TILA RESCISSION: Who Pays the Money?

The menu of items that are due to the borrower as a condition precedent to making a claim for repayment is expansive and frankly in many cases is equivalent or nearly equivalent to the total amount of the principal claimed as loan repayment. 

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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While everyone is resisting the idea of enforcing rescission, some are asking the right questions. Here is the answer.

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The rescission is effective on the date of mailing. The lender must comply within 20 days from date of notification. Compliance means (1) return of cancelled note (2) release of the encumbrance on record in tech county records and (3) return of all money paid by the borrower, directly or indirectly with certain minor exceptions.

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The answer to the question of how much is due is that there needs to be an accounting because the statute 15 USC §1635 requires the return of all money paid by the “borrower”, directly or indirectly.

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The fact that the fee or compensation or “profit” was not disclosed to the borrower does not remove it from the list of the charges paid by or on behalf of the borrower nor the liability to pay it to the borrower once rescission is effective (i.e., upon notice — mailing).

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This leads to some interesting issues that will need to be dragged out of the “lender”, including all the other “lenders” going back to the original transaction. Most of the money received as compensation by third parties was not disclosed to the borrower, hence the need for an accounting. Many of the charges were slipped in to the loan without the borrower’s knowledge or consent. This brings in possible violations of the FDCPA, the FTCA and the “little FTC” acts passed by individual states.

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The menu of items that are due to the borrower as a condition precedent to making a claim for repayment is expansive and frankly in many cases is equivalent or nearly equivalent to the total amount of the principal claimed as loan repayment. 

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And that in turn brings up the most interesting question of all: who is liable to return those fees, compensation and finance charges? You can be sure that once the accounting is ordered by a court there will be scrambling amongst the players in the “Securitization” market. The whole point of masking their scheme was to avoid liability for this sort of thing. Hence the obfuscation of the actual creditor or lender. And this is one of many break points where the securitization players will start sniping at each other rather than the borrower.

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Nobody wants to hand all that money that was “earned” through the hard work of chicanery. And nobody wants to assert that they are the actual creditor since that would be an admission against interest that they had been misrepresenting the true creditor all along. And it would be waiving the 5th Amendment right against self incrimination for criminal charges.

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In any event, here are the REG Z rules on what constitutes a finance charge, which by the way, means that they should ALL have been been disclosed without exception.

§226.4   Finance charge.

(a) Definition. The finance charge is the cost of consumer credit as a dollar amount. It includes any charge payable directly or indirectly by the consumer and imposed directly or indirectly by the creditor as an incident to or a condition of the extension of credit. It does not include any charge of a type payable in a comparable cash transaction.

(1) Charges by third parties. The finance charge includes fees and amounts charged by someone other than the creditor, unless otherwise excluded under this section, if the creditor:

(i) Requires the use of a third party as a condition of or an incident to the extension of credit, even if the consumer can choose the third party; or

(ii) Retains a portion of the third-party charge, to the extent of the portion retained.

(2) Special rule; closing agent charges. Fees charged by a third party that conducts the loan closing (such as a settlement agent, attorney, or escrow or title company) are finance charges only if the creditor—

(i) Requires the particular services for which the consumer is charged;

(ii) Requires the imposition of the charge; or

(iii) Retains a portion of the third-party charge, to the extent of the portion retained.

(3) Special rule; mortgage broker fees. Fees charged by a mortgage broker (including fees paid by the consumer directly to the broker or to the creditor for delivery to the broker) are finance charges even if the creditor does not require the consumer to use a mortgage broker and even if the creditor does not retain any portion of the charge.

(b) Examples of finance charges. The finance charge includes the following types of charges, except for charges specifically excluded by paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section:

(1) Interest, time price differential, and any amount payable under an add-on or discount system of additional charges.

(2) Service, transaction, activity, and carrying charges, including any charge imposed on a checking or other transaction account to the extent that the charge exceeds the charge for a similar account without a credit feature.

(3) Points, loan fees, assumption fees, finder’s fees, and similar charges.

(4) Appraisal, investigation, and credit report fees.

(5) Premiums or other charges for any guarantee or insurance protecting the creditor against the consumer’s default or other credit loss.

(6) Charges imposed on a creditor by another person for purchasing or accepting a consumer’s obligation, if the consumer is required to pay the charges in cash, as an addition to the obligation, or as a deduction from the proceeds of the obligation.

(7) Premiums or other charges for credit life, accident, health, or loss-of-income insurance, written in connection with a credit transaction.

(8) Premiums or other charges for insurance against loss of or damage to property, or against liability arising out of the ownership or use of property, written in connection with a credit transaction.

(9) Discounts for the purpose of inducing payment by a means other than the use of credit.

(10) Charges or premiums paid for debt cancellation or debt suspension coverage written in connection with a credit transaction, whether or not the coverage is insurance under applicable law.

FORECLOSURES: TILA RIGHT OF RESCISSION and CONSEQUENCES

Seminars for Layman (Pro Se Litigants) and For Lawyers

TILA RIGHT OF RESCISSION and CONSEQUENCES

TRUTH IN LENDING

FEDERAL CIVIL COURT, FEDERAL BANKRUPTCY, STATE COURT INFORMATION

THIS POST RELATES ONLY TO RESCISSION UNDER TILA. IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT THERE ARE MULTIPLE GROUNDS FOR RESCISSION AND CANCELLATION OF THESE NOTES AND POSSIBLY TREBLE DAMAGES FOR USURY. SEE HOLDER IN DUE COURSE IN GLOSSARY.

I have been inundated with TILA questions. So I went out hunting to see if anyone had already written about it in terms that a lay person might be able to understand. What I found is shown below. I believe it to be generally correct and the citations are good citations of law. See this site for the entire write-up. It should give most lay people an idea on how to handle this and it will be valuable to your lawyer if he/she is not totally familiar with the TILA context. http://www.rcxloan.com/Civil_Action__BK__Motion_14.htm. As always, we are available to answer questions and direct you to the proper people to get expert help and advice.

MY ANSWER TO OUR READER’S QUESTIONS:

  1. TILA Rescission is self enforcing. It automatically extinguishes the lien and the liability. The time for rescission does not run until you actually knew the full scope of the violation. That is tantamount to it never running out.
  2. YOU CAN ASSERT AND SHOULD ASSERT TILA VIOLATIONS IF YOU CAN BEFORE YOU ARE IN FORECLOSURE OR EVEN IF YOU ARE CURRENT IN YOUR PAYMENTS.
  3. Judge is required to look for authority himself if you are representing yourself without a lawyer (pro se). This provision in effect makes the Judge your lawyer and your Judge. Pretty good combination for you.
  4. Judge has no discretion to deny damages, refunds etc to Borrower once a violation of TILA, no matter how small, is discovered.
  5. TILA Rescission is NOT barred before during or after other proceedings unless those other proceedings specifically mention rescission as an issue to be tried.
  6. Federal Action for injunction against the players to require them to file documents canceling the documents of record and providing judgment for damages and refunds is probably the best action since that is what is contemplated.
  7. If in bankruptcy, it should be pled in an adversary proceeding. But if the bankruptcy is  primarily related to the foreclosure the better practice would be to file in the same Federal Court, Civil Division, a complaint for violation of TILA rescission.
  8. A Quiet TItle Action in State Court would probably also be a good idea before, during or after the Federal action. It clears up any doubt whatsoever about the status of title or the lender’s lien or encumbrances.
  9. THIS IS INFORMATION YOU NEED BECAUSE THE LATEST LENDER STRATEGY SEEMS TO BE FOR THE LENDER TO IGNORE THE RESCISSION NOTICE. THE LENDER IS BETTING YOU WON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
  10. Suggestion: If you are in Court and you have opted or are ordered to settlement, try to get a paragraph in the mediation order that requires all decision-makers to be present, whether they are parties or not. This would include the holders of securities who are the ultimate owners of the mortgage. (You may get a pleasant surprise. We have reports that the lenders sometimes can’t trace them down, in which case, the foreclosure action or sale is dismissed and you have no mortgage).

TILA & Res Judicata

(Analogous to Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se’s situation since he had never litigated fully or raised any TILA claims affirmatively or defensively) –

A rescission action may not be barred by prior or subsequent TIL litigation which did not involve rescission (Smith v. Wells Fargo Credit Corp., 713 F. Supp.  354 (D. Ariz. 1989) (state court action involving, inter alia TIL disclosure violations did not bar a subsequent action based on rescission notice violations in conjunction with same transaction which were not alleged or litigated in prior action) (See also In re Laubach, 77 B.R. 483 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1987) (doctrine of merger bars raising state and federal law claims arising from a transaction on which a previous successful federal TILA action was based; merger does not bar, however, rescission-based on the same transaction)).

IX.  Timely Notified Lenders/Attorneys of TILA Right of Rescission

Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se filed a copy of the notice of rescission letter (See Exhibit 5) in the bankruptcy court notifying the attorneys representing DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance as well as having certified receipt return of proof of delivery to the Lawyers including are proof of notification according to the Official Staff Commentary, 226.2(a)(22)-2 as authorizing service on attorney.

The Truth-in-Lending law empower Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se to exercise his right in writing by notifying creditors of his cancellation by mail to rescind the mortgage loan transactions per (Reg. Z §§ 226.15(a)(2), 226.23(a)(2), Official Staff Commentary § 226.23(a)(2)-1) and 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b).

Equitable Tolling
The filing of Bankruptcy tolls or extends the rescission time as Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se had filed for bankruptcy on September 26, 2005 and obtained a discharge on September 26, 2006.

Also, the principle of equitable tolling does apply to TILA 3 years period of rescission since despite due diligence, Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se could not have reasonably discovered the concealed fact of TILA violations in-depth and explicitly until September 17, 2006 at about 5 a.m. in reading the Truth-in-Lending book by the National Consumer Law Center.

The equitable tolling principles are to be read into every federal statute of limitations unless Congress expressly provides to the contrary in clear and ambiguous language, (See Rotella v. Wood, 528 U.S. 549, 560-61, 120 S. Ct. 1075, 145 L. Ed. 2d 1047 (2000)). Since TILA does not evidence a contrary Congressional intent, its statute of limitations must be read to be subject to equitable tolling, particularly since the act is to be construed liberally in favor of consumers.

Security Interest is Void
The statute and regulation specify that the security interest, promissory note or lien arising by operation of law on the property becomes automatically void. (15 U.S.C. § 1635(b); Reg. Z §§ 226.15(d)(1), 226.23(d)(1).

As noted by the Official Staff Commentary, the creditor’s interest in the property is “automatically negated regardless of its status and whether or not it was recorded or perfected.” (Official Staff Commentary §§ 226.15(d)(1)-1, 226.23(d)(1)-1.).

Also, the security interest is void and of no legal effect irrespective of whether the creditor makes any affirmative response to the notice. Also, strict construction of Regulation Z would dictate that the voiding be considered absolute and not subject to judicial modification.

This requires DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance to submit canceling documents creating the security interest and filing release or termination statements in the public record. (Official Staff Commentary §§ 226.15(d)(2)-3, 226.23(d)(2)-3.)

Extended Right of Rescission
The statute and Regulation Z make it clear that, if Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se has the extended right and chooses to exercise it, the security interest and obligation to pay charges are automatically voided. (Cf. Semar v. Platte Valley Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n, 791 F.2d 699, 704-05 (9th Cir. 1986) (courts do not have equitable discretion to alter substantive provisions of TILA, so cases on equitable modification are irrelevant).

The statute, section 1635(b) states: “When an obligor exercises his right to cancel…, any security interest given by the obligor… becomes void upon such rescission”. Also, it is clear from the statutory language that the court’s modification authority extends only to the procedures specified by section 1625(b).

The voiding of the security interest is not a procedure, in the sense of a step to be followed or an action to be taken.

The statute makes no distinction between the right to rescind in three day or extended in three years for federal and four years under Mass. TILA, as neither cases nor statute give courts equitable discretion to alter TILA’s substantive provisions.

Since the rescission process was intended to be self-enforcing, failure to comply with the rescission obligations subjects DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance to potential liability.

XIII.  Non-Compliance

Non-compliance is a violation of the act which gives rise to a claim for actual and statutory damages under 15 USC 1640. TIL rescission does not only cancel a security interest in the property but it also cancels any liability for the Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se to pay finance and other charges, including accrued interest, points, broker fees, closing costs and that the lender must refund to Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se all finance charges and fees paid.

In case DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance do not respond to this default letter, Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se has the option of enforcing the rescission right in the federal, bankruptcy or state court (See S. Rep. No. 368, 96th Cong. 2 Sess. 28 at 32 reprinted in 1980 U.S.C.A.N. 236, 268 (“The bill also makes explicit that a consumer may institute suit under section 130 [15 U.S.C., 1640] to enforce the right of rescission and recover costs and attorney fees”).

TIL rescission does not only cancel a security interest in the property but it also cancels any liability for Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se to pay finance and other charges, including accrued interest, points, broker fees, closing costs and the lender must refund to Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se all finance charges and fees paid.

Thus, DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance are obligated to return those charges to Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se (Pulphus v. Sullivan, 2003 WL 1964333, at *17 (N.D. Apr. 28, 2003) (citing lender’s duty to return consumer’s money as reason for allowing rescission of refinanced loan); McIntosh v. Irwing Union Bank & Trust Co., 215 F.R.D. 26 (D. Mass. 2003) (citing borrower’s right to be reimbursed for prepayment penalty as reason for allowing rescission of paid-off loan).

XIV.  Sources of Law in Truth in Lending Cases

“These include TILA itself, the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation Z which implements the Act, the Official Staff Commentary on Regulation Z, and case law.  Except where Congress has explicitly relieved lenders of liability for noncompliance, it is a strict liability statute.  (Truth-In-Lending, 5th Edition, National Consumer Law Center, 1.4.2.3.2, page 11)

XV.  Synopsis of How Rescission Works

The process starts with the consumer’s notice to the creditor that he or she is rescinding the transaction.  As the bare bones nature of the FRB model notice demonstrates, it is not necessary to explain why the consumer is canceling.  The FRB Model Notice simply says: “I WISH TO CANCEL,” followed by a signature and date line (Arnold v. W.D.L. Invs., Inc., 703 F.2d 848, 850 (5th cir. 1983) (clear intention of TILA and Reg. Z is to make sure that the creditor gets notice of the consumer’s intention to rescind)).

The statute and Regulation Z states that if creditor disputes the consumer’s right to rescind, it should file a declaratory judgment action within the twenty days after receiving the rescission notice, before its deadline to return the consumer’s money or property and record the termination of its security interest (15 USC 1625(b)).  Once the lender receives the notice, the statute and Regulation Z mandate 3 steps to be followed.

XVI. Step One of Rescission

First, by operation of law, the security interest and promissory note automatically becomes void and the consumer is relieved of any obligation to pay any finance or other charges (15 USC 1635(b); Reg. Z-226.15(d)(1),226.23(d)(1).  .  See Official Staff Commentary § 226.23(d)(2)-1. (See Willis v. Friedman, Clearinghouse No. 54,564 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. May 2, 2002) (Once the right to rescind is exercised, the security interest in the Mr. Pierre R. Augustin’s property becomes void ab initio).

Thus, the security interest is void and of no legal effect irrespective of whether the creditor makes any affirmative response to the notice. (See Family Financial Services v. Spencer, 677 A.2d 479 (Conn. App. 1996) (all that is required is notification of the intent to rescind, and the agreement is automatically rescinded).

It is clear from the statutory language that the court’s modification authority extends only to the procedures specified by section 1635(b).  The voiding of the security interest is not a procedure, in the sense of a step to be followed or an action to be taken.

The statute makes no distinction between the right to rescind in 3-day or extended as neither cases nor statute give courts equitable discretion to alter TILA’s substantive provisions. Also, after the security interest is voided, secured creditor becomes unsecured. (See Exhibit #6)

XVII. Step Two of Rescission

Second, since Mr. Pierre R. Augustin has legally rescinded the loans transaction, the mortgage holders (DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance) must return any money, including that which may have been passed on to a third party, such as a broker or an appraiser and to take any action necessary to reflect the termination of the security interest within 20 calendar days of receiving the rescission notice which has expired.

The creditor’s other task is to take any necessary or appropriate action to reflect the fact that the security interest was automatically terminated by the rescission within 20 days of the creditor’s receipt of the rescission notice (15 USC 1635(b); Reg. Z-226.15(d)(2),226.23(d)(2).

XIII. Step Three of Rescission

Mr. Pierre R. Augustin is prepared to discuss a tender obligation, should it arise, and satisfactory ways in which to meet this obligation.  The termination of the security interest is required before tendering and step 1 and 2 have to be respected by DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance

XIV. Conclusion

I am requesting an itemized statement of my payment record to DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance.    When Mr. Pierre R. Augustin rescinds within the context of a bankruptcy, courts have held that the rescission effectively voids the security interest, rendering the debt, if any, unsecured (See Exhibit #6).  (See in re Perkins, 106 B.R. 863, 874 (Bankr. E.D.Pa. 1989); In re Brown, 134 B.R. 134 (Bankr. E.D.Pa. 1991); In re Moore, 117 B.R. 135 (Bankr.E.D. Pa. 1990)).

Once the court finds a violation such as not responding to the TILA rescission letter, no matter how technical, it has no discretion with respect to liability (in re Wright, supra. At 708; In re Porter v. Mid-Penn Consumer Discount Co., 961 F,2d 1066, 1078 (3d. Cir. 1992); Smith v. Fidelity Consumer Discount Co., Supra. At 898.  Any misgivings creditors may have about the technical nature of the requirements should be addressed to Congress or the Federal Reserve Board, not the courts.

Since DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance have not cancelled the security interest and return all monies paid by Mr. Pierre R. Augustin within the 20 days of receipt of the letter of rescission of September 21, 2006, the lenders named above are responsible for actual and statutory damages pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1640(a).

Once again, please send me a copy of my payment history and other document showing the loan disbursements, loan charges and payment made.  Also, DanversBank, Ameriquest Mortgage, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company, New Century Mortgage and Chase Home Finance are to take any necessary or appropriate action to reflect the fact that the security interest was automatically terminated by the rescission (15 USC 1635(b); Reg. Z-226.15(d)(2),226.23(d)(2).  This requires canceling documents creating the security interest and filing release or termination statements in the public record of FREE and CLEAR TITLE to Mr. Pierre R. Augustin.  Thank you (TTTLMG).

May GOD Bless America,

Pierre Richard Augustin, Pro Se, MPA, MBA

28 Cedar Street, Lowell, MA 01852

Tel: 617-202-8069

TILA Pleading

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, it may be sufficient to plead that the TILA has been violated. (Fed.R. Civ. P. 8(a)).

Specific violations do not necessarily have to be alleged with particularity (Brown v. Mortgagestar, 194 F. Supp. 2d 473 (S.D. W. Va. 2002) (notice pleading is all that is required in TILA case);

Herrara v. North & Kimball Group, Inc., 2002 WL 253019 (N.D. Ill. Feb.. 20, 2002) (notice pleading sufficient; response to motion to dismiss can supplement complaint by alleging facts re specific documents assigned);

Staley v. Americorp. Credit Corp., 164 F. Supp. 2d 578 (D. Md. 2001) (Mr. Pierre R. Augustin,

Pro Se need not specify specific statute or regulations that entitle him to relief; court will examine complaint for relief on any possible legal theory);

Hill v. GFC Loan Co., 2000 U.S. Dist. Lexis 4345 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 15, 2000).

The consumer’s complaint need not plead an error exceeded the applicable tolerance, since this is an affirmative defense (Inge v. Rock Fin. Corp., 281 F.3d 613 (6th cir. 2002)).

In page 2 (See Exhibit 1) of Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se’s civil complaint, he stated that TILA was in of the Jurisdiction of all the claims against the creditors or defendants in that civil action.

At #6 of page 14 (See Exhibit 2) of civil complaint, Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se explicitly stated that the New Century Mortgage Note which is now assigned to Chase is in violation of TILA and Regulation Z claims.

In page 17 of the civil complaint, Mr. Pierre R. Augustin, Pro Se did mention rescission and statutory damages (See Exhibit 3).

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