notice within five days of its first communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt.

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

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If anyone remembers the Grishom book “The Firm”, also in movies, you know that in the end the crooks were brought down by something they were never thinking about — mail fraud — a federal law that has teeth, even if it sounds dull. Mail fraud might actually apply to the millions of foreclosures that have taken place — even if key documents are sent through private mail delivery services. The end of month statements and other correspondence are definitely sent through US Mail. And as we are seeing, virtually everything they were sending consisted of multiple layers of misrepresentations that led to the detriment of the receiving homeowner. That’s mail fraud.
Like Mail Fraud, claims based on the FDCPA seem boring. But as many lawyers throughout the country are finding out, those claims have teeth. And I have seen multiple cases where FDCPA claims resulted in the settlement of the case on terms very favorable to the homeowner — provided the claim is properly brought and there are some favorable rulings on the initial motions.
Normally the banks settle any claim that looks like it would be upheld. That is why you don’t see many verdicts or judgments announcing fraudulent conduct by banks, servicers and “trustees.”And you don’t see the settlement either because they are all under seal of confidentiality. So for the casual observer, you might see a ruling here and there that favors the borrower, but you don’t see any judgments normally. Here the banks thought they had this one in the bag — because it was a class action and normally class actions are difficult if not impossible to prosecute.
It turns out that FDCPA is both a good cause of action for damages and a great discovery tool — to force the banks, servicers or anyone else that is a debt collector to respond within 5 days giving the basic information about the loan — like who is the actual creditor. Discovery is also much easier in FDCPA actions because it is forthrightly tied to the complaint.
This decision is more important than it might first appear. It removes any benefit of playing musical chairs with servicers, and other debt collectors. This is a core of bank strategy — to layer over all defects. This Federal Court of Appeals holds that it doesn’t matter how many layers you add — all debt collectors in the chain had the duty to respond.
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Justia Opinion Summary

Hernandez v Williams, Zinman and Parham, PC No 14-15672 (9th Cir, 2016)

Plaintiff filed a putative class action, alleging that WZP violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692(g)(a), by sending a debt collection letter that lacked the disclosures required by section 1692(g)(a) of the FDCPA. Applying well-established tools of statutory interpretation and construing the language in section 1692g(a) in light of the context and purpose of the FDCPA, the court held that the phrase “the initial communication” refers to the first communication sent by any debt collector, including collectors that contact the debtor after another collector already did. The court held that the FDCPA unambiguously requires any debt collector – first or subsequent – to send a section 1692g(a) validation notice within five days of its first communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt. In this case, the district court erred in concluding that, because WZP was not the first debt collector to communicate with plaintiff about her debt, it had no obligation to comply with the statutory validation notice requirement. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded.

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Washington Court Finds Trustee Had No Authority to Foreclose

WE HAVE REVAMPED OUR SERVICE OFFERINGS TO MEET THE REQUESTS OF LAWYERS AND HOMEOWNERS. This is not an offer for legal representation. In order to make it easier to serve you and get better results please take a moment to fill out our FREE registration form https://fs20.formsite.com/ngarfield/form271773666/index.html?1453992450583 
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THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

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Finally a decision on the central point of what I have been arguing for years — that the substitution of trustee in nonjudicial states is a sham.
The issue is why is the homeowner stuck with merely getting damages? The homeowner should be getting title cleared.  The foreclosure sale was void ab initio because the “substituted” trustee never had the authority to send the notice of default nor the notice of sale.
We are back to talking about void means void. This is a potential gray area — because the state statute probably says that any sale which on its face complies with state statutes is presumptively valid — which might make the sale voidable instead of void.

COVER-UP: Whatever Happenned to Those Settlements?

This is for general information only.

For further information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688

Consult a lawyer before making any decisions based upon the content of this article or anything else on this blog.

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see http://www.mpamag.com/news/foreclosure-settlement-funds-misspent-26697.aspx

The media and the Bank lobby keep referring to illegal activity, risky or mismanagement. I call it a cover-up that dwarfs Watergate by comparison. Here are some facts:

  1. Foreclosures are still increasing, despite dozens of articles per day that say otherwise. Those articles are writing about a particular city or county whereas the true numbers can only be measured nationally. Wall Street has creatively used its dominance in the press to get them using the terms that would lead one to believe that the foreclosure crisis in behind us.
  2. This wasn’t negligence. It is intentional, it is fraud, it is illegal and probably criminal. The banks didn’t suddenly wake up one morning with amnesia abut how to make a loan and how to account for it. They also didn’t accidentally destroy the original loan papers. It was intentional. Why did they destroy cash equivalent instruments? Because they had made reports to multiple third parties about the loan that would be readily obvious that (a) the loan did not qualify to be approved (b) that the loan did not qualify for the investment criteria needed by the stable managed funds (pension, for example) and (c) it is much easier on bankers if they admit to negligence than to produce proof of fraud (they obviously had made multiple misrepresentations and sales to multiple third parties).
  3. The foreclosures are for the benefit of the intermediary banks whose self-proclaimed status as agents for unidentified creditors makes a mockery of our marketplace and our judicial system.
  4. The banks were found by administrative and law enforcement agencies to have committed fraud on the courts, to have pushed through foreclosures in which they had no ownership or rights to the alleged loans, that probably was never consummated (in the legal sense) in the first place.
  5. The homeowners whose files were reviewed by investigators and found to have fatal defects were never notified by the investigators or anyone else about the finding and the agreement by the banks. This one example of the wrong-headed policies started by Bush and continued by Obama have been wrong headed and bone-headed.
  6. Hundreds of Billions, approaching $1 Trillion have been paid in settlements by the major banks, many with specific provisions that the settlement was to be to the benefit of homeowners who were illegally foreclosed or who were in foreclosure when the foreclosing party was (a) non existent or (b) a sham naked nominee with no interest in the loan, the note or the mortgage and or (c) a party who has never been disclosed in the courts during foreclosure litigation but who was directing the entire false and fraudulent scheme of “securitization”.
  7. The banks make no bones about it — they admit that the Trusts are and always were empty but have been asserting successfully to Judges who didn’t think through that whether there were actual underlying transcriptions where money exchanged hands or not, is irrelevant because they “hold” the note. So they admit that nobody in the chain of custody upon which they rely ever actually had any financial interest in the alleged “loan” with the homeowner and admit further, upon interrogation that they have no privity of contract with the homeowner.  The banks successfully turned the heads of thousands of judges with the myth of the homeowner getting a free house.
  8. Out of hundreds of billions of dollars in settlements, homeowners have seen virtually nothing — disbursements of less than 1% of the alleged principal or their alleged loan.
  9. It is an inescapable conclusion that the funds for the”Settlements” (a) remain unpaid or (b) resulted in payment of an amount equivalent to a nuisance settlement when the issuer was taking hundreds of thousands of dollars without any right, justification or excuse by proceeding with a foreclosure they have admitted, according to their own audit that the foreclosure was wrongful.

In short what is happening here is that the crimes or illegal activities are ongoing every day and not subject to (a) being barred by the statute of limitations and (b) foreclosure is  a behavior to avoid detection (which is a crime in itself) and (c) each time a Judge enters an order allowing or ordering forced sale, the Court itself is complicit in the cover-up, even if the Court is “unaware” of it.

All of this is presumptively true because of the findings of fact by the investigative and regulatory agencies, whether they are admitted or not by the mega banks. The burden should be placed on the foreclosing party, whose history of fabrication, lying under oath, and forgery SHOULD make the testimony, documents, and representations proffered by counsel for banks presumptively NOT CREDIBLE. Instead Judges have treated them like they are holders in due course where the risk falls entirely on the homeowner who also has the burden of proving defenses against a holder in due course who is not subject to those defenses (but who also doesn’t exist).

In my opinion policy makers, regulators and law enforcement are still functioning under the Wall Street myth that if the mega banks fall so does the economy. It is quite the reverse. If the mega banks fall then banking becomes local again, and there is no such thing as too big to fail. There is not single function performed by a mega bank that couldn’t be done by a small community bank or credit union. The current policy has allowed the mega banks to raise a cloud over everything with their unregulated “Shadow banking” sector which now accounts for around 15-20 times the amount of all the money in the world. That being the case, we are allowing our institutions to be marginalized. When the Fed, or Congress or anyone else attempts to address the problems of economic growth and inequality they are using primitive tools without any real effect.

We have replaced income and currency with debt that is “cash equivalent”. As long as allow that, we will forever be on the brink of the worst depression in history — which history tells us frequently leads to war. As a distraction there are those who point to the National Debt without making any reference to the more important household debt. It is an irrefutable fact that out economy is built on consumption. 70% of our gross domestic product is consumption of goods and services by ordinary consumers. Thus the only rational, practical policy is one that increases consumption. Instead politicians are creating ideological talking points. Where does consumption ordinarily come from? Do those people have the money or credit to make purchases? If they don’t, then what policy will put money in their hands in a manner in which overall consumption increases.

What is Evidence or Proof of the Existence of the REAL Loan?

For additional information or assistance please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688.

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It is a complicated answer. The following is NOT a comprehensive answer which would the length of a treatise.

see also Fla 4th DCA Beauchamp v Bank of New York Mellon, J Shahood reversed — Beauchamp v BONY-Mellon

The Beauchamp case brings to the forefront the issue of redemptive rights which has long been ignored. In short the 4th DCA decided that the redemptive rights are important. They decided that evidence of actual losses or damages must be established without relying on inadmissible hearsay. This is where the rubber meets the road. In order to do so the Plaintiff foreclosing party is open in discovery at the very least to showing actual proof of payment and proof of loss of the actual owner of the debt and/or holder in due course. Presumptions won’t do them any good unless the homeowner’s attorney fails to object.

Thus the real transaction with real money, in a real purchase of the loan must be established by the foreclosing party. That is part of their prima facie case. And these are liquidated contract damages — not subject to anything other than mathematical calculation of net loss. I doubt if the appellate court meant to empower the judge to “estimate” or enter a finding that is “good enough.” The homeowner, like the AMGAR program, has every right to pay off the net debt once it is established and thus prevent the sale of the home. In turn the homeowner is entitled to the recovery of the original note and mortgage or deed of trust.

Be careful because it is evidently a normal practice, contrary to current case law, for the foreclosing party in non judicial states to publish and record a self serving statement of standing in the form of a substitution of trustee. That substitution of trustee must be nullified or else the rest of the theories advanced by the homeowner might be deemed irrelevant.

The interesting thing on remand is what happens when the foreclosing party cannot show proof of payment (proof of actual transaction ) and tries to get the judge to assume that the loss is the amount on the note. If that were the case the 4th DCA would not have remanded for further proceedings to determine damages so that the borrower’s redemption rights could be established. Without a completely transparent introduction of testimony and BEST evidence of original transaction documents, there is no proof of damages and the foreclosure judgment must be vacated.

In loan transactions there usually is no actual written contract that says the creditor will loan money and the debtor will pay it back. So common law and statutory law must make certain assumptions about the loan contract — which still must exist in order for the note or mortgage to be enforced. This is till basic contract law — the elements of which are offer, acceptance and consideration each to the other. The stumbling block for most judges is that the presence of money at the table is automatically construed as consideration for the contract that is sought to be enforced.

In olden times there was no problem in using this heuristic approach to loan contracts, because nobody thought of some third party funding the loan WITHOUT a note and mortgage made out in favor of the actual creditor. But Wall Street found a way to do it and conceal it.

The actual debt — i.e., the duty to pay — arises by operation of law when the debtor receives the money. It is presumed to be a loan and not a gift. The paperwork is intended to provide disclosures and terms and evidence upon which both parties can rely. In this context before Wall Street saw the vulnerability, there was no problem in using the words “debt”, “note”, “mortgage” and “loan” interchangeably — because they all essentially meant the same thing.

The genius of the Wall Street scheme is that their lawyers saw the possibilities in this informal system. The borrower could not claim lack of consideration when he received the money and thus the debt was presumed. And with enough layers of deception, non-disclosure and outright lies, neither the borrower nor even the closing agent actually realized that the money was coming from Party A but the paperwork was directed to Party B. Nobody realized that there was a debt created by operation of law PLUS another debt that might be presumed by virtue of signing a note and mortgage. Obviously the borrower was kept in the dark that for every $1 of “loan” he was exposing himself to $2 in liability.

If the creditor named as payee and mortgagee was not the source of the funds then there is no underlying debt. The rules of evidence are designed to help the court get tot eh truth of the matter asserted. The truth is that the holder of the paper is NOT the party who was the creditor at “closing.” The closing was fictitious. It really is that simple. And it is the reason for the snowstorm of fabricated, forged and robosigned documents to cover up the essential fact that there is not one shred of consideration in the origination or transfer of many loans.

Each assignment, endorsement, power of attorney or other document purporting to transfer control or ownership over the loan documents is corroboration of the lack of consideration. Working backwards from the Trust or whoever is claiming the right to enforce, you will see that they are alleging “holder” status but they fail to identify and prove their right to enforce on behalf of the holder in due course or owner of the debt (i.e., the creditor).

Close examination of the PSA shows that they never planned to have the Trust actually acquire the loans — because of the lack of any language showing how payment is being made to acquire the loans within the cutoff period. THAT was the point. By doing that the broker dealers were able to divert the proceeds of sale of Mortgage Backed Securities to their own use. And when you look at their pleading they never state they are a holder in due course. Why not? If they did, there would be no allowable defenses from the borrower. But if they alleged that they would need to come forward with evidence that the Trust purchased the debt for value, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses — elements present in every PSA but never named as “holder in due course.”

Since the good faith and lack of knowledge of borrower’s defenses is probably not in hot dispute, that leaves only one element — payment. The logical question is why would the assignor or endorser transfer a valuable debt without payment? The only reasonable conclusion is that there is no underlying debt — there is paper but the power of that paper is at very best highly speculative. “Underlying debt” means that the alleged borrower does not owe any money to the party named as payee on the note.
Traveling down the line, seeking for evidence of payment, you don’t find it. Even the originator does not get “paid” for the loan but assigns or endorses the paperwork anyway. No reasonable business explanation can be found for this free transfer of the paper except that the participants knew full well that the paper was worthless. And THAT in turn is presumptive proof that there was a lack of consideration for the paperwork — meaning that the debt was owed to an outside party who was never in privity with the “originator.”
If someone has possession of a note, it is an original and it complies with local statutes as to form and content, the note is accepted as evidence of the debt, and the terms of repayment. The person who signed the note is at risk of a judgment against him only if he defaults or the note falls into the hands of a holder indue course. Of course if the note IS evidence of a loan that WAS funded by the named payee, that is a different story. But looking a little further up the line, you will eventually find that one or more alleged transfers of the paperwork did not involve payment. And the reason is the same as the above. In the end, the money came from illegal diversion of investor funds that were intended to be deposited with a REMIC Trust.

If the signer of the note denies that the transaction was complete — i.e., there was no consideration and therefore there is no enforceable contract, then the burden switches back to the “holder” of the note to step into the shoes of the original lender to prove that the loan actually occurred, the original lender was the creditor and the signer was the debtor.

Banks Use Trial Modifications as a Pathway to Foreclosure — Neil Garfield Show 6 P.M. EDT Thursdays

Banks Use Modifications Against Homeowners

Click in or phone in at The Neil Garfield Show

Or call in at (347) 850-1260, 6pm EDT Thursdays

It is bad enough that they outright lie to homeowners and tell them they MUST be 90 days behind in payments to get a modification. That isn’t true and it is a ruse to get the homeowner to stop paying and get into a default situation. But the reports from across the country show that the banks are using a variety of tricks and scams to dishonor modification agreements. First they say that just because they did the underwriting and approved the trial modification doesn’t mean that they are bound to make the modification permanent. Most courts disagree. If you make a deal with offer, acceptance and consideration, and one side performs (the homeowner made the trial payments) then the other side must perform (the Bank).

What is really happening is that the bank is converting the loan from a loan funded by investors to a loan NOT funded by the bank. They are steering people into “in house” loans. The hubris of these people is incredible. Why are the investors sitting on their hands? Do they STILL not get it?
Regardless of whether the modification is enforced or forced into foreclosure or converted to an in house loan, the investor loses with the stamp of approval from the court. And the borrower is now paying a party that already collected his loan principal several times over while the real lender is getting birdseed. The investors lose no matter how the case is decided. And the Courts are failing to realize that the fate of the money from a Pension Fund is being decided without any opportunity for the investors to have notice, much less be heard.
Why is this important? Because the banks converted one debt from the borrower into many debts — all secured by the same mortgage. It doesn’t work that way in real life — except now, when courts still refuse to educate themselves on the theory and reality of securitization of debt.
http://www.occupy.com/article/when-fighting-your-home-becomes-biggest-fight-your-life
——————————-FROM RECENTSHOWHOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? — Introducing two upcomingCLE Seminars from the Garfield Continuum onVoir Dire of corporate representatives in foreclosure litigation. The first is atwo hour telephone conference devoted exclusively tovoir dire examination and the second is a full day on onlyvoir dire pluscross examination. The show is free. Topreregister for the mini seminar onvoir dire or the full seminar onvoir dire andcross examination (at a discount) call 954-495-9867.

  • Overview of Foreclosure Litigation in Florida and Other States
  • The need for copies of actual case law and even memoranda supporting your line of questioning
  • The Three Rules for Questioning
  • —– (1) Know why you want to inquire
  • —– (2) Listen to the Answer
  • —– (3) Follow up and comment
  • What to ask, and when to ask it
  • The difference between voir dire and cross examination
  • Getting traction with the presiding Judge
  • Developing your goals and strategies
  • Developing a narrative
  • Impeaching the witness before he or she gets started
  • Preparing your own witnesses for voir dire questions

 

IF YOU MISSED IT: Go to blog radio link and click on the Neil Garfield Show — past shows include—-

News abounds as we hear of purchases of loans and bonds. Some of these are repurchases. Some are in litigation, like $1.1 Billion worth in suit brought by Trustees against the broker dealer Merrill Lynch, which was purchased by Bank of America. What do these purchases mean for people in litigation. If the loan was repurchased or all the loan claims were settled, does the trust still exist? Did it ever exist? Was it ever funded? Did it ever own the loans? Why are lawyers unwilling to make representations that the Trust is a holder in due course? Wouldn’t that settle everything? And what is the significance of the $3 trillion in bonds purchased by the Federal Reserve, mostly mortgage backed bonds? This and more tonight with questions and answers:

Adding the list of questions I posted last week (see below), I put these questions ahead of all others:

  1. If the party on the note and mortgage is NOT REALLY the lender, why should they be allowed to have their name on the note or mortgage, why are those documents distributed instead of returned to the borrower because he signed in anticipation of receiving a loan from the party disclosed, as per Federal and state law. Hint: think of your loan as a used car. Where is the contract (offer, acceptance and consideration).
  2. If the party receiving an assignment from the false payee on the note does NOT pay for it, why are we treating the assignment as a cure for documents that were worthless in the first place. Hint: Paper Chase — the more paper you throw at a worthless transaction the more real it appears in the eyes of others.
  3. If the party receiving the assignment from the false payee has no relationship with the real lender, and neither does the false payee on the note, why are we allowing their successors to force people out of their homes on a debt the “bank” never owned? Hint: POLITICS: What is the position of the Federal reserve that has now purchased trillions of dollars of the “mortgage bonds” from banks who never owned the bonds that were issued by REMIC trusts that never received the proceeds of sale of the bonds.
  4. If the lenders (investors) are receiving payments from settlements with the institutions that created this mess, why is the balance owed by the borrower the same after the settlement, when the lender’s balance has been reduced? Hint: Arithmetic. John owes Sally 5 bananas. Hank gives Sally 3 bananas and says this is for John. How many bananas does John owe Sally now?
  5. And for extra credit: are the broker dealers who said they were brokering and underwriting the issuance of mortgage bonds from REMIC trusts guilty of anything when they don’t give the proceeds from the sale of the bonds to the Trusts that issued those bonds? What is the effect on the contractual relationship between the lenders and the borrowers? Hint: VANISHING MONEY replaced by volumes of paper — the same at both ends of the transaction, to wit: the borrower and the investor/lender.

1. What is a holder in due course? When can an HDC enforce a note even when there are problems with the original loan? What does it mean to be a purchaser for value, in good faith, without notice of borrower’s defenses?

2. What is a holder and how is that different from a holder with rights to enforce? What does it mean to be a holder subject to all the maker’s defenses including lack of consideration (i.e. no loan from the Payee).

3. What is a possessor of a note?

4. What is a bailee of a note?

5. If the note cannot be enforced, can the mortgage still be foreclosed? It seems that many people don’t know the answer to this question.

6. The question confronting us is FORECLOSURE (ENFORCEMENT) OF A MORTGAGE. If the status of a holder of a note is in Article III of the UCC, why are we even discussing “holder” when enforcement of mortgages is governed by Article IV of the UCC?

7. Does the question of “holder” or holder in due course or any of that even apply in the original loan transaction? Hint: NO.

8. Homework assignment: Google “Infinite rehypothecation”

For more information call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688.

 

Wells Fargo: Insured Mortgages Still Being Foreclosed After Death Benefit is Paid to Bank

In my newly formed practice and thanks to the diligent work of my partners at GGKW, we have discovered something that is over the top even by current standards in the current mortgage mess, to wit: servicers, banks and other entities are receiving complete payoffs of the mortgage upon the death of the insured homeowner and then either (1) getting the heirs to sign a modification agreement as though the debt was still owed or (2) FORECLOSING. (OR BOTH).

This is not accident. The Banks are rolling the dice. Many of the mortgages were in foreclosure or had been declared in default before the payment came in. Others were completely current. But the common factor is that the heirs did not know the policy existed because it was done at closing of the loan. The heirs either didn’t know or forgot if they were told. Either way the Bank received payment directly or through one of the many agents in the securitization chain and continued to collect the money as though it was due. And the affidavit or testimony of the bank representative does not disclose the payment even though it was received, cashed and posted — and that goes a long way toward showing that the corporate representative is neither corporate, a representative or with any knowledge.

This phenomenon is entirely different than the mortgage bond insurance that was also paid to the bank or one of its many agents in the securitization chain.

Why is this happening? Because the banks have elected not to make it a data input factor at LPS whose roulette wheel decides who to foreclose, when, how, and by whom regardless of the facts of the case. Nobody seems to know just how many homes were foreclosed on mortgages that were paid once by accidental death coverage or other PMI, and paid several times over by mortgage bond insurance and credit default swaps.

The bottom line is that if one of the alleged mortgagors (homeowners) has died, check thoroughly to see if an insurance policy may have been in force and if it is already paid off. It is obvious that the banks would rather pay the damages and sanctions when they caught than change their practices. The reason is that only 5% of foreclosures are contested. If they win most of those, which they have been doing, the benefits of taking multiple payments on the same mortgage are far outweighed by the occasional sanction or damage award.

Until Judges start assuming that they should be vigilant and instead of expedient, the tide will turn.

Paid by Insurance, Wells Fargo continues collection and foreclosure. Damages $3 Million awarded

 

Elizabeth Warren Has It Right

Carmen Reinhart: “No Doubt. Our Pensions Are Screwed.”
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-11/carmen-reinhart-no-doubt-our-pensions-are-screwed

Editor’s Comment: It is nothing less than an insult to our intelligence. As the walls crumble around the myth of securitization, the banks are stepping up efforts — in concert with the agencies that are supposed to regulate them — to prevent people from doing simple math. The truth is out. The attempt to sweep illegal mortgages under the t able failed with the foreclosure reviews and now they are trying to do it with a settlement that says if you lost your house and possessions and it was taken illegally you can have an average of $1,000 in damages.

In appearing before Congressional committees the Federal Reserve and the OCC admitted that most of the foreclosures were illegal — which means they never should have happened. Elizabeth Warren asked a simple question. If you found all this illegal activity and you have an actual list with actual homes and actual names on them why won’t you notify the homeowners of your findings. After all you are a public agency. And the AGENCY invoked claims of privacy on behalf of the banks.

If that doesn’t turn everything we know about our constitution and our laws on its head, I don’t know what would. We have a right to this information especially if we are the homeowners who were victims of the false scheme of securitization. But even even if we didn’t lose a home and we “only” paid TARP and other bailout dollars giving banks 100 cents on the dollar despite their obvious culpability in selling crap to institutional investors, undermining our pension and retirement system, and sticking the homeowners with homes worth less than half of the appraised value used at the so-called loan closing.

I think lawyers should file an action under FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and get those reports and contact the homeowners to tell them that their lives were turned upside down by a foreclosure that was illegal, performed by an actor who merely pretended to be the creditor on a debt that no longer existed, in which the pretender received a free house on a false”Credit bid” without ever investing a penny into the house or the loan.

The damage claims from the existing list, which was cut short by the “Settlement” for $1,000 for each homeowner, are not curtailed at all by the actions of the OCC and the Federal Reserve. It is like a vein of gold miles wide and hundreds of feet thick sitting on the surface of the earth. Any PI or malpractice attorney would make ten times their current income if they investigated this opportunity. This is easy money once you start digging — which is exactly what stopped the OCC review and other programs like it.

Fed Argues that Mortgage Abuses are Trade Secrets, Meaning Institutionalized Fraud
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/04/fed-argues-that-mortgage-abuses-are-trade-secrets-meaning-institutionalized-fraud.html

Foreclosure Review Program’s Regulators Take Pounding From Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/foreclosure-review-program-warren-brown_n_3062126.html

Warren grills bank regulators over bungled foreclosure review
http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/11/news/economy/warren-foreclosure-hearing/

Foreclosure Review Report Shows That the OCC Continues to Bury Wall Street’s Bodies
http://www.thenation.com/article/173749/foreclosure-review-report-shows-occ-continues-bury-wall-streets-bodies

1 in 3 Foreclosures Have Bank Errors to Blame — AOL Real Estate
http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2013/04/11/bank-errors-foreclosures/

14 American Cities Getting Buried By Foreclosures
http://www.businessinsider.com/us-cities-with-most-foreclosures-2013-4

FDCPA Strikes Again: West Virginia Slams Wells Fargo

YARNEY v. OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Dist. Court, WD Virginia 2013

SARAH C. YARNEY, Plaintiff,

v.

OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, ET AL., Defendants.

No. 3:12-cv-00014. United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division.

March 8, 2013

MEMORANDUM OPINION

NORMAN K. MOON, District Judge.

The Plaintiff Sarah C. Yarney (“Plaintiff”), pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56, seeks summary judgment as to liability on all claims asserted in her complaint. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Wells Fargo Bank N.A., as Trustee for SABR 2008-1 Trust (“Wells Fargo”), and its loan servicer, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LCC (“Ocwen”), attempted to collect on her home mortgage loan after she had settled the debt with Wells Fargo.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Plaintiff’s FDCPA Claims as a Matter of Law

In summary, mortgage servicers are considered debt collectors under the FDCPA if they became servicers after the debt they service fell into default. At the time Ocwen became the servicer on Plaintiff’s home loan, the loan was already in default. Therefore, Ocwen is a debt collector seeking to collect an alleged debt for the purposes of FDCPA liability in this case.[4]

1. Defendants’ Liability under 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(2)(A)

Given the contents of the monthly bills and notices sent to Plaintiff directly, along with the continued calls she received from collection agents, I find that the least sophisticated consumer in Plaintiff’s position could believe that she still owed a debt. Thus, Plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment on her count that Ocwen violated § 1692e(2)(A) of the FDCPA.
2. Defendants’ Liability under 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(2)

Because Plaintiff continued to directly receive bills, statements and phone calls from Ocwen representatives seeking to collect on an alleged debt obligation, despite notice that she was represented by counsel, Plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment that Ocwen violated section 1692c(a)(2).

B. Plaintiff’s Breach of Contract Claim as a Matter of Law

Plaintiff contends that Wells Fargo breached its agreement with Plaintiff, through the action of its agent, Ocwen ….
plaintiff contends, Wells Fargo failed to comply with its obligations, due to the actions of Ocwen, its servicer.
By attempting to collect payments from Plaintiff on behalf of Wells Fargo, Ocwen acted as Wells Fargo’s agent with respect to the original mortgage loan.[10] Further, the undisputed facts in this case demonstrate that Ocwen continued to behave in all respects towards Plaintiff as Wells Fargo’s agent after the March 18, 2011 settlement agreement.[11] While a party may delegate the performance of its duties under a contract, it retains the ultimate obligation to perform….
[11] While Defendants argued during the February 25, 2013 motion hearing that Wells Fargo shouldn’t be held liable for Ocwen’s conduct from now until eternity, Ocwen’s actions at the center of this case constituted collection efforts in connection with the same mortgage loan debt for which Ocwen had been assigned to service, and that Plaintiff and Wells Fargo had attempted to resolve under the March 18, 2011 settlement agreement. Thus, given the facts of this case, Ocwen continued to act as Wells Fargo’s agent with respect to Plaintiff following the settlement agreement.
Due to Ocwen’s subsequent attempts to collect mortgage loan payments from Plaintiff, Wells Fargo neither absolved Plaintiff of her possible deficiency nor properly accepted the deed in lieu of foreclosure.
. . .
“… and thus, due to the actions of its servicer, Plaintiff is entitled to summary judgment that Wells Fargo breached the March 18, 2011 contract agreement.
IV. CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment is granted. This case is scheduled for a jury trial on April 9, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. in Charlottesville, VA, at which time Plaintiff will have the opportunity to testify in regards to any damages she may be entitled to in this matter.[12] An appropriate order accompanies this memorandum opinion

 

Monday is Last Day to File for Review and Damages Under Settlement Agreement

CHECK OUT OUR DECEMBER SPECIAL!

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

I have written extensively about the OCC review process, the consent decrees and the settlement wherein you can file for a review of a wrongful foreclosure. Whether this includes foreclosures that are in litigation is doubtful. But if you have already been foreclosed and the “lender” used improper means to do it, the review process is something supposedly designed to give you monetary damages up to $125,000.

I stopped writing about it because the results have been largely unproductive. The good news is that the agreement does NOT preclude you from filing a common law or statutory wrongful foreclosure claim and associated claims like slander of title and quiet title.

The review process, like the judges sitting on the bench basically looks at the claim with a view that the foreclosure would have and should have been completed anyway, even if papers were forged, fabricated and so forth. THAT is because the assumption is still out there that the debt is real, the default is real, the note is valid and the mortgage was valid. Our strategy of Deny and Discover addresses exactly that point.

If you want to preserve your rights under the review process then you need to file by Monday. My suggestion is that lawyers assist clients with preparing the demand for review and specify that the client was not and never was in a financial transaction with the foreclosing entity nor any parties from whom they allege to have received an assignment. Thus the debt. default, note and mortgage were all faked.

It probably ought to be framed pretty much as an objection to claim, in which you make no affirmative allegations but simply deny that the homeowner ever received money from any of those entities. If you make the allegation that you DID receive money from someone else you are creating a burden of proof for the homeowner that cannot be easily met without discovery. The demand in the review should be to produce the wire transfer receipt, wire transfer instructions, cancelled check or any other actual proof of the movement of money in the name of the supposed “lender” or “assignor” or endorser.

The foreclosing entity is going to respond with some version of the property would have been foreclosed anyway, they did act improperly and they offer a couple of thousand dollars for their “error.” If you don’t intend to take them on, then you certainly should file for review because there is a relatively high probability of getting a few thousand dollars — but nothing like $125,000 unless you are successful at showing that there was no right to foreclose because of standing or lack of perfecting the mortgage lien.

Accepting the money doesn’t waive your rights and could pay for a retainer of a lawyer to start wrongful foreclosure proceedings seeking either monetary damages, getting title back in the name of the homeowner or other remedies. But people are getting tired of this entire mess and I don’t blame them for just walking away. At some point it is a personal more than a financial decision.

Yet it irks me that that these bankers sucked something like 1/3 of the world’s wealth out of the system and brought about calamitous results both here and abroad. It bothers me that there is no prosecution, receivership and restitution. So I would like to see more people pursue their rights judicially and administratively.

FRAUD: The Significance of the Game Changing FHFA Lawsuits

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FHFA ACCUSES BANKS OF FRAUD: THEY KNEW THEY WERE LYING

“FHFA has refrained from sugar coating the banks’ alleged conduct as mere inadvertence, negligence, or recklessness, as many plaintiffs have done thus far.  Instead, it has come right out and accused certain banks of out-and-out fraud.  In particular, FHFA has levied fraud claims against Countrywide (and BofA as successor-in-interest), Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan (including EMC, WaMu and Long Beach), Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch (including First Franklin as sponsor), and Morgan Stanley (including Credit Suisse as co-lead underwriter).  Besides showing that FHFA means business, these claims demonstrate that the agency has carefully reviewed the evidence before it and only wielded the sword of fraud against those banks that it felt actually were aware of their misrepresentations.”

It is no stretch to say that Friday, September 2 was the most significant day for mortgage crisis litigation since the onset of the crisis in 2007.  That Friday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, sued almost all of the world’s largest banks in 17 separate lawsuits, covering mortgage backed securities with original principal balances of roughly $200 billion.  Unless you’ve been hiking in the Andes over the last two weeks, you have probably heard about these suits in the mainstream media.  But here at the Subprime Shakeout, I like to dig a bit deeper.  The following is my take on the most interesting aspects of these voluminous complaints (all available here) from a mortgage litigation perspective.

Throwing the Book at U.S. Banks

The first thing that jumps out to me is the tenacity and aggressiveness with which FHFA presents its cases.  In my last post (Number 1 development), I noted that FHFA had just sued UBS over $4.5 billion in MBS.  While I noted that this signaled a shift in Washington’s “too-big-to-fail” attitude towards banks, my biggest question was whether the agency would show the same tenacity in going after major U.S. banks.  Well, it’s safe to say the agency has shown the same tenacity and then some.

FHFA has refrained from sugar coating the banks’ alleged conduct as mere inadvertence, negligence, or recklessness, as many plaintiffs have done thus far.  Instead, it has come right out and accused certain banks of out-and-out fraud.  In particular, FHFA has levied fraud claims against Countrywide (and BofA as successor-in-interest), Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan (including EMC, WaMu and Long Beach), Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch (including First Franklin as sponsor), and Morgan Stanley (including Credit Suisse as co-lead underwriter).  Besides showing that FHFA means business, these claims demonstrate that the agency has carefully reviewed the evidence before it and only wielded the sword of fraud against those banks that it felt actually were aware of their misrepresentations.

Further, FHFA has essentially used every bit of evidence at its disposal to paint an exhaustive picture of reckless lending and misleading conduct by the banks.  To support its claims, FHFA has drawn from such diverse sources as its own loan reviews, investigations by the SEC, congressional testimony, and the evidence presented in other lawsuits (including the bond insurer suits that were also brought by Quinn Emanuel).  Finally, where appropriate, FHFA has included successor-in-interest claims against banks such as Bank of America (as successor to Countrywide but, interestingly, not to Merrill Lynch) and J.P. Morgan (as successor to Bear Stearns and WaMu), which acquired potential liability based on its acquisition of other lenders or issuers and which have tried and may in the future try to avoid accepting those liabilities.    In short, FHFA has thrown the book at many of the nation’s largest banks.

FHFA has also taken the virtually unprecedented step of issuing a second press release after the filing of its lawsuits, in which it responds to the “media coverage” the suits have garnered.  In particular, FHFA seeks to dispel the notion that the sophistication of the investor has any bearing on the outcome of securities law claims – something that spokespersons for defendant banks have frequently argued in public statements about MBS lawsuits.  I tend to agree that this factor is not something that courts should or will take into account under the express language of the securities laws.

The agency’s press release also responds to suggestions that these suits will destabilize banks and disrupt economic recovery.  To this, FHFA responds, “the long-term stability and resilience of the nation’s financial system depends on investors being able to trust that the securities sold in this country adhere to applicable laws. We cannot overlook compliance with such requirements during periods of economic difficulty as they form the foundation for our nation’s financial system.”  Amen.

This response to the destabilization argument mirrors statements made by Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), both in a letter urging these suits before they were filed and in a conference call praising the suits after their filing.  In particular, Miller has said that failing to pursue these claims would be “tantamount to another bailout” and akin to an “indirect subsidy” to the banking industry.  I agree with these statements – of paramount importance in restarting the U.S. housing market is restoring investor confidence, and this means respecting contract rights and the rule of law.   If investors are stuck with a bill for which they did not bargain, they will be reluctant to invest in U.S. housing securities in the future, increasing the costs of homeownership for prospective homeowners and/or taxpayers.

You can find my recent analysis of Rep. Miller’s initial letter to FHFA here under Challenge No. 3.  The letter, which was sent in response to the proposed BofA/BoNY settlement of Countrywide put-back claims, appears to have had some influence.

Are Securities Claims the New Put-Backs?

The second thing that jumps out to me about these suits is that FHFA has entirely eschewed put-backs, or contractual claims, in favor of securities law, blue sky law, and tort claims.  This continues a trend that began with the FHLB lawsuits and continued through the recent filing by AIG of its $10 billion lawsuit against BofA/Countrywide of plaintiffs focusing on securities law claims when available.  Why are plaintiffs such as FHFA increasingly turning to securities law claims when put-backs would seem to benefit from more concrete evidence of liability?

One reason may be the procedural hurdles that investors face when pursuing rep and warranty put-backs or repurchases.  In general, they must have 25% of the voting rights for each deal on which they want to take action.  If they don’t have those rights on their own, they must band together with other bondholders to reach critical mass.  They must then petition the Trustee to take action.  If the Trustee refuses to help, the investor may then present repurchase demands on individual loans to the originator or issuer, but must provide that party with sufficient time to cure the defect or repurchase each loan before taking action.  Only if the investor overcomes these steps and the breaching party fails to cure or repurchase will the investor finally have standing to sue.

All of those steps notwithstanding, I have long argued that put-back claims are strong and valuable because once you overcome the initial procedural hurdles, it is a fairly straightforward task to prove whether an individual loan met or breached the proper underwriting guidelines and representations.  Recent statistical sampling rulings have also provided investors with a shortcut to establishing liability – instead of having to go loan-by-loan to prove that each challenged loan breached reps and warranties, investors may now use a statistically significant sample to establish the breach rate in an entire pool.

So, what led FHFA to abandon the put-back route in favor of filing securities law claims?  For one, the agency may not have 25% of the voting rights in all or even a majority of the deals in which it holds an interest.  And due to the unique status of the agency as conservator and the complex politics surrounding these lawsuits, it may not have wanted to band together with private investors to pursue its claims.

Another reason may be that the FHFA has had trouble obtaining loan files, as has been the case for many investors.  These files are usually necessary before even starting down the procedural path outlined above, and servicers have thus far been reluctant to turn these files over to investors.  But this is even less likely to be the limiting factor for FHFA.  With subpoena power that extends above and beyond that of the ordinary investor, the government agency may go directly to the servicers and demand these critical documents.  This they’ve already done, having sent 64 subpoenas to various market participants over a year ago.  While it’s not clear how much cooperation FHFA has received in this regard, the numerous references in its complaints to loan level reviews suggest that the agency has obtained a large number of loan files.  In fact, FHFA has stated that these lawsuits were the product of the subpoenas, so they must have uncovered a fair amount of valuable information.

Thus, the most likely reason for this shift in strategy is the advantage offered by the federal securities laws in terms of the available remedies.  With the put-back remedy, monetary damages are not available.  Instead, most Pooling and Servicing Agreements (PSAs) stipulate that the sole remedy for an incurable breach of reps and warranties is the repurchase or substitution of that defective loan.  Thus, any money shelled out by offending banks would flow into the Trust waterfall, to be divided amongst the bondholders based on seniority, rather than directly into the coffers of FHFA (and taxpayers).  Further, a plaintiff can only receive this remedy on the portion of loans it proves to be defective.  Thus, it cannot recover its losses on defaulted loans for which no defect can be shown.

In contrast, the securities law remedy provides the opportunity for a much broader recovery – and one that goes exclusively to the plaintiff (thus removing any potential freerider problems).  Should FHFA be able to prove that there was a material misrepresentation in a particular oral statement, offering document, or registration statement issued in connection with a Trust, it may be able to recover all of its losses on securities from that Trust.  Since a misrepresentation as to one Trust was likely repeated as to all of an issuers’ MBS offerings, that one misrepresentation can entitle FHFA to recover all of its losses on all certificates issued by that particular issuer.

The defendant may, however, reduce those damages by the amount of any loss that it can prove was caused by some factor other than its misrepresentation, but the burden of proof for this loss causation defense is on the defendant.  It is much more difficult for the defendant to prove that a loss was caused by some factor apart from its misrepresentation than to argue that the plaintiff hasn’t adequately proved causation, as it can with most tort claims.

Finally, any recovery is paid directly to the bondholder and not into the credit waterfall, meaning that it is not shared with other investors and not impacted by the class of certificate held by that bondholder.  This aspect alone makes these claims far more attractive for the party funding the litigation.  Though FHFA has not said exactly how much of the $200 billion in original principal balance of these notes it is seeking in its suits, one broker-dealer’s analysis has reached a best case scenario for FHFA of $60 billion flowing directly into its pockets.

There are other reasons, of course, that FHFA may have chosen this strategy.  Though the remedy appears to be the most important factor, securities law claims are also attractive because they may not require the plaintiff to present an in-depth review of loan-level information.  Such evidence would certainly bolster FHFA’s claims of misrepresentations with respect to loan-level representations in the offering materials (for example, as to LTV, owner occupancy or underwriting guidelines), but other claims may not require such proof.  For example, FHFA may be able to make out its claim that the ratings provided in the prospectus were misrepresented simply by showing that the issuer provided rating agencies with false data or did not provide rating agencies with its due diligence reports showing problems with the loans.  One state law judge has already bought this argument in an early securities law suit by the FHLB of Pittsburgh.  Being able to make out these claims without loan-level data reduces the plaintiff’s burden significantly.

Finally, keep in mind that simply because FHFA did not allege put-back claims does not foreclose it from doing so down the road.  Much as Ambac amended its complaint to include fraud claims against JP Morgan and EMC, FHFA could amend its claims later to include causes of action for contractual breach.  FHFA’s initial complaints were apparently filed at this time to ensure that they fell within the shorter statute of limitations for securities law and tort claims.  Contractual claims tend to have a longer statute of limitations and can be brought down the road without fear of them being time-barred (see interesting Subprime Shakeout guest post on statute of limitations concerns.

Predictions

Since everyone is eager to hear how all this will play out, I will leave you with a few predictions.  First, as I’ve predicted in the past, the involvement of the U.S. Government in mortgage litigation will certainly embolden other private litigants to file suit, both by providing political cover and by providing plaintiffs with a roadmap to recovery.  It also may spark shareholder suits based on the drop in stock prices suffered by many of these banks after statements in the media downplaying their mortgage exposure.

Second, as to these particular suits, many of the defendants likely will seek to escape the harsh glare of the litigation spotlight by settling quickly, especially if they have relatively little at stake (the one exception may be GE, which has stated that it will vigorously oppose the suit, though this may be little more than posturing).  The FHFA, in turn, is likely also eager to get some of these suits settled quickly, both so that it can show that the suits have merit with benchmark settlements and also so that it does not have to fight legal battles on 18 fronts simultaneously.  It will likely be willing to offer defendants a substantial discount against potential damages if they come to the table in short order.

Meanwhile, the banks with larger liability and a more precarious capital situation will be forced to fight these suits and hope to win some early battles to reduce the cost of settlement.  Due to the plaintiff-friendly nature of these claims, I doubt many will succeed in winning motions to dismiss that dispose entirely of any case, but they may obtain favorable evidentiary rulings or dismissals on successor-in-interest claims.  Still, they may not be able to settle quickly because the price tag, even with a substantial discount, will be too high.

On the other hand, trial on these cases would be a publicity nightmare for the big banks, not to mention putting them at risk a massive financial wallop from the jury (fraud claims carry with them the potential for punitive damages).  Thus, these cases will likely end up settling at some point down the road.  Whether that’s one year or four years from now is hard to say, but from what I’ve seen in mortgage litigation, I’d err on the side of assuming a longer time horizon for the largest banks with the most at stake.

Article taken from The Subprime Shakeout – www.subprimeshakeout.com
URL to article: the-government-giveth-and-it-taketh-away-the-significance-of-the-game-changing-fhfa-lawsuits.html

GOOD PLEADINGS: FAGAN V WELLS FARGO ET AL

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Suit Filed Incorporating Agency Sanctions and Consent Decrees from Last Week

“And most importantly, Fagan goes again to the heart of the securitization illusion, the falsity of the presentations made to both investor-lenders and homeowners, and the manner in which the “fair market value” was intentionally misstated to justify the inflation of the “value” of the bogus mortgage bonds sold to investor lenders. The importance of this attack cannot be overstated — because it debunks, once and for all, the myth that greedy unscrupulous borrowers caused this mess. It states unequivocally that the value of the property was intentionally overstated to induce Fagan and millions of other borrowers in more than 80 million “loan” transactions to assume that the value of the property was worth far more than the value of the loan product they were purchasing from the mortgage broker and mortgage originator. Neither the investor-lender nor the homeowner would have even considered the possibility of entering into this transaction without the value of the property being real — as the ultimate protection for the investor-lender and the homeowner. This is why the reduction of principal is no gift. It is merely a correction that is due to BOTH the investor-lender and the borrower.”

Barry Fagan v Wells Fargo Bank SC112044 OBJECTION TO DISCLAIMER AND DECLARATION OF NON-MONETARY STATUS OF T.D

Barry S. Fagan v Wells fargo Bank Complaint with Exhibits-1

Barry Fagan v Wells Fargo Bank SC112044 REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE OCC CONSENT ORDER & PROOF OF SERVICE 4 21 2011

  1. The first thing that is important to note is the identity of the defendants sued by Fagan: Besides Wells Fargo, he names American Securities Company, T.D. Service Company and Ebert Appraisal Service Inc. He thus sets the stage for attacking the reality of the transaction he was tricked into. Naming the Service Company and the Appraisal Company is different from what most people are doing and he really pursues both them and the service company that initiated the foreclosure proceeding.
  2. The second thing of importance is the filing of the objection to disclaimer of non-monetary status of T.D. Service. This is the first time I have seen someone “get it” and realize that T.D. or any company that initiates foreclosures is probably controlled by one of the Wall Street bankruptcy remote shells, and is NOT a party without an interest in the outcome. That is why we see substitutions of trustee every time there is a foreclosure. Why is that necessary — precisely because, as Fagan points out, that an arm’s length company with no interest in the proceeding would never do what T.D. is doing because of the potential exposure to liability — and because T.D. and others like it are siphoning off the money that could otherwise go to the investor-lenders.
  3. As I  have repeatedly said, the consensus of lawyers is that without objecting to EVERYTHING you are conceding that there might be a shred of legitimacy to what is clearly a completely fraudulent claim, fraudulent foreclosure on a fraudulent mortgage securing a fraudulent note. Fagan accuses TD of proceeding despite their knowledge that Wells Fargo was not the creditor, not the real party in interest, lacked standing, had no money in the deal, was not the lender and never purchased the receivable.
  4. In addition Fagan, obviously knowledgeable about the actual procedures in use, thrusts his litigation dagger into the heart of the matter by alleging that the person signing the papers, besides lacking authority, lacked any knowledge of the transaction, and had no way of knowing the identity of the real creditor except that Wells Fargo is plainly eliminated as a real creditor.
  5. Lastly, Fagan attacks at the Achilles heal of the securitization illusion: that the transaction occurred between the borrower and an undisclosed creditor, that the closing documents reflected none of the realities of the real transaction, and that no attempt was made to conform to the the requirements of the pooling and service agreement regarding the transfer of the receivable, the note (fatally defective anyway) and deed of trust (fatally defective anyway). He specifically names for example that the alleged assignments, even putting all the defects in the instrument itself aside, is executed far past the cut-off date stated in the pooling and service agreement. This creates a double violation of the PSA, to wit: that the assignment needs to be recorded or in recordable form within 90 days of the creation of the pool, and the “asset” must consist of a rel asset meaning one that is performing and not in default.
  6. Any reasonable person can understand that the rules accepted by the investor-lenders were that they would be receiving performing loans complying (as per the PSA) with industry standard underwriting guidelines, and within the time periods prescribed by the PSA. Otherwise the investor-lender has advanced money for nothing, which is why they are now all suing the investment banks and NONE of the investors is making any claims against the homeowners; in fact the investors are alleging the mortgages were bad from the beginning and are unenforceable. SO we have the actual lender agreeing with the actual borrower that the real transaction is not the reference point of the closing documents and therefore the closing documents are merely part of an illusion of underwriting mortgages and securitizing them, neither of which actually occurred. 
  7. The next thing to note is that Fagan filed a verified complaint — requiring in California, a verified response. This  puts the other side at jeopardy for perjury prosecution because if Fagan is right, and I am sure he is, none of these parties can file a verified response which would require the signature of a competent witness. A competent witness is one who takes an oath, has personal knowledge through his/her own senses of the facts or statements alleged, has personal recollection of those facts and is able to communicate that knowledge. 
  8. Fagan also includes a compelling argument and pleading for quiet title that I recommend reading and using for those in like situations.
  9. And most importantly, Fagan goes again to the heart of the securitization illusion, the falsity of the presentations made to both investor-lenders and homeowners, and the manner in which the “fair market value” was intentionally misstated to justify the inflation of the “value” of the bogus mortgage bonds sold to investor lenders. The importance of this attack cannot be overstated — because it debunks, once and for all, the myth that greedy unscrupulous borrowers caused this mess. It states unequivocally that the value of the property was intentionally overstated to induce Fagan and millions of other borrowers in more than 80 million “loan” transactions to assume that the value of the property was worth far more than the value of the loan product they were purchasing from the mortgage broker and mortgage originator. Neither the investor-lender nor the homeowner would have even considered the possibility of entering into this transaction without the value of the property being real — as the ultimate protection for the investor-lender and the homeowner. This is why the reduction of principal is no gift. It is merely a correction that is due to BOTH the investor-lender and the borrower.

TITLE COMPANIES AND AGENTS BRACE FOR WORST YEAR OF THEIR EXISTENCE

COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary

We all know the expression about the light at the end of the tunnel being an oncoming train. Title agents and title carriers are in the middle of a tunnel intersecting with other tunnels each with a light of an oncoming train. In a word, they don’t have nearly enough money to pay off all the claims since they issued multiple policies on the same crap. These title policies, overall, may total as much as $15 trillion or more.

They insured the homeowner, the “lender”, the aggregator of mortgage loans (who didn’t have them), the trust for the pool, the third party beneficiaries (investors) of the pool etc. “How do I owe thee, let me count the ways.” Their agents closed most of the 60 million transactions that were registered on MERS and many others as well.

Any title examiner who now looks at the title record, especially in view of the IBANEZ Massachusetts Supreme Court Decision, see also ibanez-decision-analyzed, cannot issue a commitment letter much less a policy without adding exceptions to the schedule that includes virtually all transactions relating to the mythical securitization infrastructure whose documents provided the blueprint for action, copied from the REMIC statute, part of the Internal Revenue Code. The fact that these parties never followed the blueprint or the law is almost besides the point.

These title companies were suckered in by the same tactics used with the rating agencies and reputation of the megabanks. The problem is that it is the job of the title company to know, regardless if someone is lying. And it stretches any reasonable belief system to think that these closing agents doing about 1 closing every 20-30 minutes, did not know that the money they were getting as escrow agent or closing agent wasn’t coming from the party disclosed as lender. So besides the “Should have known” criteria it is obvious that the title agents and presumably the title examiners, and therefor the title companies had ACTUAL knowledge of the fraud.

For over three years I have been saying that this boils down to a simple title problem and that a lawsuit to quiet title is the ultimate answer to the issue. The title record is completely corrupted with wild deeds. Just because they have title insurance doesn’t mean the title is good — quite the contrary it just means the title companies are liable for whatever happens after that. And so it is possible that the agents in the mythical securitization chain have another bonanza on their hands — getting paid yet again, for the fifth time, on the same transactions.

Meanwhile none of these payments get credited to the investor who is the creditor and lender, thus the obligation is not reduced by the payments, thus the borrower is held to owe more money than the lender actually lost.

Now the question is what do they do about people who want title policies on “new transactions.” If they issue the exception then they are admitting that the original policy was wrong, whether they wrote it or not. If they don’t, they are out of business because most homes are effected by this monstrous corruption of our title system.

FROM THE COMMENT SECTION:

see title-insurance-view-from-the-other-side

I will let you read the following journals to decide what you think about this mega Title Insurance Industry….

http://www.alta.org/publications/titlenews/10/2010.cfm

Here is another group that is critical of this former group…

http://www.nailta.org/
http://www.scribd.com/doc/44994600/NAILTA-White-Paper-on-MERS-H-R-6460

PROFITS BEING MADE ON FORCED SALE OF PROPERTIES

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“My mortgage was $124,000…property was titled to the lender after foreclosure and conveyed to Fannie Mae for $132,000…property was then transferred to new purchaser for $156,000…all my equity was lost because lender would not work with me…am I entitled to any portion of Fannie Mae’s profit in selling my house?”

ANSWER: The answer is a qualified YES, but there is a wrinkle here. The scenario you have described is being reported by other readers as well. It is rare that any profit occurs in the forced sale of a home in foreclosure. At least it WAS rare. But the work done by Charles Koppa has shown that this is happening all over the country in one form or another. First of all the only party that can bid without money (called a “credit bid”) is the the party to whom the money is owed. THAT is not happening. The “credit bid” is submitted by a party who has no financial stake in the loan. And then the property is titled to yet another entity and frequently transferred to still another entity or person, rewarding them for playing in this scheme.

So the first thing is that the “credit bid” was invalid and that under the applicable state law, the bid was completely ineffective to cause title to be issued. Check with a local licensed attorney who is very well versed in property law before you take any action, since this is general information and opinion and not an opinion on your case.

The second thing you want to do is check and see if the foreclosure was fraudulent to begin with — see the recent posts and comments on that. It is entirely possible that not only was the paperwork fabricated, forged and wrong, it was based based upon a presumed default that never occurred or was cured by third party payments that mitigated the loss.

The third thing you want to do is consider an action (lawsuit) to recover the excess. Every note and mortgage and state law I have ever seen states quite clearly that if the proceeds of sale exceed the obligation, the homeowner gets the rest. In that case you might also be entitled to recover attorney fees and costs.

What I worry about is lawyers and pro se litigants making it tougher for those who actually have done their homework. If you are going to attack these events and get your house back in a quiet title action and/or recover damages, punitive damages, treble damages, attorney fees, for rescission, fraud, predatory loan practices, violations of TILA or whatever cause of action you pursue you MUST NOT ASSUME that because of news stories you are a winner and the other side is the loser. You must prove your case. THAT is why people are getting title searches, securitization searches, title reports, securitization reports and analyses of there loan and foreclosure by competent experts.

If you don’t have the facts in the form that can be admitted into evidence, you have nothing. If you do have the facts in the form that can be admitted into evidence your chances of winning or settling on favorable terms are immeasurably improved.

YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO CASH PAYMENT FOR WRONGFUL FORECLOSURE — Coming to a Billboard Near YOU

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Well it has finally happened. Three years ago I couldn’t get a single lawyer anywhere to consider this line of work. I predicted that this area of expertise in their practice would dwarf anything they were currently doing including personal injury and malpractice. I even tried to guarantee fees to lawyers and they wouldn’t take it. Now there are hundreds, if not thousands of lawyers who are either practicing in this field or are about to take the plunge. The early adopters who attended my workshops and read my materials, workbooks and bought the DVD’s are making some serious money and have positioned themselves perfectly ahead of the crowd.

Congratulations, everyone, it was the readers who made this happen. Without your support I would not have been able to reach the many thousands of homeowners and lawyers and government officials whoa re now turning the corner in their understanding of this mess and their willingness to do something about it.

The article below from Streitfeld sounds like it was written by me. No attribution though. No matter. The message is out. The foreclosures were and are wrongful, illegal, immoral and the opposite of any notion we have of justice. They were dressed up to look right and they got way with it for years because so many homeowners simply gave up convinced they had only to blame themselves for getting into a raw deal. Those homeowners who gave up were wrong and now they will find themselves approached by lawyers who will promise them return of the house they lost or damages for the wrongful foreclosure. When you left, you thought your loan had not been paid and that the notice you received was legitimate. You were wrong on both counts. The loan had been paid, there were other people who had signed up for liability along with you to justify the price on steroids that was sold to your lender (investor).

For those who are just catching up, here it is in a nutshell: Borrower signs a note to ABC Corp., which says it is the lender but isn’t. So you start right away with the wrong party named on the note and mortgage (deed of trust) PLUS the use of a meaningless nominee on the mortgage (deed of trust) which completely invalidates the documents and clouds the title. Meanwhile the lender gets a mortgage bond NOT SIGNED BY THE BORROWER. The bond says that this new “entity” (which usually they never bothered to actually form) will pay them from “receivables.” The receivables include but ARE NOT LIMITED TO the payments from the borrower who accepted funding of a loan. These other parties are there to justify the fact that the loan was sold at a huge premium to the lender without disclosure to either the borrower or the lender. (The tier 2 Yield Spread Premium that raises some really juicy causes of action under TILA, RESPA and the 10b-5 actions, including treble damages, attorney fees and restitution).

And and by the way for the more sophisticated lawyers, now would be the time to sharpen up your defense skills and your knowledge of administrative laws. Hundreds of thousands of disciplinary actions are going to filed against the professionally licensed people who attended the borrower’s “closing” and who attended the closing with the “lender.” With their livelihood at stake, their current arrogance will morph into abject fear. Here is your line when you quote them fees: “Remember that rainy day you were saving up for? Well, it’s raining!” Many lawyers and homeowners are going to realize that they have easy pickings when they bring administrative grievances in quasi criminal proceedings (don’t threaten it, that’s a crime, just do it) which results in restitution funded by the professional liability insurer. careful about the way you word the grievance. Don’t go overboard or else the insurance carrier will deny coverage based upon the allegation of an intentional act. You want to allege gross negligence.

EVERYBODY in the securitization structure gets paid premium money to keep their mouth shut and money changes hands faster than one of those street guys who moves shells or cards around on a table. Yes everyone gets paid — except the borrower who never got the benefit of his the bargain he signed up for — a home worth whatever they said it was worth at closing. It wasn’t worth that and it will never be worth that and everyone except the borrower knew it with the possible exception of some lenders who didn’t care because the other people who the borrower knew nothing about, had “guaranteed” the value of the lender’s investment and minimized the risk to the level of “cash equivalent” AAA-rated.

The securitization “partners” did not dot their “i’s” nor cross their “t’s.” And that is what the article below is about. But they failed to do that for a reason. They didn’t care about the documents because they never had any intention of using them anyway. It was all a scam cleverly disguised as a legitimate part of the home mortgage industry. It was instead a Ponzi scheme without any of the attributes of real appraisals, real underwriting reviews and committees and decisions. They bought the signature of the borrowers by promising the moon and they sold the apparent existence of signature (which in many cases) did not even exist) to Lenders by promising the stars.

And now, like it wasn’t news three years ago when we first brought it up, suddenly mainstream media is picking up the possibility that  the foreclosures were all fraudulent also. The pretender lenders were intentionally and knowingly misrepresenting themselves as lenders in order to grab property that didn’t belong to them and to which they had no rights — to the detriment of both the borrowers and the lenders. And some judges, government officials and even lawyers appear to be surprised by that, are you?

———–

GMAC’s Errors Leave Foreclosures in Question

By DAVID STREITFELD

The recent admission by a major mortgage lender that it had filed dubious foreclosure documents is likely to fuel a furor against hasty foreclosures, which have prompted complaints nationwide since housing prices collapsed.

Lawyers for distressed homeowners and law enforcement officials in several states on Friday seized on revelations by GMAC Mortgage, the country’s fourth-largest home loan lender, that it had violated legal rules in its rush to file many foreclosures as quickly as possible.

Attorneys general in Iowa and North Carolina said they were beginning separate investigations of the lender, and the attorney general in California directed the company to suspend all foreclosures in that state until it “proves that it’s following the letter of the law.”

The federal government, which became the majority owner of GMAC after supplying $17 billion to prevent the lender’s failure, said Friday that it had told the company to clean up its act.

Florida lawyers representing borrowers in default said they would start filing motions as early as next week to have hundreds of foreclosure actions dismissed.

While GMAC is the first big lender to publicly acknowledge that its practices might have been improper, defense lawyers and consumer advocates have long argued that numerous lenders have used inaccurate or incomplete documents to remove delinquent owners from their houses.

The issue has broad consequences for the millions of buyers of foreclosed homes, some of whom might not have clear title to their bargain property. And it may offer unforeseen opportunities for those who were evicted.

“You know those billboards that lawyers put up seeking divorcing or bankrupt clients?” asked Greg Clark, a Florida real estate lawyer. “It’s only a matter of time until they start putting up signs that say, ‘You might be entitled to cash payment for wrongful foreclosure.’ ”

The furor has already begun in Florida, which is one of the 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by courts. Nearly half a million foreclosures are in the Florida courts, overwhelming the system.

J. Thomas McGrady, chief judge in the foreclosure hotbed of St. Petersburg, said the problems went far beyond GMAC. Four major law firms doing foreclosures for lenders are under investigation by the Florida attorney general.

“Some of what the lenders are submitting in court is incompetent, some is just sloppy,” said Judge McGrady of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Clearwater, Fla. “And somewhere in there could be a fraudulent element.”

In many cases, the defaulting homeowners do not hire lawyers, making problems generated by the lenders hard to detect.

“Documents are submitted, and there’s no one to really contest whether it is accurate or not,” the judge said. “We have an affidavit that says it is, so we rely on that. But then later we may find out that someone lost their home when they shouldn’t have. We don’t like that.”

GMAC, which is based in Detroit and is now a subsidiary of Ally Financial, first put the spotlight on its procedures when it told real estate agents and brokers last week that it was immediately and indefinitely stopping all evictions and sales of foreclosed property in the states — generally on the East Coast and in the Midwest — where foreclosures must be approved by courts.

That was a highly unusual move. So was the lender’s simultaneous withdrawal of important affidavits in pending cases. The affidavits were sworn statements by GMAC officials that they had personal knowledge of the foreclosure documents.

The company played down its actions, saying the defects in its foreclosure filings were “technical.” It has declined to say how many cases might be affected.

A GMAC spokeswoman also declined to say Friday whether the company would stop foreclosures in California as the attorney general, Jerry Brown, demanded. Foreclosures in California are not judicial.

GMAC’s vague explanations have been little comfort to some states.

“We cannot allow companies to systematically flout the rules of civil procedure,” said one of Iowa’s assistant attorneys general, Patrick Madigan. “They’re either going to have to hire more people or the foreclosure process is going to have to slow down.”

GMAC began as the auto financing arm of General Motors. During the housing boom, it made a heavy bet on subprime borrowers, giving loans to many people who could not afford a house.

“We have discussed the current situation with GMAC and expect them to take prompt action to correct any errors,” said Mark Paustenbach, a spokesman for the Treasury Department.

GMAC appears to have been forced to reveal its problems in the wake of several depositions given by Jeffrey Stephan, the team leader of the document execution unit in the lender’s Fort Washington, Pa., offices.

Mr. Stephan, 41, said in one deposition that he signed as many as 10,000 affidavits and other foreclosure documents a month; in another he said it was 6,000 to 8,000.

The affidavits state that Mr. Stephan, in his capacity as limited signing officer for GMAC, had examined “all books, records and documents” involved in the foreclosure and that he had “personal knowledge” of the relevant facts.

In the depositions, Mr. Stephan said he did not do this.

In a June deposition, a lawyer representing a foreclosed household put it directly: “So other than the due date and the balances due, is it correct that you do not know whether any other part of the affidavit that you sign is true?”

“That could be correct,” Mr. Stephan replied.

Mr. Stephan also said in depositions that his signature had not been notarized when he wrote it, but only later, or even the next day.

GMAC said Mr. Stephan was not available for an interview. The lender said its “failures” did not “reflect any disrespect for our courts or the judicial processes.”

Margery Golant, a Boca Raton, Fla., foreclosure defense lawyer, said GMAC “has cracked open the door.”

“Judges used to look at us strangely when we tried to tell them all these major financial institutions are lying,” said Ms. Golant, a former associate general counsel for the lender Ocwen Financial.

Her assistants were reviewing all of the law firm’s cases Friday to see whether GMAC had been involved. “Lawyers all over Florida and I’m sure all over the country are drafting pleadings,” she said. “We’ll file motions for sanctions and motions to dismiss the case for fraud on the court.”

For homeowners in foreclosure, the admissions by GMAC are bringing hope for resolution.

One such homeowner is John Turner, a commercial airline pilot based near Detroit. Three years ago he bought a Florida condo, thinking he would move down there with a girlfriend. The relationship fizzled, his finances dwindled, and the place went into foreclosure.

GMAC called several times a week, seeking its $195,000. Mr. Turner says he tried to meet the lender halfway but failed. Last week it put his case in limbo by withdrawing the affidavit.

“We should be able to come to an agreement that’s beneficial to both of us,” Mr. Turner said. “I feel like I’m due something.”

GMAC HALTS FORECLOSURES ADMITTING FALSE AFFIDAVITS

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From testimony in a Chase case, same as dozens of others I have seen —-

Q. So if you didn’t review any books, records, and documents or computerized records, how is it that you had personal knowledge of all the matters contained therein?

A. Well, I have personal knowledge that my staff has personal knowledge. That is our process.

KEEP IN MIND that these admitted facts now are the same facts treated with incredulity and derision from the bench and opposing counsel. The Judges were wrong. The foreclosures were wrong. Now what? How will homeowners and counsel be treated in court now? Will the Judge still think the homeowner is trying to get out of a legitimate debt or will the Courts start to allow these cases to heard on their MERITS instead of improper PRESUMPTIONS? Will the courts start following rules of evidence or will they continue to give the “benefit of the doubt” (i.e., and improper presumption) to the foreclosure mill that fabricated documents with false affidavits?

The tide is turning from defending borrowers to prosecuting damage claims for slander of title, fraud, appraisal fraud, and criminal prosecutions by state, local and federal law enforcement. GMAC is only the first of the pretender lenders to admit the false representations contained in pleadings and affidavits. The methods used to to obtain foreclosure sales were common throughout the industry. The law firms and fabrication mills will provide precious little cover for the culprits whose interests they served. AND now that millions of homes were foreclosed, their position is set and fixed — they can no longer “fix” the problem by manipulating the documents.

The bottom line is that GMAC mortgagors who “lost” their homes still own them, as I have repeatedly opined on these pages. The damages are obvious and the punitive damages available are virtually inevitable. Maybe Judges will change their minds about applying TILA and RESPA, both of which amply cover this situation. Maybe those teeth in those statutes do NOT lead to windfall gains for homeowners but only set things right.

These people can move back into their homes in my opinion and even taken possession from those who allegedly purchased them, since the title was based upon a fatal defect in the chain. Whether these people will end up owing any money and whether they might still be subject to foreclosure from SOMEBODY is not yet known, but we know that GMAC-sponsored foreclosures are now admitted to be defective. There is no reason to suppose that GMAC was any different from any of the other pretender lenders who initiated foreclosure sales either on false pleading or false instructions using the power of sale in non-judicial states.

Those hundreds of millions of dollars earned by the foreclosure mills, those tens of billions of wealth stolen from homeowner are all up for grabs as lawyers start to circle the kill, having discovered that there is more money here than any personal injury or malpractice suit and that anyone can do it with the right information on title and securitization.

With subpoenas coming in from law enforcement agencies around the country, GMAC is the first to crumble, aware that the choice was to either take a massive commercial hit for damages or face criminal charges. Finger pointing will start in earnest as the big boys claim plausible deniability in a scheme they hatched and directed. The little guys will flip on them like pancakes as they testify under oath about the instructions they received which they knew were contrary to law and the rules governing their licenses and charters. Real Estate Brokers, licensed appraisers, licensed mortgage mortgage brokers, notaries, witnesses, title agents and their collective title and liability insurance carriers will soon discover that their licenses, livelihood and reputations are not only at risk but almost certainly headed for a major hit.

There can be no doubt that all GMAC cases will be affected by this action although GMAC has thus far limited the instruction to judicial states. In non-judicial states, most of the foreclosures were done without affidavits because they were uncontested. GMAC will now find small comfort that they didn’t use affidavits but merely false instructions to “Trustees” whose status was acquired through the filing of “Substitution of Trustee” documents executed by the same folks who falsified the affidavits in the judicial states. But the fact is that GMAC was not the creditor and obtained title through a “credit bid.” THEY CAN’T FIX THIS! Thus the transfer of title was void, in my opinion, or certainly voidable.

The denial that the affidavit contained false information is patently false — and, as usual, not under oath (see below). GMAC takes the position that the affidavits were “inadvertently” signed (tens of thousands of them) by persons without knowledge of their truth or falsity and that the action is taken only to assure that the mortgage holder is actually known. So the fight isn’t over and don’t kid yourself. They are not all going to roll over and play dead. Just take this as another large step toward the ultimate remedy — reinstatement of people in their homes, damage awards to people who were defrauded, and thus restoration of hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth back into the economic sector where money is spent and the economy actually works for people who don’t trade false papers at the expense of pensioners and homeowners around the world.

September 20, 2010

GMAC Halts Foreclosures in 23 States for Review

By DAVID STREITFELD

GMAC Mortgage, one of the country’s largest and most troubled home lenders, said on Monday that it was imposing a moratorium on many of its foreclosures as it tried to ensure they were done correctly.

The lender, which specialized in subprime loans during the boom, when it was owned by General Motors, declined in an e-mail to specify how many loans would be affected or the “potential issue” it had identified with them.

GMAC said the suspension might be a few weeks or might last until the end of the year.

States where the moratorium is being carried out include New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and 18 others, mostly on the East Coast and in the Midwest. All of the affected states are so-called judicial foreclosure states, where courts control the interactions of defaulting homeowners and their lenders.

Since the real estate collapse began, lawyers for homeowners have sparred with lenders in those states. The lawyers say that in many cases, the lenders are not in possession of the original promissory note, which is necessary for a foreclosure.

GMAC, which has been the recipient of billions of dollars of government aid, declined to provide any details or answer questions, but its actions suggest that it is concerned about potential liability in evicting families and selling houses to which it does not have clear title.

The lender said it was also reviewing completed foreclosures where the same unnamed procedure might have been used.

Matthew Weidner, a real estate lawyer in St. Petersburg, Fla., said he interpreted the lender’s actions as saying, “We have real liability here.”

Mr. Weidner said he recently received notices from the opposing counsel in two GMAC foreclosure cases that it was withdrawing an affidavit. In both cases, the document was signed by a GMAC executive who said in a deposition last year that he had routinely signed thousands of affidavits without verifying the mortgage holder.

“The Florida rules of civil procedure are explicit,” Mr. Weidner said. “If you enter an affidavit, it must be based on personal knowledge.”

The law firm seeking to withdraw the affidavits is Florida Default Law Group, which is based in Tampa. Ronald R. Wolfe, a vice president at the firm, did not return calls. The firm is under investigation by the State of Florida, according to the attorney general’s Web site.

Real estate agents who work with GMAC to sell foreclosed properties were told to halt their activities late last week. The moratorium was first reported by Bloomberg News on Monday. Bloomberg said it had obtained a company memorandum dated Friday in which GMAC Mortgage instructed brokers to immediately stop evictions, cash-for-key transactions and sales.

Nerissa Spannos, a Fort Lauderdale agent, said GMAC represents about half of her business — 15 houses at the moment in various stages of foreclosure.

“It’s all coming to a halt,” she said. “I have so many nice listings and now I can’t sell them.”

The lender’s action, she said, was unprecedented in her experience. “Every once in a while you get a message saying, ‘Take this house off the market. We have to re-foreclose.’ But this is so much bigger,” she said.

Ally Says GMAC Mortgage Mishandled Affidavits on Foreclosures

By Dakin Campbell and Lorraine Woellert – Sep 21, 2010

Ally Financial Inc., whose GMAC Mortgage unit halted evictions in 23 states amid allegations of mishandled affidavits, said its filings contained no false claims about home loans.

The “defect” in affidavits used to support evictions was “technical” and was discovered by the company, Gina Proia, an Ally spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. Employees submitted affidavits containing information they didn’t personally know was true and sometimes signed without a notary present, according to the statement. Most cases will be resolved in the next few weeks and those that can’t be fixed will “require court intervention,” Proia said.

“The entire situation is unfortunate and regrettable and GMAC Mortgage is diligently working to resolve the situation,” Proia said. “There was never any intent on the part of GMAC Mortgage to bypass court rules or procedures. Nor do these failures reflect any disrespect for our courts or the judicial processes.”

State officials are investigating allegations of fraudulent foreclosures at the nation’s largest home lenders and loan servicers. Lawyers defending mortgage borrowers have accused GMAC and other lenders of foreclosing on homeowners without verifying that they own the loans. In foreclosure cases, companies commonly file affidavits to start court proceedings.

“All the banks are the same, GMAC is the only one who’s gotten caught,” said Patricia Parker, an attorney at Jacksonville, Florida-based law firm, Parker & DuFresne. “This could be huge.”

No Misstatements

Aside from signing the affidavits without knowledge or a notary, “the sum and substance of the affidavits and all content were factually accurate,” Proia wrote in the e-mail. “Our internal review has revealed no evidence of any factual misstatements or inaccuracies concerning the details typically contained in these affidavits such as the loan balance, its delinquency, and the accuracy of the note and mortgage on the underlying transaction.”

Affidavits are statements written and sworn to in the presence of someone authorized to administer an oath, such as a notary public.

GMAC told brokers and agents to halt evictions tied to foreclosures on homeowners in 23 states including Florida, Connecticut and New York and said it may have to take “corrective action” on other foreclosures, according to a Sept. 17 memo. Foreclosures won’t be suspended and will continue with “no interruption,” Proia said in a statement yesterday.

10,000 a Week

In December 2009, a GMAC Mortgage employee said in a deposition that his team of 13 people signed “a round number of 10,000” affidavits and other foreclosure documents a month without verifying their accuracy. The employee said he relied on law firms sending him the affidavits to verify their accuracy instead of checking them with GMAC’s records as required. The affidavits were then used to complete the process of repossessing homes and evicting residents.

Florida Attorney General William McCollum is investigating three law firms that represent loan servicers in foreclosures, and are alleged to have submitted fraudulent documents to the courts, according to an Aug. 10 statement. The firms handled about 80 percent of foreclosure cases in the state, according to a letter from Representative Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat.

“It appears that the actions we have taken and the attention we’ve paid to this issue could have had some impact on the actions that GMAC took today, but we can’t take full credit,” Ryan Wiggins, a spokeswoman for McCollum, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

‘Committed Fraud’

In August, Florida Circuit Court Judge Jean Johnson blocked a Jacksonville foreclosure brought by Washington Mutual Bank N.A. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, which had purchased the failed bank’s assets, and Shapiro & Fishman, the companies’ law firm. Documents eventually showed that the mortgage on the house was in fact owned by Washington-based Fannie Mae.

WaMu and the law firm “committed fraud on this court,” Johnson wrote. JPMorgan had presented a document prepared by Shapiro showing the mortgage was sold directly to WaMu in April 2008.

Tom Ice, founding partner of Ice Legal PA in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, said a fourth law firm representing GMAC in recent weeks has begun withdrawing affidavits signed by the GMAC employee.

“The banks are sitting up and taking notice that they can’t use falsified documents in the courtroom,” Ice said. “There may be others doing the same thing. They’re going to come back and say, ‘We’d better withdraw these,’” Ice said in a telephone interview.

Alejandra Arroyave, a lawyer with Lapin & Leichtling, a law firm in Coral Gables, Florida, who represented the employee at his December 2009 deposition, didn’t respond to a request for comment. A phone call to the employee wasn’t returned.

Mortgage Market

GMAC ranked fourth among U.S. home-loan originators in the first six months of this year, with $26 billion of mortgages, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry newsletter. Wells Fargo & Co. ranked first, with $160 billion, and Citigroup Inc. was fifth, with $25 billion.

Iowa Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan said the implications of Ally’s internal review and the GMAC employee’s deposition could be “enormous.”

“It would call into question whether other servicers have engaged in similar practices,” Madigan said in a telephone interview. “It would be a major disruption to the foreclosure pipeline.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Dakin Campbell in San Francisco at dcampbell27@bloomberg.net; Lorraine Woellert in Washington at lwoellert@bloomberg.net.

Ratings Arbitrage a/k/a Fraud

Investment banks bundled mortgage loans into securities and then often rebundled those securities one or two more times. Those securities were given high ratings and sold to investors, who have since lost billions of dollars on them.

Editor’s Note: The significance of this report cannot be overstated. Not only did the investment bankers LOOK for and CREATE loans guaranteed to fail, which they did, they sold them in increasingly complex packages more than once. So for example if the yield spread profit or premium was $100,000 on a given loan, that wasn’t enough for the investment bankers. Without loaning or investing any additional money they sold the same loans, or at least parts of those loans, to additional investors one, two three times or more. In the additional sales, there was no cost so whatever they received was entirely profit. I would call that a yield spread profit or premium, and certainly undisclosed. If the principal of the loan was $300,000 and they resold it three times, then the investment bank received $900,000 from those additional sales, in addition to the initial $100,000 yield spread profit on sale of the loan to the “trust” or special purpose vehicle.

So the investment bank kept $1 million dollars in fees, profits or compensation on a $300,000 loan. Anyone who has seen “The Producers” knows that if this “show” succeeds, i.e., if most of the loans perform as scheduled and borrowers are making their payments, then the investment bank has a problem — receiving a total of $1.3 million on a $300,000 loan. But if the loans fails, then nobody asks for an accounting. As long as it is in foreclosure, no accounting is required except for when the property is sold (see other blog posts on bid rigging at the courthouse steps documented by Charles Koppa).

If they modify the loan or approve the short sale then an accounting is required. That is a bad thing for the investment bank. But if they don’t modify any loans and don’t approve any short-sales, then questions are going to be asked which will be difficult to answer.

You make plans and then life happens, my wife says. All these brilliant schemes were fraudulent and probably criminal. All such schemes eventually get the spotlight on them. Now, with criminal investigations ongoing in a dozen states and the federal government, the accounting and the questions are coming anyway—despite the efforts of the titans of the universe to avoid that result.

All those Judges that sarcastically threw homeowners out of court questioning the veracity of accusations against pretender lenders, can get out the salt and pepper as they eat their words.

“Why are they not in jail if they did these things” asked practically everyone on both sides of the issue. The answer is simply that criminal investigations do not take place overnight, they move slowly and if the prosecutor has any intention of winning a conviction he must have sufficient evidence to prove criminal acts beyond a reasonable doubt.

But remember the threshold for most civil litigation is merely a preponderance of the evidence, which means if you think there is more than a 50-50  probability the party did something, the prima facie case is satisfied and damages or injunction are stated in a final judgment. Some causes of action, like fraud, frequently require clear and convincing evidence, which is more than 50-50 and less than beyond a reaonsable doubt.

From the NY Times: ————————

The New York attorney general has started an investigation of eight banks to determine whether they provided misleading information to rating agencies in order to inflate the grades of certain mortgage securities, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

by LOUISE STORY

Andrew Cuomo, the attorney general of New York, sent subpoenas to eight Wall Street banks late Wednesday.

The investigation parallels federal inquiries into the business practices of a broad range of financial companies in the years before the collapse of the housing market.

Where those investigations have focused on interactions between the banks and their clients who bought mortgage securities, this one expands the scope of scrutiny to the interplay between banks and the agencies that rate their securities.

The agencies themselves have been widely criticized for overstating the quality of many mortgage securities that ended up losing money once the housing market collapsed. The inquiry by the attorney general of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, suggests that he thinks the agencies may have been duped by one or more of the targets of his investigation.

Those targets are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Crédit Agricole and Merrill Lynch, which is now owned by Bank of America.

The companies that rated the mortgage deals are Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service. Investors used their ratings to decide whether to buy mortgage securities.

Mr. Cuomo’s investigation follows an article in The New York Times that described some of the techniques bankers used to get more positive evaluations from the rating agencies.

Mr. Cuomo is also interested in the revolving door of employees of the rating agencies who were hired by bank mortgage desks to help create mortgage deals that got better ratings than they deserved, said the people with knowledge of the investigation, who were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Contacted after subpoenas were issued by Mr. Cuomo’s office late Wednesday night notifying the banks of his investigation, spokespeople for Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Other banks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In response to questions for the Times article in April, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, Samuel Robinson, said: “Any suggestion that Goldman Sachs improperly influenced rating agencies is without foundation. We relied on the independence of the ratings agencies’ processes and the ratings they assigned.”

Goldman, which is already under investigation by federal prosecutors, has been defending itself against civil fraud accusations made in a complaint last month by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The deal at the heart of that complaint — called Abacus 2007-AC1 — was devised in part by a former Fitch Ratings employee named Shin Yukawa, whom Goldman recruited in 2005.

At the height of the mortgage boom, companies like Goldman offered million-dollar pay packages to workers like Mr. Yukawa who had been working at much lower pay at the rating agencies, according to several former workers at the agencies.

Around the same time that Mr. Yukawa left Fitch, three other analysts in his unit also joined financial companies like Deutsche Bank.

In some cases, once these workers were at the banks, they had dealings with their former colleagues at the agencies. In the fall of 2007, when banks were hard-pressed to get mortgage deals done, the Fitch analyst on a Goldman deal was a friend of Mr. Yukawa, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

Mr. Yukawa did not respond to requests for comment.

Wall Street played a crucial role in the mortgage market’s path to collapse. Investment banks bundled mortgage loans into securities and then often rebundled those securities one or two more times. Those securities were given high ratings and sold to investors, who have since lost billions of dollars on them.

Banks were put on notice last summer that investigators of all sorts were looking into their mortgage operations, when requests for information were sent out to all of the big Wall Street firms. The topics of interest included the way mortgage securities were created, marketed and rated and some banks’ own trading against the mortgage market.

The S.E.C.’s civil case against Goldman is the most prominent action so far. But other actions could be taken by the Justice Department, the F.B.I. or the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission — all of which are looking into the financial crisis. Criminal cases carry a higher burden of proof than civil cases. Under a New York state law, Mr. Cuomo can bring a criminal or civil case.

His office scrutinized the rating agencies back in 2008, just as the financial crisis was beginning. In a settlement, the agencies agreed to demand more information on mortgage bonds from banks.

Mr. Cuomo was also concerned about the agencies’ fee arrangements, which allowed banks to shop their deals among the agencies for the best rating. To end that inquiry, the agencies agreed to change their models so they would be paid for any work they did for banks, even if those banks did not select them to rate a given deal.

Mr. Cuomo’s current focus is on information the investment banks provided to the rating agencies and whether the bankers knew the ratings were overly positive, the people who know of the investigation said.

A Senate subcommittee found last month that Wall Street workers had been intimately involved in the rating process. In one series of e-mail messages the committee released, for instance, a Goldman worker tried to persuade Standard & Poor’s to allow Goldman to handle a deal in a way that the analyst found questionable.

The S.& P. employee, Chris Meyer, expressed his frustration in an e-mail message to a colleague in which he wrote, “I can’t tell you how upset I have been in reviewing these trades.”

“They’ve done something like 15 of these trades, all without a hitch. You can understand why they’d be upset,” Mr. Meyer added, “to have me come along and say they will need to make fundamental adjustments to the program.”

At Goldman, there was even a phrase for the way bankers put together mortgage securities. The practice was known as “ratings arbitrage,” according to former workers. The idea was to find ways to put the very worst bonds into a deal for a given rating. The cheaper the bonds, the greater the profit to the bank.

The rating agencies may have facilitated the banks’ actions by publishing their rating models on their corporate Web sites. The agencies argued that being open about their models offered transparency to investors.

But several former agency workers said the practice put too much power in the bankers’ hands. “The models were posted for bankers who develop C.D.O.’s to be able to reverse engineer C.D.O.’s to a certain rating,” one former rating agency employee said in an interview, referring to collateralized debt obligations.

A central concern of investors in these securities was the diversification of the deals’ loans. If a C.D.O. was based on mostly similar bonds — like those holding mortgages from one region — investors would view it as riskier than an instrument made up of more diversified assets. Mr. Cuomo’s office plans to investigate whether the bankers accurately portrayed the diversification of the mortgage loans to the rating agencies.

Gretchen Morgenson contributed reporting

TILA Statute of Limitations — No Limit

Editor’s Note: Judges are quick to jump on the TILA Statute of Limitations by imposing the one year rule for rescission and damages. But there is more to it than that.

First the statute does NOT cut off at one year except for items that are apparent on the face of the closing documentation; so for MOST claims arising under securitization where almost every real detail of the transaction was hidden and intentionally withheld, the one year rule does not apply.

Second, the statute of limitations does not BEGIN to run until the date that the violation is revealed. In most cases this will be when the homeowner knows or should have known that the loan was securitized. Since the pretender lenders are so strong on the point that securitization does not affect enforcement, the best point in time for the statute to run is when a forensic analyst or expert tells the homeowner that TILA violations exist.

And THEN, in those cases where the information was hidden, the statute of limitations is three years from the date the information was revealed.

So when you go after undisclosed fees, profits and other compensation of any kind, you are not cut off by one year because — by definition they were not disclosed. The only way the other side can get out of that is by admitting the existence of the fee, and then showing that it WAS disclosed — presumably through yet another fabricated document, signed by a non-existent person with non existent authroity with non- existent witnesses and notarized by someone three thousand miles away (whose notary stamp and forged signature was applied to hundreds of pages of blank documents for later use). [Brad Keiser was the one who discovered this tactic by doing what most forensic analysts don’t do — actually reading every piece of paper sent by the pretender lender and every piece of paper provided by the homeowner. Case law shows that where the notary was improperly applied — and there are many ways for it to be improperly applied, the notary is void. If the statute requires recording the document in the public records, then the document so notarized shall be considered as NOT being in the public records and is ordered expunged from those records].

This comment from Rob elaborates:

Regarding the TILA Statute of Limitations:

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
When a violation of TILA occurs, the one-year limitations period applicable to actions for statutory and actual damages begins to run. U.S.C. § 1641(e).
A TILA violation may occur at the consummation of the transaction between a creditor and its consumer if the transaction is made without the required disclosures.
A creditor may also violate TILA by engaging in fraudulent, misleading, and deceptive practices that conceal the TILA violation occurring at the time of closing. Often consumers do not discover any violation until after they have paid excessive charges imposed by their creditors. Consumers who later learn of the creditor’s TILA violations can allege an equitable tolling of the statute of limitations. When the consumer has an extended right to rescind or
pursue other statutory remedies because a violation occurs, the statute of limitations for all the damages the consumers seek extends to three years from the date the violation is revealed.
McIntosh v. Irwin Union Bank & Trust Co., 215 F.R.D. 26, 30 (D. Mass. 2003).

Forensic analysis, DISCOVERY: BofA Hides Behind Reconstrust Subsidiary

Editor’s Notes: Bank of America is smarter than most. It has created a web of companies whose function is to perform activities that hide the fact that it is Bank of America, and there are other pretender lenders who hide behind this entity who suddenly appears as “trustee” or some other entity claiming the right to enforce the note, foreclose the mortgage, lift the stay or whatever. Recontrust is one of them, and it agrees with its “customers” that it will never make a REAL claim to the obligation, note or mortgage. But it also agrees to make claims and pursue foreclosures as though they were the creditor, reporting back later on what happened.

RECONTRUST APPARENTLY HAS 12 EMPLOYEES. Yet it handles virtually the whole country for Countrywide Loans, BofA and others. From what I can see it is a sham corporation with sham functions much the same as MERS and other players invented to make this process more complicated. Taking the cue from one of our readers, I did some additional research and found no less than four addresses in four states for this company, obviously designed to give you the run-around. So if you contact one office you are told to contact another. And if you contest their right to issue a notice of default, notice of sale or file a foreclosure lawsuit or defend your own lawsuit to stop them they have plenty of newly fabricated paperwork to justify their position, because that is apparently all they do.

If you want to test this, just call them and ask about a property that is not in foreclosure. They have nothing. So the only reason we see them is to provide cover for the pretender lenders and give them plausible deniability if they come up against a judge or has their number and now wants to award damages, attorney fees, or fines.

Lien Release Services: Consistent. Accurate. Timely.

Lien Release Services

Phone:1-866-207-0573

Address:

1330 West Southern Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85282-4545
Mail Stop: TPSA-88

Default and Special Release Services

Phone:1-800-281-8219

Address:

2380 Performance Drive,
Richardson, TX 75082
Mail Stop: RGV-C4-450

Real Estate Owned (REO)
If you have questions or inquiries regarding REO purchases, unlisted purchases, investor-owned information, city violations, REO broker applications, REO vendor management, or broker complaints please call the REO Customer Escalation Team at: (866) 781-0029.

The following states have sold properties.
Click on the state to view information.

State Number of Properties
Alaska 18
Arizona 1783
Arkansas 66
California 4430
Idaho 214
Mississippi 50
Montana 47
Nebraska 26
Nevada 586
Oregon 114
Tennessee 107
Texas 99
Utah 185
Virginia 156
Washington 135
The following states have properties
listed for Trustee Sale.
State Number of Properties
Alaska 200
Arizona 18956
Arkansas 697
California 29862
Idaho 1528
Mississippi 190
Montana 493
Nebraska 129
Nevada 1560
Oregon 4584
Tennessee 480
Texas 1158
Utah 983
Virginia 515
Washington 1245

Our lien release departments, located in Simi Valley, CA, and Tempe, AZ, record documents in more than 3,600 jurisdictions.

Expertise when you need it most.

Let our experienced staff handle your lien release from start to finish. We’ll help you achieve timely releases and reinstatements and improve productivity and efficiency while reducing expenses and boosting your bottom line. We have the capabilities and experience to process reconveyances and lien releases nationwide, regardless of location or volume.

Timely, accurate results.

Lien releases must be filed and recorded within a very short time following the satisfaction of a lien. We don’t just promise timely turnarounds—we deliver on that promise. When you outsource your lien release program to ReconTrust, you get a partner that’s committed to reducing your liability and administrative costs while providing accurate, compliant results.
We control financial risk by adhering to strict compliance standards at state and local levels. That means your files are processed on time within compliance statutes in all jurisdictions. Using state-of-the-art technology, we also provide accurate, efficient document preparation and management to help you meet required deadlines.

Reduced costs. Improved productivity.

Our team of experts handles releases nationwide, resolves exception files and clears backlogs. We offer an array of customized solutions to resolve your lien release concerns.
We also handle partial release requests. We review, analyze and process each request based on your lender guidelines, and ensure that the outcome will have a positive impact on your business.
The benefits of lien release outsourcing are many. You save time and money, because we help mitigate rising staffing costs and fluctuating workloads. When you need a partner in lien release services, turn to ReconTrust.

Looking for a JOB?:

Job Description:

Review and audit Trustee’s Sale Guarantees (TSG’s) for accuracy; correct deficiencies; input data from the TSG into ReconTrust operating system (FPS); Trustee’s Sale Processors may assist Trustee’s Sale Officers with file audits;This position requires fairly continuous data entry for several hours each day. MUST HAVE Mortgage &/or Title Experience – NO EXCEPTIONS Keywords: Company Confidential, Dallas, Data Entry – MUST HAVE TITLE EXPERIENCE, Sales / Marketing / Pr, Dallas, Texas

ReconTrust’s Employees

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Jim Taylor

President

Sam Shmikler

VP, Risk Management

Kailash Bhuckory

Sr. Bus. Analyst,…

Lorena Castillo-Ruiz

Avp

Denise Sletten

Assistant Team Le…

Eva Tapia

Jeffrey Aiken

Rebecca Baney

Automatic review of recontrust.com
recontrust.com has been automatically reviewed at 2010-03-29 by robtex

Check Result
NS on different IP networks YES
NS delegation consistent with zone YES
Listed in DMOZ NO
Listed in Alexa top 100000 NO
Good WOT rating YES

Total score 30/50 normalized to 3/5 stars
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SEO Analysis

Organic keywords

Keyword Position
recontrust 14
recon trust 14
custody documents 19

Organic competitors

Domain Common Keywords
recontrustco.com 6
bankofamericastore.com 2

Rising foreclosure activities can be a distraction for any servicer. If you’re not positive your business is prepared to handle the rising numbers, let’s talk. ReconTrust’s default management services could take the weight off your operations, so you can focus on your core business.
We provide foreclosure services in 16 states.

If you are having difficulty making your mortgage payments, there may be options available to help you avoid foreclosure. Please click the link below for more information.

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ReconTrust Company, N.A. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of America, N.A.
Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lenders  Some products may not be available in all states.

© 2010 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

Unaffiliated companies or web sites may report on ReconTrust’s business activities. However, for the most reliable and current information regarding ReconTrust’s business, please contact us directly at (800) 281-8219 or by mail at 1800 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley, CA 93063.

Home > Contact Us
Corporate Headquarters:
Default and Special Release Services

Phone:1-800-281-8219
Address:
2380 Performance Drive,
Richardson, TX 75082
Mail Stop: RGV-C4-450

Real Estate Owned (REO)
If you have questions or inquiries regarding REO purchases, unlisted purchases, investor-owned information, city violations, REO broker applications, REO vendor management, or broker complaints please call the REO Customer Escalation Team at: (866) 781-0029.

Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA, ReconTrust is a member of the Bank of America family of companies. That means when you turn to ReconTrust, you leverage the resources, technology, scale, and strength of one of the largest financial services companies in the world.
We understand the needs of the mortgage industry, and we are committed to delivering top-flight results. What is more, we share our parent company’s dedication to quality and continuous improvement. To that end, we are committed to offering our clients the highest levels of service, responsiveness, and accuracy.
Our goal is to boost your bottom line by reducing costs, increasing the efficiency of your business and improving the effectiveness of your mortgage operations. In short, we make your best execution happen.
ReconTrust is the name you can trust, and a partner you can rely on. Call us today to find out how to put our expertise to work for you.

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