How Do I Use an Expert Declaration?

With judges under pressure to clear their calendar, the strategy of the banks in delaying prosecution of foreclosure cases is coming to an end. And the opportunity for the borrower, as well as a good reason for action, has just begun. An aggressive approach is more likely to yield good results than any strategy predicated upon delay. And judges are prone to blame the delay on the homeowner who wants to stay in his home rent-free for as long as possible.

So having an aggressive plan to prosecute the case with solid answers and affirmative defenses is key to getting the judges curiosity — why is the homeowner trying so hard to move the case along and the bank stonewalling and delaying the action alleging they need relief? Some lawyers, like Jeff Barnes, don’t know how to litigate with kid gloves on. When they take a case it is to draw blood and Barnes has established himself as not only an aggressive attorney but one who often wins a satisfactory result for his clients.

My expert declaration covers the gamut from property issues through UCC and contract issues. Securitization is something I understand very well — how it is intended to be used, how the law got passed exempting it from being characterized as securities or insurance products and how it was sold to Congress and Clinton as an innovative way to spread and reduce risk of loss, thus raising an investment with a medium degree of risk of loss to very low and therefore suitable for stable managed funds who are required to put their money into extremely low risk triple A rated investments.

All that said, for all I know and can say, neither my declaration nor testimony is ever dispositive in the final ruling of the case, with a few exceptions. On the other hand out of hundreds of times my declarations or testimony has been used in court, the number of times the banks have proffered an alternate “expert” to say I was wrong, mistaken or had used defective analysis to reach my conclusions is ZERO. And the banks took my deposition in a class action suit in which I was admitted as an expert witness in Federal Court — the deposition lasted six full working days 9:00am to 5:00pm. About the only negative thing they had to say after hours and hours of testimony was that my opinion was “grandiose” to which I answered that it was not nearly as grandiose as the fraud their clients were perpetrating upon our society.

So the most common question is how can I use your expert declaration? And the first answer I  always give is (a) my declaration, whether notarized or not, is never and should never be a substitute for actual facts applicable to the actual case which requires actual witnesses who have actual knowledge (usually from the opposition in discovery) and (b) you should have a plan for your case that does not call for a knock-out punch in the first hearing. If you think that is going to happen you are deluding yourself.

The most common attack on my affidavit is a motion to strike or a memorandum that alleges that I am not a credible expert. But the rules on admission of expert testimony are so lax that almost anyone can be admitted as an expert but he Judge is not required to presume the expert knows what he is talking about or has anything of value to offer. Thus a proper foundation of facts, timelines, paper trails and money trails needs to be laid out in front of the judge in a manner and form that makes it easy to understand. The declaration is only one step of a multistage process. When the opposition attacks the declaration, they are trying to distract the court from the real issues.

The best and most fruitful uses of an expert declaration are to use them when battling for information through the discovery. That is where cases are often won and lost, where cases end up being settled to the satisfaction of the borrower or lost, pending appeal. The expert declaration tells the court what the expert looked at and raises issues and opinions including the information that is absent which will resolve the issue of whether the forecloser actually has a cause of action upon which relief could be granted (an inquiry applicable to both judicial and non-judicial states).
Expert declarations have been used with success in hearings on discovery because it explains why you need to take the deposition of a specific witness or compel production of certain documents or compel answers to interrogatories. Once that order is entered agreeing that you are entitled to  the information it is often the case that the mater is settled within hours or days.
To a lesser degree expert declarations have been successful in non-judicial states where the homeowner seeks a temporary restraining order. And a fair amount of traction has been seen where it is used to show the court hat there are material issues of fact in dispute to defeat a motion for summary judgment, sometimes effective if there is a cross-motion for summary judgment for the homeowner where there is an effective attack on the affidavit filed in support of the forecloser’s motion for summary judgment.
The least traction for the expert declaration is where homeowners attempt to use it as a substitute for evidence — which means no live witnesses testifying to facts that lay the foundation for introduction of documents into evidence. And there are mixed results on motions to lift stay — but even where effective temporarily the debtor is usually required to file an adversary action.
After you file the declaration along with some pleading that states the purpose of the filing, you will most likely be met with a barrage of attacks on the use of the affidavit. They are trying to bait you into an argument about me and whether anything I said was true. Of course they do not submit an affidavit from an expert who comes to contrary conclusions; but even if the declaration is perfect, it is no substitute for real evidence. It is the reason why you need to get a court order requiring the forecloser to answer discovery and how they should answer it. It is support for why you believe your discovery will lead to admissible evidence or cut short the litigation. The declaration explains why you want to pursue the money trail to see of negotiation of the note and mortgage ever took place. The assignment says yes but if the payment isn’t there, no transaction exists. The UCC and contract law are in complete agreement — offer, acceptance and payment are required to enforce a contract. And on the offer side, you can either start with the investor or the borrower.
In live testimony it is my job to show the court what really happened not by piling presumption on opinions but by pointing to the facts you revealed in discovery and then explaining what transactions actually occurred. The only actual transaction — the only time money exchanged hands was when investors advanced money to be used for the acquisition or origination of loans.
But the intermediaries usurped the money and kept part of it instead of funding mortgages. And the intermediaries diverted title to the loan documents from the investors and claimed ownership so they could create the illusion of an insurable interest and the illusion of a risk of loss justifying the credit default swap contracts.
It was also used by the banks to sell worthless mortgage bonds to the Federal Reserve. We know now that the “trustee” of the REMIC trust never received any of the investment dollars advanced by the investors. The reason we know that the mortgage bonds are worthless is that there is no record of the existence of a trust account for the REMIC pool. Hence, the trust had no money to buy or originate the loan.

But it is nonetheless true that the investors advanced money and the borrowers got some of it. The amount received by or on behalf of the borrower is a legitimate debt owed by the borrowers to the investors as lenders. If you say otherwise, your entire argument will be viewed with justifiable skepticism. But the investors cannot be grouped by REMIC common law trusts under New York law because they too, like the assignments and allonges and endorsements, lack any money or other transfer of consideration in exchange  for the loan.

So we have consideration without a REMIC trust, without an enforceable contract which means that the debt existed but there were no agreed terms — the note and bond terms are very different, contrary to the requirements of TILA and Reg Z. Thus the investors may have received bonds issued by the REMIC trust, but their money never went into the trust contrary to the terms of the prospectus. So the investors are owed the money as a group by the borrowers as a group. That means the only way to refer to the investors as a group (contrary to their belief because they think their money went into the REMIC trust) is a partnership arising by operation of law. That is a common law general partnership. But because equitable liens a NOT allowed by law, they have n way to use the mortgage lien or the note. But they do have a claim, even if it is unsecured.

And the amount owed to the investors is different than the amount of principal on the defective notes and mortgages. That is because the investment bank took more money than it used for funding mortgages and pocketed the difference. So the transaction with the borrower gives rise to a liability to the investor lenders but the borrowers are only one of several co-obligors by contract and through tort theory. And the money received by the intermediary bank that claimed the bond and loans as their own using investor money should be credited to the receivable account of the investor. The argument here is that the investment banks cannot pretend to be agents of the investors for purpose for taking money from the investors and then claim not to be the agent for the purpose of receiving money from co-obligors including the homeowner.

It is only by untangling this mess that the request for modification from the investors can be directed to the right parties but that requires the investors’ identities to be revealed. There can be no meaningful modification, mediation or litigation without getting this straight.
Let’s start with the borrower. The borrower executes a note and mortgage. If the borrower denies ever getting a loan from the payee or mortgagee or beneficiary, then the issue is in dispute as to whether the borrower’s initial transaction was anything more than offer for someone to accept.
TILA says the lender must be disclosed, as well as common sense. If the payee was merely a nominee performing fee for service, then there is no payee and no mortgagee or beneficiary — and under property law there is nobody known to borrower who can execute a satisfaction of mortgage on the day of closing.
So we have the issuance of a note that might qualify as a security that is NOT exempted from registration and security regulations and/or the note and mortgage constitute an offer. The fact that there was no lender disclosed and no disclosed source of funds (a table funded loan labeled predatory per se by Reg Z and TILA) means that the terms of the note and the terms of the security instrument have not been accepted — and at this pointing our example there is only one party who can accept it — the party who loaned actual money to the borrower — I.e., the sourceof the  funds.
Now as it turns out that the source if funds was a group of investors who were not offered the note nor offered the terms expressed on the note and instead they agreed to the terms of the prospectus/indenture. But those terms were immediately breached just as the law was immediately broken when the borrower was tricked into executing a security issuance or an offer.
The investors thought their money was going into a REMIC trust just like the borrower trout that the originator was indeed his lender. Neither the investors nor the borrowers were told that there were dozens of intermediaries who were making money off of the issuance of the bond and the issuance of the note, neither of which bound the investor lender nor the borrower to anything. But nobody except the investment banks acting supposedly as intermediaries knew that the banks were claiming town both the bonds and the loans — at least long enough to trade on them.
Since the borrower did not agree to the terms of the bond and the investor didn’t agree to the terms of the note, they have no offer, they have no acceptance but they do have consideration. I have appeared in several class actions in Phoenix and Reno and dozens of cases in bankruptcy court, civil state and Federal cases.
Where the lawyer used my declaration as a means to an end — discovery, they got good results. Where they tried to suit in lieu of admissible evidence it is not so valuable. A few hundred motions for summary judgment have been turned down based upon my affidavit, but in other cases, the Judge accepted me as an expert but said that my opinion evidence was not supported by supporting affidavits from people with personal knowledge — I.e., competent witnesses to lay a competent foundation. Thus expert declarations are a valuable tool if they are backed up by real facts and issues — a task for the lawyer or pro se litigant, not the expert unless you are going to pay tens of thousands of dollars using the expert’s valuable time to perform clerical work.

LivingLies UPDATED Plan of Engagement: What to Do

UPDATE: This is THE OUTLINE of a plan that is current in its evolution but by no means complete or the last word. It replaces the entry I made in February of this year. The assumption here is that even without taking mortgage foreclosure cases into consideration, the percentage of cases that actually go to trial is between 5%-15% depending upon how you categorize “cases.” On the other hand, if you are not prepared for trial and counting on settlement, your opposition will generally know it and have the upper hand in negotiating a settlement. They are going to play for keeps. You should too. Don’t assume that the note in front of you is the actual original. Close inspection often reveals it is a color copy.

And for heaven sake don’t stand there with your mouth hanging open when someone says you are looking for a free house. You are looking for justice. You had your purse snatched in this transaction, you know there is an obligation, but you also know that they didn’t perfect the security interest (not your fault) and they received multiple payments from multiple parties on these securitized loans. You want a FULL accounting of all such transactions to determine what balance is due after insurance payments, who is subrogated or substituted on claims, and an opportunity to negotiate a settlement or modification with someone who actually has advanced money on THIS transaction and can show it to be so.

WORD OF CAUTION: IF YOU ARE ALREADY IN PROCESS, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO ACT WITHIN THE TIMES SET FORTH BY STATE LAW, FEDERAL LAW, OR THE LAWS OF CIVIL PROCEDURE. FAILURE TO DO SO LEAVES YOU IN AN UPHILL BATTLE TO REVERSE ACTIONS ALREADY TAKEN. ON THE OTHER HAND ACTIONS ALREADY TAKEN “FIX” THE POSITION OF YOUR OPPOSITION, SINCE THEY CAN NO LONGER ASSERT CHANGES IN CREDITOR, LENDER OR TRUSTEE. THUS IT MIGHT BE EASIER, ACCORDING TO SOME SUCCESSFUL LITIGATORS OUT THERE, TO WAIT UNTIL THE SALE HAS OCCURRED AND THEN ATTACK IT AS A FRAUDULENT SALE, THAN TO TRY TO STOP IT WITH A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER ETC.

CONSIDER BANKRUPTCY, ESPECIALLY CHAPTER 13, WHERE THERE ARE MORE REMEDIES THAN YOU MIGHT THINK IF YOU FILL OUT YOUR SCHEDULES PROPERLY. WE ARE SEEING BETTER RESULTS IN SOME BANKRUPTCY COURTS THAN FEDERAL OR STATE CIVIL COURT PROCEEDINGS.

  1. Get your act together, stop fighting amongst the members of your household and make a decision as to what you want to do — fight or flight?
  2. GET SOME HELP NO MATTER WHAT YOU DECIDE. GET THE LOAN SPECIFIC TITLE SEARCH, GET A SECURITIZATION SEARCH, AND GET A LAWYER LICENSED IN THE COUNTY WHERE YOUR PROPERTY IS LOCATED AND MAKE SURE HE/SHE IS NOT STUCK ON THE PROPOSITION THAT YOU SHOULD LOSE.
  3. If you choose flight, then by all means try the short-sale or jingle mail strategies that have been discussed on this blog. Do not try to make money on the short-sale, since nobody is going to give it to you. You can make a few dollars by riding out the time in foreclosure without making payments (and hopefully saving the money you would have paid) and by negotiating as high a price (a few thousand dollars)  as you can in a deal known as “cash for keys.” Even for this, you should employ the services of a local licensed attorney — at least for consultation. There are several short-sale options that have evolved. Google Edge Simonson or Prime financial. I’ve been working on a short-sale-leaseback option that seems to be picking up steam.
  4. STRATEGIC DEFAULTS RISING: More and more people of all walks of life including those that have some considerable wealth, are walking away from these properties that were the subject of transactions in which the presumed value of the property was preposterous. This is an option that scare the hair off the pretender lenders because it pouts the power in your hands. They in turn are trying to scare the public with threats of deficiency judgments etc and collections. It is doubtful that many or indeed any deficiency judgments would be awarded, even if they were allowed. But in many cases, particularly in non-judicial states, deficiency judgments are NOT allowed. A version of the strategic default that many people like is to stay as long as possible without paying and then walk. If you are smart about it, you raise your own capital by socking away the payments you would have made.
  5. If the decision is fight — then the second decision to make is to answer the question “fight for what?” If you want to buy time, there are many strategies that can be employed, which basically are the same strategies as those used if you are fighting for real. And you might be surprised by the result. Some people get a year or two or even more without payments. You are going to take a FICO hit anyway so why not put some cash in your pocket while you hold back payments.
  6. AVOID crazy deals where you give your property or share your property with a stranger. If you persist in engaging such people at least call references and make sure the references are real. Ask questions about their situation and how they feel it worked out to them. Get as much detail as possible.
  7. AVOID mortgage modification firms. If you persist in engaging such people at least call references and make sure the references are real. Ask questions about their situation and how they feel it worked out to them. Get as much detail as possible. My opinion is that if they don’t pursue an aggressive litigation strategy the statistical probability of you accomplishing anything by going to them is near zero.
  8. In all cases, if at all possible:
  9. (a) Get all your information together along with a short executive summary of your “journal” (even if you create the journal now). That means all closing documents, any information you have on title, recording in the county recorder’s office, the names of all parties who were “at” closing (that means not just the actual people who were there, but he names of companies that were represented or mentioned at closing). Also, include in the file any notices of default(NOD) or notice of Trustee sale (NOTS) or summons from a court.

    (b) Get a MORTGAGE ANALYSIS of the loan transaction itself. THIS INVOLVES THREE PARTS — (1) LOAN SPECIFIC TITLE SEARCH AND CHAIN OF TITLE, EXAMINATION OF THE DOCUMENTS, SIGNATURES, AND DATES OF DOCUMENTS PURPORTING TO BE REAL, (2) SECURITIZATION SEARCH THAT CHASES THE MONEY TRAIL AND WILL PROBABLY LEAD YOU TO SOME IMPORTANT ISSUES LIKE THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE “TRUST” ASSERTING IT HAS THE RIGHT TO FORECLOSE AS WELL AS MONETARY ISSUES SUCH AS APPLICATION OR ALLOCATION OF PAYMENTS RECEIVED BY THE INVESTOR WHO ADVANCED THE FUNDS FOR THE LOAN AND (3) COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS THAT IS USABLE BY AN ATTORNEY IN COURT SUCH THAT HE/SHE CAN ARGUE THAT THERE ARE QUESTIONS OF FACT ENTITLING YOU TO PURSUE DISCOVERY. IF YOU WIN THAT POINT YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION. BUT NOBODY IS GOING TO MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU.

    (c) Who is your creditor? The TILA Audit alone does nothing without taking further steps. The Trustee’s “Take-down” report should be demanded in non-judicial states and if the house is in foreclosure, your written objection should be sent to the Trustee.

    (d) If someone tells you they are “pretty sure” or can “definitely”  stop your foreclosure or promises a favorable outcome, and asks for money up front, then run like hell. This is a scam. IF THEY TELL YOU THEY WILL DO WHAT THEY CAN, AND THEY GIVE YOU SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT THEY WILL BE DOING FOR YOU THEN LISTEN AND GET REFERENCES.

    (e) Only a Court order stops foreclosure or a Trustee Sale. No letter of any form or substance will stop it unless the other side is intimidated into stopping the action, which sometimes happens when they know their paperwork is “out of order.”

    (f) Get a Forensic Mortgage Analysis Report OR AN EXPERT DECLARATION that summarizes in a few pages the potential issues that you should be investigating AND WHICH LENDS SUPPORT TOY OUR DENIAL OF THE DEFAULT, DENIAL OF THE RIGHT OF THE OPPOSING PARTY TO CLAIM A DEFAULT, DENIAL OF THE RIGHT OF THE OPPOSING PARTY TO FORECLOSE.

    (g) Get an Expert Declaration that uses the forensic report and the expert opinions of specific experts (like appraisers, title analysts) and which identifies the probable chain of securitization and the money trail. You’ll be surprised when you find out there were two yield spread premiums not disclosed to you and that they can total as much or more than the “loan” itself. GET EXPERT OPINION ON PROBABLE DAMAGES INCLUDING RETURN OF UNDISCLOSED FEES, INTEREST, ETC. (SEE LAWYER’S WORKBOOK FROM GARFIELD CONTINUUM).

    (h) Send the Forensic Report and expert declaration to the known parties, with an instruction to forward it to all other parties known to them in the securitization chain. Include a Qualified Written Request(QWR) AND a Debt Validation Letter(DVL) (which is really a debt verification letter). Don’t be surprised if your pretender lenders will come back and tell you your QWR is defective or improper in some way, but that’s OK, you have followed statutory procedure and they didn’t. With the help of an attorney and with consultation with your experts decide on what resolution you will demand — damages, rescission, etc.

    (i) Don’t believe a word about modification. Practically none of them go through. They are leading you into default so they can collect more service fees, and get money out of you that you think is stopping the foreclosure.

    (j) Don’t believe a word that any pretender lender or representative says or represents, even if they are a lawyer, particularly verbal communications that they refuse to confirm in writing. Challenge everything.

    (k) Don’t accept any document as authentic. Many documents are being fabricated or forged, including affidavits. This is why you need a lawyer and an expert and a Forensic mortgage analysis — to determine what documents and parties are suspect and what you should be asking for in discovery and in the QWR and DVL.

    (l) YOUR FIRST STRATEGY IS TO RAISE NOT PROVE ISSUES OF FACT. BY PRODUCING A FORENSIC REPORT AND EXPERT DECLARATION, NEITHER YOU NOR YOUR LAWYER NEEDS TO ACQUIRE EXPERTISE IN SECURITIZED LOANS. YOU ONLY NEED TO RAISE THE ISSUE OF FACT BY SHOWING THE COURT THAT YOU HAVE EXPERTS WHO SAY THE PRETENDER LENDERS/TRUSTEES ETC. ARE NOT CREDITORS AND NOT AUTHORIZED AGENTS WORKING FOR THE CREDITORS. THEY SAY THEY ARE IN FACT THE CREDITORS OR HAVE SOME AUTHORITY GRANTED BY AN ALLEGED CREDITOR. IT IS NOT FOR THE COURT TO ACCEPT ONE VIEW OR THE OTHER, BUT RATHER TO ALLOW DISCOVERY AND AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON THE ISSUE OF STANDING (SEE MANY RECENT CASES REPORTED SINCE FEBRUARY ON THIS BLOG).

    (m) Be very aggressive on discovery. They will argue that even if they are not the creditor and even if they refuse to disclose the identity of the creditor, they are still entitled to disclose because they are the holder of the note and/or mortgage. Your argument will probably be that they still have a duty to disclose the identity of the creditor and the source of the their authority to represent the creditor, along with proof that the creditor has received notice of these proceedings.

DISCOVERY AND MOTION PRACTICE: SHOW ME THE BOND

REGISTER NOW FOR DISCOVERY AND MOTION PRACTICE WORKSHOP

SHOW ME THE BOND!: 9th CIRCUIT AFFIRMS BACKDOOR REQUIREMENT FOR ENHANCED “CREDITOR” DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS IN CHAPTER 13 PLAN: SEE chapter 13 debtorsHerrera Monroy opinion 09-1175 (9th Cir BAP 01 05 2010)

Among the things we will cover at the May workshop on Motion Practice and Discovery, are the many ways the pretender lender lenders are obfuscating the truth. Practitioners and litigants need to know the progression of building a case and the progression of presenting a case. They are not the same thing. Pleading-Motions-Hearings-Argument-Exhibits-Raising Issues of Fact- Discovery-Evidentiary hearings is the rough order of things while lawyers may have stylistic differences. Here are your bullet points when you go to court:

  • The money for the funding of the borrower’s loan came from the investor. Thus the borrower is or at least was the debtor and the investor is or at least was the creditor. In old style transactions the borrower would sign a note and it would be kept by the bank that gave him the loan. Why? Because the note was evidence, presumptively correct of the terms of the obligation that came into existence when the borrower accepted the benefits of the funding of the loan.
  • If the borrower did not execute a note, the obligation would still exist, if the borrower accepted the benefit of the funding the loan.
  • If the bank did not fund the loan, the note would not be evidence of any obligation, because there was no obligation. Signing a note does not create the obligation. It is the monetary transaction — the transfer of actual money — that gives rise to the transaction.
  • In securitized residential mortgages, the borrower signs a note which is conveyed to the investor as the lender by way of a mortgage backed bond. Hence the evidence of the holder of the note is in the bond.
  • The only place to start is where the bond was issued and to see the bond that conveyed the ownership interest in the loan pool to the investor.
  • So you want them to produce all the mortgage backed bonds that conveyed an ownership interest in the pool. Without the bond there is no evidence of who owns the note.
  • Remember the terms of the bond: (1) conditional non-recourse payment of interest; (2) conditional non-recourse payment of principal; and (3) conditional non-recourse conveyance of the borrower’s note. The SPV that issued the bond is not the actual Payor or obligor on the Bond. The mortgage backed bond is strictly dependent upon the various conditions, provisions and terms contained in the indenture, prospectus, pooling and service agreement and assignment and assumption agreement.
  • Hence legally the note is “given” to the investor both as collateral and as owner for the obligation acquired when the investor advanced funds to purchase these unregistered securities.
  • The reason why “show me the note” is so powerful is that 40% of them were destroyed and the pleaders have no credible story to explain why or when (key elements in establishing a “lost instrument”).  But the reason it creates a trap door for borrowers is that 60% of the time they do have the note, or they create one using advanced color copying and printing technology off of copies. So if you don’t know the story behind securitization and the litigation tools — motions, discovery, compelling answers, use of qualified written requests etc. you are left with your mouth hanging open.
  • Since you know the loan has a 96% statistical probability of having been securitized, you know that an investor funded it, you have a forensic analysis and expert declaration to support and corroborate your pleading and argument, and a question of fact exists as to how and when the investor received and/or parted with possession of the note and under what circumstances.
  • The only way then that the transaction can be completely presented in court or out of court is for the them to show you the note AND SHOW YOU THE BOND WITH THE INVESTOR’S NAME ON IT. This requires a request to produce the minute books, trustee’s records and actual copies of the certificates, or failing that the names, addresses and contact information of the investor, so you can get a copy from them and find out if they still have it or if they ever had it.
  • You may find they never received the note. You may find that the “depositor” or “trustee” or any other “entity in the securitization chain either never received the note or doesn’t have it anymore. That doesn’t mean the obligation is dead. It means that the two pieces of evidence of the obligation are deed and the court has the power to reform the transaction into what “the parties” (i,e, the real parties) intended.
  • But it also means that if the investor, his agents, servants or employees or servicers or affiliates have received payoffs from insurance, credit default swaps or otherwise that the obligation would of necessity be correspondingly reduced. The corroboration of the existence of the likely reduction is the current opinion evidence and allegation that the entire transaction was based upon fraud — inflated appraisal of the property, inflated rating of the mortgage, inflated appraisal of the mortgage backed bond and inflated rating of the collateral resulting in the issuance of a fictitious security without the collateralization upon which both the borrower and the investor relied.
  • And the last point for today’s “lesson” is that you are entitled to the same presumptions that your allegations are true as they are — nothing more and nothing less. So you better know how to plead, and how to argue when you’re dealing with a presumption of credibility in the brand name of a big bank and a judge who isn’t interested in complex theories. That’s why your argument boils down to “show me the BOND.”
  • So don’t try to win the whole case in the first or even the 10th motion hearing. You should use each hearing as an opportunity to educate the Judge on a little more of securitization and plan out your educational curriculum, demonstrative exhibits, affidavits, declarations, and forensic analysis reports.

Livinglies Posts $100 Reward for HERS Fabrication Index

Announcing the establishment of the Homeowners Electronic Registration System (HERS) to assist in mortgage negotiations, litigation, foreclosures and modifications. HERS v MERS, Get It?

We are looking for someone to go through the comments and blog posts that give the name of an officer or other person signing any paper involved in the mortgage or foreclosure of property and to create a index using EXCEL or ACCESS cross referencing the state, financial institution, actual employer etc. that was revealed. If you are successful we will set up a subscription site for people to pay for the inquiries and you will receive income from that site.

You must submit your resume and all relevant contact information to ngarfield@msn.com by March 31, 2010. And you must commit to having the project in final form, subject to continuing revisions no later than April 30, 2010. Upon your selection you will receive a check for $100 in advance.

Good Comment from Rand:

It’s a good idea but you should put a few more requirements for the database. It’s not enough to simply look at the affidavits of indebtedness. Any affidavit filed is worthy of note because if you can establish than any of them were signed by a questionable, including an affidavit by another law firm or attorney verifying the validity of the attorneys fees being sought as reasonable (requirement here in FL to get attorneys fees) then you can through the entire case in doubt.

Example, bad attorney who gets cited personally by a judge or the local bar, any case he’s signed an affidavit in is questionable. I don’t know say “Coucgh”ivd “hack”ern. or the elk.

Finally, there is no such thing as narrowing the focus to filings withing a state. With due respect Ian the person who signs for PA probably also signs for FL, CA and anywhere else that’s not within 100 miles of where they live in MO. However, it’s important to not only note who signs, but when and where. How else could the sign in two different states on the same day? Better be ready to show plane tickets.

Financial Double Jeopardy and Illegality of Securitization

Editor’s Note: to most Judges and most lawyers the thought that a home could be foreclosed by the wrong party, or that there could be a declaration of default on a satisfied mortgage, and that these things could lead to sale of a home by a bank or other party that doesn’t own it to someone who also doesn’t own it — all these things are counter-intuitive. If certainty is a measure of confidence in the marketplace everyone has been certain about real property transactions which must be recorded in the property recording office of each county  in which the property is located.

So when you go into court or challenge the pretender lender out of court, they have the advantage of knowing that any Judge who hears your pleas is first going to assume that your defenses are technical, not real, and designed to delay the inevitable. It is stories like the one below you must keep in mind along with the quote from Beth Findsen who always reminds us that “you can be right as rain on the law, but if the Judge refuses to apply it, you lose anyway.”

That is why it is so important to get your act together (use the free intake form on this blog), get a forensic analysis done that includes securitization, and get an expert declaration that you or your lawyer can use in court. In the first round of motions you won’t convince the judge you’re right and the other side is wrong. But you CAN convince him that your case possibly has merit, that you are entitled to discovery, that you are entitled to a temporary injunction or temporary retraining order, and that you have a right to a hearing on the merits.

Having third party reports and declarations in your hand that you can lay down in front of the judge goes a long way to convince the judge that you at least have the right to be heard on the merits even if, at the moment, he or she doesn’t think it likely you will prevail. If you properly plead and show the Judge something he or she can hold in their hand that, if proven, means you would win the case, then the judge is more likely to follow the law and allow you to proceed.

NAPLES — It was retirement incarnate. Then, the foreclosure lawsuit came.

Warren Nyerges, 45, left his law enforcement career and moved to Golden Gate Estates late last year with his wife. He was spending his days preparing his backyard for grass, painting the interior of his home and joking about the snow he abandoned in Cleveland.

“I’ve had nothing but a ball. To come down here, it’s a life dream,” Nyerges said.

To top it all off, the couple’s single-story, 2,700-square-foot home was paid off. Nyerges said he even offered $5,000 more than Bank of America was asking, quickly sealing the deal with title insurance.

But on Feb. 18, a man came to the couple’s home with a lawsuit. Bank of America had begun foreclosing on the property, and Nyerges’ dream was temporarily put on hold.

“I wish I could have taken my blood pressure the day I got served that thing, because I was livid,” Nyerges said. “I told my wife it shortened my life by 10 years.”

Nyerges said he called the process server, who told him to call the courthouse, where officials told him to call the lawyer, who then told him the issue was between him and Bank of America. Nyerges said he felt like many of the officials thought he was trying to get out of paying a mortgage.

After he was served, Nyerges said in a March 1 interview, “each and every day thereafter, excluding Saturdays and Sundays, I’ve been in contact with someone from the bank or the law firm.”

After unsuccessful calls to Bank of America’s main number, Nyerges said he went to one of the bank’s branches, found a manager, and “plopped this mess down on his desk.”

“I work for Bank of America. I am with these people. This lawsuit has no merit. It needs to stop,” Nyerges said the bank manager told others at the company after reviewing Nyerges’ documents. Nyerges said the bank didn’t believe their own employee.

On Feb. 22, he went back to the bank branch and had the documents faxed to the company. By March, an employee at the bank said they were researching the case, Nyerges said.

“They’re researching it,” Nyerges said the bank employee told him. “Calm down.”

“She just couldn’t understand why I was so upset about this,” Nyerges said, adding that he was nice at first, but later became more frustrated.

With multiple trips to the bank branch and the courthouse and about 25 hours dealing with the suit, which he had 20 days to respond to in order to avoid acknowledging the facts as accurate, Nyerges said he had no choice but to file a motion.

Acting as his own attorney, Nyerges’ first motion demanded the suit be dismissed with damages and he later filed a second motion seeking $2,500 for his time and expenses.

In a statement, Bank of America said officials are still trying to determine what happened.

“Bank of America sincerely apologizes to Mr. Nyerges for this inconvenience. We are currently researching the matter and are stopping the foreclosure,” the statement said. “We are still in the process of identifying the root cause that created this issue.”

Public records filed for Nyerges’ property add only more confusion to the situation. According to the records, the previous owners are Henry and Nelly M. Imbachi, who bought the home in July 2005. The lawsuit is related to the first of two mortgages they took on the property by August 2005.

When her husband lost his job, Nelly Imbachi said Bank of America foreclosed on the second mortgage. That foreclosure began in September 2008, Bank of America obtained title to the home in April 2009 and the second mortgage — not the first mortgage — was satisfied in August 2009, according to official records filed with the Collier Clerk of Court.

Nelly Imbachi said the unemployment insurance she had with Bank of America didn’t help. She said the company told her she didn’t file the necessary papers. She said the family never got a lawyer, later filed for bankruptcy and have not been notified of the current lawsuit.

“When they told us we lost the house, that is when we stopped paying,” Nelly Imbachi said of the first mortgage.

Tuan Van Ho, a Macro Island man who did not return a request for comment, then purchased the home for $155,000 on July 17, 2009, according to official records.

A month later, Nyerges purchased the home for $165,000, just three days after the Imbachi’s second mortgage was satisfied, the records indicate. In November, Nyerges said he looked up the property on the Collier County Property Appraiser’s Web site, discovered Ho was still listed as the owner, and asked for the situation to be corrected.

Indeed, on Nov. 13, 2009, Ho transferred the property back to Bank of America for no cost, two-and-a-half months after Nyerges had bought the home from Bank of America and while the Imbachi’s first mortgage still wasn’t satisfied.

So, what led to Nyerges being named in the suit remains a mystery. For the most part, Nyerges is more concerned, he said, with having his family’s name cleared, damages for the time he has spent and expenses paid fighting the suit, and a return to the relative serenity he once had.

“As I explained in my pleading today, they cost me long distance phone calls, gas, time and do you know how far my house is from the court house?” Nyerges said. “A lawyer would charge you $200 or $250. I’m charging $100. Just cut me a check for $2500 and we’ll act like the whole thing never happened.”

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