Insurers Pay Pretender Lenders and Then Pursue Homeowner for the “Loss”

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

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see http://features.necir.org/pmi Insurers pay “losses” on mortgages and then pursue borrowers for recovery of payment

A big area of confusion in the foreclosure cases is the impact of insurance claims and payments with respect to insured mortgages and insured mortgage bonds. So let’s start with the fact that there are many types of insurance contracts that affect the balance to be proven in a foreclosure case. The simplest rule to follow which has been stated in a number of cases, is that if the party seeking foreclosure has already received payments ON THAT LOAN then the balance should be correspondingly reduced. But that reduction is between the pretender lender and the borrower. That doesn’t mean that whoever paid the money to the pretender lender can’t pursue the homeowner for the amount paid. But it does affect the foreclosure because the insurance or third party payment (FDIC loss sharing, for example or Fannie or Freddie buyout or guarantee) affects the claimed liability of the borrower.

If you ask the banks about these payments you get stonewalled. And depending upon the timing of the payment it might invalidate the claim of a default, a notice of default and notice of sale. It could also negate the right to foreclose — again depending upon the timing of the payment.

There have been only 2,000 cases in which the insurers have paid the pretender lender and then fled a lawsuit against the homeowner/borrower. They are claiming they paid for a loss incurred by the pretender lender and that the borrower was essentially unjustly enriched and also claiming subrogation (whatever rights the pretender lender had against the borrower goes to the party making the payment to the pretender lender). The problem here of course is that while only 2,000 cases have been field against borrowers by insurers, there are hundreds of thousands of payments received by the pretender lenders.

And the fact that the insurer paid does NOT mean (but will often be presumed anyway) that the loss was actually incurred by the pretender lender. It is one thing to mistakenly apply presumptions under the UCC in which the pretender lender gets to foreclose. It is quite another when the insurer is making a claim that it paid a loss on your mortgage. They must prove the loss. And that means they not only must prove that they paid the claim, but that the claim was real.

For that reason, I am suggesting to foreclosure defense lawyers that they include, in discovery, the insurers and other third parties who appear to have some connection to the subject loan. This might present an opportunity to determine whether any real loss was present and could open the door to argue the reality: that the foreclosing parties neither owned nor had any risk of loss on the subject loans and that they did not represent any owner or other party entitled to enforce.

The take away here is that in a huge number of cases there are or were third party payments that reduced the alleged loss of the creditor or alleged creditor AND depending upon when those payments were made if might have the effect of rendering a notice of default void or even a foreclosure judgment where the redemption rights of the homeowner were affected by an incorrect statement of the loss. In actions for deficiency, the insurers are essentially cherry picking cases in which they think the borrower can pay the alleged loss. It also might represent an overpayment. For example if the third party payment was on a GSE guaranteed loan, did the pretender lender submit claims for both the insurance payment AND the guarantee payment? Under the terms of the note, the borrower might well be entitled to disgorgement of the overpayment, especially if it totals more than the claimed balance due on the alleged loan.

Insurance on the mortgage bonds is the same but more complicated and harder to present in court. The mortgage bond derives its value from the loan. That is why it is called a derivative. In nearly all cases the payment received by the banks (supposedly on behalf of the investors) is received long before a default on any specific loans and there is NO SUBROGATION. The insurers cannot step into the shoes of the pretender lender under those contracts. The “loss” is a claimed reduction in value called a “credit event” that is declared by the Master Servicer in sole discretion. The payment might be all or less than all of the par value of the mortgage bond.

Whatever the amount, it reduces the alleged loss as between the homeowner and any party making a claim for foreclosure based upon an alleged loss incurred from their default. This is true because the balance due to the investors under the mortgage bond has been covered already by the “credit event” which includes many things other than default on any specific loans, so the payment might include a claimed loss from default on a specific group of loans and other factors. In any event, the investors’ books if they were available would show a lower balance due than what any servicer would show. And that would mean that the default notice might be incorrect especially in terms of the reinstatement amount in the paragraph 22 letter.

And because these insurance contracts provide for no subrogation (no claims can be brought by insurer against the homeowner) the reduction in the balance is a reduction of the balance due from the borrower; and THAT is because if the borrower paid the full amount due on the claims of the pretender lender there would be a windfall or “free ride” to the pretender lender (adding insult to injury).

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Securitization for Lawyers: How it was Written by Wall Street Banks

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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Continuing with my article THE CONCEPT OF SECURITIZATION from yesterday, we have been looking at the CONCEPT of Securitization and determined there is nothing theoretically wrong with it. That alone accounts for tens of thousands of defenses” raised in foreclosure actions across the country where borrowers raised the “defense” securitization. No such thing exists. Foreclosure defense is contract defense — i.e., you need to prove that in your case the elements of contract are absent and THAT is why the note or the mortgage cannot be enforced. Keep in mind that it is entirely possible to prove that the mortgage is unenforceable even if the note remains enforceable. But as we have said in a hundred different ways, it does not appear to me that in most cases, the loan contract ever existed, or that the acquisition contract in which the loan was being “purchased” ever occurred. But much of THAT argument is left for tomorrow’s article on Securitization as it was practiced by Wall Street banks.

So we know that the concept of securitization is almost as old as commerce itself. The idea of reducing risk and increasing the opportunity for profits is an essential element of commerce and capitalism. Selling off pieces of a venture to accomplish a reduction of risk on one ship or one oil well or one loan has existed legally and properly for a long time without much problem except when a criminal used the system against us — like Ponzi, Madoff or Drier or others. And broadening the venture to include many ships, oil wells or loans makes sense to further reduce risk and increase the likelihood of a healthy profit through volume.

Syndication of loans has been around as long as banking has existed. Thus agreements to share risk and profit or actually selling “shares” of loans have been around, enabling banks to offer loans to governments, big corporations or even little ones. In the case of residential loans, few syndications are known to have been used. In 1983, syndications called securitizations appeared in residential loans, credit cards, student loans, auto loans and all types of other consumer loans where the issuance of IPO securities representing shares of bundles of debt.

For logistical and legal reasons these securitizations had to be structured to enable the flow of loans into “special purpose vehicles” (SPV) which were simply corporations, partnerships or Trusts that were formed for the sole purpose of taking ownership of loans that were originated or acquired with the money the SPV acquired from an offering of “bonds” or other “shares” representing an undivided fractional share of the entire portfolio of that particular SPV.

The structural documents presented to investors included the Prospectus, Subscription Agreement, and Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA). The prospectus is supposed to disclose the use of proceeds and the terms of the payback. Since the offering is in the form of a bond, it is actually a loan from the investor to the Trust, coupled with a fractional ownership interest in the alleged “pool of assets” that is going into the Trust by virtue of the Trustee’s acceptance of the assets. That acceptance executed by the Trustee is in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement, which is an exhibit to the Prospectus. In theory that is proper. The problem is that the assets don’t exist, can’t be put in the trust and the proceeds of sale of the Trust mortgage-backed bonds doesn’t go into the Trust or any account that is under the authority of the Trustee.

The writing of the securitization documents was done by a handful of law firms under the direction of a few individual lawyers, most of whom I have not been able to identify. One of them is located in Chicago. There are some reports that 9 lawyers from a New Jersey law firm resigned rather than participate in the drafting of the documents. The reports include emails from the 9 lawyers saying that they refused to be involved in the writing of a “criminal enterprise.”

I believe the report is true, after reading so many documents that purport to create a securitization scheme. The documents themselves start off with what one would and should expect in the terms and provisions of a Prospectus, Pooling and Servicing Agreement etc. But as you read through them, you see the initial terms and provisions eroded to the point of extinction. What is left is an amalgam of options for the broker dealers selling the mortgage backed bonds.

The options all lead down roads that are absolutely opposite to what any real party in interest would allow or give their consent or agreement. The lenders (investors) would never have agreed to what was allowed in the documents. The rating agencies and insurers and guarantors would never have gone along with the scheme if they had truly understood what was intended. And of course the “borrowers” (homeowners) had no idea that claims of securitization existed as to the origination or intended acquisition their loans. Allan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman, said he read the documents and couldn’t understand them. He also said that he had more than 100 PhD’s and lawyers who read them and couldn’t understand them either.

Greenspan believed that “market forces” would correct the ambiguities. That means he believed that people who were actually dealing with these securities as buyers, sellers, rating agencies, insurers and guarantors would reject them if the appropriate safety measures were not adopted. After he left the Federal Reserve he admitted he was wrong. Market forces did not and could not correct the deficiencies and defects in the entire process.

The REAL document is the Assignment and Assumption Agreement that is NOT usually disclosed or attached as an exhibit to the Prospectus. THAT is the agreement that controls everything that happens with the borrower at the time of the alleged “closing.” See me on YouTube to explain the Assignment and Assumption Agreement. Suffice it to say that contrary to the representations made in the sale of the bonds by the broker to the investor, the money from the investor goes into the control of the broker dealer and NOT the REMIC Trust. The Broker Dealer filters some of the money down to closings in the name of “originators” ranging from large (Wells Fargo, Countrywide) to small (First Magnus et al). I’ll tell you why tomorrow or the next day. The originators are essentially renting their names the same as the Trustees of the REMIC Trusts. It looks right but isn’t what it appears. Done properly, the lender on the note and mortgage would be the REMIC Trust or a common aggregator. But if the Banks did it properly they wouldn’t have had such a joyful time in the moral hazard zone.

The PSA turned out to be the primary document creating the Trusts that were creating primarily under the laws of the State of New York because New York and a few other states had a statute that said that any variance from the express terms of the Trust was VOID, not voidable. This gave an added measure of protection to the investors that the SPV would not be used for any purpose other than what was described, and eliminated the need for them to sue the Trustee or the Trust for misuse of their funds. What the investors did not understand was that there were provisions in the enabling documents that allowed the brokers and other intermediaries to ignore the Trust altogether, assert ownership in the name of a broker or broker-controlled entity and trade on both the loans and the bonds.

The Prospectus SHOULD have contained the full list of all loans that were being aggregated into the SPV or Trust. And the Trust instrument (PSA) should have shown that the investors were receiving not only a promise to repay them but also a share ownership in the pool of loans. One of the first signals that Wall Street was running an illegal scheme was that most prospectuses stated that the pool assets were disclosed in an attached spreadsheet, which contained the description of loans that were already in existence and were then accepted by the Trustee of the SPV (REMIC Trust) in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement. The problem was that the vast majority of Prospectuses and Pooling and Servicing agreements either omitted the exhibit showing the list of loans or stated outright that the attached list was not the real list and that the loans on the spreadsheet were by example only and not the real loans.

Most of the investors were “stable managed funds.” This is a term of art that applied to retirement, pension and similar type of managed funds that were under strict restrictions about the risk they could take, which is to say, the risk had to be as close to zero as possible. So in order to present a pool that the fund manager of a stable managed fund could invest fund assets the investment had to qualify under the rules and regulations restricting the activities of stable managed funds. The presence of stable managed funds buying the bonds or shares of the Trust also encouraged other types of investors to buy the bonds or shares.

But the number of loans (which were in the thousands) in each bundle made it impractical for the fund managers of stable managed funds to examine the portfolio. For the most part, if they done so they would not found one loan that was actually in existence and obviously would not have done the deal. But they didn’t do it. They left it on trust for the broker dealers to prove the quality of the investment in bonds or shares of the SPV or Trust.

So the broker dealers who were creating the SPVs (Trusts) and selling the bonds or shares, went to the rating agencies which are quasi governmental units that give a score not unlike the credit score given to individuals. Under pressure from the broker dealers, the rating agencies went from quality culture to a profit culture. The broker dealers were offering fees and even premium on fees for evaluation and rating of the bonds or shares they were offering. They HAD to have a rating that the bonds or shares were “investment grade,” which would enable the stable managed funds to buy the bonds or shares. The rating agencies were used because they had been independent sources of evaluation of risk and viability of an investment, especially bonds — even if the bonds were not treated as securities under a 1998 law signed into law by President Clinton at the behest of both republicans and Democrats.

Dozens of people in the rating agencies set off warning bells and red flags stating that these were not investment grade securities and that the entire SPV or Trust would fail because it had to fail.  The broker dealers who were the underwriters on nearly all the business done by the rating agencies used threats, intimidation and the carrot of greater profits to get the ratings they wanted. and responded to threats that the broker would get the rating they wanted from another rating agency and that they would not ever do business with the reluctant rating agency ever again — threatening to effectively put the rating agency out of business. At the rating agencies, the “objectors” were either terminated or reassigned. Reports in the Wal Street Journal show that it was custom and practice for the rating officers to be taken on fishing trips or other perks in order to get the required the ratings that made Wall Street scheme of “securitization” possible.

This threat was also used against real estate appraisers prompting them in 2005 to send a petition to Congress signed by 8,000 appraisers, in which they said that the instructions for appraisal had been changed from a fair market value appraisal to an appraisal that would make each deal work. the appraisers were told that if they didn’t “play ball” they would never be hired again to do another appraisal. Many left the industry, but the remaining ones, succumbed to the pressure and, like the rating agencies, they gave the broker dealers what they wanted. And insurers of the bonds or shares freely issued policies based upon the same premise — the rating from the respected rating agencies. And ultimate this also effected both guarantors of the loans and “guarantors” of the bonds or shares in the Trusts.

So the investors were now presented with an insured investment grade rating from a respected and trusted source. The interest rate return was attractive — i.e., the expected return was higher than any of the current alternatives that were available. Some fund managers still refused to participate and they are the only ones that didn’t lose money in the crisis caused by Wall Street — except for a period of time through the negative impact on the stock market and bond market when all securities became suspect.

In order for there to be a “bundle” of loans that would go into a pool owned by the Trust there had to be an aggregator. The aggregator was typically the CDO Manager (CDO= Collateralized Debt Obligation) or some entity controlled by the broker dealer who was selling the bonds or shares of the SPV or Trust. So regardless of whether the loan was originated with funds from the SPV or was originated by an actual lender who sold the loan to the trust, the debts had to be processed by the aggregator to decide who would own them.

In order to protect the Trust and the investors who became Trust beneficiaries, there was a structure created that made it look like everything was under control for their benefit. The Trust was purchasing the pool within the time period prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code. The IRC allowed the creation of entities that were essentially conduits in real estate mortgages — called Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits (REMICs). It allows for the conduit to be set up and to “do business” for 90 days during which it must acquire whatever assets are being acquired. The REMIC Trust then distributes the profits to the investors. In reality, the investors were getting worthless bonds issued by unfunded trusts for the acquisition of assets that were never purchased (because the trusts didn’t have the money to buy them).

The TRUSTEE of the REMIC Trust would be called a Trustee and should have had the powers and duties of a Trustee. But instead the written provisions not only narrowed the duties and obligations of the Trustee but actual prevented both the Trustee and the beneficiaries from even inquiring about the actual portfolio or the status of any loan or group of loans. The way it was written, the Trustee of the REMIC Trust was in actuality renting its name to appear as Trustee in order to give credence to the offering to investors.

There was also a Depositor whose purpose was to receive, process and store documents from the loan closings — except for the provisions that said, no, the custodian, would store the records. In either case it doesn’t appear that either the Depositor nor the “custodian” ever received the documents. In fact, it appears as though the documents were mostly purposely lost and destroyed, as per the Iowa University study conducted by Katherine Ann Porter in 2007. Like the others, the Depositor was renting its name as though ti was doing something when it was doing nothing.

And there was a servicer described as a Master Servicer who could delegate certain functions to subservicers. And buried in the maze of documents containing hundreds of pages of mind-numbing descriptions and representations, there was a provision that stated the servicer would pay the monthly payment to the investor regardless of whether the borrower made any payment or not. The servicer could stop making those payments if it determined, in its sole discretion, that it was not “recoverable.”

This was the hidden part of the scheme that might be a simple PONZI scheme. The servicers obviously could have no interest in making payments they were not receiving from borrowers. But they did have an interest in continuing payments as long as investors were buying bonds. THAT is because the Master Servicers were the broker dealers, who were selling the bonds or shares. Those same broker dealers designated their own departments as the “underwriter.” So the underwriters wrote into the prospectus the presence of a “reserve” account, the source of funding for which was never made clear. That was intentionally vague because while some of the “servicer advance” money might have come from the investors themselves, most of it came from external “profits” claimed by the broker dealers.

The presence of  servicer advances is problematic for those who are pursuing foreclosures. Besides the fact that they could not possibly own the loan, and that they couldn’t possibly be a proper representative of an owner of the loan or Holder in Due Course, the actual creditor (the group of investors or theoretically the REMIC Trust) never shows a default of any kind even when the servicers or sub-servicers declare a default, send a notice of default, send a notice of acceleration etc. What they are doing is escalating their volunteer payments to the creditor — made for their own reasons — to the status of a holder or even a holder in due course — despite the fact that they never acquired the loan, the debt, the note or the mortgage.

The essential fact here is that the only paperwork that shows actual transfer of money is that which contains a check or wire transfer from investor to the broker dealer — and then from the broker dealer to various entities including the CLOSING AGENT (not the originator) who applied the funds to a closing in which the originator was named as the Lender when they had never advanced any funds, were being paid as a vendor, and would sign anything, just to get another fee. The money received by the borrower or paid on behalf of the borrower was money from the investors, not the Trust.

So the note should have named the investors, not the Trust nor the originator. And the mortgage should have made the investors the mortgagee, not the Trust nor the originator. The actual note and mortgage signed in favor of the originator were both void documents because they failed to identify the parties to the loan contract. Another way of looking at the same thing is to say there was no loan contract because neither the investors nor the borrowers knew or understood what was happening at the closing, neither had an opportunity to accept or reject the loan, and neither got title to the loan nor clear title after the loan. The investors were left with a debt that could be recovered probably as a demand loan, but which was unsecured by any mortgage or security agreement.

To counter that argument these intermediaries are claiming possession of the note and mortgage (a dubious proposal considering the Porter study) and therefore successfully claiming, incorrectly, that the facts don’t matter, and they have the absolute right to prevail in a foreclosure on a home secured by a mortgage that names a non-creditor as mortgagee without disclosure of the true source of funds. By claiming legal presumptions, the foreclosers are in actuality claiming that form should prevail over substance.

Thus the broker-dealers created written instruments that are the opposite of the Concept of Securitization, turning complete transparency into a brick wall. Investor should have been receiving verifiable reports and access into the portfolio of assets, none of which in actuality were ever purchased by the Trust, because the pooling and servicing agreement is devoid of any representation that the loans have been purchased by the Trust or that the Trust paid for the pool of loans. Most of the actual transfers occurred after the cutoff date for REMIC status under the IRC, violating the provisions of the PSA/Trust document that states the transfer must be complete within the 90 day cutoff period. And it appears as though the only documents even attempted to be transferred into the pool are those that are in default or in foreclosure. The vast majority of the other loans are floating in cyberspace where anyone can grab them if they know where to look.

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.

Relevance: THE FORECLOSER HAS NO RIGHT TO BE IN COURT WITHOUT THE SECURITIZATION DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS

 Courts and lawyers are continually ignoring the obvious. By zeroing in on the NOTE, they are ignoring the documents that allow the person in possession of the note to be in court. That results in elimination of critical elements of a prima facie case in which the Defendant borrower lacks the superior knowledge and resources of the Plaintiff and its co-venturers that would show the truth about his loan ownership and balance.

Premise:

Chronologically the document trail starts with the securitization documents. Without the securitization documents there is no privity or nexus between the borrowers and the lenders. Neither one of them signed the deal that the other signed. Without the Assignment and Assumption Agreement, the Prospectus and the Pooling And Servicing Agreement, the trust does not exist, the servicer has no powers, the trustee has no powers, and there is no right of representation or agency between any of those parties as it relates to either the lender investors or the homeowner borrowers.

 

The Assignment and Assumption Agreement between the originator and the aggregator sets forth all the rules and actions preceding, during and after the loan”closing”, including the underwriting by parties other than the originator and the ownership of the loan by parties other than the originator. It is a contract to violate public policy, the Federal Truth in Lending Law prohibiting table funded loans designed to withhold disclosure, and usually state deceptive and predatory lending statutes.

 

The Assignment and Assumption Agreement was an agreement to commit illegal acts that were in fact committed and which strictly governed the conduct of the originator, the closing agent, the document processing, the delivery of documents, the due diligence, the underwriting, the approval by parties other than the originator and the risk of loss on parties other than the originator. The Assignment and Assumption Agreement is essential to the Court’s knowledge of the intent and reality of the closing, intentionally withheld from the borrower at closing. It cannot be anything other than relevant in any action sought to enforce the documents produced at a loan closing that was conducted in strict adherence to the illegal Assignment and Assumption Agreement.

 

The other closing is with the investors who were accepting a proposed transaction to lend money for the origination or acquisition of loans through a trust. Those documents and records (Prospectus, Pooling and Servicing Agreement, Distribution reports, etc) provide for the creation and governance of the trust, the appointment of a trustee and the powers of the trustee, and the appointment and the powers of the Master Servicer and subservicers. Those documents also provide for there requirements of reporting and record keeping, including the physical location and custody of actual loan documents. Without those documents, there is no power or authority for the trustee, the trust, the Master Servicer, the subservicer, the Depository, the Securities Administrator the purchase of insurance, credit default swap trading, funding the origination or acquisition of loans, or collection and enforcement of loan documents. without those documents the Court cannot know what records should be kept and thus what records need to be produced to show the status of the obligation in the books and records of the creditor — regardless of whether the loan was actually securitized or just claimed to be securitized.

 

Procedure and UCC
In Judicial States, the Plaintiff is bringing suit alleging a default by the Defendant on a promissory note and for enforcement of a mortgage. The name of the payee on the note is different from the name of the Plaintiff in the lawsuit. The name of the mortgagee is different from the the name of the Plaintiff. The suit is bought by (a) a trustee on behalf of the holders of securities that make the holders of those securities (Mortgage Bonds) in a NY Trust (b) the “servicer” on behalf of the trust or the holders or (c) a company that alleges it is a holder or a holder with rights to enforce. None of them assert they are holders in due course which means they concede that the Plaintiff did not buy the loan in good faith without knowledge of the borrowers defenses. They assert they are holder in which case they are subject to all of the borrowers defense — which procedurally means the issues concerning the initial loan and any subsequent transfers can be in issue if the preemptive facts are denied and appropriate affirmative defenses and counterclaims are filed. These defenses are waived at trial if an objection is not timely raised.

 

In Non-Judicial States, the name of the “new” beneficiary is different from the name of the payee on the promissory note and the name of the beneficiary on the Deed of Trust. The “new beneficiary” files a “Substitution of Trustee”, the Trustee sends a notice of default, notice of sale and notice of acceleration based upon “representations” from the “new beneficiary.” This process allows a stranger to the transaction to assert its position outside of a court of law that it is the new beneficiary and even allows the new beneficiary to name a company as the “new trustee” in the Notice of Substitution of Trustee. The foreclosure is initiated by the new trustee on the deed of trust on behalf of (a) a trustee on behalf of the holders of securities that make the holders of those securities (Mortgage Bonds) in a NY Trust (b) the “servicer” on behalf of the trust or the holders or (c) a company that alleges it is a holder or a holder with rights to enforce. None of them assert they are holders in due course which means they concede that the Plaintiff did not buy the loan in good faith without knowledge of the borrowers defenses. They assert they are holder in which case they are subject to all of the borrowers defense — which procedurally means the issues concerning the initial loan and any subsequent transfers can be in issue if the preemptive facts are denied and appropriate affirmative defenses and counterclaims are filed. These defenses are waived at trial if an objection is not timely raised. In these cases it is the burden of the borrower to timely file a motion for Temporary Injunction to stop the trustee’s sale of the property.

 

Argument:
By failing to assert with clarity the identity of the creditor on whose behalf they are “holding” the note and mortgage (or deed of trust) and failing to assert the presence of the actual creditor (holder in due course) the parties initiating foreclosure have (a) failed to assert the essential elements to enforce a note and mortgage and (b) have failed to establish a prima facie case in which the burden should shift to the borrowers to defend. The present practice of challenging the defenses first is improper and contrary to the requirements of due process and the rules of civil procedure. If the Plaintiff in Judicial states or beneficiary in non-judicial states is unable to sustain their burden of proof for a prima facie case, then Judgment should be entered for the alleged borrower.

 

Evidence:
Virtually all loans initiated or originated or acquired between 1996 and the present are subject to claims of securitization, which is the first reason why the securitization documents are relevant and must be introduced as evidence along with proof of compliance with those documents because they are almost all governed by New York State law governing common law trusts. Any act not permitted by the trust instrument (Pooling and Servicing Agreement) is void, which means for purposes of the case narrative, the act or event never occurred.

If the Plaintiff or beneficiary is alleging that it is a holder and not alleging it is a holder in due course then there is a 96% probability that the creditor is either a trust or a group of investors who paid money to a broker dealer in an IPO where securities were issued by the trust and the investors money should have been paid to the trust. In all events, the assertion of “holder” status instead of “Holder in Due Course” means by definition that one of two things is true: (1) there is no holder in due course or (2) there is a Holder in Due Course and the party initiating the foreclosure and collection proceedings is asserting authority to represent the holder in due course. In all events, the representation of holder rather than holder in due course is an admission that the party initiating the foreclosure proceeding is there in a representative capacity.

 

THE FORECLOSER HAS NO RIGHT TO BE IN COURT WITHOUT THE SECURITIZATION DOCUMENTS:

 

If the proceeding is brought by a named trust, then the existence of the trust, the authority of the trust, the manner in which the trust may acquire assets, and the authority of the servicer, Master servicer, trustee of the trust, depository, securities administrator and others all derive from the trust instrument. If there is a claim of securitization and the provisions of the securitization documents were not followed then in virtually all foreclosure cases the wrong parties are initiating the foreclosures — because the money of the investors went direct to the origination and purchase of loans rather than through the SPV Trust which for tax purposes was designed to be a REMIC pass through trust.

 

If the foreclosing party identifies itself as a servicer and as a holder it is admitting that it is there in a representative capacity. Their prima facie case therefore includes the documents and events in which acquired the right to represent the actual creditor. Those are only the securitization documents.

 

If the foreclosing party identifies itself as a holder but does not mention that it is a servicer, the same rules apply — the right to be there is a representative capacity must derive from some written instrument, which in virtually cases is the Pooling and Servicing Agreement.

 

Representations that the loan is a portfolio loan not subject to securitization are generally untrue. In a true portfolio loan the UCC would not apply but the rules governing a holder in due course can be used as guidance for the alleged transaction. The “lender” must show that it actually funded the loan, in good faith (in accordance with the requirements of Federal and State law governing lending) and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. They would be able to show their underwriting committee notes, reports and correspondence, the verification of the loan, the property value, the ability of the borrower to repay and all other national standards for underwriting and appraisals. These are only absent when there is no risk of loss on the alleged loan, because if the borrower doesn’t pay, the money was never destined to be received by the originator anyway.

 

In addition, the Prospectus offering to the investors combined with the Pooling and Servicing Agreement constitute the “indenture” describing the manner in which the investment will be returned to the investors, including interest, insurance proceeds, proceeds of credit default swaps, government and non government guarantees, etc. This specifies the duties and records that must be kept, where they must be kept and how the investors will receive distributions from the servicer. Proof of the balance shown by investors is the only relevant proof of a dealt and the principal balance due, applicable interest due, etc. The provisions of the contract between the creditors and the trust govern the amount and manner of distributions to the creditor. Thus it is only be reference to the creditors’ records that a prima facie case for default and the right to accelerate can be made. The servicer records do not include third party payments but do include servicer advances. If records of servicer advances are not shown in court, and the provision for servicer advances is in the prospectus and/or pooling and servicing agreement, then the Court is unable to know the balance and whether any default occurred as a result of the borrower ceasing to make payments to the servicer.

 

In short, it is the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement that provide the framework for determining whether the creditors got paid as per their expectations pursuant to their contract with the Trust. It is only by reference to these documents that the distribution reports to the investors can be used as partial evidence of the existence of a default or “credit event.” Representations that the borrower did not pay the servicer are not conclusive as to the existence of a default. Only the records of the creditor, who by virtue of its relationships with multiple co-obligors, can establish that payments due were paid to the creditor. Servicer records are relevant as to whether the servicer received payments, but not relevant as to whether the creditor received those payments directly or indirectly. The servicer and creditors’ records establish servicer advance payments, which if made, nullify the creditor default. The creditors’ records establish the amount of principal or interest due after deductions from receipt of third party payments (insurance, credit default swaps, guarantees, loss sharing etc.).

For more information call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688.

 

 

Modifications: Interest reduction, Principal reduction, Payment reduction, and Term increase

In the financial world we don’t measure just the amount of principal. For example if I increased your mortgage principal by $100,000 and gave you 100 years to pay without interest it would be nearly equivalent to zero principal too (especially factoring in inflation). A reduction in the interest rate has an effect on the overall amount of money due from the borrower if (and this is an important if) the borrower is given 40 years to pay AND they intend to live in the house for that period of time. To the borrower the reduction in interest rate and the extension of the period in which it is due lowers the monthly payment which is all that he or she normally cares about.

Nonetheless you are generally correct. And THAT is because the average time anyone lives in a house is 5-7 years, during which an interest reduction would not equate to much of a principal reduction even with inflation factored in. Unsophisticated borrowers get caught in exactly that trap when they do a modification where the monthly payments decline. But when they want to refinance or sell the home they find themselves in a new bind — having to come to the table with cash to sell their home because the mortgage is upside down.

So the question that must be answered is what are the intentions of the homeowner. The only heuristic guide (rule of thumb) that seems to hold true is that if the house has been in the family for generations, it is indeed likely that they will continue to own the property. In that event calculations of interest and inflation, present value etc. make a big difference. But for most people, the only thing that cures their position of being upside down (ignoring the fact that they probably don’t owe the full amount demanded anyway) is by a direct principal reduction.

THAT is the reason why I push so hard on getting credit for receipt of insurance and other loss sharing arrangements, including FDIC, servicer advances etc. Get credit for those and you have a principal CORRECTION (i.e., you get to the truth) instead of a principal REDUCTION, which presumes the old balance was actually due. It isn’t due and it is probable that there is nothing due on the debt, in addition to the fact that it is not secured by the property because the mortgage and note do NOT describe any actual transaction that took place between the parties to the note and the mortgage.

Damages Rising: Wrongful Foreclosure Costs Wells Fargo $3.2 Million

Damage awards for wrongful foreclosure are rising across the country. In New Mexico a judge issued a $3.2 million judgment (including $2.7 million in punitive damages) against Wells Fargo for foreclosing on a man’s home after his death even though he had an insurance policy through the bank that paid the remaining balance on his mortgage. The balance “owed” on the mortgage was $125,000. Despite the fact that the bank knew about the insurance (because it was purchased through the bank) Wells Fargo continued to pursue foreclosure, ignoring the claim for insurance. It is because of cases like this that people are asking “why would they do that?”

The answer is what I’ve been saying for years.  Where a loan is subject to claims of securitization, and the investment banks lied to insurers, investors, guarantors and other co-obligors, they most likely have been paid many times for the same loan and never gave credit to the investors. By not crediting the investors they created the illusion of a higher balance that was due on the loan. They also created the illusion of a default that probably never occurred. But by pursuing foreclosure and foreclosure sale, they compounded the illusion and avoided claims for refund and repayment received from third parties and created claims for recovery of servicer advances. In many foreclosures that I have  reviewed, payments received from the FDIC under loss-sharing were never taken into account. Thus the bank collects money repeatedly for a loss it never incurred.

This case is another example of why I insist on following the money. By following the money trail you will discover that the documents upon which the foreclosure relies referred to  fictitious transactions. The documents are worthless, but nevertheless accepted in court unless a proper objection is made based upon preserving issues for trial and appeal by proper pleading and discovery.

Lawyers should take note of this profit opportunity. Most homeowners are looking for attorneys to take cases on contingency. Typical contingency fee is 40%. If these lawyers were on a typical contingency fee arrangement, their payday would have been around $1.2 million.

I should add that for every one of these judgments that are reported, I hear about dozens of confidential settlements that are of similar nature, to wit: clear title on the house, damages and attorneys fees.

Wells Fargo Ordered to Pay $3.2 Million for “Shocking” Foreclosure

Who Has the Power to Execute a Satisfaction and Release of Mortgage?

 The answer to that question is that probably nobody has the right to execute a satisfaction of mortgage. That is why the mortgage deed needs to be nullified. In the typical situation the money was taken from investors and instead of using it to fund the REMIC trust, the broker-dealer used it as their own money and funded the origination or acquisition of loans that did not qualify under the terms proposed in the prospectus given to investors. Since the money came from investors either way (regardless of whether their money was put into the trust) the creditor is that group of investors. Instead, neither the investors or even the originator received the original note at the “closing” because neither one had any legal interest in the note. Thus neither one had any interest in the mortgage despite the fact that the nominee at closing was named as “lender.”

This is why so many cases get settled after the borrower aggressively seeks discovery.

The name of the lender on the note and the mortgage was often some other entity used as a bankruptcy remote vehicle for the broker-dealer, who for purposes of trading and insurance represented themselves to be the owner of the loans and mortgage bonds that purportedly derive their value from the loans. Neither representation was true. And the execution of fabricated, forged and unauthorized assignments or endorsements does not mean that there is any underlying business transaction with offer, acceptance and consideration. Hence, when a Court order is entered requiring that the parties claiming rights under the note and mortgage prove their claim by showing the money trail, the case is dropped or settled under seal of confidentiality.

The essential problem for enforcement of a note and mortgage in this scenario is that there are two deals, not one. In the first deal the investors agreed to lend money based upon a promise to pay from a trust that was never funded, has no assets and has no income. In the second deal the borrower promises to pay an entity that never loaned any money, which means that they were not the lender and should not have been put on the mortgage or note.

Since the originator is an agent of the broker-dealer who was not acting within the course and scope of their relationship with the investors, it cannot be said that the originator was a nominee for the investors. It isn’t legal either. TILA requires disclosure of all parties to the deal and all compensation. The two deals were never combined at either level. The investor/lenders were never made privy to the real terms of the mortgages that violated the terms of the prospectus and the borrower was not privy to the terms of repayment from the Trust to the investors and all the fees that went with the creation of multiple co-obligors where there had only been one in the borrower’s “closing.”.

The identity of the lender was intentionally obfuscated. The identity of the borrower was also intentionally obfuscated. Neither party would have completed the deal in most cases if they had actually known what was going on. The lender would have objected not only to the underwriting standards but also because their interest was not protected by a note and mortgage. The borrower  would have been alerted to the fact that huge fees were being taken along the false securitization trail. The purpose of TILA is to avoid that scenario, to wit: borrower should have a choice as to the parties with whom he does business. Those high feelings would have alerted the borrower to seek an alternative loan elsewhere with less interest and greater security of title —  or not do the deal at all because the loan should never have been underwritten or approved.

Arizona Appeals Court Reverses Direction: Dismissal of Borrower’s Claims Reversed

JOIN US TONIGHT AT 6PM Eastern time on The Neil Garfield Show. We will discuss this decision and other important developments affecting consumers, borrowers and banks.

Congratulations to Attorney Barbara J. Forde!!

HIGHLIGHTS: Steinberger v Hon. McVey/OneWest

Discharge of Debt — money that OneWest received from FDIC to pay off loss on loan discharges the debt. If it is true that the FDIC has already reimbursed OneWest for all or part of [the borrower’s] default, OneWest may not be entitled to recover that amount from [the borrower}. This corroborates what we have been writing in this blog regarding third-party payments and the existence of co-obligors. To the extent that third party payments have been received by the creditor this court is saying that nobody can collect those same payments (on the same debt) from the borrower.

Unconscionability: Procedural and Substantive: Unfair surprise and fairness, respectively, are the main elements. This opinion raises the possibility of bringing claims that might have been barred by the TILA Statute of Limitations. Pleading requirements are strict. But if you read the decision you can tell that there is room for borrowers to oppose enforcement of contracts that produced sticker shock and other unfair surprises.

Quiet title: This Court concluded that you can’t quiet title based upon the weakness of someone else’s claim. You must allege your right to title and that the parties served have no claim.

Negligence Per Se: Opening a whole new area for litigation this Court concluded that negligence and negligence per se, were valid causes of action for damages and other relief in connection with the handling of modification and other requests.

Negligent Performance of an Undertaking:  This court concluded that the borrower has a cause of action is the lender or the lenders agents or representatives Lord her into defaulting on her loan with the prospect of a loan modification and then negligently administered her application for the modification, causing her to fall so far behind on her payments that it was no longer possible to reinstate her original loan. Borrower must allege that she never obtained a loan modification and that the bank’s conduct ultimately led to the foreclosure on her home.

Good Samaritan Doctrine:  Lender may be held liable under the Good Samaritan Doctrine when a lender or its agent or representative induces a borrower to default on his or her loan by promising a loan modification if he or she defaults. If the borrower in reliance on the promise to modify the loan subsequently defaults on the loan and the lender fails to process the loan modification or due to the lender or agent or representative’s negligence the borrower is not granted a loan modification and the lender subsequently forecloses on the borrower’s property. Note: this is in Arizona decision and is subject to review by the Arizona Supreme Court. It is not dispositive as to all actions in Arizona and can only be used as persuasive authority in other states or federal court.

 Cause of action to avoid a trustee’s sale: The Hogan decision was considered governing but as we pointed out when the decision was made, the Arizona Supreme Court went out of its way to say that  the borrower never alleged that the trustee lacked the authority to conduct a trustee sale and therefore its decision did not address this issue. This court points that out and upheld the borrowers cause of action to avoid a trustee sale based upon the claim that the trustee did not have the authority to conduct a sale of the property. The reasoning behind this decision may well apply in judicial states as well.

 This decision needs to be analyzed carefully. I have only just received it. In the coming days I will provide additional analysis.

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Explains Wells Fargo Servicer Advances

In order to obtain forensic reports including servicer advances please go to www.livingliesstore.com or call 520-405-1688. for litigation support to attorneys call 850-765-1236.

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Mortgage Lenders Network v Wells Fargo, Chapter 11, Case 07-10146(PJW), Adv. Proc., Case 07-51683(PJW)

In an adversary proceeding in which evidence was presented, Judge Walsh dissected the confusing complex agreements involving the real set of co-obligors’ liability to the Creditor REMIC trust. Many thanks to our legal intern, Sara Mangan, currently a law student at FSU.

I had no idea the case existed. It apparently got buried because of all the ancillary issues presented. If you really want to understand the complexity of repayments to the creditor, this is one case that deserves your full attention.

As usual the best decisions are found when the adversaries are both institutions. We are looking for more such cases. This certainly applies to any Wells Fargo case and explains the nervousness of the witness during trial when I asked him about whether the records he brought were complete.

The LPS Desktop system (formerly Fidelity) INCLUDES servicer advances and computations made based upon that. The unavoidable conclusion, drawn by this Judge, is that everything we have been saying about servicer advances is true. Everything in our forensic report is true as to all properties. The servicer makes those payments based upon a payment of enlarged fees for taking the risk on itself, according to the agreements. Whether there is an actual right to recover from anyone is actually not specifically stated except that the net proceeds of liquidation of REO properties after the auction are subject to servicer claims. This might include other insurance or guarantees.

There is no default experienced by the creditor. There is a new potential for a new party (not mentioned in note or mortgage) for recovery outside the terms of the note and mortgage. The expectation is that there will be a foreclosure and there will be a sale. If there is no foreclosure and there is no sale, then the amounts are not recoverable — unless the servicer too is insured. But all of those insurance contracts seem to have been purchased and procured by the broker-dealer (investment bank) that sold the bogus mortgage bonds. The conclusion to be drawn is that the default notice to the homeowner-borrower might be valid (probably not, because servicer advances have already begun) but it is cured immediately after it is sent by payments, often from the same party who sent the default notice.

Remember the language in US Bank and Chase et al. The servicer SHALL make the advances unless it believes the advances are not recoverable. If the servicer was merely making a loan to the trust beneficiaries there would be little doubt that the advances were recoverable. They can argue that the advances are recoverable in substance from the borrower, but that is only AFTER the foreclosure Judgement and AFTER the sale and AFTER the liquidation of the property after the auction sale.

In this case, the following issues are addressed:

1. Servicer advances — in 4 categories. Why they are advanced and when and how they might be recoverable — when the properties are liquidated. There is some confusing language in there about the trusts, so you need to read it carefully. But the main point is that this is a case of prior servicer and new servicer, both of whom take on the obligation of making servicer advances whether the borrower pays or not. If there is a short fall, the servicer pays — or an insurer. In reality, and not addressed by the Court is the fact that in all probability the actual money advanced by the servicer most likely comes from a slush fund created by language buried deep inside the Prospectus or Pooling and Servicing Agreement that allows the investment banker to pay the trust beneficiaries using their own money advanced by them when they became trust beneficiaries.
2. Recovery is clearly stated as whatever money is left after the REO property has been liquidated or from the borrower. [Note there is ONE reference by the Judge to recovering from the Trust but he doesn’t explain it nor does he cite to anything in the agreements]. Since this provision is not referenced in the mortgage, they cannot be traveling under the mortgage and there is no mention of the mortgage provisions in this decision. Since those proceeds frequently are far less than the amount advanced, there is ono direct right of action by the servicer against the borrower, although I postulate that they could potentially bring an unsecured claim for restitution or unjust enrichment.
3. In the end one previous servicer owes the other new servicer the advances, not the trust and not the borrower.
4. There is insurance that makes sure that if the servicer doesn’t make the payments, then the insurer will make-up the shortfall. The insurers do not appear to have any recourse against anyone.

5. There can be no doubt that there are two types of default — one where the borrower stops paying on a note and mortgage (assuming the note and mortgage are valid) and the other, where the REMIC trust beneficiaries fail to get the required distribution as set forth by the Prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement.

6. The conclusion I draw is that the recovery of advances “by the servicer” takes place after the mortgage has been foreclosed, by which time the initial homeowner borrower is out of the picture. Hence, it seems that while there are “proceeds” that can be claimed by the servicer, it is under a separate transaction with the REMIC Trust and under a potential right to claim money from the borrower for contribution or unjust enrichment — with unjust enrichment being a center-point of this case.

This case also explains many other transactions that occur between the servicer and other entities. It isn’t the encyclopaedia of servicer advances, but it explains a lot of what I have been talking about. When the borrower stops making payments for any reason (and perhaps legal reasons for withholding payment, or being prevented from making payments by a servicer who proclaims the loan to be in default), the creditor keep getting paid. So even if the allegation is that the cessation of payments was a default under the note and mortgage, the fact remains that the creditor is not experiencing any default because payments are being made in full by various parties to the creditor. Hence, my question to corporate representatives, about whether they are showing the full record, and whether the books of the creditor show a default. They don’t, if servicer advances were made. I have personally seen a Wells Fargo witness get quite agitated as I approached this subject.

Servicers have kept this information away from borrowers and have withheld it from the courts when they do their accounting.  I would add that if the  argument from opposing counsel is that the servicer advances are secured by the mortgage because of language that includes the word “advances” then they are admitting at this point that the entire structure of the loan as presented to the homeowner borrower was a lie. Under the federal truth in lending act such disclosure was entirely necessary to complete the transaction.

It will also be inevitably argued that this gives the homeowner borrower a free ride. Of course we all know that there is no free ride in this. The homeowner has usually made a substantial down payment and has made monthly payments for years. The homeowner had spent a lot of money on furnishing and completing the house. There is no free ride. But the best argument against the “free ride” allegation is that this is asserted by the party with unclean hands (and often intentionally withheld information from the court or even committed perjury).

read all about it: case on servicer advances and unjust enrichment

ALERT: COMMUNITY BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS AT GRAVE RISK HOLDING $1.5 TRILLION IN MBS

I’ve talked about this before. It is why we offer a Risk Analysis Report to Community Banks and Credit Unions. The report analyzes the potential risk of holding MBS instruments in lieu of Treasury Bonds. And it provides guidance to the bank on making new loans on property where there is a history of assignments, transfers and other indicia of claims of securitization.

The risks include but are not limited to

  1. MBS Instrument issued by New York common law trust that was never funded, and has no assets or expectation of same.
  2. MBS Instrument was issued by NY common law trust on a tranche that appeared safe but was tied by CDS to the most toxic tranche.
  3. Insurance paid to investment bank instead of investors
  4. Credit default swap proceeds paid to investment banks instead of investors
  5. Guarantees paid to investment banks after they have drained all value through excessive fees charged against the investor and the borrowers on loans.
  6. Tier 2 Yield Spread Premiums of as much as 50% of the investment amount.
  7. Intentional low underwriting standards to produce high nominal interest to justify the Tier 2 yield spread premium.
  8. Funding direct from investor funds while creating notes and mortgages that named other parties than the investors or the “trust.”
  9. Forcing foreclosure as the only option on people who could pay far more than the proceeds of foreclosure.
  10. Turning down modifications or settlements on the basis that the investor rejected it when in fact the investor knew nothing about it. This could result in actions against an investor that is charged with violations of federal law.
  11. Making loans on property with a history of “securitization” and realizing later that the intended mortgage lien was junior to other off record transactions in which previous satisfactions of mortgage or even foreclosure sales could be invalidated.

The problem, as these small financial institutions are just beginning to realize, is that the MBS instruments that were supposedly so safe, are not safe and may not be worth anything at all — especially if the trust that issued them was never funded by the investment bank who did the underwriting and sales of the MBS to relatively unsophisticated community banks and credit unions. In a word, these small institutions were sitting ducks and probably, knowing Wall Street the way I do, were lured into the most toxic of the “bonds.”

Unless these small banks get ahead of the curve they face intervention by the FDIC or other regulatory agencies because some part of their assets and required reserves might vanish. These small institutions, unlike the big ones that caused the problem, don’t have agreements with the Federal government to prop them up regardless of whether the bonds were real or worthless.

Most of the small banks and credit unions are carrying these assets at cost, which is to say 100 cents on the dollar when in fact it is doubtful they are worth even half that amount. The question is whether the bank or credit union is at risk and what they can do about it. There are several claims mechanisms that can employed for the bank that finds itself facing a write-off of catastrophic or damaging proportions.

The plain fact is that nearly everyone in government and law enforcement considers what happens to small banks to be “collateral damage,” unworthy of any effort to assist these institutions even though the government was complicit in the fraud that has resulted in jury verdicts, settlements, fines and sanctions totaling into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

This is a ticking time bomb for many institutions that put their money into higher yielding MBS instruments believing they were about as safe as US Treasury bonds. They were wrong but not because of any fault of anyone at the bank. They were lied to by experts who covered their lies with false promises of ratings, insurance, hedges and guarantees.

Those small institutions who have opted to take the bank public, may face even worse problems with the SEC and shareholders if they don’t report properly on the balance sheet as it is effected by the downgrade of MBS securities. The problem is that most auditing firms are not familiar with the actual facts behind these securities and are likely a this point to disclaim any responsibility for the accounting that produces the financial statements of the bank.

I have seen this play out before. The big investment banks are going to throw the small institutions under the bus and call it unavoidable damage that isn’t their problem. despite the hard-headed insistence on autonomy and devotion to customer service at each bank, considerable thought should be given to banding together into associations that are not controlled by regional banks are are part of the problem and will most likely block any solution. Traditional community bank associations and traditional credit unions might not be the best place to go if you are looking to a real solution.

Community Banks and Credit Unions MUST protect themselves and make claims as fast as possible to stay ahead of the curve. They must be proactive in getting a credible report that will stand up in court, if necessary, and make claims for the balance. Current suits by investors are producing large returns for the lawyers and poor returns to the investors. Our entire team stands ready to assist small institutions achieve parity and restitution.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN NEIL GARFIELD AND THE BANK OFFICERS (WITH THE BANK’S LAWYER) ON THE LINE, EXECUTIVES FOR SMALL COMMUNITY BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS SHOULD CALL OUR TALLAHASSEE NUMBER 850-765-1236 or OUR WEST COAST NUMBER AT 520-405-1688.

BLK | Thu, Nov 14

BlackRock with ETF push to smaller banks • The roughly 7K regional and community banks in the U.S. have securities portfolios totaling $1.5T, the majority of which is in MBS, putting them at a particularly high interest rate risk, and on the screens of regulators who would like to see banks diversify their holdings. • “This is going to be a multiple-year trend and dialogue,” says BlackRock’s (BLK) Jared Murphy who is overseeing the iSharesBonds ETFs campaign. • The funds come with an expense ratio of 0.1% and the holdings are designed to limit interest rate risk. BlackRock scored its first big sale in Q3 when a west coast regional invested $100M in one of the funds. • At issue are years of bank habits – when they want to reduce mortgage exposure, they typically turn to Treasurys. For more credit exposure, they habitually turn to municipal bonds. “Community bankers feel like they’re going to be the last in the food chain to know if there are any problems with a corporate issuer,” says a community bank consultant.

Full Story: http://seekingalpha.com/currents/post/1412712?source=ipadportfolioapp

Insurance and Hedge Proceeds Applied to Loan Balances

One of the more controversial statements I have made is that certain types of payments from third party sources should be applied, pro rata, against loan balances. Some have stated that the collateral source rule bars using third party payments as offset to the debt. But that rule is used in tort cases and contract cases are different. There are certain types of payments, like guarantees from Fannie and Freddie that might not be susceptible to use as offset because they are caused by the default of the debtor and because they are not paid until the foreclosure is complete.

But the insurance, credit default swaps and other hedge products that caused the banks to receive payment are a different story. Those are not paid because of a default by any particular borrower but rather are caused by a unilateral declaration of a “credit event” declared by the Master Servicer and are paid to the holder of the mortgage bonds. The mortgage bonds are issued by a trust based upon the advance of money by investors who wish to pool their money into an asset pool and receive income with what was thought to be a minimum of risk.

Since the broker-dealers (investment banks) were acting as agents for the trust and the bond holders, any money received by them should have first been allocated to the trust, then pro rata to the bond holders. Whether or not this money was actually forwarded to the bond holders is irrelevant if the investment banks were the agents of the investment vehicle and thus owed a duty to the investors to whom they sold the mortgage bonds.

Logic dictates that if the money was paid to the banks as “holders” of the bond (because they were issued in street name as nominee securities) that the balance owed by the trust to the investors was correspondingly reduced — reflecting the devaluation of the bonds declared by the master servicer based upon such criteria as the lack of liquidity of the bonds that had been trading freely on a weekly basis, or because of the severe drop in real estate prices down to their actual values, or because of other factors.

It should be noted that the declaration of the banks is unilateral and in their sole discretion and not subject to challenge by anyone because the declaration creates an irrefutable presumption that the content of the declaration is true. Thus the insurance company must pay, the credit default swap counterparty must pay and other hedge partners must pay as a result of an act by the bank, not the investor nor the borrower.

All the loans contained in the asset pool subject to the declared credit event are affected. And since the reason for the declaration has little relationship to defaults, and plenty of other more important reasons, the amount owed to investors is reduced by the receipt of the payments by their agent, the bank. That means the account receivable of the lender is reduced, regardless of which bank account the money happens to be deposited.

If the account receivable is reduced before, during or after a delinquency of the borrower (assuming the loan is actually in existence) then the borrowers’ balances should be reduced, pro rata for each loan in the asset pool that was the subject of the declaration of a credit event. It is therefore my opinion that the homeowner could and probably should file an affirmative defense for offset for the pro rata share of insurance, credit default swaps etc.

There is one more source that should be considered for offset. Several investors have made claims against the banks claiming that their money was misused and that the terms of the loan were not followed including, bad underwriting and unenforceable documents created at closing. Many of them have already settled those claims and received payment, thus reducing their account receivable from the trust (and by pure logic reducing, dollar for dollar the account payable from the trust). Since the sole source of payment on the bond is the payment of the mortgages, it follows that by utilizing the most simple of accounting standards, the balance owed by the homeowner would be correspondingly be reduced, pro rata, dollar for dollar.

The fact that the underwriting was bad, the loans were not viable or enforceable and based upon inflated appraisals and lies about the income of the borrower, is not something caused by the borrower. The fact that the money was paid to all of the investors in that particular asset pool means that each investor should get a share equal to the amount of money they invested compared to all the money that was invested in that pool.

As to figuring out how much of the offset goes to the borrower’s account payable, it should be calculated in the same way. The amount of the borrower’s debt should be compared with the total amount of loans in the asset pool. This percentage should be applied against all third party payments that did not arise out of the default by the borrowers. In fact, it should be applied against all borrowers whose loans were claimed by that asset pool, whether they were in default or not. This would be grounds for a claim by people who are “current” in their payments for a credit or refund of the amount received from insurance, credit default swaps, or payments by the banks in settlement of investors’ claims of fraud.

This approach should be brought up very early in litigation so that there is plenty of time to pursue the discovery required to determine the amount received and the proper calculation of pro rata shares. If you do it at trial, the best you can hope for is that the judge will take notice of the fact that the foreclosing party only brought part of the documents relating to the loan instead of all of them, which should be the subject of a subpoena for the designated witness of the bank to bring with her or him all of the documents relating to the subject loan or any instrument deriving its value in whole or in part from the subject loan’s existence.

Thus at trial you can have a two pronged attack, getting them coming and going. The first is of course the fact that the originator did not fund the loan and that the break between the money trail (actual transactions) and the paper trail (fictitious transactions) occurred at the closing table. In most cases that is true, but it can be replaced or buttressed by the fact that the same argument holds true for acquired loans that were previously originated. The endorsement of the note or assignment of mortgage is a fictitious instrument if there was no sale of the loan. The important thing is to talk about the money first and then use that to show that the documents are fabricated relating to no real transaction.

Then you also have the argument of offset which hopefully by then you will have set up by discovery.

Practice Note: Many lawyers are accepting fee retainers far below the level that would support properly litigating these cases. Now that the marketplace has matured, lawyers should reconsider their pricing and their prosecution of the defenses, affirmative defenses and counterclaims. Even clients who announce a goal of just staying as long as possible without paying rent or mortgage are probably saying that because they think they owe more money than is actually the case.

Glaski Decision in California Appellate Court Turns the Corner on “Getting It”

8/8/13 NOTE: This decision was approved for publication and therefore applies to all cases within the district of the appellate court.

On the other hand we should not assume that they have arrived nor that this decision will have pervasive effects throughout California or elsewhere in the United States or other countries.

J.P. Morgan did suffer a crushing defeat in this decision. And the borrower definitely receive the benefits of a judicial decision that will allow the borrower to sue for wrongful foreclosure including equitable and legal relief which in plain language means reversing the foreclosure and getting damages. Probably one of the most damaging conclusions by the appellate court is that an examination of whether the loan ever made it into the asset pool is proper in determining the proper party to initiate a foreclosure or to offer a credit bid at a foreclosure auction.  The court said that alleged transfers into the trust after the cutoff date are void under New York State law which is the law that governs the common-law trusts created by the banks as part of the fraudulent securitization scheme.

Before you give them a standing ovation remember that it is possible for additional documentation to be created, fabricated and forged showing that despite the apparent violation of the cutoff date, the trustee has accepted the loan into the trust. This will most likely be a lie. I don’t think there is any entity acting as trustee of a trust that doesn’t know that it is under intense scrutiny and doesn’t want to be subject to liability that could amount to trillions of dollars advanced by investors with the purchase of bogus mortgage-backed bonds that were presumably managed by the trustee but in reality not managed at all  because the bonds were worthless. This gave the banks the opportunity to claim that they owned the bonds and therefore had an insurable interest which gave rise to the whole problem with AIG and AMBAC and other insurers or parties who had guaranteed the bond, the loan or any loss (credit default swaps).

The fact that the loan in this case was definitely securitized is also interesting. Of course Washington Mutual was stating to everyone that it was not involved in the securitization of mortgage loans when in fact nearly all of the loans originated became subject to claims of securitization. This case explains why I never say that the loan was securitized or that the loan was in any particular trust, to wit: I don’t believe that a funded trust exists with the ability to purchase loans and therefore I don’t believe the loans are in any of the asset pools. So when people ask me how they can prove which trust their loan is actually in, I reply that they are asking the wrong question.

What is being played out here in this case and hundreds of thousands of other cases is a representation by the foreclosing entity that the trust owns the loan when in fact it never owned the loan nor could it because the money that was advanced by investors was never deposited into the trust. We have the same banks representing to regulatory authorities and insurers that it is the bank and not the trust that owns the loan even though the bank merely made the loan using money advanced by investors who believed that they were buying mortgage-backed bonds. The truth is they were merely making a deposit into an account maintained by the investment bank. The resulting transactions do not qualify for exemption as securities or insurance under the 1998 law. Nor do they qualify for REMIC treatment under the Internal Revenue Code.

In other words if you take a close look and actually follow the path of the money and the path of the paper you will find that despite the pronouncements from the Department of Justice and other agencies, this is a simple fraud case using a Ponzi model. The hallmark of a Ponzi model is that it collapses as soon as the investors stop buying the bogus securities. If the government cares to do so it can freely prosecute the individuals and companies involved without any air of exemption under the 1998 law because none of the parties followed the securitization path presumed by the 1998 law. So we are back to this, to wit: a security is a security and subject to SEC regulations and insurance is an insurance contract subject to insurance regulators, and fraud is fraud subject to recovery of restitution, compensatory damages, punitive damages, treble damages etc.

You should remember when reading this decision that the appellate court was not ruling in favor of the borrower granting the substantive relief the borrower  was seeking. The appellate court merely reversed the trial court decision to dismiss the borrower’s claims. That only means that the borrower now as an opportunity to prove the elements of quiet title, wrongful foreclosure, slander of title, cancellation of instruments and relief under California’s version of unfair business practices. But the devil is in the details and proving the case requires aggressive discovery and aggressive preparation for trial. It is highly probable that the case will settle. The bank will probably be willing to pay almost any amount of money to avoid a judgment setting forth the elements of a wrongful foreclosure and how the bank violated the law.

The Bank will attempt to avoid any final order that undermines the value of loans that are subject to claims of securitization, because those loans supposedly support the value of the bogus mortgage-backed bonds sold to investors.  Any such final order would also undermine the balance sheet of J.P. Morgan and any other major bank carrying the mortgage bonds as assets on their balance sheet. If those assets are diminished, then the bank is not as well funded as it has been reporting. In fact, those assets might well vanish completely from the balance sheet of those banks, causing the banks to be seized by the FDIC and broken up into smaller pieces for regional and community banks to pick up. Hence this decision represents a risk factor that could eliminate the legal fiction created by smoke and mirrors from Wall Street banks, to wit: it is not the borrowers who are deadbeats, it is the banks who are broke and whose management has run off with billions and perhaps trillions of dollars that should be in the United States economy. The absence of that money lies at the root of our unemployment and low economic activity.

This Glaski case has many of the elements that we have been discussing for years. Fabricated documents, forgeries, perjury, false affidavits and no money trail to backup the story painted by the fabricated documents. And of course it has our old friend Washington Mutual Bank And the supposed take over by Chase Bank that never actually happened.

And it involves the issue of assignments and the fact that the assignment is not the transaction itself but only a report of a transaction. If the borrower proves that the transaction reported in the assignment or other instrument of conveyance never occurred, or if the borrower is successful in shifting the burden of proof to the bank to show that it did occur, the assignment will have no value whatsoever unless the transaction is present, to wit: that someone actually purchased the loan through the payment of money or other valuable consideration that was received by a party who actually owned the loan.

Thus even if Chase Bank were able to show that it entered into a transaction in which the loans were transferred (something we can find no evidence of which the FDIC receiver says never occurred) that would only be the equivalent of a quit claim deed, to wit: whoever received the consideration for the transfer of the loans was merely conveying any interest they had even if they had no interest at all. Hence the transactions by which Washington Mutual allegedly came to be the owner of the loan must be examined in the same way as the transaction between the Washington Mutual bankruptcy estate and chase bank.

You should also take note that the decision was published with the admonition that it is  “not to be published in the official reports.”  this is further indication that the court is concerned about the far-reaching effects of the decision and essentially tells trial judges that they do not have to follow it. So for those who wish to point to this decision and say “game over” we are not there yet. But I do think that we passed the halfway point and we are probably in the fifth or sixth inning of a nine inning game. Translating that to time, I would estimate that it’s going to take another three or four years to clean up this mess and that it might take several decades to clean up the title corruption that was created by the banks.

http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/2013/08/01/glaski-v-bank-of-america-ca5-5th-appellate-district-securitization-failed-ny-trust-law-applied-ruling-to-protect-remic-status-non-judicial-foreclosure-statutes-irrelevant-because-sa/

BOA Seeks to Seal Damaging Testimony from Urban Lending

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

WHY ARE THE BANKS FIGHTING TO GET AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE FROM EACH “FAILED” LOAN?

A drama is playing out in the state of Massachusetts. Bank of America is pretending to be the lender or the authorized servicer or both. But it outsourced the task of dealing with borrowers seeking modification. The company that was used is Urban Lending Solutions (ULS).  A deposition was taken from a knowledgeable source from within ULS.  The attorney  taking the deposition was merely looking for evidence of a script prepared by Bank of America that ULS employees were to follow. Not only was the script uncovered but considerable other evidence suggested institutional policies at Bank of America that were in direct conflict with the requirements of law, and in direct violation of the settlements with the Department of Justice and the banking regulators.

The transcript of the deposition was sealed at the request of Bank of America, which the borrower did not interpose any objection. Now there are a lot of people who want to see that deposition and who want to take the deposition of the same witness and other witnesses at ULS who might reveal the real intent of Bank of America. The question which is sought to be answered is why the mega banks are fighting so hard to take less money in a foreclosure sale then they would get in a modification or even a short sale. The policy is obvious. Borrowers are lured into a hole that gets deeper and deeper so that foreclosure seems inevitable and indefensible. Even after a successful trial modification the banks are turning down the permanent modification, as though they had the power to do so.

Now a number of attorneys are preparing motions to the trial court in Massachusetts to unseal the transcript of the ULS employee. Bank of America is opposing these efforts on the grounds of “confidentiality” which from my perspective makes absolutely no sense. Why would Bank of America share confidential information or trade secrets with a vendor whose only purpose was to interfere with the modification process? My opinion is that the only information that Bank of America wishes to keep secret is that the instructions they gave to ULS clearly show that Bank of America was not interested in anything other than achieving a foreclosure sale in as many cases as possible.

In nearly all cases the modification of the loan more than doubles the prospect of proceeds from the loan and in some cases approaches 100%. Thus the full-court press from the megabanks to go to foreclosure is a mystery that will be solved. My sources from inside the industry together with my own analysis indicates that the reason is very simple. The banks took in money from investors, insurers, counterparties in credit default swaps, the Federal Reserve, the Department of the Treasury and other parties based on the representation of the banks that (A) the banks owned the mortgage bonds and therefore on the loans and (B) there was a loss resulting from widespread defaults on mortgages. Under the terms of the various contracts within the false chain of securitization and the Master servicer had sole discretion as to whether or not the value of the mortgage bonds and the asset pools had declined and had sole discretion as to the amount of the loss caused by the defaults. Both representations were false — the Banks did not own the bonds or the loans and the loss was not even close to what was represented to insurers and other third parties.

As a general rule of thumb, the banks computed value of the collateral at around 25% and therefore received payment to compensate the banks for a 75% loss. They received the payment several times over and then sold the mortgage bonds to the Federal Reserve for 100% of the face value of the bonds. It can be fairly estimated that they received no less than 250% of the principal amount due on each of the loans contained within the asset pool that had issued each mortgage bond. While they had to create the appearance of objectivity by showing a number of the loans as performing, they intentionally overestimated the number of loans that were in default or were in the process of going into default.

Let us not forget that while nobody was looking the Federal Reserve has been “purchasing” the worthless mortgage bonds at the rate of $85 billion per month for a long time and doesn’t appear to have any intention of stopping that flow of money to banks that have already received more than 100% of the principal due on the notes. And lest you be confused, the money the banks received should have gone to the investors and should never have been kept by the banks. The purchases by the Federal Reserve at 100% of face value despite a market value of zero is merely a way for the Federal Reserve to keep the mega banks floating on an illusion.

Since the banks received 250% of the principal amount due on the loan, an actual recovery from the borrower of 100% (for example) on the loan would leave the banks with a liability to all of the third parties that paid the banks. The refund liability would obviously be 150% of the principal amount due on the loan and the banks would be required to turn over the hundred percent recovery from the borrower to the investors adding to their liability. THIS IS WHY I SAY CALL THEIR BLUFF AND OFFER THEM ALL THE MONEY DEMANDED ON CONDITION THAT THEY PROVE OWNERSHIP AND PROVE THE LOSS IS ACTUALLY THE LOSS OF THE BANK AND NOT OF THE INVESTORS.

But if the case goes through a foreclosure sale, the banks can take a comfortable position that the number of defaults and the depth of the loss was as great as they represented when they took payment from insurers and other third parties. The liability of 250% is completely eliminated. Thus while it might appear to be in the bank’s interest to take a 60% recovery from the borrower instead of a 25% recovery from a foreclosure sale, the liability that would be created each time alone was modified or settled would dwarf the apparent savings to the pretender lender or actual creditor.

The net result is that on a $100,000 loan, the investor takes an extra $35,000 loss over and above what would normally apply in a workout and the bank avoids $250,000 in liabilities to third parties who paid based upon false representations of losses.

The mere fact that they went to great lengths to seal the transcript indicates how vulnerable they feel.

PRACTICE MEMO TO FORECLOSURE DEFENSE LAWYERS

As a condition precedent I would suggest that in all cases where we feel the deposition transcript would be helpful I think it would create more credibility if you issued a subpoena duces tecum directed at Urban to produce the witness whose deposition was sealed in the existing case and to bring those records that were requested or demanded at that deposition. One of the questions that needs to be answered is whether the witness witness is still working for Urban, whether the witness has “disappeared”, and whether his testimony has changed — thus we would need the other deposition to test credibility and perhaps get exhibits that BANA either didn’t object to, which means they waived confidentiality. If they do not move to quash the subpoena then they might also be arguably waiving the confidentiality objection.
If they do object, you have two bites of the apple — if they move to quash they must state the grounds other than than it will damage their chances in litigation. The trial court would then hear the objections and of course each if the cases that could benefit from unsealing the deposition results in a hearing, then several judges would hear the same objection. The likelihood is that the objection would attempt to bootstrap the order sealing the deposition as reason enough to quash the subpoena. That in turn puts pressure on the Massachusetts judge to release the transcript.
The more Motions filed the better. So I would suggest that we reach out through media to get as many people as possible with separate motions saying that sealing the deposition is causing a disruption in due process. Since Urban reached out on behalf of BANA — an allegation that should be made in opposition test the motion to quash the subpoena in each case — exactly what confidential information needs to be protected? Has the Massachusetts court heard a motion in liming preventing the use of the deposition at trial? If not, then the objection is waived since the Plaintiff will clearly use the deposition at trial, if there is one.
The other issue is that BOA can’t simply allege confidentiality rather than strategy in litigation. They must state with particularity what could be possibly confidential. There is no attorney-client privilege, there is no attorney work product privilege.  At first Bank of America disclaimed any knowledge or relationship with ULS.  When it became obvious that the relationship existed and that ULS was using Bank of America letterhead to communicate with borrowers they finally admitted that the relationship existed and then went one step further by alleging confidentiality and trade secrets so that the contract and instructions between Bank of America and ULS would never see the light of day., For a company that BOA disclaimed any knowledge but who used BOA stationery they were clearly an agent of BANA. What exactly could Urban have other than information about modification and foreclosure? I would also notice or subpoena BANA to produce the person who signed the contract with Urban and to bring the contract with him or her. Who received instructions from BOA? Where are those instructions? Were they produced at the sealed deposition.
 If the Massachusetts court does not unseal the transcript, doesn’t this give BOA an opportunity for a do-over where they fabricate documents that are different from those produced in the sealed deposition?
What were the instructions to Urban? What was the goal of the relationship between BOA and URban? Where are the scripts now that we’re produced in the sealed deposition?
Were the instructions to Urban the same as the instructions to all vendors assisting in the foreclosure process? Why did BOA even need Urban if it had proof of payment, proof of loss,  proof of ownership of the loan? We want to know what scripts were used by Urban and whether the same scripts were distributed to other vendors whose behavior could be plausibly denied. Discovery is a process by which the party seeking it must only show that it might lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. THE POINT MUST BE MADE THAT THE DEFENSE FOR WHICH WE ARE LOOKING FOR SUPPORT AND CORROBORATION IS THAT THE DELIBERATE POLICY AND PRACTICE OF BOA WAS TO MOVE PEOPLE INTO DEFAULT BY TELLING THEM TO STOP MAKING PAYMENTS. WE WANT TO SHOW THAT THEIR GOAL WAS FORECLOSURE NOT MODIFICATION CONTRARY TO THE REQUIREMENTS UNDER HAMP AND HARP AND THAT RATHER THAN PROCESS MODIFICATION OR SETTLEMENTS THE POLICY WAS TO DERAIL AS MANY AS POSSIBLE TO GET THE FORECLOSURE EVEN IF IT MEANT THAT THE INVESTORS WOULD GET LESS MONEY? Why?
The instruction was to use the promise or carrot of modification to trick the homeowner into (a) acknowledging BOA as the right party (b) stop making payments causing an apparent default and causing an escrow shortage (c) thus assuring the foreclosure sale despite the fact that BOA never acquired and (d) thus assuring that claims against them from investors (see dozens of law suits against BOA) and from insurers and counter parties on credit default swaps and payments from co-obligors based on the “default” that BOA fabricated — payments that involved more than the loan itself in multiples of the supposed loan balance.

This is an important battle. Let’s win it. There is strength in numbers. We might find the scripts were prepared by someone who used scripts from other banks and that the banks were in agreement that despite the obligations under HAMP and HARP and despite their ,rinses in the AG and OCC settlement, their goal is to foreclose at all costs because if the general pattern of conduct is to settle these loans and make them “performing” loans again it is highly probable that for each dollar of principal that gets taken of the table there is a liability or claim for $10. This would establish that the requirements of HAMP and HARP has resulted in negotiating with the fox while the fox is in the henhouse getting fat.

Monday Livinglies Magazine: Crime and Punishment

Steal this Massachusetts Town’s Toughest New Foreclosure Prevention Ideas
http://www.keystonepolitics.com/2013/06/steal-this-massachusetts-towns-toughest-new-foreclosure-prevention-ideas/

Florida leads nation in vacated foreclosures — and it’s not even close http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=33330748

Editor’s Note:  it is only common sense. There are several things that are known with complete certainty in connection with the mortgage mess.

  • We know that the banks found it necessary to forge, fabricate and alter legal documents illegally in order to create the illusion that foreclosure was proper.
  • We know that the banks manipulated the published rates on which adjustable mortgages changed their payments.
  • We know that the banks typically abandon any property that the bank has deemed to be undesirable (then why did they foreclose, when they had a perfectly good homeowner who was willing to pay something including the maintenance and insurance of the house?).
  • And we can conclude that it is far more important to the banks that they be able to foreclose and have the deed issued then to actually take possession of the property for sale or rental.
  • And so we know that the mortgage and foreclosure markets have been turned on their heads. Lynn, Massachusetts has adopted a series of regulations which appeared to be constitutional and which make it very difficult for the banks to turn neighborhoods that were thriving into blight.  The actions of this city and others who are taking similar actions will continue to reveal the true nature of the mortgage encumbrances (the lanes were never perfected because the loan was never made by the party that is claiming to be secured) and the true nature of foreclosures (the cover-up to a Ponzi scheme and an illegal securities scam that does not and never did fall within the exemptions of the 1998 law claimed by the banks).

The Bank Of International Settlements Warns The Monetary Kool-Aid Party Is Over
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-23/bank-international-settlements-warns-monetary-kool-aid-party-over

Wells Fargo Sells Woman’s House In Foreclosure After She Reinstates Loan for $141,441.81
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/06/20/wells-fargo-sells-womans-house-in-foreclosure-after-she-reinstates-loan-for-141441-81/

Editor’s Note: In all of these cases you need to start with the premise that the bank has a gargantuan liability in the event that it took insurance, credit default swap proceeds, federal bailouts, or the proceeds of sales of mortgage bonds to the Federal Reserve. Most experts in finance and economics agree that if the Federal Reserve stops making payments on the “purchase” of mortgage bonds the entire housing market will collapse. I don’t agree.

It is the banks that will collapse in the housing market will finally recover bringing the economy back up with it. The problem for the Federal Reserve and the economy is that most likely they are buying worthless paper issued by a trust that was never funded and that therefore could never have purchased any loan. Thus the income and the collateral of the mortgage bond is nonexistent.

Many people in the financial world completely understand this and are terrified at the prospect of the largest banks being required to mark down their reserve capital;  if this happens, and it should, these banks will lack the capital to continue functioning as a mega-bank.

So why would a bank foreclose on house on which there was no mortgage and/or no default? The answer lies in the fact that they have accepted money from third parties on the premise that they lost money on these mortgages. If that turns out not to be true (which it isn’t) then they most probably owe a lot of money back to those third parties.

My estimate is that in the average case they owe anywhere from 7 to 40 times the amount of the mortgage loan.  It is simply cheaper to settle with the aggrieved homeowner even if they pay damages for emotional distress (which is permitted in California and perhaps some other states); it is even cheaper and far more effective for the bank to give the house back without any encumbrance to the homeowner. Without the foreclosure becoming final or worse yet, as the recent revelations from Bank of America clearly show, if the loan is modified and becomes a performing loan all of that money is due back to all of those third parties.

“Deed-In-Lieu” of Foreclosure and Other Things
http://www.fxstreet.com/education/related-markets/lessons-from-the-pros-real-estate/2013/06/20/

Editor’s Note: This has come up many times in  questions and discussions regarding dealing with the Wall Street banks. It seems that the banks have borrowers thinking that in order to file a deed in lieu of foreclosure they need the permission of the bank. I know of no such provision in the law of any state preventing the owner of the property from deeding the property to anyone.  Several lawyers are seeing an opportunity, to wit: once the homeowner deeds the properties to the party pretending to foreclose on the property, the foreclosure action against the homeowner must be dismissed. That leaves the question of a deficiency judgment.

The advantages to the homeowner appears to be that any lawsuit seeking to recover a deficiency judgment would be strictly about money and would require the allegation of a monetary loss and proof of the monetary loss which would enable the homeowner, for the first time, to pursue discovery on the money trail because there is no other issue in dispute.

In the course of that litigation the discovery may reveal the fact that the party who filed the foreclosure and misrepresented their right to the collateral would be subject to various causes of action for damages as a counterclaim; but the counterclaim would not be filed until after discovery revealed the problem for the “lender.” Therefore several lawyers are advising their clients to simply file the deed in favor of the party seeking foreclosure based upon the representation that they are in fact the right party to obtain a sale of the property.

The lawyers who are using this tactic obviously caution their clients against using it unless they are already out of the house or are planning to move. Homeowners who are looking to employ this tactic should check with a licensed attorney in the jurisdiction in which their property is located.

Must See Video: Arizona Homeowners Losing their Homes to Foreclosure Through Forged Documents
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/06/21/must-see-video-arizona-homeowners-losing-their-homes-to-foreclosure-through-forged-documents/

Monitor Finds Mortgage Lenders Still Falling Short of Settlement’s Terms

By SHAILA DEWAN

The biggest mortgage lenders in the United States have not met all of the terms of the $25 billion settlement over abuses, an independent monitor found.

British Commission Calls for New Laws to Prosecute Bankers for Fraud

By MARK SCOTT

As part of a 600-page report, the British parliamentary commission on banking standards is urging new laws that would make it a criminal offense to recklessly mismanage local financial institutions.

A Fit of Pique on Wall Street

By PETER EAVIS

Perhaps more than at any time since the financial crisis, Wall Street knows it must prepare for a world without the Federal Reserve’s largess.

S.E.C. Has a Message for Firms Not Used to Admitting Guilt

By JAMES B. STEWART

By requiring an admission of guilt in some cases, the S.E.C.’s new chairwoman is pressing for more accountability at financial firms.

Bank of America’s Foreclosure Frenzy
http://ml-implode.com/staticnews/2013-06-24_BankofAmericasForeclosureFrenzy.html

SEC Corroborates Livinglies Position on Third Party Payment While Texas BKR Judge Disallows Assignments After Cut-Off Date

Maybe this should have been divided into three articles:

  1. Saldivar: Texas BKR Judge finds Assignment Void not voidable. It never happened.
  2. Erobobo: NY Judge rules ownership of note is burden of the banks. Not standing but rather capacity to sue without injury.
  3. SEC Orders Credit Suisse to disgorge illegal profits back to investors. Principal balances of borrowers may be reduced. Defaults might not exist because notices contain demands that include money held by banks that should have been paid to investors.

But these decisions are so interrelated and their effect so far-reaching that it seems to me that if you read only one of them you might head off in the wrong direction. Pay careful attention to the Court’s admonition in Erobobo that these defenses can be waived unless timely raised. Use the logic of these decisions and you will find more and more judges listening with increasing care. The turning point is arriving and foreclosures — past, present and future — might finally get the review and remedies that are required in a nation of laws.

 

Courts and SEC Drilling Down on Reality of BANK Fraud.

The effects will be far-reaching. The complexity of the false securitization scam was intended to shield Wall Street from continuing its endless pattern of conduct of fraud, misdeeds, perjury and other crimes and other acts of contempt for the courts. The result was that the entire finance system and the economies of the world were turned upside down. Now we are going to see them turn right-side up.

It has taken years, but the SEC and the Courts are now unraveling the mysteries behind the secret curtains of the scam of securitization, which turns out to be nothing more than a cover for a giant PONZI scheme that fell apart as soon as investors stopped buying mortgage bonds. That is the hallmark of PONZI schemes — using the new investor money to pay the expected returns to the older investors.

If it was a legitimate business plan, the failure of the investors to buy more mortgage bonds would have no effect on the rest of the system. Each bond, each mortgage would have either succeeded or failed on its own merit. But that is not what happened.

As can be seen by the decisions noted below, Wall Street defrauded investors on many levels, defrauded the government, and defrauded the borrowers on mortgages they knew with certainty would never survive even a few months.

In confidential deals, the banks entered into agreements to be compensated for the failure of the mortgage bonds and defaulting loans and then simply lied to regulators, investors and borrowers — and kept the money for themselves instead of turning over the money to the investors who were going to lose more money than they had ever dreamed on “triple A” rated “insured” and “hedged” (credit default swaps).

The SEC is now ordering Credit Suisse (and soon others) to disgorge $60 million that clearly should have been paid to investors and thus reduced the accounts receivable of investors. A much better educated SEC and much better educated Judges are peeking behind the curtains and they don’t like what they see. These decisions are, in my opinion, the precursors of a wave of decisions that overturns the entire foreclosure tragedy.

The bottom line is that investors funded the mortgages (plus a lot of fees and “proprietary trading profits” that were hidden from the investors and indeed the world), the banks stole the money, the accounts due to the investors is much lower than what is alleged in foreclosure actions, and none of the foreclosers have any right to be in court because (a) they have no capacity to sue in the absence of financial injury caused by the borrower and (b) they are relying on assignments that in the eyes of the law never happened. They not only didn’t lose money, they made more money than most people imagined. Now they are being ordered to pay back the money they promised to investors whose losses will be correspondingly reduced.

How this will be apportioned to the principal balance supposedly due from borrowers has yet to be determined. But it is clear that the receivable from the only real lender is being reduced by the amount of money received by the intermediaries in the securitization chain — in deals that were intended to defraud investors on two levels — not giving the money that the investors should have received and withholding disclosure about the actual quality of the loans.

The reduction in loss or accounts receivable of the investors should proportionately reduce the amount due from borrowers, which means that most foreclosures were based upon a number of false premises: a balance due, a default by borrowers, and the right to submit a false credit bid at auction from a non-creditor on a “foreclosure” that should never have occurred in the first place. Ownership of the note can only be proven if the would-be forecloser received the actual note (not a photo-shopped “original”) in a transaction in which it paid money pursuant to the actual authority to enter into the transaction. That is three elements: the real note, real ownership of the note and real authority to enter into the transaction by which the loans were allegedly assigned years after the cut-off date. The authority for this position is (a) New York Law, (b) the Internal revenue Code, (c) constitutional requirements of due process, (d) the UCC requiring an instrument to be “negotiated rather than just delivered (meaning payment was involved) and (e) common sense, to wit: lenders are entitled to be repaid but only once.

It has been argued here that the REMICs were ignored and that therefore they could not possibly be in the ownership chain of the note and mortgage. We have also argued that the originator of the mortgage has originated nothing if they didn’t pay anything.

With the help of the SEC and the these two court decisions we can see that there are many reasons why the REMIC could not be the owner of the loan and that no party in the securitization chain could be secured unless we invent a new entity in which all the parties in the securitization chain are rolled into one entity.

In the absence of such an entity or the lawful ability to create one retroactively we are left with an unsecured debt — the amount of which runs the gamut from the banks owing the borrower money to the substantial reduction of the principal due after credit is given for the ill-gotten gains stolen by the banks from the investors. Given these facts, there is no legal justification for even contemplating the purported existence of a default by the borrower since the amount due, and the amount of the required payment are both unknown without an accounting from ALL parties in the securitization chain.

If the cut-off date and the Internal Revenue Code and the Pooling and Servicing Agreement all state that any transaction assigning a loan after the cut-off date is not allowed, then the assignment is void. Add to that New York law that expressly states that the transaction is void, not voidable, (see below) which means that legally it never happened. Without a valid assignment, there can be no foreclosure. Add to that the lack of any consideration, and you have a dead shark on your hands —something that struck fear into the hearts of homeowners, governments, and investors but is now lying, gasping for breath, as the finale nears.

There is nothing left to hide because the doors are all open. It will still take years to unravel the financial mess, but now we have a chance to change policy and direct relief to where it belonged all along — to the investors who supplied the money and the homeowners who were duped into crazy, exotic mortgages that hid the real objective: foreclosure.

REQUIRED READING: Read Carefully and Take Notes

Plaintiff’s ownership of the note is not an issue of standing but an element of its cause of action which it must plead and prove.(e.s.) … 

dismissal on a pre answer motion by the defendant and are waived if not raised in a timely manner.” (e.s.) Wells Fargo v Saitta 4/29/13 Slip Op 50675

PRACTICE AND DISCOVERY NOTE:

In fact, the identity of the owner of the note and mortgage is information that is often in the exclusive possession of the party seeking to foreclose. Mortgages are routinely transferred through MERS, without being recorded. (e.s.) The notes underlying the mortgages, as negotiable instruments, are negotiated by mere delivery without a recorded assignment or notice to the borrower. A defendant has no method to reliably ascertain who in fact owns the note, within the narrow time frame allotted to file an answer. In light of these facts and the fact that Defendant contested the factual allegations asserted in Plaintiff’s pleading, Defendant’s general denial is sufficient to contest whether Plaintiff owns the note and mortgage.”

4th paragraph, page 11

“Since the trustee acquired the subject note and mortgage after the closing date, the trustee’s act in acquiring them exceeded its authority and violated the terms of the trust.The acquisition of a mortgage after 90 days is not a mere technicality but a material violation of the trust’s terms, which jeopardizes the trust’s REMIC status.”

——————————————————
SEC FINDS FRAUD, ORDERS DISGORGEMENT OF ILLEGAL PROFITS.
This SEC decision is one that deserves several readings. It essentially condenses 6 years of teaching on this blog into one decision, although they have still not quite drilled down all the way on the money trail. But they have drilled down far enough to discover that the banks made settlements on buy-backs, kept the money and didn’t give to the investors because (1) they wanted to keep it for themselves and (2) the huge number of early defaults would have led the investors to question whether industry standards were being followed in the underwriting of these loans. Had that happened, the well would have dried and nobody would be buying mortgage bonds because they would be revealed as PONZI certificates.
Even if you have been following this blog for years, as I know many of you have done, reading this decision from the SEC will bring it all together as to who , what, where, why and when. Anyone who takes another step in litigation without reading this is stepping into the darkness.
—————————————————————
Next Case: Saldivar
And then there is this: the assignment is void, not voidable and therefore the banks can’t attack the ability of the homeowner to attack the assignment since they are arguing that the assignment never really took place. It puts the burden of proof back on to the banks, where it belongs — a burden they cannot sustain because they cannot prove anything that would give traction to their position of keeping the money, taking the houses, taking the insurance taking the credit default swap proceeds, and taking the federal bailouts, all without giving an accounting other than the subservicer’s partial snapshot consisting of accounting records reflecting ONLY transactions with the borrower, neither proving nor offering to prove the validity or existence of the assignment. What you have essentially is what I have said a few times before on this blog — offer, without acceptance or the right to accept and no consideration.
This decision is important because of the reasoning, the logic and most importantly the application of New York law. Virtually all the REMIC trusts were common law trusts formed under New York law for a lot of reasons. So this decision is extremely important as persuasive authority in its finding that if the REMIC is closed, there is nothing to make the assignment TO after the close-out date, which as the Judge points out is the start of business for the trust.
He reasons that if the assignment after the close out date could be ratified then it is voidable and not void. If it is voidable then the homeowner has no standing to challenge the validity of the assignment. But, the Judge says if the assignment was void ab initio then there is nothing to ratify because the event never happened. If the event never happened then the homeowner does have standing to challenge the validity if the assignment. Essentially the homeowners saying that he denies there was any assignment. If there was no assignment then any action by the assignee is without any right, justification or excuse.
It is potentially standing which is jurisdictional to be sure but it is in personam jurisdiction now instead of subject matter jurisdiction — or perhaps both.
As pointed out above, the capacity to sue involves the basic elements of any lawsuits for money or equitable relief based upon a money debt: (1) duty, (2) breach of duty, (3) injury and (4) causation — the injury was caused by the borrower. As pointed out by these cases, NONE of the required elements are present and therefore, there is no capacity to sue. Capacity to sue is close to the issue of standing but it isn’t the same thing. While standing involves jurisdictional issues over the parties, capacity to sue involves jurisdictional issues over the subject matter. There is no subject matter jurisdiction unless the foreclosing party can make a case for stating the four elements of any lawsuit.

The keys here are the Judge’s citation to two things. First that the law of New York says it is void and the court must use the laws of the state of New York — a position mercilessly pounded into the courts by the banks. Now that position is blowing up in their faces. Second, he points out that under the Internal Revenue Code contains huge penalties and negative economic consequences if the REMIC was still accepting assignments after the cut- off date. Thus the Judge used reason, logic, New York law, and the negative effect imposed by the IRC if the REMIC provisions were violated. We might also add that the PSA contained the same restrictions. He concludes that the assignment 3 years after the cutoff was void, not void able and that it was void ab initio which means that there was no effective assignment despite the fabrication of a piece of paper.
This puts Deutsch and others who have stated they are the trustee for the REMIC in a no-win position. To the extent they have corroborated the assignment they have delivered an economic blow to the investors in the REMIC — and are now subjected to potential liability in the trillions of dollars. If they have not tried to back up the assertions of those bringing foreclosure then they clearly won’t do it now. And it explains why no actual signature for an actual Deutsch officer or employee is on any document used in bringing the foreclosure.
The further interesting point is that this is the fire in the brush that flushes the investors out. They must corroborate what we have been saying — that their agents violated the restrictions of the pooling and servicing agreement and that they, the investors, cannot be held to be bound to the ultra vires actions of their agents. And it raises the question of what else did these intermediaries do that violated the terms of the investment in mortgage bonds? It raises, most importantly, the question of WHY they violated the terms of the PSA and prospectus.
The only rational answer is MONEY — like the insurance and CDS proceeds. But beyond that and tantalizingly raised in this decision is — if the investors gave up money and it wasn’t through the REMIC — then you have two choices, to wit: either they invested in nothing or, as I have repeatedly stated on the blog and in my expert testimony, they became involuntary common law partners in a common law general partnership.
This raises issues that Wall Street wants to stay very far from. All their authority comes from a PSA that is now revealed to have been violated resulting in the inescapable conclusion, using the logic from this Texas bankruptcy judge, that Wall Street has no power over these transactions — including servicing loans. This means we can insist on the identity of the investors and that the ONLY people to go to for HAMP are the investors or some new authorized agent. But remember that in a true common law general partnership with no documentation there are some real knotty problems as to how investors could hire a Servicer without 100% of the holders of what might indivisible interests in loans, insurance proceeds and credit default swaps bought with money from the investors.

Sitting on a Powder Keg: Riots and Demonstrations Worldwide

With the addition of Sweden to those countries rocked by and surprised by rioting over economic conditions and inequality, the day of reckoning for the banks and the governments controlled by the banks is nearing. As we saw in the Arab Spring and other social phenomena when passions reach critical mass, things change — and not always for the best, at least not at first.

History shows us that when inequality and social welfare are at their worst, as perceived by the public, a significant minority rises up, changes government and takes their revenge on the wicked and innocent alike. Our own revolution was a minority movement that achieved critical mass with very few people leading to the charge or even attending meetings.

Sweden, a country that prides itself on social justice, was hit yesterday by the fury of rioting citizens. And the Occupy Movement demonstration yesterday resulted in 17 arrests and Taser of at least one demonstrator. Anyone who believes that this will blow over without consequences is mistaken. The underlying problems of inequality were not the result of a business cycle: they were the result of criminal behavior of bankers colluding to take wealth, property and income away from virtually everyone.

The manipulation of LIBOR and the indexes that feed into LIBOR is an example of the arrogance of bankers who seem to know they won’t go to jail and probably will suffer no penalty whatsoever. Meanwhile the loans tied to changes in LIBOR as published by the Wall Street Journal had changes in interest rates dictated not by market forces by by the brute force of arrogant bankers whose religion is money.

The mortgage situation all over the world is what is causing the economies around the world to bleed. It was caused by bankers who cornered the market on money thus acting against free market forces which they pretend to like so much. They created an unprecedented storm by raising asset prices artificially, betting that the prices would come down to normal levels and defrauding pension funds and other investors plus defrauding homeowners, consumers, and tax-paying citizens. In the end they have the money and property and everyone else suffers. This fact is not lost on the public.

If we want to avoid the same fate as dozens of other countries around the world in turmoil we must return to being a nation of laws. It is in the public domain now that the banks have illegally foreclosed on millions of homeowners. Not only have they not gone to jail for mortgage fraud, wire fraud, RICO and other criminal actions, they have been rewarded with both more money and weakening of regulations that might prevent them from doing it again — if we ever get out of this mess.

The right thing to do when the wrong thing was done, is to make it right. If someone was foreclosed upon illegally they should get their house back or bargain for a dollar settlement that takes into account economic loss and the indignities of damage to lifestyle and reputation. As things stand now, this remedy is slipping away — and yet it is the only right thing to do. Millions of people in this country and Europe are falling into poverty, which means they don’t have the resources to put food on the table or a roof over their heads. To add insult to injury when tragedy strikes in places like Moore, Oklahoma the insurance companies are paying the banks that have no loss whatsoever.

I counsel people to avoid violence and to never disobey a direct instruction from anyone in law enforcement. It will only make matters worse. But I can tell from people who contact me and the mainstream news stories that people have no respect left for a legal system that does not respect the right of people and favors corporations and institutions even if they have obviously committed crimes against humanity, the state and millions of individual citizens. We have seen violence before and nobody liked it. I think it might be coming to our shores with a vengeance.

We can save ourselves the trouble if we break up the mega banks, break their hold on government and reduce them to the status of utilities regulated carefully so that they don’t run away with transactions conducted by their customers — which is exactly what happened in the continuing mortgage  meltdown. Occupy is right, Elizabeth Warren is right, and even the rioters are right (even if we disagree with their methods).

Sweden’s capital hit by worst riots in years
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/22/uk-sweden-riots-idUKBRE94L0C720130522

Millions falling into poverty in recession-racked Italy: report
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/22/us-italy-economy-poverty-idUSBRE94L0AX20130522

Peaceful Foreclosure Protester Tased At Department of Justice
http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/peaceful-foreclosure-protester-tased-

How Foreclosure Undermined Black and Brown Wealth
http://www.theroot.com/buzz/how-foreclosure-undermined-black-and-brown-wealth

Warren asks feds: Why no cases against bankers?
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57584642/warren-asks-feds-why-no-cases-against-bankers/

Elizabeth Warren Asks New Treasury Secretary If He’ll Be As Bad On Big Banks As The Old One (VIDEO)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/elizabeth-warren-jack-lew_n_3315005.html

Banks Win Big as Regulators Refuse to Rein in $700 Trillion Derivatives Market
http://www.truth-out.org/video/item/16500-banks-win-big-as-regulators-refuse-to-rein-in-700-trillion-derivatives-market

The PR of Modifications: Banks Want Foreclosure Not Reinstatement of Loan

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Comment: There has been a spike of questions about modifications, short sales and settlements with the banks. My unvarnished opinion is that all this activity is Public Relations and a substantive policy intended to increase rather than avert foreclosures. Quite the contrary, offers of modifications are excuses to drag more money out of borrowers, give them a “trial run” and then deny the modification. I will admit that there have been more modifications of late but they are few in comparison to the number of loans that should be modified, naming the creditor, the balance due, the terms of repayment and perfecting what is now an empty unperfected lien.

In the law we look to the intent to determine the intent. If a reasonable person would understand the consequences of their actions, it is deemed intentional despite all protestations to the contrary.

The result we see from bank policies and conduct is that people go into a declared “default” on a false loan because the bank representative who has no money in the game told them that the only way they can apply for relief is by being behind in their payments at least 90 days. Translation: We are advising you to breach your loan documents and go into debt on past due payments such that you won’t be able to reinstate.

People go into trial modifications on a false loan with a bank or entity with no authority to offer it during which they deplete their savings and retirement, go totally broke from paying the “offer of trial modification” thinking they are saving their home. Then they are told that the permanent modification was denied because of some obscure reason and they have a few days to reinstate the loan with money they don’t have and with a credit score that took a major hit because of the reporting by the same non-creditor who threatened them with foreclosure.

The objective is to wear people down financially, emotionally and physically. Turmoil in the household caused by the stress of impending foreclosure causes divorce, physical ailments and even suicides. The result is that the house goes into foreclosure despite the fact that the borrower made a perfectly valid offer of modification whose proceeds far exceed the proceeds from foreclosure.

The banks are like any other business searching for profit. So at first blush one might assume that anything they can do to mitigate their loss they would jump at, which is the way it always was until the whole “securitization” thing came along. What changed was that instead of having a risk of loss if the loan failed, the banks made tons of money betting on the failure. So as soon as mortgages were declared in default, they collected 100 cents on the dollar, insurance and the proceeds of hedges like credit default swaps. The irony here is that the banks collected the mitigation payments from insurance and credit default swaps while it was investors who were actually losing the money.

The payment from insurance and credit default swaps was triggered by a declaration from the Master Servicer that the value of the portfolio had decreased. This was not subject to challenge by the insurance company or the counterparty of the credit default swap contract. So in effect the loans were being sold multiple times. In the case of Bear Stearns, they were leveraged as much as 42 times. That means they were in a double bind position of taking fees for insuring portfolios that were sure to fail or at least sure to be declared as having failed, and they were getting money on their own insurance and credit default swap protections.

Translation: a loan that comes out of delinquency or declared default represents a huge liability for a bank that has already collected millions of dollars on a $200,000 loan. If everyone paid off their loan, the banks would owe back the money they received from insurance and credit default swaps. It isn’t the difference between the foreclosure proceeds and the offer of modification that motivates them, it is the difference between the millions they already received from insurers and counterparties and the nominal principal of the loan. And the only way they can be sure that they never have that liability to pay back millions of dollars on a loan they declared in default is by forcing it into foreclosure.

But the government and public are expecting the banks to act reasonably in the context of the old mortgages where the lenders had a risk of loss if the borrower didn’t pay. Now they have a risk of loss of the borrower does pay. Confusion over this had led the government, courts and borrowers to expect that the modification process would bring a stop to the tsunami of foreclosures, but as we have seen in recent weeks, the wave of foreclosures is coming again and millions of people are going to lose their homes to non-creditors who have already been paid multiple times for the “value” of the loan.

The only way out of this which has received some traction in the courts is to allege that contrary to the requirements of HAMP and HARP and other programs, the servicer and creditor did NOT “Consider” the modification proposal, which of course is an accurate portrayal of the the real world of loans that are subject to claims of securitization —  even though those claims are probably false.

People who have made this challenge and who do so with professional help point out the obvious: that the proceeds from the modification are far better than the proceeds of a foreclosure. But the question is better for whom? If we take the real creditors, the investor lenders, the analysis is simple. They want the most money they can get. Since they were not included in the payment of insurance and credit de fault swaps, their only hope to mitigate their real loss is by real money from the homeowner which the homeowner is offering, based upon real documentation which is enforceable unlike the current fabricated, forged documents done without authority, right justification or excuse.

So the banks have an interest that is entirely adverse to that of the investors who were their clients. The banks want foreclosure so they can keep the insurance money and the investors want the loans reinstated so they can get their money back. This conflict of interest is so severe that the country is barely grinding through a recession that is entirely caused by the behavior of these banks who sucked the money out of the economy and are now holding it all over the world in tens of thousands of  shell companies around the world.

The moral of the story is that if you are serious about modification or short-sale be prepared for a long journey where in the end your petition is denied and you must still litigate. For those who get the modification they want arising from the cover-up PR campaign of the banks, congratulations you are one in thousands who should have received the same benefit.

Banks Could Owe Trillions on Fake Rigged Credit Bids

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Analysis of Auctions of Foreclosed Properties: Nobody thinks about it because it basically never happened. The laws of each state whose statutes I have looked at including the provisions of most promissory notes are clear — if the creditor receives a payment in excess of the amount due, the excess must be paid to the borrower.

We all know how keen I am on applying that that precept to the receipt of insurance, credit default swaps, guarantees and Federal bailouts, but there is a much simpler aspect to this that can be pled in the alternative when one is attacking the foreclosure sale. Remember that in most states alternative pleading is allowed and even encouraged. So your alternative pleading in this case would be that the foreclosure was wrongful OR, if it wasn’t wrongful then the borrower is entitled to money. How? Why?

If the Judge won’t let you come in through the front door, you find another door or point of entry. In this case, the strategy I am proposing puts the issue  right on the table and could even be limited to this one cause of action. It would be breach o contract and perhaps a second count for breach of statutory duty, nullification of instrument (the deed in foreclosure). What you are looking for is damages.

The allegations supporting the cause of action for damages would be that the creditor never alleged pr proved the amount they lost or misrepresented the amount they lost. We are talking money here, not notes, mortgages, assignments and indorsements. Money is the key to the evil that was perpetrated and money is what will bring the perpetrators into a perp walk even if the government is reluctant to do so.

If the non-creditor bids $350,000 for the property based upon the  Foreclosure Judgment or the papers filed with the “substitute trustee” (why is there ALWAYS a substitute trustee?), then the amount due on the bid is $350,000.

If your allegation is that the “creditor” never had a loss, never showed proof of payment , proof of loss or any actual transaction in which money exchanged hands from the “creditor” to any other party to acquire or fund the origination of the loan, then there is no loss. Yet the non-creditor paid nothing because it submitted a credit bid which if you look at your state statutes you will see is near impossible for them to offer and certainly should not be accepted in lieu of cash. The statutes say the bidder must pay for the bid, especially if they have already received the deed on foreclosure (which you have pled alternatively should be nullified). Paying the bid means payment in cash.

So the court is faced with a conundrum. On the one hand it ignored your prior arguments of lack of standing, lack of injured party, but on the other hand the Judge has before him or her a perfectly valid complaint that cannot be dismissed on its face on the basis of res judicata or collateral estoppel because the cause of action arose AFTER final judgment. If the Judge does the right thing, then he wil deny any motion to dismiss from the other side and then allow discovery.

Once you get into discovery the only issue is whether the “creditor” was indeed a creditor and if so how much they actually “lost” by the alleged breach of the promissory note by the borrower. They can only prove their side of the case by showing that money exchanged hands and that the money came from their pocket, not someone else’s pocket.

This discovery will also lead to the question of what was reported to investors, how the proceeds of insurance and credit default swaps were applied, all of which reduce the amount due from the borrower because they reduce the amount payable to the “creditor.”

Assuming the “creditor” is unable to account for the application of proceeds of insurance and credit default swaps, and assuming that they are unable to show a canceled check or wire transfer receipt and wire transfer instructions, then the amount of their injury is zero or perhaps even less than zero if they received fees and compensation from the yield spread premium, the insurance, and the guarantees and hedges like credit default swaps.

The auctioneer has a duty to collect the money and distribute it according to statute. If the “Creditor” submitted any bid, you have just proved that they were owed nothing and therefore their bid should have been paid in cash. The Court must them either nullify the sale or, if enough time has gone by, the probabilities rise that the “creditor” will be forced to pay for the bid. The amount paid is an “overpayment” for the actual loss. Under statute and the note, such overpayment are due back to the borrower.

This is an easy case, like personal injury only less paperwork, for lawyers to take on contingency and make a ton of money for themselves and their clients. With standard contingency if the bidder is forced to make a payment in the amount of the bid, then your fee in the above example would be over $100,000.

If the Court nullifies the foreclosure, the next step is quieting title perhaps in the same order, and you get paid by a note from the client with collateral — namely the house upon which there are no longer any encumbrances. That note can be negotiated into the secondary market the way the banks should have done in the first place.

The next step would obviously be the abuse of process, wrongful foreclosure and slander of title just to name a few causes of action that can be prosecuted against the “creditor” and its successors or assigns, seeking damages, treble damages, punitive damages and exemplary damages.

The moral of the story is that the banks can fake the story about the money in the loan documents, the assignments and indorsements. But they can’t fake the money transaction for which their are footprints at the banks, account processors for the banks, Federal reserve and network exchanges where the money is routed when paid. They will argue that they already proved their case with the note. But the note proves the DEBT not the LOSS.

Insurance, Credit Default Swaps, Guarantees: Third Party Payments Mitigate Damages to “Lender”

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Analysis: The topic of conversation (argument) in court is changing to an inquiry of what is the real transaction, who were the parties and did they pay anything that gives them the right to claim they suffered financial damages as a result of the “breach” by the borrower. And the corollary to that is what constitutes mitigation of those damages.

If the mortgage bond derives its value solely from underlying mortgage loans, then the risk of loss derives solely from those same underlying mortgages. And if those losses are mitigated through third party payments, then the benefit should flow to both the investors who were the source of funds and the borrowers balance must be correspondingly and proportionately adjusted. Otherwise the creditor ends up in a position better than if the debtor had paid off the debt.

If your Aunt Sally pays off your mortgage loan and the bank sues you anyway  claiming they didn’t get any payment from YOU, the case will be a loser for the bank and a clear winner for you because of the defense of PAYMENT. The rules regarding damages and mitigation of damages boil down to this — the alleged injured party should not be placed in a position where he/she/it is better off than if the contract (promissory) note had been fully performed.

If the “creditor” is the investor lender, and the only way the borrower received the money was through intermediaries, then those intermediaries are not entitled to claim part of the money that the investor advanced, nor part of the money that was intended for the “creditor” to offset a financial loss. Those intermediaries are agents. And the transaction,  while involving numerous intermediaries and their affiliates, is a single contemporaneous transaction between the investor lender and the homeowner borrower.

This is the essence of the “Single transaction doctrine” and the “step transaction doctrine.” What the banks have been successful at doing, thus far, is to focus the court’s attention on the individual steps of the transaction in which a borrower eventually received money or value in exchange for his promise to pay (promissory note) and the collateral he used to guarantee payment (mortgage or deed of trust). This is evasive logic. As soon as you have penetrated the fog with the single transaction rule where the investor lenders are identified as the creditor and the homeowner borrower is identified as the debtor, the argument of the would-be forecloser collapses under its own weight.

Having established a straight line between the investor lenders and the homeowner borrowers, and identified all the other parties as intermediary agents of the the real parties in interest, the case for  damages become much clearer. The intermediary agents cannot foreclose or enforce the debt except for the benefit of an identified creditor which we know is the group of investor lenders whose money was used to fund the tier 2 yield spread premium, other dubious fees and profits, and then applied to funding loans by wire transfer to closing agents.

The intermediaries cannot claim the house because they are not part of that transaction as a real party in interest. They may have duties to each other as it relates to handling of the money as it passes through various conduits, but their principal duty is to make sure the transaction between the creditor and debtor is completed.

The intermediaries who supported the sale of fake mortgage bonds from an empty REMIC trust cannot claim the benefits of insurance, guarantees or the proceeds of hedge contracts like credit default swaps. For the first time since the mess began, judges are starting to ask whether the payments from the third parties has relevance to the debt of the borrower. To use the example above, are the third parties who made the payments the equivalent of Aunt Sally or are they somehow going to be allowed to claim those proceeds themselves?

The difference is huge. If the third parties who made those payments are the equivalent of Aunt Sally, then the mortgage is paid off to the extent that actual cash payments were received by the intermediary agents. Aunt Sally might have a claim against the borrower or it might have been a gift, but in all events the original basis for the transaction has been reduced or eliminated by the receipt of those payments.

If Aunt Sally sues the borrower, it would  be for contribution or restitution, unsecured, unless Aunt sally actually bought the loan and received an assignment along with a receipt for her funds. If there was another basis on which Aunt Sally made the payment besides a gift, then the money should still be credited to the benefit of the investor lenders who have received what they thought was a bond payable but in reality was still the note payable.

In no event are the intermediary agents to receive those loss mitigation payments when they had no loss. And to the extent that payments were received, they should be used to reduce the receivable of the investor lender and of course that would reduce the payable owed from the homeowner borrower to the investor lender. To do otherwise would be to allow the “creditor” to end up in a much better position than if the homeowner had simply paid off the loan as per the promissory note or faked mortgage bond.

None of this takes away from the fact that the REMIC trust was not source the funds used to pay for the mortgage origination or transfer. That goes to the issue of the perfection of the mortgage lien and not to the issue of how much is owed.

Now Judges are starting to ask the right question: what authority exists for application of the third party payments to mitigate damages? If such authority exists and the would-be foreclosures used a false formula to determine the principal balance due, and the interest payable on that false balance then the notice of delinquency, notice of default, and foreclosure proceedings, including the sale and redemption period would all be incorrect and probably void because they demanded too much from the borrower after having received the third party payments.

If such authority does not exist, then the windfall to the banks will continue unabated — they get the fees and tier 2 yield spread premium profits upfront, they get the payment servicing fees, they get to sell the loan multiple times without any credit to the investor lender, but most of all they get the loss mitigation payments from insurance, hedge, guarantee and bailouts for a third party loss — the investor lenders. This is highly inequitable. The party with the loss gets nothing while a party who already has made a profit on the transaction, makes more profit.

If we start with the proposition that the creditor should not be better off than if the contract had been performed, and we recognize that the intermediary investment bank, master servicer, trustee of the empty REMIC trust, subservicer, aggregator, and others did in fact receive money to mitigate the loss on those certificates and thus on the loans supposedly backing the mortgage bonds, then the only equitable and sensible conclusion would be to credit or allocate those payments to the investor lender up to the amount they advanced.

With the creditor satisfied or partially satisfied the mortgage loan, regardless of whether it is secured or not, is also satisfied or partially satisfied.

So the question is whether mitigation payments are part of the transaction between the investor lender and the homeowners borrower. While this specific application of insurance payments etc has never been addressed we find plenty of support in the case law, statutes and even the notes and bonds themselves that show that such third party mitigation payments are part of the transaction and the expectancy of the investor lender and therefore will affect the borrower’s balance owed on the debt, regardless of whether it is secured or unsecured.

Starting with the DUTY TO MITIGATE DAMAGES, we can assume that if there is such a duty, and there is, then successfully doing so must be applicable to the loan or contract and is so treated in awarding damages without abridgement. Keep in mind that the third party contract for mitigation payments actually refer to the borrowers. Those contracts expressly waive any right of the payor of the mitigation loss coverage to go after the homeowner borrower.

To allow all these undisclosed parties to receive compensation arising out of the initial loan transaction and not owe it to someone is absurd. TILA says they owe all the money they made to the borrower. Contract law says the payments should first be applied to the investor lender and then as a natural consequence, the amount owed to the lender is reduced and so is the amount due from the homeowner borrower.

See the following:

Pricing and Mitigation of Counterparty Credit Exposures, Agostino Capponi. Purdue University – School of Industrial Engineering. January 31, 2013. Handbook of Systemic Risk, edited by J.-P. Fouque and J.Langsam. Cambridge University Press, 2012

  • “We analyze the market price of counterparty risk and develop an arbitrage-free pricing valuation framework, inclusive of collateral mitigation. We show that the adjustment is given by the sum of option payoff terms, depending on the netted exposure, i.e. the difference between the on-default exposure and the pre-default collateral account. We specialize our analysis to Interest Rates Swaps (IRS) and Credit Default Swaps (CDS) as underlying portfolio, and perform a numerical study to illustrate the impact of default correlation, collateral margining frequency, and collateral re-hypothecation on the resulting adjustment. We also discuss problems of current research interest in the counterparty risk community.” pdf4article631

Whether this language  makes sense to you or not, it is English and it does say something clearly — it is all about risk. And the risk of the investor lender was to have protected by Triple A rating, insurance, and credit default swaps, as well as guarantees and provisions of the pooling and servicing agreement, for the REMIC trust. Now here is the tricky part — the banks must not be allowed to say on the one hand that the securitization documents are real even if there was no money trail or consideration to support them on the one hand then say that they are not real for purposes of receiving loss mitigation payments, which they want to keep even if it leaves the real creditor with a net loss.

To put it simply — either the parties to the underwriting of the bond to investors and the loan to homeowners were part of the the transaction (loan from investor to homeowner) or they were not. I fail to see any logic or support that they were not.

And the simple rule of measure of how these parties fit together is found under the single transaction doctrine. If the step transaction under scrutiny would not have occurred but for the principal transaction alleged, then it is a single transaction.

The banks would argue they were trading in credit default swaps and other exotic securities regardless of what lender fit with which borrower. But that is defeated by the fact that it was the banks who sold to mortgage bonds, it was the banks who set up the Master Servicer, it was the banks who purchased the insurance and credit default swaps and it was the underwriting investment bank that promised that insurance and credit default swaps would be used to counter the risk. And it is inescapable that the only risk applicable to the principal transaction between investor lender and homeowner borrower was the risk of non payment by the borrower. These third party payments represent the proceeds of protection from that risk.

Would the insurers have entered into the contract without the underlying loans? No. Would the counterparties have entered into the contract without the underlying loans? No.

So the answer, Judge is that it is an inescapable conclusion that third party loss mitigation payments must be applied, by definition, to the loss. The loss was suffered not by the banks but by the investors whose money they took. The loss mitigation payments must then be applied against the risk of loss on the money advanced by those investors. And the benefit of that payment or allocation is that the real creditor is satisfied and the real borrower receives some benefit from those payments in the way of a reduction of the his payable to the investor.

It is either as I have outlined above or the money — all of it — goes to the borrower, to the exclusion of the investor under the requirements of TILA and RESPA. While the shadow banking system is said to be over $1.2 quadrillion,  we must apply the same standards to ourselves and our cases as we do to the opposing side. Only actual payments received by the participants in the overall obscured investor lender transaction with the homeowner borrower.

Hence discovery must include those third parties and review of their contracts for the court to determine the applicability of third party payments that were actually received in relation to either the subject loan, the subject mortgage bond, or the subject REMIC pool claiming ownership of the subject loan.

The inequality between the rich and not-so-rich comes not from policy but bad arithmetic.

As the subprime mortgage market fell apart in late 2007 and early 2008, many financial products, particularly mortgage-backed securities, were downgraded.  The price of credit default swaps on these products increased.  Pursuant to their collateral agreements, many protection buyers were able to insist on additional collateral protection.  In some cases, the collateral demanded represented a significant portion of the counterparty’s assets.  Unsurprisingly, counterparties have carefully evaluated, and in some cases challenged, protection buyers’ right to such additional collateral amounts.  This tension has generated several recent lawsuits:

• CDO Plus Master Fund Ltd. v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 07-11078 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 7, 2007) (dispute over demand     for collateral on $10,000,000 protection on collateralized debt obligations).

• VCG Special Opportunities Master Fund Ltd. v. Citibank, N.A., 08 1563 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 14, 2008) (same).

• UBS AG v. Paramax Capital Int’l, No. 07604233 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Dec. 26, 2007) (dispute over demand for $33 million additional capital from hedge fund for protection on collateralized debt obligations).

Given that the collateral disputes erupting in the courts so far likely represent only a small fraction of the stressed counterparties, and given recent developments, an increase in counterparty bankruptcy appears probable.

http://www.capdale.com/credit-default-swaps-the-bankrupt-counterparty-entering-the-undiscovered-country

Follow the Money Trail: It’s the blueprint for your case

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.
Editor’s Analysis and Comment: If you want to know where all the money went during the mortgage madness of the last decade and the probable duplication of that behavior with all forms of consumer debt, the first clues have been emerging. First and foremost I would suggest the so-called bull market reflecting an economic resurgence that appears to have no basis in reality. Putting hundred of billions of dollars into the stock market is an obvious place to store ill-gotten gains.
But there is also the question of liquidity which means the Wall Street bankers had to “park” their money somewhere into depository accounts. Some analysts have suggested that the bankers deposited money in places where the sheer volume of money deposited would give bankers strategic control over finance in those countries.
The consequences to American finance is fairly well known here. But most Americans have been somewhat aloof to the extreme problems suffered by Spain, Greece, Italy and Cyprus. Italy and Cyprus have turned to confiscating savings on a progressive basis.  This could be a “fee” imposed by those countries for giving aid and comfort to the pirates of Wall Street.
So far the only country to stick with the rule of law is Iceland where some of the worst problems emerged early — before bankers could solidify political support in that country, like they have done around the world. Iceland didn’t bailout bankers, they jailed them. Iceland didn’t adopt austerity to make the problems worse, it used all its resources to stimulate the economy.
And Iceland looked at the reality of a the need for a thriving middle class. So they reduced household debt and forced banks to take the hit — some 25% or more being sliced off of mortgages and other consumer debt. Iceland was not acting out of ideology, but rather practicality.
The result is that Iceland is the shining light on the hill that we thought was ours. Iceland has real growth in gross domestic product, decreasing unemployment to acceptable levels, and banks that despite the hit they took, are also prospering.
From my perspective, I look at the situation from the perspective of a former investment banker who was in on conversations decades ago where Wall Street titans played the idea of cornering the market on money. They succeeded. But Iceland has shown that the controls emanating from Wall Street in directing legislation, executive action and judicial decisions can be broken.
It is my opinion that part or all of trillions dollars in off balance sheet transactions that were allowed over the last 15 years represents money that was literally stolen from investors who bought what they thought were bonds issued by a legitimate entity that owned loans to consumers some of which secured in the form of residential mortgage loans.
Actual evidence from the ground shows that the money from investors was skimmed by Wall Street to the tune of around $2.6 trillion, which served as the baseline for a PONZI scheme in which Wall Street bankers claimed ownership of debt in which they were neither creditor nor lender in any sense of the word. While it is difficult to actually pin down the amount stolen from the fake securitization chain (in addition to the tier 2 yield spread premium) that brought down investors and borrowers alike, it is obvious that many of these banks also used invested money from managed funds as gambling money that paid off handsomely as they received 100 cents on the dollar on losses suffered by others.
The difference between the scheme used by Wall Street this time is that bankers not only used “other people’s money” —this time they had the hubris to steal or “borrow” the losses they caused — long enough to get the benefit of federal bailout, insurance and hedge products like credit default swaps. Only after the bankers received bailouts and insurance did they push the losses onto investors who were forced to accept non-performing loans long after the 90 day window allowed under the REMIC statutes.
And that is why attorneys defending Foreclosures and other claims for consumer debt, including student loan debt, must first focus on the actual footprints in the sand. The footprints are the actual monetary transactions where real money flowed from one party to another. Leading with the money trail in your allegations, discovery and proof keeps the focus on simple reality. By identifying the real transactions, parties, timing and subject moment lawyers can use the emerging story as the blueprint to measure against the fabricated origination and transfer documents that refer to non-existent transactions.
The problem I hear all too often from clients of practitioners is that the lawyer accepts the production of the note as absolute proof of the debt. Not so. (see below). If you will remember your first year in law school an enforceable contract must have offer, acceptance and consideration and it must not violate public policy. So a contract to kill someone is not enforceable.
Debt arises only if some transaction in which real money or value is exchanged. Without that, no amount of paperwork can make it real. The note is not the debt ( it is evidence of the debt which can be rebutted). The mortgage is not the note (it is a contract to enforce the note, if the note is valid). And the TILA disclosures required make sure that consumers know who they are dealing with. In fact TILA says that any pattern of conduct in which the real lender is hidden is “predatory per se”) and it has a name — table funded loan. This leads to treble damages, attorneys fees and costs recoverable by the borrower and counsel for the borrower.
And a contract to “repay” money is not enforceable if the money was never loaned. That is where “consideration” comes in. And a an alleged contract in the lender agreed to one set of terms (the mortgage bond) and the borrower agreed to another set of terms (the promissory note) is no contract at all because there was no offer an acceptance of the same terms.
And a contract or policy that is sure to fail and result in the borrower losing his life savings and all the money put in as payments, furniture is legally unconscionable and therefore against public policy. Thus most of the consumer debt over the last 20 years has fallen into these categories of unenforceable debt.
The problem has been the inability of consumers and their lawyers to present a clear picture of what happened. That picture starts with footprints in the sand — the actual events in which money actually exchanged hands, the answer to the identity of the parties to each of those transactions and the reason they did it, which would be the terms agreed on by both parties.
If you ask me for a $100 loan and I say sure just sign this note, what happens if I don’t give you the loan? And suppose you went somewhere else to get your loan since I reneged on the deal. Could I sue you on the note? Yes. Could I win the suit? Not if you denied you ever got the money from me. Can I use the real loan as evidence that you did get the money? Yes. Can I win the case relying on the loan from another party? No because the fact that you received a loan from someone else does not support the claim on the note, for which there was no consideration.
It is the latter point that the Courts are starting to grapple with. The assumption that the underlying transaction described in the note and mortgage was real, is rightfully coming under attack. The real transactions, unsupported by note or mortgage or disclosures required under the Truth in Lending Act, cannot be the square peg jammed into the round hole. The transaction described in the note, mortgage, transfers, and disclosures was never supported by any transaction in which money exchanged hands. And it was not properly disclosed or documented so that there could be a meeting of the minds for a binding contract.
KEEP THIS IN MIND: (DISCOVERY HINTS) The simple blueprint against which you cast your fact pattern, is that if the securitization scheme was real and not a PONZI scheme, the investors’ money would have gone into a trust account for the REMIC trust. The REMIC trust would have a record of the transaction wherein a deduction of money from that account funded your loan. And the payee on the note (and the secured party on the mortgage) would be the REMIC trust. There is no reason to have it any other way unless you are a thief trying to skim or steal money. If Wall Street had played it straight underwriting standards would have been maintained and when the day came that investors didn’t want to buy any more mortgage bonds, the financial world would not have been on the verge of extinction. Much of the losses to investors would have covered by the insurance and credit default swaps that the banks took even though they never had any loss or risk of loss. There never would have been any reason to use nominees like MERS or originators.
The entire scheme boils down to this: can you borrow the realities of a transaction in which you were not a party and treat it, legally in court, as your own? So far the courts have missed this question and the result has been an unequivocal and misguided “yes.” Relentless of pursuit of the truth and insistence on following the rule of law, will produce a very different result. And maybe America will use the shining example of Iceland as a model rather than letting bankers control our governmental processes.

Banking Chief Calls For 15% Looting of Italians’ Savings
http://www.infowars.com/banking-chief-calls-for-15-looting-of-italians-savings/

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