Wells Fargo Foreclosure: Another Unconscionable Foreclosure Tale

http://www.fltimes.com/opinion/the-bigger-picture-foreclosure-fight/article_8221132a-e7bd-11e6-a8ee-3b3290e2624c.html

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Foreclosure fight

 

  • By SPENCER TULIS nyp2904@yahoo.com

 

 

In 1998, Leanne Labadee bought a three-unit home on Ogden Street in Penn Yan for $75,000. The 50-year-old faithfully paid her mortgage every month, the majority of the time with money orders.

She never missed a payment.

Like many, she received notices about her loan being resold to another mortgage company; federal banking laws allow financial institutions to sell mortgages or transfer the servicing rights to other institutions. Consumer consent is not required. It’s a common practice, and Leanne’s mortgage has been owned by at least three different banks.

In short, the secondary mortgage industry is huge.

In 2008, out of the blue, she was informed foreclosure proceedings were being started on her home unless the mortgage was paid in full. The mortgage company? Wells Fargo, an outfit that has dealt with controversy in recent years because of questionable business practices.

Leanne has been in a fight with Wells Fargo ever since, all the while still not missing a payment. She even enlisted Congressman Tom Reed to help fight on her behalf for two years — with no success.

One would think a few phone calls would be able to straighten things out. Leanne certainly couldn’t afford to fly to Wells Fargo’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Chances are it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because it seems no one can find all the paperwork and account information that relates to her property.

Her sister, Lori, has been a tremendous help in this fight. Leanne is disabled due to a combination of diabetes, depression and anxiety. The ongoing foreclosure threats have done little to improve her health.

Lori has a file full of paperwork; it’s a foot tall. She couldn’t tell you the number of phone calls she has made on Leanne’s behalf, contacting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and New York State Attorney General’s Office, to name just two.

When mortgages are resold, consumers are not supposed to become collateral damage during the process. Mortgage companies have a legal obligation to protect consumers. That means paperwork should never be lost and should never hinder a consumer’s chance to save their home from unnecessary foreclosure.

Famous last words and, ultimately, empty promises for Leanne.

Two weeks ago her home was sold at foreclosure for $55,000. Not only did she lose out on all the equity she has put in through the years, but she received a bill from Wells Fargo saying the home was foreclosed for $87,200, and they insisted she has to continue making payments for the $32,200 difference.

If there is a “smoking gun” here, it may lay in some of the paperwork she possesses with the name Steven Baum on it.

In 2010, a federal, class-action complaint on behalf of tens of thousands of New York state homeowners who lost their homes to an alleged foreclosure fraud began. The fraud was orchestrated for years by a New York “foreclosure mill” attorney along with major mortgage companies. The case is filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, entitled “Connie Campbell against Steven Baum.

The action seeks to return tens of thousands of foreclosed homes to their owners, or its value, along with hundreds of millions in punitive damages against Baum.

“Mr. Baum is an attorney who knows better, yet his foreclosure filings for parties who have no standing to sue confuse the courts and homeowners while he and his banking clients profit tremendously by throwing people on the streets after their bad loans sold by the very same banks become unaffordable to innocent people,” said Susan Lask, who filed the claim: “The aforementioned false foreclosure filings potentially hit tens of thousands of New Yorkers who were foreclosed upon.”

Baum has been accused of deliberate sloppy filings to hasten foreclosures on unwitting homeowners and courts. In 2012, he was fined $6 million.

Last week Leanne found a Rochester attorney who has agreed to represent her in her fight against this injustice.

She is now living with her sister.

 

Colorado Moves Forward with Legislation to Prevent Fraudulent Foreclosures

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Editor’s Comment: 

Once upon a time it was a simple thing. If you sued someone, you had to say why, plead facts that supported the relief you wanted, and then demand the relief. Today it is considered nearly revolutionary to require foreclosers to prove the loan, prove the facts supporting foreclosures, using real evidence and not suppositions. As Colorado moves closer to Nevada’s law there is ample reason to hope that foreclosures will plummet there too. Isn’t it odd though that mediated settlements are not rising substantially either? 

We can only assume that there is something the Banks and servicers are not telling the pensioners who rely upon funds that were heavily invested in the bogus mortgage bonds. Could it be that if the pensioners collectively and the homeowners collectively got together and compared notes they would discover the problem: that when their fund manager put up the money for loans, there were no loans? Or that the investment bank removed 20%–40% of the funds and converted them to fees and profits leaving only a fraction of the money of the pensioners to fund mortgages?

Pensioners and homeowners have more in common than they might realize. In fact they might even be the same person.  Someone whose pension funds are going down because of losses on mortgage bonds in their pension fund and someone who is losing their house in foreclosure because of the decrease in pension income and trickery used by the Banks in securing their signature in bogus loan deals. Many pensioners are going to hear soon that the benefits they were expecting must be reduced because of chicanery on Wall Street. Some of those same people are angry at the thought of providing relief to homeowners who were also tricked into these bogus loan deals. Now that you see the effect, are still sure that borrowers in distress are deadbeats?

Foreclosure: Initiative 84 changes language, pushes for signatures

By Kelsey Whipple

Initiative 84, a proposed constitutional amendment that would require lenders to prove ownership of property before foreclosing on it, has passed another hurdle in its move toward legalization. On Friday, proponents and opponents met before the state title board to discuss its language, which made it through relatively unchanged. The next step, however, might prove the hardest.

Before the potential amendment makes it to a statewide ballot, the Colorado Progressive Coalition, the body heading up its support, must collect a minimum of 87,000 signatures — which could cost $200,000 or more, CPC economic justice director Corrine Fowler says. Now that the effort’s language has been cemented, the coalition is gathering volunteers and paid representatives to launch its signature drive.

Initiative 84, which was created after House Bill 1156, a similar foreclosure measure, died in committee before making it to the floor, seeks to reverse 2006 legislation that changed the standards for legally processing Colorado foreclosures. Since that year, it has been legal for lawyers to sign a “statement of qualified holder,” which indicates ownership without a pattern of proof, and it is no longer mandatory to show a paperwork chain.

If approved, the amendment would require financial institutions to verify ownership of any property through a county note or a certified copy presented during the court stage of a foreclosure.

So far, the language has come under fire from a handful of financial institutions, and while both sides made arguments regarding the initiative’s appropriateness on Friday, most were rejected because they did not apply to title board proceedings. In the meantime, the board denied efforts to stage a rehearing to slow down the initiative.

Fowler says the CPC is satisfied with the slight change in wording, which now reads, “An amendment to the Colorado Constitution changing the existing evidentiary requirements for foreclosure of real property and in connection there with requiring the evidence be filed to sufficiently establish a party’s right to enforce a valid recorded security interest prior to the foreclosure of any real property.”

The central change here is that now sufficient evidence is required, rather than “complete” evidence. The difference could become a significant one at court in the future.

“Special interests like the Colorado Bankers Association won’t be able to come back and change it in future years,” Fowler told Westword. “This is going to affect the bottom line of the lawyers and the bankers, and we know that and don’t take this lightly. We believe that the foreclosure crisis is the biggest issue our national economy is facing.”


AFTER THE SALE: PART I

Submitted by Charles Koppa. 6/9/2010

Editor’s Note: We are starting to look at events AFTER the sale has taken place and we are discovering a number of things:

  • CREDIT BID: Only the Creditor can submit a credit bid. All others must pay actual money. If a non-creditor submitted a credit bid (essentially bidding the “amount due” which as we have seen from the FTC action against BOA is incorrectly stated) then the procedure has been violated, the sale has not legally occurred. At least that is my interpretation.
  • Also the submission of a credit bid locks in the position of the parties. So if you are suing for wrongful or fraudulent foreclosure, they no longer have the option of fabricating documents as you raise one objection after another.
  • The obligation to return money rightfully owed to the homeowner continues but it is ignored. Thus even if the property is not sold to a bonafied purchaser for value without notice of defects, the net accounting due is the same. So the receipt of third party insurance, credit default swaps, or other credit enhancement payments is still required to be allocated to this loan. Hence there is a damage claim against the participants in the foreclosure and sale.
  • More later. For now read Charles’ comments below

REO’s and OREO’s have NO MERS Identification Numbers.

1.  Loan Servicer (as a MERS member) initiates the NOD and NOTS.
2.  When the auctioneer pronounces “Back To Beneficiary”, the securitized bond trust receives the MinBid at averages of 46% below the NOTS amount posted the day before.  Bondholder “paper certificate losses”  are unconscionably assigned against the Real Estate asset. “The Paper Trust” gains an untitled transfer of the Real Estate Asset which it NEVER Wanted!
3.  The Auction extinguishes the Toxic Security on Wall Street.  Counterparties collect on their bets.  Investor lose their investments” and the monthly cash interest streams are terminated.
4.  Simultaneously, the Servicer (and MERS) are extinguished from all public records.  Servicer collects on MGIC or other mortgage insurance to cover ALL their contrived losses and costs.
5.  When the re-sale is completed, “The Bookkeeping Trust” ALSO disappears from County Property RECORDS!!!
6.  Until re-sold, the real property travels at ZERO book value into an off balance sheet private entity (mostly controlled by the BHC) which was the SIV “depositor” (as an off balance entity) in setting up the REMIC and/or the Investment Trust in the first place.

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