Foreclosure Defense: Impact of Bank Failures

I have been thinking about this as the questions pile in. Here are my thoughts so far —

1. Be careful with the Lehman bankruptcy and any other bankruptcy filing by one of the financial services companies that was even tangentially related to the process of the securitization of mortgages. Bankruptcy law has some features that are not apparent or even comprehensible to layman and even many lawyers who do not regularly practice in bankruptcy court. If you even hear that a company went bankrupt, you should consult with a competent bankruptcy practitioner in your area and ask him whether you need to file a proof of claim or some other paper that tells the Federal Court where the bankruptcy was filed that you have claims and defense regarding your mortgage and note, that you do not intend to waive them, and that if anyone buys our note or mortgage they take it subject to your claims and defenses.

2. How this might affect your claims and defenses. The burden is still on the party seeking to foreclose on your mortgage. They must allege that they are the lender, the holder of the note and that the note is in default, subject to acceleration pursuant to the terms of the mortgage indentures and the terms of the note. As with any other situation involving foreclosure if you snooze you lose. Do nothing and the Court is allowed to and required to assume and proceed as though you have no claims or defenses. Do nothing and your house will be sold at auction and then you will be scrambling to set the sale aside, which has been done, as we have reported here, but it sure makes your position more precarious than if you act proactively before anything happens.

  • ASSUME NOTHING AND CHALLENGE EVERYTHING: Just because a letter was sent out declaring a default doesn’t mean that the person who signed it knew anything about the account or that they were properly authorized to send it, or even that their company was the proper party to declare the default, or, even that their company knew or had performed any due diligence to determine if payments to teh true holder in due course )holders of mortgage backed securities) had been paid by co-obligors acquired as the loan went up through teh chain of securitizarion.

3. Proof and evidence: The failure of a bank and the takeover by another bank creates several opportunities for borrowers that did not exist before, if you know how to navigate the system. The time is NOW to act proactively, get your audit done, announce rescission, demand satisfaction of your mortgage and note, and to file for quiet title.

4. You ALWAYS want to keep the burden on the “lender” or those claiming through the “lender.” Do everything you can to keep the burden on THEM to produce the note, produce ALL the assignments that show proper chain of title on the note and mortgage, and produce the Assignment and Assumption of Mortgage Agreement(S), and the Pooling and Service Agreement(s).

5. Thus far it appears as though there in only ONE set of master agreements executed by the lender, the mortgage aggregation and the trustee of the pool of assets. The date of these agreements will almost always precede the date the date the mortgage and note came into existence and will without exception predate the date of default. For lawyers, this presents a number of arguments that can be used to throw the other side into disarray as to what assignment, if any, was valid, and whether they were hiding third parties at the loan closing (violation of TILA) and whether they were hiding third party payments at closing (TILA violation).

6. It also gives you grounds for saying that since the REAL lender was not disclosed, the three day rescission right continued up to and including the date when the REAL lender was disclosed. Either they disclose the REAL lender and then you have all your remedies against both the pretender lender and the real lender (probably unchartered as bank or lender and even unregistered as business to do business in the state) or they don’t disclose it and you push the issue of non -disclosure by demanding the records of the mortgage servicer and the mortgage originator and the title/escrow agent to track where the money came from and where it went after closing.

7. LAWYERS TAKE WARNING: First of all remember that the competency of a witness contains four elements (oath, perception, memory and communication) and that proof can only be offered upon a proper foundation. It is here where these overnight mergers, the firings of thousands of people, and the locations of records is going to be a real challenge to the lenders.

8. DO NOT TAKE LENDER AFFIDAVITS FOR GRANTED. THEY ARE MOST LIKELY OUTRIGHT FRAUD, FORGED, OR SIGNED BY SOMEONE WITH DUBIOUS AUTHORITY. IN ALMOST ALL CASES EVEN IF THE AUTHORITY is established by a competent witness though the presentation of a proper foundation, IT IS SIGNED WITHOUT ANY PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE — WHICH IS WHY I MENTION THE ELEMETNS OF COMPETENCY OF A WITNESS AND PROPER FOUNDATION. THIS IS BASIC BLACK LETTER LAW. YOU CAN WIN, NOT MERELY DELAY CASES. AND YOU CAN DO THEM ON CONTINGENCY FEES THAT WILL ENABLE YOU TO EARN SUBSTANTIAL FEES THAT YOUR CLIENTS WILL HAPPILY PAY.

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