Your Client’s Securitized Mortgage: a Basic Roadmap Part 1 [2009-11-19]

Your Client’s Securitized Mortgage: A Basic Roadmap

PART 1: The Parties and Their Roles

The first issue in reviewing a structured residential mortgage transaction is to differentiate between a private-label deal and an “Agency” (or “GSE”) deal. An Agency (or GSE) deal is one involving Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae, the three Government Sponsored Enterprises (also known as the GSEs). This paper will review the parties, documents, and laws involved in a typical private-label securitization. We also address frequently-occurring practical considerations for counsel dealing with securitized mortgage loans that are applicable across-the-board to mortgages into both private-label and Agency securitizations.
The parties, in the order of their appearance are:

The “originator” is the lender that provided the funds to the borrower at the loan closing or close of escrow. Usually the originator is the lender named as “Lender” in the mortgage Note. Many originators securitize loans; many do not. The decision not to securitize loans may be due to lack of access to Wall Street capital markets, or this may simply reflect a business decision not to run the risks associated with future performance that necessarily go with sponsoring a securitization, or the originator obtains better return through another loan disposition strategy such as whole loan sales for cash.

Warehouse Lender. The Originator probably borrowed the funds on a line of credit from a short-term revolving warehouse credit facility (commonly referred to as a “warehouse lender”); nevertheless the money used to close the loan were technically and legally the Originator’s funds. Warehouse lenders are either “wet” funders or “dry” funders. A wet funder will advance the funds to close the loan upon the receipt of an electronic request from the originator. A dry funder, on the other hand, will not advance funds until it actually receives the original loan documents duly executed by the borrower.

Responsible Party.
Sometimes you may see another intermediate entity called a “Responsible Party,” often a sister company to the lender. Loans appear to be transferred to this entity, typically named XXX Asset Corporation.

Sponsor. The Sponsor is the lender that securitizes the pool of mortgage loans. This means that it was the final aggregator of the loan pool and then sold the loans directly to the Depositor, which it turn sold them to the securitization Trust. In order to obtain the desired ratings from the ratings agencies such as Moody’s, Fitch and S&P, the Sponsor normally is required to retain some exposure to the future value and performance of the loans in the form of purchase of the most deeply subordinated classes of the securities issued by the Trust, i.e. the classes last in line for distributions and first in line to absorb losses (commonly referred to as the “first loss pieces” of the deal).

Depositor. The Depositor exists for the sole purpose of enabling the transaction to have the key elements that make it a securitization in the first place: a “true sale” of the mortgage loans to a “bankruptcy-remote” and “FDIC-remote” purchaser. The Depositor purchases the loans from the Sponsor, sells the loans to the Trustee of the securitization Trust, and uses the proceeds received from the Trust to pay the Sponsor for the Depositor’s own purchase of the loans. It all happens simultaneously, or as nearly so as theoretically possible. The length of time that the Depositor owns the loans has been described as “one nanosecond.”

The Depositor has no other functions, so it needs no more than a handful of employees and officers. Nevertheless, it is essential for the “true sale” and “bankruptcy-remote”/“FDIC-remote” analysis that the Depositor maintains its own corporate existence separate from the Sponsor and the Trust and observes the formalities of this corporate separateness at all times. The “Elephant in the Room” in all structured financial transactions is the mandatory requirement to create at least two “true sales” of the notes and mortgages between the Originator and the Trustee for the Trust so as to make the assets of the Trust both “bankruptcy” and “FDIC” remote from the originator. And, these “true sales” will be documented by representations and attestations signed by the parties; by attorney opinion letters; by asset purchase and sale agreements; by proof of adequate and reasonably equivalent consideration for each purchase; by “true sale” reports from the three major “ratings agencies” (Standard & Poors, Moody’s, and Fitch) and by transfer and delivery receipts for mortgage notes endorsed in blank.

Trustee. The Trustee is the owner of the loans on behalf of the certificate holders at the end of the securitization transaction. Like any trust, the Trustee’s powers, rights, and duties are defined by the terms of the transactional documents that create the trust, and are subject to the terms of the trust laws of some particular state, as specified by the “Governing Law” provisions of the transaction document that created the trust. The vast majority of the residential mortgage backed securitized trusts are subject to the applicable trust laws of Delaware or New York. The “Pooling and Servicing Agreement” (or, in “Owner Trust” transactions as described below, the “Trust Indenture”) is the legal document that creates these common law trusts and the rights and legal authority granted to the Trustee is no greater than the rights and duties specified in this Agreement. The Trustee is paid based on the terms of each structure. For example, the Trustee may be paid out of interest collections at a specified rate based on the outstanding balance of mortgage loans in the securitized pool; the Master Servicer may pay the Trustee out of funds designated for the Master Servicer; the Trustee may receive some on the interest earned on collections invested each month before the investor remittance date; or the Securities Administrator may pay the Trustee out of their fee with no charges assessed against the Trust earnings. Fee amounts ranger for as low as .0025% to as high as .009%.

Indenture Trustee and Owner Trustee. Most private-label securitizations are structured to meet the Internal Revenue Code requirements for tax treatment as a “Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (“REMIC”). However some securitizations (both private-label and GSE) have a different, non-REMIC structure usually called an “Owner Trust.” In an Owner Trust structure the Trustee roles are divided between an Owner Trustee and an Indenture Trustee. As the names suggest, the Owner Trustee owns the loans; the Indenture Trustee has the responsibility of making sure that all of the funds received by the Trust are properly disbursed to the investors (bond holders) and all other parties who have a financial interest in the securitized structure. These are usually Delaware statutory trusts, in which case the Owner Trustee must be domiciled in Delaware.

Primary Servicer. The Primary Servicer services the loans on behalf of the Trust. Its rights and obligations are defined by a loan servicing contract, usually located in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement in a private-label (non-GSE) deal. The trust may have more than one servicer servicing portions of the total pool, or there may be “Secondary Servicers,” “Default Servicers,” and/or “Sub-Servicers” that service loans in particular categories (e.g., loans in default). Any or all of the Primary, Secondary, or Sub-Servicers may be a division or affiliate of the Sponsor; however under the servicing contract the Servicer is solely responsible to the Trust and the Master Servicer (see next paragraph). The Servicers are the legal entities that do all the day-to-day “heavy lifting” for the Trustee such as sending monthly bills to borrowers, collecting payments, keeping records of payments, liquidating assets for the Trustee, and remitting net payments to the Trustee.

The Servicers are normally paid based on the type of loans in the Trust. For example, a typical annual servicing fee structure may be: .25% annually for a prime mortgage; .375% for an Alt-A or Option ARM; and .5% for a subprime loan. In this example, a subprime loan with an average balance over a given year of $120,000 would generate a servicing fee of $600.00 for that year. The Servicers are normally permitted to retain all “ancillary fees” such as late charges, check by phone fees, and the interest earned from investing all funds on hand in overnight US Treasury certificates (sometimes called “interest earned on the float”).

Master Servicer. The Master Servicer is the Trustee’s representative for assuring that the Servicer(s) abide by the terms of the servicing contracts. For trusts with more than one servicer, the Master Servicer has an important administrative role in consolidating the monthly reports and remittances of funds from the individual servicers into a single data package for the Trustee. If a Servicer fails to perform or goes out of business or suffers a major downgrade in its servicer rating, then the Master Servicer must step in, find a replacement and assure that no interruption of essential servicing functions occurs. Like all servicers, the Master Servicer may be a division or affiliate of the Sponsor but is solely responsible to the Trustee. The Master Servicer receives a fee, small compared to the Primary Servicer’s fee, based on the average balance of all loans in the Trust.

Custodian. The Master Document Custodian takes and maintains physical possession of the original hard-copy Mortgage Notes, Mortgages, Deeds of Trust and certain other “key loan documents” that the parties deem essential for the enforcement of the mortgage loan in the event of default.

  • This is done for safekeeping and also to accomplish the transfer and due negotiation of possession of the Notes that is essential under the Uniform Commercial Code for a valid transfer to the Trustee to occur.
  • Like the Master Servicer, the Master Document Custodian is responsible by contract solely to the Trustee (e.g., the Master Document Custodial Agreement). However unlike the Master Servicer, the Master Document Custodian is an institution wholly independent from the Servicer and the Sponsor.
  • There are exceptions to this rule in the world of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac (“GSE”) securitizations. The GSE’s may allow selected large originators with great secure storage capabilities (in other words, large banks) to act as their own Master Document Custodians. But even in those cases, contracts make clear that the GSE Trustee, not the originator, is the owner of the Note and the mortgage loan.
  • The Master Document Custodian must review all original documents submitted into its custody for strict compliance with the specifications set forth in the Custodial Agreement, and deliver exception reports to the Trustee and/or Master Servicer as to any required documents that are missing or fail to comply with those specifications.
  • In so doing the Custodian must in effect confirm that for each loan in the Trust there is a “complete and unbroken chain of transfers and assignments of the Notes and Mortgages.”
  • This does not necessarily require the Custodian to find assignments or endorsements naming the Depositor or the Trustee. The wording in the Master Document Custodial Agreement must be read closely. Defined terms such as “Last Endorsee” may technically allow the Custodian to approve files in which the last endorsement is from the Sponsor in blank, and no assignment to either the Depositor or the Trustee has been recorded in the local land records.
  • In many private-label securitizations a single institution fulfills all of the functions related to document custody for the entire pool of loans. In these cases, the institution might be referred to simply as the “Custodian” and the governing document as the “Custodial Agreement.”

O Max Gardner, III and Richard D. Shepherd
October, 2009

Foreclosure Defense: New York Judge Gets It HSBC v Valentin N.Y. Sup., 2008

Also submitted by: mortgagefrauds@aol.com

Editor’s Note: For those who are dubious about the legal positions and theories suggested in this blog, this case will be at least somewhat instructive. It is not just a technicality. It is reality. Nobody on the lender’s side can actually trace your note and mortgage to the real party in interest or anyone with actual personal knowledge of the assignments or the effect of those assignments.

This goes directly to the the issue of denying that payment was not made and the affirmative defense that the entire mortgage was prepaid by a third party who does not have any security rights in the property, was not disclosed to the borrower, and who possesses other assignments and cross guarantees through which payments were made, part of which was attributable to the revenue that was assigned.

Note that the note itself has vanished in most cases, has not been assigned and neither has the mortgage. This is a picture of “smart” people eviscerating the “asset” from which an ABS supposedly derived its value thus hoisting a crowd of people up on their own petards.


HSBC BANK USA, N.A., as Indenture Trustee for the Registered Noteholders of Renaissance Home Equity Loan Trust 2005-3, Renaissance Home Equity Loan Asset-Backed Notes, Series 2005-3,, Plaintiff, v. Candida VALENTIN, Candide Ruiz, et. al., Defendants. No. 15968/07. Jan. 30, 2008. Vincent P. Surico, Esq., De Rose & Surico, Bayside, for Plaintiff. No Opposition submitted by defendants to plaintiff’s Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale. ARTHUR M. SCHACK, J. *

1 Plaintiff’s application, upon the default of all defendants, for an order of reference, for the premises located at 572 Riverdale Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 3838, Lot 39, County of Kings) is denied without prejudice. The “affidavit of merit” submitted in support of this application for a default judgment is not by an officer of the plaintiff or someone with a power of attorney from the plaintiff.

Leave is granted to plaintiff, HSBC BANK USA, N.A., AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE FOR THE REGISTERED NOTEHOLDERS OF RENAISSANCE HOME EQUITY LOAN TRUST 2005-3, RENAISSANCE HOME EQUITY LOAN ASSET-BACKED NOTES, SERIES 2005-3 (HSBC), to renew its application for an order of reference upon presentation to the Court of compliance with the statutory requirements of CPLR § 3215(f), with “an affidavit of facts” executed by someone who is an officer of HSBC or has a valid power of attorney from HSBC.

Further, the Court, upon renewal of the application for an order of reference requires a satisfactory explanation to questions with respect to: the assignment of the instant nonperforming mortgage loan from the original lender, Delta Funding Corporation to HSBC Bank; the employment history of one Scott Anderson, who assigned the instant mortgage to HSBC, yet in a case I decided last month, HSBC Bank, N .A. v. Cherry, 18 Misc.3d 1102(A), swore in an affidavit to be HSBC’s servicing agent; and the relationship between HSBC, Ocwen Federal Bank, FSB (OCWEN), Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, who all seem to share office space at 1661 Worthington Road, Suite 100, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409 (Suite 100). Background Defendants, Candida Valentin and Candide Ruiz, borrowed $340,000 from Delta Funding Corporation, on June 23, 2005.

The note and mortgage were recorded in the Office of the City Register, New York City Department of Finance on July 14, 2005, at City Register File Number (CRFN) 2005000395517. Delta Funding Corporation, by MortgageElectronicRegistrationSystems, Inc. (MERS), its nominee for the purpose of recording the mortgage, assigned the note and mortgage to plaintiff HSBC, on May 1, 2007, with the assignment recorded on June 13, 2007 at CRFN 2007000306260.

Plaintiff’s moving papers for an order of reference fails to present an “affidavit made by the party,” pursuant to CPLR § 3215(f). The application contains an April 23, 2007-affidavit by Jessica Dybas, who states that she is “a Foreclosure Facilitator of OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, servicing agent and attorney in fact to the holder of the bond and mortgage sought to be foreclosed herein.”On that date, the note and mortgage were still held by MERS, as nominee of Delta Funding Corporation. For reasons unknown to the Court, MERS, as nominee of Delta Funding Corporation, or plaintiff HSBC failed to provide any power of attorney authorizing OCWEN to go forward with the instant foreclosure action.

Further, even if HSBC authorized OCWEN to be its attorney in fact, Ms. Dybas is not an officer of OCWEN. She is a “Foreclosure Facilitator,” a job title unknown to this Court. Therefore, the proposed order of reference must be denied without prejudice. Leave is granted to plaintiff HSBC to comply with CPLR § 3215(f) by providing an “affidavit made by the party,” whether by an officer of HSBC or someone with a valid power of attorney from HSBC. *2 Further, according to plaintiff’s application, the default of defendants Valentin and Ruiz began with the nonpayment of principal and interest due on January 1, 2007. Yet, four months later, plaintiff HSBC was willing to take an assignment of the instant nonperforming loan. The Court wonders why HSBC would purchase a nonperforming loan, four months in arrears?

Additionally, plaintiff HSBC must address a third matter if it renews its application for an order of reference. In the instant action, as noted above, Scott Anderson, as Vice President of MERS, assigned the instant mortgage to HSBC on May 1, 2007. Doris Chapman, the Notary Public, stated that on May 1, 2007, “personally appeared Scott Anderson, of 1661 Worthington Road, Suite 100, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409.”In HSBC Bank, N.A. v. Cherry, at 3, I observed that: Scott Anderson, in his affidavit, executed on June 15, 2007, states he is Vice President of OCWEN. Yet, the June 13, 2007 assignment from MERS to HSBC is signed by the same Scott Anderson as Vice President of MERS. Did Mr. Anderson change his employer between June 13, 2007 and June 15, 2007. The Court is concerned that there may be fraud on the part of HSBC, or at least malfeasance. Before granting an application for an order of reference, the Court requires an affidavit from Mr. Anderson describing his employment history for the past three years. Lastly, the court notes that Scott Anderson, in the MERS to HSBC assignment gave his address as Suite 100. This is also the address listed for HSBC in the assignment. In a foreclosure action that Idecided on May 11, 2007 (Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Company v. Castellanos, 15 Misc.3d 1134[A] ), Deutsche Bank assigned the mortgage to MTGLQ Investors, L.P. I noted, at 4-5, that MTGLQ Investors, L.P.: According to Exhibit 21.1 of the November 25, 2006 Goldman Sachs 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission … is a “significant subsidiary” of Goldman Sachs…. [T]he January 19, 2007 assignment has the same address for both the assignor Deutsche Bank and the assignee MTGLQ Investors, L.P., at 1661 Worthington Road, Suite 100, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409.

The Court will not speculate about why two major financial behemoths, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs share space in a West Palm Beach, Florida office suite In the instant action, with HSBC, OCWEN and MERS, joining with Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs at Suite 100, the Court is now concerned as to why so many financial goliaths are in the same space. The Court ponders if Suite 100 is the size of Madison Square Garden to house all of these financial behemoths or if there is a more nefarious reason for this corporate togetherness.

If HSBC seeks to renew its application for an order to reference, the Court needs to know, in the form of an affidavit, why Suite 100 is such a popular venue for these corporations. Discussion Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) § 1321 allows the Court in a foreclosure action, upon the default of the defendant or defendant’s admission of mortgage payment arrears, to appoint a referee “to compute the amount due to the plaintiff.”In the instant action, plaintiff’s application for an order of reference is a preliminary step to obtaining a default judgment of foreclosure and sale. (Home Sav. Of Am., F.A. v. Gkanios, 230 A.D.2d 770 [2d Dept 1996] ). *3 Plaintiff has failed to meet the requirements of CPLR § 3215(f) for a default judgment. On any application for judgment by default, the applicant shall file proof of service of the summons and the complaint, or a summons and notice served pursuant to subdivision (b) of rule 305 or subdivision (a) of rule 316 of this chapter, and proof of the facts constituting the claim, the default and the amount due by affidavit made by the party… Where a verified complaint has been served, it may be used as the affidavit of the facts constituting the claim and the amount due; in such case, an affidavit as to the default shall be made by the party or the party’s attorney. [Emphasis added]. Plaintiff has failed to submit “proof of the facts” in “an affidavit made by the party.”The affidavit is submitted by Jessica Dybas, “a Foreclosure Facilitator of OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, servicing agent and attorney in fact to the holder of the bond and mortgage sought to be foreclosed herein.”There must be an affidavit by an officer of HSBC or a servicing agent, possessing a valid power of attorney from HSBC for that express purpose. Additionally, if a power of attorney is presented to this Court and it refers to pooling and servicing agreements, the Court needs a properly offered copy of the pooling and servicing agreements, to determine if the servicing agent may proceed on behalf of plaintiff. (EMC Mortg. Corp. v. Batista, 15 Misc.3d 1143(A) [Sup Ct, Kings County 2007]; Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co. v. Lewis, 14 Misc.3d 1201(A) [Sup Ct, Suffolk County 2006] ).

Also, the instant application upon defendants’ default must be denied because even though it contains a verified complaint, the attorney’s verification is insufficient to meet the requirements of CPLR § 3215(f). The Court, in Mullins v. Di Lorenzo, 199 A.D.2d 218 [1st Dept 1993], instructed that “a complaint verified by counsel amounts to no more than an attorney’s affidavit and is therefore insufficient to support entry of judgment pursuant to CPLR 3215.”Citing Mullins v. Di Lorenzo, the Court, in Feffer v. Malpeso, 210 A.D.2d 60, 61 [1st Dept 1994], held that a complaint with not more than an attorney’s affidavit, for purposes of entering a default judgment “was erroneous and must be deemed a nullity.”Professor David Siegel, in his Practice Commentaries (McKinney’s Cons Laws of NY, Book 7B, CPLR C3215: 16) explains that Mullins v. Di Lorenzo is in point here. Perhaps the verified complaint can do service as an affidavit for various purposes within the litigation while the contest is on … but it will not suffice to put an end to the contest with as drastic a step as a default at the outset.It must be kept in mind that even an outright “affidavit” by the plaintiff’s attorney on the merits of the case-except in the relatively rare circumstances in which the attorney happens to have first-hand knowledge of the facts-lacks probative force and is usually deemed inadequate by the courts to establish the merits. A fortiori, a verified pleading tendered as proof of the merits would also lack probative force when the verification is the attorney’s. [Emphasis added ] *4 In Blam v. Netcher, 17 AD3d 495, 496 [2d Dept 2005], the Court reversed a default judgment granted in Supreme Court, Nassau County, holding that: In support of her motion for leave to enter judgment against the defendant upon her default in answering, the plaintiff failed to proffer either an affidavit of the facts or a complaint verified by a party with personal knowledge of the facts (seeCPLR 3215(f): Goodman v. New York City Health & Hosps. Corp. 2 AD3d 581 [2d Dept 2003]; Drake v. Drake, 296 A.D.2d 566 [2d Dept 2002]; Parratta v. McAllister, 283 A.D.2d 625 [2d Dept 2001] ). Accordingly, the plaintiff’s motion should have been denied, with leave to renew on proper papers (see Henriquez v. Purins, 245 A.D.2d 337, 338 [2d Dept 1997] ). (See Hazim v. Winter, 234 A.D.2d 422 [2d Dept 1996]; Finnegan v. Sheahan, 269 A.D.2d 491 [2d Dept 2000]; De Vivo v. Spargo, 287 A.D.2d 535 [2d Dept 2001]; Peniston v. Epstein, 10 AD3d 450 [2d Dept 2004]; Taebong Choi v. JKS Dry Cleaning Eqip. Corp., 15 AD3d 566 [2d Dept 2005]; Matone v. Sycamore Realty Corp., 31 AD3d 721 [2d Dept 2006]; Crimmins v. Sagona Landscaping, Ltd., 33 AD3d 580 [2d Dept 2006] ). Therefore, the instant application for an order of reference is denied without prejudice, with leave to renew.

The Court will grant plaintiff HSBC an order of reference when it presents: an affidavit by either an officer of HSBC or someone with a valid power of attorney from HSBC, possessing personal knowledge of the facts; an affidavit from Scott Anderson clarifying his employment history for the past three years and what corporation he serves as an officer; and, an affidavit by an officer of HSBC explaining why HSBC would purchase a nonperforming loan from Delta Funding Corporation, and why HSBC, OCWEN, MERS, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs all share office space in Suite 100.

Conclusion Accordingly, it is ORDERED, that the application of plaintiff, HSBC BANK N.A., AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE FOR THE REGISTERED NOTEHOLDERS OF RENAISSANCE HOME EQUITY LOAN TRUST 2005-3, RENAISSANCE HOME EQUITY LOAN ASSET-BACKED NOTES, SERIES 2005-3, for an order of reference for the premises located at 572 Riverdale Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 3838, Lot 29, County of Kings), is denied without prejudice; and it is further ORDERED, that leave is granted to plaintiff, HSBC BANK N.A., AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE FOR THE REGISTERED NOTEHOLDERS OF RENAISSANCE HOME EQUITY LOAN TRUST 2005-3, RENAISSANCE HOME EQUITY LOAN ASSET-BACKED NOTES, SERIES 2005-3, to renew its application for an order of reference for the premises located at 572 Riverdale Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 3838, Lot 39, County of Kings), upon presentation to the Court, within forty-five (45) days of this decision and order, of: an affidavit of facts either by an officer of HSBC or someone with a valid power of attorney from HSBC, possessing personal knowledge of the facts; an affidavit from Scott Anderson, describing his employment history for the past three years; an affidavit from an officer of plaintiff HSBC BANK N.A., AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE FOR THE REGISTERED NOTEHOLDERS OF RENAISSANCE HOME EQUITY LOAN TRUST 2005-3, RENAISSANCE HOME EQUITY LOAN ASSET-BACKED NOTES, SERIES 2005-3, explaining why plaintiff would purchase a nonperforming loan from Delta Funding Corporation and why plaintiff *5 HSBC BANK N.A., shares office space at Suite 100, 1661 Worthington Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409, with Ocwen Federal Bank FSB, MortgageElectronicRegistrationSystems, Inc., Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs. This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court. N.Y.Sup.,2008. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Valentin Slip Copy, 18 Misc.3d 1123(A), 2008 WL 239932 (N.Y.Sup.), 2008 N.Y. Slip Op. 50164(U) END OF DOCUMENT

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