Tonight — Silent Roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — Hiding Behind the Obtuse

How to Withhold Vital Information from Homeowners

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Charles Marshall, Attorney and Bill Paatalo, licensed investigator discuss the moral hazard created by the Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) banks, the courts and the regulators in allowing “presumptions” to be used even when the actual facts are different from the presumed facts.

Fannie and Freddie have long been a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

Before false claims of securitization, before fabrication and forgery of documents, the GSEs had fairly clear role in the origination, servicing and enforcement of mortgages. Now they are used as cover to hide lack of ownership where the banks and servicers make the homeowner travel and endless loop leading nowhere.

Now, as to any specific loan, we don’t know which of the following applies:

  1.  GSE is the guarantor of the loan (basically like a third party insurer with government backing)
  2. GSE is Master Trustee of a REMIC Trust in which there is a named Trustee who has the same powers, rights and obligations as the Master Trustee — i.e., no powers to actively administer the active affairs of the trust because there is no business or assets in the trust.
  3. GSE is or was a purchaser for cash.
  4. GSE is or was a purchaser using MBS issued by a named trust that either exists or doesn’t exist.
  5. GSE, using Trust A MBS paid Trust A for loans owned by the Trust or for loans not owned by the trust.
  6. GSE was a seller of the subject debt, note or mortgage.
  7. GSE claimed ownership when it didn’t own the subject debt, note or mortgage.
  8. GSE showed subject loan on its website but had no interest in the subject debt, note or mortgage (or foreclosure).
  9. Third parties claimed that GSE owned the subject debt, note and/or mortgage and it was true.
  10. Third parties claimed that GSE owned the subject debt, note and/or mortgage and it was false.

Fannie and Freddie Unloading Bogus “Mortgage” Bonds

Standard Operating Procedure: Create more bogus paper on top of piles of old bogus paper and you contribute to the illusion that any of it is real. The “business model” still leaves out the basic fallacy: that most loans were never actually securitized into the trusts that are claiming them. Hence the at the base of this pyramid, is an MBS issued by an entity without any assets in cash, property or loans.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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see http://blogs.barrons.com/incomeinvesting/2014/06/30/government-support-for-gse-mortgage-transfer-securities-unrealistic-fitch/

The actual goal here is to spread the risk so wide that the impact is reduced when it is finally conceded that the original MBS had no value and every successor synthetic derivative is just as worthless as the one before it.

At ground level, this creates a dichotomy. First the act of a Government Sponsored Entity (GSE) engaging in a “re-REMIC” transfer adds to the illusion that the issuing trust ever acquired the loan in the first place. But second, it corroborates the finding by me, Adam Levitin and others who know and have studied the situation: the foreclosure based upon claims from alleged REMIC Trusts are false claims.

If the original MBS had real value because it was issued by a real REMIC Trust, the process described as “re-REMIC” would not be necessary. Hedge products would be sufficient to cover the changing risk from alleged defaults on loans that were legitimately made by originators. The fact is that the “loans” did not produce loan contracts because one party was owed the debt while another party was named on the bogus note.

And THAT corroborates the experience of millions of homeowners who attempted to learn about the fictitious financial transaction in which “successors” to the “originator” paid nothing for the “transfer” of the loan because it could not be sold by the preceding party who had no ownership.

New York Judge Orders Release of Hidden Documents

This is just the beginning of what I have been predicting for 10 years. When the public finds out that the government itself is addicted to the false scheme of securitization — and that this has led to abandonment of policies and rules of law that have continued to depress the U.S. economy — the “movements” of Sanders and Trump will look like garden parties.

The mortgage loan schedules, assignments, and endorsements are all pure fabrication, illusion smoke and mirrors. This is why 10 years ago the banks were denying the existence of the trusts. They created a void between the investors and their money on the one hand and the homeowners and their homes on the other. They stepped into the void acting as principals when they were in fact rogue intermediaries.

“In the discovery battle in these suits, the government’s pleas for secrecy were so extreme that it asked for, and received, “attorneys’ eyes only” status for the documents in question. This meant that not even the plaintiffs were entitled to see the raw papers. This designation is usually reserved for cases involving national security or proprietary business secrets.”

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

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see http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-is-the-obama-administration-trying-to-keep-11-000-documents-sealed-20160418?utm_source=email
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Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists in existence who has actually taken the time to gain some real understanding of the financial crisis that was revealed in 2008-2009. I would only add that this is like the tobacco litigation where the states became addicted to revenue from the tobacco companies in order to pay their “fines.”
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There are many reasons why the Bush and Obama administrations moved to “save” the TBTF banks at the expense of the rule of law and on the back of homeowners who were lured into unworkable debt masquerading as mortgage debt.
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And the outcome of this leadership by example is that the mortgages are treated as valid encumbrances, the mortgage bonds are treated as viable assets on the balance sheets of banks, and the one source that could save the economy — consumers — is being cutoff from any form of relief.
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This is like the Fortune 500 companies who have decided that their stock is their product, and the higher their stock price the better they are doing — even if it means that they artificially inflating their stock price by purchasing the stock at high levels with company funds. It’s like oil companies who continue to value the oil in the ground as though they were going to suck it all out and make a profit when we all know that oil is largely going to be left intact and not subject to sale or use. The bubble is here and this decision by a federal judge forces the hand of the Obama administration to lift the veil of secrecy on the pact between the TBTF banks and the U.S. government.
 *
THE SIMPLE TRUTH: The “Trusts” were nothing but names on paper. And the paper allegedly issued by the “Trusts” was as worthless as the Trusts themselves. The investors advanced money under the belief that it would mean their money was going through a “pass-through” entity to be managed by the Trust; but the money never went to the trusts and the trusts never acquired any assets from any source, leaving the trusts at best “inchoate” and at worst nonexistent depending upon the state.
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The mortgage loan schedules, assignments, and endorsements are all pure fabrication, illusion smoke and mirrors. This is why 10 years ago the banks were denying the existence of the trusts.
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They created a void between the investors and their money on the one hand and the homeowners and their homes on the other. They stepped into the void acting as principals when they were in fact rogue intermediaries.
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And to cover their tracks they funded loans with money they stole from investors, thus stealing the money and the debt, while at the same time defrauding the borrower and the courts with false claims of ownership leading to the pinnacle of their scheme — a forced sale of property that in fact they had no interest in, based upon a loan that they never funded or acquired. Getting to that auction is the first legal document in the whole fabricated illegal chain of documentation — and it gives them the right to use that foreclosure sale as proof that everything that went before the sale was true and valid. It wasn’t.
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Problems with Lehman and Aurora

Lehman had nothing to do with the loan even at the beginning when the loan was funded, it acted as a conduit for investor funds that were being misappropriated, the loan was “sold” or “transferred” to a REMIC Trust, and the assets of Lehman were put into a bankruptcy estate as a matter of law.

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

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I keep receiving the same question from multiple sources about the loans “originated” by Lehman, MERS involvement, and Aurora. Here is my short answer:
 *

Yes it means that technically the mortgage and note went in two different directions. BUT in nearly all courts of law the Judge overlooks this problem despite clear law to the contrary in Florida Statutes adopting the UCC.

The stamped endorsement at closing indicates that the loan was pre-sold to Lehman in an Assignment and Assumption Agreement (AAA)— which is basically a contract that violates public policy. It violates public policy because it withholds the name of the lender — a basic disclosure contained in the Truth in Lending Act in order to make certain that the borrower knows with whom he is expected to do business.

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Choice of lender is one of the fundamental requirements of TILA. For the past 20 years virtually everyone in the “lending chain” violated this basic principal of public policy and law. That includes originators, MERS, mortgage brokers, closing agents (to the extent they were actually aware of the switch), Trusts, Trustees, Master Servicers (were in most cases the underwriter of the nonexistent “Trust”) et al.
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The AAA also requires withholding the name of the conduit (Lehman). This means it was a table funded loan on steroids. That is ruled as a matter of law to be “predatory per se” by Reg Z.  It allows Lehman, as a conduit, to immediately receive “ownership” of the note and mortgage (or its designated nominee/agent MERS).
 *

Lehman was using funds from investors to fund the loan — a direct violation of (a) what they told investors, who thought their money was going into a trust for management and (b) what they told the court, was that they were the lender. In other words the funding of the loan is the point in time when Lehman converted (stole) the funds of the investors.

Knowing Lehman practices at the time, it is virtually certain that the loan was immediately subject to CLAIMS of securitization. The hidden problem is that the claims from the REMIC Trust were not true. The trust having never been funded, never purchased the loan.

*

The second hidden problem is that the Lehman bankruptcy would have put the loan into the bankruptcy estate. So regardless of whether the loan was already “sold” into the secondary market for securitization or “transferred” to a REMIC trust or it was in fact owned by Lehman after the bankruptcy, there can be no valid document or instrument executed by Lehman after that time (either the date of “closing” or the date of bankruptcy, 2008).

*

The reason is simple — Lehman had nothing to do with the loan even at the beginning when the loan was funded, it acted as a conduit for investor funds that were being misappropriated, the loan was “sold” or “transferred” to a REMIC Trust, and the assets of Lehman were put into a bankruptcy estate as a matter of law.

*

The problems are further compounded by the fact that the “servicer” (Aurora) now claims alternatively that it is either the owner or servicer of the loan or both. Aurora was basically a controlled entity of Lehman.

It is impossible to fund a trust that claims the loan because that “reporting” process was controlled by Lehman and then Aurora.

*

So they could say whatever they wanted to MERS and to the world. At one time there probably was a trust named as owner of the loan but that data has long since been erased unless it can be recovered from the MERS archives.

*

Now we have an emerging further complicating issue. Fannie claims it owns the loan, also a claim that is untrue like all the other claims. Fannie is not a lender. Fannie acts a guarantor or Master trustee of REMIC Trusts. It generally uses the mortgage bonds issued by the REMIC trust to “purchase” the loans. But those bonds were worthless because the Trust never received the proceeds of sale of the mortgage bonds to investors. Thus it had no ability to purchase loan because it had no money, business or other assets.

But in 2008-2009 the government funded the cash purchase of the loans by Fannie and Freddie while the Federal Reserve outright paid cash for the mortgage bonds, which they purchased from the banks.

The problem with that scenario is that the banks did not own the loans and did not own the bonds. Yet the banks were the “sellers.” So my conclusion is that the emergence of Fannie is just one more layer of confusion being added to an already convoluted scheme and the Judge will be looking for a way to “simplify” it thus raising the danger that the Judge will ignore the parts of the chain that are clearly broken.

Bottom Line: it was the investors funds that were used to fund loans — but only part of the investors funds went to loans. The rest went into the pocket of the underwriter (investment bank) as was recorded either as fees or “trading profits” from a trading desk that was performing nonexistent sales to nonexistent trusts of nonexistent loan contracts.

The essential legal problem is this: the investors involuntarily made loans without representation at closing. Hence no loan contract was ever formed to protect them. The parties in between were all acting as though the loan contract existed and reflected the intent of both the borrower and the “lender” investors.

The solution is for investors to fire the intermediaries and create their own and then approach the borrowers who in most cases would be happy to execute a real mortgage and note. This would fix the amount of damages to be recovered from the investment bankers. And it would stop the hemorrhaging of value from what should be (but isn’t) a secured asset. And of course it would end the foreclosure nightmare where those intermediaries are stealing both the debt and the property of others with whom thye have no contract.

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The Beginning or the End for Loan Servicer Ocwen?

By William Hudson
Ocwen Financial, one of the largest subprime mortgage servicers in America, has big problems. Analysts predict that Ocwen will be forced to file bankruptcy as the SEC opens up two more investigations into the loan servicers business practices while the stock goes into free-fall.

A further hurdle will befall homeowners if Ocwen files for bankruptcy protection because another shield is placed between the homeowners and the banks who are the culprits- but just happen to control all of the “loan” information. As Neil Garfield would say, “They have plenty of bodies to throw under the bus.” To date, homeowners and their attorneys in litigation have been frustrated by attempts to discover who the true creditor is especially when the servicer hides behind bankruptcy, mergers and receivership (Fannie and Freddie).

Ocwen reported a $247 million annual loss while revenues tumbled 17.5% last week at the same time the SEC is continuing to scrutinize their shoddy and abusive servicing practices. Despite the fact that Ocwen previously settled with multiple government regulators upon findings of fraudulent servicing practices, apparently it is business as usual for Ocwen as authorities continue to investigate their business practices- without administering any penalty with teeth or consequences.

Only a month ago, Ocwen settled with the SEC for misstating their 2013 and 2014 financial results and were fined a paltry $2 million dollar fine for poor internal controls and failing to disclose the financial conflicts of their former CEO Bill Erby. In 2014 alone, Ocwen would pay a $100 million civil monetary penalty to the New York Department of Financial Services for violations and non-compliance with a prior consent order with a regulator. Last year they paid an additional $2.5 million fine to the California Department of Business Oversight on their servicing practices that ultimately led to Ocwen being barred from acquiring new Mortgage Servicing Rights in the state of California. Predictably, although the Department of Business Oversight had threatened to revoke their mortgage license- and should have- they failed to do so.

On the upside for Ocwen, is that they will remain in the business of servicing Ginnie Mae loans and will also continue to originate and service new Fannie and Freddie loans. My advice would be to steer clear of GSE loans like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if at all possible since it presents one more ‘layer’ to navigate if at a future time you suspect fraud may have been involved in your loan. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are quasi-governmental institutions that are immune to Freedom of Information Requests and federal transparency, while still benefiting from being private corporations. The GSE’s have a cushy little deal where they appear to exist outside of both governmental and corporate regulations.

Last year Ocwen demonstrated that they couldn’t effectively service government guaranteed loans, and was forced to sell $45 billion in mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) on loans originated by Fannie Mae to JPMorgan Chase. Ocwen was also forced to sell a total of $34.8 billion in MSR’s on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans to competitor Nationstar Mortgage in two separate deals to unwind servicing legacy agency loans. Although I could go on and on about the abusive servicing practices that have resulted in Ocwen being financially fined and forced to sell its servicing rights, let’s just say these issues are indicative of the regulatory and investor pressures the servicing giants are now facing- across the board. At present, bondholders have requested that Ocwen be removed from servicing 119 different residential mortgage backed securities trusts with more requesting removal weekly.

Last Monday Ocwen was notified that the SEC would launch a new SEC probe into its servicing operations. The SEC is investigating Ocwen’s use of collection agents by the company’s various mortgage loan servicers, a practice that Ocwen has argued is a standard practice across the servicing industry. President Ronald Faris commented that their practices and fees are considered standard and should be of no concern. Faris is correct in that Ocwen’s illegal practices of using forged and fraudulent documents presented to courts across the country in order to foreclose is standard practice among loan servicing agents. However, Faris is delusional if he believes these practices should be of no concern. To whom? The shareholder who has no idea the loans Ocwen services are owned by phantom entities with no standing to foreclose, or the homeowner who is subjected to predatory servicing and foreclosure tactics? If the government agencies would do their jobs- Ocwen would cease to exist tomorrow.

The SEC has opened an investigation into the fees and expenses the company charges in connection with its management of liquidating mortgage loans and real estate properties in different RMBS trusts. Unfortunately, Ocwen is not being investigating for violations against consumers, but only because investors have complained and when investors complain the regulators and government take notice. Groups of investors have a tendency to get better results when they go up against a large corporation and can retain the best representation that money can buy. A homeowner in a small town outside Des Moines with an attorney specializing in family law doesn’t pose much of a threat or incite the same action.

It is unusual for the SEC to investigate business practices. Typically the SEC will only investigate the integrity of financial statements. CEO Ronald Faris spoke on a conference call Monday evening and addressed the investigation. He said what all good CEO’s say to distance themselves from controversy, “I can’t really comment except to say that we feel confident that the fees that are part of the servicing business that are either assessed to borrowers or passed on to RMBS investors are – they’re monitored closely by master servicers and trustees and others. We’ve had various third parties look at them. We have a good sense as to what other servicers have done since we’ve acquired a lot of servicing portfolios and been able to see what industry practice has been. And we feel comfortable that our process is within industry practice. So, we can’t comment on what exactly a regulator may be looking for, but we do believe that our processes are appropriate.” Faris confirms that he is simply going along with industry “best practices”. Best practices that have been revealed to include falsifying affidavits and forging mortgage documents in order to create the illusion of having standing to foreclose.

In January, Ocwen announced that Phyillis R. Caldwell joined the Board of Directors. Caldwell previously served as Chief of the Homeownership Preservation Office at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where she was responsible for oversight of the U.S. housing market stabilization, economic recovery, and foreclosure prevention initiatives established through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Since Caldwell did such an outstanding job with TARP what could go wrong? Under TARP millions of TPP modification agreements were extended and revoked for no reason while the homeowner was in compliance with the terms of the agreement.

Upon announcing Ocwen’s director, the company issued a press release stating, “Phyllis’ character, deep experience in the housing and mortgage markets, and commitment to borrowers and communities makes her the right choice to move Ocwen forward and emerge as a stronger company with the highest standards in our industry.” Unfortunately, we know what commitment to borrowers and communities’ means for homeowners under Ocwen. It means that investors will be able to come in, purchase properties for pennies on the dollar and displace families while Ocwen alters legal instruments to give the illusion of standing and forecloses on properties. Becoming a stronger company refers to cashing in a few favors she has coming her way so Ocwen can escape extinction. Caldwell’s appointment is disturbing and it is obvious what type of ‘help’ she will provide to Ocwen (cronyism and assistance covering their fraud scheme).

Remember, Ocwen was issued a consent order from the CFPB in every state but Oklahoma last year that illustrated the “continued, systemic abuse of the American homeowner.” Ocwen was accused of “violating consumer financial laws at every stage of the mortgage servicing process,” according to CFPB Director Richard Cordray. However, under that settlement, Ocwen executives faced no criminal charges, did not pay the majority of penalties themselves, and were not forced to admit wrongdoing in the case.
Ocwen, like JPMorgan Chase, Citicorp, Bank of America and other bank servicers settled cases of mortgage servicing abuse in the National Morgan Settlement back in 2012 for 25 billion dollars. The banks paid a nominal fine, and transferred or sold their servicing operations to non-bank servicers like Ocwen.

As a non-bank servicer, Ocwen doesn’t own any of the loans. They merely service loans, collecting monthly payments and dealing with loan modifications and foreclosures, for investors who purchased them as part of mortgage-backed securities.  Ocwen makes the erroneous assumption that the loans they are servicing actually made it into the trusts they claim to. Ocwen has no way to verify if the note is where it is supposed to be but makes false assertions that it is simply because the bank “says so”.
Although Ocwen is not a bank, they have engaged in the exact same servicing practices as the big banks. Eric Mains who is suing CitiMortgage likes to call this game of passing around servicing rights while also claiming creditor rights, “Whack-a-Mole.” The entire servicing industry, by design, is about keeping the homeowner in the dark until they can properly execute the foreclosure action. Servicers change, account numbers change, customer service representatives provide account disinformation and banks routinely fail to comply with any statute meant to protect the homeowner from this type of exploitation and predation.

“Too often trouble began as soon as a loan transferred to Ocwen,” said CFPB Director Cordray when he announced the enforcement action last year. Ocwen was accused of charging borrowers more than stipulated in the mortgage contract; forcing homeowners to buy unnecessary insurance policies; charging borrowers unauthorized fees; providing inaccurate information to borrowers when questioned about excessive and unauthorized fees; lying about loan modification options; misplacing documents and ignoring or losing loan modification applications, deliberately causing homeowners to slip into foreclosure; illegally denying eligible borrowers loan modifications, and then lying to cover up their crimes. These activities result in foreclosures and a windfall of profits to the loan servicer who will then reap a free house, insurance proceeds and other undisclosed rewards granted for successfully foreclosing on a home. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ocwen had a Pirate of the Week award that includes a parking spot upfront near the CEO.

Finally, if Ocwen goes into bankruptcy, homeowners who have loans serviced by Ocwen will face further hardships attempting to unravel who their creditor is, if the loan was legitimately transferred, while being subjected to some unsavory servicing practices that appear to be designed to ensure the appearance of homeowner non-compliance. It is time that Ocwen ADMIT wrongdoing so that their executives will not be protected from legal consequences. Ocwen also needs to be forced to pay any penalties with their own money, not the investors. To date, Ocwen has only faced trivial administrative fines while foreclosing on thousands of homeowners under false pretenses, with fraudulent documents, by predatory means. Until the government regulators take real action- this is business as usual for the loan servicers.

 

 

MERS 2.0: CSP Another MERS for Securitization of Debt

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

This article is not a substitute for a legal opinion on your case obtained from an attorney licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property or transaction is located. Get a lawyer.

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see GMAC Exec Appointed CEO of CSS

see Common Securitization Platform

see Common Securitization Platform — Freddie First

We all know that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has been pretty thoroughly discredited although there are still many judges whose attitude is “so what”, and the foreclosure goes forward anyway. MERS does not meet the statutory requirements to be a beneficiary under a deed of trust nor a mortgagee under a mortgage deed. It is a naked nominee, wearing none of the clothes required to be a lender, holder of the note or owner of the mortgage. And it even says so on its website, disclaiming any interest in any loan, debt, note or mortgage. It has been used extensively (an estimated 80 millions loans have been registered in the MERS system). Its purpose was to hide—-

(1) the real lender,  making virtually every loan a table  funded loan and therefore predatory per se (something which people have still not caught onto — until the Supreme Court says AGAIN, predatory per se means that it is against public policy, negating the right to obtain equitable relief [foreclosure]

(2) the real transactions of real money in the origination of loans and the acquisition of loan documents

(3) the real players in the lending process

(4) the real players in the collection process

(5) the real players in the foreclosure process

(6) theft from the investors

(7) theft from the borrowers

(8) fraud on the courts

Many knowledgeable judges, county recorders, legal analysts and title agents around the country have all come to the same conclusion: the use of MERS forever corrupted the public records systems for recording title and interests in real property. And yet those defective encumbrances remain in the public records as though MERS was real and the facts from the MERS platform were true. Clearing the title problems and compensating victims of foreclosure fraud enabled by MERS remains among the great challenges to all branches of government.

The problem for the banks is that if they fess up to the truth, the banks, their stockholders and anyone who relies upon them (i.e., the Federal government) will see their benefits go up in smoke. So they have been quietly seeking a way to cover the whole thing up and sweep it under the rug. Statutory changes were discarded because that would amount to admitting that something was wrong. So they hit upon the idea of institutionalizing the whole concept all over again — which will lead to yet another and bigger catastrophe than the one called the “Great Recession.”

It was obvious that if any of the largest banks were involved, alarm bells would have gone off all over the place. So they are using Fannie and Freddie, with a GMAC exec at the helm to start a “Common Securitization Platform” (CSP) that will not only enhance the illusion that prior fake securitizations were real, but also provide a quasi-governmental entity whose “business records” will seem more real than even the property records of any given county. It is a blatant usurpation of state powers with no more viability or validity than MERS. This is MERS 2.0. They will probably treat it as an administrative function of a quasi governmental agency entitled to the presumption of truth. Sounds like MERS, looks like MERS, smells like MERS, Walks like MERS …. must be a duck. [I said in 2008 in a 6 day marathon deposition of me as expert witness that they might just as well have put the name “Donald Duck” on the note and mortgage — since they were already using fictional characters.]

Bottom Line: They are institutionalizing prior acts of fraud against the taxpayers, the government (Federal, state and city), investors and borrowers and clearing the way for it continue unabated. The reason is clear: our political leaders from all political spectrums don’t have a clue about the real world of finance and they are scared to death by threats from bankers that if they go down, they will take the country down with them.

Where is Teddy Roosevelt (“Trust buster”) when you really need him?

CA Appelate Decision: Damage Claims Against OneWest Goes to Jury, Summary Judgment reversed

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

Sue Rose is my new administrative assistant. Danielle and Geordan do not work for livinglies or the Garfield firm. If you have placed an order which is unfulfilled please call the above numbers.

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see CA Appeals OrderReversesMSJ

This case allows the jury to hear claims against OneWest for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, concealment, promissory estoppel, negligence, wrongful foreclosure, and violation of CA Business and Professional Code.

Here is an example of the obvious: a Judge takes no risk in denying a motion for summary judgment. It is only when the Judge grants summary judgment that there is a risk of reversal. With the current judicial climate changing in favor of borrowers, [including findings that the mortgage was absolutely void (invalid, non-perfected) where a sham nominee like MERS was used], Judges should take note that they are better off getting in front of the new trend and allow borrowers’ claims to be heard in a fair manner, observing the requirements of due process.

If the Banks collapse because they created 100 million invalid mortgages, that is not a problem for the Judge. And, as I have said many times here, there are 7,000 banks and credit unions that can take up whatever falls out of the mega banks as a result of investors and regulators realizing that the mortgages are void, the assets on bank balance sheets don’t exist or are far overvalued, and the liability section of the bank balance sheet is far understated as a result of damage claims like the one featured in this article.

As noted earlier on these pages, the threshold legal question has been reversed. The question now is what difference does it make if the borrower is in default if the foreclosing party had no right to foreclose?  The previous question that I heard hundreds of times from the Judges themselves was incorrect from the beginning. Their question was what difference does it make if the loan was securitized, as long as the borrower is in default? And that is where the dissenting justice in this case also got it wrong. He is still assuming that these loan transactions were in fact consummated as reflected in the alleged loan documents. The underlying assumption of the dissenting judge is obvious: that the loan contracts were fundamentally valid and whatever defects existed could be corrected before or even during foreclosure. NOT TRUE!

Here in this case is an example of how judges are now perceiving the entire loan transaction instead of just the claim of a default. And the result is that this California appellate court decided to let the case go to trial and allow a jury to hear the claims against OneWest, whose behavior was predatory from the start of when they acquired IndyMac business in 2008-2009.

The appellate court reversed the trial judge who had granted Summary Judgment for OneWest — a little plaything organized over a weekend by some of the richest people in the country. On a net basis they paid nothing and made a ton of money off of loss sharing and guarantee payments from the FDIC and and the GSE’s respectively. They also foreclosed on thousands of homes in cases where they had no interest in the loan and no right to foreclose, collect or do anything else with respect to the loan.

The hidden issue here is whether the Judge, having been reversed, will now allow the homeowner’s attorney to probe deep into the dealings of OneWest during discovery. I suspect that the trial judge will allow more liberal discovery after being reversed. And if that happens you might not never hear about this case again — as it joins the tens of thousands of cases that have been settled under seal of confidentiality. Essentially the strategy of the banks is that if they lose, they can always pay off the homeowner to keep the case from being publicized.

Fannie and Freddie Don’t Own Your Loan

The problem with the site whose link appears below is that it is not authoritative. But we can treat it as though it was authoritative. The principal point is that even where Fannie and Freddie have “purchased” a loan it was for the express purpose of resale into the secondary market the trusts. In most cases Fannie and Freddie served as master trustees, which means that the usual trustee arrangement applied to the underlying trusts in what they call the “secondary market.”
If they followed the usual plan, the banks committed fraud — they took the money but never gave it to the trust. And they issued bonds to themselves as street name nominee for investors (but in actuality as though they had themselves funded the trust) , with which the loans were passed on to Fannie or Freddie and then they”purchased” the loans (without consideration) but the bonds were worthless because the trust that issued them never got any money to do ANY deal.
In short Fannie and Freddie are nominees or conduits with no real interest in the loans  EVER. The fact that they are almost ALWAYS guarantors in situations where the loan was processed by them (there are many instances in which Frannie and Freddie closing forms are used but the loan was never sent to Freddie or Fannie),

So in one case for example the statement that Fannie was the investor from the start is only an indication that Fannie was a conduit for investment dollars collected from the secondary market as a result of sale or resale of the loans, of the bonds or both. There is no scenario under which Fannie and Freddie remain the “investor.”

http://www.mortgageloan.com/mortgage-loan-modification/who-owns-my-mortgage

Is the loan look-up site the real thing? Sort of.
Yes it is legitimate and the client should have already given their social security number or at least the last 4 digits. But remember just because it is listed on the website of Fannie or Freddie does not actually mean that they own the loan. It only means that they have guaranteed the loan or the mortgage bond that was issued  by a trust whose trust beneficiaries advanced money for the origination or acquisition of the loan.
There are circumstances under which Fannie and Freddie buy loans using cash or mortgage bonds for which they are the master trustee of a trust. But they don’t ever keep them. So the listing on the site is not dispositive of exactly what the status of the loan is, the ownership of the loan or the loan balance. In fact it doesn’t even establish the loan existence. A witness from Fannie or Freddie should be interviewed as to the status of this particular loan and whether or not the agency is acting as the master trustee, guarantor or some combination of the two. The other possibility is that they actually own it by virtue of an actual purchase some of which transactions did occur between 2008 and 2009.

New Bank Strategy: There was no securitization — IRS AMNESTY FOR REMICs

Reported figures on the financial statements of the “13 banks” that Simon Johnson talks about, make it clear that around 96% of all loans originated between 1999 and 2009 are subject to claims of securitization because that is what the investment banks told the investors who advanced money for the purchase of what turned out to bogus mortgage bonds. So the odds are that no matter what the appearance is, the loan went through the hands of an investment banker who sold “bonds” to investors in order to originate or acquire mortgages. This includes Fannie, Freddie, Ginny, and VA.

The problem the investment banks have is that they never funded the trusts and never lived up to the bargain — they gave title to the loan to someone other than the investors and then they insured their false claims of ownership with AIG, AMBAC, using credit default swaps and even guarantees from government or quasi government agencies. Besides writing extensively in prior posts, I have now heard that the IRS has granted AMNESTY on the REMIC trusts because none of them actually performed as required by law. So we can assume that the money from the lender-investors went through the investment banks acting as conduits instead of through the trusts acting as Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits.

This leads to some odd results. If you foreclose in the name of the servicer, then the authority of the servicer is derived from the PSA. But if the trust was not used, then the PSA is irrelevant. If you foreclose in the name of the trustee, using a fabricated, robo-signed, forged assignment backdated or non dated as is the endorsement, you get dangerously close to exposing the fact that the investment banks took a chunk out of the money the investors gave them and booked it as trading profit. One of the big problems here is basic contract law — the lenders and the borrowers were not presented with and therefore could not have agreed to the same terms. Obviously the borrower was agreeing to pay the actual amount of the loan and was not agreeing to pay the overage taken by the investment bank. The lender was not agreeing to let the investment bank short change the investment and increase the risk in order to make up the difference with loans paying higher rates of interest.

When we started this whole process 7 years ago, the narrative from the foreclosing entities and their lawyers was that there was no securitization. Their case was based upon them being the holder of the note. Toward that end they then tried lawsuits and non-judicial foreclosures using MERS, the servicer, the originator, and even foreclosure servicer entities. They encountered problem because none of those entities had an interest in the loan, and there was no consideration for the transfer of the loan. Since they were filing in their own name and not in a representative capacity there were effectively defrauding the actual creditor and having themselves designated as the creditor who could buy the property at foreclosure auction without money using a “credit bid.”

Then we saw the banks change strategy and start filing by “Trustee” for the beneficiaries of an asset backed (securitized) trust. But there they had a problem because the Pooling and Servicing Agreement only gives the servicer the right to enforce, foreclose, or collect for the “investor” which is the trust or the beneficiaries of the asset-backed trust. And now we see that the trust was in fact never used which is why the investment banks were sued by nearly everyone for fraud. They diverted the money and the ownership of the loans to their own use before “returning” it to the investors after defaults.

Now we are seeing a return to the original strategy coupled with a denial that the loan was securitized. One such case I am litigating CURRENTLY shows CitiMortgage as the Plaintiff in a judicial foreclosure action in Florida. The odd thing is that my client went to the trouble of printing out the docket periodically as the case progressed before I got involved. The first Docket printed out showed CPCA Trust 1 as the Plaintiff clearly indicating that securitization was involved. Then about a year later, the client printed out the docket again and this time it showed ABN AMRO as trustee for CPCA Trust-1. Now the docket simply shows CitiMortgage which opposing counsel says is right. We are checking the Court file now, but the idea advanced by opposing counsel that this was a clerical error does not seem likely in view of that the fact that it happened twice in the same file and we never saw anything like it before — but maybe some of you out there have seen this, and could write to us at neilfgarfield@hotmail.com.

Our title and securitization research shows that ACCESS Mortgage was the originator but that it assigned the loan to First National which then merged with CitiCorp., whom opposing counsel says owns the loan. The argument is that CitiMortgage has the status of holder and therefore is not suing in a representative capacity despite the admission that CitiMortgage doesn’t have a nickel in the deal, and that there has been no financial transaction underlying the paperwork purportedly transferring the loan.

Our research identifies Access as a securitization player, whose loan bundles were probably underwritten by CitiCorp’s investment banking subsidiary. The same holds true for First National and CPCA Trust-1 and ABN AMRO. Further we show that ABN AMRO acquired LaSalle Bank in a reverse merger, as I have previously mentioned in other posts. Citi has reported in sworn documents with the SEC that it merged with ABN AMRO. So the docket entries would be corroborated as to ABN AMRO being the trustee for CPCA Trust 1. But Citi says ABN AMRO has nothing to do with the subject loan. And the fight now is what will be allowed in discovery. CitiMortgage says that their answer of “NO” to questions about securitization should end the inquiry. I obviously take the position that in discovery, I should be able to inquire about the circumstances under which CitiMortgage makes its claim as holder besides the fact that they physically possess the note, if indeed they do.

Some of this might be revealed when the actual court file is reviewed and when the clerk’s office is asked why the docket entries were different from the current lawsuit. Was there an initial filing, summons or complaint or cover sheet identifying CPCA Trust 1? What caused the clerk to change it to ABN AMRO? How did it get changed to CitiMortgage?

Fannie and Freddie Demand $6 Billion for Sale of “Faulty Mortgage Bonds”

You read the news on one settlement after another, it sounds like the pound of flesh is being exacted from the culprits again and again. This time the FHFA, as owner of Fannie and Freddie, is going for a settlement with Bank of America for sale of “faulty mortgage bonds.” And most people sit back and think that justice is being done. It isn’t. $6 Billion is window dressing on a liability that is at least 100 times that amount. And stock analysts take comfort that the legal problems for the banks has basically been discounted already. It hasn’t.

For practitioners who defend mortgage foreclosures, you must dig a little deeper. The term “faulty mortgage bonds” is a euphemism. Look at the complaints there filed. When they are filed by agencies it means that after investigation they have arrived at the conclusion that something was. very wrong with the sale of mortgage bonds. That is an administrative finding that concluded there was at least probable cause for finding that the mortgage bonds were defective and potentially were criminal.

So what does “defective” or “faulty” mean? Neither the media nor the press releases from the agencies or the banks tell us what was wrong with the bonds. But if you look at the complaints of the agencies, they tell you what they mean. If you look at the investor lawsuits you see that they are alleging that the notes and mortgages were “unenforceable.” Both the agencies and the investors filed complaints alleging that the mortgage bonds were a farce, sham or in other words, a PONZI Scheme.

Why is that important to foreclosure defense? Digging deeper you will find what I have been reporting on this blog. The investors money was not used to fund the REMIC trusts. The unfunded trusts never had the money to buy or fund the origination of bonds. The notes and mortgages were never sold to the Trusts even though “assignments” were executed and shown in court. The assignments themselves were either backdated or violated the 90 day cutoff that under applicable law (the laws of the State of New York) are VOID and not voidable.

What to do? File Freedom of Information Act requests for the findings, allegations and names of investigators for the agency that were involved in the agency action. Take their deposition. Get documents. Find put what mortgages were looked at and which bond series were involved. Get a list of the mortgages and the bonds that were examined. Get the findings on each mortgage and each mortgage bond. Use the the investor allegations as lender admissions admissions in court — that the notes and mortgages are unenforceable.

There is a disconnect between what is going on at the top of the sham securitization chain and what went on in sham mortgage originations and sham sales of loans. They never happened in the real world, no matter how much paper you throw at it.

And that just doesn’t apply to mortgages in default — it applies to all mortgages, which is why all the mortgages that currently exist, and most of the deeds that show ownership of the property have clouded and probably “defective” and “faulty” titles. It’s clear logic that the government and the banks are seeking to avoid, to wit: that if the way in which the money was raised to fund the loans or purchase the loans were defective, then it follows that there are defects in the chain of title and the money trail that were obviously not disclosed, as per the requirements of TILA and Reg Z.

And when you keep digging in discovery you will find out that your client has some clear remedies to collect the profits and compensation paid to undisclosed recipients arising out of the closing of the “loan.” These are offsets to the amount claimed as due. If the loan was not funded by the Trust, then the false paper trail used by the banks in foreclosure is subject to successful attack. If the loans were in fact funded directly by the trust complying with the REMIC provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, then the payee on the note and the mortgagee on the mortgage would be the trust — or if the loan was actually purchased, the Trust would have issued money to the seller (something that never happened).

And lastly, for now, let us look at the capital structure of these banks. A substantial portion of their capital derives from assets in the form of mortgage bonds. This is the most blatant lie of all of them. No underwriter buys the securities issued by the company seeking financing through an offering to investors. It is an oxymoron. The whole purpose of the underwriter was to create securities that would be appealing to investors. The securities are only issued when you have a buyer for them, and then the investor is the owner of the security — in this case mortgage bonds.

The bonds are not issued to the investment bank as an asset of the investment bank. But they ARE issued to the investment bank in “street name.” That is merely to facilitate trading and delivery of certificates which in most cases in the mortgage bond market don’t exist. The issuance in street name does not mean the banks own the mortgage bonds any more than when you a stock and the title is issued in street name mean that you have loaned or gifted the investment to the investment bank.

If you follow the logic of the investment bank then the deposits of money by depository customers could be claimed as assets — without the required entry in the liabilities section of the balance sheet because every dollar on deposit is a liability to pay those monies on demand, which is why checking accounts are referred to as demand deposits.

Hence the “asset” has been entered on the investment bank balance sheet without the corresponding liability on the other side of their balance sheet. And THAT remains that under cover of Federal Reserve purchase of these bonds from the banks, who don’t own the bonds, the value of the bonds is 100 cents on the dollar and the owner is the bank — a living lies fundamental. When the illusion collapses, the banks are coming down with it. You can only go so far lying to the public and the investment community. Eventually the reality is these banks are underfunded, under capitalized and still being propped up by quantitative easing disguised as the purchase of mortgage bonds at the rate of $85 Billion per month.

We need to be preparing for the collapse of the illusion and get the other financial institutions — 7,000 community and regional banks and credit unions — ready to take on the changes caused by the absence of the so-called major banks who are really fictitious entities without a foundation related to economic reality. The backbone is already available — electronic funds transfer is as available to the smallest bank as it is to the largest. It is an outright lie that we need the TBTF banks. They have failed and cannot recover because of the enormity of the lies they told the world. It’s over.

CBO: principal reduction best for economy

Three cheers for Chris Hayes on MSNBC. In his new show, ALL IN, last night he reported and editorialized on the mistakes of giving banks relief and “screwing” homeowners since 2008. On his show he had Elliot Spitzer who took the administration to task for not doing something before this time. And to top it off DeMarco, the head of the former government sponsored entities (GSE), who has single-handedly blocked principal reduction is being removed and his replacement is an ardent consumer advocate currently a Representative from North Carolina. Things are changing.

The Congressional Budget Office is accepted as a non-partisan agency which has torpedoed both Democratic and Republican proposals on the economy. Upon request from Congress, the CBO studied the mortgage and foreclosure market and concluded that principal reduction should be the keystone of policy for Fannie and Freddie because it is a win-win that will return money to the taxpayers, spur the economy with an fiscal stimulus with a program that costs nothing, increasing GDP and employment. The CBO unequivocably recommended immediate implementation of large-scale reductions in mortgage principal.

The momentum is growing for the reduction of household debt just as this blog, numerous economists and financial experts have been virtually demanding. Iceland has proved the point. We have there a live experiment. Iceland has adopted a policy of continual reduction of household debt. The result was a healthier economy growing at a higher pace than any other country hit by the world- wide recession because consumer wealth, confidence and earnings increased allowing for consumption of goods and services that are in sharp decline in the U.S. and Europe. And the banks in Iceland are healthier and better regulated than at any time before the crash.

It is clearly a win- win situation for all stake holders. All this is providing fuel for the policy of principal reduction in household debt, including mortgages, forcing the banks to eat the difference. Of course Iceland also jailed the bankers who created the conditions that caused the Iceland economy to crash n 2008. Now you wouldn’t know it ever happened — but only if live in Iceland. Policy experts here and the CBO that measures past, present and future effects of economic policies are now moving away from the disastrous European experiment in reduced spending (“austerity”) which kicked the Euro economy when it was already down.

This means that homeowners will fight even harder to stay alive while the new policies go into effect and the right thing is done for consumers and homeowners in particular, that will provide trillions in fiscal stimulus for the economy with little negative impact on the banks who were using other people’s money to fund the mortgages, suffered no loss in mortgage defaults and only reported losses on bogus mortgage bonds backed by mortgage loans, which in turn were guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie 90% of the time. Those GSE entities under a single Federal Agency now guarantee or own more than 90% of all U.S. mortgages.

The remaining correction in describing the mortgages that were supposedly filed on record is that the mortgages were for the most part unenforceable, as is consistently alleged by investor lawsuits against investment banks that created and sold the bogus mortgage bonds AND that the “reduction” is really CORRECTION to adjust for fraudulent appraisals on which homeowners, the government and investors relied.

For the first time the reception of homeowners has changed from deadbeat to the ultimate resource to restore economic growth and who were screwed worse than anyone in the criminal enterprise that Wall Street called “securitization.” There was no securitization. Wall Street banks put the money in their own pockets instead of funding the so-called asset pools, “trusts” and other special purpose vehicles that the investors belied was receiving their money. The paperwork is all a sham from origination, where the “lender” never loaned a penny through assignments that conveyed nothing and were completely unsupported by value or consideration.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SOLDIERS IN THIS WAR AGAINST OPPRESSION OF THE AVERAGE CITIZEN.

Prosecutors Getting Tough? Small Banks ONLY!!

CHECK OUT OUR EXTENDED 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, Tennessee, Georgia, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

Editor’s Comment and Analysis: Abacus Bank has only $272 million in deposits. In rank, it is near the very bottom of the ladder. And apparently justifiably, federal prosecutors have seen fit to prosecute the bank for fraud. The quandary here is why the prosecutors are putting their muscle behind just the low-hanging fruit and why they are settling with the mega banks for the same acts — without threat of prosecution. If we could offer $17 trillion in various forms of “relief” for the banks, they certainly could pony up $1 billion and investigate the truth behind the securitization claims. The only conclusion I can reach is that the administration, so far, doesn’t want proof of the truth.

One of the things that Yves gets right here is that when Fannie and Freddie get involved, it isn’t the end of the line and it certainly does not mean that the loan was not “securitized” using the same fake documents at origination and the same fake mortgage bonds, albeit guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie who serve as “Master Trustee” of the investment pools that presumably “bought the loans with actual money. Like their cousins in the non government guaranteed loans, the money largely comes from fat accounts where the investors’ money was commingled beyond recognition and the investment bank who created and sold the bogus mortgage bonds was the “buyer” on paper so that they could bet against the same loans and bonds they were selling to investors.

Yves still refers to the scheme as reckless as though a judgment was made without knowing the consequences of the banks’ actions. Nothing could be further from the truth. This wasn’t reckless.

It was intentional because that was where the big money came from. The scheme was to take as much as possible from money advanced by pension funds and keep it, while giving the illusion of a securitization scheme for funding mortgages and reducing risk.

The mega banks even bet on their success and the investors’ loss, the borrowers’ loss and the loss shouldered by taxpayers, increasing their leverage positions up  to 42 times (Bear Stearns). As we all know, the risk was magnified not reduced and the only experts that really knew were in the departments where collateralized debt obligations were packaged on paper, sold to investors and never transferred to any trust, REMIC of SPV.

With Abacus, the punch line is that their default rate was 1/10th that of the national average indicating that contrary to the practices of the mega banks, some underwriting was involved and some verification and oversight was employed.

What is avoided is that $13 trillion in loans were originated using the false securitization scheme in which the borrower was kept in the dark about who his lender was, and where upon inquiry the borrower was told that the identity of the lender was confidential and private, nearly all of which loans were classic cases of fraud in the execution, fraud in the inducement, breach of contract, slander of title, and recording false documents in the county records. The perpetrators of these schemes are settling for fractions of a penny on the dollar with full agreement that their conduct will not be reviewed.

So here is the question: If Abacus is guilty of fraud and caused minimal damage to the economy or the borrowers, isn’t the bar set higher for the mega banks. Why are they allowed to slip through without getting the same treatment as a bank whose deposits equal less than 1/10 of 1% of the size of the megabanks who caused mayhem here and around the world?

Quelle Surprise! Prosecutors Get Tough on Mortgage Fraud….At an Itty Bitty Bank
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/02/quelle-surprise-prosecutors-get-tough-on-mortgage-fraud-at-an-itty-bitty-bank.html

Deutsch and Goldman Lose Bid to Dismiss FHFA Lawsuit for Fraud

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).

CHECK OUT OUR NOVEMBER SPECIAL

Administrative Process May Provide a Lift to Borrowers

Editor’s Comment: Following on the heals of a similar ruling against JPMorgan Chase, Judge Denise Cote, denied the motion to dismiss the lawsuit of the Federal Housing Finance Agency that overseas Fannie and Freddie.

Simply put the agency is charging the investment banks with intentionally misrepresenting the underwriting standards that were in use during the mortgage meltdown. To put it more simply, the fraud we know that occurred at ground zero (the “closing” table) is being traced up the line to the banks that were pulling the strings and causing the fraud.

The allegations of course are insufficient in and of themselves to use as proof of anything. They are unproven allegations in a civil court suit in Federal Court in Manhattan. BUT there is an interesting argument to be made here that should not be ignored. I did a lot of work in administrative law when I was practicing full-time.

The procedure that any agency follows in filing such a lawsuit is something that should be pointed out when you are making arguments about fraud in the origination or assignments of loans.

In order for an agency to file suit, there must be a “finding” that the facts alleged in the complaint are true. In order for that to happen there must be an investigation and it must be brought before a committee or board for a finding of probable cause.

Normally the finding of probable cause would result in an administrative action brought before a hearing officer that would result in either acquittal of the offending suspect (respondent) or fines, penalties or even revocation of their right to do business with the agency or under the auspices of the agency.

Here the action is brought in civil court which must mean that the findings were strong enough to go beyond probable cause to establish in the findings of the agency that these violations did occur beyond a reasonable doubt. Hence, it could be argued, given the structure and process of administrative actions, that the investment banks have already been found by administrative agencies to be fraudulent.

Then you go to the facts alleged and see what those facts were (see article on JPMorgan denial of dismissal for copy of the complaint). Where there are similarities, you can allege the same thing and apply it to the origination of the loan and the so-called assignments and claims of securitization. AND you can say that there has already been an administrative finding that the fraud occurred, which is persuasive authority at a minimum.

In these cases the investment banks are accused of intentionally lying about the underwriting standards used in origination of the loans — something we have been saying here for  years.

That means it was no mistake that they failed to put the name of the real payee on the note and mortgage and it was no mistake that they failed to reference the REMIC or the pooling and servicing agreement which set the terms of repayment, sometimes in direct contradiction to the terms expressed in the note that they induced the borrower to sign. The information was intentionally withheld from the borrower and promptly used with Fannie and Freddie knowing ti was false, as to verifications of value, income viability etc. (see previous post).

In essence the FHFA is saying the same thing that the investors are saying, which is the same thing that the borrowers are saying — these origination documents are worthless scraps of paper replete with deficiencies, lies and misrepresentations, unsupported by consideration and unenforceable.

The defense of the investment banks is that they HAVE been enforcing the notes and mortgages (Deeds of trust). They are saying that since the courts have let most of the cases go to foreclosure, the documents must be valid and enforceable. If improper underwriting standards had been used, or more properly stated, if underwriting standards were ignored, then the borrower would have had a right to rescission, which the courts have largely rejected. It is circular reasoning but it works, for the most part when it is a single homeowner against a big bank.

But when it is institution against institution its not so easy to pull the wool over the judge’s eyes. AND unlike the borrowers, the FHFA is not plagued with guilt over whether they were stupid to begin with and therefore deserve the punishment of taking the largest loss of their lives.

The answer to that is that the banks were only able to “enforce” as a result of the ignorance of the judges, lawyers and borrowers as to the truth behind the facts of each loan origination, assignment etc.

By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

A U.S. judge rejected bids by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) to dismiss a federal regulator’s lawsuits accusing them of misleading Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) into buying billions of dollars of risky mortgage debt.

In separate decisions on Monday, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said the Federal Housing Finance Agency may pursue fraud claims over some of the banks’ representations in offering materials regarding mortgage underwriting standards.

The FHFA had sued over certificates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, known as government-sponsored enterprises, had bought between September 2005 and October 2007.

Goldman underwrote about $11.1 billion of the certificates, and Deutsche Bank roughly $14.2 billion, the regulator has said.

Michael DuVally, a Goldman spokesman, declined to comment, as did Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Renee Calabro. Trials in both cases are scheduled to begin in September 2014.

Last year, the FHFA filed 18 lawsuits against banks and finance companies over mortgage losses suffered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on roughly $200 billion of securities.

Cote handles 16 of the lawsuits, and previously refused to dismiss its cases against Bank of America Corp’s (BAC.N) Merrill Lynch unit, JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and UBS AG (UBSN.VX).

In her Deutsche Bank ruling, the judge said that while the offering materials said representations were “preliminary” and “subject to change,” their use suggested that the German bank “fully intended the GSEs to rely on” them.

Meanwhile, Cote rejected what she called Goldman’s “legally dubious” claim not to be liable over prospectus supplements it did not write, saying “it is difficult to square with the fact that the bank’s name is prominently displayed on each.”

She dismissed some claims over representations concerning owner-occupied homes and loan values.

The FHFA became the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after federal regulators seized the mortgage financiers on September 7, 2008.

In May, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $202.3 million in a separate federal probe, in which its MortgageIT unit admitted it had lied to the U.S. government over whether its loans were eligible for federal mortgage insurance.

Cote said it is too soon to decide liability over MortgageIT activity that predated its 2007 takeover by Deutsche Bank.

The cases are Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Deutsche Bank AG et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-06192; and Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Goldman Sachs & Co et al in the same court, No. 11-06198.

(Reporting By Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by John Wallace, Tim Dobbyn and M.D. Golan)

BULK SALES OF MORTGAGE LOANS: WHAT ARE THEY BUYING?

Wall Street is gearing up to buy properties en masse from Fannie, Freddie and other holders (including the Federal Reserve. The question for these investors is what are they buying and what are they doing?

I think these sales represent an attempt to create a filler for an empty hole in the title chain. we already know that strangers to the transaction were submitting credit bids at rigged auctions of these properties. The auctions were based upon declarations of default and instructions from a “beneficiary” that popped up out of nowhere. The borrowers frequently contested the sale with a simple denial that they ever did business with the forecloser and that the chain of “assignments” were fabricated, forged, robo-signed, surrogate signed and executed by unauthroized people on behalf of unauthroized entities.

The reason the banks and servicers resorted to such illegal tactics was that they understood full well that the origination documents were fatally defective and they were papering over the defects that continually recited the validity of the preceding documents. That is putting lipstick on a pig. It is still a pig.

While apparently complex, the transaction in a mortgage loan is quite simple — money is loaned, a note is made payable to the lender and a separate agreement collateralizes the loan as guarantee for faithful performance of repayment in accordance with the terms of the note. An examination of the money trail shows that this procedure was not followed and that the practices followed and which have become institutionalized industry standards lead to grave moral hazard, fabrication, forgery and fraud. The entire matter can be easily resolved if the forecloser is required to produce original documentation and appropriate witnesses to lay the foundation of the introduction of documents starting with the funding of the loan through the present, including all receipts and disbursements relating to the loan.

Since the receipts and disbursements clearly involve third parties whose existence was not contemplated or known at the time of origination of the loan, it would probably be wise to appoint an independent receiver with subpoena powers to obtain full records from the subservicer, Master Servicer, trustee, other co-obligors or co-venturers including the investment bank that sold mortgage bonds and investors with the sole restriction that it relate to the accounting and correspondence, agreements and other media relating to the subject loan and the subject pool claiming to own the loan.

Starting from that point, (knowing all receipts and disbursements, sources and recipients, the rest is relatively uncomplicated. Either the documents follow the money trail or they don’t. If they do, then the foreclosure should proceed. If they don’t then there are discretionary decisions of the court as well as mandatory applications of law that are required to determine whether or not the discrepancies are material.

The chain of documents relied upon by the foreclosing party is neither supported by consideration nor do the origination documents recite the terms of the transaction authorized by the lender. Hence there was no meeting of the minds. At a minimum, the recorded lien is a wild deed or should otherwise be subject to invalidation or removal from county records, and the note should be excluded as evidence of the obligation. The actual obligation runs through a different chain the terms of which were never documented between the lenders and the borrower. Hence at common law, it is a demand loan, unsecured.

But the sale from a GSE or other entity creates yet another layer of paper giving the appearance that the origination documented were valid, even though the evidence strongly points in the opposite direction. The purchase of such loans or properties would thus lead to the inevitable wrongful foreclosure suits in which the property is sought to be returned to its rightful owner, and/or compensatory and punitive damages including damages for emotional distress in California.

So my answer is that these buyers did not buy property or loans. They bought themselves into lawsuits that they will lose once discovery is opened up on the underlying transactions, all of which were faked. Is the government colluding with these “buyers” to fix an fixable title problem?

Why DeMarco Won’t Allow Principal Corrections Despite Instructions

Housing Regulator Defies White House

Obama’s Next Move Unknown

Editor’s Comment and Analysis: It’s unanimous! Except for DeMarco, the housing regulator who won’t let Fannie and Freddie cooperate with principal reductions. Why not?

“The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s own analysis has shown that principal reduction could help up to 500,000 homeowners and save taxpayers as much as $1 billion, Geithner wrote to DeMarco. It could save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage giants that DeMarco is preventing from offering principal reduction, up to $3.6 billion, he said.”

The reason is that Fannie and Freddie are actually creatures of Wall Street. And under the now debunked too big to fail theory, a reduction of principal is bad. Mind you this reduction is only a correction to reflect two things: (1) the appraisals were fraudulently inflated just like the rating companies did with the bogus mortgage bonds and (2)  PAYMENTS received but which are going into the bottom line of the mega banks instead of repaying the lenders.

The reason why the Banks are fighting this tooth and nail are many. But the trigger that they fear is that when the loans are written down, more than $150 trillion in fake “cash equivalent” instruments will disappear and they would need to correct their balance sheets and profit and loss statements to reflect the fact that this whole securitization thing was a sham.

This is the last gasp of Wall Street using a regulator who for reasons of personal ideology or personal finance (or both) can still be manipulated into avoiding the one correction that would bring the entire housing market back, return equity to homeowners (or at least give them a  fighting chance to get to equity in their homes) and stop the drag on the economy.

So it all comes down to this. Who is more important — the banks or the people of this country. Even if you are ideologically opposed to reductions or corrections you must realize that this plan results in a decrease in taxpayer losses. Why would you want anything else when the alternative costs more, leads to bigger government, and will lead the economy to the next recession/depression?

DeMarco’s ideological response is that the correction would lead to a “moral hazard” leading to other people who stop paying their mortgages. They should stop paying but they won’t — because deep down inside homeowners want to do the right thing. And even though I think they are wrong, they believe that the right thing is to pay their debt — even if someone has already paid it through bailout, Fed purchases, insurance, credit default swaps etc.

DeMarco’s response was clearly scripted by Wall Street who are the titans of “moral hazard.” They took booming economies and reduced them to rubble. The bottleneck is at the Banks and the answer is that DeMarco can and will be fired, the Banks will be taken down into sizes that enable regulators to control them, and the economy will eventually recover.

Ed DeMarco, Top Housing Official, Defies White House; Geithner Fires Back

Demarco

In a move that brings two federal agencies as close to warfare as possible within the confines of bureaucratic memos, the Treasury Department called out housing regulator Edward DeMarco on Tuesday for his continued refusal to offer a key piece of housing assistance to underwater borrowers struggling to save their homes from foreclosure.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s own analysis has shown that principal reduction could help up to 500,000 homeowners and save taxpayers as much as $1 billion, Geithner wrote to DeMarco. It could save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage giants that DeMarco is preventing from offering principal reduction, up to $3.6 billion, he said.

The response was timed to coincide with DeMarco’s latest letter to Congress, in which he reaffirmed his opposition to principal reduction, a form of loan forgiveness championed by many housing advocates and economists. DeMarco wrote that his agency’s analysis found that the taxpayer benefit of writing down the mortgage values of some loans “would not make a meaningful improvement in reducing foreclosures in a cost effective way for taxpayers.”

This is not the first time DeMarco has irked the Obama administration. As the acting director of the federal overseer of Fannie and Freddie, DeMarco has broad powers to set policy at the companies. The Obama administration — especially Treasury — leaned hard on DeMarco to agree to allow the five banks that signed on to the national mortgage settlement in March to write down the roughly 50 percent of all loans they service that are owned or backed by Fannie and Freddie.

DeMarco said no. He has also resisted entreaties to allow borrowers who obtain a loan modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, which Treasury administers, to allow loan forgiveness as part of the modification in some circumstances. It is the analysis of whether principal reduction offered through this program would help or hurt taxpayers that is the center of the dispute between Geither and DeMarco.

In the letter sent Tuesday to Congress, DeMarco said that projected benefit to taxpayers is $500 million in the best case, and that most of this aid would go to homeowners who haven’t made a mortgage payment in more than a year.

“Experience dictates that the likelihood of successfully modifying and reinstating these loans is small so that the anticipated benefit is likely to be much less than $500 million,” he said.

The housing regulator also restated his position that allowing some homeowners off the hook for some of what they owe would pose “a moral hazard.”

“This could give borrowers who are current on their mortgages a message that the government endorses forgiving a portion of mortgage debt if hardship can be demonstrated, creating a very broad incentive for underwater borrowers to seek ways to become eligible.”

He also repeated his argument that steps Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are already taking, such as reducing the interest rate on loans and offering to postpone, or “forbear,” mortgage payments, will help struggling borrowers without posing the moral and financial hazards that come with reducing the value of a loan.

Geithner struck back at that analysis, claiming that DeMarco omitted key details in order to stick to his guns on principal reduction. Even if the longer-delinquent loans that DeMarco referenced are not a part of a program, there are still 300,000 borrowers who could participate in a loan forgiveness program at zero cost to taxpayers, Treasury said.

“[A]s we have discussed many times, the use of targeted principal reduction by [Fannie and Freddie] would provide much needed help to a significant number of troubled homeowners, help repair the nation’s housing market and result in a net benefit to taxpayers,” Geithner wrote.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has overseen the mortgage giants since they were bailed out in 2008, part of the early fallout from the mortgage crisis. Since then, taxpayers have spent roughly $188 billion to prop up the companies, according to the regulator.

Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), one of DeMarco’s fiercest Congressional critics, said in an email that he believes the regulator is behaving recklessly.

“It is incomprehensible that Mr. DeMarco would reject the chance to save up to a billion dollars in taxpayer funds while helping nearly half a million homeowners stay in their homes,” Cummings said. “He should immediately withdraw this reckless and misguided letter and start following the law Congress passed.”

DeMarco’s continued refusal to allow the two mortgage giants to offer loan write-downs has prompted a growing chorus of critics to call for his resignation, or for Obama to fire him.

“If Mr. DeMarco will not change his mind, we need to change his job — and today we’re once again calling on President Obama to fire him,” said Natalie Foster, the chief executive officer of Rebuild the Dream, an advocacy group.

A White House spokesman referred a query to the Treasury Department.

see entire article at War at the White House Over Principal Reduction

The Documents Fannie and Freddie Never Received

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Editor’s Comment:

Go to the link below which will take you to the article posted on StopForeclosureFraud where  you will see a list of documents (just like the Pooling and Servicing Agreements that everyone ignored) that should have been received by Freddie, Fannie, Ginnie, FHA et al.  Since we now know that the securitization chain of documents was nonexistent until the dealers were called upon to fabricate them for cases in litigation, we know that the absolute minimum requirements for Fannie and Freddie approval were absent. 

This means, contrary to the assertions of 99% of the securitization “auditors”, and contrary to the appearance of a loan on a Fannie or Freddie website, that the loan was never delivered to those agencies nor any of the documents required.  Just as the REMICs never received the loans, Freddie never received the loans.  And since Freddie never received the loans it became the master trustee of “trusts” that never received the loans and were therefore empty.

All this means is that we have to go back to the first day of the alleged transaction.  Investor lenders, operating through dealers, (investment banks) were advancing money for the “purchase” of residential mortgage loans.   The money was advanced to the closing agent who paid off the party claiming to be the prior mortgagee, giving the balance to the seller of the property or to the borrower (if the transaction was supposedly a refinance).  The nightmare for the banks is that if we go back to that first day the parties named as “lender”, “beneficiary”, “mortgagee” are the only parties of record with an apparent recorded interest in the property.  Their problem is that contrary to conventional foreclosure practice, those entities (many of which do not exist anymore) never funded nor even handled the money as a conduit for the loan.  Thus the note and mortgage are fatally defective and cannot be enforced. 

This would mean that the loan never made it into any pool.  That would mean that all of the deals made by the dealers (investment banks) based on the existence of that loan would fall apart leaving them with an enormous liability since they had sold the same deal dozens of times.  And that is the sole reason why the bailout, insurance, credit default swaps, guarantees and other credit enhancements were so large.  The banks used their ability to control the people with their hands on the levers of power within our government to pay for the malfeasance of the banks that have wrecked our economy and our society.

As Iceland has already proven and Europe is in the process of proving, the only answer is to take the stolen money back from the banks, put it back into the private sector, and put it back into government budgets. 

Freddie Mac Designated Counsel/Trustee For Foreclosures and Bankruptcies 2012

Documents That Must Be Received By Counsel/Trustee Within 2 Business Days of Referral

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It’s Down to Banks vs Society

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We are trying to rescue the creditors and restart the world that is dominated by the creditors. We have to rescue the debtors instead before we are going to see the end of this process. — Economist Steve Keen

Bankers Are Willing to Let Society Crash In Order to Make More Money

Editor’s Comment: 

I was reminded last night of a comment from a former bond trader and mortgage bundler that the conference calls are gleeful about the collapse of economies and societies around the world. Wall Street will profit greatly on both the down side and then later when asset prices go so low that housing falls under distressed housing programs and 125% loans become available in bulk. They think this is all just swell. I don’t.

The obvious intent on the part of the mega banks and servicers is to bring everything down with a crash using every means possible. When you look at the offers state and federal government programs have offered for the banks to modify, when you see the amount of money poured into these banks by our federal government in order to prop them up, you cannot conclude otherwise: they want our society to end up closed down not only by foreclosure but in any other way possible. They withhold credit from everyone except the insider’s club.

So now it is up to us. Either we take the banks apart or they will take us apart. I had a recent look at many modification proposals. In the batch I saw, the average offer from the homeowner was to accept a loan 20%-30% higher than fair market value and 50%-75% higher than foreclosure is producing. It seems we are addicted to the belief that this can’t be true because no reasonable person would act like that. But the answer is that the system is rigged so that the intermediaries (the megabanks) control what the investors and homeowners see and hear, they make far more money on foreclosures than they do on modifications, and they make far money on all the “bets” about the failure of the loan by foreclosing and not modifying.

The reason for the unreasonable behavior, as it appears, is that it is perfectly reasonable in a lending environment turned on its head — where the object was to either fund a loan that was sure to fail, or keep a string attached that would declare it as part of a failed “pool” that would trigger insurance and swaps payments.Steve Keen: Why 2012 Is Shaping Up To Be A Particularly Ugly Year

At the high level, our global economic plight is quite simple to understand says noted Australian deflationist Steve Keen.

Banks began lending money at a faster rate than the global economy grew, and we’re now at the turning point where we simply have run out of new borrowers for the ever-growing debt the system has become addicted to.

Once borrowers start eschewing rather than seeking debt, asset prices begin to fall — which in turn makes these same people want to liquidate their holdings, which puts further downward pressure on asset prices:

The reason that we have this trauma for the asset markets is because of this whole relationship that rising debt has to the level of asset market. If you think about the best example is the demand for housing, where does it come from? It comes from new mortgages. Therefore, if you want to sustain he current price level of houses, you have to have a constant flow of new mortgages. If you want the prices to rise, you need the flow of mortgages to also be rising.

Therefore, there is a correlation between accelerating and rising asset markets. That correlation applies very directly to housing. You look at the 20-year period of the market relationship from 1990 to now; the correlation of accelerating mortgage debt with changing house prices is 0.8. It is a very high correlation.

Now, that means that when there is a period where private debt is accelerating you are generally going to see rising asset markets, which of course is what we had up to 2000 for the stock market and of course 2006 for the housing market. Now that we have decelerating debt — so debt is slowing down more rapidly at this time rather than accelerating — that is going to mean falling asset markets.

Because we have such a huge overhang of debt, that process of debt decelerating downwards is more likely to rule most of the time. We will therefore find the asset markets traumatizing on the way down — which of course encourages people to get out of debt. Therefore, it is a positive feedback process on the way up and it is a positive feedback process on the way down.

He sees all of the major countries of the world grappling with deflation now, and in many cases, focusing their efforts in exactly the wrong direction to address the root cause:

Europe is imploding under its own volition and I think the Euro is probably going to collapse at some stage or contract to being a Northern Euro rather than the whole of Euro. We will probably see every government of Europe be overthrown and quite possibly have a return to fascist governments. It came very close to that in Greece with fascists getting five percent of the vote up from zero. So political turmoil in Europe and that seems to be Europe’s fate.

I can see England going into a credit crunch year, because if you think America’s debt is scary, you have not seen England’s level of debt. America has a maximum ratio of private debt to GDP adjusted over 300%; England’s is 450%. America’s financial sector debt was 120% of GDP, England’s is 250%. It is the hot money capital of the western world.

And now that we are finally seeing decelerating debt over there plus the government running on an austerity program at the same time, which means there are two factors pulling on demand out of that economy at once. I think there will be a credit crunch in England, so that is going to take place as well.

America is still caught in the deleveraging process. It tried to get out, it seemed to be working for a short while, and the government stimulus seemed to certainly help. Now, that they are going back to reducing that stimulus, they are pulling up the one thing that was keeping the demand up in the American economy and it is heading back down again. We are now seeing the assets market crashing once more. That should cause a return to decelerating debt — for a while you were accelerating very rapidly and that’s what gave you a boost in employment —  so you are falling back down again.

Australia is running out of steam because it got through the financial crisis by literally kicking the can down the road by restarting the housing bubble with a policy I call the first-time vendors boost. Where they gave first time buyers a larger amount of money from the government and they handed over times five or ten to the people they bought the house off from the leverage they got from the banking sector. Therefore, that finally ran out for them.

China got through the crisis with an enormous stimulus package. I think in that case it is increasing the money supply by 28% in one year. That is setting off a huge property bubble, which from what I have heard from colleagues of mine is also ending.

Therefore, it is a particularly ugly year for the global economy and as you say, we are still trying to get business back to usual. We are trying to rescue the creditors and restart the world that is dominated by the creditors. We have to rescue the debtors instead before we are going to see the end of this process.

In order to successfully emerge on the other side of this this painful period with a more sustainable system, he believes the moral hazard of bailing out the banks is going to have end:

[The banks] have to suffer and suffer badly. They will have to suffer in such a way that in a decade they will be scared in order to never behave in this way again. You have to reduce the financial sector to about one third of its current size and we have to also ultimately set up financial institutions and financial instruments in such a way that it is no longer desirable from a public point of view to borrow and gamble in rising assets processes.

The real mistake we made was to let this gambling happen as it has so many times in the past, however, we let it go on for far longer than we have ever let it go on for before. Therefore, we have a far greater financial parasite and a far greater crisis.

And he offers an unconventional proposal for how this can be achieved:

I think the mistake [central banks] are going to make is to continue honoring debts that should never have been created in the first place. We really know that that the subprime lending was totally irresponsible lending. When it comes to saying “who is responsible for bad debt?” you have to really blame the lender rather than the borrower, because lenders have far greater resources to work out whether or not the borrower can actually afford the debt they are putting out there.

They were creating debt just because it was a way of getting fees, short-term profit, and they then sold the debt onto unsuspecting members of the public as well and securitized their way out of trouble. They ended up giving the hot potato to the public. So, you should not be honoring that debt, you should be abolishing it. But of course they have actually packaged a lot of that debt and sold it to the public as well, you cannot just abolish it, because you then would penalize people who actually thought they were being responsible in saving and buying assets.

Therefore, I am talking in favor of what I call a modern debt jubilee or quantitative easing for the public, where the central banks would create ‘central bank money’ (we cannot destroy or abolish the debt, which would also destroy the incomes of the people who own the bonds the banks have sold). We have to create the state money and give it to the public, but on condition that if you have any debt you have to pay your debt down — no choice. Therefore, if you have debt, you can reduce the debt level, but if you do not have debt, you get a cash injection.

Of course, this would then feed into the financial sector would have to reduce the value of the debts that it currently owns, which means income from debt instruments would also fall. So, people who had bought bonds for their retirement and so on would find that their income would go down, but on the other hand, they would be compensated by a cash injection.

The one part of the system that would be reduced in size is the financial sector itself. That is the part we have to reduce and we have to make smaller.  That is the one that I am putting forward and I think there is a very little chance of implementing it in America for the next few years not all my home country [Australia] because we still think we are doing brilliantly and all that. But, I think at some stage in Europe, and possibly in a very short time frame, that idea might be considered.

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Fine Print: The Real Story on the “$25 Billion” Multistate Settlement

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One of the things I heard from a high ranking official in state government is that only a tiny fraction of the “settlement” is translating into actual dollars from the banks to anyone. In Arizona the $1.3 billion is subject to an “earn-down” as it was described to me and the net amount turned out to be $97 million and then on the website for the attorney general of the state, the $97 million became $47 million.

So I brought up my calculator and discovered that out of the “settlement” the banks were paying themselves around $1.2 billion out of the $1.3 billion (some say it is $1.6 billion, but the net left for the state remains unchanged at $97 million) and that some of the balance of the money is “unaccounted for.” By the way this has NOTHING to do with the Arizona Department of Housing, which is as close to non-political as you can get in any government.

So in plain language, the banks are taking money from their left pocket and putting int heir right pocket and saying it was a deal. This sounds a lot like the fake claims of securitization and assignment of debt on housing, student loans, credit cards, auto loans etc. In the end, no money will move except a tiny percentage because since the banks are simply paying themselves out of their own money how bad can the accounting be for them?

In Arizona, the legislature decided, as per the terms of the “settlement” to take the money and use it as part of general operating funds leaving distressed homeowners with nothing. So now there is something of an uproar in Arizona. Here is a $1.3 billion settlement that could have reversed a downward economic spiral for the state that will be felt for decades, and we end up with only 7% of that figure and then at least half, if not all of that is being taken for uses other than homeowner relief that is essential for economic recovery.

My guess is that they will say they are stopping the move to use the homeowner relief funds for perks to corporate donors and then quietly go out and do it anyway. What is your guess?

——————————————–

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

State officials agreed Tuesday to delay the transfer of $50 million of disputed mortgage settlement funds, at least for the time being.

Assistant Attorney General David Weinzweig made the offer during a hearing where challengers were hoping to get a court order blocking the move while its legality is being decided by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain. Attorney Tim Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, who represents those opposed to the transfer, readily agreed.

“You don’t want to rush the judge,” said Hogan, whose clients are people he believes would be helped by the funds.

“You want him to take his time on important questions like this,” Hogan said. “And so it’s reasonable to agree not to transfer the funds for a certain period of time to give the judge the opportunity to do that.”

The move sets the stage for a hearing in August on the merits of the issue.

Weinzweig told Brain he believes the transfer, ordered by state lawmakers earlier this year, is legal. Anyway, he said, Hogan’s clients have no legal standing to challenge what the Legislature did.

The fight surrounds a $26 billion nationwide settlement with five major lenders who were accused of mortgage fraud.

Arizona’s share is about $1.6 billion, with virtually all of that earmarked for direct aid to those who are “under water” on their mortgages — owing more than their property is worth — or have already been forced out of their homes.

But the deal also provided $97 million directly to the state Attorney General’s Office. The terms of that pact said the cash was supposed to help others with mortgage problems as well as investigate and prosecute fraud.

Lawmakers, however, seized on language which also said the money can be used to compensate the state for the effects of the lenders’ actions. They said the result of the mortgage crisis was lower state revenues, giving them permission to take $50 million from the settlement to balance the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Hogan’s suit is based on his contention that the settlement terms put the entire $97 million in trust and makes Attorney General Tom Horne, who was authorized by state law to sign the deal, responsible for ensuring the cash is properly spent.

Horne urged lawmakers not to take the funds. But once the budget deal was done, he went along and took the position that, regardless of whether the cash could have been better spent elsewhere, the transfer demand is legal.

Whatever Brain rules is likely to be appealed.

The challenge was brought on behalf of two people who would benefit by the state having more money to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The lawsuit said both are currently “at risk” of losing their homes.

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State Programs with Real Money Going Unused

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Millions for Principal Reduction and Moving Expenses and No Applicants

Editor’s Comment: 

I had the pleasure of listening last night to Michael Trailor, the Director of the Arizona Department of Housing. It was like a breath of fresh air. He was a home builder for decades and when the market crashed he went into this obscure post of this obscure state agency that turns out to have its counterparts in many if not all states. Each of these agencies has received money and authority to help homeowners and they are willing to pay down principal reductions, buy the loans and then modify and pay for moving expenses in short sales and other events.

Trailor is a plain-speaking non-politician who tells it like it is. His agency has programs based upon the premise that principal reduction is the only thing that works and he has working relationships with some small banks where his agency literally pays the principal down while the Bank shares in that loss. The small banks see the sense in it. He can’t get cooperation from the big banks and servicers.

In the meeting at Darrell Blomberg’s Tuesday Strategist presentation (every week at Macayo’s restaurant in downtown Phoenix), we heard straight talk and we heard about a number of programs that I had advocated before Trailor became director. My suggestions fell on deaf ears. Trailor’s programs are of the same variety and creativity with the objective of saving the Arizona economy from destruction.

He reported that three states got together under the same program to make the offer of sharing the reduction of principal because the banks said that Arizona was not big enough on its own to motivate the banks to participate in the program. So he got three states — Arizona, California and Nevada. The banks did the old familiar two-step with him and his counterparts in the other states and essentially refused to pparticipate. Every borrower knows that two-step by heart.

I made some suggestions for programs that could be introduced in bankruptcy court, where the power of the Banks is much less. Right now if they don’t want to modify the loan, they can’t be forced. If they don’t want to SELL the loan and then modify it as the beneficiary or mortgagee, the mega bank can and does say no (while the small bank can and does say yes).

That’s right. His agency said they would buy the loan from the bank for 100 cents on the dollar, and then modify the loan the principal and payments to something the borrower could afford and that would not lead to future foreclosures (the fate of practically all modifications). The mega banks killed the idea. Don’t you wonder why banks would contrary to the interest of a ‘lender” who can minimize their losses with government money that has already been allocated but is not yet spent?

This is exactly what I predicted back in 2008. The small banks agree because it is the smart thing to do and THEY are actually owed the money. The mega banks refuse to go along with the deal because hanging on the now invisible and non-existent trunk of an existing debt-tree are hundreds of branches of swaps, insurance and credit enhancements upon which Wall Street has made and is continuing to make billions of dollars in “trading profits” at the expense of the investors and to the detriment of the homeowners.

In other words, they sold the loan multiple times — up to 40 times as I read the data. So hanging on your $200,000 loan could be as much as $8 MILLION in derivatives, swaps etc. That could mean $8 million in claims on the proceeds of sale of the obligation or note or satisfaction of the note or obligation.

Here is my suggestion for those homeowners’ attorneys that have started a bankruptcy proceeding. Where the so-called creditor has sent out a notice of sale and has filed a motion to lift the automatic stay, apply for assistance from the Arizona Department of Housing or whatever the equivalent is in your state. If the agency agrees to assist in refinancing or buying the loan so the homeowner can stay and pay, then the bank would need to explain the basis on which they are responding negatively. After all they are being offered 100 cents on the dollar — why isn’t that enough?

Make sure you notify the Trustee and Court of the pending application made to the agency and don’t use it in a silly fashion promising things that the agency will not corroborate.

I believe that Trailor’s agency and his counterparts would respond with some program that would essentially be an offer to the supposed creditor — provided that the true creditor steps forward and can prove that they are the actual party to whom the money from the homeowner’s obligation is owed. Darrell and I are starting talks with Trailor’s agency to get specific programs that will work in bankruptcy court and maybe other situations.

Once the Notice of Sale is sent,  the “creditor” has committed itself to selling. How can they turn around and say no when they are being offered the full amount? In that court, once the “lender” has committed to selling the property they can hardly say they don’t want to sell the loan — especially if they are receiving 100 cents on the dollar. The offer would be accepted by the Trustee, I am fairly certain, and the Judge since there really is no choice.

Now here is where the fun begins. The Judge would agree as would the U.S. Trustee that only the party to whom the money is owed can get the money. Some of you might recall my frequent diatribes about who can submit a credit bid — only the actual creditor to whom the original loan is now owed or an authorized representative who submits the bid on behalf of THAT creditor.

So assuming the Trustee and Judge agree that the “creditor” who filed the Motion to Lift Stay MUST sell the loan or release it upon receiving full payment, then they are stuck with coming up with the real creditor, which is going to be impossible in many cases, difficult in virtually all other cases. Trailor is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars to help homeowners and he can’t use it because nobody will play ball under circumstances that he “naively” thought would be a no-brainer.

For those versed in bankruptcy you know the rest. The “lender” must admit that it is not the lender, that is has no authority to represent the creditor, that it doesn’t know who the creditor is or even if one still exists. The mortgage can be attacked as not being a perfected lien on the property and the obligation is wiped out or reduced by the  final order entered in the bankruptcy court.

Now the banks and servicers are going to fight this one tooth and nail because while the loan might be $200,000, there is an average of around $4 million in derivatives and exotic credit enhancements hanging on this loan. If it is paid off, then all accounts must settle. There are going to be gains and losses, but the net effect might well be that the bank “Sold” the loan 20 times. And the best part of it is that you don’t need t prove the theft. If will simply emerge from the failure of the “lender” to conform with the order of the court approving the deal. 

This is a classic case of the scam used in the “The Producers” which has been done on Broadway and movies. You sell 10,000% of a show you know MUST fail. They select “Springtime for Hitler” right after World War II and expect it to crash. After all it is musical comedy. But the show is a spectacular success. So whereas the news of the show’s closing would have sent investors to their accountants to write it off for tax purposes, now they were all clamoring for an accounting for their share of the profits. Since the producers had sold the show 100 times over it was impossible to pay the investors and they went to jail.

THAT is the problem here. It is only if the show closes with a foreclosure that the investors will not ask for the accounting. If the show succeeds (the loan is paid off) then all the investors will want their share of the payments that are due — unless they had the misfortune of taking the wrong side of a “bet” that the loan would fail. Not many investors did that. But the investment banks that sold the show (the loan) many times over used those bets as a way of selling the show over and over again.

If I’m lying I’m dying. That is what is happening and when people realize that as homeowners they are sitting on leverage worth 20 times their loan and they use it against the banks and servicers, they will get some very nice results. Agencies like Arizona’s Department of Housing can save the day like the cavalry just by making the offer and getting a judge to enforce it and watch in merriment how the “lenders” insist that they don’t want the payment and they can’t be forced to take it. That is what happens  when you turn the conventional and reasonable lending model on its head.

So now the banks and servicers must come up with a whole new set of fabricated, forged and fraudulent documents in which the investors assigned their interest in the obligation or note or mortgage to some other entity that is now the “creditor” — but the question that will be asked by every Trustee and Judge in bankruptcy court “who paid for this, how much did they pay, and how do we know a transaction actually happened.” That is the problem with a VIRTUAL TRANSACTION. At some point, like every PONZI scheme, the house of cards falls down.

Check with Arizona Department of Housing

Of course if you are not in Arizona check with the equivalent agency in your state. Chances are they have hundreds of millions of dollars and no place to spend it for homeowners because the banks won’t agree to no-brainer solutions that any bank can and does accept if they were playing the “Securitization game.” Don’t expect the agency to march into court and save the day. The agency is not going to litigate your case for you. But they probably will give you plenty of support and encouragement and offers of real money to end this nightmare of foreclosures. You must do the work, fill out applications and get the process underway before you can go to the court with a motion that says we have a settlement vehicle pending with a state agency and you can prove it is true.

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How the Servicers and Investment Banks Cheat Investors and Homeowners

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Master Servicers and Subservicers Maintain Fictitious Obligations

Editor’s Comment: 

This article really is about why discovery and access to the information held by the Master Servicer and subservicer, investment bank and Trustee for the REMIC (“Trust”) is so important. Without an actual accounting, you could be paying on a debt that does not exist or has been extinguished in bankruptcy because it was unsecured. In fact, if it was extinguished in bankruptcy, giving them the house or payment might even be improper. Pressing on the points made in this article in order to get full rights in discovery (interrogatories, admissions and production) will yield the most beneficial results.

Michael Olenick (creator of FindtheFraud) on Naked Capitalism gets a lot of things right in the article below. The most right is that servicers are lying and cheating investors in addition to cheating homeowners.

The subservicer is the one the public knows. They are the ones that collect payments from the “borrower” who is the homeowner. In reality, they have no right to collect anything from the homeowner because they were appointed as servicer by a party who is not a creditor and has no authority to act as agent for the creditor. They COULD have had that authority if the securitization chain was real, but it isn’t.

Then you have the Master Servicers who are and should be called the Master of Ceremonies. But the Master Servicer is basically a controlled entity of the investment bank, which is why everyone is so pissed — these banks are making money and getting credit while the rest of us can’t operate businesses, can’t get a job, and can’t get credit for small and medium sized businesses.

Cheating at the subservicer level, even if they were authorized to take payments, starts with the fees they charge against the account, especially if it becomes (delinquent” or in “default” or “Nonperforming.” At the same time they are telling the investors that the loan is a performing loan and they are making payments somewhere in the direction of the investors (we don’t actually know how much of that payment actually gets received by investors), they are also declaring defaults and initiating a foreclosure.

What they are not reporting is that they don’t have the paperwork on the loan, and that the value of the portfolio is either simply over-stated, which is bad enough, or that the portfolio is worthless, which of course is worse. Meanwhile the pension fund managers do not realize that they are sitting on assets that may well have a negative value and if they don’t handle the situation properly, they might be assessed for the negative value.

It gets even worse. Since the money and the loans were not handled, paid or otherwise organized in the manner provided in the pooling and servicing agreement and prospectus, the SPV (“Trust”) does not exist and has no assets in it — but it might have some teeth that could bite the hand that fed the banks. If the REMIC was not created and the trust was not created or funded, then the investors who in fact DID put up money are in a common law general partnership. And since the Credit Default Swaps were traded using the name of  entities that identified groups of investors, the investors might be hit with an assessment to cover a loss that the “pool” can’t cover because they only have a general partnership created under common law. Their intention to enter into a deal where there was (a) preferential tax status (REMIC) and (b) limited liability would both fall apart. And that is exactly what happened.

The flip side is that the credit default swaps, insurance, credit enhancements, and so forth could have and in most cases did produce a surplus, which the banks claimed as solely their own, but which in fact should have at least been allocated to the investors up to the point of the liability to them (i.e., the money taken from them by the investment bank).

AND THAT is why borrowers should be very interested in having the investors get their money back from the trading, wheeling and dealing made with the use of the investors’ money. Think about it. The investors gave up their money for funding mortgages and yours was one of the mortgages funded. But the vehicle that was used was not a simple  one. The money taken from the investors was owed by the REMIC in whose name the trading in the secret derivative market occurred.

Now think a little bit more. If the investors get their rightful share of the money made from the swaps and insurance and credit enhancements, then the liability is satisfied — i.e., the investor got their money back with interest just like they were expecting.

But, and here is the big one, if the investor did get paid (as many have been under the table or as part of more complex deals) then the obligation to them has been satisfied in full. That would mean by definition that the obligation from anyone else on repayment to the investor was extinguished or transferred to another party. Since the money was funded from investor to homeowner, the homeowner therefore does not owe the investor any money (not any more, anyway, because the investor has been paid in full). The only valid transfer would be FROM the REMIC partnership not TO it. But the fabricated, forged and fraudulent documents are all about transferring the loan TO the REMIC that was never formed and never funded.

It is possible that another party may be a successor to the homeowner’s obligation to the investor. But there are prerequisites to that happening. First of all we know that the obligation of the homeowner to the investor was not secured because there was no agreement or written instrument of any kind in which the investor and the borrower both signed and which set forth terms that were disclosed to both parties and were the subject of an agreement, much less a mortgage naming the investor. That is why the MERS trick was played with stating the servicer as the investor. That implies agency (which doesn’t really exist).

Second we know that the SWAPS and the insurance were specifically written with expressly worded such that AIG, MBIA etc. each waived their right to get payment from the borrower homeowner even though they were paying the bill.

Third we know that most payments were made by SWAPS, insurance and the Federal Reserve deals, in which the Fed also did not want to get involved in enforcing debts against homeowners and that is why the Federal Reserve has never been named as the creditor even though they in fact, would be the creditor because they have paid 100 cents on the dollar to the investment bank who did NOT allocate that money to the investors.

Since they did not allocate that money to the investors, as servicers (subservicer and Master Servicer), they also did not allocate the payment against the homeowner borrower’s debt. If they did that, they would be admitting what we already know — that the debt from homeowner to investor has been extinguished, which means that all those other credit swaps, insurance and enhancements that are STILL IN PLAY, would collapse. That is what is happening in our own cities, towns, counties and states and what is happening in Europe. It is only by keeping what is now only a virtual debt alive in appearance that the banks continue to make money on the Swaps and other exotic instruments. But it is like a tree without the main trunk. We have only branches left. Eventually in must fall, like any other Ponzi scheme or House of Cards.

So by cheating the investors, and thus cheating the borrowers, they also cheated the Federal Reserve, the taxpayers and European banks based upon a debt that once existed but has long since been extinguished. If you waded through the above (you might need to read it more than once), then you can see that your  feeling, deep down inside that you owe this money, is wrong. You can see that the perception that the obligation was tied to a perfected mortgage lien on the property was equally wrong. And that we now have $700 trillion in nominal value of derivatives that has at least one-third in need of mark-down to zero. The admission of this inescapable point would immediately produce the result that Simon Johnson and others so desperately want for economic reasons and that the rest of us want for political reasons — the break-up of banks that are broken. Only then will the market begin to function as a more or less free trading market.

How Servicers Lie to Mortgage Investors About Losses

By Michael Olenick

A post last week reviewed a botched foreclosure for a mortgage loan in Ace Securities Home Equity Loan Trust 2007-HE4 dismissed with prejudice, meaning that the foreclosure cannot be refilled; a total loss for investors. Next, we reviewed why the trust has not yet recorded the loss despite the six month old verdict.

As an experiment, I gave my six year-old daughter four quarters. She just learned how to add coins so this pleased her. Then I told her I would take some number of quarters back, and asked her how many I should take. Her first response was one – smart kid – then she changed her mind to two, because we’d each have two and that’s the most “fair.” Having mastered the notion of loss mitigation and fairness, and because it’s not nice to torture six year-old children with experiments in economics, I allowed her to keep all four.

When presented with a similar question – whether to take a partial loss via a short-sale or principal reduction, or whether to take a larger loss through foreclosure – the servicers of ACE2007-HE4 repeatedly opt for the larger losses. While the dismissal with prejudice for the Guerrero house is an unusual, the enormous write-off it comes with through failure to mitigate a breach – to keep overall damages as low as possible – is common. When we look more closely at the trust, we see the servicer again and again, either through self-dealing or laziness, taking actions that increase losses to investors. And this occurs even though the contract that created the securitization, a pooling and servicing agreement, requires the servicer to service the loans in the best interest of the investors.

Let’s examine some recent loss statistics from ACE2007-HE4. In May, 2012 there were 15 houses written-off, with an average loss severity of 77%. Exactly one was below 50% and one, in Gary, IN, was 145%; the ACE investors lent $65,100 to a borrower with a FICO score of 568 then predictably managed to lose $94,096. In April, there were 23 homes lost, with an average loss severity of 82%, three below 50%, though one at 132%, money lent to a borrower with an original FICO score of 588.

Of course, those are the loans with finished foreclosures. There are 65 loans where borrowers missed at least four consecutive payments in the last year with yet there is no active foreclosure. Among those are a loan for $593,600 in Allendale, NJ, where the borrower has not made a payment in about four years, though they have been in and out of foreclosure a few times during that period. It’s not just the judicial foreclosure states; a $350,001 loan in Compton, CA also hasn’t made a payment in over a year and there is no pending foreclosure.

There is every reason to think the losses will be higher for these zombie borrowers than on the recent foreclosures. First, every month a borrower does not pay the servicer pays the trust anyway, though the servicer is then reimbursed the next month, mainly from payments of other borrowers still paying. This depletes the good loans in the trust, so that the trust will eventually run out of money leaving investors holding an empty bag. And on top of that, when the foreclosure eventually occurs, the servicer also reimburses himself for all sorts of fees, late fees, the regular servicing fee, broker price opinions, etc. Longer times in foreclosure mean more fees to servicers. Second, the odds are decent that the servicers are holding off on foreclosing on these homes because the losses are expected to be particularly high. Why would servicers delay in these cases? Perhaps because they own a portfolio of second mortgages. More sales of real estate that wipe out second liens would make it harder for them to justify the marks on those loans that they are reporting to investors and regulators. Revealing how depressed certain real estate markets were if shadow inventory were released would have the same effect.

These loans will eventually end up either modified or foreclosed upon, but either way there will be substantial losses to the trust that have not been accounted for. Of course, this assumes that the codes and status fields are accurate; in the case of the Guerreros’ loan the write-off – with legal fees for the fancy lawyers who can’t figure out why assignments are needed to the trust – is likely to be enormous. How much? Nobody except Ocwen knows, and they’re not saying.

Knowing that an estimated loss of 77%, is if anything an optimistic figure, even before we get to the unreported losses on the Guerrero loan, it seems difficult to understand why Ocwen wouldn’t first try loss mitigation that results in a lower loss severity. If they wrote-off half the principal of the loan, and decreased interest payments to nothing, they’d come out ahead.

Servicers give lip service to the notion that foreclosure is an option of last resort but, only when recognizing losses, do their words seem to sync with their behavior. But it’s all about the incentives: servicers get paid to foreclose and they heap fees on zombie borrowers, but even with all sorts of HAMP incentives, they don’t feel they get paid enough to do the work to do modifications. Servicers are reimbursed for the principal and interest they advance, the over-priced “forced placed insurance” that costs much more and pays out much less than regular insurance, “inspections” that sometimes involve goons kicking in doors before a person can answer, high-priced lawyers who can’t figure out why an assignment is needed to bind a property to a trust, and a plethora of other garbage fees. They’re like a frat-boy with dad’s credit-card, and a determination to make the best of it while dad is still solvent.

Despite the Obama campaign promise to bring transparency to government and financial markets, the investors in trusts remain largely unknown, so we’re not sure who bears the brunt of the cost of Ocwen’s incompetence in loss mitigation (to be fair Ocwen is not atypical; most servicers are atrocious). But, ACE2007-HE4 has a few unique attributes allowing us to guess who is affected.

ACE2007-HE4 is named in a lawsuit filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has sued ACE, trustee Deutsche Bank, and a few others citing material misrepresentations in the prospectus of this trust. As pointed out in the prior article, both the Guerreros’ first and second loans were bundled into the same trust – so there were definitely problems – though the FHFA does not seem to address that in their lawsuit.

With respect to ACE2007-HE4, the FHFA highlights an investigation by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which found that Deutsche Bank “‘continued to refer customers to its prospectus materials to the erroneous [delinquency] data’”even after it ‘became aware that the static pool information underreported historical delinquency rates.”

The verbiage within the July 16, 2010 FINRA action is more succinct: “… investors in these 16 subsequent RMBS securitizations were, and continue to be, unaware that some of the static pool information .. contains inaccurate historical data which underreported delinquencies.” FINRA allowed Deutsche Bank to pay a $7.5 million fine without either admitting or denying the findings, and agreed never to bring another action “based on the same factual findings described herein.”

Despite the finding and the fine, FINRA apparently forgot to order Deutsche Bank to knock off the conduct, and since FINRA did not reserve the right to circle back for a compliance check maybe Deutsche Bank has the right to produce loss reports showing whatever they wish to.

It is unlikely that Deutsche Bank had trouble paying their $7.5 million fine since the trust included an interest swap agreement that worked out pretty well for them. Note that these swap agreements were a common feature of post 2004 RMBS. Originators used to retain the equity tranche, which was unrated. When a deal worked out, that was nicely profitable because the equity tranche would get the benefit of loss cushions (overcollateralization and excess spread). Deal packagers got clever and devised so-called “net interest margin” bonds which allowed investors to get the benefit of the entire excess spread for a loan pool. The swaps were structured to provide a minimum amount of excess spread under the most likely scenarios. But no one anticipated 0% interest rates.

From May, 2007, when the trust was issued, to Oct., 2007, neither party paid one another. In Nov., 2007, Deutsche Bank paid the trust $175,759.04. Over the next 53 months that the swap agreement remained in effect the trust paid Deutsche Bank $65,122,194.92, a net profit of $64,946,435.88. Given that Deutsche traders were handing out t-shirts reading “I’m Short Your House” when this trust was created, I can see why they’d bet against steep interest rates over the next five years, as the Federal Reserve moved to mitigate the economic fallout of their mischievousness with low interest rates.

In any event, getting back to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the FHFA does not disclose which), one of the GSEs purchased $224,129,000 of tranche A1 at par; they paid full freight for this fiasco. Since this trust is structured so that losses are born equally by all A-level tranches once the mezzanine level tranches are destroyed by losses, which they have been, to find the party taking the inflated losses you just need to look in the nearest mirror. Fannie and Freddie are, of course, wards of the state so it is the American taxpayer that gets to pay out the windfall to the Germans. In this we’re like Greece, albeit with lousier beaches and the ability to print more money.

If the mess with the FHFA and FINRA were not enough, ACE2007-HE4 is also an element in the second 2007 Markit index, ABX.HE.AAA.07-2, a basket of tranches of subprime trusts that – taken as a whole – show the overall health of all similar securities. This is akin to being one of the Dow-Jones companies, where a company has its own stock price but that price also affects an overall index that people place bets on. Tranche A-2D, the lowest A-tranche, is one of the twenty trusts in the index. Since ACE2007-HE4 is structured so that all A-tranches wither and die together once the mezzanine level tranches are destroyed it has the potential to weigh in on the rest of the index. Therefore, the reporting mess – already known to both the FHFA and FINRA – stands to be greatly magnified.

The problems with this trust are numerous, and at every turn, the parties that could have intervened to ameliorate the situation failed to take adequate measures.

First there is the botched securitization, where a first and second lien ended up in the same trust. Then, there is failure to engage in loss mitigation, with the result that refusing to accept the Guerrero’s short-sale offers or pleas for a modification, resulting in a more than 100% loss. Next, there is defective record-keeping related to that deficiency and others like it. And the bad practices ensnarled Fannie /Freddie when they purchased almost a quarter billion dollars of exposure to these loans. Then there’s the mismanaged prosecution by FINRA, where they did not require ongoing compliance, monitoring, or increasing fines for non-compliance. There’s the muffed FHFA lawsuit, where the FHFA did not notice either the depth of the fraud, namely two loans for the same property in the same trust, and that the reporting fraud they cited continues. I’m not sure if the swap agreement was botched, but you’d think FINRA and the FHFA would and should do almost anything to dissolve it while it was paying out massive checks every month. Finally, returning full circle, there’s the fouled up foreclosure that the borrowers fought only because negotiations failed that resulted in a the trust taking a total loss on the mortgage plus paying serious legal fees.

It is an understatement to say this does not inspire confidence in any public official, except Judge Williams, the only government official with the common sense to lose patience with scoundrels. We’d almost be better off without regulators than with the batch we’ve seen at work.

US taxpayers would have received more benefit by burning dollar bills in the Capitol’s furnace to heat the building than we received from bailing out Fannie, Freddie, Deutsche Bank, Ocwen, and the various other smaller leaches attached to the udder of public funds. We could and should have allowed the “free market” they worship to work its magic, sending them to their doom years ago. That would have left investors in a world-o-hurt but, in hindsight, that’s where they’re ending up anyway with no money left to fix the fallout. It is long past time public policy makers did something substantive to rein in these charlatans.

My six year-old daughter understands the concept of limiting losses to the minimum, and apportionment of those losses in the name of fairness. Maybe Tim Geithner should take a lesson from her about this “unfortunate” series of events, quoting Judge Williams, before wasting any more money that my daughter will eventually have to repay.

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