The Facts Behind Smoke and Mirrors

Nearly everyone is confused as to the identity of the real holder in due course, or the “creditor,” or the owner of the debt. Nearly everyone thinks that ultimate it is investors who purchased certificates.

In fact there is no holder in due course and there never will be in most instances. There was never any possibility for a holder in course claim because in most cases the origination of the loan took place in what is called a table funded loan, which is against public policy as a matter of law (as expressed in the Truth in Lending Act).

The creditor or owner of the debt is actually a party who was never disclosed in any of the dealings with borrowers and is not adequately disclosed in the secondary market or pretend underwritings and sales of certificates.

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Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com. Order a PDR BASIC to have us review and comment on your notice of TILA Rescission or similar document.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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A Client just asked me if we should consider all the disclosed players as a single entity. Here is what I replied:

You could take that position but in reality they are all taking orders from a single entity that does not appear anywhere in the paper trail.

But it’s not like they are receiving orders on specific cases or events. They have standing orders to which they have agreed.

The party from whom they are receiving instructions is an investment bank who posed as an underwriter for the issuance and sale of bogus certificates from a nonexistent trust. The investment bank used money obtained under false pretenses from investors.

The investment bank might, under law, be considered a creditor — but it can’t assert that without opening itself up to a myriad of liabilities. In fact the investment will move heaven and Earth to avoid the revelation that the only financial transaction that means anything as a basis for foreclosure involves the investment bank and NOT any of the other disclosed parties with whom you are in litigation.

So in the end, the bottom line is that there is party who is willing to step up and claim status as creditor or owner of the debt — ever.

If you push this to the extreme in litigation you get some interesting results. Instead of being afraid that they will pop out a real creditor or owner of the debt, you should know that that in the end they will refuse to produce any such party.

And you will know that when they do assert or imply that this is the creditor you should look carefully at their wording and realize they are using a sham entity to cover up the fact that the investment bank who started it all is the real party in interest.

It is the investment banks’ unwillingness (for good reason) to be revealed as having anything to do with the loan, foreclosure or any other transactions that can be used as leverage if you push hard enough.

Foreclosures: The Lie We Are Living

Most people, including homeowners, believe that the homeowners do owe the money and that the entities that are attempting to foreclose should win. That is why the free house myth is so pervasive.

The result is that foreclosures are being granted to entities that (a) do not exist or (b) have nothing to do with the loan, debt, note or mortgage or both. The benefits of foreclosure all run in favor of the megabanks and against the real parties in interest, the investors. These banks have managed to separate the debt from the paperwork in a highly effective way that can be, but usually isn’t, challenged on cross examination and well-founded objections.

The truth is that the homeowners do not owe any money to the people who are collecting or enforcing the loan. End of story. The rest is a lie.

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

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

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

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

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see tps-third-party-strangers-in-mortgage-cases/

One of my favorite lawyers is getting discouraged. He says that it is virtually impossible for a homeowner to successfully defend a foreclosure action especially if it involves a blank endorsement (bearer paper). Foreclosure defense is indeed an uphill battle but it is one in which the homeowner can — and should — prevail.

I don’t agree with the premise that homeowners will and should lose foreclosure cases. I think most of the foreclosures are built on an illusion created and fabricated by the megabanks. I think we would have won the cases we won even without the standing issue, with or without blank or special indorsements.

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The compounding error that keeps recurring is the difference between enforcement of the note and enforcement of the mortgage. You can enforce the note without owning the debt but you can’t enforce the mortgage without owning the debt. But in court they are conflated because few people draw the distinction.
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Possession of bearer paper (the note) raises a presumption that the debt was transferred. But that is a rebuttable presumption and proof at trial should be required as to the transfer (purchase) of the debt for value. But if the debt was actually transferred that would mean it was purchased for value. And if it was purchased for value then any transferee with half a brain would assert status of a holder in due course. They don’t assert HDC status because they didn’t pay value for the debt because the debt was never transferred and the fictitious delivery of the original note was intended to deceive the homeowner, his/her lawyer and the court.
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If a trust is involved, the existence of the trust should be pled and proven. Nobody is raising that issue even though it is a winner.
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It is an uphill battle and many judges will disregard the appropriate arguments because they don’t see or don’t want to see the consequences of their assumptions and bias.
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As a result we have a name being used as a DBA by multiple layers of conduits that don’t lead back to the actual owner of the debt. Homeowners did not create this problem nor should they suffer the consequences of bank chicanery. Banks did it because the big lie was extremely overwhelmingly and pornographically profitable. Banks have already made windfall profits on the loan whether the borrower pays or not. They then get an extra windfall by foreclosing because they can. At the same time the foreclosure sale raises yet another false presumption that everything that went before the sale was valid and authorized.
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This all happens under the cover of why should homeowners get a windfall free house? Most people don’t believe that the banks are getting a windfall for an investment that has been paid off multiple times. They believe the lie that the homeowner’s debt is still out there and belongs to someone who ultimately is connected to the entities that seek foreclosure or collection. It is a lie. Windfall results are more common than most people realize. It frequently happens that one litigant, because of a decision or the wording some legislation will get a windfall. In many cases the question is which party should get the windfall?
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The real question is who should get the windfall that has been created by the banks? Should it be the banks who have already profited in multiples of the loan amount or the homeowner whose signature and credit reputation was used as the foundation for the multiple sales of his loan? On a level playing field, the courts ought to tilt toward the homeowners who have mostly been lured into loans based upon wildly false appraisals on terms that they could not afford — and remember that under law the affordability of the loan is the responsibility of the lender, not the borrower.
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Finding excuses to rule in favor of a foreclosing party that usually doesn’t even exist much less own the debt, note and mortgage is simply the wrong way to go. This is not a matter of policy for the legislature although the legislatures could intervene. It is a matter of equity and foreclosures are in a court of equity not at law. The party who caused the mess and who brought the country to its knees should not be the party who is rewarded with a foreclosure to cover a nonexisting loss.
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If the investors were included I could see why both investors and homeowners would be considered victims and how the court could rule in favor of the investors. But the investors are decidedly NOT involved. They are unaffected by foreclosure of the loans because in reality they have only received a promise to pay from one of the megabanks doing business as “XYZ Trust”. They are completely uninformed about the debt or its enforcement and do not get the proceeds of a foreclosure sale.
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The underwriting is done by the megabank but the loan comes from investors who believe they are investing in a trust when in fact they are merely making a deposit with the underwriting investment bank.
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The whole reason why these banks were converted from investment banks to commercial banks over a weekend was not just to gain access to the Fed window to sell worthless mortgage bonds. It was because they had already been acting as though they were commercial banks by taking money from investors and merely starting an “account” for each of the investors wherein the only party who could draw money out of it was the “bank.”
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So after our experience in the courts, it is unfair to homeowners and unfair to us as the attorneys who made it happen, to say that it is impossible for homeowners to win foreclosure cases. Good cross examination, and trial practice including the use of well-founded objections still wins the day more often than not. 

TONIGHT! How to distinguish between legal presumptions of facts and the facts themselves

A client of our internet services store asked a simple question. He had asked the opposing side if they were a holder in due course. What he received was evasive and misleading and essentially never answered the question. Now what? Below is my answer to his question and what we will be discussing tonight on the The Neil Garfield Show

How the banks confuse judges, foreclosure defense lawyers and homeowners by wrongfully inoking legal presumptions.

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

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

 

You have already achieved the intermediate goal. At this point you can argue that you asked for the identity of the holder in due course and they were unable or unwilling to provide the information. The confusion emanates from the fact that a holder can sue on the note if it has the right to enforce the note, which right must come from the creditor.
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But the apparent rebuttable legal presumptions run against you. In every case the success of the foreclosure is entirely dependent upon the success of the foreclosure mill attorneys in invoking legal presumptions of fact because the actual facts differ from what is presumed by the Judge.
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But the one legal presumption that would wipe out virtually all borrower defenses is NEVER invoked — the status of holder in due course. Because that would mean proving that a purchase of the debt, note and mortgage occurred in which the foreclosing party is or was the purchaser in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. Instead the crafty lawyers get judges to presume that the foreclosing party should be treated as a holder in due course, thereby evading their true burden of proof.
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It’s no mystery why they don’t use the holder in due course allegation. But the absence of such an allegation simply and logically leads to a conclusion. One or more of the elements is missing. Which part? Is it the purchase, the good faith or knowledge?

Tonight! How to Defend Against a Claim of “Holder” Status to Discredit Standing

“Holder” vs “Agency”

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

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

Tonight I will discuss the central point of of false claims of authority to enforce the note, and inferentially the authority to enforce the mortgage.

In 2008, I called to confront a lawyer about the false claim of being authorized to enforce the note and mortgage, his reply to all my questions was “We’re a holder.”

No matter what I said or asked, that was his answer. He was relying upon a carefully thought out strategy of taking the term “holder” and stretching it to unimaginable lengths. And in that conversation it became clear that he — and the rest of the investment banking industry — were essentially “banking” on a single fact, to wit: that Judges are lawyers who went to law school and for the most part slept through classes on negotiable instruments. He was right.

NJ Court: Possession of note + mortgage assignment is prerequisite to foreclosure

Pretender lenders are going to cite this case as support for the idea that the note and mortgage can be separated and that either one can be the basis of a successful foreclosure. They will rely on the “exception” implied in the court decision wherein the owner of the note has an agency relationship with the servicer who is the foreclosing party.

In this case Freddie Mac clearly possessed the note, although there was no evidence cited that Freddie Mac had actually purchased it. That was presumed in this case. The purchase of the note was not an issue on appeal.

Freddie Mac had made it clear in public announcements that foreclosures should be in the name of servicers. So the possession of one part of the paperwork by the agent and the other by the principal are joined as a single unit.

This decision was correct in ruling against the homeowner, given the issues before it. The homeowner was attempting to make a technical distinction contrary to the facts and contrary to law. The issue brought on appeal was whether Freddie Mac was the only party with standing to foreclose. I would say that shouldn’t have been the issue. Both Freddie Mac and Capital One had standing depending upon who asserted it. Either one could have foreclosed.

Any party may foreclose in its own name or through an agent with authority to do so — if they otherwise plead and prove their status as holder in due course, or holder, or non-holder with rights to enforce. The issue on appeal was a non-starter.

Despite the article, there is no exception here. This New Jersey court simply followed the law.

see Court-says-note-and-mortgage-assignment-both-prerequisites-to-foreclosure-but-makes-an-exception/

see case decision: Peck adv Capital One

The difference between this case and most other cases is that in this case there appears to be a tacit admission that Freddie Mac, as possessor of the note, was a holder or non-holder with rights to enforce because they had purchased the note. It is assumed in this case that Freddie was the actual owner of the debt.

The key differences between this case and most other cases are as follows:

  1. The “principal” in this case has been identified and assumed to be the owner of the debt.
  2. The “agent” in this case, Capital One, is a servicer whose authority to act as agent was not contested.

What is missing is whether Freddie Mac actually purchased the debt or the note and whether Freddie Mac still owned anything at all. Purchase of the note does not mean purchase of the debt if the debt is owned by someone other than the seller of the note. It is well settled law that only the owner of the debt can foreclose. But even if a purchase transaction did in fact take place, the question remains as to whether the interest of Freddie Mac was sold back to some private label REMIC Trust or some other third party such as the seller who may have given warranties as tot he performance of loans.

But if the note was purchased in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses, if any, then the purchaser of the note increases their status to holder in due course where there are no defenses even if the preceding origination or transfers had defects.

On the other hand, if the seller of the note did not own the note, then the purchase by Freddie would be nullity. This is also well settled law. A seller of an interest that is nonexistent or in which the seller has no interest, cannot create the interest by selling it. This is the basic problem with “originations” and most “transfers” by endorsement or assignment. In such circumstances the buyer would be a possessor without rights to enforce unless the owner of the debt was in privity with the buyer of the note. The buyer would have a potential claim against the seller, but not the maker of the note.

In such circumstances, the owner of the debt or the true owner of the note would be able to file a claim against the maker and the buyer of the note, explaining how the possession of the note was lost and pleading (and proving) ownership of the debt.

NOTE THAT THERE IS A DEEPER ISSUE PRESENT. But it probably won’t get you any traction despite the clear basis in law and fact. Freddie Mac may or may not have actually made a purchase of the subject loan. If they didn’t then asserting them as the owner of the note might be OK for pleading, but the case ought to fail at trial — if the homeowner denies that they are the owner of the note.  

If it paid in money, then to whom was payment sent? This is different than who claimed ownership of the note and mortgage. More often than not the money trail is NOT the same as the paper trail.

Note that many transactions occurred in which the “Mortgage Loan Schedule” was incomplete or nonexistent at the time of the purported sale. The identity of the seller in such purported transactions is also obscured by clever wording.

If they paid using RMBS certificates, then things get more interesting. Because the RMBS certificates were in all probability worthless. Hence there would a failure of consideration and Freddie Mac could not claim to be a purchaser for value. The vast majority of RMBS were sold under the false pretense that they were “backed” my residential mortgages. The issuer of the certificates is asserted to be a named trust. But if the trust never came into ownership of the alleged mortgage loans, then the RMBS certificates were backed by nothing at all.

Not to draw too fine a point here, it is still possible that Freddie could be considered a purchaser for value even if the RMBS certificates appeared to be worthless. That is because in the  shadow banking marketplace, such certificates and the synthetic derivatives deriving their purported value from the purported value of the certificates nevertheless take on a life of their own. Even if they have no fundamental value they may well have a trading value that far exceeds anything that is fundamental to the certificates (i.e.m, zero).

Expert Testimony and Expert Reports

Homeowners are dismayed and even claim court bias when the report of a self-proclaimed expert is barred from evidence. Or they become equally incensed when the court allows the report into evidence but gives it zero weight in rendering a decision. But the court is, to that extent, merely following the rules that govern what Judges should or should not do.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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It goes without saying that any report that has not been read and any testimony that has not been heard will be disregarded as a practical matter and in many cases as a legal matter. The Internet has been awash in offers of “magic bullet” analyses and reports that either directly or indirectly make the false promise of relief from foreclosure. Nearly all of the forensic analysts are self-proclaimed, unlicensed in any field requiring a license, inexperienced and untrained. What they are seem to share in common is the hope or belief that once a Judge lays eyes on the report, the decision will be rendered swiftly in favor of the homeowner.
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Forensic analysis can theoretically be performed by anyone, which of course means that they are predominantly worthless even in their inception. Most analysts are looking for the wrong things and/or looking for things that are irrelevant and/or looking for things that will not be admitted into court record as evidence. Even an unopposed expert declaration or affidavit will either not be admitted into evidence by written report or oral testimony if it is delivered by such analysts. Homeowners are dismayed and even claim court bias when the report of a self-proclaimed expert is barred from evidence. Or they become equally incensed when the court allows the report into evidence but gives it zero weight in rendering a decision. But the court is, to that extent, merely following the rules that govern what Judges should or should not do.
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The one thing in which most “successful” forensic analysts excel is selling. They tell homeowners what they want to hear when they need to hear it. It’s akin to imbibing a libation or drug to take the edge off for the moment but it doesn’t change a thing.
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So let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. Does it matter if the analyst is unlicensed? NO. But if the analyst is unlicensed he or she will need to spend a lot more time giving testimony about how they acquired their expertise and how their work is based upon established frameworks of prior work in teases and other sources — and not merely a theory in their own head.
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But the interesting thing is that when such experts do survive the challenges under Daubert or Frye (see below) the seemingly less qualified analyst frequently is able to explain to the court how he or she arrived at an opinion and then explains both the opinion and the basis of the opinion in clearer language than most “qualified” experts with far superior credentials.
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Further the Banks’ Ostrich Strategy appears to have been working for the last 10 years. After tens of thousands of reports and expert declarations have been filed or served on behalf of homeowners, there are no reported instances in which an expert from the banks or servicers ever filed an affidavit or declaration in opposition to the experts who execute expert declarations for the homeowners. In fact, there are few instances in which the “expert” is even deposed, which thus removes the ability of the banks to challenge the expert. The end result has been that expert testimony is nearly always discounted or completely ignored. If the banks ignore it in litigation then so does the court.
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But the unwillingness to make an issue of the expert declarations filed by homeowners may well have a downside, especially as more and more Motions for Summary Judgment are filed. As the courts are gradually changing course to consider the possibility that homeowners should win and that banks should lose, the time has come to file a motion for partial summary judgment on issues specifically raised and supported in a properly drafted expert declaration.
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In the absence of an opposing affidavit, the court has little choice but to take the assertions as true as stated in the expert declaration for the homeowner. That leaves only the legal argument of whether the homeowner is entitled to the entry of summary judgment on the issues raised, inasmuch as the homeowner has effectively eliminated the issue or issues to be heard at trial.
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For example suppose the expert’s opinion is that the trust was never funded, that the trust has no legal authority to administer the alleged loan because the loan was not in the trust, and that the trust therefore could never have purchased the debt or the note or the mortgage, and that the “servicer” appointed as servicer in the trust instrument (PSA) has no authority because the property (i.e., the loan) was never transferred into the trust and that the Trustee named in the trust instrument (PSA) also has no power over the subject loan because the trust never purchased the loan, the debt, the note or the mortgage, and perhaps also that the foreclosure is a grand illusion in which the banks and servicers are completing a scheme of civil theft of the investors’ money, and perhaps that the debtor-creditor relationship consists of the homeowner and the investors whose identities have been withheld by the banks.
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In order to take those conclusions seriously, the court must hear that those conclusions are supported by understandable evidence that is based upon widespread axioms; since the conclusion is counterintuitive, it is important that the declaration be credible.
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Hence the expert must bring in corroboration as part of the explanation of the reasoning in the expert declaration. Corroboration could be direct evidence (by the way, hearsay is allowed in expert testimony) or clear deductive reasoning that eliminates anything else as an alternative explanation; (e.g., if the trust had actually entered into a transaction in which it purchased the alleged loan or some part of it, then it would not assert that it was a holder but rather, as is custom and practice in the industry the trust would declare itself to be a holder in due course or the actual owner of the debt (not just the note and mortgage) and would gleefully have proven the purchase by offering a canceled check or wire transfer receipt into evidence).
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By elimination of the elements of “good faith” and lack of knowledge of the borrower’s defenses (e.g. lack of consideration, non-merger of debt and note etc.) the only missing element would be that the Trust was not a successor to the original creditor regardless of whether the original creditor(s) was or were victims of theft or the actual payee on the note. Thus the conclusion that the Trust is not a holder in due course and should not be treated as one. And if it was the agent for an actual creditor, the Trust had failed to identify the creditors fro whom it was acting as agent. Note that such an admission would crash the entire trust and its beneficiaries under the weight of several violations of the Internal revenue Code turning all money handled by the “REMIC” into ordinary revenue and income.
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One trick often used to bar such expert testimony is the 11th hour challenge either the day before or during trial. One New Jersey appellate court correctly assessed the situation has revealed in the following article:
Appeals Court Reverses Grant of “11th Hour” Motion to Strike Expert

Parties will frequently seek to strike the opinions offered by their adversaries’ experts as legally insufficient. While there are a variety of bases for such motions—including that the report does not set forth the “whys and wherefores” of the expert’s opinion, or that it does not satisfy other evidentiary rules for its admissibility—the strategic purpose is clearly to weaken or even destroy the opposing party’s case by barring key testimony. These limiting, or in limine, motions typically will be brought just before trial after the expert’s opinions have been discovered and often after the expert has given deposition testimony about the support for the opinion. A recent New Jersey Appellate Division case now seems to suggest that due process requires that (1) such a limiting motion must be made with enough time for the opponent to respond adequately, and (2) the trial judge must conduct a hearing prior to deciding to exclude the challenged expert’s opinions.

The issues arose in a lawsuit over a failed real estate deal, Berman, Sauter, Record & Jardim, P.C. v. Robinson, Dkt. No. A-5650-11T3 (App. Div., Nov. 17, 2016). The plaintiff law firm sued a seller claiming that it wrongfully breached a purchase agreement and caused the law firm’s loss of fees from the deal. The defendant seller then counterclaimed and filed a third-party claim alleging that the plaintiff and third-party defendant law firms had committed legal malpractice by failing to include an express termination clause in the purchase agreement, a claim supported by the opinion of a legal malpractice expert. The plaintiff law firm filed a pre-trial motion to strike the expert’s testimony because the expert did not explain the bases for his legal malpractice conclusion and his testimony was therefore an inadmissible “net opinion.” One week before trial, the pre-trial judge denied that motion “so that the trial judge can hear the testimony and determine whether the expert’s opinions—which seem to set forth the whys and wherefores at least in their reports—were [legally] sufficient[ ] . . .” Because the pretrial judge was not going to be available for the entire trial, a different judge presided over the trial. After jury selection, the trial judge decided to revisit the court’s prior in limine ruling on the expert. Without taking testimony, he concluded the expert had rendered a net opinion and thus excluded the testimony. Because the defendant was left without an expert to support its case, the trial judge also entered an order dismissing the legal malpractice claim and the remainder of the lawsuit quickly settled.

The Appellate Division reversed. The appeals court first noted that the motion to strike the expert was “nothing more than a thinly veiled summary judgment motion” because it essentially was dispositive of the defendant’s claims. The court recognized that the notice provisions for summary judgment motions were meant to satisfy due process by giving parties an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful matter. In addition to failing to provide the 28-day notice required for summary judgment motions, the motion did not give the “one week in advance of trial” notice required for an in limine motion, leaving the defendant with no opportunity to present written opposition. And, because the trial judge had not ruled on the earlier summary judgment motions in the case, he did not have the defendants’ opposition to that motion.

The appeals court held that the trial court should not have granted a motion that was dispositive of the plaintiff’s claim without holding a hearing under Rule 104 of the New Jersey Rules of Evidence. The trial court had decided the motion in a way that was “fundamentally unfair” to the defendant. Fairness required the trial court have conducted a hearing before “barring an expert’s testimony based upon a report, particularly if doing so will be dispositive of a case, when the expert has not had the opportunity to explain his opinions through testimony.” Slip op. at 10. The court left it to the trial court’s discretion whether to conduct the hearing before or during the trial.

The importance of the Berman, Sauter decision is that trial counsel can no longer leave to the last minute in limine motions that seek to exclude expert testimony or any other evidence that could be dispositive of the lawsuit. If trial counsel believes that expert’s opinions are inadmissible, it must give sufficient notice to the court and its adversary—and the Appellate Division suggested that it might not be enough just to comply with the one week notice provision if the in limine motion would have the same effect as a summary judgment motion. Berman, Sauter will make trial judges more likely to order pre-trial hearings when an in limine motion seeks to preclude the expert’s opinions and virtually a certainty if such a motion is made without the expert having given deposition testimony explaining his or her opinions.

The difference between paper instruments and real money

There is a difference between the note contract and the mortgage contract. They each have different terms. And there is a difference between those two contracts and the “loan contract,” which is made up of the note, mortgage and required disclosures.Yet both lawyers and judges overlook those differences and come up with bad decisions or arguments that are not quite clever.

There is a difference between what a paper document says and the truth. To bridge that difference federal and state statutes simply define terms to be used in the resolution of any controversy in which a paper instrument is involved. These statutes, which are quite clear, specifically define various terms as they must be used in a court of law.

The history of the law of “Bills and Notes” or “Negotiable Instruments” is rather easy to follow as centuries of common law experience developed an understanding of the problems and solutions.

The terms have been defined and they are the law not only statewide, but throughout the country, with the governing elements clearly set forth in each state’s adoption of the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) as the template for laws passed in their state.

The problem now is that most judges and lawyers are using those terms that have their own legal meaning without differentiating them; thus the meaning of those “terms of art” are being used interchangeably. This reverses centuries of common law and statutory laws designed to prevent conflicting results. Those laws constrain a judge to follow them, not re-write them. Ignoring the true meaning of those terms results in an effective policy of straying further and further from the truth.

Listen to the Last Neil Garfield Show at http://tobtr.com/s/9673161

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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So an interesting case came up in which it is obvious that neither the judge nor the bank attorneys are paying any attention to the law and instead devoting their attention to making sure the bank wins — even at the cost of overturning hundreds of years of precedent.
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The case involves a husband who “signed the note,” and a wife who didn’t sign the note. However the wife signed the mortgage. The Husband died and a probate estate was opened and closed, in which the Wife received full title to the property from the estate of her Husband in addition to her own title on the deed as Husband and Wife (tenancy by the entireties).
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Under state law claims against the estate are barred when the probate case ends; however state law also provides that the lien (from a mortgage or otherwise) survives the probate. That means there is no claim to receive money in existence. Neither the debt nor the note can be enforced. The aim of being a nation of laws is to create a path toward finality, whether the result be just or unjust.
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There is an interesting point here. Husband owed the money and Wife did not and still doesn’t. If foreclosure of the mortgage lien is triggered by nonpayment on the note, it would appear that the mortgage lien is presently unenforceable by foreclosure except as to OTHER duties to maintain, pay taxes, insurance etc. (as stated in the mortgage).

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The “bank” could have entered the probate action as a claimant or it could have opened up the estate on their own and preserved their right to claim damages on the debt or the note (assuming they could allege AND prove legal standing). Notice my use of the terms “Debt” (which arises without any documentation) and “note,” which is a document that makes several statements that may or may not be true. The debt is one thing. The note is quite a different animal.
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It does not seem logical to sue the Wife for a default on an obligation she never had (i.e., the debt or the note). This is the quintessential circumstance where the Plaintiff has no standing because the Plaintiff has no claim against the Wife. She has no obligation on the promissory note because she never signed it.
 *
She might have a liability for the debt (not the obligation stated on the promissory note which is now barred by (a) she never signed it and (b) the closing of probate. The relief, if available, would probably come from causes of action lying in equity rather than “at law.” In any event she did not get the “loan” money and she was already vested with title ownership to the house, which is why demand was made for her signature on the mortgage.
 *

She should neither be sued for a nonexistent default on a nonexistent obligation nor should she logically be subject to losing money or property based upon such a suit. But the lien survives. What does that mean? The lien is one thing whereas the right to foreclose is another. The right to foreclose for nonpayment of the debt or the note has vanished.

*

Since title is now entirely vested in the Wife by the deed and by operation of law in Probate it would seem logical that the “bank” should have either sued the Husband’s estate on the note or brought claims within the Probate action. If they wanted to sue for foreclosure then they should have done so when the estate was open and claims were not barred, which leads me to the next thought.

*

The law and concurrent rules plainly state that claims are barred but perfected liens survive the Probate action. In this case they left off the legal description which means they never perfected their lien. The probate action does not eliminate the lien. But the claims for enforcement of the lien are effected, if the enforcement is based upon default in payment alone. The action on the note became barred with the closing of probate, but that left the lien intact, by operation of law.

*

Hence when the house is sold and someone wants clear title for the sale or refinance of the home the “creditor” can demand payment of anything they want — probably up to the amount of the “loan ” plus contractual or statutory interest plus fees and costs (if there was an actual loan contract). The only catch is that whoever is making the claim must actually be either the “person” entitled to enforce the mortgage, to wit: the creditor who could prove payment for either the origination or purchase of the loan.
 *

The “free house” mythology has polluted judicial thinking. The mortgage remains as a valid encumbrance upon the land.

*

This is akin to an IRS income tax lien on property that is protected by homestead. They can’t foreclose on the lien because it is homestead, BUT they do have a valid lien.

*

In this case the mortgage remains a valid lien BUT the Wife cannot be sued for a default UNLESS she defaults in one or more of the terms of the mortgage (not the note and not the debt). She did not become a co-borrower when she signed the mortgage. But she did sign the mortgage and so SOME of the terms of the mortgage contract, other than payment of the loan contract, are enforceable by foreclosure.

*

So if she fails to comply with zoning, or fails to maintain the property, or fails to comply with the provisions requiring her to pay property taxes and insurance, THEN they could foreclose on the mortgage against her. The promissory note contained no such provisions for those extra duties. The only obligation under the note was a clear statement as to the amounts due and when they were due.  There are no duties imposed by the Note other than payment of the debt. And THAT duty does not apply to the Wife.

The thing that most judges and most lawyers screw up is that there is a difference between each legal term, and those differences are important or they would not be used. Looking back at AMJUR (I still have the book award on Bills and Notes) the following rules are true in every state:

  1. The debt arises from the circumstances — e.g., a loan of money from A to B.
  2. The liability to pay the debt arises as a matter of law. So the debt becomes, by operation of law, a demand obligation. No documentation is necessary.
  3. The note is not the debt. Execution of the note creates an independent obligation. Thus a borrower may have two liabilities based upon (a) the loan of money in real life and (b) the execution of ANY promissory note.
  4. MERGER DOCTRINE: Under state law, if the borrower executes a promissory note to the party who gave him the loan then the debt becomes merged into the note and the note is evidence of the obligation. This shuts off the possibility that a borrower could be successfully attacked both for payment of the loan of money in real life AND for the independent obligation under the promissory note.
  5. Two liabilities, both of which can be enforced for the same loan. If the borrower executes a note to a third person who was not the party who loaned him/her money, then it is possible for the same borrower to be required, under law, to pay twice. First on the original obligation arising from the loan, (which can be defended with a valid defense such as that the obligation was paid) and second in the event that a third party purchased the note while it was not in default, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. The borrower cannot defend against the latter because the state statute says that a holder in due course can enforce the note even if the borrower has valid defenses against the original parties who arranged the loan. In the first case (obligation arising from an actual loan of money) a failure to defend will result in a judgment and in the second case the defenses cannot be raised and a judgment will issue. Bottom Line: Signing a promissory note does not mean the maker actual received value or a loan of money, but if that note gets into the hands of a holder in due course, the maker is liable even if there was no actual transaction in real life.
  6. The obligor under the note (i.e., the maker) is not necessarily the same as the debtor. It depends upon who signed the note as the “maker” of the instrument. An obligor would include a guarantor who merely signed either the note or a separate instrument guaranteeing payment.
  7. The obligee under the note (i.e., the payee) is not necessarily the lender. It depends upon who made the loan.
  8. The note is evidence of the debt  — but that doesn’t “foreclose” the issue of whether someone might also sue on the debt — if the Payee on the note is different from the party who loaned the money, if any.
  9. In most instances with nearly all loans over the past 20 years, the payee on the note is not the same as the lender who originated the actual loan.

In no foreclosure case ever reviewed (2004-present era) by my office has anyone ever claimed that they were a holder in due course — thus corroborating the suspicion that they neither paid for the loan origination nor did they pay for the purchase of the loan.

If they had paid for it they would have asserted they were either the “lender” (i.e., the party who loaned money to the party from whom they are seeking collection) or the holder in due course i.e., a  third party who purchased the original note and mortgage for good value, in good faith and without any knowledge of the maker’s defenses). Notice I didn’t use the word “borrower” for that. The maker is liable to a party with HDC status regardless fo whether or not the maker was or was not a borrower.

“Banks” don’t claim to be the lender because that would entitle the “borrower” to raise defenses. They don’t claim HDC status because they would need to prove payment for the purchase of the paper instrument (i.e., the note). But the banks have succeeded in getting most courts to ERRONEOUSLY treat the “banks” as having HDC status, thus blocking the borrower’s defenses entirely. Thus the maker is left liable to non-creditors even if the same person as borrower also remains liable to whoever actually gave him/her the loan of money. And in the course of those actions most homeowners lose their home to imposters.

All of this is true, as I said, in every state including Florida. It is true not because I say it is true or even that it is entirely logical. It is true because of current state statutes in which the UCC was used as a template. And it is true because of centuries of common law in which the current law was refined and molded for an efficient marketplace. But what is also true is that law judges are the product of law school, in which they either skipped or slept through the class on Bills and Notes.

FREE HOUSE?

Judges may be biased in favor of “national security” (i.e., protecting the banks), but they have a surprisingly low threshold of tolerance when they are confronted by the bank’s argument that they don’t have to accept the money and that it is the bank’s option as to whether to accept the money or proceed with the foreclosure. To my knowledge that argument has lost 100% of the time. And THAT means the homeowner was able to get the proverbial free house or otherwise settle under seal of confidentiality (which might include the “free house.”)

all too often the Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosure is simply ignored and the foreclosure goes ahead as if the rule were not the statutory law of every jurisdiction in the United States — Douglas Whaley

Listen to the Last Neil Garfield Show at http://tobtr.com/s/9673161

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

The article below demonstrates (with edits from me) just how “hairy” these issues get. Things that laymen presume to be axiomatic don’t even exist in the legal world. I just sent my son a mug that says “Don’t confuse your Google search with my medical degree.” The same could be said for law. You might have discovered something that appears right to you but only a lawyer with actual experience can tell you if it will fly — remember that the bumblebee, according to the known laws of aerodynamics — is incapable of flying. Yet it flies seemingly unconcerned about our laws of aerodynamics. Similar to the lack of concern judges have, as if they were bumblebees, for the laws of contract and negotiation of instruments.

“Be careful what you wish for.” We must not give the banks a condition that they can satisfy with a fake. If the statute says that they must come up with the original promissory note, or the encumbrance is automatically lifted by a Clerk’s signature, then that means that (a) the debt still exists (b) the note could still be enforced with a lost note affidavit (which lies about the origination of the “loan” and subsequent nonexistent transactions), and (c) the debt can still be enforced.

A suit on the note or the debt that is successful will yield a Final Judgment, which in turn can be recorded in the county records. A further action for execution against the property owner will cause execution to issue — namely the judgment becomes a judgment lien that can now be foreclosed with no note whatsoever. The elements of a judgment lien foreclosure are basically (I have the Judgment, the statute says I can record it and foreclose on it).

There are homestead exemptions in many states. Whereas Florida provides a total homestead exemption except in bankruptcy court (up to $125,000 value), Georgia provides very little protection to the property owner which means that Georgia property owners are vulnerable to losing their homes if they don’t pay a debt that has been reduced to a Final Judgment and filed as a Judgment lien.

So the upshot is this: if you ask for the original note they might simply change their routines so that they produce the fabricated original earlier rather than later. Proving that it is a fake is not easy to do, but it can be done. The problem is that even if you prove the note is fabricated, the debt still remains. And in the current climate that means that any “credible” entity can step into the void created by the Wall Street banks and claim ownership of the debt for the purpose of the lawsuit.

What you want to do and in my opinion what you must do is focus on the identity of the creditor in addition to the the demand for the “original” note. When you couple that with tender of the amount demanded (under any one of the scenarios we use in our AMGAR programs) on the industry practice of demanding the identity of the creditor before anyone receives payment, then you really have something going.

But the risk element for tender MUST be present or it will likely be brushed aside who sees it as merely a gimmick — using the state law regarding tender as an offensive tool to get rid of the encumbrance and thus prevent foreclosure.

*

So the commitment is to pay off or refinance the alleged debt conforming to the industry standard of giving estoppel information — with the name of the creditor, where the payment should be sent, and the amount demanded by the creditor, and per diem, escrow and other information.

*

The inability and unwillingness of anyone to name a creditor has been credited with eliminating both the foreclosure and the mortgages in several dozen cases.

*

Judges may be biased in favor of “national security” (i.e., protecting the banks), but they have a surprisingly low threshold of tolerance when they are confronted by the bank’s argument that they don’t have to accept the money and that it is the banks option as to whether to accept the money or proceed with the foreclosure. To my knowledge that argument has lost 100% of the time. And THAT means the homeowner was able to get the proverbial free house or otherwise settle under seal of confidentiality (which might include the “free house.”)

Here is the UCC article by Douglas Whaley. [Words in brackets are from the Livinglies editor and not from Mr. Whaley]

the Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosure: the Uniform Commercial Code forbids foreclosure of the mortgage unless the creditor possesses the properly-negotiated original promissory note. If this can’t be done the foreclosure must
stop.
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all too often the Golden Rule of Mortgage Foreclosure is simply ignored and the foreclosure goes ahead as if the rule were not the statutory law of every jurisdiction in the United States.1
 *
Why is that? The answer is almost too sad to explain. The problem is that the Uniform Commercial Code is generally unpopular in general, and particularly when it comes to the law of negotiable instruments (checks and promissory notes) contained in Article Three of the Code. Most lawyers were not trained in this law when in law school (The course on the subject, whether called “Commercial Paper” or “Payment Law,” is frequently dubbed a “real snoozer” and skipped in favor or more exotic subjects), and so the only exposure to the topic attorneys have occurs, if at all, in bar prep studies (where coverage is spotty at best). Thus many foreclosures occur without it occurring to anyone that the UCC has any bearing on the issue.
 *
If the defendant’s attorney announces that the Uniform Commercial Code requires the production of the original promissory note, the judge may react by saying something like, “You mean to tell me that some technicality of negotiable instruments law lets someone who’s failed to pay the mortgage get away with it if the promissory note can’t be found, and that I have to slow down my overly crowded docket in the hundreds of foreclosure cases I’ve got pending to hear about this nonsense?” It’s a wonder the judge doesn’t add, “If you say one more word about Article Three of the UCC you’ll be in contempt of court!”
 *
The debt is created by the signing of a promissory note (which is governed by Article Three of the Uniform Commercial Code); the home owner will be the maker/issuer of the promissory note and the lending institution will be payee on the note. There is a common law maxim that “security follows the debt.” This means that it is presumed that whoever is the current holder of the promissory note (the “debt”) is entitled to enforce the mortgage lien (the “security”). The mortgage is reified as a mortgage deed which the lender should file in the local real property records so that the mortgage properly binds the property not only against the mortgagor but also the rest of the world (this process is called “perfection” of the lien).1
 *
{EDITOR’S NOTE: Technically the author is correct when he states that a debt is created by the signing of a promissory note governed by Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code. But it is also true that the note is merely a written instrument that memorializes the “loan contract” and which in and unto itself constitutes evidence of the debt.
 *
This means that some sort of transaction with a monetary value to both sides must have taken place between the two parties on the note — the maker (borrower) and the payee (the lender). If no such transaction has in fact occurred then, ordinarily the note is worthless and unenforceable. But in the event that a third party purchases the note for value in good faith and without knowledge of the borrowers defenses, the note essentially and irrevocably becomes the debt and not merely an evidence of the debt. In that case the note is treated as the debt itself for all practical purposes.
 *
Such a purchaser would be entitled to the exalted status of holder in due course. Yet if the borrower raises defenses that equate to an assertion that the note should be treated as void because there was no debt (the maker didn’t sign it or the maker signed it under false pretenses — i.e. fraud in the execution) then in most cases the HDC status won’t prevail over the real facts of the case..The corollary is that if there was no debt there must have been no loan.
 *
This would be fraud in the inducement which moves the case into a gray area where public policy is to protect the innocent third party buyer of the note. All other defenses raised by borrowers are affirmative defenses (violations of lending statutes, for example) raising additional issues that were not presented nor implied in the complaint  enforce the note or the nonjudicial procedure in which the note is being enforced by nonjudicial foreclosure.}
 *
The bankers all knew the importance of the mortgage, and supposedly kept records as to the identity of the entities to whom the mortgage was assigned. But they were damn careless about the promissory notes, some of which were properly transferred whenever the mortgage was, some of which were kept at the originating bank, some of which were deliberately destroyed (a really stupid thing to do), and some of which disappeared into the black hole of the financial collapse, never to be seen again.
 *
Filing fees in real property record offices average $35 every time a new document is filed. The solution was the creation of a straw-man holding company called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems [MERS]. MERS makes no loans, collects no payments, though it does sometimes foreclose on properties (through local counsel). Instead it is simply a record-keeper that allows its name to be used as the assignee of the mortgage deed from the original lender, so that MERS holds the lien interest on the real property. While MERS has legal title to the property [EDITOR’S NOTE: this assertion of title is now back in a grey area as MERS does not fulfill the definition of a beneficiary under a deed of trust nor a mortgagor under a mortgage deed.], it does not pretend to have an equitable interest. At its headquarters in Reston, Va., MERS (where it has only 50 full time employees, but deputizes thousands of temporary local agents whenever needed) supposedly keeps track of who is the true current assignee of the mortgage as the securitization process moves the ownership from one entity to another.3
 *
Meanwhile the homeowner, who has never heard of MERS, is making payment to the [self proclaimed] mortgage servicer (who forwards them to whomever MERS says is the current assignee of the mortgage) [or as is more likely, forwards the proceeds of payments to the underwriter who sold bogus mortgage bonds, on which every few months another bank takes the hit on a multibillion dollar fine]..

Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code could not be clearer when it comes to the issue of mortgage note foreclosure. When someone signs a promissory note as its maker (“issuer”), he/she automatically incurs the obligation in UCC §3-412 that the instrument will be paid to a “person entitled to enforce” the note.5″Person entitled to enforce”—hereinafter abbreviated to “PETE”—is in turn defined in §3-301:

“Person entitled to enforce” an instrument means (i) the holder of the instrument, (ii) a nonholder in possession of the instrument who has the rights of a holder, or (iii) a person

not in possession of the instrument who is entitled to enforce the instrument pursuant to Section 3-309 or 3-418(d) . . . .

[Editors’ note: the caveat here is that while the execution of a note creates a liability, it does not create a liability for a DEBT. The note creates a statutory liability while the debt creates a liability to repay a loan. Until the modern era of fake securitization, the two were the same and under the merger doctrine the liability for the debt was merged into the execution of the note because the note was payable to the party who loaned the money.

And under the merger doctrine, the debt is NOT merged into the note if the parties are different — i.e., ABC makes the loan but DEF gets the paperwork. Now you have two (2) liabilities — one for the debt that arose when the “borrower” received payment or received the benefits of payments made on his/her behalf and one for the note which is payable to an entirely different party. Thus far, the banks have succeeded in making the circular argument that since they are withholding the information, there is not way for the “borrower” to allege the identity of the creditor and thus no way for the “borrower” to claim that there are two liabilities.]

Three primary entities are involved in this definition that have to do with missing promissory notes: (1) a “holder” of the note, (3) a “non-holder in possession who has the rights of a holder, and (3) someone who recreates a lost note under §3-309.6

A. “Holder”

Essentially a “holder” is someone who possesses a negotiable instrument payable to his/her order or properly negotiated to the later taker by a proper chain of indorsements. This result is reached by the definition of “holder” in §1-201(b)(21):

(21) “Holder” means:

(A) the person in possession of a negotiable instrument that is payable either to bearer or to an identified person that is the person in possession . . . .

and by §3-203:

(a) “Negotiation” means a transfer of possession, whether voluntary or involuntary, of an instrument by a person other than the issuer to a person who thereby becomes its holder.

(b) Except for negotiation by a remitter, if an instrument is payable to an identified person, negotiation requires transfer of possession of the instrument and its indorsement by the holder. If an instrument is payable to bearer, it may be negotiated by transfer of possession alone.

The rules of negotiation follow next.

B. “Negotiation”

A proper negotiation of the note creates “holder” status in the transferee, and makes the transferee a PETE. The two terms complement each other: a “holder” takes through a valid “negotiation,” and a valid “negotiation” leads to “holder” status. How is this done? There are two ways: ablankindorsement or aspecialindorsement by the original payee of the note.

 *
With a blank indorsement (one that doesn’t name a new payee) the payee simply signs its name on the back of the instrument. If an instrument has been thus indorsed by the payee, anyone (and I mean anyone) acquiring the note thereafter is a PETE, and all the arguments explored below will not carry the day. Once a blank indorsement has been placed on the note by the payee, all later parties in possession of the note qualify as “holders,” and therefore are PETEs.7
 *
Only if there is a valid chain of such indorsements has a negotiation taken place, thus creating “holder” status in the current possessor of the note and making that person a PETE. With the exception mentioned next, the indorsements have to be written on the instrument itself (traditionally on the back).
 *
the allonge must be “affixed to the instrument” per §3-204(a)’s last sentence. It is not enough that there is a separate piece of paper which documents the unless that piece of paper is “affixed” to the note.10What does “affixed” mean? The common law required gluing. Would a paper clip do the trick? A staple?11
 *
a contractual agreement by which the payee on the note transfers an interest in the note, but never signs it, cannot qualify as an allonge (it is not affixed to the note), and no proper negotiation of the note has occurred. If the indorsement by the original mortgagee/payee on the note is not written on the note itself, there must be an allonge or the note has not been properly negotiated, and the current holder of that note is not a PETE (since there is no proper negotiation chain). THE LACK OF SIGNATURE BECOMES A SERIOUS ISSUE IN THE CURRENT ERA BECAUSE OF WHAT HAS BEEN DUBBED “ROBO-SIGNING” THE EXACT DEFINITION OF WHICH HAS NOT YET BEEN DETERMINED BUT IT REFERS TO THE STAMPED OR EXECUTED SIGNATURE BY ONE POSSESSES NO KNOWLEDGE OR INTEREST IN THE CONTENTS OF THE INSTRUMENT AND ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PERSON HAS NO EMPLOYMENT OR OTHER LEGALR RELATIONSHIP WITHT EH ENTITY ON WHOSE BEHALF THE INDORSEMENT WAS EXECUTED. As stated in one case the base of robo-signing is that it is a forgery and therefore amounts to no signature at all which means the note has not really be negotiated, all appearances to the contrary. ]
 *
The Code never requires the person making an indorsement to have an ownership interest in the note13 (though of course the payee normally does have such an interest), but simply that he/she is the named payee, and the Code clearly allows for correction of a missing indorsement. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is where the enforcement tot he note and the ability to enforce the mortgage diverge, See Article 9. The possessor of a note that is properly signed by a party to whom the note was payable or indorsed commits no offense by executing an indorsemtn in blank (bearer) or to another named indorse. The author is correct when he states that ownership of the note is not required to enforce the note; but the implication that the right to foreclose a mortgage works the same way is just plain wrong, to wit: foreclosure is ALL about ownership of the mortgage and Article 9 provisions specifically state the ownership means that the purported holder has paid value for it]. 
 *
  1. 13   Thieves can qualify as a “holder” of a negotiable instrument and thereafter validly negotiate same to another; see Official Comment 1 to 3-201, giving an example involving a thief.
  2. 1.  Subsections (a) and (b) are based in part on subsection (1) of the former section 3-202.  A person can become holder of an instrument when the instrument is issued to that person, or the status of holder can arise as the result of an event that occurs after issuance.  “Negotiation” is the term used in article 3 to describe this post-issuance event.  Normally, negotiation occurs as the result of a voluntary transfer of possession of an instrument by a holder to another person who becomes the holder as a result of the transfer. Negotiation always requires a change in possession of the instrument because nobody can be a holder without possessing the instrument, either directly or  through an agent.  But in some cases the transfer of possession is involuntary and in some cases the person transferring possession is not a holder.  In defining “negotiation” former section 3-202(1) used the word “transfer,” an undefined term, and “delivery,” defined in section 1-201(14) to mean voluntary change of possession. Instead, subsections (a) and (b) used the term “transfer of possession” and subsection (a) states that negotiation can occur by an involuntary transfer of possession.  For example, if an instrument is payable to bearer and it is stolen by Thief or is found by Finder, Thief or Finder becomes the holder of the instrument when possession is obtained.  In this case there is an involuntary transfer of possession that results in negotiation to Thief or Finder. 
  3. [EDITOR’S NOTE: The heading for UCC 3-201 indicates it relates to “negotiation” of a note, not necessarily enforcement. The thief might be able to negotiate the note but enforcement can only be by a party with rights to enforce it. While a holder is presumed to have that right, it is a rebuttable presumption. Hence either a borrower or the party from whom the note was stolen can defeat the thief in court. But if the negotiation of the note includes payment of value in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses or complicity in the theft, then the successor to the thief is a holder in due course allowing enforcement against the maker. The borrower or victim of theft is then left with actions at law against the thief.]
 

Challenging the “Free House” Myth

Unless you are banker stealing homes through the fraudulent abuse of the foreclosure process there is no free house.

It is not rationale nor legal for anyone to tell a homeowner that because he or she cannot identify the source of funds for their “loan” the creditor MUST be in the chain of the party making the claim. It isn’t the fault of the homeowner that the paperwork was used to cover up fraud or negligence.

But every time a homeowner wins they do not necessarily get a free house nor exoneration from the debt that is owed to SOMEBODY even if they don’t know who it is.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

The bar remains high and we all know it. The court is not going to hand down a decision for the “borrower” unless there is something plainly wrong about it. In order to be plainly wrong, we need some narrative that puts the court back on its heels and to directly challenge the notions that a victory for Flaherty means that he gets a free house. The banks have stepped up their “free house” mythology in light of the Supreme Court decision in Florida.

The challenge here is to to present the case in a manner that makes the “free house” myth irrelevant and to do it in a compelling presentation. While the easiest way of doing that would be to allege simply that this is a fraudulent scheme, we can’t prove that without adequate responses to discovery. But the Courts are allowing the banks to skate through without responding to discovery even when the allegations clearly make the scheme an issue.

This is why the banks file motions to strike OR simply argue that the homeowner’s pleadings don’t state a case or defense.

So we are left with the consequences of the scheme. But that leaves fertile ground for many approaches. The focus should be on procedural aspects and away from “winning” the case on motions. The object is to win the pending motion on the grounds that due process demands it. The trick here is to find a way to ask the judge “What if all this is an illusion?” without asking it in those words. That is an uphill climb.

We cannot ignore the fact that the bench is biased in favor of the banks. Their presumption that the homeowner received a loan and should be required to pay it back or lose his home permeates everything. The greater hurdle is that their presumption comes from an era when those things were axiomatically true before Wall Street started with this scheme. And now everything is being subjected to claims of “securitization.” Even cell phone payments. “Securitization” has been institutionalized based upon a false foundation, but in theory there is nothing wrong with it.

The money trail remains the primary path toward victory for the homeowner. But it is true that there are certain aspects of the money trail that are none of your business when defending the homeowner. The fact that the banks defrauded investors and stole their money is compelling proof, once established, that the trusts were never funded and thus never purchased the loans. It also suggests but does not prove where the money came from for the “loan closing.” It came from a dark pool formed by the banks and consisting of the stolen money.

Knowing that, rather than proving that, is key to establishing the narrative. And now there are instances in which the “new” REMIC Trust actually does pay for the paper even though the Seller never owned the debt and the paper was based upon a fictitious transaction in which the Payee on the note never loaned any money — leading to the conclusion that the debt was never merged into the note; but this also leads to the conclusion that the risk shifts to the maker of the note when the note is purchased for value, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. The new Purchaser” who really paid consideration (assuming they REALLY paid) could conceivably be a holder in due course. The focus then shifts to showing that there was no good faith and that there was complete knowledge of the borrower’s defenses on the part of the purchaser.

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Knowing that the parties making the claim have no legal basis for doing so and no monetary reason for doing so — because the source of funds were victims of fraud — allows the litigator to focus on the factual and legal consequences. But the art form required here is to do that without making it look like you are allowing the homeowner to slip away from the debt. Getting there means getting past preliminary motions and aggressively pursuing discovery (unless you think that the bank’s case is defective enough such that it would be better to wait until trial to defend).

ABSENCE OF CREDITOR: Breaking Down the Language Of The “Trust”

The problem with all this is that the REMIC Trust never received the proceeds of sale of the MBS and therefore could not have paid for or purchased any loans. It had no assets. And THAT is why the Trust never shows up as a Holder in Due Course (HDC).  HDC is a very strong status that changes the risk of loss on a note. Under state law (UCC) of every state alleging and proving HDC status means that the entire risk shifts to the maker of the note (the person who signed it) even if there were fraudulent or other circumstances when the note was signed.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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A reader pointed to the following language, asking what it meant:

The certificates represent obligations of the issuing entity only and do not represent an interest in or obligation of CWMBS, Inc., Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. or any of their affiliates.   (See left side under the 1st table –  https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/906410/000114420407029824/v077075_424b5.htm)

If an “investor” pays money to the underwriter of the issuance of MBS from a “REMIC Trust” they are getting a hybrid security that (a) creates a liability of the REMIC Trust to them and (2) an indirect ownership of the loans acquired by the trust.

The wording presented means that only the REMIC Trust owes the investors any money and the ownership interest of the investors is only as beneficiaries of the trust with the trust assets being subject to the beneficiaries’ claim of an ownership interest in the loans. But if the Trust is and remains empty the investors own nothing and will never see a nickle except by (a) the generosity of the underwriter (who is appointed “Master Servicer” in the false REMIC Trust, (b) PONZI and Pyramid scheme payments (I.e., receipt fo their own money or the money of other “investors) or (c) settlement when the investors catch the investment bank with its hand in the cookie jar.

The wording of the paperwork in the false securitization scheme reads very innocently because the underwriting and selling institutions should not be the obligor for payback of the investor’s money nor should the investors be allocated any ownership interest in the underwriting or selling institutions.

The problem with all this is that the REMIC Trust never received the proceeds of sale of the MBS and therefore could not have paid for or purchased any loans. It had no assets. And THAT is why the Trust never shows up as a Holder in Due Course (HDC).  HDC is a very strong status that changes the risk of loss on a note. Under state law (UCC) of every state alleging and proving HDC status means that the entire risk shifts to the maker of the note (the person who signed it) even if there were fraudulent or other circumstances when the note was signed.

By contrast, the allegation and proof that a Trust was a holder before suit was filed or before notice of default and notice of sale in a deed of trust state, means that the holder must overcome the defenses of the maker. If one of the defenses is that the holder received a void assignment, then the holder must prove up the basis of its stated or apparent claim that it is a holder with rights to enforce. The rights to enforce can only come from the creditor, directly or indirectly.

And THAT brings us to the issue of the identity of the creditor. This is something the banks are claiming is “proprietary” information — a claim that has been accepted by most courts, but I think we are nearing the end of the silly notion that a party can claim the right to enforce on behalf of a creditor who is never identified.

Why The Investors Are Not Screaming “Securities Fraud!”

Everyone is reporting balance sheets with assets that derive their value on one single false premise: that the trusts that issued the original mortgage bonds owned the loans. They didn’t.

SUPPORT LIVINGLIES!

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
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This article is not a substitute for an opinion and advice from competent legal counsel — but the opinion of an attorney who has done no research into securitization and who has not mastered the basics, is no substitute for an opinion of a securitization expert.

Mortgage backed securities were excluded from securities regulation back in 1998 when Congress passed changes in the laws. The problem is that the “certificates” issued were (a) not certificates, (b) not backed by mortgages because the entity that issued the MBS (mortgage bonds) — i.e. the REMIC Trusts — never acquired the mortgage loans and (c) not issued by an actual “entity” in the legal sense [HINT: Trust does not exist in the absence of any property in it]. And so the Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC) was a conduit for nothing. [HINT: It can only be a “conduit” if something went through it] Hence the MBS were essentially bogus securities subject to regulation and none of the participants in this dance was entitled to preferred tax treatment. Yet the SEC still pretends that bogus certificates masquerading as mortgage backed securities are excluded from regulation.

So people keep asking why the investors are suing and making public claims about bad underwriting when the real problem is that there were no acquisition of loans by the alleged trust because the money from the sale of the mortgage bonds never made it into the trust. And everyone knows it because if the trust had purchased the loans, the Trustee would represent itself as a holder in course rather than a mere holder. Instead you find the “Trustee” hiding behind a facade of multiple “servicers” and “attorneys in fact”. That statement — alleging holder in due course (HDC) — if proven would defeat virtuality any defense by the maker of the instrument even if there was fraud and theft. There would be no such thing as foreclosure defense if the trusts were holders in due course — unless of course the maker’s signature was forged.

So far the investors won’t take any action because they don’t want to — they are getting paid off or replaced with RE-REMIC without anyone admitting that the original mortgage bonds were and remain worthless. THAT is because the managers of those funds are trying to save their jobs and their bonuses. The government is complicit. Everyone with power has been convinced that such an admission — that at the base of all “securitization” chains there wasn’t anything there — would cause Armageddon. THAT scares everyone sh–less. Because it would mean that NONE of the up-road securities and hedge products were worth anything either. Everyone is reporting balance sheets with assets that derive their value on one single false premise: that the trusts that issued the original mortgage bonds owned the loans. They didn’t.

Banks are essentially arguing in court that the legal presumptions attendant to an assignment creates value. Eventually this will collapse because legal presumptions are not meant to replace the true facts with false representations. But it will only happen when we reach a critical mass of trial court decisions that conclude the trusts never owned the loans, which in turn will trigger the question “then who did own the loan” and the answer will eventually be NOBODY because there never was a loan contract — which by definition means that the transaction cannot be called a loan. The homeowner still owes money and the debt is not secured by a mortgage, but it isn’t a loan.

You can’t force the investors into a deal they explicitly rejected in the offering of the mortgage bonds — that the trusts would be ACQUIRING loans not originating them. Yet all of the money from investors who bought the bogus MBS went to the “players” and then to originating loans, not acquiring them.

And you can’t call it a contract between the investors and the borrowers when neither of them knew of the existence of the other. There was no “loan.” Money exchanged hands and there is a liability of the borrower to repay it — to the party who gave them the money or that party’s successor. What we know for sure is that the Trust was never in that chain.

The mortgage secured the performance under the note. But the note was itself part of the fraud in which the “borrower” was prevented from knowing the identity of the lender, the compensation of the parties, and the actual impact on his title. The merger of the debt into the note never happened because the party named on the note was not the party giving the money. Hence the mortgage should never have been released from the closing table much less recorded.

So if the fund managers admit they were duped as I have described, then they can kiss their jobs goodbye. There were plenty of fund managers who DID look into these MBS and concluded they were just BS.

Holder or PETE?

You can prove your point thus rebutting the legal presumptions that attach to facially valid paper by starting at the top of the paper trail, the bottom or anywhere in between. You won’t find a single transaction in which money exchanged hands. That means whoever transferred this “valuable” note received no payment. The transportation of a note that never should have been signed in the first place is almost irrelevant — except as to the issue of delivery which in turn goes to the issue of possession. Absent some purchase of the “loan”, such a PETE or holder may not enforce.

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://4closurefraud.org/2016/06/14/north-carolina-court-of-appeals-u-s-bank-n-a-v-pinkney-a-party-seeking-foreclosure-must-establish-holder-status-of-note/

Ever so slowly and carefully, with the dread of dismantling the entire financial system, the courts are looking more closely at what the banks and servicers are doing in foreclosures. In this case US Bank says in its foreclosure complaint that it is the holder of the note and then argued that it was either the holder or the possessor with rights to enforce. What’s the difference?

A possessor is someone who physically has possession of the original note. You might liken this to a courier who is entrusted with picking up the note from one place and carrying it to another place. The courier cannot, as some have claimed, enforce the note because it merely possesses the note. In order to be a possessor with rights to enforce (PETE) it must (1) have the actual original and not a mechanical reproduction of it, (2) plead that it is a PETE and (3) prove that it has the right to enforce.

Proving the right to enforce was simple before the current era. The creditor executes the necessary paperwork and comes into court if necessary to verify that it has given the possessor the right to enforce the note. What happens to the money after the possessor gets it and what happens to the Judgment (it could be assigned) afterwards is nobody’s business. But the banks have steadfastly insisted that they should not be required to produce or even identify the creditor. That falls under the legal theory of “NUTS.” But it has been allowed in millions of foreclosures so far. A party comes into court and says I am here to enforce this “original note” on behalf of someone, but I can’t tell you who that is because it’s private.

I’ve tried a few things in courtroom in my 40 years of doing this but if I had ever tried to do that I think most judges would have literally thrown a book at me.

We are expected to presume that since the possessor has the original note it MUST have the the authority to enforce it. And THAT is where the trial judges and many appellate court have it wrong. In fact those courts have complicated the matter further by treating the possessor as a holder in due course who paid value for the note in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. This in the old days would have been sufficient to cause enforcement to issue even if the borrower/maker had meritorious defenses against the payee.

The court in this case looked at the complaint for foreclosure and presumed nothing except what was in the pleading. The pleading said the Plaintiff was a holder. There was no mention of being a holder, much less a holder in due course. Since there was no argument about whether the Plaintiff was a holder nor any assertion that such proof existed, the trial judge dismissed it and the bank foolishly appealed revealing its soft underbelly.

A holder is distinguished from a PETE and distinguished from a holder in due course. The banks revel in the fact that they were able to misuse the status of “holder” thus accomplishing their goal of foreclosure where in yesteryear, they would have kicked out of court probably with sanctions.

A holder must not only have possession, but also have an endorsement from the prior owner of the debt and note where the endorsement actually identifies the party receiving physical possession of the note or endorsed in blank which means it payable to the “bearer” — i.e., possessor — of the note. Thus the facts to be proven are expanded: (1) possession of an actual original (prove delivery) and (2) endorsement by an authorized signatory on behalf of a new possessor either in blank or to the new possessor. The difference between PETE and holder is that the right to enforce is right on the note. But if the endorsement is robosigned, which is to say fabricated and forged by an unauthorized person sitting in the back of LPS or a law office, the endorsement is a nullity (it is void).

If there is no objection to the authenticity of the note (i.e., whether the note is the actual original) and no objection as to whether it was properly endorsed, then the only other question is whether the party for whom the endorsement was made was the actual owner of the debt and note. And there’s the rub again.

A party comes into court and says I have the original note right here and it has been endorsed in blank so I can enforce it. What the banks never say because they don’t like jail cells is that the person who executed the endorsement was authorized and did so on behalf of a party who did own the debt and note at the time of the endorsement. They don’t say that because it isn’t true. The endorser is either MERS or some other conduit or intermediary who never had any interest in the subject debt, note or mortgage. And when the borrower tries to drill down in discovery on the truth of whether the prior endorser/possessor actually had possession or actually had the right to enforce or actually owned the debt or note, the banks run to the presumptions as if they were at trial. The problem is that trial judges have been buying that strategy for 10 years. Thus the homeowner is hit with the idea that it doesn’t matter whether any of this is real, it is still happening.

This also is something banks assiduously avoid since they are essentially throwing layers of fictitious ownership at the Judge such that the Judge assumes that it is not credible to assume that all the signatures, endorsements and assignments are void when issued by so many upstanding members of the community. And THAT is why discovery is so important because unless you are extraordinarily gifted at cross examination, the “robo-witness” is not likely to blurt out that he has no idea what happened or who owns it. If you assume nothing and deny everything and you aggressively pursue discovery, you are much more likely to come out on top.

As long as you go down the rabbit hole that the banks have prepared for you, the focus will be on the paper trail which they have created, recreated, fabricated and forged. BUT if you pursue discovery along the money trail you will find that all of the paper was signed by parties who never had a penny in the deal and probably never received delivery of the “loan” documents. That means that whoever started off the paper trail was not party of the money trail — i.e., they were never involved in any actual transaction relating to the subject loan.

You can prove your point thus rebutting the legal presumptions that attach to facially valid paper by starting at the top of the paper trail, the bottom or anywhere in between. You won’t find a single transaction in which money exchanged hands. That means whoever transferred this “valuable” note received no payment. Hence there was no purchase of the debt or note or mortgage. The transportation of a note that never should have been signed in the first place is almost irrelevant — except as to the issue of delivery which in turn goes to the issue of possession. Absent some purchase of the “loan”, such a PETE or holder may not enforce. Who would do that unless they already knew that they were entitled to nothing except fees?

Schedule A Consult Now!

 

Fla 4th DCA: The Starting Point is Standing — If You Don’t Have It, There is no Jurisdicition

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

This is not a legal opinion on any case. Consult with an attorney.

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see Rodriguez v. Wells Fargo

“The core element concerning to whom the note was payable on the date suit was filed was not proven.”

Bottom Line: You can’t file a lawsuit without standing. Judgment reversed with instructions to enter Judgment for the homeowner. And you can’t cure standing by getting it later. That would be like filing suit for a slip and fall in front of a super market, and once the suit was filed, you then go to the supermarket, get out of your car and proceed to slip and fall. And the second story is that the BURDEN OF PROOF is on the foreclosing party, not the homeowner.

Many courts are now leaning away from the legal fantasies being promoted by “servicers”, “trustees’ and other parties attempting to “foreclose” on debts that very often are (a) not owned by them (b) they have no authority to represent the owner of the debt (c) the alleged creditor is not showing a default on its books (d) on behalf of a Trust that (1) never operated (b) exists only on paper (c) with no bank account (d) no financial statements (no assets (e) no liabilities (f) no income (g) no expenses.

All this is becoming abundantly clear. The prior assumptions that allowed for some crossover between a holder and a holder in due course are giving way to another look, starting from the beginning. In this case there was no endorsement on the note at all. The Appellate court said that ended the inquiry. There was no lawsuit, it should have been dismissed and now judgment, entered by the Judge in West Palm beach is reversed with instructions to enter judgment for the Defendant homeowner.

In my opinion the courts are now being presented with the correct arguments and facts that leave them in a position where if they allowed these kinds of action they would be setting a precedent making it legal to steal.

And my question remains: IF THERE REALLY WAS A REAL TRANSACTION WHERE SOMEONE FUNDED THE LOAN AND SOMEONE ELSE BOUGHT THE NOTE THEN WHY DON’T THEY ALLEGE THAT THEY ARE HOLDERS IN DUE COURSE? If they alleged HDC status all they would need to prove is payment. No “borrower” defenses would apply. If they don’t have HDC status then on whose behalf is the foreclosure actually being filed, since the investors are getting paid anyway? I think the answer is that the servicer is converting a tenuous claim for volunteer payments on behalf of the borrower to investors who don’t know what loans they own; the real claim is that the servicer wants to “recover” servicer advances that it paid out of third party funds. These servicers are reaping windfalls every time they get a foreclosure sale.

This Court quotes approvingly from the UCC: “… the transferee cannot acquire the right of a holder in due course if the transferee engaged in fraud or illegality affecting the instrument.” And goes on to quote the statute “a person who is party to fraud or illegality affecting the instrument is not permitted to wash the instrument clean by passing into the hands of a holder in due course and then repurchasing it.” see § 673.2031

The court concludes that there is no negotiation of the note until an endorsement appears — which read in conjunction with the rest of the opinion means that the endorsement must be by someone who is either a holder in due course or a party representing a party who is a holder in due course. If no holder in due course exists, then there is no way to construe the instrument as a negotiable instrument and there is no way to construe the instrument as having been negotiated under the UCC. And THAT means they must prove every aspect of the transaction (starting with origination) without relying on the suspect instruments.

See also 4th DCA — Standing is “Foreclosure 101” Peoples v. SAMI II Trust

Assignee stands in the shoes of the assignor: It must prove the loan

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

This article ( and any other article on this blog) is no substitute for getting advice from an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which the subject property or transaction is located.

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see http://www.lowndes-law.com/news-center/1797-two-layers-protection-lenders-need-know-about-floridas-holder-due

There is a difference between alleging you are the holder with rights to enforce and proving it. If the bank, trustee or servicer alleges that it has the right to enforce then they will survive a motion to dismiss. But if the borrower denies that allegation is true, the burden of proof falls on the party making the allegation — the bank, trustee, servicer etc. The mistake made by Judges and lawyers is that they don’t make the distinction between pleading and proof. As a result you get decisions that include multiple rulings that prevent the borrower from conducting adequate discovery and allow the party bringing the foreclosure action to skate by because “it has already been established” that they are a holder with rights to enforce. That being the case the courts further compromise the verdict and judgment by over-ruling objections from the borrower on grounds of relevance.

One of the key points I have been making for 8 years is that the party bringing the foreclosure essentially never says that it is a holder in due course. In fact, we have had cases where opposing counsel expressly denies that the Plaintiff is a holder in due course. That is particularly remarkable where the Plaintiff is, for example, Citimortgage, which maintains an ambiguous status, admitting that it is a servicer but not revealing the creditor or the basis on which they rely in alleging that they are the servicer.

The importance of holder vs holder in due course cannot be over-stated. And if the loan was alleged to have been transferred while the loan was already declared in default, there can’t be a holder or holder in due course because the UCC does not apply those terms to anything but a negotiable instrument which by definition must not be in default at the time of transfer. Otherwise it is not a negotiable instrument and the allegations and proof go the the issue of ownership of the debt.

It is interesting that the banks and servicers, etc. do not allege status as holder in due course. In many cases they have back-dated the assignment or endorsement to before the alleged default. Where the Plaintiff is a trust, all they would need to show is what is in the trust instrument (PSA): purchase in good faith without knowledge of borrower’s defenses. That would be the end of almost every case — the borrower is liable to a holder in due course and may bring claims only against the intermediaries or originator in damages. The foreclosure would be completed in record time and that would be the end of it, except for borrower’s claims for damages against parties other than the Plaintiff who proved they were a holder in due course — i.e., proof of purchase for valuable consideration without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses and in good faith.

The problem with court decisions over the last 10 years is that they treat the alleged “holder” as though they were a holder in due course without any allegation or proof that the foreclosing party purchased the loan, in good faith, without knowledge of borrower’s defenses. A holder is not better than the party before they were an alleged holder. And THAT party is no better than the party before and so on.The only exception to this is where the FDIC involved in certain types of take-overs.

Eventually you get to the origination of the loan. THAT loan contract must be proven by a holder in order to prevail in foreclosure. And as every first year law student knows there is no contract without offer, acceptance and consideration. If the originator did not fund the loan there is no contract and the closing violated Reg Z, which calls such transactions predatory per se (which in turn means that the foreclosing party presumptively has unclean hands and is not entitled to any equitable remedy much less foreclosure).

If an alleged holder did not actually purchase the loan, then they don’t own it. It really is that simple. If they don’t own it then they must allege and prove the basis of their allegation that they possess the right to enforce. That also requires a contract with offer, acceptance and consideration. The existence of assignment does not prove that such a transaction took place but it might be admitted in evidence as evidence that such a transaction took place. On the other hand it might not be admitted in evidence if there are defects relating the instrument to the proof of the matter asserted.

Even if admitted, the assignment is not dispositive. Upon cross examination, the witness will probably know nothing about any transaction in which ownership or the rights to enforce were transferred or conveyed. And it is at that point where Judges and lawyers commit error.  The assignment may then be struck from the record as lacking any foundation. This is not just a matter of hearsay. It is a question of how can the trier of fact rely upon an instrument (assignment) when there is nobody to testify that the transaction actually occurred? It is the same problem with the note executed at “closing.” How can the loan contract be completed if the payee on the note didn’t loan any money?

In the article cited above, the author makes the point easily:

As an assignee typically “stands in the shoes” of his assignor,7 without  the holder in due course doctrine and its federal counterpart, these allegations may defeat the purchaser’s action or make it much more difficult  and costly to pursue, especially given that the purchaser took no part in the these “bad acts,” and that the people who did take part (the  management and employees of the failed bank) may be difficult to reach and may have little incentive to cooperate with the purchaser. [e.s.]

most of these difficulties are eliminated by the powerful effect of the holder in due course doctrine as it can clear the way for the  purchaser to recover, even if there may have been prior “bad acts” of the failed bank, as the purchaser will acquire the loan free and clear of  most defenses—the so-called “personal defenses”— that the borrower could have asserted against the failed bank.8 The holder in due course  doctrine, when applicable, enables the purchaser to avoid liability for many of these “personal defenses” which may have been valid defenses to  an action brought by the failed bank, but do not impede the ability of a holder in due course to enforce the borrower’s obligation to repay the  loan.9 Generally speaking, these defenses are all defenses that would be available in a breach of contract action10 except for the “real defenses,” all of which involve either the original execution of the promissory note or its subsequent discharge in bankruptcy.11 These defenses  cannot be avoided, even by a holder in due course. Fortunately, any “bad acts” of the failed bank which may have occurred during the course of  the loan will hardly ever form the basis for a “real defense,” and thus can likely be avoided by a holder in due course.

THE RULE IN FLORIDA
In Florida, the holder in due course doctrine is now codified in statute,12 although it first began to develop in the English common-law as early  as the late 1600s and early 1700s and was codified in that country by the Bills of Exchange Act in 1882.13 The doctrine first became codified in  the United States in the early 1900s as states adopted the Uniform Negotiable Instruments Law, which was later supplanted by the Uniform  Commercial Code, which governs today.14

In order to be a holder in due course under current Florida law, a purchaser of a negotiable  instrument must generally satisfy three conditions. Specifically, the purchaser must have: (i) acquired an instrument that does not bear any  apparent evidence of forgery, alteration, or any other reason to call its authenticity into question;15 (ii) paid value for the instrument;16 and (iii)  acquired the instrument in good faith, without notice that it is overdue, dishonored, contains an unauthorized or altered signature, and without  notice of any claim to the instrument.17 If these three conditions are met, the purchaser will generally qualify as a holder in due course and  take the instrument free all “personal defenses” that the borrower could have asserted against the prior lender.

Beach v Ocwen: 1997 Decision that will be used by banks and servicers against rescission

For Further information and assistance please call 954-495-9867 and 520-405-1688.

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See Beach v Ocwen Fla. Supreme Court

I have no doubt that the Banks will attempt to use this decision — but it still is trumped by Jesinowski and other Federal decisions on equitable tolling. Having the right to cancel/rescind is described as extinguished by TILA regardless of the circumstances — including the absence of any enforceable loan contract.
This decision (1998) was rendered far before the idea of securitization was introduced into mortgage litigation. The interpretation of the extinguishment of the underlying right made sense in the context of loans from Bank A to Borrower B. In the era of securitization you have all kinds of questions — like when the transaction was “commenced”. The courts say it is when the “liability” arose. I agree — if we are saying that the consummation of the transaction begins when the lender loans money to the borrower. But in most cases we see that the lender did not loan money to the borrower and that is corroborated by the absence of anypurchase transaction, for value, when the alleged loan is “transferred.” There is no reasonable business explanation of why anyone would release an asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars without receiving payment — unless it wasn’t an asset of the “seller” in the first place.The presumption is that TILA rescission rights run from the date the liability arose from the Borrower to the Lender. If the Lender was not properly disclosed, then one of two things are true: (1) there is no loan contract which means a nullification and quiet title action is appropriate or (2) until the real lender was disclosed, the transaction was not consummated. That might mean that both the three day rescission and the three year rescission are in play. If the position of the foreclosing party is that a REMIC Trust was finally disclosed to the borrower — and that the Trust was the lender, then disclosure is complete. But that isn’t what happened.

The ultimate decision here is going to be on the question of whether there is in fact a loan contract, and, if so, who were the parties to it? If there was no contract, it is the same as rescission by operation of law. No new rights arise on assignment or even sale of the loan from a pretender lender — unless the purchase was in good faith FOR VALUE and occurred without notice of borrower’s defenses and NOT when the loan was already in “default.” This narrow exception arises under the UCC for a Holder in Due Course to be Protected if they meet the narrow criteria stated in the UCC, article 3, and the narrow enforcement criteria for the mortgage expressed in Article 9.

The so called default is another hidden issue. If someone “acquires” the note and mortgage where the Borrower has already not paid or stopped paying on the alleged loan, then (1) it isn’t negotiable paper and (2) it provides notice that the borrower might not be paying because they don’t owe the party or successor on the note and mortgage (and never did).
When the mortgage crisis began, the banks and servicers were claiming that there were no Trusts and that they could file suit or initiate non-judicial foreclosure without any reference to trusts. That was why forensic audits were initially required — when we thought that REMIC Trusts were the true players. Banks and servicers argued convincingly in court that the Trust was irrelevant. Now in most cases (with some notable CitiMortgage, Chase and BOA exceptions) the Plaintiff or beneficiary is identified as a Trustee, bank or servicer (US Bank usually is the Trustee these days) on behalf of a REMIC Trust. They are now saying that they have the right to be in court or initiate foreclosure because (1) the Trust received an assignment and endorsement of the note and mortgage (2) the servicer has a right to represent and even testify for the the Trustee on the basis of the rights set forth in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement or by virtue of Powers of Attorney that magically appear at trial.
So the banks, servicers and their attorneys are side-stepping the issue of consummation of the transaction. They are withholding the information where the right of rescission would first become apparent to the borrower. When they withhold the information longer than 3 years from the date of the purported “loan closing”, they claim the right of rescission has expired. That is cynical and circular reasoning. That “closing” may be the point in time that the borrower’s “liability” arose, but the liability did NOT arise with the creditor being the party named on the note, mortgage and required disclosure documents.
Instead, the Payee was a naked nominee regardless of whether the “lender” was a thinly capitalized mortgage broker or a 150 year old bank.
Neither one loaned the money. In both cases there were using money essentially stolen from clueless investors on Wall Street who advanced money for the purchase of shares (mortgage backed securities) issued by an unregistered Trust that existed only on paper, had no bank account, and never received the proceeds of the shares that were supposedly sold to pension funds and other “investors” (actually victims of a fraudulent scheme).
The real answer is, as I have repeatedly said, that there was no loan contract and therefore the note and mortgage were induced to sign by both fraud in the inducement and fraud in the execution.  But the courts may turn to a foggier notion that the disclosures were intentionally withheld and that this entitles the borrower to equitable tolling of the 3 day or three year statute of limitations. It seems highly doubtful that the US Supreme Court will reverse itself.
If they deny equitable tolling by allowing stonewalling from the Banks then no new Bank would be able to enter the picture which is the whole purpose of the TILA rescission. While courts might find the argument from the banks and servicers as appealing, history shows that the US Supreme Court is just as likely to effectively reverse thousands of decisions based upon the wrong premise that rules and doctrines for common law rescission can be applied to TILA rescission.
Yet my point goes further. The express wording of the TILA rescission as affirmed by a unanimous Supreme court in Jesinowski is that the rescission is effective by operation of law when it is dropped in the mailbox — and that there is nothing else required by the borrower. If the “lender” wants to challenge that rescission it must do so before the 20 day deadline for compliance — return of canceled note, satisfaction of mortgage and disgorgement of all money paid. This makes it very clear that stonewalling or bringing up defenses later when the borrower seeks to enforce the rescission is not permissible. The idea behind TILA rescission has been to allow a borrower to cancel one transaction and replace it with another — which means that title is clear for a new lender to offer a first or second mortgage free from claims of the prior pretender lender.
Thus the expected defense from the banks and servicersis going to be that the rescission was void ab initio because of the statute of limitations or some other reason. But these are affirmative defenseswhich is to say they are pleas for affirmative relief in a formal pleading with a court of competent jurisdiction. That court does not have any jurisdiction or discretion to find that the rescission was void ab initio if more than 20 days has expired after the notice of cancellation or rescission was made.Thus procedurally, the express wording of TILA and Jesinowski totally bars the banks and servicers from raising any defenses to the effectiveness of the rescission after 20 days from the date of notice of rescission. To interpret it any other way is to overrule Justice Scalia in Jesinowski. It would mean that the banks and servicers and Trustees could later bring up defenses to the rescission which would completely bar the ability of the borrower to apply for a substitute loan. No lender is going to offer a mortgage loan where they are taking on the risk that they are not getting the lien priority that is required to assure payment and collateral protection.

And the reason why there is no qualifying creditor to bring the action within 20 days will be taken up in an upcoming article “What if a Broker Sold an IPO and Kept the Proceeds? — The True Explanation of Securitization Fail.” Also see Adam Levitin on that.

Who Can Sign a Lost Note Affidavit? What Happens When It Is “Found?”

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

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Let’s start with the study that planted the seed of doubt as to the validity of the debt, note, mortgage and foreclosure and whether any of those “securitized debt” foreclosures should have been allowed to even get to first base. Katherine Ann Porter, when she was a professor in Iowa (2007) did a seminal study of “lost” documents and found that at least 40% of ALL notes were lost as a result of intentional destruction or negligence. You can find her study on this blog.

The issue with “lost notes” is actually simple. If the note is lost then the court and the borrower are entitled to an explanation of the the full story behind the loss of the note, why it was intentionally destroyed and whose negligence caused the loss of the note. And the reason is also simple. If the Court and the borrower are not fully satisfied that the whole story has been told, then neither one can determine whether the party claiming rights to collect or enforce the note actually has those rights.

This is the question posed to me by a knowledgeable person involved in the challenge to the validity of the debt, note, mortgage and foreclosure:

Who is finding the Note?  Can a servicer execute a Lost Note Affidavit as a holder?  Non holder in possession?

It took me a while to get to the obvious point of the above defense.  It is intended in the event that party A loses the Note and files a LNA [Lost Note Affidavit}, that the Issuer, does not have to pay party B even if he appears with a blank endorsed note, unless B can prove holder in due course (virtually impossible these days, esp in foreclosure cases).

This is critical.  The foreclosing party, through a series of mergers and successions, files a case as successor by merger to ABC.  Can’t locate note, so it files a LNA, stating ABC lost the Note.  Note is found, but the foreclosing party says, oops, was in a custodial file for which we were the servicer for XYZ.   While the foreclosing party has the note, it cannot unring the fact it got the Note from XYZ after ABC lost it.

Good questions. He understands that the requirements as expressly stated in the law (UCC, State law etc.) are quite stringent. You cannot re-establish a lost note with a copy of it unless you can prove that you had it and that you were the person entitled to enforce it (known as PETE). You also cannot re-establish the note unless you can prove that the note was lost or destroyed under circumstances where it is far more likely than not that the original won’t show up later in the hands of someone else claiming PETE status. So there should be a heavy burden placed on any party seeking to foreclose or even just to collect on a “lost note.” But courts have steamrolled over this obvious problem requiring something on the order of “probable cause” rather than actual proof. While there is some evidence the judiciary is turning the corner against the banks, the great majority of cases fly over these issues either because of presumptions by the bench or because the “borrower” fails to raise it — and fails to make appropriate motions in limine and raise objections in trial.

But the person who posed this question drills down deeper into the real factual issues. He wants to know details. We all know that it is easier to allege that you destroyed it accidentally or even intentionally than to allege the loss of the note. A witness from the party asserting PETE can say, truthfully or not, “I destroyed it.” Proving that he didn’t and that the copy is fabricated is very difficult for a homeowner with limited resources. If the allegation and the testimony is that the note was lost, we get into the question of what, when where, how and why. But in a lost note situation most states require some sort of indemnification from the party asserting PETE status or holder in due course status. That is also a problem. I remember rejecting the offer of indemnification from Taylor, Bean and Whitaker after I reviewed their financial statements. It was obvious they were going broke and they did. And the officers went to jail for criminal acts.

So the first question is exactly when was the “original” note last seen and by whom? In whose possession was it when it was allegedly lost? How was it lost? Who has direct personal information on the location of the original and the timing and method of loss? And what happens when the note is “found?” We know that original documents are being fabricated by advanced technology such that even the borrower doesn’t realize he is not being shown the original (that is why I suggest denying that they are the holder of the note, denying they are PETE, denying they are holder in due course etc.)

In the confusion of those issues, the homeowner usually fails to realize that this is just another lie. But in discovery, if you are awake to the issue, you can either learn the facts (or deal with the inevitable objections to discovery). And then the lawyer for the homeowner should graph out the allegations and testimony as best as possible. The questioner is dead right — if the party NOW claiming PETE status or HDC status received the “found” original note but received it from someone other than the party who “lost” it, there is no chain upon which the foreclosing party can rely. In simple language, what they are attempting to do is fly over the gap between when the note was lost and destroyed and the time that the current claimant took possession of the paper. And once again I say that the real proof is the real money trail. If the underlying transactions exist, then there will be some correspondence, agreements and a payment of money that will reveal the true transfer.

And again I say, that if you are attacking the paper you need to be extremely careful not to give the impression that the borrower is attempting to get out of a legitimate debt. The position is that there is no legitimate debt IN THIS CHAIN. The debt lies outside the chain. The true debt is owed to whoever supplied the money that was received at the loan closing, regardless of what paperwork was signed. Failure to prove the original loan transaction should be fatal to the action on the note or the mortgage (except if the foreclosing party can prove the status of a holder in due course). The fact that the paperwork was signed only creates a potential second liability that does not benefit the party whose money was used for the loan.

The foreclosure is a thinly disguised adventure in greed — where the perpetrators of the false foreclosure, use fabricated, robo-signed paper without ANY loan at the base of the paper trail and without any payments made by any of the parties for possession or enforcement of the paper. They are essentially stealing the house, the proceeds, and the money that was used to fund the “loan” all to the detriment of the real parties in interest, to wit: the investors who were tricked into directly lending the money to borrowers  and the homeowners who were tricked into signing paperwork that created a second liability for the same loan.

Powers of Attorney — New Documents Magically Appear

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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BONY/Mellon is among those who are attempting to use a Power of Attorney (POA) that they say proves their ownership of the note and mortgage. In No way does it prove ownership. But it almost forces the reader to assume ownership. But it is not entitled to a presumption of any kind. This is a document prepared for use in litigation and in no way is part of normal business records. They should be required to prove every word and every exhibit. The ONLY thing that would prove ownership is proof of payment. If they owned it they would be claiming HDC status. Not only doesn’t it PROVE ownership, it doesn’t even recite or warrant ownership, indemnification etc. It is a crazy document in substance but facially appealing even though it doesn’t really say anything.

The entire POA is hearsay, lacks foundation, and is irrelevant without the proper foundation be laid by the proponent of the document. I do not think it can be introduced as a business records exception since such documents are not normally created in the ordinary course of business especially with such wide sweeping powers that make no sense — unless you recognize that they are dealing with worthless paper that they are trying desperately to make valuable.

They should have given you a copy of the settlement agreement referred to in the POA and they should have identified the original PSA that is referred to in the settlement agreement. Those are the foundation documents because the POA says that the terms used are defined in the PSA, Settlement agreement or both. I want all documents that are incorporated by reference in the POA.

If you have asked whether the Trust ever paid for your loan, I would like to see their answer.

If CWALT, Inc. or CWABS, Inc., or CWMBS, Inc is anywhere in your chain of title or anywhere else mentioned in any alleged origination or transfer of your loan, I assume you asked for those and I would like to see them too.

The PSA requires that the Trust pay for and receive the loan documents by way of the depositor and custodian. The Trustee never takes possession of the loan documents. But more than that it is important to distinguish between the loan documents and the debt. If there is no debt between you and the originator (which means that the originator named on the note and mortgage never advanced you any money for the loan) then note, which is only evidence of the debt and allegedly containing the terms of repayment is only evidence of the debt — which we know does not exist if they never answered your requests for proof of payment, wire transfer or canceled check.

If you have been reading my posts the last couple of weeks you will see what I am talking about.

The POA does not warrant or even recite that YOUR loan or anything resembling control or ownership of YOUR LOAN is or was ever owned by BONY/Mellon or the alleged trust. It is a classic case of misdirection. By executing a long and very important-looking document they want the judge to presume that the recitations are true and that the unrecited assumptions are also true. None of that is correct. The reference to the PSA only shows intent to acquire loans but has no reference or exhibit identifying your loan. And even if there was such a reference or exhibit it would be fabricated and false — there being obvious evidence that they did not pay for it or any other loan.

The evidence that they did not pay consists of a lot of things but once piece of logic is irrefutable — if they were a holder in due course you would be left with no defenses. If they are not a holder in due course then they had no right to collect money from you and you might sue to get your payments back with interest, attorney fees and possibly punitive damages unless they turned over all your money to the real creditors — but that would require them to identify your real creditors (the investors who thought they were buying mortgage bonds but whose money was never given to the Trust but was instead used privately by the securities broker that did the underwriting on the bond offering).

And the main logical point for an assumption is that if they were a holder in due course they would have said so and you would be fighting with an empty gun except for predatory and improper lending practices at the loan closing which cannot be brought against the Trust and must be directed at the mortgage broker and “originator.” They have not alleged they are a holder in course.

The elements of holder in dude course are purchase for value, delivery of the loan documents, in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. If they had paid for the loan documents they would have been more than happy to show that they did and then claim holder in due course status. The fact that the documents were not delivered in the manner set forth in the PSA — tot he depositor and custodian — is important but not likely to swing the Judge your way. If they paid they are a holder in due course.

The trust could not possibly be attacked successfully as lacking good faith or knowing the borrower’s defenses, so two out of four elements of HDC they already have. Their claim of delivery might be dubious but is not likely to convince a judge to nullify the mortgage or prevent its enforcement. Delivery will be presumed if they show up with what appears to be the original note and mortgage. So that means 3 out of the four elements of HDC status are satisfied by the Trust. The only remaining question is whether they ever entered into a transaction in which they originated or acquired any loans and whether yours was one of them.

Since they have not alleged HDC status, they are admitting they never paid for it. That means the Trust is admitting there was no payment, which means they were not entitled to delivery or ownership of the note, mortgage, or debt.

So that means they NEVER OWNED THE DEBT OR THE LOAN DOCUMENTS. AS A HOLDER IN COURSE IT WOULD NOT MATTER IF THEY OWNED THE DEBT — THE LOAN DOCUMENTS ARE ENFORCEABLE BY A HOLDER IN DUE COURSE EVEN IF THERE IS NO DEBT. THE RISK OF LOSS TO ANY PERSON WHO SIGNS A NOTE AND MORTGAGE AND ALLOWS IT TO BE TAKEN OUT OF HIS OR HER POSSESSION IS ON THE PARTY WHO TOOK IT AND THE PARTY WHO SIGNED IT — IF THERE WAS NO CONSIDERATION, THE DOCUMENTS ARE ONLY SUCCESSFULLY ENFORCED WHERE AN INNOCENT PARTY PAYS REAL VALUE AND TAKES DELIVERY OF THE NOTE AND MORTGAGE IN GOOD FAITH WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF THE BORROWER’S DEFENSES.

So if they did not allege they are an HDC then they are admitting they don’t own the loan papers and admitting they don’t own the loan. Since the business of the trust was to pay for origination of loans and acquisition of loans there is only one reason they wouldn’t have paid for the loan — to wit: the trust didn’t have the money. There is only one reason the trust would not have the money — they didn’t get the proceeds of the sale of the bonds. If the trust did not get the proceeds of sale of the bonds, then the trust was completely ignored in actual conduct regardless of what the documents say. Which means that the documents are not relevant to the power or authority of the servicer, master servicer, trust, or even the investors as TRUST BENEFICIARIES.

It means that the investors’ money was used directly for fees of multiple people who were not disclosed in your loan closing, and some portion of which was used to fund your loan. THAT MEANS the investors have no claim as trust beneficiaries. Their only claim is as owner of the debt, not the loan documents which were made out in favor of people other than the investors. And that means that there is no basis to claim any power, authority or rights claimed through “Securitization” (dubbed “securitization fail” by Adam Levitin).

This in turn means that the investors are owners of the debt but lack any documentation with which to enforce the debt. That doesn’t mean they can’t enforce the debt, but it does mean they can’t use the loan documents. Once they prove or you admit that you did get the loan and that the money came from them, they are entitled to a money judgment on the debt — but there is no right to foreclose because the deed of trust, like a mortgage, is made out to another party and the investors were never included in the chain of title because the intermediaries were  making money keeping it from the investors. More importantly the “other party” had no risk, made no money advance and was otherwise simply providing an illegal service to disguise a table funded loan that is “predatory per se” as per REG Z.

And THAT is why the originator received no money from successors in most cases — they didn’t ask for any money because the loan had cost them nothing and they received a fee for their services.

Levitin and Yves Smith – TRUST=EMPTY PAPER BAG

Living Lies Narrative Corroborated by Increasing Number of Respected Economists

It has taken over 7 years, but finally my description of the securitization process has taken hold. Levitin calls it “securitization fail.” Yves Smith agrees.

Bottom line: there was no securitization, the trusts were merely empty sham nominees for the investment banks and the “assignments,” transfers, and endorsements of the fabricated paper from illegal closings were worthless, fraudulent and caused incomprehensible damage to everyone except the perpetrators of the crime. They call it “infinite rehypothecation” on Wall Street. That makes it seem infinitely complex. Call it what you want, it was civil and perhaps criminal theft. Courts enforcing this fraudulent worthless paper will be left with egg on their faces as the truth unravels now.

There cannot be a valid foreclosure because there is no valid mortgage. I know. This makes no sense when you approach it from a conventional point of view. But if you watch closely you can see that the “loan closing” was a shell game. Money from a non disclosed third party (the investors) was sent through conduits to hide the origination of the funds for the loan. The closing agent used that money not for the originator of the funds (the investors) but for a sham nominee entity with no rights to the loan — all as specified in the assignment and assumption agreement. The note and and mortgage were a sham. And the reason the foreclosing parties do not allege they are holders in due course, is that they must prove purchase and delivery for value, as set forth in the PSA within the 90 day period during which the Trust could operate. None of the loans made it.

But on Main street it was at its root a combination pyramid scheme and PONZI scheme. All branches of government are complicit in continuing the fraud and allowing these merchants of “death” to continue selling what they call bonds deriving their value from homeowner or student loans. Having made a “deal with the devil” both the Bush and Obama administrations conscripted themselves into the servitude of the banks and actively assisted in the coverup. — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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John Lindeman in Miami asked me years ago when he first starting out in foreclosure defense, how I would describe the REMIC Trust. My reply was “a holographic image of an empty paper bag.” Using that as the basis of his defense of homeowners, he went on to do very well in foreclosure defense. He did well because he kept asking questions in discovery about the actual transactions, he demanded the PSA, he cornered the opposition into admitting that their authority had to come from the PSA when they didn’t want to admit that. They didn’t want to admit it because they knew the Trust had no ownership interest in the loan and would never have it.

While the narrative regarding “securitization fail” (see Adam Levitin) seems esoteric and even pointless from the homeowner’s point of view, I assure you that it is the direct answer to the alleged complaint that the borrower breached a duty to the foreclosing party. That is because the foreclosing party has no interest in the loan and has no legal authority to even represent the owner of the debt.

And THAT is because the owner of the debt is a group of investors and NOT the REMIC Trust that funded the loan. Thus the Trust, unfunded had no resources to buy or fund the origination of loans. So they didn’t buy it and it wasn’t delivered. Hence they can’t claim Holder in Due Course status because “purchase for value” is one of the elements of the prima facie case for a Holder in Due Course. There was no purchase and there was no transaction. Hence the suing parties could not possibly be authorized to represent the owner of the debt unless they got it from the investors who do own it, not from the Trust that doesn’t own it.

This of course raises many questions about the sudden arrival of “assignments” when the wave of foreclosures began. If you asked for the assignment on any loan that was NOT in foreclosure you couldn’t get it because their fabrication system was not geared to produce it. Why would anyone assign a valuable loan with security to a trust or anyone else without getting paid for it? Only one answer is possible — the party making the assignment was acting out a part and made money in fees pretending to convey an interest the assignor did not have. And so it goes all the way down the chain. The emptiness of the REMIC Trust is merely a mirror reflection of the empty closing with homeowners. The investors and the homeowners were screwed the same way.

BOTTOM LINE: The investors are stuck with ownership of a debt or claim against the borrowers for what was loaned to the borrower (which is only a fraction of the money given to the broker for lending to homeowners). They also have claims against the brokers who took their money and instead of delivering the proceeds of the sale of bonds to the Trust, they used it for their own benefit. Those claims are unsecured and virtually undocumented (except for wire transfer receipts and wire transfer instructions). The closing agent was probably duped the same way as the borrower at the loan closing which was the same as the way the investors were duped in settlement of the IPO of RMBS from the Trust.

In short, neither the note nor the mortgage are valid documents even though they appear facially valid. They are not valid because they are subject to borrower’s defenses. And the main borrower defense is that (a) the originator did not loan them money and (b) all the parties that took payments from the homeowner owe that money back to the homeowner plus interest, attorney fees and perhaps punitive damages. Suing on a fictitious transaction can only be successful if the homeowner defaults (fails to defend) or the suing party is a holder in due course.

Trusts Are Empty Paper Bags — Naked Capitalism

student-loan-debt-home-buying

Just as with homeowner loans, student loans have a series of defenses created by the same chicanery as the false “securitization” of homeowner loans. LivingLies is opening a new division to assist people with student loan problems if they are prepared to fight the enforcement on the merits. Student loan debt, now over $1 Trillion is dragging down housing, and the economy. Call 520-405-1688 and 954-495-9867)

The Banks Are Leveraged: Too Big Not to Fail

When I was working with Brad Keiser (formerly a top executive at Fifth Third Bank), he formulated, based upon my narrative, a way to measure the risk of bank collapse. Using a “leverage” ration he and I were able to accurately define the exact order of the collapse of the investment banks before it happened. In September, 2008 based upon the leverage ratios we published our findings and used them at a seminar in California. The power Point presentation is still available for purchase. (Call 520-405-1688 or 954-495-9867). You can see it yourself. The only thing Brad got wrong was the timing. He said 6 months. It turned out to be 6 weeks.

First on his list was Bear Stearns with leverage at 42:1. With the “shadow banking market” sitting at close to $1 quadrillion (about 17 times the total amount of all money authorized by all governments of the world) it is easy to see how there are 5 major banks that are leveraged in excess of the ratio at Bear Stearns, Lehman, Merrill Lynch et al.

The point of the article that I don’t agree with at all is the presumption that if these banks fail the economy will collapse. There is no reason for it to collapse and the dependence the author cites is an illusion. The fall of these banks will be a psychological shock world wide, and I agree it will obviously happen soon. We have 7,000 community banks and credit unions that use the exact same electronic funds transfer backbone as the major banks. There are multiple regional associations of these institutions who can easily enter into the same agreements with government, giving access at the Fed window and other benefits given to the big 5, and who will purchase the bonds of government to keep federal and state governments running. Credit markets will momentarily freeze but then relax.

Broward County Court Delays Are Actually A PR Program to Assure Investors Buying RMBS

The truth is that the banks don’t want to manage the properties, they don’t need the house and in tens of thousands of cases (probably in the hundreds of thousands since the last report), they simply walk away from the house and let it be foreclosed for non payment of taxes, HOA assessments etc. In some of the largest cities in the nation, tens of thousands of abandoned homes (where the homeowner applied for modification and was denied because the servicer had no intention or authority to give it them) were BULL-DOZED  and the neighborhoods converted into parks.

The banks don’t want the money and they don’t want the house. If you offer them the money they back peddle and use every trick in the book to get to foreclosure. This is clearly not your usual loan situation. Why would anyone not accept payment in full?

What they DO want is a judgment that transfers ownership of the debt from the true owners (the investors) to the banks. This creates the illusion of ratification of prior transactions where the same loan was effectively sold for 100 cents on the dollar not by the investors who made the loan, but by the banks who sold the investors on the illusion that they were buying secured loans, Triple AAA rated, and insured. None of it was true because the intended beneficiary of the paper, the insurance money, the multiple sales, and proceeds of hedge products and guarantees were all pocketed by the banks who had sold worthless bogus mortgage bonds without expending a dime or assuming one cent of risk.

Delaying the prosecution of foreclosures is simply an opportunity to spread out the pain over time and thus keep investors buying these bonds. And they ARE buying the new bonds even though the people they are buying from already defrauded them by NOT delivering the proceeds fro the sale of the bonds to the Trust that issued them.

Why make “bad” loans? Because they make money for the bank especially when they fail

The brokers are back at it, as though they haven’t caused enough damage. The bigger the “risk” on the loan the higher the interest rate to compensate for that risk of loss. The higher interest rates result in less money being loaned out to achieve the dollar return promised to investors who think they are buying RMBS issued by a REMIC Trust. So the investor pays out $100 Million, expects $5 million per year return, and the broker sells them a complex multi-tranche web of worthless paper. In that basket of “loans” (that were never made by the originator) are 10% and higher loans being sold as though they were conventional 5% loans. So the actual loan is $50 Million, with the broker pocketing the difference. It is called a yield spread premium. It is achieved through identity theft of the borrower’s reputation and credit.

Banks don’t want the house or the money. They want the Foreclosure Judgment for “protection”

 

When an assignment of a mortgage is invalid, does it require a foreclosure case to be dismissed?

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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There seems to be confusion about what is necessary to file a foreclosure. To start with the basics, the debt is created when the borrower receives the funds or when the funds are disbursed for the benefit of the borrower. This requires no documentation. The receipt of funds presumptively implies a loan that is a demand loan. The source of funding is the creditor and the borrower is the debtor. The promissory note is EVIDENCE of the debt and contains the terms of repayment. In residential loan transactions it changes the terms from a demand loan to a term loan with periodic payments.

But without the debt, the note is worthless — unless the note gets into the hands of a party who claims status as a holder in due course. In that case the debt doesn’t exist but the liability to pay under the terms of the note can be enforced anyway. In foreclosure litigation based upon paper where there are claims or evidence of securitization, there are virtually all cases in which the “holder” of the note seeks enforcement, it does NOT allege the status of holder in due course. To the contrary, many cases contain an admission that the note doesn’t exist because it was lost or destroyed.

The lender is the party who loans the money to the borrower.  The lender can bring suit against the borrower for failure to pay and receive a money judgment that can be enforced against income or non-exempt property of the borrower by writ of garnishment or attachment. There is no limit to the borrower’s defenses and counterclaims against the lender, assuming they are based on facts that show improper conduct by the lender. The contest does NOT require anything in writing. If the party seeking to enforce the debt wishes to rely on a note as evidence of the debt, their claim about the validity of the note as evidence or as information containing the terms of repayment may be contested by the borrower.

If the note is transferred by endorsement and delivery, the transferee can enforce the note under most circumstances. But the transferee of the note takes the note subject to all defenses of the borrower. So if the borrower says that the loan never happened or denies it in his answer the lender and its successors must prove the loan actually took place. This is true in all cases EXCEPT situations where the transferee purchases the note for value, gets delivery and endorsement, and is acting in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses (UCC refers to this as a holder in due course). The borrower who signs a note without receiving the consideration of the loan is taking the risk that he or she has created a debt or liability if the eventual transferee claims to be a holder in due course. Further information on the creation and transfer of notes as negotiable paper is contained in Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

Thus the questions about enforceability of the note or recovery on the debt are fairly well settled. The question is what happens in the case where collateral for the loan secures the performance required under the note. This is done with a security instrument which in real property transactions is a mortgage or deed of trust. This is a separate contract between the lender and the borrower. It says that if the borrower does not pay or fails to pay taxes, maintain the property, insure the property etc., the lender may foreclose and the borrower will forfeit the collateral. This suit is an action to enforce the security instrument (mortgage, deed of trust etc.) seeking to foreclose all claims inferior to the rights of the lender established when the mortgage or deed of trust was recorded.

The mortgage is a contract that does not qualify as a negotiable instrument and so is not covered by Article 3 of the UCC. It is covered by Article 9 of the UCC (Secured Transactions). The general rule is that a party who purchases the mortgage instrument for value in good faith and without knowledge of the  borrower’s defenses may enforce the mortgage if the contract is breached by the borrower. This coincides with the requirement that the holder of the mortgage must also be a holder in due course of the note — if the breach consists of failure to pay under the terms of the note. Any party may assign their rights under a contract unless the contract itself says that it is not assignable or assignment is barred by statute or administrative rules.

The “assignment” of the mortgage or deed of trust is generally taken to be an instrument of conveyance. But forfeiture of collateral, particularly one’s home, is considered to be a much more severe remedy against the borrower than a money judgment for economic loss caused by breach of the borrower in making payments on a legitimate debt. So the statute (Article 9, UCC)  requires that the assignment be the result of an actual transaction in which the mortgage is purchased for value. The confusion that erupts here is that no reasonable person would merely purchase a mortgage which is not really an asset deriving its value from a borrower’s promise to pay. That asset is the note.

So if the note is purchased for value, and assuming the purchaser receives delivery and endorsement of the note, as a holder in due course there is no question that the mortgage assignment is valid and enforceable by the assignee. The problems that have emerged is when, if ever, any value was paid to anyone in the “chain” on either the note or the mortgage. If no value was paid then the note might be enforceable subject to borrower’s defenses but the mortgage cannot be enforced. Additional issues emerge where the “proof” (often fabricated robo-signed documents) imply through hearsay that the note was the subject of a transaction at a different time than the date on the assignment. Denial and/or discovery would reveal the fraud upon the Court here — assuming you can persuasively argue that the production of evidence is required.

Another interesting question comes up when you seen the language of endorsement on the mortgage. This might be seen as splitting hairs, but I think it is more than that. To assign a mortgage in form that would ordinarily be accepted in general commerce — and in particular by banks — the assignment would be in the form that recites the ownership of the mortgage and the intention to convey it and on what terms. Instead, many cases show that there is an additional page stapled to the mortgage which contains only the endorsement to a particular party or blank endorsement. The endorsement is not recordable whereas a facially valid assignment is recordable.

The attachment of the last page could mean nothing was conveyed or that it was accidentally done in addition to a proper assignment. But I have seen several cases where the only evidence of assignment was a stamped endorsement, undated, in which there was no assignment. This appears to be designed to confuse the Judge who might be encouraged to apply the rules of transfer of the note to the circumstances of transfer of the mortgage. This smoke and mirrors approach often results in a foreclosure judgment in favor of a party who has paid nothing for the debt, note or mortgage. It leaves the actual lender out in the cold without a note or mortgage which they should have received.

It is these and other factors which have resulted in trial and appellate decisions that appear to be in conflict with each other. Currently in Florida the Supreme Court is deciding whether to issue an opinion on whether the assignment after the lawsuit has begun cures jurisdictional standing. The standing rule in Florida is that if you don’t own the mortgage at the time you declare a default, acceleration and sue, then those actions are essentially void.

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Valid assignment is necessary for the plaintiff to have standing in a foreclosure case. (David E. Peterson, Cracking the Mortgage Assignment Shell Game, The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 85, No. 9, November, 2011, page 18).

In BAC Funding Consortium v. Jean-Jeans and US Bank National Association, the Second District of Florida reversed summary judgment for a foreclosure for bank because there was no evidence that the bank validly held the note and mortgage. BAC Funding Consortium Inc. ISAOA/ATIMA v. Jean-Jacques 28 So.2d, 936.

BAC has been negatively distinguished by two cases:

  • Riggs v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, 36 So.3d 932, (Fla.App. 4 Dist.,2010) was distinguished from BAC, because in BAC the bank did not file an affidavits that the mortgage was properly assigned; in Riggs they did. The 4th District held that the “company’s possession of original note, indorsed in blank, established company’s status as lawful holder of note, entitled to enforce its terms.” [Editor’s note: The appellate court might have erred here. The enforcement of the note and the enforcement of the mortgage are two different things as described above].
  • Dage v. Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co., 95 So.3d 1021, (Fla.App. 2 Dist.,2012) was distinguished from BAC, because in Dage, the homeowners waited two years to challenge the foreclosure judgment on the grounds that the bank lacked standing due to invalid assignment of mortgage. The court held that a lack of standing is merely voidable, not void, and the homeowners had to challenge the ruling in a timely manner. [Editor’s note: Jurisdiction is normally construed as something that cannot be invoked at a later time. It can even be invoked for the first time on appeal.]

In his article, “Cracking the Mortgage Assignment Shell Game,” Peterson in on the side of the banks and plaintiffs in foreclosure cases, but his section “Who Has Standing to Foreclosure the Mortgage?” is full of valuable insights about when a case can be dismissed based on invalid assignment. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’ve copied and pasted the section below:

It should come as no surprise that the holder of the promissory note has standing to maintain a foreclosure action.34 Further, an agent for the holder can sue to foreclose.35 The holder of a collateral assignment has sufficient standing to foreclose.36 [Editor’s note: Here again we see the leap of faith that just because someone might have standing to sue on the note, they automatically have standing to sue on the mortgage, even if no value was paid for either the note or the mortgage].

Failure to file the original promissory note or offer evidence of standing might preclude summary judgment.37 Even when the plaintiff files the original, it might be necessary to offer additional evidence to show that the plaintiff is the holder or has rights as a nonholder. In BAC Funding Consortium, Inc. v. Jean-Jacques, 28 So. 3d 936 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010), for example, the court reversed a summary judgment of foreclosure, saying the plaintiff had not proven it held the note. The written assignment was incomplete and unsigned. The plaintiff filed the original note, which showed an indorsement to another person, but no indorsement to the plaintiff. The court found that was insufficient. Clearly, a party in possession of a note indorsed to another is not a “holder,” but recall that Johns v. Gillian holds that a written assignment is not needed to show standing when the transferee receives delivery of the note. The court’s ruling in BAC Funding Consortium was based on the heavy burden required for summary judgment. The court said the plaintiff did not offer an affidavit or deposition proving it held the note and suggested that “proof of purchase of the debt, or evidence of an effective transfer” might substitute for an assignment.38 [e.s.]

In Jeff-Ray Corp. v. Jacobson, 566 So. 2d 885 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990), the court held that an assignment executed after the filing of the foreclosure case was not sufficient to show the plaintiff had standing at the time the complaint was filed. In WM Specialty Mortgage, LLC v. Salomon, 874 So. 2d 680 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004), however, the court distinguished Jeff-Ray Corp., stating that the execution date of the written assignment was less significant when the plaintiff could show that it acquired the mortgage before filing the foreclosure without a written assignment, as permitted by Johns v. Gilliam.39

When the note is lost, a document trail showing ownership is important. The burden in BAC Funding Consortium might be discharged by an affidavit confirming that the note was sold to the plaintiff prior to foreclosure. Corroboratory evidence of sale documents or payment of consideration is icing on the cake, but probably not needed absent doubt over the plaintiff’s rights. If doubt remains, indemnity can be required if needed to protect the mortgagor.40 [e.s.] 34  Philogene v. ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc., 948 So. 2d 45 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2006); Fla. Stat. §673.3011(1) (2010).

35                  Juega v. Davidson, 8 So. 3d 488 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2009); Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. v. Revoredo, 955 So. 2d 33, 34, fn. 2 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2007) (stating that MERS was holder, but not owner and “We simply don’t think that this makes any difference. See Fla. R.Civ. P. 1.210(a) (action may be prosecuted in name of authorized person without joining party for whose benefit action is brought)”). [Editor’s note: This is an example of judicial ignorance of what is really happening. MERS is a conduit, a naked nominee, whose existence is meaningless, as is its records of transfer or ownership of the the debt, the note or the mortgage]

36                  Laing v. Gainey Builders, Inc., 184 So. 2d 897 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1966) (collateral assignee was a holder); Cullison v. Dees, 90 So. 2d 620 (Fla. 1956) (same, except involving validity of payments rather than standing to foreclose).

37                  See Fla. Stat. §673.3091(2) (2010); Servedio v. US Bank Nat. Ass’n, 46 So. 3d 1105 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2010).

38                  BAC Funding Consortium, Inc. v. Jean-Jacques, 28 So. 3d at 938-939 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2010). See also Verizzo v. Bank of New York, 28 So. 3d 976 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 2010) (Bank filed original note, but indorsement was to a different bank). But see Lizio v. McCullom, 36 So. 3d 927 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2010) (possession of note is prima facie evidence of ownership). [Editor’s note: this is the nub of the problems in foreclosure litigation. The law requires purchase for value for ownership, along with other criteria described above. This court’s conclusion places an unfair burden of proof on the borrower. The party with the sole care, custody and control of the actual evidence and information about the transfer or sale of the ndebt, note or mortgage is the Plaintiff. The plaintiff should therefore be required to show the details of the transaction in which the debt, note or mortgage was acquired. To me, that means showing a cancelled check or wire transfer receipt in which the reference was to the loan in dispute. Anything less than that raises questions about whether the loan implied by the note and mortgage ever existed. See my previous articles regarding securitization where the actual loan was actually applied from third party funds. hence the originator, who did not loan any money, was never paid for note or mortgage because consideration from a third party had already passed.]

39                  See also Glynn v. First Union Nat. Bank, 912 So. 2d 357 (Fla. 4th D.C.A. 2005), rev. den., 933 So. 2d 521 (Fla. 2006) (note transferred before lawsuit, even though assignment was after). [Editor’s note: if the note and mortgage were in fact transfered for actual value (with proof of payment) then a “late” assignment might properly be categorized as a clerical issue rather than a legal one — because the substance of the transaction actually took place long before the assignment was executed and recorded. But the cautionary remark here is that in all probability, nobody who relies upon the “Chain” ever paid anything but fees to their predecessor. Why would they? If the consideration already passed from third party — i.e., pension fund money — why would the originator or any successor be entitled to demand the value of the note and mortgage? The originator in that scenario is neither the lender nor the owner of the debt and therefore should be given no rights under the note and mortgage, where title was diverted from the third party who DID the the loan to the originator who did NOT fund the loan. 40 Fla. Stat. §673.3091(2) (2010); Fla. Stat. §69.061 (2010).-David E. Peterson, “Cracking the Mortgage Assignment Shell Game”, The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 85, No. 9, November, 2011.

I also came across a blog post from another attorney on how to argue Florida assignments of judges. I don’t know how reliable this is, but it does cite several cases, and may be a useful resource to you: http://discoverytactics.wordpress.com/tactics-strategies/how-to-argue-florida-assignments-to-judges/. Someone also posted the content of the above link verbatim in a comment on my blog at http://livinglies.me/foreclosure-defense-forms/people-players-and-resources/state-laws/florida-laws/.

 

Securitization for Lawyers

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

The CONCEPT of securitization does not contemplate an increase in violations of lending laws passed by States or the Federal government. Far from it. The CONCEPT anticipated a decrease in risk, loss and liability for violations of TILA, RESPA or state deceptive lending laws. The assumption was that the strictly regulated stable managed funds (like pensions), insurers, and guarantors would ADD to the protections to investors as lenders and homeowners as borrowers. That it didn’t work that way is the elephant in the living room. It shows that the concept was not followed, the written instruments reveal a sneaky intent to undermine the concept. The practices of the industry violated everything — the lending laws, investment restrictions, and the securitization documents themselves. — Neil F Garfield, Livinglies.me

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“Securitization” is a word that provokes many emotional reactions ranging from hatred to frustration. Beliefs run the range from the idea that securitization is evil to the idea that it is irrelevant. Taking the “irrelevant” reaction first, I would say that comes from ignorance and frustration. To look at a stack of Documents, each executed with varying formalities, and each being facially valid and then call them all irrelevant is simply burying your head in the sand. On the other hand, calling securitization evil is equivalent to rejecting capitalism. So let’s look at securitization dispassionately.

First of all “securitization” merely refers to a concept that has been in operation for hundreds of years, perhaps thousands of years if you look into the details of commerce and investment. In our recent history it started with “joint stock companies” that financed sailing expeditions for goods and services. Instead of one person or one company taking all the risk that one ship might not come back, or come back with nothing, investors could spread their investment dollars by buying shares in a “joint stock company” that invested their money in multiple sailing ventures. So if some ship came in loaded with goods it would more than offset the ships that sunk, were pirated, or that lost their cargo. Diversifying risk produced more reliable profits and virtually eliminated the possibility of financial ruin because of the tragedies the befell a single cargo ship.

Every stock certificate or corporate or even government bond is the product of securitization. In our capitalist society, securitization is essential to attract investment capital and therefore growth. For investors it is a way of participating in the risk and rewards of companies run by officers and directors who present a believable vision of success. Investors can invest in one company alone, but most, thanks to capitalism and securitization, are able to invest in many companies and many government issued bonds. In all cases, each stock certificate or bond certificate is a “derivative” — i.e., it DERIVES ITS VALUE from the economic value of the company or government that issued that stock certificate or bond certificate.

In other words, securitization is a vehicle for diversification of investment. Instead of one “all or nothing” investment, the investors gets to spread the risk over multiple companies and governments. The investor can do this in one of two ways — either manage his own investments buying and selling stocks and bonds, or investing in one or more managed funds run by professional managers buying and selling stocks and bonds. Securitization of debt has all the elements of diversification and is essential to the free flow of commerce in a capitalistic economy.

Preview Questions:

  • What happens if the money from investors is NOT put in the company or given to the government?
  • What happens if the certificates are NOT delivered back to investors?
  • What happens if the company that issued the stock never existed or were not used as an investment vehicle as promised to investors?
  • What happens to “profits” that are reported by brokers who used investor money in ways never contemplated, expected or accepted by investors?
  • Who is accountable under laws governing the business of the IPO entity (i.e., the REMIC Trust in our context).
  • Who are the victims of misbehavior of intermediaries?
  • Who bears the risk of loss caused by misbehavior of intermediaries?
  • What are the legal questions and issues that arise when the joint stock company is essentially an instrument of fraud? (See Madoff, Drier etc. where the “business” was actually collecting money from lenders and investors which was used to pay prior investors the expected return).

In order to purchase a security deriving its value from mortgage loans, you could diversify by buying fractional shares of specific loans you like (a new and interesting business that is internet driven) or you could go the traditional route — buying fractional shares in multiple companies who are buying loans in bulk. The share certificates you get derive their value from the value of the IPO issuer of the shares (a REMIC Trust, usually). Like any company, the REMIC Trust derives its value from the value of its business. And the REMIC business derives its value from the quality of the loan originations and loan acquisitions. Fulfillment of the perceived value is derived from effective servicing and enforcement of the loans.

All investments in all companies and all government issued bonds or other securities are derivatives simply because they derive their value from something described on the certificate. With a stock certificate, the value is derived from a company whose name appears on the certificate. That tells you which company you invested your money. The number of shares tells you how many shares you get. The indenture to the stock certificate or bond certificate describes the voting rights, rights to  distributions of income, and rights to distribution of the company is sold or liquidated. But this assumes that the company or government entity actually exists and is actually doing business as described in the IPO prospectus and subscription agreement.

The basic element of value and legal rights in such instruments is that there must be a company doing business in the name of the company who is shown on the share certificates — i.e., there must be actual financial transactions by the named parties that produce value for shareholders in the IPO entity, and the holders of certificates must have a right to receive those benefits. The securitization of a company through an IPO that offers securities to investors offer one additional legal fiction that is universally enforced — limited liability. Limited liability refers to the fact that the investment is at risk (if the company or REMIC fails) but the investor can’t lose more than he or she invested.

Translated to securitization of debt, there must be a transaction that is an actual loan of money that is not merely presumed, but which is real. That loan, like a stock certificate, must describe the actual debtor and the actual creditor. An investor does not intentionally buy a share of loans that were purchased from people who did not make any loans or conduct any lending business in which they were the source of lending.

While there are provisions in the law that can make a promissory note payable to anyone who is holding it, there is no allowance for enforcing a non-existent loan except in the event that the purchaser is a “Holder in Due Course.” The HDC can enforce both the note and mortgage because he has satisfied both Article 3 and Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The Pooling and Servicing Agreements of REMIC Trusts require compliance with the UCC, and other state and federal laws regarding originating or acquiring residential mortgage loans.

In short, the PSA requires that the Trust become a Holder in Due Course in order for the Trustee of the Trust to accept the loan as part of the pool owned by the Trust on behalf of the Trust Beneficiaries who have received a “certificate” of fractional ownership in the Trust. Anything less than HDC status is unacceptable. And if you were the investor you would want nothing less. You would want loans that cannot be defended on the basis of violation of lending laws and practices.

The loan, as described in the origination documents, must actually exist. A stock certificate names the company that is doing business. The loan describes the debtor and creditor. Any failure to describe the the debtor or creditor with precision, results in a failure of the loan contract, and the documents emerging from such a “closing” are worthless. If you want to buy a share of IBM you don’t buy a share of Itty Bitty Machines, Inc., which was just recently incorporated with its assets consisting of a desk and a chair. The name on the certificate or other legal document is extremely important.

In loan documents, the only exception to the “value” proposition in the event of the absence of an actual loan is another legal fiction designed to promote the free flow of commerce. It is called “Holder in Due Course.” The loan IS enforceable in the absence of an actual loan between the parties on the loan documents, if a third party innocent purchases the loan documents for value in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defense of failure of consideration (he didn’t get the loan from the creditor named on the note and mortgage).  This is a legislative decision made by virtually all states — if you sign papers, you are taking the risk that your promises will be enforced against you even if your counterpart breached the loan contract from the start. The risk falls on the maker of the note who can sue the loan originator for misusing his signature but cannot bring all potential defenses to enforcement by the Holder in Due Course.

Florida Example:

673.3021 Holder in due course.

(1) Subject to subsection (3) and s. 673.1061(4), the term “holder in due course” means the holder of an instrument if:

(a) The instrument when issued or negotiated to the holder does not bear such apparent evidence of forgery or alteration or is not otherwise so irregular or incomplete as to call into question its authenticity; and
(b) The holder took the instrument:

1. For value;
2. In good faith;
3. Without notice that the instrument is overdue or has been dishonored or that there is an uncured default with respect to payment of another instrument issued as part of the same series;
4. Without notice that the instrument contains an unauthorized signature or has been altered;
5. Without notice of any claim to the instrument described in s. 673.3061; and
6. Without notice that any party has a defense or claim in recoupment described in s. 673.3051(1).
673.3061 Claims to an instrument.A person taking an instrument, other than a person having rights of a holder in due course, is subject to a claim of a property or possessory right in the instrument or its proceeds, including a claim to rescind a negotiation and to recover the instrument or its proceeds. A person having rights of a holder in due course takes free of the claim to the instrument.
This means that Except for HDC status, the maker of the note has a right to reclaim possession of the note or to rescind the transaction against any party who has no rights to claim it is a creditor or has rights to represent a creditor. The absence of a claim of HDC status tells a long story of fraud and intrigue.
673.3051 Defenses and claims in recoupment.

(1) Except as stated in subsection (2), the right to enforce the obligation of a party to pay an instrument is subject to:

(a) A defense of the obligor based on:

1. Infancy of the obligor to the extent it is a defense to a simple contract;
2. Duress, lack of legal capacity, or illegality of the transaction which, under other law, nullifies the obligation of the obligor;
3. Fraud that induced the obligor to sign the instrument with neither knowledge nor reasonable opportunity to learn of its character or its essential terms;
This means that if the “originator” did not loan the money and/or failed to perform underwriting tests for the viability of the loan, and gave the borrower false impressions about the viability of the loan, there is a Florida statutory right of rescission as well as a claim to reclaim the closing documents before they get into the hands of an innocent purchaser for value in good faith with no knowledge of the borrower’s defenses.

 

In the securitization of loans, the object has been to create entities with preferred tax status that are remote from the origination or purchase of the loan transactions. In other words, the REMIC Trusts are intended to be Holders in Due Course. The business of the REMIC Trust is to originate or acquire loans by payment of value, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. Done correctly, appropriate market forces will apply, risks are reduced for both borrower and lenders, and benefits emerge for both sides of the single transaction between the investors who put up the money and the homeowners who received the benefit of the loan.

It is referred to as a single transaction using doctrines developed in tax law and other commercial cases. Every transaction, when you think about it, is composed of numerous actions, reactions and documents. If we treated each part as a separate transaction with no relationship to the other transactions there would be no connection between even the original lender and the borrower, much less where multiple assignments were involved. In simple terms, the single transaction doctrine basically asks one essential question — if it wasn’t for the investors putting up the money (directly or through an entity that issued an IPO) would the transaction have occurred? And the corollary is but for the borrower, would the investors have been putting up that money?  The answer is obvious in connection with mortgage loans. No business would have been conducted but for the investors advancing money and the homeowners taking it.

So neither “derivative” nor “securitization” is a dirty word. Nor is it some nefarious scheme from people from the dark side — in theory. Every REMIC Trust is the issuer in an initial public offering known as an “IPO” in investment circles. A company can do an IPO on its own where it takes the money and issues the shares or it can go through a broker who solicits investors, takes the money, delivers the money to the REMIC Trust and then delivers the Trust certificates to the investors.

Done properly, there are great benefits to everyone involved — lenders, borrowers, brokers, mortgage brokers, etc. And if “securitization” of mortgage debt had been done as described above, there would not have been a flood of money that increased prices of real property to more than twice the value of the land and buildings. Securitization of debt is meant to provide greater liquidity and lower risk to lenders based upon appropriate underwriting of each loan. Much of the investment came from stable managed funds which are strictly regulated on the risks they are allowed in managing the funds of pensioners, retirement accounts, etc.

By reducing the risk, the cost of the loans could be reduced to borrowers and the profits in creating loans would be higher. If that was what had been written in the securitization plan written by the major brokers on Wall Street, the mortgage crisis could not have happened. And if the actual practices on Wall Street had conformed at least to what they had written, the impact would have been vastly reduced. Instead, in most cases, securitization was used as the sizzle on a steak that did not exist. Investors advanced money, rating companies offered Triple AAA ratings, insurers offered insurance, guarantors guarantees loans and shares in REMIC trusts that had no possibility of achieving any value.

Today’s article was about the way the IPO securitization of residential loans was conceived and should have worked. Tomorrow we will look at the way the REMIC IPO was actually written and how the concept of securitization necessarily included layers of different companies.

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