Confused? Beware of Scams

One of the fundamental cancers growing out of the “Securitization” craze is that it opened the door to financial scams of increasing diversity. The article below demonstrates one of those scams. None of this would be possible if it were not for the fact that “securitization” was and continues to be a scam as to residential loans starting in the late 1990’s.

Basic rule for all “deals”: if you don’t fully understand it or have someone who does understand it, don’t do it. With 50 years of experience on Wall Street, in business and practicing law (41 years) I can sniff out a scam in minutes.

Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

I provide advice and consent to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key elements of a scam. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORMWITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345. The TEAR replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

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

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LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!

see – More REMIC Scams Emerging – Fla. Office of financial Regulation Starts Investigation

This scam was only possible because nobody understands “Securitization.” Even fewer people understand what “REMIC” means. This scam told people that the IRS would pay refunds to them to pay off their residential mortgage loans. The money was to be derived from a REMIC Trust.

Because REMIC Trusts rarely exist, the perpetrators of this nonsense were able to use that fact to convince people that this REMIC did exist. All the criminals had to do was copy the PSA from some other scam masquerading as a REMIC Trust and Presto! they could say they had a trust. The “REMIC” designation was simply added for flavor, as though the entity actually was formed and funded and acquired residential mortgages with money derived from mostly institutional investors.

Securitization comes in three main flavors:

  1. Securitization as a concept
  2. Securitization documents as they are written
  3. Securitization in practice in real life.

In the real world those three flavors should all be the same, but they are not. real life practice is inconsistent with the written documents and the concept of securitization. Instead of spreading risk the investment banks are concentrating it. That’s why the 2008 hiccup turned into a landslide. The only people making money off of alleged
“loans” are the investment banks acting as intermediaries between the investors and borrowers.

There is nothing wrong with securitization as a concept. There is everything wrong with securitization as it has been written into thousands of false REMIC documents supposedly creating a REMIC Trust. And in practice it was wide open for “moral hazard” — i.e., outright theft.

The reason that virtually all “documents” are fabricated in foreclosures is that the actual path of investment ran off a completely different track than the one portrayed in court. But using false documents has now been institutionalized, paving the way for the proliferation of financial scams against people who were already scammed.

I offer the following guide: if the word “REMIC” is used, the real facts are almost always certain to reveal a scam, whether you are in foreclosure proceedings or dealing with some “rescue operation”.

IN ALL CASES HIRE AN INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL AND /OR LEGAL ADVISER BEFORE YOU SPEND MONEY THAT YOU WILL NEVER SEE AGAIN.

NM and Fla Judges Express Doubt Over Whether Loans Ever Made it Into trust

Judges are thinking the unthinkable — that none of the trusts ever acquired anything and that the foreclosures were and are a sham.

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

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It isn’t “theory. It is facts, or rather the absence of facts.

As shown in the two articles by Jeff Barnes below, we are obviously reaching the tipping point. First, the presentation of a Trust instrument means nothing if there is no proof the trust was active — and in particular actually purchased the subject loan. And Second, Judges will deny all objections to discovery and will rule for the borrower if the Trust did not acquire the loan.

In ruling this way the two Judges — thousands of miles apart — are obviously recognizing that the long standing bank objection to borrowers’ defenses based upon lack of legal standing absolutely do not apply. It is not a matter of whether the borrower has “standing” to bring up the PSA, it is a matter of whether the trust was party to any real transaction with relation to the subject mortgage. The answer is no. And no amount of extra paper, powers of attorney, assignments, or endorsements can change that.

Judges are thinking the unthinkable — that none of the trusts ever acquired anything and that the foreclosures were and are a sham.

It is probably worth re-publishing this portion from a long article by Adam Levitin written shortly after the Ibanez decision was reached in Massachusetts. Note how he points out that the vast majority of PSAs that are offered as evidence are neither executed nor do they have a mortgage loan schedule that is “reviewable.” The real problem — and the reason why the SEC-filed PSA documents do not have any signatures and why there is no mortgage loan schedule is that there was no transaction in which the Trust acquired the loans. Virtually all assignments are backdated and virtually none of the assignments relate back to any ACTUAL transaction in which the Trust was involved. The banks have been winning on fumes generated by legal inapplicable presumptions. —

It seems to me that any trust with Massachusetts loans that doesn’t have a publicly filed, executed PSA with a reviewable loan schedule should be on a downgrade watch. Very few publicly filed PSAs are executed and even fewer have publicly filed loan schedules. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but somewhere off-line, but if I ran a rating agency, I’d want trustees to show me that they’ve got those papers on at least a sample of deals. Of course should and would are quite different–the ratings agencies, like the regulators, are refusing to take the securitization fail issue as seriously as they should (and I understand that it is a complex legal issue), but I think they ignore it at their (and our) peril

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Excerpts from Barnes’ articles:

A Florida Circuit Judge has gone on the record requiring Wells Fargo, as the claimed “trustee” of a securitized mortgage loan trust, to show that the mortgage loan which WF is attempting to enforce actually went into the PSA, and if not, the standing requirement has not been met and the case will fall on summary judgment. The homeowner is represented by Jeff Barnes, Esq.

The Judge specifically stated as follows:

“…but what I want plaintiff’s counsel to understand, that what you submitted to me with regards to the pooling and servicing agreement still does not have the actual mortgages that went into that pooling and servicing agreement…So at some point you’re going to have to show that this mortgage and note certainly went into that pooling and servicing agreement, which is what I have requested before. …  So I’m just asking you that before we get too far out, please make sure that’s there, or its going to be taken out on summary judgment. … In other words, if you’re a trustee for that pooling and servicing agreement, and the mortgage and note are not in that pooling and servicing agreement, you don’t have standing.”

This ruling not only directly confirms the proof requirements for standing in a securitization case, but supports the production of discovery on the issue as well.


DISCOVERY IS KEY.

The borrower thus requested 53 categories of documents from BAC, including securitization documents. BAC filed a Motion for Protective Order which claimed that public information on the SEC website was “confidential”; that the securitization-related discovery was “irrelevant”; and that it was essentially entitled to withhold discovery because it “has the original note” and has moved for summary judgment on the “relevant” issues.

The Court disagreed, denying BAC’s Motion in its entirety and commanding full responses to the borrower’s discovery request (including production of all responsive documents) within 30 days. The Court found BAC’s Motion to be “sparse”; not in compliance with New Mexico court rules as to discovery; and against New Mexico’s case law which provides for liberal discovery in foreclosure actions so that all of the issues are fully developed and a fair trial is had.

 

A New Mexico District Judge yesterday denied BAC Home Loan Servicing’s Motion for Protective Order which it filed in an attempt to avoid producing documentary discovery to a homeowner who BAC has sued for foreclosure. The loan was originated by New Mexico Bank and Trust, was sold to Countrywide, and thereafter allegedly “assigned” first to MERS and then by MERS to BAC.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

The Adam Levitin Article on Ibanez and Securitization fail:

Ibanez and Securitization Fail

posted by Adam Levitin

The Ibanez foreclosure decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has gotten a lot of attention since it came down on Friday. The case is, not surprisingly being taken to heart by both bulls and bears. While I don’t think Ibanez is a death blow to the securitization industry, at the very least it should make investors question the party line that’s been coming out of the American Securitization Forum. At the very least it shows that the ASF’s claims in its White Paper and Congressional testimony are wrong on some points, as I’ve argued elsewhere, including on this blog. I would argue that at the very least, Ibanez shows that there is previously undisclosed material risk in all private-label MBS.

The Ibanez case itself is actually very simple. The issue before the court was whether the two securitization trusts could prove a chain of title for the mortgages they were attempting to foreclose on.

There’s broad agreement that absent such a chain of title, they don’t have the right to foreclose–they’d have as much standing as I do relative to the homeowners. The trusts claimed three alternative bases for chain of title:

(1) that the mortgages were transferred via the pooling and servicing agreement (PSA)–basically a contract of sale of the mortgages

(2) that the mortgages were transferred via assignments in blank.

(3) that the mortgages follow the note and transferred via the transfers of the notes.

The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that arguments #2 and #3 simply don’t work in Massachusetts. The reasoning here was heavily derived from Massachusetts being a title theory state, but I think a court in a lien theory state could easily reach the same result. It’s hard to predict if other states will adopt the SJC’s reasoning, but it is a unanimous verdict (with an even sharper concurrence) by one of the most highly regarded state courts in the country. The opinion is quite lucid and persuasive, particularly the point that if the wrong plaintiff is named is the foreclosure notice, the homeowner hasn’t received proper notice of the foreclosure.

Regarding #1, the SJC held that a PSA might suffice as a valid assignment of the mortgages, if the PSA is executed and contains a schedule that sufficiently identifies the mortgage in question, and if there is proof that the assignor in the PSA itself held the mortgage. (This last point is nothing more than the old rule of nemo dat–you can’t give what you don’t have. It shows that there has to be a complete chain of title going back to origination.)

On the facts, both mortgages in Ibanez failed these requirements. In one case, the PSA couldn’t even be located(!) and in the other, there was a non-executed copy and the purported loan schedule (not the actual schedule–see Marie McDonnell’s amicus brief to the SJC) didn’t sufficiently identify the loan. Moreover, there was no proof that the mortgage chain of title even got to the depositor (the assignor), without which the PSA is meaningless:

Even if there were an executed trust agreement with the required schedule, US Bank failed to furnish any evidence that the entity assigning the mortgage – Structured Asset Securities Corporation [the depositor] — ever held the mortgage to be assigned. The last assignment of the mortgage on record was from Rose Mortgage to Option One; nothing was submitted to the judge indicating that Option One ever assigned the mortgage to anyone before the foreclosure sale.

So Ibanez means that to foreclosure in Massachusetts, a securitization trust needs to prove:

(1) a complete and unbroken chain of title from origination to securitization trust
(2) an executed PSA
(3) a PSA loan schedule that unambiguously indicates that association of the defaulted mortgage loan with the PSA. Just having the ZIP code or city for the loan won’t suffice. (Lawyers: remember Raffles v. Wichelhaus, the Two Ships Peerless? This is also a Statute of Frauds issue–the banks lost on 1L contract issues!)

I don’t think this is a big victory for the securitization industry–I don’t know of anyone who argues that an executed PSA with sufficiently detailed schedules could not suffice to transfer a mortgage. That’s never been controversial. The real problem is that the schedules often can’t be found or aren’t sufficiently specific. In other words, deal design was fine, deal execution was terrible. Important point to note, however: the SJC did not say that an executed PSA plus valid schedules was sufficient for a transfer; the parties did not raise and the SJC did not address the question of whether there might be additional requirements, like those imposed by the PSA itself.

Now, the SJC did note that a “confirmatory assignment” could be valid, but (and this is s a HUGE but), it:

cannot confirm an assignment that was not validly made earlier or backdate an assignment being made for the first time. Where there is no prior valid assignment, a subsequent assignment by the mortgage holder to the note holder is not a confirmatory assignment because there is no earlier written assignment to confirm.”

In other words, a confirmatory assignment doesn’t get you anything unless you can show an original assignment. I’m afraid that the industry’s focus on the confirmatory assignment language just raises the possibility of fraudulent “confirmatory” assignments, much like the backdated assignments that emerged in the robosigning depositions.

So what does this mean? There’s still a valid mortgage and valid note. So in theory someone can enforce the mortgage and note. But no one can figure out who owns them. There were problems farther upstream in the chain of title in Ibanez (3 non-identical “true original copies” of the mortgage!) that the SJC declined to address because it wasn’t necessary for the outcome of the case. But even without those problems, I’m doubtful that these mortgages will ever be enforced. Actually going back and correcting the paperwork would be hard, neither the trustee nor the servicer has any incentive to do so, and it’s not clear that they can do so legally. Ibanez did not address any of the trust law issues revolving around securitization, but there might be problems assigning defaulted mortgages into REMIC trusts that specifically prohibit the acceptance of defaulted mortgages. Probably not worthwhile risking the REMIC status to try and fix bad paperwork (or at least that’s what I’d advise a trustee). I’m very curious to see how the trusts involved in this case account for the mortgages now.

The Street seemed heartened by a Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision that came out on FridayHarp v. JPM Chase. If they read the damn case, they wouldn’t put any stock in it.

In Harp, a pro se defendant took JPM all the way to the state supreme court. That alone should make investors nervous–there’s going to be a lot of delay from litigation. Harp also didn’t involve a securitized loan. But the critical difference between Harp and Ibanez is that Harp did not involve issues about the validity of chain of title. It was about the timing of the chain of title. Ibanez was about chain of title validity. In Harp JPM commenced a foreclosure and was subsequently assigned a loan. It then brought a summary judgment motion and prevailed. The Maine SJC stated that the foreclosure was improperly commenced, but it ruled for JPM on straightforward grounds: JPM had standing at the time it moved (and was granted) summary judgment. Given the procedural posture of the case, standing at the time of summary judgment, rather than at the commencement of the foreclosure was what mattered, and there was no prejudice to the defendant by the assignment occurring after the foreclosure action was brought, because the defendant had an opportunity to litigate against the real party in interest before judgment was rendered. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court also indicated that it might not be so charitable with improperly foreclosing lenders that were not in the future; JPM benefitted from the lack of clear law on the subject. In short, Harp says that if the title defects are cured before the foreclosure is completed, it’s ok. There’s a very limited cure possibility under Harp, which means that the law is basically what it was before: if you can’t show title, you can’t complete the foreclosure.

What about MERS?

The Ibanez mortgages didn’t involve MERS. MERS was created in part to fix the problem of unrecorded assignments gumming up foreclosures in the early 1990s (and also to avoid payment of local real estate recording fees). In theory, MERS should help, as it should provide a chain of title for the mortgages. Leaving aside the unresolved concerns about whether MERS recordings are valid and for what purposes, MERS only helps to the extent it’s accurate. And that’s a problem because MERS has lots of inaccuracies in the system. MERS does not always report the proper name of loan owners (e.g., “Bank of America,” instead of “Bank of America 2006-1 RMBS Trust”), and I’ve seen lots of cases where the info in the MERS system doesn’t remotely match with the name of either the servicer or the trust bringing the foreclosure. That might be because the mortgage was transferred out of the MERS system, but there’s still an outstanding record in the MERS system, which actually clouds the title. I’m guessing that on balance MERS should help on mortgage title issues, but it’s not a cure-all. And it is critical to note that MERS does nothing for chain of title issues involving notes.

Which brings me to a critical point: Ibanez and Harp involve mortgage chain of title issues, not note chain of title issues. There are plenty of problems with mortgage chain of title. But the note chain of title issues, which relate to trust law questions, are just as, if not more serious. We don’t have any legal rulings on the note chain of title issues. But even the rosiest reading of Ibanez cannot provide any comfort on note chain of title concerns.

So who loses here? In theory, these loans should be put-back to the seller. Will that happen? I’m skeptical. If not, that means that investors will be eating the loss. This case also means that foreclosures in MA (and probably elsewhere) will be harder, which means more delay, which again hurts investors because there will be more servicing advances to be repaid off the top. The servicer and the trustee aren’t necessarily getting off scot free, though. They might get hit with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act suits from the homeowners (plus anything else a creative lawyer can scrape together). And mortgage insurers might start using this case as an excuse for denying coverage. REO purchasers and title insurers should be feeling a little nervous now, although I doubt that anyone who bought REO before Ibanez will get tossed out of their house if they are living in it. Going forward, though, I don’t think there’s a such thing as a good faith purchaser of REO in MA.

You can’t believe everything you read. Some of the materials coming out of the financial services sector are simply wrong. Three examples:

(1) JPMorgan Chase put out an analyst report this morning claiming the Massachusetts has not adopted the UCC. This is sourced to calls with two law firms. I sure hope JPM didn’t pay for that advice and that it didn’t come from anyone I know. It’s flat out wrong. Massachusetts has adopted the uniform version of Revised Article 9 of the UCC and a non-uniform version of Revised Article 1 of the UCC, but it has adopted the relevant language in Revised Article 1. There’s not a material divergence in the UCC here.
(2) One of my favorite MBS analysts (whom I will not name), put out a report this morning that stated that Ibanez said assignments in blank are fine. Wrong. It said that they are not and never have been valid in Massachusetts:

[In the banks’] reply briefs they conceded that the assignments in blank did not constitute a lawful assignment of the mortgages. Their concession is appropriate. We have long held that a conveyance of real property, such as a mortgage, that does not name the assignee conveys nothing and is void; we do not regard an assignment of land in blank as giving legal title in land to the bearer of the assignment.”

A similar line is coming out of ASF. Courtesy of the American Banker:

Perplexingly, the American Securitization Forum issued a press release hailing the court’s ruling as upholding the validity of assignments in blank. A spokesman for the organization could not be reached to explain its interpretation.

ASF’s credibility seems to really be crumbling here. It’s one thing to disagree with the Massachusetts SJC. It’s another thing to persist in blatant misstatements of black letter law.

(3) Wells and US Bank, the trustees in the Ibanez case, immediately put out statements that they had no liability. Really? I’m not so sure. Trustees certainly have very broad exculpation and very narrow duties. But an inability to produce deal documents strikes me as such a critical error that it might not be covered. Do they really want to litigate a case where the facts make them look like such buffoons? Do they really want daylight shed on the details of their operations? Indeed, absent an executed PSA, I don’t think the trustees have any proof of exculpation. They might be acting, unwittingly, as common law trustees and thus general fiduciaries. I think they’ll settle quickly and quietly with any investors who sue.
Finally, what are the ratings agencies going to do?

It seems to me that any trust with Massachusetts loans that doesn’t have a publicly filed, executed PSA with a reviewable loan schedule should be on a downgrade watch. Very few publicly filed PSAs are executed and even fewer have publicly filed loan schedules. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but somewhere off-line, but if I ran a rating agency, I’d want trustees to show me that they’ve got those papers on at least a sample of deals. Of course should and would are quite different–the ratings agencies, like the regulators, are refusing to take the securitization fail issue as seriously as they should (and I understand that it is a complex legal issue), but I think they ignore it at their (and our) peril

 

4th DCA Florida gets It!! Judgment Reversed for Borrower! HSBC Goes Down in Flames

For More Information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688

This is not a legal opinion on your case. Get a lawyer.

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This case is important for many reasons:

  1. It is short. While that seems inconsequential, it seems highly significant to me that the 4th DCA would reverse the trial judge and direct entry of judgment for the Borrower based upon the application of simple laws and rules that I have been advocating for 8 years.
  2. It does not remand for a new trial or further proceedings. it directs that judgment be entered for the borrower. End of story.
  3. Standing: If the foreclosing party lacks standing it doesn’t matter how many payments were allegedly “missed.” A party who has no injury or interest in the subject matter cannot bring the claim.
  4. The assignment and the note “endorsement” was after the suit was filed. Hence at the time of the filing of the foreclosure lawsuit, there could be no standing and therefore the lawsuit should have been dismissed. It is for that reason that the 4th DCA directs judgment for the borrower.
  5. The burden of proof is on the bank — not the borrower. IN order to sustain a complaint at trial, the burden of proof is on the alleged creditor to prove its standing. AND THAT MEANS that discovery demands, routinely rejected by judges, can be enforced.
  6. The alleged endorsement was undated: The Court found that an undated endorsement cannot prove standing. The witness at trial must testify that he/she knows everything relevant about the endorsement, who did it, when and why. Robo-witnesses don’t have that information because the bank won;t let them have it. If they did have that information they would either be required to reveal that there was no underlying transaction, or perjure themselves.
  7. The court completely accepts the fact that the banks are backdating documents and it says backdating an assignment does nothing to help the bank. In other words, lying about it doesn’t cure the bank’s case.
  8. EVIDENCE: The witness testified that he knew nothing other than what he could see on the face of the assignment. As I have said for 8 years, that is pure hearsay — simply reading a document into the record does not mean that the recitals in the document are true. The fact that it is a document doesn’t mean it is a business record. And the fact that it is a business record doesn’t mean it is a valid exception to the hearsay rule. Judges, by the thousands ruled in millions of cases that such a proffer was admissible evidence. They were and remain wrong for doing so. If the witness cannot testify from personal knowledge about the matters asserted in a document, then neither the witness nor the document can be admitted into evidence. The question is not whether the the witness correctly read aloud what was in the document (probably backdated and forged). The question is whether the information on the document is reliable and trustworthy and true. A document could have the appearance of reliability and trustworthiness but the recitals in the document might not be true. The homeowner cannot cross examine a document and a homeowner cannot cross examine a witness about the accuracy of the matters asserted in the document if the witness knows nothing except what is written on the document.

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JUNIOR A. HARRIS,
Appellant,

v.

HSBC BANK USA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION,
as Trustee for NAAC Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Series 2007-1,
Appellee.

No. 4D14-54

[September 9, 2015]

Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Cynthia G. Imperato, Judge; L.T. Case No. CACE08029493(11).

Kenneth V. Hemmerle, II, Fort Lauderdale, and Richard P. McCusker, Jr., Delray Beach, for appellant.

Donna L. Eng, Michael K. Winston, and Dean A. Morande of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A., West Palm Beach, for appellee.

GERBER, J.

The borrower appeals from a final judgment of foreclosure entered for the bank after a trial. The borrower argues that the bank failed to prove it had standing when it filed the action. We agree and reverse for entry of judgment for the borrower.

The bank’s original complaint attached a copy of a note payable to another entity. The note did not contain an endorsement.

The bank later filed a second amended complaint. Attached were copies of the note and an assignment of the note. The note now contained an endorsement to the bank. However, the endorsement was undated. The assignment purported to transfer the note to the bank on an “effective” date before the bank filed its original complaint.

However, the assignment was executed after the bank filed its original complaint.

The borrower answered and raised lack of standing as an affirmative defense. The borrower argued that the endorsement was undated and the assignment was executed after the bank filed its original complaint.

At trial, the bank introduced into evidence the original note and the assignment. On the factual issue of whether the note was assigned to the bank before or after the bank filed the original complaint, the bank’s witness possessed no knowledge or information other than what the assignment’s face reflected.

After the close of all evidence, the trial court entered a final judgment of foreclosure for the bank.
This appeal followed. Our review is de novo. See Lloyd v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon, 160 So. 3d 513, 514 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) (“We review the sufficiency of the evidence to prove standing to bring a foreclosure action de novo.”) (citation omitted).

We agree with the borrower that the bank failed to prove it had standing when it filed the action. We reach this conclusion for three reasons.

First, the note’s endorsement to the bank was undated. See Matthews v. Fed. Nat’l Mortg. Ass’n, 160 So. 3d 131, 133 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) (“[T]he note introduced at trial . . . did not establish standing when the suit was commenced. The blank endorsement was undated.”).

Second, the assignment was “backdated” after the bank filed the action. See id. (“Nor does the backdated assignment, standing alone, establish standing.”) (citation omitted); Vidal v. Liquidation Props., Inc., 104 So. 3d 1274, 1277 n.1 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013) (“Allowing assignments to be retroactively effective would be inimical to the requirements of pre-suit ownership for standing in foreclosure cases.”).

Third, on the factual issue of whether the note was assigned to the bank before or after the bank filed the original complaint, the bank’s witness possessed no knowledge or information other than what the assignment’s face reflected. See Lloyd, 160 So. 3d at 515 (“Plaintiff’s evidence supporting its claim that the assignment . . . ‘related back’ to before the suit commenced was also insufficient to prove standing in this case. The witness testified that he did not have any information, other than the document itself, to verify when the assignment took place.”).

Based on the foregoing, we reverse and remand for entry of judgment for the borrower.

Reversed and remanded.

GROSS and DAMOORGIAN, JJ., concur.

– See more at: http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/2015/09/09/harris-v-hsbc-bank-usa-na-notes-endorsement-to-the-bank-was-undated-the-assignment-was-backdated-factual-issue-of-whether-the-note-was-assigned-to-the-bank/#sthash.FLUGXD2A.ynDnEINB.dpuf

Livinglies “Theory” Again Corroborated by 4th DCA in Florida: Proof of transaction IS required.

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

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see Murray vs. HSBC – 4D13-4316

Having exhausted all possible explanations for the fraudulent behavior of the banks, the 4th DCA has now come to the conclusion that the reason for robo-signing, fabrication, backdating, forgery etc. is that there was no transaction underlying the paperwork that the banks rely upon — at least in this case. In this case in particular, after all the cynics, critics and ridicule I confess my base instincts when I say “I told you so.” Of course the case is remanded, but there is no way HSBC is going to be able to prove anything required by this decision.

For legal practitioners the take away from this case and others being decided in Florida and around the country, is that you should not accept proclamations from either opposing counsel or the bench that the facial validity of a document is enough. In most cases there is no underlying transaction in which a purchase and sale of the loan was completed. So now, at least in the 4th DCA in Florida, foreclosing parties are being returned to the days when they had to prove the actual loan and prove that actual purchase of the loan through proof of payment for the transaction by the party seeking to enforce the loan. And when they don’t or can’t they should be subjected to sanctions against both the conspirators and their attorneys, plus punitive damages.

CAVEAT: THIS CASE DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL CASES. Check with an attorney licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property is located before you make any decisions or start celebrating. But if you check around you will see an increasing number of Florida and other state and Federal decisions, including bankruptcy court, where they found the original note and mortgage void or the transfers to have eviscerated the right to enforce the mortgage through foreclosure. In short, the tide has turned.

A nonholder in possession, however, cannot rely on possession of the instrument alone as a basis to enforce it. . . . The transferee does not enjoy the statutorily provided assumption of the right to enforce the instrument that accompanies a negotiated instrument, and so the transferee “must account for possession of the unindorsed instrument by proving the transaction through which the transferee acquired it.” Com. Law § 3–203 cmt. 2. If there are multiple prior transfers, the transferee must prove each prior transfer. Once the transferee establishes a successful transfer from a holder, he or she acquires the enforcement rights of that holder. See Com. Law § 3–203 cmt. 2. A transferee’s rights, however, can be no greater than his or her transferor’s because those rights are “purely derivative.”

Id. (emphasis added) (internal citations omitted).
HSBC had to prove the chain of transfers starting with Option One California as the first holder of the note. The only document admitted that purported to transfer the note was the PSA. Although the note was included in the PSA, the parties to the PSA were ACE, Option One Mortgage Corporation, Wells Fargo, and HSBC; not Option One California. The loan analyst testified that Option One California was acquired by AHMS, which rebranded to Homeward Residential, which was ultimately acquired by Ocwen. HSBC argues that since “Option One” is defined under the PSA as “Option One Mortgage Corporation or any successor thereto,” and Option One transferred its interest to HSBC through the PSA, HSBC had the rights of a holder. We disagree.

Appellate Court Wrestling with Inconsistent Facts in Foreclosure Cases

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

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IT ISN’T BOTCHED PAPERWORK. IT’S FAKE PAPERWORK

It should come as no surprise that Judges have been confused since the dawning of the mortgage crisis launched by Wall Street. Wall Street was counting on it. And the problem they are having is that most courts, including appellate courts, are presuming the loans existed in the first place. You can’t blame for that because nearly everyone still makes that presumption. How could it not be true? What do you mean the loan came from someone else? Then why didn’t that third person  make sure they were made the payee on the note and the mortgagee on the mortgage? The real lenders didn’t know about the loan and would never have approved it? Preposterous!

Yes, I concede it all sounds like nonsense. But here is something that does NOT sound like nonsense. If the loan actually existed (between the named payee on the note and the named mortgagee or beneficiary on the mortgage) there is no circumstances under which a lawyer for the “lender” or “investor” would withhold proof of that transaction to the borrower, the Court or anyone else that was entitled to that information. If they had proof of payment on the loan they would rush to show it. If they had proof of payment on the alleged purchase of the loan, they would rush to show it — because that would make them a holder in due course (where the borrower has virtually no defenses).

The problem is that with the shell game of plaintiffs, servicers and trustees, Judges are getting distracted as they start picking at the foreclosure actions and entering some judgments in favor of the homeowners but failing to even consider the possibility that the entire scheme is fraudulent. Instead we see articles like the one below where the paperwork is considered “botched.” It isn’t botched. It is part of a fraudulent scheme. Look for any case where the underlying monetary transaction has been shown or proven. It isn’t there. 6-7 million foreclosures and still no money changing hands. What lender would endorse a note and assign a mortgage without receiving payment for it? (Unless of course they didn’t pay anything either at the loan closing table).

And why would anyone endorse a note or assign a mortgage without a sale of the loan and without receiving payment for it? The answer is very clear. They wouldn’t.

But the Courts are starting with the premise that the loan, and the transfer of the loan is presumptively legal and valid. And part of that presumption starts with the wrong question in the minds of judges — why would anyone file a foreclosure action if they were not the injured party whose legitimate interests were abridged when the borrower stopped paying? That slippery slope leads them to ratify unsigned, robo-signed, fabricated, forged paperwork in the belief that it really doesn’t matter how much is wrong with the paperwork.

Judges still assume that the underlying transactions must be real; hence judgment for the homeowner is necessary to avoid a windfall. It is circular reasoning to assume that the claim must be true if it was filed — that is what our constitution is all about preventing.

see The Fate of Foreclosure Cases

Will botched paperwork affect the outcome of foreclosure appeals? It depends on the judges.

The decisions in three cases came down to paperwork and procedure Wednesday before the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

For BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, botched documentation at the height of the robo-signing scandal cost it a foreclosure judgment when the court ruled the lender failed to prove standing to sue homeowner Rosanie Joseph.

The appeals court reversed a foreclosure judgment issued by Palm Beach Circuit Judge Diana Lewis since there was no evidence to show Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. owned the mortgage when filing to foreclose on Joseph in July 2009.

The 2008 mortgage issued by Key Mortgage Associates was attached to the lawsuit, but no note or assignments accompanied the filing by Ocala-based Taylor Bean, a leading wholesale mortgage lender. The company reported the note was lost or stolen.

Taylor Bean, one of the spectacular bankruptcies of the housing crash, later assigned the note to BAC, which picked up the foreclosure ball.

In trial, BAC produced the original note and mortgage. The note offered two endorsements by the same person, Erica Carter-Shaw as a Key Mortgage attorney and Taylor Bean “E.V.P.” Neither endorsement was dated.

“A party must establish its standing to bring a mortgage foreclosure complaint by establishing an assignment or equitable transfer of the note and mortgage prior to instituting the complaint,” Judge Martha Warner wrote for the unanimous panel. Judges Carole Taylor and Mark Klingensmith concurred.

No File Review

A different panel split in similar litigation: Gafoor Jaffer and Nina Jaffer v. Chase Home Finance.

The homeowners claimed Chase attached a mortgage note payable to a third party without any proof of transfer and used an amended foreclosure complaint that failed to state a cause of action. However, the Jaffers waived the question of Chase’s standing by failing to respond to the lawsuit before default was entered.

Chase conceded some of its employees signed affidavits about the loan documents without first reviewing the loan file.

But the Fourth DCA upheld summary judgment issued by Broward Circuit Judge Sandra Perlman.

In the 2-1 unsigned decision, Judges Spencer Levine and Klingensmith concurred. Judge Burton Conner dissented, citing Chase’s failure to file an accurate copy of the mortgage note.

Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. wasn’t as lucky when it moved to overturn Broward Circuit Judge Kathleen Ireland’s ruling in favor of homeowner Theresa Boglioli.

Attorneys say the decisions may further complicate already-lengthy and expensive foreclosure litigation.

“Normally you see discrepancies of this nature within different circuits. But what we’re seeing in the Fourth is discrepancies among themselves,” said foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim of Weston. “It just makes this more complex. When there is cloudiness, it just creates more ambiguity and delays the conclusion of the foreclosure mess. In the end it doesn’t help anybody when you have inconsistent rules.”

“The judges themselves are coming up with different rationale based on the same facts, which makes for wildly different outcomes.”

Florida Statute of Limitations in Chaos

I have written about it, but there is an article that succinctly makes the point. See http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-third-district-weighs-in-on-the-appl-27045/

My opinion is simple — keep things the way they were before this nonsense started. To lean toward the banks at this point adds insult to injury to the judicial system and the borrowers. Homeowners have been systematically steam-rolled on the premise that the need to get this behind us was paramount even over due process rights. So now courts are suggesting that the losing bank can still file on the same loan that was declared in default as to the entire balance due.

Hopefully the Florida Supreme Court will at least be consistent — opting for finality rather than allowing multiple suits regarding the same subject matter.

3rd DCA Florida Decides Statute of Limitations: Deutsch Loses

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

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see Third DCA – Beauvais Decision

In the Third District Court of Appeal, Florida, the Court decided Deutsch v Beauvais against the alleged “creditor” Deutsch.. Dozens of appellate decisions across the country are reversing a long-standing pattern of rubber stamping trial courts who exceeded their discretion, authority or even jurisdiction. This case affirms the trial court’s decision that the action was barred by the statute of limitations but reverses the trial court’s decision that the mortgage was null and void. How they reached this decision is going to be a matter in dispute and possibly the subject of a Florida Supreme Court decision soon.

The basic thrust of the decision is this: an unenforceable mortgage is not void. This seems counter-intuitive but it is probably correct. The effect is that the unenforceable mortgage remains as an encumbrance or cloud on title such that upon resale or refinance it might require payment to get a satisfaction or release of the mortgage, even though enforcement is barred by the statute of limitations. Other court decisions are struggling with the same issues. The effect on quiet title actions probably is that the declaration of the rights and duties of the parties includes the mortgage in the title chain and does not nullify the mortgage or remove it from the chain of title. Hence an action to nullify the mortgage would be necessary before it could be removed from the chain of title.

Using the logic from this and other cases, a homeowner cannot remove a mortgage from the chain of title by merely asserting that it is unenforceable. The flip side is that a homeowner could easily get the mortgage removed from the chain of title and to get a judgment in which title is declared free and clear of the mortgage encumbrance IF the homeowner proves that the initial transaction was a sham and that the mortgage should not have been signed or released much less recorded.

This is why the logic behind the “unfunded trust” may be crucial to removing the mortgage from the chain of title. If you can prove that there was no loan at the base of the documentary chain, then you are likely to succeed in nullifying the mortgage and then quieting title. Through discovery and deductive reasoning, it is possible to show that there was no loan of money, in FACT, at the base of the chain of documents. As a caveat, I should add that this issue is certainly not entirely resolved. There are competing decisions and views in Florida and across the country.

The basic thrust of this decision is whether the election to accelerate the entire amount due can be abandoned and thus allow future claims on future installments of the alleged loan.  The court cites AM. Bankers, 905 So. 2d 192. The hidden issue is that the association was successful in foreclosing against the homeowner and Deutsch — because there was no effort to withdraw the acceleration of the alleged loan. I think the decision ignores the doctrine of estoppel and prevents the alleged “creditor” from first exercising its “option” to accelerate and then withdrawing it when they lose the case or voluntary dismiss the case.

The court also makes a distinction between a voluntary dismissal and a judgment or involuntary dismissal with prejudice. In the first case, the court decided that the option to reinstate the later installments not barred by the statute of limitations could exist if the dismissal with prejudice, but does not exist where the option is not exercised. This adds wording to the mortgage contract and the applicable statutes. I think it is wrong.

The decision means that a “creditor” who loses or dismisses an action might be able to accelerate and foreclose multiple times until they finally win. It also introduces parole evidence into the recording process and chain of title. I agree that the mortgage is not automatically removed by losing the case. But I don’t agree that the loser can reinstate the action and sue again. It calls for the entire issue of the origination and transfer of the the alleged loan to be re-litigated. I think it conflicts with the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel. The note, which is the only evidence of the debt, has been rendered unenforceable by the statute of limitations. To say that the mortgage survives as a potentially enforceable instrument on the issue of payment is illogical.

Here are some relevant quotes from the decision:

Where a lender files a foreclosure action upon a borrower’s default, and expressly exercises its contractual right to accelerate all payments, does an involuntary dismissal of that action without prejudice in and of itself negate, invalidate or otherwise “decelerate” the lender’s acceleration of the payments, thereby permitting a new cause of action to be filed based upon a new and subsequent default? [The 3rd DCA answers this question in the negative]

…because the installment nature of the loan payments was never reinstated following the acceleration, there were no “new” payments due and thus there could be no “new” default following the dismissal without prejudice of the initial action.

Smith v. F.D.I.C., 61 F.3d 1552, 1561 (11th Cir. 1995)(holding, “when the promissory note secured by a mortgage contains an optional acceleration clause, the foreclosure cause of action accrues, and the statute of limitations begins to run, on the date the acceleration clause is invoked.”).

The supreme court disapproved of the holding in Stadler and approved the Fourth District’s holding in Singleton:

We agree with the reasoning of the Fourth District that when a second and separate action for foreclosure is sought for a default that involves a separate period of default from the one alleged in the first action, the case is not necessarily barred by res judicata. [Editor’s Note: I think the court ignored the difference between the intention and effect of a statute of limitations and the doctrine of res judicata.]

In Singleton, the dismissal with prejudice disposed not only of every issue actually adjudicated, but every justiciable issue as well. Hinchee v. Fisher, 93 So. 2d 351, 353 (Fla. 1957), overruled in part on other grounds, May v. State ex rel. Ervin, 96 So. 2d 126 (Fla. 1957). In Hinchee, as in Singleton and Stadler, the trial court dismissed an initial action with prejudice. Hinchee, 93 So. 2d at 353. This operated as an adjudication on the merits and, as a general proposition for purposes of res judicata, “puts at rest and entombs in eternal quiescence every justiciable, as well as every actually adjudicated, issue.” Id. (quoting Gordon v. Gordon, 59 So. 2d 40, 43 (Fla. 1952)). As the Court observed in Hinchee:

A judgment on the merits does not require a determination of the controversy after a trial or hearing on controverted facts. It is sufficient if the record shows that the parties might have had their controversies determined according to their respective rights if they had presented all their evidence and the court applied the law.

Res judicata is not the issue in the instant case because the dismissal of the Initial Action was without prejudice, and therefore the borrower here (unlike the borrower in Singleton) did not “prevail in the foreclosure action by demonstrating that she was not in default” nor was there “an adjudication denying acceleration and foreclosure” such that the parties “are simply placed back in the same contractual relationship with the same continuing obligations.” Id.

the only subsequent cause of action which Deutsche Bank could file under the circumstances was an action on the accelerated debt— it could not thereafter sue upon an alleged “new” default because, without reinstating the installment terms of the repayment of the debt, there were no “new” payments due, [e.s.]

Without a new payment due, there could be no new default, and therefore no new cause of action. Because the Current Action was based upon the very same accelerated debt as the Initial Action, and because that Current Action was filed after the expiration of the five-year statute of limitations, it was barred.5

We acknowledge that Singleton has been applied to permit, as against an

asserted statute of limitations bar, the filing of a subsequent action following

dismissal with prejudice (i.e., an adjudication on the merits) of an earlier action.

See 2010-3 SFR Venture, LLC. v. Garcia, 149 So. 3d 123 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014);

Star Funding Solutions, LLC. V. Krondes, 101 So. 3d 403 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012); );

U.S. Bank Nat. Ass’n. v. Bartram, 140 So. 3d 1007 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014) review

granted, Bartram v. U.S. Bank Nat. Ass’n, Nos. SC14-1265, SC14-1266, SC14-

1305 (Fla. Sept. 11, 2014); PNC Bank, N.A., v. Neal, 147 So. 3d 32 (Fla. 1st DCA

2013). We believe our holding is not necessarily inconsistent with the strict

holdings of these cited cases, as each of them involved a dismissal of the earlier

action with prejudice, representing an adjudication on the merits and, at least

implicitly, a determination that there was no default and therefore no valid or

effectual acceleration. [ I think the court is struggling to justify its decision]

Business Records Exception — The Loophole That Needs Closing

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

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see AppellateOpinion Holt v Calchas 4th DCA decision

The clear assumption in this case is that Wells Fargo had stepped into the shoes of the lender and that if Wells Fargo did not win or if its surrogate did not win, it was assumed that the homeowner would be getting a free house, a free ride and a windfall at the expense of Wells Fargo Bank. Despite years of articles and treatises written on the subject, the courts have still not caught up with the basic fact that both the lenders and borrowers were victims of an illegal and fraudulent scheme. At the very least, the court owes it to our society and to all parties involved in foreclosure litigation, to enforce the laws that already exist —  especially the rules concerning the burden of proof in a foreclosure action.

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The Holt decision is a curious case. There are a number of unique factors that occurred in the trial court and again in the appellate court. The first judge recused herself shortly into the trial and was replaced by a senior judge. There is no transcript of the proceedings prior to the point where the senior judge took over. At the same time the homeowners attorney was also replaced. So my first question is how anyone could have reached any decision. In the absence of the transcript of the proceedings leading up to the recusal of the original judge I find it troublesome that either the judge or the attorney for the homeowner could come to a decision or develop any trial strategy or theory of the case for the defense of this foreclosure case.

The second thing that I have trouble with is that the homeowner filed the appeal based on three different theories, to wit:

(1) the proffered promissory note, mortgage, and assignment of mortgage should not have been admitted into evidence—  an argument that the appellate court rejects;

(2)  the homeowner’s motion to dismiss should have been granted for failure to prove compliance with paragraph 22 [default, reinstatement and acceleration] of the mortgage —  with which the appellate court agreed. Since the appellate court agreed with this point and reversed the trial court it would seem that the case should have been dismissed, but instead the 4th District Court of Appeal chose to remand the case for further proceedings thus giving a second bite of the apple to the party who was claiming the right to foreclose —  despite the finding that the trial was over and on appeal and the foreclosing party had failed to make its case. If the homeowner had failed to prove its defenses, would the appellate court have issued legal advice to the homeowner and remanded for another bite at the apple?

(3)  the payment history should not have been admitted into evidence over the hearsay objection raised by the homeowner. The court goes into great lengths essentially tying itself into knots over this one, but eventually sides with the homeowner. Instead of ordering the entry of judgment for the homeowner, the court remanded the action for further proceedings in which the foreclosing party, having received legal advice from the District Court of Appeal, is now permitted to retry the case to fill in the blanks that the appellate court had pointed out with great specificity and particularity.

While I agree with much of the reasoning that is stated in this appellate decision, I still find it very troublesome that there remains an assumption and perhaps even a bias in favor of the foreclosing party. This is directly contrary to the rules of court, common law, and statutory law. The party bringing a claim for affirmative relief (like foreclosure) must bear the burden of proving every element required in their cause of action. This is not a motion to dismiss where every allegation is taken as true. At trial, it is the opposite — there is no case for the homeowner to defend unless the foreclosing party establishes all elements of its right to foreclose. If they fail to do so, the other side wins. In the interest of justice as well as finality courts do not easily allow either side to have another trial unless there are exceptional circumstances.

(In non-judicial states, this is particularly perplexing — the homeowner is required to sue for a TRO (temporary restraining order). In actuality the homeowner probably should have sued immediately upon the notice of the purported “substitution of trustee.” But the point is that the homeowner is required to prove a negative as the non-judicial statutes are construed. What SHOULD happen is that if the homeowner sues for the TRO and objects to the notices filed, challenges the standing of the “new” beneficiary on the deed of trust, and otherwise denies the elements of a foreclosure action, then the parties should be realigned with the new beneficiary required to plead and prove its standing, ownership and ability to prove the default and the balance owed.)

The next thing I find potentially troublesome is that the tactic of inserting a new entity as plaintiff or as servicer in order to shield the actual perpetrator was clearly employed in this case, although it seems not to have been mentioned in the trial court or on appeal. In this case an entity called Consumer Solutions 3 LLC was substituted for Wells Fargo. Then Wells Fargo was substituted for Consumer Solutions. This is a game of three card monte in which everyone loses except for the dealer — Wells Fargo.

As long as they are going back to trial, it would seem that the homeowner would be well served to do some investigations into the parties, and to determine what transactions if any had actually occurred. If there were no transactions, which I think is the case, then any paperwork generated from those fictitious transactions would be completely worthless, lacking in any foundation and could never be enforced against anybody —  with the possible exception of a holder in due course.

 BUSINESS  RECORDS EXCEPTION:

I am continually frustrated by the fact that most people simply do not consider the elements of the business records exception to the hearsay rule within the context of why the hearsay rule exists. By its very nature hearsay tends to be untrustworthy, untested and usually self-serving. That is why the rule exists. It bars any document or testimony offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted unless the person who spoke or wrote the words is present in court to be cross examined as to their personal knowledge, whether they had an interest in creating one appearance or another,  or whether the entire statement could be impeached.

Instead most people on all sides of foreclosure litigation seem to think that the business record should be admitted into evidence unless there is a compelling reason to the contrary. This is incorrect. And if you just scratched the surface of any of these claims you will find that the party who is seeking to introduce these hearsay statements into evidence has a vested interest in the outcome of the case and absolutely no direct knowledge of any of the facts of the case.

Like Chase Bank does with SPS, Wells Fargo has inserted this entity that is essentially run by a hedge fund (Cargill) to prevent any employee or contract party from testifying on behalf of Wells Fargo, because Wells Fargo knows that it has already been sanctioned millions of dollars for telling lies in court.

So instead they have somebody else come in to tell the lies, and that witness is trying to say that they are familiar with the record-keeping of their own company which includes the record-keeping of the previous company, Wells Fargo. Consumer Solutions is a shame shell that never did anything but rent its name for foreclosures while its parent, Cargill, received compensation  (a piece of the pie) for doing nothing.

This obvious ploy has worked for nearly a decade but is coming under increasing scrutiny — with Judges musing out loud about the shuffling of “servicers” and “lenders” and creditors. In an effort to stifle any real challenge to foreclosures courts have often held that the securitization documents are “irrelevant.”

So the courts take jurisdiction over the action and the parties by virtue of claims of securitization, authority allegedly granted by a pooling and servicing agreement, and ownership “proven” merely by claiming it on the basis of self-serving fabricated documents not subject to scrutiny, and a default and balance that excludes the payments received by the creditors from servicer advances and other third party payments paid without right of subrogation.

Then the courts limit discovery, overrule objections and allow the party initiating foreclosure to “prove” its case by using dubious legal “presumptions” instead of facts, most of which were denied by the homeowner.

And now that the Wall Street banks perceive a risk in having real people with real knowledge testify, because they might admit or testify to things that might hurt them, they insert a complete stranger to the process and double down on “business record exception” to get paperwork into evidence, much of which is completely fabricated and nearly all of which contains errors in computation by exclusion of (a) the fact that the creditors were paid every payment despite the declaration of default by the “servicer” and (b) deducting those payments from the original debt owed to those investors who advanced funds for the origination or acquisition of “loans.”

In the Holt decision the 4th DCA declares that the assignment was properly allowed into evidence because it was a “verbal act” and not offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Once in evidence however, the contents were taken as true shifting the burden of proof to the homeowner who was stone walled in discovery. The homeowner in many cases is not allowed to compel the production of evidence of payment or consideration for the assignment — without which the assignment is merely an empty document conferring no rights greater than the assignor had at the time of the alleged “assignment”. Most often the assignor did not require payment for the simple reason that they too had no money in the deal.

PAYMENT  HISTORY HEARSAY OBJECTION

The court inserts Florida Statute 90.803(6)(a), which is part of the evidence code, providing for exceptions to the hearsay rule for business records. In that statute is the general wording for the types of records that might qualify for the exception. But the court completely ignores the last words of that statute — “unless the sources of information or other circumstances show lack of trustworthiness.” (e.s.)

The question is why should we trust a servicer or its “professional witness”? The witness is there and was often hired for the sole purpose of testifying in foreclosure trials. If they lose, they risk their jobs. The “servicer” whether they are designated in the PSA or have been slipped in as another layer of obfuscation, has an interest that is in conflict with the the actual creditors — recovery of “servicer advances” (which were paid from funds provided by the Master Servicer — often the underwriter and seller of mortgage bonds to investors) and to make more money because they are allowed to collect a vast amount of “fees” for enforcement of a “non-performing” loan.

The fact is that the servicer advances negates the default and might give rise to a new cause of action for unjust enrichment against the homeowner but that claim would not be secured. This in turn leads to the unnatural conclusion of aggravating the the alleged damages by forced sale of the property as opposed to modification and reformation of the loan documents to (a) name the true creditor and (b) use the true balance owed to the creditors.

Thus both the specific witness and the company he or she represents have a vested interest in seeing to it that the foreclosure results in a forced sale for their own benefit and contrary to creditors who have no notice of the pending action. At the very least, this certainly raises the question of trustworthiness. Add to that the fraudulent servicing practices, the lies told during the “modification” process, and I would argue that the source and circumstances raise a presumption that the testimony and business records not trustworthy.

Quoting Florida Statute 90.803(6)(a) the court goes not to set forth the elements of the business records exception — the issue being that ALL elements must be met, not just some or even most of them:

  1. The record was made at or near the time of the event [so in many cases where SPS was inserted as the “servicer” when in fact it was merely an enforcer without knowledge of prior events, it is impossible for the records of SPS  to contain entries that were made at or near the time of any relevant event].
  2.  the record was made by or from information transmitted by a person with knowledge [ if the court permitted proper discovery, voir dire, and cross examination is doubtful that any witness would be able to testify that the record was made by a particular person who had actual knowledge]
  3.  the record was kept in the ordinary course of a regularly conducted business activity [ while it might be true that the actual servicer could claim that it’s records were in the ordinary course of a regularly conducted business activity, it is not true where the witness is a representative of a “new” servicer for plaintiff —  neither of whom were processing any data concerning the loan from the moment of origination through the date that the foreclosure was filed]
  4.  that the record was a regular practice of that business to make such a record [ here is where the courts are in my opinion making a singular error —  by accepting proof of only the fourth element required for the business records exception, trial court and appellate courts are ignoring the other elements and therefore allowing untrustworthy documents into evidence.  “While it is not necessary to call the individual who prepared a document, the witness to open a document is being offered must be able to show each of the requirements for establishing a proper foundation.” Hunter v  or Aurora loan services LLC, 137 S 3d 570 (Fla 1st DCA 2014).

The Holt Court then goes on to analyze several cases:

  1. Yisrael v State 993 So 2d 952, 956 (FLA 2008) — a Florida Supreme Court decision quoting the elements of the business records exception. see sc07-1030
  2. Glarum v LaSalle Bank, N.A. 83 So 3d (Fla 4th DCA 2011) — where the witness was unable to lay the proper foundation for the business records exception  because the witness testified that he “did not know who, how, or when the data entries were made into [ the previous mortgage holders’] system and he could not stated the records were made in the regular course of business.” ( My only objection to this is the wording that was used. The predecessors in the document chain are referred to as “mortgage holders” —  indicating an assumption which is probably not true). see Glarum v. LaSalle
  3. Weisenberg v Deutsch Bank N.A. 89 So 3d 1111 (FLA 4th DCA 2012) — Where the court held that “the deposition excerpts show that [the witness] knew how the data was produced and her testimony demonstrated that she was familiar with the bank’s record-keeping system and had knowledge about data is uploaded into the system.” (My problem with the Weisenberg decision is that the word “familiar” is used generically so that the witness is allowed to testify about the business records — without any personal knowledge about the trustworthiness of the data in those records — again with the apparent assumption that the foreclosing party SHOULD win and the second assumption being that the homeowner should not be allowed to take advantage of hairsplitting technicalities to get a free house.  In fact it is the servicer that is taking advantage of such technicalities by getting business records into evidence without verification that those are all the business records. For example, the question I often ask is who did the servicer pay after receiving payment from the borrower or anyone else? The records don’t show that — thus how can the court determine the balance on the creditor’s books and records? The underlying false assumption here is that the servicer records ARE the creditor’s records even though the creditors have not even been identified.)
  4. WAMCO v Integrated Electronic Environments 903 So 2d 230 (Fla 2d DCA 2005) —  Where another appellate court held that “a document which contains the amount of money owed on the loan was admissible under the business records exception even where the testimony as to the amount owed was based on information from a bank that previously held the loan.” (I think this decision was at least partially wrong. The witness testified that it was part of his duties to oversee the collection of loans that the bank urges and the initial members he used his calculations were provided by the previous bank.  In my opinion the court properly concluded that the witness to testify —  that he should have been limited to the business records of the company that employed him. Witness knew nothing about the previous bank practices and did not employ any verification processes. see 2D04-2717
  5. Hunter v Aurora Loan Services 137 So 3d 570 (Fla 1st DCA 2014) — where the witness was incompetent to testify and could not lay a proper foundation for the business records exception and in which the HOLT Court quotes from the Hunter decision with obvious approval:  “At trial, a witness who works for the current note holder, but never worked for the initial note holder, attempted to lay the foundation for the introduction of records pertaining to prior ownership and transfer of the note and mortgage as business records. The witness testified that based on his dealings with the original note holder, the original note holders business practice regarding the transfer of ownership of loans was standard across the industry. He could not testify, based on personal knowledge, who generated the information. He also testified, in general fashion and without any specifics, that some of the documents sought to be introduced were generated by a computer program used across the industry  and that records custodian for the loan servicer was the person who usually it puts the information obtained in the documents. The trial court admitted the documents into evidence.” see hunter-v-aurora-loan-servs-llc

The most interesting quote from the Hunter decision is “absent such personal knowledge, the witness was unable to substantiate when the records were made, whether the information they contain derived from a person with knowledge, whether the original note holder regularly make such records, or indeed, whether the records belong to the original note holder in the first place. The testimony about standard mortgage industry practice only arguably established that such records are generated and kept in the ordinary course of mortgage loan servicing.” 

Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund Becomes Focus for Help to Homeowners

This is the topic for tonight’s Neil Garfield show. Tune in tonight or down load the podcast:

Click in to tune in at The Neil Garfield Show

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

Tonight’s Show Features Carolyn Trego, Hardest Hit Administrator for the Law Offices of Paul A. Krasker, P.A.

 There are dozens of programs available in many of the states that could help thousands of homeowners. The problem is that nobody is making application to those programs. So I am publicizing facts about those programs in an effort to encourage homeowners and attorneys to do their homework and to make proper application. It is probably a good idea to utilize the services of the law firms that have already started to concentrate on these programs. These firms are willing to cocounsel with other lawyers who have been litigating cases or web clients that might benefit from these programs.

 The following article was written based upon information provided by a member of the staff of the law firm that appears to be doing a very good job of assisting homeowners, accessing all available remedies —  which might include but is not limited to litigation.

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Quite often I run into homeowners who have had a hardship and do not know what help could be available.  Two years ago, the federal government gave an additional $2 billion to the 18 states and the District of Columbia that were hardest hit in the economic downturn.

State of Florida was allocated $1Billion Dollars has a hardship fund available only to Florida homeowners called Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund.    Most of you Floridians have not heard of the Fund – mostly because it is poorly marketed by the State, but it is real and deserves more attention.  I cannot believe others are not screaming this from the rooftops and foreclosure defense attorneys and loan modification companies are not referring all their clients to see if this Fund can solve the deficiency issues (or at least narrow the gap of deficiency).  

The owners are not charged a fee to apply for or to receive the available funds.  Final decisions are usually rendered within 60-90 days.  You can even continue to pursue a long term modification while receiving the funds.

Two types of homeowners are covered: Unemployed and underemployed due to no fault of their own.  The funding is to help pay the mortgage arrearages and to help pay the future mortgage payments of qualified homeowners. 

Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund has in place two programs: UMAP and MLRP.  Homeowners could qualify for one or both programs at the same time.  The homeowners who qualify may receive mortgage assistance for future payments up to 12 months (capped at $24,000), or until the homeowner finds adequate employment to resume paying the mortgage (whichever comes first), with up to $18,000 available to reinstate a delinquent first mortgage prior to payments being made.   That is a total of $42,000 to eligible homeowners at no cost to them and quick turn-around times.  How is it possible that this is not being better advertised and promoted?

Additionally, for a homeowner who is delinquent but is recovering from unemployment/underemployment (who may now have a job) and now can afford their future payments, they can still receive up to $25,000 as a one-time payment toward reinstatement of their delinquent first mortgage balance. 

HHF assistance is paid directly to the loan servicer/lender for those homeowners deemed eligible to participate in the program.  Eligibility depends on 3 things: Household eligibility, Property eligibility, Mortgage eligibility.

While you can apply online directly to the State website.

To further information, you can contact Carolyn Trego at 877-332-1965 and she will be happy to assist you with your questions and needs.  You may also visit the HHF official website at www.FLHardestHitHelp.org to review eligibility criteria and apply. 

When applying; please use Referral Code 70099 when completing your application so that you will be directed to the Law Office of Paul Krasker for further assistance.

US Bank Antics versus Their Own Website

Editor’s Note: In answer to the many inquiries we get, I am ONLY licensed in the State of Florida. The reason you see my name pop up in other states is that I am frequently an expert witness and trial consultant on cases, working for the lawyer who is licensed in that state. My law firm, Garfield, Kelley and White provides direct representation in most parts of Florida and litigation support to lawyers in Florida and other states.

Many lawyers are now well versed enough to proceed with only a little help from us. But some need our templates, drafting and scripts for oral argument of motions and other court appearances. I have not appeared pro hac vice in any case thus far and I doubt that I will be able to to do so. So if you want litigation support for your cases, the lawyer should contact my office at 850-765-1236. If you are unrepresented it will be much more challenging to provide such support as it might be construed as the unauthroized practice of law.

 

US Bank is popping up all over the place as the Plaintiff in judicial actions and the initiator of foreclosures in non- judicial states. It is one of the leading parties in the shell game that is mistaken for securitization of loans. But on its own website it admits against the interests that it has advanced in courts across the country, that it has NO POWER TO FORECLOSE or to pursue any other remedies.

US Bank pops up as the foreclosing party as trustee for some supposedly securitized asset pool masquerading as a REMIC trust ( which we all know now was breached in virtually every way, which is why the IRS granted a one year amnesty for the trusts to get their acts together — an action of dubious legality).

Both US Bank and the the Pooling and Servicing Agreement will usually state flat out that the servicer makes all decisions and takes all actions relating to the borrower and the borrower’s payments. There are several reasons for this one of which is the obvious conflict that could occur if the the servicer and the trustee were both bringing foreclosure actions.

But the other reason, the hidden one, is that the banks want to keep the court’s attention on the borrower’s contract and keep it away from the lender’s contract which is quite different than the borrower’s contract. And THAT will invite inquiry as to how or even if the two contracts are related or connected such that the mortgage encumbrance gives rights to the trust beneficiaries such that the collection and foreclosure efforts will inure to the benefit of the trust beneficiaries in the REMIC trust.

So why is US Bank violating both the content and intent of the PSA and its own website? In my own law firm I have two entirely different foreclosure cases — one in which US Bank is the foreclosing party and the other where the servicer started the foreclosure action. Both loans are claimed to be in the same trust although one is in California and the other is in Florida. Why would Chase bank as servicer started an action? Even worse, why did Chase bank start the action as though it was the creditor and claim that there was no securitization? [In the Florida case I am lead counsel whereas in the California case I am only an expert witness and consultant].

I am not sure about the answers to these questions but I have some conjectures.

In the Florida case, US Bank is bringing the case because the servicer can’t — it knows and its records show non-stop servicer advances to the trust beneficiaries of the REMIC trust that supposedly was funded and who purchased or originated the loans in the trust. In the California case, even though the servicer advances are still present it is non-judicial so it is easier for Chase to slip by without even pausing because unless the homeowner brings a legal action to stop the foreclosure sale it just happens. And then it is over.

But Chase is treading on thin ice here which is why it is now transferring the servicing rights —- and therefore the rights to litigate — to SPS who did not make the servicer advances. Of course the servicer advances are probably actually paid by the broker dealer who is holding the money of the trust beneficiaries without THEM knowing that the broker dealer has not used their money entirely for mortgage loans — and instead took a large chunk out as a “trading profit” when it was a tier 2 yield spread premium that should have been disclosed at closing.

One of the more interesting questions is whether the modification or refi of the loan renews the effect of TILA violations thus enabling the borrower to claim the undisclosed compensation, treble damages, interest and attorney fees. A suggestion here about that — most lawyers are ignoring the damage aspect of these cases and seeing the TILA has a defined statute of limitations that appears to have run. I would take issue as to whether it has in fact run, but even more importantly there is still an action for common law fraud unless blocked by a separate statute of limitations. The extra profits collected by those entities in the cloud of parties who served in various roles in the securitization process are all fair game for recovery or set-off against the amount claimed as due as principal of the loan. It can also be used to cause severe collateral damage — literally — because it would probably reveal that the mortgage encumbrance was never perfected by completion of the loan contract.

Both Chase and US Bank are going into bankruptcy courts in Chapter 11 proceedings and demanding adequate protection payments while the bankruptcy is proceeding, knowing and withholding the fact that the creditor is being paid every month and there is no default from the creditor’s point of view. This would be important information for the debtor in possession and the his attorney and the Judge to know. But it is withheld in the hope that the borrower/debtor will never discover the truth — and in most cases they don’t, unless they get a loan level account report based upon a solid securitization report which is based upon a good title report. see www.livingliesstore.com.

Both US Bank and Chase are wiling to endure awards of sanctions for misleading the court as a cost of doing business because the volume of complaints about their illegal and fraudulent activities is nearly zero when compared with the total of all state court, federal court and bankruptcy actions. But now they are treading on even thinner ice — they are seeking to get turnover of rents with people who own multiple properties. Their arrogance apparently overcame their judgment. The owners of multiple properties frequently have substantial resources to litigate against the US Bank and Chase and now SPS. The truth is coming out in those cases.

Other Banks who say they are trustees simply direct the borrower or other inquirers to the servicer. But where US Bank is involved it is seeking profit at the expense of the trust beneficiaries and the owners of the real property involved. It seems to me that US Bank has gotten too cute by half and is now exposed to multiple actions for fraud. And I question whether the current revelations about US Bank BUYING the position of trustee has any legal support. I don’t think it does — not in the PSA, not in the statutes nor under common law.

SEE US Bank Role-of-Trustee-Sept2013

Listen to Danielle Kelley Again on Blog Radio

Here it is. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/senkalive/2013/07/13/hope-for-justice-is-our-only-weapon-1

Danielle Kelley, Esq., a partner in the litigation firm of Garfield, Gwaltney, Kelley and White, returns to blog talk radio revealing the latest bank scamming on mediation, modification and settlement of illegal collections and Foreclosures by the Wall Street Banks.

BANKS EDGE CLOSER TO THE ABYSS: Florida Judge Forces Permanent Modification

GGKW (GARFIELD, GWALTNEY, KELLEY AND WHITE) provides Legal Services across the State of Florida. We also provide litigation support to attorneys in all 50 states. We concentrate our practice on mortgage related issues, litigation and modification (or settlement). We are available to represent homeowners, business owners, and homeowner associations seeking to preserve their interest in the property and seeking damages (monetary payment).  Neil F Garfield is a licensed Florida attorney who provides expert witness and consulting fees all over the country. No board certification is offered by the Florida Bar, so the firm may not claim expertise in mortgage litigation. Mr. Garfield’s status as an “expert” is only as a witness and not as an attorney.
If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.

SEE ALSO: http://WWW.LIVINGLIES-STORE.COM

The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available TO PROVIDE ACTIVE LITIGATION SUPPORT to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

For the second time in as many weeks a trial judge has ordered the pretender lender to execute a permanent modification based upon the borrowers total compliance with the provisions of the trial modification.This time Wells Fargo (Wachovia) was given the terms of the modification, told to put it in writing and file it. If they don’t sanctions will apply just as they will be in the Florida Panhandle case we reported on last week.

Remember that before the trial modification begins the pretender lender is supposed to have done all the underwriting required to validate the loan, the value of the property, the income of the borrower etc. That is the responsibility of the lender under the Truth in Lending Act.

Of course we know that cases were instead picked at random with a cursory overview simply because there was no intention to ever give a permanent modification. Borrowers and their attorneys have known this for years. Government, always slow on the uptake, is starting to get restless as more and more Attorneys General are saying that the Banks are not complying with the intent or content of the agreement when the banks took TARP money.

The supreme irony of this case is that Wells Fargo didn’t want the TARP money and was convinced to take it and accept the terms of HAMP because if only the banks that really need it took the money it was argued that this would start a run on the banks named that had to take TARP. The other ironic factoid here is that the whole issue of ownership of the loans blew up in the face of the government officers around the country that thought TARP was a good idea — only to find out that the “toxic assets” (TARP – “Toxic Asset Relief Program”) were not defaulting mortgages.

  1. So instead of telling the banks they were liars and going after them the way Teddy Roosevelt did 100 years ago, they changed the definition of toxic assets to mean mortgage bonds.
  2. This they thought would take care of it since the mortgage bonds were the evidence of “ownership” of the  “underlying” home loans.
  3. Then the government found out that the mortgage bonds were not failing, they were merely the subject of a declaration from the Master Servicer (a necessary and indispensable party to all mortgage litigation, in my opinion) that the value of the bond had fallen ,thus triggering payment from insurers, counterparties on credit default swaps etc to pay up to 100 cents on the dollar for each of the bonds —
  4. which means the receivable account from the borrower had been either extinguished or reduced through third party payment.
  5. But by cheating the investors out of the insurance money (something the investors are taking care of right now in the courts), they thought they could keep saying the loans were in default and the mortgage bond had been devalued and thus the payment of insurance was legally valid.
  6. BUT the real truth is that the loans had never made into the asset pools that issued the mortgage bonds.
  7. So the TARP definitions were changed again to “whatever” and the money kept flowing to the banks while they were rolling in money from all sides — investors, insurers, CDS counterparts, sales of the note to multiple asset pools (REMICs) and then sales of the note to the Federal Reserve for 100 cents on the dollar.
  8. This leaves the loan receivable account in many cases in an overpaid status if one applies generally accepted accounting principles and allocates the Federal, insurance and CDS money to the bonds and the “underlying” loans.
  9. So the Banks took the position that since the money was not coming in to cover the loans (because the loans were not in the asset pool that issued the mortgage bond and therefore the mortgage bond was NO evidence of ownership of the loan) that therefore they could apply the money any way they wanted, and that is where the government left it, to the astonishment and dismay of the the rest of the world. that is when world economies went into a nose dive.

The whole purpose of the mega banks in in entering into trial modification was actually to create the impression that the mega banks were modifying loans. But to the rest of us, the trial modification was supposed to to be last hurdle before the disaster was finally over. Comply with the payment schedule, insurance, taxes, and everything else, and it automatically becomes your permanent modification.

Not so, according to Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi and their brothers in arms in the false scheme of securitization. According to them they could keep the money paid by the borrower to be approved for the trial modification, keep the money paid by the borrower to comply with the terms of the trial modification and then the banks could foreclose making up any excuse they wanted to deny the permanent modification. The sole straw upon which their theory rests is that they were only obligated to “consider” the modification; according to them they were NEVER required to make it such that the modification would become permanent unless the bank expressly said so, which in most cases it does not.

When you total it all up, the Banks received a minimum of $2.50 for each $1.00 loan “out there” regardless of who owns it. Under the terms of the promissory note signed by the borrower, that means the account is paid in full and then some. If the investor has not stepped up to file a competing claim against the borrower’s new claim for overpayment, then the entire overage should be paid to the borrower.

The Banks want to say, like they did to the government, that the trial modification is nothing despite the presence of an offer, acceptance and consideration. To my knowledge there are at least two judges in Florida who think that is a ridiculous argument and knowing how judges talk amongst themselves behind closed doors, I would expect more of these decisions. If the borrower applies for and is approved for trial modification and they comply with the trial provisions, a contract is formed.

The foreclosure defense attorney in Palm Beach County argued SIMPLE contract. And the Judge agreed. My thought is that if you are in a trial modification get ready to hire that attorney or some other one who gets it and can cover your geographical area. Once that last payment is made, and in most cases, the payment is continued long after the trial modification period is officially over, the Bank has no equitable or legal right to deny the permanent modification.

The only caveat here is whether the Judge was correct in stating the amount of principal due without hearing evidence on third party payments and ownership of the loan. WHY WOULD THE BANK WANT LESS MONEY IN FORECLOSURE RATHER THAN MORE MONEY IN A MODIFICATION? The answer is that out of the $2.50 they received for the loan, they would be required to refund $2.50 because the Bank was supposed to be an intermediary, not a principal in the transaction. So the balance quoted by the judge without evidence was quite probably wrong by a mile.

If there is any balance it is most likely a small fraction of the original principal due on the promissory note. And, as we have been saying for years, it is most likely NOT due to the party that is entering into the modification. This last point is troubling but “apparent authority” doctrines might cover the problem.

Every time a loan does NOT go into foreclosure, the Banks’ representation of defaults and the value of the loan (in order to trigger insurance and other third party payments)  come under question and the prospect of disaster for the Bank rises, to wit:  refunding trillions of dollars in insurance and CDS money as well as money received from co-obligors on the bond (the finished product after the note was moved through the manufacturing process of a false securitization scheme).

Every time a loan is found NOT to have actually been purchased by the asset pool (REMIC, Trust etc.) because there was no money in the asset pool and that the investors merely have an equitable right to claim the note and mortgage under constructive trust or resulting trust theories, the validity of the mortgage encumbrance fades to black. There is no such thing as an equitable mortgage lien or an equitable lien of any sort. And there is plenty of good sense and many law review articles as well as case decisions that explain why that is true.

151729746-Posti-Final-Judgment-062513

PRACTICE HINT FOR ATTORNEYS: Whether you are litigating or negotiating, send a preservation letter to every possible party or witness that might be involved. That way when you ask for production, they can’t say they destroyed or lost it without facing severe consequences. It might even stop the practice of the Banks trashing all documents periodically as has been disclosed in the whistle-blower affidavits from BOA and other banks. If you need assistance in creating a long form preservation letter we are available to provide litigation assistance on that and many other matters that might arise in foreclosure defense.

Danielle Kelley Forces Bank Into Permanent Modification

Danielle Kelley, Esq., is a senior litigation partner in GGKW (the law offices of Garfield, Gwaltney, Kelley and White with home offices in Tallahassee and branches in South Florida and Central Florida), now liberated from the administrative duties associated with running a law practice. Focusing her attention on litigating her cases, the results are getting better and better. Her latest blog turns her attention to enforcement of modification duties by the very same banks who report they are doing their best when in fact they are intentionally done their worst. She be reached at 850-765-1236, 954-495-9867, or dkelley@ggkwlaw.com. Neil F Garfield can be reached at the same numbers and ngarfield@ggkwlaw.com.

The latest is that Danielle Kelley took on the banks in the murky area of modifications — in Court. Her argument: once the trial modification has been satisfied, there is no discretion for the bank to deny the permanent modification. Her client made the payments and supplied the documentation (the usual 30 times because the bank kept lying to her client saying they didn’t have the complete file, asking for things that Kelley proved had even already received several times).

As with the whistle blower affidavits in the current breaking news, Kelley showed that the bank lied saying they had not received paperwork when they had. Opposing counsel was forced to concede that his client had behaved that way — thus setting up the unclean hands argument (which in this case turned out to be unnecessary).

Despite her client satisfying all parts of the trial modification which opposing counsel had to admit, the permanent modification was denied. Kelley said basically “no, it isn’t denied. It is automatic.” The bank scoffed at her and paid the price. Kelley ditched them in the preliminaries. She was just warming up and she had already won.

Opposing counsel citing the HAMP statute said that the bank was under no obligation to permanently modify the loan — even if the borrower has accepted the offer of the bank for the trial modification and then paid in accordance with the terms of the trial modification and even if the bank accepted those payments. Opposing counsel said “just because they complied with the trial modification doesn’t mean they automatically get a permanent modification.” The Judge thought otherwise and was pretty angry about it authorizing sanctions against the bank. “Yes it does mean that counsel — what else could it mean?”

The Judge took it under advisement, did the research, and issued the order. The modification is permanent by Court Order. The case is over with jurisdiction reserved to impose sanctions on the banks and award attorney fees to Kelley and her client. Whether the bank is going to appeal is unknown. But the lesson from this simple motion to enforce the settlement/modification are clear starting with THERE WAS REAL MONEY PAID AND REAL MONEY ACCEPTED AND THE MOVEMENT OF THE MONEY PRECISELY FOLLOWED THE PAPERWORK (the agreement to go into a trial modification).

See more on modification: http://dkelleylaw.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/the-in-house-modification-what-the-boa-declarations-point-to/

You might not see the connection but the ninth circuit opinion essentially came to the same conclusion and then turned the borrower down on his argument that the loan documents should not or could not be enforced. The decision starts out with the statement that the borrower was loaned money as stated in the note. Everything was down hill from there. Once the Court is presented with a real transaction (more apparent than real in the Arizona case, but this issue was never raised), where real money was paid pursuant to the terms of a real contract, the case is essentially over.

The Banks successfully suckered the lawyer into looking at the paperwork instead of looking at the money trail and comparing it with the paperwork. No allegation was made and no Discovery was put in the record showing that there was no real transaction as stated in the note and mortgage.

The two cases are very different in fact pattern but the result is the same: THERE WAS REAL MONEY PAID AND REAL MONEY ACCEPTED AND THE MOVEMENT OF THE MONEY PRECISELY FOLLOWED THE PAPERWORK. The problem in the Arizona case is that there never was any real issue with whether the money had tracked the paper trail even though it appears as though in reality it probably didn’t. Without the issue in the record, as the Court pointed out, they had no obligation to raise issues that were never raised at the trial level.

LISTEN TO DANIELLE KELLEY ON BLOG RADIO

See: 9th circuit slams homeowners. June 28. 2013 http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2013/06/28/11-16597.pdf

this is not a bad decision. it is just another example of how lost we can get if we just follow the paper trail. the court was perfectly correct in its reasoning and and its conclusion. I predicted the outcome and told the lawyer involved here that he was pursuing the wrong path.

The opening words of the decision basically tells all we need to know. it says that the homeowner borrowed the money from the party set forth on the note. There is no question raised as to whether or not the party set forth on that note as the payee was in fact the lender. After that, it was all downhill.

The only way these cases can be won is by showing the money trail first. That is what reveals the actual parties to the transaction. Then by showing that the money trail does not track or follow the paper trail you can argue standing, and the fact that the mortgage lien was never perfected. That is the only thing that can stop a foreclosure.

It only makes sense that the courts as a whole are not going to let people off the hook unless the adversary has no right to receive the benefits. If you start with the premise that the loan was made just like it says in the note, you might as well pack your bags and go home. The courts are not going to refuse to enforce an obligation they think is real and which is not challenged by the debtor. The business of some coffee spilled on the document thus rendering the document unenforceable is not going to work and it isn’t working. Nor should it.

THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET THAT IS GOING TO STOP ENFORCEMENT OF WHAT IS OBVIOUSLY AND ADMITTEDLY A LEGITIMATE DEBT. IT IS THE DEBT ITSELF AND THE COMPARISON TO THE PAPERWORK THAT LAWYERS SHOULD CONCENTRATE THEIR ATTENTION. Then you will see a tsunami of decisions in favor of the borrower because the transaction described in the note, the mortgage, the assignments and the pleadings do not exist. Pierce through the smoke and mirrors of Wall Street and you will find nothing to support their position.

The lawyers who insist on maintaining their focus of attention on the paperwork are simply guilty of mental masturbation. They get paid and the client suffer the consequences. With this latest decision, there should be little doubt that looking for a “gimmick” way out of this is not going to work. Foreclosure defense lawyers need to show that the party seeking the benefit of of foreclosure is not entitled to it.

Danielle Kelley Looks at New Florida Law: Pitfalls and Possibilities

The fundamental paradigm shift that is coming is that the banks are the deadbeats, not the borrowers. The borrowers are seeking to enforce a fair deal; the banks are seeking to steal and lie their way through the PONZI scheme we called “Securitization.” —Neil F Garfield, Livinglies.me
If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.

SEE ALSO: http://WWW.LIVINGLIES-STORE.COM

The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available TO PROVIDE ACTIVE LITIGATION SUPPORT to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Danielle Kelley, Esq. is a partner in Garfield, Gwaltney, Kelley and White located in Tallahassee. She has been a constant contributor to the dialogue on wrongful foreclosures and has been quoted recently in a number of articles in mainstream media. For further information on the firm’s services please call 850-765-1236.

Editor’s Comment: The Florida bill was clearly meant to speed up the “inevitable” foreclosure process, which is the wrong assumption right off the bat. If the foreclosures are wrongful we are not talking about some “i” that wasn’t dotted or some “t” that wasn’t crossed. We are talking about foreclosures that (a) didn’t need to happen and (b) couldn’t happen legally if the party  bringing the foreclosure had no right to do so.
The fundamental paradigm shift that is coming is that the banks are the deadbeats, not the borrowers. The borrowers are seeking to enforce a fair deal; the banks are seeking to steal and lie their way through the PONZI scheme we called “Securitization.”

Verification of the complaint has taken another bizarre turn. In reading the testimony and affidavits of those who “verified” the complaint, it turns out they signed the verification but knew nothing about the case. The only thing they verified was that the complaint contained information that was given to her or him by unknown parties through computer via a computer monitor.

Banks are using the verification aspect to bolster their false claims to the business records exception of hearsay. They are wrong and any judge who rules that is wrong if the verifier or affiant (a) is not the records custodian and (b) had no basis for personally knowing the truth. Pressed to give an accounting for how they know what they know, the verifier will answer “it’s in the complaint.” They often express confidence that it wouldn’t be in the complaint if it wasn’t true. Talk about circular logic!

The recent revelations about Bank of America are the tip of the iceberg of lying and deception that started when the first mortgage bond was sold and the first loan application was taken within the scope of the PONZI scheme that required bonds to be sold in order to make payments to the investors.

The fact that BOA told its employees to lie to customers in order to get them into foreclosure is enough to infer the truth, to wit: the goal was foreclosures and not financial recovery. How is that possible? What bank would not want the most it could get in mitigation of a “loss” it supposedly incurred as a result of a “default” by a “borrower” on a “debt” that was owed to the bank because the bank funded the origination or acquisition of the loan?

The questions answer themselves. If the Bank had a real loss they would want to mitigate the loss as quickly as possible. In the past that has always meant some sort of workout when that possible. Now we find out that BOA was paying its employees to lie and deceive the “borrowers” for the express purpose of getting the property into foreclosure even though that means getting a lot less money for the “creditor” than any modification, settlement or workout. So the answer is that they had no real loss and they must want the foreclosure for some other reason.

The “other reason” is simply that foreclosure is the cover-up for the PONZI scheme. And the government feels stuck by assurances it gave the large banks (see statements of future whistle blowers) when they forced the banks to acquire the investment banks, the aggregators and other players in this scheme, before the government knew that the scheme existed. So the government is buying up worthless mortgage bonds with no loans backing them and pretending that the bonds are really worth something. This is supposed to shore up the financial system by avoiding massive failures of the largest banks — something that is eventually going to happen anyway because the $ trillions that were siphoned off from from investors were then siphoned off from the banks and management now controls that money.

If you look at the merger and bond activity you can see the banks acquiring other institutions in order to provide a safety valve through which part of the ill-gotten gains from the PONZI scheme can be repatriated and the “earnings” of the bank can be seen as stable or increasing even while the rest of the world goes to hell in a hand basket. (see below). The rest of the money is being controlled by a handful of people (see future whistle blowers) who are actually controlling world events by controlling the purse strings of all world economies.

Sounds like a conspiracy theory, doesn’t it. Maybe a little less crazy now that we know that BOA was rewarding employees for lying to customers. And maybe a little less so now that we know the bonus was paid with a Target gift card. If it was a legitimate bonus, why use Target as the intermediary? Answer: the auditors of the bank probably would not like seeing bonuses paid to people who were supposedly working with borrowers on modification or settlement of the loan — especially when the record shows that the bonus was for getting the case into foreclosure rather than settlement.

As you can read for yourself below, the pace of foreclosures is picking up and is going to accelerate under the new Florida law. They are in a rush to hush up any further whistle blowers who might blow the whole thing wide open. But the carrot they held out to homeowners might be the bank’s undoing if the borrower moves promptly and fights the foreclosure on the basis of ownership of the loan. There is only one way to really own a loan and that is by paying for it. The argument has been rejected by many judges, but now it is right in the statute that the proof of ownership must be present as a condition precedent which means that the real burden of proof is switching back to the banks, where it belongs.

————————————————-

Danielle Kelley, Esq. June, 2013

The banks wanted this bill – so let’s take a look at the “consumer friendly” portions and get ready.  Keep in mind the act is remedial in nature.  All complaints filed after June 7, 2013 will be subject to a motion to dismiss if the plaintiff does not meet the requirements of the new bill:

1) they must give affirmative allegations that at the time foreclosure is filed they are the holder of the original note, allege with specificity the factual basis by which they are entitled to enforce the note under 673.3011 (no more either/or pleading),

3) a plaintiff given authority to sue (i.e. servicer or someone coming in with a POA like we’ve been seeing) – the Complaint shall describe their authority and identify with specificity the document that gives them authority to act on behalf of the Plaintiff.

Given what we know about how they verify complaints, they will have a hard road showing they can verify the plaintiff actually “has” the original note.  I won’t settle for anything less than a declaration that they have seen it in person – not on a computer screen.  The bill states, “The term “original note” or “original promissory note” means the signed or executed promissory note rather than a copy thereof.”  I don’t want to hear about a janitor who was adopted as assistant vice president through corporate resolution and is verifying they saw the “original note” on a screen.  Keep in mind that they executed the complaints filed this month months ago – they sign right after they send off for verification usually. 

If they file a lost note count they must attach an affidavit under penalty of perjury to the Complaint that
1) details a clear chain endorsements, transfers, or assignments Note;
2) set forth facts showing the Plaintiff is entitled to enforce the lost instrument (Note); and
3) attach documents to the affidavit such as copies of the Note, allonges, audit reports, or other evidence of acquisition, ownership, and possession.  
 
Relevant portions of the bill below:
(2) A complaint that seeks to foreclose a mortgage or other lien on residential real property, including individual units of condominiums and cooperatives, designed principally for  occupation by from one to four families which secures a  promissory note must:
(a) Contain affirmative allegations expressly made by the plaintiff at the time the proceeding is commenced that the plaintiff is the holder of the original note secured by the mortgage; or
(b) Allege with specificity the factual basis by which the plaintiff is a person entitled to enforce the note under s. 673.3011.
(3) If a plaintiff has been delegated the authority to institute a mortgage foreclosure action on behalf of the person entitled to enforce the note, the complaint shall describe the authority of the plaintiff and identify, with specificity, the document that grants the plaintiff the authority to act on behalf of the person entitled to enforce the note. This subsection is intended to require initial disclosure of status and pertinent facts and not to modify law regarding standing or real parties in interest. The term “original note” or “original promissory note” means the signed or executed promissory note rather than a copy thereof. The term includes any renewal, replacement, consolidation, or amended and restated note or instrument given in renewal, replacement, or substitution for a previous promissory note. The term also includes a transferable record, as defined by the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act in s. 668.50(16).
(4) If the plaintiff is in possession of the original promissory note, the plaintiff must file under penalty of perjury a certification with the court, contemporaneously with the filing of the complaint for foreclosure, that the plaintiff is in possession of the original promissory note. The certification must set forth the location of the note, the name and title of the individual giving the certification, the name of the person who personally verified such possession, and the time and date on which the possession was verified. Correct copies of the note and all allonges to the note must be attached to the certification. The original note and the allonges must be filed with the court before the entry of any judgment of foreclosure or judgment on the note.
(5) If the plaintiff seeks to enforce a lost, destroyed, or stolen instrument, an affidavit executed under penalty of perjury must be attached to the complaint. The affidavit must:
(a) Detail a clear chain of all endorsements, transfers, or assignments of the promissory note that is the subject of the action.
(b) Set forth facts showing that the plaintiff is entitled to enforce a lost, destroyed, or stolen instrument pursuant to s. 673.3091. Adequate protection as required under s. 673.3091(2) shall be provided before the entry of final judgment.
(c) Include as exhibits to the affidavit such copies of the note and the allonges to the note, audit reports showing receipt of the original note, or other evidence of the acquisition, ownership, and possession of the note as may be available to the plaintiff.
(6) The court may sanction the plaintiff for failure to comply with this section.
SEE ALSO
Unnatural Disaster How mortgage servicers are strong-arming the victims of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado (among others)
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113496/moore-oklahoma-tornado-victims-strong-armed-mortgage-servicers
HAMP Extension 2015 Could Help Millions More Avoid Foreclosure, LoanLove.com Reports
http://www.sys-con.com/node/2700128

Bank of America gave bonuses for hitting foreclosure quotas, suit alleges
http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/morning_call/2013/06/bank-of-america-gave-bonuses-for.html

What to say about BOA

13 Questions Before You Can Foreclose

foreclosure_standards_42013 — this one works for sure

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.

SEE ALSO: http://WWW.LIVINGLIES-STORE.COM

The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available TO PROVIDE ACTIVE LITIGATION SUPPORT to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

My partner, Danielle Kelley, Esq.  was in a hearing for the simple purpose of enforcing a modification agreement that had been approved by Bank of America. In typical style the bank was now saying that the homeowner was not entitled to a permanent modification even though the client had satisfied all of the terms of the trial modification. You might think this should be easy and you would be right.

Sometimes it is good courtroom strategy to show your exasperation with the system, with the court and with banks that are so arrogant that they think that they can continue to violate court orders, consent decrees, laws, rules and regulations.

Here is part of what Danielle wrote to me shortly after the hearing:

 At the hearing against BOA on an old case of mine and Bill’s [William Gwaltney of GGK] today I moved to enforce settlement. They actually agreed to a trial payment with my client in writing at mediation 2 years ago. The Judge granted the motion and wants a hearing in 60 days on the arrears (which he agreed my client isn’t liable for), sanctions and fees. She made her payment post-mediation and they sent the checks back. I gave him the Massachusetts affidavits from the BOA employees.  The Judge looked shocked. Opposing Counsel argued the Massachusetts case had nothing to do with our case.
Judge said “Mrs. Kelley how about I enter an order telling Plaintiff they have so many days to resolve this?”  I said “with all due respect your Honor BOA hasn’t listened to the OCC and followed the consent order, they haven’t listened to DOJ on the consent judgement and they are violating the AG settlement. I can assure you 100% they won’t listen to this Court either. Once we leave this room we are at the mercy of BOA actually working with us and their own attorney nor this court can get them to.  Their own attorney couldn’t reach them yesterday or today.  My client was to send in one utility bill two years ago. She sent it the day after mediation and they’ve sat and racked up two years of arrears and fees. This court has the power to sanction that behavior under rule 1.730 and should because this was orchestrated. The Massachusetts case is a federal class action which includes Florida homeowners like my client. It says Florida on the Motion for class certification so it does matter in this case. This was a scheme and a fraud.  It was planned and deliberate”. 
Opposing counsel wanted to start the modification process over because the mediation agreement said “Upon completion of the trial payments Defendant will be eligible for a permanent modification”. Opposing counsel said “just because they meet the trial payments doesn’t mean they get a permanent mod.”  I said “under the consent judgment they better” and told the judge we were not going through the modification again, my client had already been approved. He agreed and said that the trial would become permanent and ordered BOA to provide an address for payment. He told opposing counsel that the argument that a trial period wouldn’t become permanent wasn’t going to work for him.
I love the 14th circuit. I talked to a potential client last night in Santa Rosa county briefly (giving him to Danielle G) who said the judges in Pensacola are pro-bank.  But in between here and there its different. He said he hired Matt Weidner (who referred him to me) because he couldn’t find an attorney in North Florida who did foreclosure defense. There is a great need from here to Pensacola and in the smaller counties like I was in today you can actually get somewhere.
She was pro se at mediation but that agreement is a blessing. Now the banks won’t even say impasse at mediation. It’s always “no agreement”.   But they’ll tell you to send in documents the next week only to say they didn’t get them. Now after those affidavits [in the class action in Massachusetts] I see why.

Nardi Deposition Reveals All about JPM-WAMU Slick Transactions

NOTE IF ANYTHING, THIS DEPOSITION PROVES THE NEED FOR AN EXPERT FORENSIC COMPUTER ANALYST TO ASSIST IN DISCOVERY AND PERHAPS EVEN PLEADING. THAT IS WHY MY LAW FIRMS AND OTHERS ARE CREATING ALLIANCES WITH LAWYERS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCE IN BOTH THE PRACTICE OF LAW, LITIGATION AND DETAILED KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WHAT TO LOOK FOR, HOW TO LOOK FOR FACTS LEADING TO THE DISCOVERY OF ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE IN A COURT OF LAW.

I am going through the Nardi deposition a line by line. I have completed the first 50 pages. If you have a case where JPM is foreclosing even if it is doesn’t involve WAMU, you should read the whole thing. I have the link below. Below the link are my notes and comments on the first 50 pages of the deposition. IN the context of other things we know this is a picture of fraud in the making while at the same time keeping the people who are the boots on the ground actors unaware of the consequences of what they are doing.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/102949976/120509-JPMC-v-Waisome-FL-Lawrence-Nardi-Deposition

Garfield Notes on Nardi deposition JP Morgan Chase, as successor to Washington Mutual v. Waisome, 5th Judicial Circuit, Florida Case NUmber 2009-CA-005717, May 9 2012

1.  No prior banking experience. No education in banking or finance. No academic degree. No direct knowledge as to any of the events, documents, or transactions relating to the subject loan because her scope of employment was to assist in litigation or settlement of contested cases. Worked at Citibank dealing with credit cards and assisted in programming.
2. Worked with PHH on loan originations. Line 21, Page 9, I was the originations or preserve rare. I worked with the borrowers on collecting documents, getting them prepared for eventual closing of their loan, working with underwriting and making sure that the documents they needed to push the loan package forward were provided. Basically kind of the air traffic controller of the loan origination’s part of the business.
3. Line 12 page 10 I was not a supervisor. I had a support staff but they were pooled into groups that basically support in five or 10 other loan officers. So I was supervised. We were in a pool.
4. Worked with Merrill Lynch as a series 7 and series 66 broker.
5. Worked at Washington Mutual starting in September 2007.
6. My duties were to work with deceased borrowers estates at Washington Mutual
7.   line11 page 16 I didn’t have anything to do with loss mitigation. I was focusing on establishing that line of communication verifying that these people have the authority to act on behalf of of the deceased.
8. RECORDS SYSTEMS CHANGE:  line 18  page 16 I was actually going back and kind of redoing some of the filing systems that they had an kind of getting that more modernized. And that probably took me through the first 1 1/2 years or thereabouts.
9. SHELLY TREVIN BECAME MY SUPERVISOR
10. Worked with a guy named Vinnie and a lady named Laura.
11. Assigned different states. i was assigned Florida and some smaller states (line 20 page 24)
12. Line 5 page MSP: mortgage servicing platform. It’s a widely used system. In fact all of the major services I have ever worked for have used it. So Washington Mutual was using it. Chase was also using it so I had the benefit of that. So the training for that for me was kind of redundant.
13. LIne 6 page 27 (question was whether Fidelity LPS developed the software).  I am not an expert on everything at Fidelity. My understanding is that fidelity developed this software and licensed it to individual servicers. So that’s my understanding is that actually they own it. It’s their property. Where releasing it as a servicer.
14 line 3 page 28. IMAGE WEB: I believe it was called image web. Image web Wesley default software for any time you need to look up image documents, whether it be notes, mortgages, origination packages, applications. You know, whatever was deemed worthy of saving where necessary to save for servicing purposes.
15. line 13 page 28  a separate servicing system for the home-equity loans.  I think it was called ACLS.  And they had a customer service collection system called CACS  that was used for home equity collections.  those are example of systems they had that we would have used at Washington Mutual that weren’t used at the majors. The major system used being MSP.
16. LIne 21 Page 28 Outlook email was major server for communication within Chase.
17. Line 23, Page 28, MSP is really the central repository for all information related to a loan so most people work out of that anytime they’re coming in contact with, you know, servicing.
18. everyone has a unique identifying usually three digit code assigned to them and they have to set their own password.
19. I have the ability you know part of my duties were to document the things that I was doing. So yes I have the ability to enter data into certain areas. Not all areas can be manipulated. I could enter notes into the system. I could change stop code so that if I was dealing with alone that was in litigation and it needed to stop certain things like collection activities or foreclosure processing, I could put stops on the system. (line 13 Page 29)
20. Lin  se 9 page 31.   We had different client numbers that were assigned to different sets of loans. The Washington Mutual client was 156. The Chase client was like 465.
21. MAJOR PROJECT INTEGRATING CHASE AND WAMU LOANO PACKAGES: LINE 2 PAGE 33:  my understanding is that they drew resources from all areas of the business. I don’t think there was any one department that was involved in handling that transaction or that project.
22. Line 8 page 33: I don’t know if there was a specific person in charge of it. I can imagine based on my experience in some of the projects that I’ve seen in other places that there is probably a project manager and several business heads of business people that were running it but I wasn’t in charge I wasn’t part of the project specifically so I don’t really know.
23. LIne 6 page 39: CHASE LOANS VERSUS INVESTOR LOANS:    if you are looking for specific investor or owner information you would go into a screen called MAS1. And then there is a sub screen within that called INV1 which would tell you, if there is an investor, who it is. And if it’s Chase owned, it would say Chase owned.
24. line 17 page 40:  I believe that we keep records of these investor codes potentially outside the system. I’ve never accessed an investor list with an MSP, so it’s possible it’s there. I just don’t know.
25: NO NEED TO MEMORIZE THE USER ID: LINE 6 PAGE 41:  it’s not something you necessarily have to memorize because when you login using your password is going to tell you it’s going to memorialize everything. You don’t have to memorize it. I think mine was OY$.
26. IDENTIFICATION OF INVESTOR: line 17  page 41:   I believe there are also three digits for the investor codes. But when you go into MAS1 and INV1 it actually spells out the name of the investor,.    so if it’, for instance, a chase loan, it will say J.P. Morgan Chase. If it’s Bank of America, it will say Bank of America. It will spell out the name and the address of the investor or owner for you right there on the screen. So you don’t have to interpret a code it’s right there.
27. EXISTENCE OF PRIVATE INVESTOR KEPT HIDDEN FROM EMPLOYEES GIVEN THAT 96% OF ALL LOANS WERE SUBJECT TO CLAIMS OF SECURITIZATION. THIS SHOWS HOW THE BANKS TEMPORARILY CLAIMED OWNERSHIP OF THE LOANS FOR PURPOSES OF TRADING, HEDGING AND COLLECTING INSURANCE, FEDERAL BAILOUTS AND PROCEEDS OF CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS LEAVING THE PRIVATE INVESTORS OUT IN THE COLD AND THEREFORE PREVENTING OR INTERFERING WITH THE PROCESS OF ALLOCATING SUCH PAYMENTS TO THE ACCOUNT RECEIVABLE FO THE INVESTOR AND DECREASING THE ACCOUNT PAYABLE OF THE BORROWER. LINE 11 PAGE 42:  I don’t remember a specific instance where I was dealing with a private investor loan.
28. COLLATERAL FILE SHIPPED OUT WITHIN 15 DAYS OF THE NOTICE OF CHANGE OF SERVICER — BUT HOW DOES SHE KNOW THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED? AND WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT WHAT WAS IN THE COLLATERAL FILE? LINE 2 PAGE 45
29. HANDLING OF FILES AND SHIPPING OF FILES. WHO IS AUTHORIZED. collateral file and credit file: line 8. page 47:  you referenced a collateral file. There is also a credit file. Sometimes you need stuff from the credit file and sometimes you don’t. The collateral file you know sometimes you need it sometimes you don’t. So depending on what you need, there is an electronic request for each one. You send it to the customer service folks. The credit file and there is certain restrictions as to who can actually order it. You have to have certain authorization. You can only send it certain places. You have to either send it to someone if you are sending it to someone within the company they have to have it’s a very short list within the company who can get it. Generally we ship it only to counsel when it needs to go out of custody and services. So you would include your identifier to show you have the authority to order it. You need to identify where it’s going so the firm it’s being shipped to, custody services, will accept that. Basically it’s an email transmission, and that works constantly. So they will go in, pull up the work order, have a person that’s designated to be able to enter the file room, go in and pull the file, and then ship it off to the firm was requesting it. I’m almost 100% certain that they use FedEx almost exclusively for the shipping.
30.  Inside counsel is ANITA Smith or Kendall Forster LINE 3 PAGE 50.
31. NO PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF EXISTENCE OF THE PHYSICAL FILES. HEARSAY ON HEARSAY. LINE 10 PG 50. This would seem to indicate that all her testimony about the movement of the physical files is hearsay based upon computer entries by people she doesn’t know, or things she was told by counsel or someone else working for other departments, indicating multiple records custodians.

Banking Shaping American Minds

“I wish someone would give me one shred of neutral evidence that financial innovation has led to economic growth — one shred of evidence.” — Paul Volcker, former Fed Chairman, 2009

“We have allowed the borrower to get raped and then we have gone to the rapist for a course on sex education. Thus the investors (pension funds who will announce reductions in vested pensions) and the homeowners have been screwed on such a grand scale that the entire economy of our country and indeed the world have been turned upside down.” — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me 2012

CHECK OUT OUR DECEMBER SPECIAL!

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

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

Editor’s Comment: The article below is very much like my own recent article on privatized prisons and the inversion of critical thinking in favor of allowing economic crimes to have a special revered status in our society. Kim highlights the rampage allowed to continue to this day in which Banks are ravaging our society and supporting anything that will confuse us or indoctrinate us to accept outright theft from our society, our purses, and our lives.

It is this lack of critical thinking that has made it so difficult for homeowners to get credit on loan balances that are already paid down by parties who expressly waived any right to collect from the borrower. It is the reason Judges are so reluctant to allow homeowner relief because they perceive the fight as one in which the homeowners are only expressing buyer’s remorse on an otherwise valid transaction.

It is the reason why lawyers are reluctant to deny the debt, deny the balance, deny that a payment was due, deny the default, deny the note as evidence of any debt, deny the validity of the mortgage and counter with actions to nullify the instruments signed by confused and befuddled borrowers assured by the banks that they were making a safe and viable investment.

In most civil cases Plaintiff sues Defendant and Defendant denies most of the allegations — forcing the Plaintiff to prove its case. Not so in foreclosure defense. Lawyers, afraid of looking foolish because they have not researched the matter, refuse to deny the falsity of the allegations in mortgage foreclosure complaint, notice of default and notice of sale. Lawyers are afraid to attack sales despite decisions by Supreme Courts of many states, on the grounds that the sale was rigged, the bidder was a non-creditor submitting a credit bid, and the fact that the forecloser never had any privity with the homeowner, never spent a dime funding any mortgage and never spent a dime funding the purchase of a mortgage.

The quote from the independent analysis of the records in San Francisco County concluded that a high percentage of foreclosures were initiated and completed by entities that were complete “strangers to the transaction.” Why this is ignored by members of the judiciary, the media and government agencies is a question of power and politics. Why it MUST be utilized to save millions more from the sting of foreclosure is the reason I keep writing, the reason I consult with dozens of lawyers across the country and why I have moved back to Florida where I am taking on cases.

As a result of the perception of the inevitability of the foreclosure most court actions are decided in favor of the forecloser because of the presumption that the transaction was valid, the default is real, and that no forgery or fabrication of documents changes those facts. The forgeries and fabrications and robo-signed documents are bad things but the “fact” remains in everyone’s mind that the ultimate foreclosure will proceed. That “fact” has been reinforced by inappropriate admissions from the alleged borrower, who never received a nickle from the loan originator or any assignee.

The lawyers are admitting all the elements necessary for a foreclosure and then moving on to attack the paperwork. Theoretically they are right in attacking assignments and endorsements that are falsified, but if they have already admitted all the basic elements for a foreclosure to proceed, then the foreclosure WILL proceed and if they have any real damages they can sue for monetary relief.

But under the current perception carefully orchestrated by the banks, there are no damages because the debt was real, the borrower admitted it, the payments were due, the borrower failed to make the payments, and the mortgage is a valid lien on the property securing a note which is false on its face but which is accepted as true.

Even the borrowers are not seeing the truth because the people with the real information on the ones that are foreclosing on them. So borrowers, knowing they received a loan, do not question where the loan came from and whether the protections required by the truth in lending statute, RESPA and other federal and state lending laws were violated. We have allowed the borrower to get raped and then we have gone to the rapist for a course on sex education. Thus the investors (pension funds who will announce reductions in vested pensions) and the homeowners have been screwed on such a grand scale that the entire economy of our country and indeed the world have been turned upside down.

Deny and Discover is getting traction across the country, with a focus on the actual money trail — which is the trail of real transactions in which there was an offer, acceptance and consideration between the relevant parties. More and more lawyers are trying it out and surprising themselves with the results. Slowly they are starting to realize that neither the origination of the, loan as set forth in the settlement documents at closing nor the assignments and endorsements were real.

The debt described in the note does not exist and never did. Neither was it the same deal that the lender/investors meant to offer through their investment bankers.

The note and the bond have decidedly different terms of repayment. The payment of insurance and credit de fault swaps to the banks was a crime unto itself — a diversion of money that was intended to protect the investors. The balances owed to those investors would have been correspondingly reduced. The balances owed from the borrowers should be correspondingly reduced by payment received by the only real creditor.

Thus millions of homeowners have walked away from homes they owned on the false representation that the balance owed on their homes was more than they could pay. And the messengers of doom were the banks, depriving investors of money due to them and depriving the borrower of the real facts about their loan balances. Lawyers with only a passing familiarity have either told borrowers that they have no real case against the banks or they take a retainer on a case they know they are going to lose because they will admit things that they don’t realize are false. And Judges hearing the admissions, have no choice but to let the foreclosure proceed.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t come back and overturn it, get damages for wrongful foreclosure, and this is where lawyers have turned bad lawyering into bad business. There is a fortune to be made out there pursuing justice for homeowners. And the case far from the complexity brought to the table by the banks is actually quite simple. Like any other civil case or even criminal case, stop admitting facts that you don’t know are are true and which are in actuality false.

In every case I know of, where the lawyer has followed Deny and Discover and presented it in a reasonable way to the Judge, the orders requiring discovery and proof have resulted in nearly instant “confidential” settlements. Some lawyers and waking up and making millions of dollars helping thousands of homeowners —- why not join the crowd?

Banks Stealing Wealth and the Minds of Our Children

by JS Kim

In the past several years, people worldwide are slowly beginning to shed the web of deceit woven by the banking elite and learning that many topics that were mocked by the mainstream media as conspiracy theories of the tin-foil hat community have now been proven to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt. First there was the myth that bankers were upstanding members of the community that contributed positively to society. Then in 2009, one of their own, Paul Volcker, in a rare momentary lapse of sanity, stated “I wish someone would give me one shred of neutral evidence that financial innovation has led to economic growth — one shred of evidence.” He then followed up this declaration by stating that the most positive contribution bankers had produced for society in the past 20 years was the ATM machine. Of course since that time, we have learned that Wachovia Bank laundered $378,400,000,000 of drug cartel money, HSBC Bank failed to monitor £38,000,000,000,000 of money with potentially dirty criminal ties, United Bank of Switzerland illegally manipulated LIBOR interest rates on a regular basis for purposes of profiteering, and though they have yet to be prosecuted, JP Morgan bank, Goldman Sachs bank, & ScotiaMocatta bank are all regularly accused of manipulating gold and silver prices on nearly a daily basis by many veteran gold and silver traders.

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-01-03/banking-elite-are-not-only-stealing-our-wealth-they-are-also-stealing-our-min

Woman Wins Home and Forecloses on Wells Fargo

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

CHECK OUT OUR NOVEMBER SPECIAL

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

Editor’s Comment: We have seen some of these stories before. What is disconcerting is that the press is not getting the point — some homeowners are winning their cases and getting their house free and clear. The reason is simple: if you try to make the case that you should get a free house, then you are going to lose. But if you attack the would-be forecloser where it hurts, then your chances of getting a favorable result are immeasurably increased. Mark Stopa got 14 Judges to (a) deny the forecloser’s motion for summary judgment and (b) grant final summary judgment to the homeowner. It does happen.

In the final analysis the strategy and tactics are the same as in any civil case — deny each and every allegation that you know is absolutely true, like your name. If you don’t know if the note and mortgage are legitimate or if they are showing a copy of the note and mortgage (or deed of trust) that might be fabricated, deny it. The burden is on the party seeking affirmative relief. Too many times, I see homeowners and attorneys give away the store when they are asked whether there is any issue about the obligation, note or mortgage. Their reply is no “but”….

The fact is there is no “but.” You either deny their right to foreclose or you admit it. If you admit it, then all the argument in the world won’t allow you to win. The Judge has no choice but to allow the foreclosure if your admission, tacit or expressed, goes to all the elements required for a foreclosure.

For reasons that I do not understand the same lawyer that will summarily deny virtually all allegations in the complaint for anything other than a foreclosure action, will be very timid and uncertain about denying allegations and validity of the exhibits in a foreclosure. If you attack the foreclosure after admitting that the elements are there based upon UCC or other arguments attacking the documentary trail, you will most likely lose — unless you accidentally stumble upon an argument that deals with the money trail.

That is why I am continually pushing lawyers and pro se litigants to get advice from lawyers that allows them to deny the validity of the allegations of a judicial foreclosure and deny the validity and authenticity of the substitution of trustee, notice of default and notice of sale in the non-judicial states.

Say as little as possible. The more you allege, the more the burden is on you to prove things that only the other side has in the way of information. I have previously posted an article about that.

The judicial doctrine applies that where the information is exclusively in the care, custody and control of the the opposing side then the mere allegation from you will be sufficient to shift the burden of persuasion onto the forecloser — and their case generally will collapse.

Jacksonville Business Journal by Michael Clinton, Web Producer

In a strange twist of events, a St. Augustine woman has filed foreclosure on a local branch of Wells Fargo after a judge ruled she could keep her home.

The bank tried to foreclose on Rebecca Sharp’s home, but a judge ruled she could keep it and the bank owed her nearly $20,000 for attorney’s fees — eight months later, the bank still hasn’t paid, Action News Jax reports.

“Foreclosure cases are based on borrowers not paying bills. Now, Wells Fargo has not paid its bills. There’s an irony there,” Sharp’s attorney Tom Pycraft told Action News.

Read the full story and see the video at Action News Jax.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) is the third-largest bank in Northeast Florida, with $5.5 billion in area deposits and a market share of 12 percent.

South Florida Foreclosures Rising Sharply

For Legal Representation in South Florida call 520-405-1688. Neil Garfield has established an office there again, where he practiced for 30 years.

Editor’s Notes: With the increase of over 37% over last year, S. Florida is becoming a hotbed of foreclosure activity just as some “old” foreclosure areas are rising and a lot of new areas are suddenly experiencing a vast increase in foreclosure activity.

The Banks are on the move again and all I see, with a few exceptions, is lawyers and pro se litigants admitting practically everything, not knowing when to object or take control of the narrative, and then asking for relief. If you do that, you are not giving the Judge any choice.

Once you have admitted all the essential elements of the foreclosure, the forecloser has “proven” its case in satisfying the doctrine of a prima facie case. Even if you only admit most of what is alleged the rest will likely be presumed. And then, your affirmative defenses and counterclaim sound like hollow protests against the bad guys or pleas for mercy.

The judicial system exists in order to bring finality to any controversy that is properly brought within its jurisdiction. Judges are not there to give you mercy or to fashion their own ideas of justice. And the system is not  corrupt just because you lost.

Even in the appellate decisions the courts are telling us over and over again that the “facts” of the case clearly show the loan, obligation, note and mortgage were all valid. The loan receivable account is presumed to exist, and the obligation of the  borrower to repay the loan is not subject to any effective defense even if you find some evidence of fabrication or even forgery. (More on forgery and fabrication later this week).

This is why I have coined the defense tactic “Deny and Discover.” The tactic is nothing more than a restatement of common litigation where the party sued denies anything that is either not known by them or is arguably deniable, which simply means that the allegations must be PROVEN not accepted as the truth.

The wording varies but you will notice in many cases that the pleading states that the borrower entered into a deal with the mortgage originator in which a mortgage was executed. Denied. You don’t know that the originator was actually the source of the loan funding so why would you admit that? In fact, you will also find that through discovery and information obtained from Title and Securitization Analysis and Commentary that the funding came from an undisclosed third party.

So if you look at yesterday’s post on interrogatories you can see what you you should be looking for. The point is that I have decided to get personally involved in cases in South Florida (especially since I am moving back to Florida soon).

If you represent a client, be careful what you admit and don’t refer to the note as evidence of the loan because in most cases it probably is not evidence at all but rather an executory contract in which the loan was NOT funded by the originator (the payee on the note and mortgage).

You should be directing the attention of the court to the obligation, not the note. You will remember, lawyers, from first year law school, that the note is not the the obligation. It is supposed to be evidence of the obligation. And the mortgage is the tail of the dragon that can only be a perfected lien capable of foreclosure if it refers to a valid note.

If the note contains the wrong payee because that payee funded nothing and if the note differs from the repayment terms presented to the lenders (i.e., the mortgage bond issued by an unfunded and therefore non-existent REMIC) then the note is invalid both because it names the wrong party and because the terms are different than the real lender was offering.

You end up with an obligation for which there is no documentation other than the closing instructions and wire transfer receipt from a third party that shows that the transaction is not FBO (for benefit of the originator) but rather creating a common law obligation of repayment, the terms of which are yet to be determined.

There is nothing under Florida law or the law in any state that allows for imposition of an equitable mortgage with terms that are determined by the Court. Thus the obligation, while owed is not subject to a mortgage and thus not capable of being foreclosed.

If the Banks were playing this straight up, they would have funded the REMIC and put the name of the REMIC on the mortgage or the actual funding source (investment bank) on the note and mortgage, but that would have subjected them to lender liability under various laws (TILA, RESPA, Deceptive Lending) and other misbehavior.

Instead they put the name of a nominee on the note and mortgage (deed of trust) so that they could control the APPARENT movement of the loan through a false chain of securitization starting with an originator who never funded or purchased the loan in a transaction in which money exchanged hands.

This is what enabled the banks to divert money from the investor lenders and money and property from the homeowner borrowers into a wheel and spoke system of multiple sales of the loan for 100 cents on the dollar even if it was known with 100% certainty that the loan would be in default. It was all possible because the actual funding source was left off the documents.

The borrower didn’t mess this up and no incentive to do so. The borrower was required to have disclosure and choices under TILA and state laws, but didn’t get it because of the sneaky game in which they “borrowed” the loan to trade on it, get insurance, credit default swaps and bailouts for loans that the banks never funded not purchased with money.

Thus the loan closings were intentionally “botched” and designed to mislead both the borrower and the lender which was done quite successfully. Recognition of this simple fact, would stop foreclosures and restore the wealth of the middle class partially because the investor lenders would easily be able to recover their full investment from the banks that sold them.

Those investors, lest we forget are not fat cats. They are managed pension and retirement funds, for the most part, that will be begging for federal bailouts next year because of losses caused solely by the misbehavior of the banks and had nothing to do with the borrower. Those retirement accounts and pension funds are the lifeblood of the middle class.

MIAMI—South Florida recorded more than 13,200 foreclosure actions in the third quarter, a 36% year-over-year rise. Lenders also filed 35,700 notices of default so far this year in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, according to new report from CondoVultures.com.

Still, that’s a far cry from previous years. In 2009, there were 75,500 foreclosure actions in the same period and in 2010 there were 49,000 through the first three quarters, according to the report based on filings with the Clerks of the Court for each county.

Peter Zalewski, a principal with Condo Vultures, points to administrative irregularities that he calls “robo-singers” in the repossession process that caused a hiccup in the process. He tells GlobeSt.com robo-singers first surfaced late September 2010, creating a foreclosure freeze.

That slowdown continued through 2011. The nation’s five largest mortgage servicers reached the National Mortgage Settlement Agreement with the federal government and the attorneys general from 49 states to provide at least $25 billion in relief to borrowers in February 2012.

“We are tracking roughly 330,000 foreclosure filings and we’ve seen about 182,000 bank repossessions or forced sales of the properties,” Zalewski says. “Those numbers may be inflated by condo foreclosures, which usually result in multiple filings. So it appears that the worst part of the foreclosure mess is over.”

Zalewski says investment groups set up to buy the bank-owned property are waiting in the wings. As soon as the banks process the repossessions, he says, chances are the product is going move relatively quickly.

“If I were going to guestimate I’d say we are in the seventh inning of a nine inning ballgame,” Zalewski says. “We anticipate there will continue to be foreclosure filings in the upcoming quarters, then you will start to see a slow down. All indications are pointing toward 2014 getting into a growth phase.”

 

Illinois Tops List of Most Foreclosures

Starting last month, the mega banks began an aggressive campaign to avoid modification, settlements or principal reductions and seek foreclosures before they are forced to modify.

Yes, we can help at livinglies, but the numbers are so high that there is no way we have the resources to help everyone. I am pitching in too, having become attorney of record for some. Like you, I am tired of waiting for lawyers who get it. I get it and although I am licensed in Florida we can help anyway.

Lawyers, accountants, analysts and others should be seeing this as a major opportunity to do well for themselves and for the owners of these homes by challenging the rights of the those collectors who are taking their money now, or demanding payment or threatening foreclosure. Lawyers have been slow on the uptake and in so doing are potentially setting themselves up for future malpractice claims for anyone, whether they aid or not, who received advice from the lawyer that was not based upon the realities of the securitization scam.

Call 520-405-1688, where you can get help in documenting the fraud, help in drafting the documents, and help in finding a lawyer. If you are a lawyer involved in foreclosure defense, bankruptcy or family law, you need to to start studying the real facts and the strategies that get traction in court.

We are planning a possible new Chicago seminar for lawyers, paralegals and sophisticated investors or homeowners. But we will only schedule it if we get enough calls to indicate that the workshop will at least pay for itself and that there will be volunteers to help on the ground to set up the the venue. It is a full day of information, strategy, role-playing and tactics to use in the court room.

Editor’s Analysis: Despite loosening standards for principal reductions and modifications, the foreclosure activity across the country is increasing or about to increase due to many factors.

The bizarre reason why the titans of Wall Street want these homes underwater combined with the miscalculation of the real number does not bode well for the housing market nor the economy. With median income now reported by the Wall Street Journal at 1995 levels, and the direct correlation between median income and housing prices you only need a good memory or a computer to see the level of housing prices in 1995 — which is currently where we are headed. As the situation gets worse, the foreclosure and housing problem will become a disaster beyond the proportions seen today. And that is exactly what Wall Street wants and needs — the investors be damned. Millions of proposals far  in excess of foreclosure proceeds have been rejected and forced into foreclosure and millions more will follow.

Wall Street NEEDS foreclosures — not modifications, principal write-downs or settlements. Foreclosures are food for the lions. The reason is simple. They have already received trillions in bailouts from the Federal Government. All of that was predicated upon the homes going into foreclosure. If the loans turn out to be capable of performing, many of those trillion of dollars ( generally reported at $17 trillion, which is more than the total principal loaned out to all borrowers during the meltdown period), the mega banks could be facing trillions of  dollars in liability as the demands are properly made for payback. The banks should not be allowed to collect the money and the houses too. Neither should they be allowed to collect the bailout money and keep the mortgages.

The “underwater” calculation is far off the mark. If selling expenses and discounts are taken into consideration, the value of homes used in that calculation is at least 10% less than what is used in the underwater calculation, which would increase the number of underwater homes by at least 15% bringing the total to nearly 10,000,000 homeowners who know now that they will never see valuation even coming close to the amount owed. The prospect for strategic defaults is staggering —- totaling more than 10 million homes  — or nearly twice the number of foreclosures already “completed”, albeit defectively.

Illinois is now getting hit hard, as the foreclosure menace spreads. Jacksonville up 30% in Florida, South Florida at 22 month high, Arizona with more than 600,000 homes underwater, all the paths lead to foreclosure. With that bogus deed on foreclosure in hand, Wall Street figures it is a  get out of jail free card.

Wall Street wants the foreclosures, needs the foreclosures and is going to get them — unless they are stopped in the courts. Don’t think you won’t end up in foreclosure just because you are current in mortgage payments. They have playbook that will trick you too into a foreclosure. If anyone tells you to stop making payments, watch out!

There’s A NEW Worst State For Foreclosures

By Mamta Badkar

Foreclosure activity in the United States fell 15 percent year-over-year in August. But housing is a local story and a few regions in the country were exceptions to the trend.

With one in every 298 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, Illinois had the highest foreclosure rate in the country for the first time since 2005, according to RealtyTrac’s latest foreclosure report.

Illinois pushed usual suspects like California, Arizona, and Nevada down the list.

The prairie state’s foreclosure rate jumped 29 percent month-over-month (MoM), and 42 percent year-over-year (YoY), with 17,781 properties in the state received a foreclosure filing in August.

And every detail in the state’s foreclosure report was ugly. Foreclosure starts – the pace at which mortgages enter the foreclosure process – were up 18 percent on the year. Scheduled foreclosure auctions were up 116 percent YoY. Bank repossessions climbed 41 percent YoY.

As a state that requires foreclosures to go through the judicial process, Illinois’ foreclosure rate was “artificially low” last year, according to Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac.

5,268 homeowners in Illinois received a total of $357.3 million in assistance as part of the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement as of June 30, 2012, according to a report by the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight. That’s roughly $67,817 per borrower but it’s unlikely to have a large impact in reducing foreclosures in the future.

Foreclosure activity in the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metro area was up 44 percent YoY, making it the metro with the eighth highest foreclosure rate in the country.

Blomquist told Business Insider in an email interview that in the case of the Chicago metro area, a land bank, like the ones set up in Cleveland and Detroit that rehabilitate properties or demolish them, could help ease the burden of distressed properties.

He doesn’t however expect any improvements in Illinois’ foreclosure rate anytime soon. “The foreclosures coming through the pipeline in Illinois and other states now are likely on mortgages that the banks do not deem are a good fit for any of the foreclosure alternatives outlined in the mortgage settlement.” He does however think that a program similar to Oregon’s foreclosure mediation program could help slow down foreclosures.

This chart from RealtyTrac shows the recent surge in Illinois’ foreclosure activity as its banks and courts push through foreclosures:

illinois foreclosure activity

RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac’s report also broke down US metropolitan areas with the highest foreclosure rates.

Click Here To See The 20 Metros Getting Slammed By Foreclosures

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