Deadline December 31, 2017! File your LPS/BlackKnight FOIA Request NOW with your State Attorney General & Contact the ACLU when they fail to respond!

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State AGs have not forced LPS/Black Knight to comply with the Consent Judgment

Editor’s Note:  Eric Mains, a former FDIC Team member who saw the securitization fraud first hand, has been encouraging homeowners who are in foreclosure, or were foreclosed upon, to send FOIA requests to their state Attorney Generals and ask for information about the enforcement of the LPS/Black Knight consent judgment they signed.  The LPS consent judgment was agreed to by all 50 state AGs and it appears the states took the funds, but did little else to ensure compliance with the order- including the remediation of fraudulent documents filed in county records.  For background on FOIA strategy and Eric Mains, see here and here, and listen here.

File a Complaint with the ACLU if the AG’s office in your State refuses to Comply with a FOIA/Public Records Act Request regarding the LPS Consent Judgment.

by Eric Mains

The ACLU has initiated and assisted with legal actions in numerous instances where FOIA/Public Records Acts Requests have been denied in violation of state laws. The ACLU takes a dim view of government entities trying to deny the public its rights to access such information, and may decide to help in your case. Here’s how to get started.

 

Step #1. Gather copies of your records request and the response/refusal of the AG’s office to respond to your request.

 

Step #2. Go to: https://www.aclu.org/about/affiliates You will find your State ACLU office website here, and links to where you can file a complaint.

 

Step #3. If you have filed a suit to force a release of the denied records, or intend to, there will be a space to fill this out on the ACLU’s intake form. Fill out all required information as requested. Below is an example of a description you can use for your complaint regarding a denial of information as to the 2013 LPS Consent Judgment.

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Example Complaint-ACLU

 

The complaint regards the refusal of the (XX State here) Attorney General’s office to release basic & non-privileged information covering a 2013 Multi-State Consent Judgment (“CJ”) under (State Code here) (See attached request and response from XXXX AG’s office). The CJ was touted by the various state AG’s offices as being a “Win” for consumers in remediating widespread forgery and robo-signing which affected thousands of homeowners who faced foreclosure, especially in minority and low-income neighborhoods. The CJ covered affected foreclosures from 2008- 2013, as well as through the present (See attached copy and synopsis also available at http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2013/2013-01-31-lps-settlement.html).

 

A majority of the 50 State Attorney General’s offices entered into the CJ with Lender Processing Services (“LPS”), an entity which was brought to the nation’s attention largely because of a report done by CBS news in a “60 Minutes” episode from April 2011 (See http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mortgage-paperwork-mess-next-housing-shock/  , where CBS reported on Lynn Syzmoniak’s investigation into “robo-signing” used in the foreclosure of her home.

 

The (XX State here) AG’s office has refused to release the most basic and important information regarding the CJ– Information as to how compliance by LPS under the CJ was being tracked, the metrics being used to ensure LPS compliance, how many consumers obtained relief under the CJ in (XX State here), and the monetary figures of this relief. Without this basic information, it is impossible for the public to know IF the CJ is being enforced as required. The AG’s office further refused to release the quarterly compliance reports required to be given it by LPS, which would have shown HOW and IF LPS was complying with the CJ.

 

In short, it appears not only has the AG’s office not lived up to its mandate of protecting the public (as the CJ it touts as a “Win” would require), it has also chosen to stonewall the public’s right to obtain basic information about the CJ in order to protect itself from embarrassment and to shield LPS from being required to live up to the terms of the CJ. The AG’s office accepted over ($ XX- settlement $ accepted from LPS here) million from LPS in 2013 as well, and how this money was spent to protect injured homeowners remains in question.

 

The ACLU has historically helped to pursue many cases nationally where state government(s) have intentionally violated public records acts, impeding the ability of the public to obtain basic information as to how government is fulfilling its responsibilities. The basic information regarding this CJ is being categorically denied to citizens by the AG’s offices in every state, Indiana being one of them, and it is critical that the ACLU help citizens obtain this information to ensure citizens rights are being protected as the AG’s office(s) would represent.

 

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Step #4. File the complaint and all requested back-up documents with the ACLU in your state. Turn-around time is usually 6-8 weeks. Complaints can be filed, online, by fax, or by mail or e-mail.

*Important point to remember- Much as was mentioned regarding the FOIA requests to the various AG’s offices, you have 50 bites at the state(s) apple(s) here to get the 50 individual  state ACLU offices involved…if only ONE state is forced to release the compliance reports and information regarding the LPS CJ with the ACLU’s help, it’s going to have a huge positive impact for future foreclosure actions.

LIVE NOW! 3pm Pacific/ 6pm Eastern: The West Coast Foreclosure Show with Attorney Charles Marshall, Investigator Bill Paatalo and former FDIC team-member Eric Mains

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

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

MAIN NUMBER: 202-838-NEIL (6345).

Get a Consult!

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule, leave message or make payments.

See Nordolillo v. JPMorgan Chase: Nardolillo v. Chase

This session of the Charles Marshall’s West Coast Foreclosure Show features former FDIC team leader Eric Mains who will discuss FOIA strategies in regards to the LPS/BlackKnight consent judgment.  Eric Mains originally introduced the FOIA BlackKnight LPS concept during the August 3, 2017 broadcast here.

Mains urges listeners to immediately contact their state AG offices to obtain information about the LPS/Black Knight consent judgment in your state, and to demand answers why LPS is not in compliance with the judgement.  The information you discover may allow you to file suit on a prior foreclosure, or provide an opportunity to obtain information that will help you in current litigation.  See articles here and here.

Investigator Bill Paatalo will discuss Nardolillo v. JPMorgan Chase, a northern California case scheduled for trial in April 2018.  JPMorgan Chase’s Motion to Dismiss was recently denied based on its failure to demonstrate ownership of the note and Deed of Trust.  Chase relies exclusively on a Purchase and Assumption Agreement (PAA) as proof of ownership, but the court has stated that the PAA does not by itself, “establish as an incontrovertible fact that Chase is entitled to enforce the note.”  Nardolillo alleges that the Note and DOT were already securitized prior to the FDIC receivership of Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu), and therefore WaMu could not convey what it did not own.

Attorney Charles Marshall serves the state of California.  Please contact him to discuss your foreclosure issue:

Charles Marshall, Esq.

Law Office of Charles T. Marshall

415 Laurel St., #405

San Diego, CA 92101

cmarshall@marshallestatelaw.com

Phone 619.807.2628

 

Investigator Bill Paatalo of BP Investigative Agency can be contacted at:

BP Investigative Agency, LLC
P.O. Box 838, Absarokee, MT 59001

www.bpinvestigativeagency.com

Office: (406) 328-4075

info.bpia@gmail.com

 

 

Hurry! Contact your Attorney General about the LPS Consent Judgement NOW!!

Review from The West Coast Foreclosure Show with Charles Marshall: The LPS Consent Judgement and the Power of FOIA Requests broadcast on August 24, 2017.

Note: This is not legal advice but for educational purposes only.  Hire an attorney.

On Thursday’s West Coast Foreclosure show, Eric Mains, a former FDIC team leader, and investigator Bill Paatalo joined California attorney Charles Marshall on his West Coast Foreclosure Show that is broadcast twice monthly on behalf of Neil Garfield.   Eric Mains originally introduced the FOIA LPS concept during the August 3, 2017 broadcast here.

Mains urged listeners to immediately contact their state AG offices in order to obtain information about the LPS/Black Knight consent judgement and to demand answers why LPS is not in compliance with the judgement.  The information you discover may allow you to file suit on a prior foreclosure, or provide an opportunity to obtain information that will help you in current litigation.

The government estimates that 80% of all foreclosures processed by LPS between 2008 and 2010 had defects and that LPS interfered with the attorney-client (servicer) relationship in order to foreclose quickly and illegally.  The servicers and their attorneys are aware of the judgement and cannot claim that they didn’t know that robosigning was occurring- it is spelled out in the consent judgement.  What does this mean to the homeowner who has been illegally foreclosed upon with fraudulent documents manufactured by LPS?

If you are impacted by an attorney or servicer (or both) that utilized the LPS’s services, including its software system, you should file an FOIA request with your state’s attorney general.   You can contact your state AG’s office by phone, mail or email.  The cost of an FOIA is typically around five-dollars.

In your letter, you should request specific information to include:

  1. Has your office been receiving quarterly compliance reports as required in the consent judgement?
  2. How many people in the state were impacted by LPS’s illegal practices to include fabricated notes and assignments, forged documents or unreliable documents created for the purpose of foreclosing?
  3. What percentage of the funds the state received from the consent judgement have been used to help citizens of the state? Please provide a distribution report of the allocation of these funds.
  4. Request copies of all quarterly reports and correspondence.
  5. How did the individual servicers comply with the consent judgement? What were their duties to comply?
  6. If you accepted money from the settlement, why was no follow-up done on the consent judgement to confirm that servicers and their attorneys were in compliance?
  7. Why are these fabricated documents still polluting the public records of this state?
  8. Will future homebuyers be vulnerable if they discover their title is clouded by a prior fraudulent note, assignment, endorsement or allonge that was not remediated?

An example of the initial letter Eric Mains sent to the Indiana Attorney General’s office can be found here: FOIA Request AG’s Office.  Please edit the document and insert information relevant to your state and your needs.  The DEADLINE to submit FOIAs regarding the consent judgement is January 31, 2018- so time is of the essence!

LPS/Black Knight was ordered to remediate forgeries and assignments and to notify people affected by the robosigning of documents.  There is no indication this has been done.  Although Linda Green was the most famous robosigner at LPS, and her signature was used on millions of documents, LPS employed hundreds of robosigners who were forging signatures on fabricated documents. It is likely your loan documents may have been created by LPS.  Attorney Charles Marshall recommends that everyone read the Lynn Symoniak lawsuit against LPS to understand exactly how LPS operated between 2008 and 2013.

According to Marshall, attorneys who, “blatantly went in front of a judge with forged documents that should have been remediated and proceeded with the foreclosure anyways” are guilty of fraudulent behavior and recommends that homeowners should discuss this matter with an attorney even if they no longer have their home.

LPS/BlackKnight retained the attorney network used by the loan servicers.  The attorneys had certain rights and responsibilities and most likely knew soon after working with the LPS network that they were using fabricated and forged documents, and even after the consent judgement continued using documents to foreclose that had not been remediated per the consent judgement, and should have been.

FOIA requests provide a unique opportunity to access documents that have already been identified as problematic by federal regulatory agencies.  Not only that, the LPS consent judgement was signed by all 50 state attorney generals.  Homeowners should unite and demand to know why the remediations were not carried through, if attorneys continued to use fraudulent documents to foreclose, how the money received was distributed, and why the lenders failed to file quarterly reports regarding their compliance with the judgement on a quarterly basis.

 

There is a potential Pandora’s Box to be opened since 80% of all foreclosures between 2008 and 2010 (and perhaps longer) utilized fabricated LPS documents that were never remediated.  There were literally hundreds of thousands of wrongful foreclosures completed with fraudulent documents that pollute the county records.

 

LPS retained attorneys for its network from 2008 until 2013 when they were forced to stop the practice.  There is a good chance that the law firm who processed your foreclosure lawsuit used LPS’s illegal foreclosure services.  The consent judgement states that LPS was too involved in the outcome of attorneys in their network, and this resulted in obstruction.  You may have a private cause of action including fraud on the court if LPS “assisted” with a signature or your foreclosure involved an unauthorized signer.

 

Most Attorney Generals took the money and ran. This is a public policy nightmare that has not been resolved.   LPS paid the financial penalties to the state AG offices, but it appears it  made no effort to remediate the fabricated documents,  file quarterly reports, and perhaps may not have altered their operating policies as required by the judgement.  Only by demanding information via FOIA requests will light be shed on LPS’s overall compliance.

 

Investigator Bill Paatalo, who is an expert on foreclosure matters, sheds some light on how LPS BlackKnight operated.  LPS planned regional territories throughout the United States.  They then went around the country targeting law firms that would be a good fit for their proprietary foreclosure platform.  LPS would receive requests from loan servicers who wanted a foreclosure attorney referral.  LPS played matchmaker between servicer and and LPS network attorney.

 

One of LPS’s primary metrics was grading their attorney networks on how fast they could foreclose.  Firms that were top performing foreclosure mills received acknowledgement of their performance in the LPS newsletters (see an example here: LPS Newsletter October 2007)- and may have even received performance incentives in cash, trips, etc.….

If you were harmed by a servicer or its attorney, it is recommended that you immediately start demanding information about the LPS consent judgment.  There are 50 state attorney generals who should be bombarded with FOIA requests while the window is still open.  Homeowners should then share notes and make efforts to hold their state AG offices accountable.

There are approximately 2 million fraudulent documents in the public record that don’t appear to have been remediated by LPS.  Although LPS was to issue corrective assignments- there is no proof this was done.  YOU have until JANUARY 31, 2018 to get your FOIA requests rolling.  Time is of the essence!  Call the media, your state representatives and anyone you can think of to demand that your state AG comply with the consent judgement.  If you suspect you lost your home to fraudulent LPS docs or that the servicer’s attorney used fraudulent documents in litigation- you may have a private cause of action.  In most states you have at least 3 years to sue for Fraud once you discover the fraud.

CONTACT YOUR AG TODAY AND PLEASE SHARE YOUR FINDINGS WITH OTHER HOMEOWNERS, STATE REPRESENTATIVES AND FEDERAL AGENCIES- AND DEMAND THAT LPS/BLACKKNIGHT REMEDIATE, REPORT and demonstrate COMPLIANCE.

Again- here is a simple FOIA letter you can edit and send to your state Attorney General (thank you to Eric Mains for providing this template): FOIA Request AG’s Office.

For additional information please see these blog articles:

https://livinglies.me/tag/lps-consent-judgement/

 

The Mains Event: Demand that Attorney Generals Nationwide comply with LPS/Black Knight Consent Judgement

 

Please listen to the West Coast Foreclosure Show.  Attorney Charles Marshall interviews former FDIC team leader Eric Mains about his foreclosure battle and FOIA strategy.

By K.K. MacKinstry

Anyone who knows former FDIC Team Leader Eric Mains knows he is one tenacious ex-banker.  In eight years of litigation, every court he has approached for relief has stonewalled his efforts to discover who owns his mortgage loan.  Mains is still in his home despite Chase’s most recent Motion to Dismiss that was granted by the United States District Court based on Rooker-Feldman doctrine that shouldn’t have applied due to the fact neither the parties or subject matter of his federal complaint was covered in his State foreclosure action.

It is astonishing that Mains has not prevailed in his lawsuit against CitiBank and Chase.  In his lawsuits, he has variously provided evidence of the following:

– His Note was “endorsed” in blank and undated with stamp of one Cynthia Riley, a former WAMU employee laid off from her job at WAMU before his note was endorsed, and whose FL deposition in 2013 revealed she never worked at the SC facility his loan documents were sent to, never personally endorsed any notes herself, and her stamps were not located at the SC facility.

-Whistleblower Lynn Syzmoniak’s qui tam lawsuit revealed that one Jodi Sobotta (alleged “attorney in fact” for Chase who signed another of his Note assignments) was in fact a LPS employee in MN who alleged in the qui tam suit to have been involved in unauthorized robosigning and forgery at that facility. Christine Sauerer, notary on the assignment, filed an official notary card with MN which contains her signature, but it does not match her alleged signature on his assignment. Even more damningly, she supposedly notarized the assignment over 1 year before it was recorded in the county recorder’s office. This is an amazing feat as the assignment, ANY loan assignment, would have been sent to the local recorder’s office for recordation directly after execution as a normal course of business to ensure timely recording and priority- as any competent attorney could attest. This is direct evidence the assignment had been back dated as well as forged.

-While the above is incredible enough, it doesn’t end there. The above assignment was one of the assignments that was the subject of a $125 million 2013 multi-state consent judgment with LPS. LPS and its agents, which would have included the attorneys it contracted and retained to instigate the very foreclosures its forged assignments were used in, was required by the CJ to have reached out to consumers affected by their forgeries and remediated their forged assignments executed from 2008-2010, of which Mains was one. Mains foreclosure judgment occurred months after the signing of the CJ, and the foreclosure mill law firm in that case, Nelson & Frankenberger, never disclosed LPS as a material party in discovery, and never disclosed to the court the forgery activity it was aware of.  To this day, they have still proceeded to try multiple times to move forward with sheriffs sales on Mains property using the same forged documents, in violation of the CJ, and while the Indiana AG’s office remains mute.

Mains has appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States his 2017 federal appellate court ruling that their jurisdiction to hear his complaint was barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.  Meanwhile, Mains has continued to seek information in his case, notably through a Freedom of Information Act request, in which he demanded that the Indiana Attorney General’s office provide information regarding the 2013 consent judgement with LPS/Black Knight, and their stated compliance with its terms, which is required to be documented in quarterly reports to the AG’s of all 50 states who were signatories to the settlement.

He requested copies of all the information relevant to the consent judgement, and he specifically requested copies of the all compliance reports the AG’s office held and was to have received from LPS/Black Knight. Mains wanted to know what LPS/Black Knight was doing to comply with the consent judgement to stop its stipulated to unauthorized signing of loan documents, the use of those documents, and most basically what their compliance activities consisted of. This is just common sense, as any Indiana consumer, homeowner, legislator, or attorney would expect to be apprised of the what, where, when, and how of LPS/Black Knight’s compliance with the CJ…. especially after paying the IN AG’s office $1.6 million to settle it violations!

After Mains sent his FOIA to the AG’s office he received a pathetically anemic response.  The AG ignored most of his request and were only willing to disclose 19 pages of documents. The 7 page CJ itself, and 12 supposed cover letters to the compliance reports and the original complaint.  That is it!!!!  Mains has indicated his suspicion that the compliance reports either don’t exist, or they fail to address the requirements of the consent judgements.

The IN AG has generally claimed that everything in relation to the settlement and information related to it is attorney work product or is somehow privileged/confidential.  This is patently ridiculous and violates the Indiana Public Records Act.  The various state AG’s offices are required to follow up on the consent judgement until January of 2018.  Mains wants to know what the state AG’s have done to protect consumers and ensure the compliance with the terms of the 2013 CJ, especially after taking millions of dollars of LPS money for that privilege. He encourages consumers and the media to do the same in each of their respective states given the danger that state AG’s are still knowingly and negligently allowing these fraudulent documents to be used in foreclosures in their states despite the 2013 CJ specifically prohibiting this conduct.

Look for Part II on Monday regarding how you can benefit from your own FOIAs, what you can do to help others, and why it matters.

The West Coast Foreclosure Show with Charles Marshall: The Power of FOIA requests to uncover Foreclosure Data with Eric Mains

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

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

Tonight Southern California attorney Charles Marshall will host the new West Coast Radio Show with Attorney Charles Marshall with guest Eric Mains, former FDIC Team Leader.

The West Coast Radio Show will run the first and third Thursday of each month, while Neil Garfield will continue to host the second and fourth Thursday.  This change will allow us to bring more relevant foreclosure news from both Coasts, and in-between.

Neil Garfield has been working diligently on his technological platform that he hopes will empower both attorneys and pro se litigants facing foreclosure to access automated court documents.  He will also publish his latest foreclosure defense book in the Fall.

This episode features Eric Mains, a former FDIC Team Leader who resigned when he discovered the federal government was unwilling to go after banks that were participating in illegal conduct.  Mains studied to be a lawyer, but ended up as a banker with large regional firms like PNC and National City. He was a vice president of special assets, dealing with commercial loans for multifamily housing units.  If anyone knows how this game is played it is Eric Mains.

For more information about Eric Mains and his foreclosure battle see Vice article here.

Eric Mains currently has a writ of cert that has been submitted to SCOTUS appealing a recent decision in his 7th circuit court of appeals case where the federal court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to hear his case under the Rooker Feldman doctrine.  Eric is using the FOIA laws to obtain data in his own case. He was recently able to stop a sheriff’s sale on his own home just 5 hours after he issued a complaint to the Indiana State Attorney General’s office supported by an FOAI request submitted just weeks before.

The Power of FOIAs to uncover Foreclosure Data

By Eric Mains, former FDIC Team Leader

Read about Eric Mains here.

LPS Consent Judgement

In the fight for discovery of information related to wrongful foreclosure actions, many attorneys and consumers find that they run into a gamut of obstacles preventing them from garnering basic facts about what happened with their loan transactions. This ranges from the cost of trying to conduct discovery, willful non-disclosure by opposing parties, judges who either hinder needed discovery or bounce cases on motions to dismiss before discovery can be obtained, and of course, the often-heard objection from opposing counsel that items requested in discovery are somehow “privileged” or contain non-disclosable data.

Many cases are withdrawn or settled based solely on the impending threat of discovery actually being allowed by the few judges who side with homeowners to pursue the disclosure of relevant information in their cases.

While discovery in individual cases can be complex, burdensome, and costly, one simple and easy resource that can lead to potentially large benefits on a mass scale outside of traditional discovery is the use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to seek data held by government institutions.

Many consumers and their attorneys may scoff and assume FOIA requests are not relevant to their individual cases, so why bother? There are a few reasons for bothering. First, depending on the players involved in your individual case, there may be data that is held by governmental agencies that can be obtained by FOIA requests more cheaply and easily than can be obtained otherwise, and who knows what you may find? It may be relevant to you, it may not, BUT don’t assume anything!

Second, the State agencies such as the Attorney General’s offices have already done the legwork of squeezing the servicers and obtaining potentially useful and relevant information for prosecuting offenders.  Why not use it if it’s there? There could be names, dates, and other data of use, and who knows where that information may lead or if it may become of use later.

Lastly, the information you uncover may not just save you, it may save someone else…and even if it doesn’t help you specifically, you may save hundreds of other people’s homes with the data you uncover. What if someone else a few months down the road doing a similar FOIA request/research uncovers data that saves you? This goes to a “crowd funding” concept of data mining…but more on that in a bit.

While it is true that the federal government has been inclined to do everything in its power to try and block documentation related to large bank misconduct and settlements it has reached with national banks, not all useful and relevant information is held solely by federal agencies or regulators.

In the case of mortgage loan servicers, such as Ocwen, LPS/Black Knight, Green Tree, Caliber, etc., State AG’s were also very active in litigation that reached various settlements. Unlike federal entities, State entities who have data relevant to wrongful actions committed against consumers may not be as tight lipped, or as able and willing to avoid the release of information under their various FOIA/Open Records statutes. A good list of the various State FOIA laws can be found at this website: http://www.nfoic.org/state-freedom-of-information-laws .

The good news is that with a little detective work, if relevant information is suspected to be held by any of your state governmental agencies, a simple fax/letter you can send for a few dollars requesting said information is all that it takes to get the ball rolling. Most turn around periods for a response on such requests is around 30 days.

So, what if they refuse to release the records you request citing various privileges? What if they say they only can release a few of the records?  Without going into long detail, just the response from the agency in and of itself may confirm that they do indeed hold suspected information of use to yourself (or other homeowners) whether they are willing to release the records or not. Even a partial release of records from the governmental agency involved may leave a bread crumb trail leading to other records that may become useful. If an agency does unlawfully or unreasonably withhold records, it may turn out that going to court to force release of the relevant records receives a much more consumer friendly response under FOIA laws as well.

Another potentially beneficial side effect- the results of the FOIA may also get the attention of local news agencies/other consumer advocacy groups if brought to their attiention. Nothing garners attention like smoke, and other interested parties may be inclined to file FOIA request of their own when they find out that there appears to be something…. some records, some data, that appears to be inherently newsworthy and publicly disclosable…but that it is being unreasonably withheld for some strange reason…..hmmmmm. If it’s one thing banks and uncooperative political entities are afraid of, it’s the nations true highest court–that of public opinion and its instantly damaging spotlight.

One last point to remember is that in an age of crowd sourcing, crowd funding, and social media driven group campaigns, something as cheap and powerful as a mass group FOIA campaign to release and share information should be central in helping to fight against wrongful foreclosures. The banks and servicers are unendingly willing to go into court and lie and produce false documentation, while the courts turn a blind eye most times…. but keeping up a lie and producing false documents leaves a trail, and it’s a hundred times harder to keep up a lie and cover for it than to simply be armed with facts and the truth.

Things start to slip, documents come out, and the next thing you know you have a smoking gun and evidence of mass fraud that can’t be ignored or denied. The simple truth of the matter is we don’t know where some of the breadcrumbs discovered in FOIA requests might lead, or how they might help us all. There are plenty of angry consumers willing to yell at TV sets, send out angry Tweets or join blog communities, but not many that are willing to invest time in actually doing something that has potential mass benefit and a real potential impact. FOIA requests are one way to do that cheaply and effectively, and it FORCES the governmental agency involved to respond to YOUR demand, usually for under $5 on your end. Where else can you get that kind of bang for your buck in an age of unaccountable government, media, and courts?

Breaking News: Mains v. Citibank N.A is Dismissed despite new findings of Fraud

Editor’s Note:  Please look for follow up article on this tragic and unlawful Indiana court decision by Neil Garfield.  Rooker-Feldman doctrine was applied despite the fact that Mains raised new issues and findings of fraud that were not present in his original complaint.

http://www.theindianalawyer.com/th-circuit-affirms-dismissal-of-foreclosure-fraud-case/PARAMS/article/43243

An Indiana man’s various federal claims against his former mortgage holders cannot proceed because federal district courts do not have jurisdiction to vacate state court decisions, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

In Eric Mains v. Citibank, N.A., et al., 16-1985, Eric Mains executed a mortgage on his home with Washington Mutual in December 2006 and made payments for two years. When Washington Mutual failed in 2008, Chase Bank purchasing Main’s mortgage and note, then assigned the mortgage and note to Citibank in 2010.

Mains began falling behind on his mortgage payments and discontinued them in March 2009, prompting Nelson & Frankenberger P.C. to send him a default and acceleration notice. In 2010, Citibank filed a foreclosure action against Mains in Clark Circuit Court.

The state court eventually granted summary judgment to Citibank in May 2013, and after failing to get a decision in his favor in the Indiana appellate courts, Mains filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in March 2015. In his federal complaint, Mains alleged that he had discovered new evidence of fraud that could not have been presented to the state court and included alleged violations of state and federal law.

The district court dismissed Mains’ complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, finding that his claims would nullify the state court judgment if resolved in his favor. Mains then appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, but the appellate court affirmed, though with a modification to a dismissal without prejudice.

In his appeal, Mains argued that the district court erred in dismissing his claim on the basis of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which “prevents lower federal courts from exercising jurisdiction over cases brought by state-court losers challenging state-court judgments rendered before the district court proceedings commenced.” But Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote in the appellate court’s Wednesday opinion that federal claims not raised in state court can trigger Rooker-Feldman if they are closely enough related a state-court judgment.

“Reading through the verbiage of Mains’ filings, we are left with the impression that the foundation of the present suit is his allegation that the state court’s foreclosure judgment was in error because it rested on a fraud perpetrated by the defendants,” Wood wrote. “Mains wants the federal courts to redress that wrong. That is precisely what Rooker-Feldman prohibits, however.”

Instead, Wood said Indiana law allows a party to file for relief from judgment based on newly discovered evidence or based on fraud or misrepresentation under Indiana Trial Rule 60(B).

Mains further claimed that Chase and Citibank violated the Truth in Lending Act by misrepresenting payments due and his related obligations, and by failing to respond to his rescission, but Wood said that issue is also barred by Rooker-Feldman because it would require the 7th Circuit to vacate the state court decision on the issue.

Mains made additional claims, including injuries in the form of attorney fees, a RICO conspiracy and further violations of federal law, but Wood wrote each issue was either barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine or by issue preclusion.

Finally, Mains attempted to bring a federal fraud claim against Cynthia Riley in her former capacity as vice president of Washington Mutual. But Woods wrote the proper party to sue would have been Washington Mutual itself, and such a suit would have been blocked by the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.

Download opinion here: 2017 03 29 Mains v CitiBank United States Court of Appeals

2014 Dissent Spells Out reasons for Rejecting Presumptions and Assumptions

Justice Rubin correctly anticipates the birth of a new black market industry — stealing debts as part of a larger scheme of stealing money.

In the context of an industry already using dubious tactics to collect on debts they have acquired, the prevailing notions in the minds of most judges allows for the question “Why buy the debts when you can just steal them?”

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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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see Justice Rubin CA Dissent

Hat tip to Eric Mains

As a result of my articles on legal presumptions and the havoc they are causing in creating faulty precedent instead of following precedent, Eric Mains found the above Case decision in California. I agree with Eric. The dissent neatly explains why the assumptions and presumptions currently in use are not being applied properly and are resulting in a body of law that has opened the door to unlimited moral hazard. Justice Rubin correctly anticipates the birth of a new black market industry — stealing debts as part of a larger scheme of stealing money.

Indeed there is ample evidence of the spread of imposters who are, under existing law, issuing self serving proclamations that they own consumer debts. Consumers, having no information about what and who manages their debts, will often concede the debt and concede that the debt is owed to the party who proclaimed ownership. And it all comes from a notion that never should have been allowed into American jurisprudence in the first place, to wit: a debtor may not challenge a party who claims to be his/her creditor. Discovery need not be allowed and proof need not be offered as to the veracity of the claims by “strangers” to the debt.

The underlying assumption is that since the debtor owes someone, ANYONE can enforce it. The theory advanced by courts is that the debtor/borrower/consumer has no standing to challenge the self proclamation. The theory advanced by courts is based upon the assumption that even if the debtor is right, it makes no difference to the debtor. The harm, if any, is to someone else who is the real creditor. The remedy can be worked out between the claimant and the real creditor.

The underlying assumption is incredibly based upon the assumption and presumption that the claimants are still acting in good faith and not acting as thieves. This is odd in view of the dozens of cases in which the self proclaimed participants in the securitization of debt have been shown to have committed forgery, fabrication, back-dating, robo-signing in what appears to be a majority of alleged loans to alleged borrowers that are subject to what now is obviously false claims of securitization. None of it is true.

This underlying assumption of good faith is contrary to the facts. It is wrong. And what Justice Rubin seeks to present is simply that any such claimant should prove their status and not be presumed to be a creditor just because they said so. As he puts it, either they are the creditor or they are not. It is an easy task and always has been an easy task to prove ownership of a debt. The fact that the banks have fought so hard to get courts to accept their assertions of ownership and authority just because the bank said so, should in and of itself have raised multiple red flags.  Justice Rubin conceeds that, ” I suspect that creditor-beneficiaries and their trustees do not want to be forced to prove they own a homeowner’s debt and have authority to foreclose because it is now well understood that in too many cases they can’t prove their ownership and authority. I am not prejudging the facts in this case, for that is why we have discovery and a trial.”

And the other underlying assumption is that there is no harm to the debtor who is obviously faced with multiple liability on the same debt, an inability to seek reinstatement, modification or settlement with the real creditor, and a bar to the legitimate defenses in state court, Federal Court and bankruptcy court. The courts routinely order the false creditor and the debtor into mediation. The debtor is forced to either reject a settlement with an unauthorized party and thus lose his or her home or to execute modification agreements that are not worth the paper on which they are written.

Trial courts across the land are still statistically more likely than not to adopt this pattern of abuse of due process. Courts are created to provide a fair forum in which the parties can be heard without presumptions of guilt of those accused of criminal or civil acts that cause harm to society or specific victims. The burden has always been on the accuser or the claimant — until now. For the past 10 years the court system has evaded, avoided, and ignored the reality expressed by claims of the debtor, the proof in court that the self proclaimed enforcing parties were unauthorized strangers — all because the judges started off with the wrong premise when there should have been no premise at all.

The necessity perceived by court administrators was also an incorrect presumption. Had the judges continued processing foreclosures the way they always did it would have resulted in virtually all of the foreclosures being denied. Or, to be fair, it would have resulted in all of the foreclosures being granted because there was nothing wrong. All evidence clearly shows a pattern of conduct of illegal, fraudulent activities in virtually all foreclosures over the past 10 years.

Had the court administrators merely kept to their current systems one of two results would have been clear: (1) the claimants were perpetrating a fraud or (2) the homeowners were putting up false defenses  for the purposes of delay. Either way, there would not have been a glut of foreclosure litigation. Either it would have been obvious that the enforcement claims were bogus thus eliminating the claims, or the defenses would have been revealed as frivolous, thus eliminating the defenses.

Instead the defenses of homeowners were routinely ignored and their lawyers were reprimanded and threatened by judges who believed that their presumptions were proper and that the lawyers were merely hairsplitting to “get a free house.” Experience now shows that these defenses are being upheld in an increasing number of cases and that judges following the the rule of accepting self serving statements from banks and servicers are now being reversed in an increasing number of cases.”

The conclusion to be drawn from these decisions has yet to be enunciated by a majority on the bench with the clarity expressed in Justice Rubin’s dissent.  He admits that, ” The reason I point out the omission is to highlight the difficulty of learning from tangled paper trails “who, what, where, when, and how” in mortgage cases involving lender documents that are sometimes – take your pick – incomplete, lost, inaccurate, post-dated, altered, robosigned, or created after the fact….”  It doesn’t have to be this difficult.  Again, like the Judge opines, ” Chase either had the authority to act when it submitted a credit bid to foreclose on appellants’ home despite having sold appellants’ promissory note to Freddie Mac – and has the evidence to prove it – or it did not. (See Civ. Code, § 2924h, subd.(b) [the “present beneficiary” may credit bid at trustee’s sale].) It really is a simple matter. Is that too much to ask when people are losing their homes? ” 

The glut of claims on mortgage foreclosures caused the judicial system to switch into an emergency mode. In so doing they skipped over the elements of fraud, due process and moral hazard in favor of “processing” the claims as quickly as possible rather than determining if the claims had any validity.

In the context of an industry already using dubious tactics to collect on debts they have acquired, the prevailing notions in the minds of most judges allows for the question “Why buy the debts when you can just steal them?”

FDIC Employee Quits and Goes Public With Complaint Against Chase, WAMU, Citi and two law firms

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

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See Eric Mains Federal Complaint

see Mains – Table of Contents.petition 2 transfer

On Monday Eric Mains resigned from his employment with the FDIC. He had just filed a lawsuit against Chase, Citi, WAMU-HE2 Trust, Cynthia Riley, LPS, WAMU, and two law firms. Since he felt he had a conflict of interest, he believed the best course of action was to resign effective immediately.

His lawsuit, told from the prospective of a true insider, reveals in astonishing detail the worst of the practices that have resulted in millions of illegal foreclosures. Some of his allegations cast a dark shadow over claims of Chase Bank on its balance sheet, as reported to the public and the SEC and the reporting of both Chase and Citi as to their potential liability for wrongful foreclosures. If he is right, and he proves these allegations, much of what Chase has reported as its financial condition will vanish from its financial statements and the liability side of the balance sheets of both Citi (as Trustee) and Chase (as servicer and “owner’) will increase exponentially. This may well have the effect of bringing both giants into the position of insufficient reserve capital and force the government to take action against both entities. Elizabeth Warren might have been right when she said that Citi should have been broken into pieces. And the same logic might apply to Chase.

He has also penned the phrase “wild goose Chase” referring to discovery of the true creditors and processing of applications for modification of loans. And he has opened the door for RICO actions against the banks and individuals who did the bidding of the banks as well as the individuals who directed those actions.

His Indiana lawsuit is filed in federal court. He alleges that

1. WAMU was not the actual lender in his own loan
2. That the loan was part of an illegal scheme from the start
3. That his loan was subject to claims of securitization but that those claims were false
4. That the REMIC Trust was never funded and therefore never had the capacity to originate or buy loans
5. That the intermediaries never followed the law or the documents for securitization of his loan
6. That the REMIC Trust never did purchase his loan
7. That Citi was therefore “trustee” for an unfunded trust
8. That Chase never purchased the loans from WAMU
9. That Chase could not have been the legal servicer over the loan because the loan was not in the trust
10. That Chase has filed conflicting claims as to ownership of the loans
11. That the affidavit of Robert Schoppe, whom Mains worked for, as to ownership of the loans was false when it states that Chase owned the loans
12. That the use of WAMU’s name on the loan documents was a false representation
13. That his loan may have been pledged several times by various parties
14. That multiple payments from multiple parties were likely received by Chase and others on account of the Mains “loan” but were never accounted for to the investors whose money was being used as though it was the Banks themselves who were funding originations and a acquisitions of loans
15. That the industry practice was to reap multiple payments on the same loan — and the foreclose as though there was balance due when in fact the balance claimed was entirely incorrect
16. That the investors were defrauded and that foreclosure was part of the fraudulent scheme
17. That Mains name and identity was used without his consent to justify numerous illegal transactions in which the banks repeated huge profits
18. That neither WAMU nor Chase had any rights to collect money from Mains
19. That Citi had no right to enforce a loan it did not own and had no authority to represent the owner(s) of the loan
20. That the modification procedures adopted by the Banks were used intentionally to force the borrower into the illusions a default
21. That Sheila Bair, Chairman of the FDIC, said that Chase and other banks used HAMP modifications as “a kind of predatory lending program.”
22. That Mains stopped making payments when he discovered that there was no known or identified creditor.
23. The despite stopping payments, his loan balance went down, according to statements sent to him.
24. That Chase has routinely violated the terms of consent judgments and settlements with respect to the processing of payments and the filing of foreclosures.
25. That the affidavits filed by persons purportedly representing Chase were neither true nor based upon personal knowledge
26. That the note and mortgage are void from the start.
27. That Mains has found “incontrovertible evidence of fraud, forgery and possibly backdating as well.” (referring to Chase)
28. That the law firms suborned perjury and intentionally made misrepresentations to the Court
29. That Cynthia Riley “is one overwhelmingly productive and multi-talented bank officer. Apparently she was even capable of endorsing hundreds of loan documents a day, and in Mains’ case, even after she was no longer employed by Washington Mutual Bank. [Mains cites to deposition of Riley in JPM Morgan Chase v Orazco Case no 29997 CA, 11th Judicial Circuit, Florida.
30 That Cynthia Riley was laid off in November 2006 and never again employed as a note review examiner by WAMU nor at JP Morgan Chase.
30. That LPS (now Black Knight) owns and operates LPS Desktop Software, which was used to create false documents to be executed by LPS employees for recording in the Offices of the Indiana County recorder.
31. That the false documents in the mains case were created by LPS employee Jodi Sobotta and signed by her with no authority to do so.
32. Neither the notary nor the LPS employee had any real documents nor knowledge when they signed and notarized the documents used against Mains.
33. Chase and its lawyer pursued the foreclosure with full knowledge that the assignment was fraudulent and forged.
34. That LPS was established as an intermediary to provide “plausible deniability” to Chase and others who used LPS.
35. That the law firms also represented LPS in a blatant conflict of interest and with knowledge of LPS fraud and forgery.

Some Quotes form the Complaint:

“Mains perspective on this case is a rather unique one, as Main is an employee of the FDIC (hereinafter, FDIC) who worked in the Dallas field office of the FDIC in the Division of Resolutions and Receiverships (hereinafter DRR), said division which was the one responsible for closing WAMU and acting as its receiver. Mains worked with one Robert Schoppe in his division, whom the defendant Chase Bank often cites to when pulling out an affidavit Robert signed. This affidavit states that Chase Bank had purchased “certain assets and liabilities” of WAMU in the purchase transaction from the FDIC as receiver for WAMU in 2008. Chase Bank uses this affidavit ad museum to convince the court system in foreclosure cases that this affidavit somehow proves that Chase Bank purchased “every conceivable asset” of WAMU, so it must have standing in all cases involving homeowner loans originated through WAMU, or to put it simply that this proves Chase became a holder with rights to enforce or a holder in due course of the loan as defined by the Uniform Commercial Code. Antithetically, when it wants to sue the FDIC for a billion dollars… due to mounting expenses from the WAMU purchase transaction, it complains that the purchase agreement it signed didn’t really entail the purchase of “every asset and liability” of WAMU… Chase Bank claims this when it is to their advantage in a lawsuit to do so.

Mains worked as team leader in the DRR Dallas field office

[The] violation of REMIC trust rules occurred because the entities involved, for reasons of control, speed of transaction, and to hide what they were actually doing with the investors money

Unfortunately for the investors, many of the banks involved in the securitization process (like Wahoo) failed to perform the securitizations properly, hence as mentioned above, the securitizations were botched and ineffective as to passing ownership of the notes or underlying collateral. The loans purchased were not purchased THROUGH the REMIC. … The REMIC trust entity must be the one actually purchasing the mortgages directly.

This violation of REMIC trust rules occurred because the entities involved, for reasons of control, speed of transaction, and to hide what they were actually doing with the investors funds once received, held the investor funds in the “lender” banks owned subsidiary accounts, instead of funding the REMIC trusts with the money so that the trust could then purchase the loan from the “lender”, making it an actual buy and sell transaction.”

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