Fannie and Freddie Ignore Homeowners in Detroit

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. 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 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.


In the upside down world of the foreclosure of mortgages that are neither in default nor owned by the parties initiating foreclosure, and where applications for modification are submitted that clearly exceed federal standards for approval (and are denied)  and should come as no surprise that the government sponsored entities, Fannie and Freddie, canceled their appearance at a Metro Detroit foreclosure hearing which they had scheduled.

These are essentially federal agencies. Their first duty is to serve the country and its citizens. But they canceled their appearance because of pending litigation against them. Here was an opportunity for them to understand the impact of foreclosure on families, businesses, investors and the government. Here was an opportunity for them to utilize information provided to them by people on the ground to fashion remedies that are appropriate and legal.

This is all part of state and federal government policy to sweep the mortgage tragedies under the rug. Despite the fact that we know that most of the foreclosures that have already been deemed completed were in fact illegal, we have had millions of “auction sales” in which strangers to the transaction were awarded title to the house without ever having made a single payment of any amount of money to originate or acquire the loan that was allegedly in default but which was fatally defective and certainly not in default  despite the illusions created by Wall Street banks.

I am leading the charge on this one. It is my intention to file suit against the Wall Street banks who have accepted monthly payments, short sale payments, and full payments on loans that were subject to claims of securitization. In fact, my law firm is offering to represent homeowners who lost or sold their homes on a contingency fee, as long as only economic damages are sought. It is my goal to show payments to the sub servicer or anyone else in the false securitization chain should never have been made and were never due. It is my opinion that these payments are owed back to the homeowner in all events, together with interest, costs of the court action, and attorney fees where those are provided by statute or contract.  Each case will be evaluated as to viability utilizing this strategy.

If Bank of America or any other bank responds to an estoppel letter for payoff or short sale without knowing or showing that they have paid for the origination or acquisition of the loan, then they have no business providing the estoppel information or approving or denying a request for a short sale. Their acceptance of the money at closing and their execution of a satisfaction of mortgage or release and reconveyance is a sham. In the absence of any other creditor demanding payment and showing that they are in fact a true creditor (having paid actual money for the origination or acquisition of the loan), proceeds of all such closings should, in my opinion, go to the homeowner. If the bank got the money, it is my opinion that the bank should be sued for recovery of the entire proceeds of the closing.

Each of those closings described above represents a gift to the banks and a horror show for the homeowner and many attorneys for homeowners. The spin machine for the banks has created the illusion that homeowners are seeking a free home when in fact it is the banks that are seeking and getting free money and free homes. In auction sales where the banks are submitting a credit bid, they do not qualify as a creditor who can submit a credit bid. But the credit bid is accepted anyway and the bank gets the house for free despite the fact that the bank has no status as a creditor or even the authorized representative of a creditor.

Fannie and Freddie are colluding with the banks and the federal reserve  to maintain the illusion that the notes and mortgages are in proper form, were properly executed, and contain true representations concerning the real parties in interest. Many theories have been advanced as to why the Federal Reserve and other agencies are colluding with the banks. I think the reason is because many layers of policies are based upon the false assumption that the origination of the loans complied with existing laws, rules and regulations. The federal reserve and other federal agencies would look pretty stupid if they had paid or advanced trillions of dollars for worthless notes and mortgages and worthless mortgage bonds.

It is highly probable that the reason why the real lenders (investors) have not pursued loss mitigation with homeowners directly is that they know the note and mortgage is unenforceable and they have said so in their lawsuits against the investment banks that sold them the bogus mortgage bonds. What they don’t fully appreciate is the fact that most homeowners would willingly give them a valid mortgage and note based upon the reality of the current market. But the intermediaries (servicers) are doing everything possible to prevent modification or successful mediation of claims; which of course results from those intermediaries falsely claiming to be owners of loans that were funded by investors and falsely claiming losses on those loans that were paid by insurance and credit defaults swaps. Those intermediaries are the leading Wall Street banks in this mortgage mess. As long as we include them in the process of resolving the mortgage meltdown, the problems will be compounded rather than cured.

Fed Pours Huge Sums Into Foreign Bank Coffers

Nearly half of all US homeowners with a mortgage still ‘underwater’ in Q1

Foreclosure Victims Protesting Wall Street Impunity Outside DOJ Arrested, Tasered

Foreclosure Fraud Failures Come To A Head In Justice Dept. Protest

Bank of America Zombie Foreclosure Protest (VIDEO)

This is what it looks like when foreclosure fighters demand Wall Street criminals be prosecuted

Chasing The Shadow Of Money

LAWYER BONANZA!: Wells Fargo Foreclosing on Homeowner Who Made all Payments and Paid Extra


The simple truth is that the banks are not nearly as interested in the property as they are in the foreclosure. It is the foreclosure sale that creates the illusion of a stamp of approval from the state government that the entire securitization scheme was valid and it creates the reality of a presumption of the validity of the deed issued at the so-called auction of the property upon submission of  false credit bid from a non-creditor who is a stranger (not in privity) to the transaction alleged. — Neil F Garfield,

see also

Editor’s Comment and Analysis: Wells Fargo is foreclosing on a man who has made his payments early and made extra payments to pay down the principal allegedly due on his mortgage. In response to media questions as to their authority to foreclose, the response was curious and very revealing. Wells Fargo said that the reason was that the securitization documents contain restrictions and prohibitions that prevent modifications of mortgage.

The fact that Wells Fargo offered a particular payment plan and the homeowner accepted it together with the fact that the homeowner made the required payments and even added extra payments, all of which was accepted by Wells Fargo and cashed  doesn’t seem to bother Wells Fargo but it probably will bother a judge who sees both the doctrine of estoppel and a simple contract in which Wells Fargo had the apparent authority to make the offer, accept the payments, and bind the actual creditors (whoever they might be).

It also corroborates our continuing opinion that when Wells Fargo and similar banks received insurance and creditable swap payments, they should have been applied to the receivable account of the investors which in turn would have resulted by definition in a reduction of the amount owed. The reduction in the amount owed would obviously decrease the amount payable by the borrower. If we follow the terms of the only contract that was signed by the borrower then any overpayments to the creditor beyond account receivable held by the creditor would be due and payable to the borrower. It is a violation of the spirit and content of the federal bailout to allow the banks to keep the money that is so desperately needed by the investors who supplied the money and the homeowners whose loans were paid in whole or in part by insurance and credit default swaps.

The reason I am interested in this particular case and the reason why I think it is of ultimate importance to understand the significance of the Wells Fargo response to the media is that it corroborates the facts and theories presented here and elsewhere that the original promissory note vanished and was replaced by a mortgage bond, the terms of which were vastly different than the terms of the promissory note signed by the homeowner.

Wells Fargo seeks to impose the terms, provisions, conditions and restrictions of the securitization documents onto the buyer without realizing that they have admitted that the original promissory note signed by the homeowner and therefore the original mortgage lien or deed of trust were never presented to the actual lenders for acceptance or approval of the loan.


In fact, Wells Fargo has now admitted that the terms of the loan are governed strictly by the securitization documents. How they intend to enforce securitization documents whose existence was actively hidden from the borrower is going to be an interesting question.  If the position of the banks were to be accepted, then any creditor could change the essential terms of the debt or the essential terms of repayment without notice or consent from the borrower despite the absence of any reference to such power in the documents presented to the borrower for the borrower’s signature.

 But one thing is certain, to wit: the closing documents presented to the borrower  were incomplete and failed to disclose both the real parties in table funded loans (making the loans predatory per se as per TILA and Reg Z) and the existence and compensation of intermediaries, the disclosure of which is absolutely mandatory under federal law. Each borrower who was deprived of knowledge of multiple other parties and intermediaries and their compensation has a clear right of action for recovery of all undisclosed fees, interest, payments, attorney fees and probably treble damages.

This case also clearly shows that despite the representations by counsel and “witnesses” Wells Fargo has now admitted the basic fact behind its pattern of conduct wherein they claim to be the authorized sub servicer fully empowered by the real creditors and then claim to have no responsibility or powers with respect to the loan or the real creditors (which appears to include the Federal Reserve if their purchase of mortgage bonds had any substance).

Wells Fargo, US Bank, Bank of New York and of course Bank of America have all been sanctioned with substantial fines of up to seven figures so far in individual cases where they clearly took inconsistent positions and the judge found them to be in contempt of court because of the lies they told and levied those sanctions on both the attorneys and the banks.

It was only a matter of time before this entire false foreclosure mess blew up in the face of the banks. You can be sure that Wells Fargo will attempt to bury this case by paying off the homeowner and any other people that have been involved who could blow the whistle on their illegal, fraudulent and probably criminal behavior.

This is not the end of the game for Wells Fargo or any other bank, but it is one more concrete step toward revealing basic truth behind the mortgage mess, to it: the Wall Street banks stole the money from the investors, stole the ownership of the loans from the “trusts” and have been stealing houses despite the absence of any monetary or other consideration in the origination or acquisition of any loan. This absence of consideration removes the paperwork offered by the banks from the category of a negotiable instrument. None of the presumptions applicable to negotiable instruments apply.

Once again I emphasize that in practice lawyers should immediately take control of the narrative and the case by showing that the party seeking foreclosure possesses no records of any actual or real transaction in which money exchanged hands. This means, in my opinion, that the allegations of investors in lawsuits against the investment banks on Wall Street are true, to wit: they were entitled to an forcible notes and enforceable mortgages but they didn’t get it. That is an admission in the public record by the real parties in interest that the notes and mortgages are fabricated because they referred to commercial transactions that never occurred.

Going back to my original articles when I started this blog in 2007, the solution to the current mortgage mess which includes the corruption of title records across the country is that the intermediaries should be cut out of the process of modification and settlement. A different agency should be given the power to match up investors and borrowers and facilitate the execution of new promissory notes new mortgages or deeds of trust that are in fact enforceable but based in reality as to both the value of the property and the viability of the loan. It is the intermediaries including the Wall Street banks, sub servicers, Master servicers, and so-called trustees that are abusing the court process and clogging the court calendars with false claims. Get rid of them and you get rid of the problem.

Wells Fargo Wrongful Foreclosure Kills Elderly Homeowner?


“The administrator of the estate of Larry Delassus sued Wells Fargo, Wachovia Bank, First American Corp. and others in Superior Court, for wrongful death, elder abuse, breach of contract and other charges.

Delassus died at 62 of heart disease after Wells Fargo mistakenly held him liable for his neighbor’s property taxes, doubled his mortgage payments, declared his loan in default and sold his Hermosa Beach condominium, according to the complaint.”

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-296-1960. 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 and Analysis: There are two reasons why I continue this blog and my return to the practice of law despite my commitment to retirement. The general reason is that I wish to contribute as much as I can to the development of the body of law that can be applied to large-scale economic fraud that threatens the fabric of our society. The specific reason for my involvement is exemplified in this story which results in the unfortunate death of a 62-year-old man. I have not reported it before, but I have been the recipient of several messages from people whose life has been ruined by economic distress and who then proceeded to take their own lives.  In some cases I was successful in intervening. But in most cases I was unable to do anything before they had already committed suicide.

It is my opinion that the current economic problems, and mortgage and foreclosure problems in particular, stem from an attitude that pervades corporate and government circles, to wit: that the individual citizen is irrelevant and that damage to any individual is also irrelevant and unimportant. If you view the 5 million foreclosures that have already been supposedly completed as merely a collection of irrelevant and unimportant citizens and their families then the policies of the banks on Wall Street and the politicians who are unduly influenced by those banks, becomes perfectly logical and acceptable.

I start with the premise that each individual is both relevant and important regardless of their economic status or their political status. In my opinion that is the premise of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. The wrongful foreclosure by strangers to the transaction is not only illegal and probably unconstitutional, it is fundamentally wrong in that it is founded on the arrogance of the ruling class. Our country is supposed to be a nation of laws not a nation of a ruling class.

If you start with the premise that the Wall Street banks want and need as many foreclosures as possible to complete transactions in which they received the benefit of insurance proceeds and proceeds of head products like credit default swaps, then you can see that these “mistakes”  are in actuality intentional acts intended to drive out legitimate homeowners from their homes. These actions are performed without any concern for the legality of their actions, the total lack of merit of their claims, or the morality and ethics that we should be able to see in economic institutions that have been deemed too big to fail.

The motive behind these foreclosures and the so-called mistakes is really very simple, to wit: the banks have nothing to lose by receiving with the foreclosure but they had everything to lose by not proceeding with the foreclosure. The problem is not a lack of due diligence. The problem is an intentional avoidance of due diligence and the ability to employ the tactic of plausible deniability. Mistakes do happen. But in the past when the bank was notified that the error had occurred they would promptly rectify the situation. Now the banks ignore such notifications because any large-scale trend in settling, modifying or resolving mortgage issues such that the loan becomes classified as “performing” will result in claims by insurers and claims from counterparties in credit default swaps that the payments based upon the failure of the mortgage bonds due to mortgage defaults was fraudulently reported and therefore should be paid back to the insurer or counterparty.

In most cases the amount of money paid through various channels to the Wall Street banks was a vast multiple of the actual underlying loans they claimed were in asset pools. The truth is the asset pools probably never existed, in most cases were never funded, and thus were incapable of making a purchase of a bundle of loans without any resources to do so. These banks claim that they were and are authorized agents of the investors (pension funds) who thought they were buying mortgage bonds issued by the asset pools but in reality were merely making a deposit at the investment bank. The same banks claim that they were not and are not the authorized agents of the investors with respect to the receipt of insurance proceeds and proceeds from hedge product’s life credit default swaps. And they are getting away with it.

They are getting away with it because of the complexity of the money trail and the paper trail. This can be greatly simplified by attorneys representing homeowners immediately demanding proof of payment and proof of loss (the essential elements of proof of ownership) at the origination, assignment, endorsement or other method of acquisition of loans. In both judicial and nonjudicial states it is quite obvious that the party seeking to invoke  foreclosure proceedings avoids the third rail of basic rules and laws of contract, to wit: that the transactions which they allege occurred did not in fact occur and that there was no payment, no loss and no risk of loss to any of the parties that are said to be in the securitization chain. The securitization chain exists only as an illusion created by paperwork.

The parties who handled the money as intermediaries between the lenders and the borrowers do not appear anywhere in the paperwork allegedly supporting the existence of the securitization chain. Instead of naming the investors as the owner and payee on the note and mortgage, these intermediaries diverted the ownership of the note to controlled entities that use their apparent ownership to trade in bonds, derivatives, and hedge products as though the capital of the investment bank was at risk in the origination or acquisition of the loans and as though the capital of the investment bank was at risk in the issuance of what can only be called bogus mortgage bonds.

Toward that end, the Wall Street banks have successfully barred contact and cooperation between the actual lenders and the actual borrowers. These banks have successfully directed the attention of the courts to the fabricated paperwork of the assignments, endorsements and securitization chain. The fact that these documents contain unreliable hearsay statements about transactions that never occurred has escaped the attention and consideration of the judiciary, most lawyers, and in fact most borrowers.

It is this sleight-of-hand that has thrown off policymakers as well as the judiciary and litigants. The fact that money appeared at the time of the alleged loan closing is deemed sufficient to prove that the designated lender on the closing papers was in fact the source of the loan; but they were not the source of the funds for the loan and as the layers of paperwork were added there were no funds at all in the apparent transfer of ownership of the loan that was originated by a strawman with an undisclosed principal, thus qualifying the loan as predatory per se according to the federal truth in lending act.

The fact that the borrower in many cases ceased making payments is deemed sufficient to justify the issuance of a notice of default, a notice of sale and the actual foreclosure of the home and eviction of the homeowner. The question of whether or not any payment was due as escaped the system almost entirely.

Even if the  borrower makes all the payments demanded, the banks will nonetheless seek foreclosure to justify the receipt of insurance and credit default swap proceeds. So they manufacture excuses like failure to pay taxes, failure to pay  insurance premiums, abandonment, failure to maintain or anything else they can think of that will justify the foreclosure and a demand for money that far exceeds  any loss and without giving the borrower an opportunity to avoid foreclosure by either curing the problem for pointing out that there was no problem at all.

As I have pointed out before, the entire mortgage system was turned on its head. If you turn it back to right side up then you will see that the receipt of money by the intermediary banks is an overpayment on both the bond issued to the investor (or the debt owed to the investor) and the promissory note that was executed by the borrower on the false premise that there had been full disclosure of all parties, intermediaries and their compensation as required by the federal truth in lending act, federal reserve regulations and many state laws involving deceptive lending.

Wells Fargo will no doubt defend the action of the estate of the dead man with allegations of a pre-existing condition which would have resulted in his death in all events. The problem they have in this particular case is that the causation of the death is a little easier to prove when the death occurs in the courtroom based upon false claims, false collections, and probably a duty to refund excess payments received from insurers and counterparties to credit default swaps.

The cost of the largest economic crime in human history is very human indeed.


Elderly Man Allegedly Dies in Court Fighting Wells Fargo ‘Wrongful’ Foreclosure

Libor vs Mortgage Scandals: Amount of Money Appears to be the Only Difference


It appears as though LIBOR is being thrown under the bus as a distraction from the much larger mortgage securitization scam. Both cases relied upon trust that was breached, money that was invented, figures that were fabricated, lying, cheating and inside trading to the detriment of the institutions that participated in one form or another. In both cases the ultimate victims on both sides of the transactions is the consumer.

Yet with LIBOR “suits are mounting,” (Wall Street Journal) investigations proliferating and a handy group of scapegoats far from the top of the scam may well be prosecuted.

The only difference seems to be that the size of the LIBOR scandal in terms of consequences to the institutions and consumers appears to be far less than the monumental scam foisted upon taxpayers all over the industrialized world, especially in the U.S.

To be certain the manipulation of the LIBOR rates was clearly an intentional act, but so was the insertion of the bankers naked nominees when residential loans were originated. In most cases, securitization was different in the commercial setting because it was more likely that more questions would be asked by higher priced, more sophisticated lawyers for the borrower.

The manipulation of LIBOR rates resulted in the wrong calculation of adjustable rate mortgages all over the world, making the notices of default, demand for payment and perhaps even the sales illegal. That is more in the nature of legal argument. The insertion of nominees controlled by the investment banks as payees, nominees, trustees, beneficiaries and mortgagees in lieu of the institutions that were actually providing the money and hiding the compensation that TILA requires to be disclosed, the steady practice of table funded loans which are deemed “predatory per se” under regulation Z, allowed intermediaries to pretend to be the lenders, the owners of the loans so they could trade with impunity. If they lost money, they threw the loss over the fence at the taxpayers and investment funds that bought bogus mortgage bonds. If they made money, they kept it.

The only difference is that the the amount of money involved in the non-existent securitization scheme that was so well “documented” was that it resulted in siphoning out the life blood of multiple nations and sending the world into a recession not seen in most of your lifetimes. AND the policy makers in Washington either were or are in bed with the perpetrators on this scheme, whereas the LIBOR scandal is being couched in terms where the traders were conspiring but the banks were unaware of their transgressions.

Let’s face it, if suddenly you have a trading department that is reporting profits geometrically and even exponentially higher than any other time in history, as CEO you would want to know why. Those trading profits did exactly that in both LIBOR and the mortgage securitization myth. One must ask why thousands of advertisements costing billions of dollars were on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines for loans at 5%. Put pencil to paper. If normal underwriting standards were used, and normal fees were applied to intermediaries who made the loan possible, there would be no room in the budget for such extravagance, much less the pornographic profits and bonuses reported on Wall Street. Why were armies of salesmen, including 10,000 convicted felons in Florida alone pushed into the market place as mortgage brokers or mortgage originators?

The intentional reporting of the wrong rates has an effect on all loans, past, present and future, but it requires yet more education of an already overloaded judiciary. So throwing a few traders under the bus and calling it a day is pretty much what is going to happen.

As it turns out though, the Banks have painted themselves into a corner on the securitization scam. What they securitized was paper, not money. The monetary transactions were left untouched by the documents, leaving the people who loaned the money through the scam vehicle known as a REMIC trust with no security for a bad loan.

Hence neither the documentation of an on-existent transaction between the parties named on the instrument, nor the manipulation of terms that were presented in one set to the investor-lenders and an entirely different set of terms presented to the borrower created valid contracts, much less perfected liens. But that didn’t matter to the intermediaries who were supposed to be acting as intermediaries — in the same way a check clears the bank — with no claim to the subject matter of the transaction.

They too manipulated rates by creating second tier yield spread premiums, and thus created spreads upon which they could withdraw money, pay for insurance, credit default swaps and other bets that the bad loans they wanted and received would fail, leaving the market in free-fall.

Predicting the market to to fall is like pushing a person off a cliff. You pretty much know that once the balance is lost the person is doomed. Doctoring up the applications with false income and false property appraisals did exactly that. It was a bet on a sure thing. Wall Street could rest comfortably in the knowledge that housing would ultimately fall to normal levels simply because there was nobody who could or would pay the premium they invested on the mortgage scam.

Now Wall Street is creating entities that will buy up “distressed”properties — a product of their own wrongdoing, using the money of the same people who owned the homes that were foreclosed — i.e., their pension and 401k retirement money. So they used your own money to fund a bad loan to you that they knew they could foreclose, and in between the time they originated the loan documents and the time of foreclosure they engaged in trading on your mortgage even though they had no part in funding or purchasing the loan.

My question to you is where is your outrage? When are you going to fight the bank control of Washington, the bank manipulation of judiciary by fabricating false, forged documentation that “looks right?” You can do it by voting against hose  most closely tied to the Wall Street community, by fighting with the party claiming to be your mortgage lender/servicer, or both. If you don’t you are handing the Country over to the banks and leaving it to your children and grandchildren to suffer the consequences.

Another Kind of Dual Tracking: Loan Origination Fraud

NOTE: Dual tracking and loan origination fraud by the banks will be a prime topic explained in detail by Neil Garfield, Dan Edstrom and Jim Macklin at the upcoming seminars.

At the Sign Up for Full Day Seminar in Emeryville (San Francisco), a specialist from Nevada will present the issues in mediation and forcing the true decision makers and owners of the loan to step forward. We will also present this important material in the Anaheim seminars. One is for homeowners Sign up for 1/2 day Homeowners Seminar and the other is a CLE seminar for lawyers, paralegals and other real estate professionals Sign Up for Full Day Seminar in Anaheim. Participants will get discounts on the purchase of our forms library and workbooks. Call 520-405-1688 for details.

People ask me why I don’t write an ordinary book for layman instead of the manuals we sell. Well, I have written two and dumped them in the trash because they were just the kind of rehash you keep seeing new authors expounding upon the dead Norse that has already been expounded.

My book would therefore really be very short. It would start with the plain and simple and ingenious process that lies at the heart of the securitization fraud.

It is called dual tracking. And the reason for this name is that Wall Street didn’t name it. Wall Street would have named it something like synthetic collateralized real estate closings deriving their value from the dual process of lending of money to a homeowner or buyer and the parallel process of signing closing documents for trading. That sounds better than dual tracking doesn’t it? Because it doesn’t tell anyone what they were doing.


What we are left with is a chain of documents without value and a chain of money without documents. The third phenomenon arises from Wall Street’s ignoring its promises to depositors (investor-lenders) and promises made to homeowners who are buyers or refinancing existing homes they own.

Imagine that I loaned you $100. You would owe it to me even if we never wrote one word on paper. Now if I forged a note signed by you, or had it robo-signed, you would still owe me the $100. If I tried to use the forged instrument in a legal proceeding I would be subject to contempt of court, fraud charges and sanctions but you would still owe me the $100.  And THAT is the reason why most pro se litigants are losing. The lawyers are making the same mistake.

Back to dual tracking. Now let’s imagine that I did loan you the $100 but I did it by writing a Check using my bank as the intermediary. Nothing has changed, right? You have the check, you cashed it and you owe me the $100. Simple as that. But here is where lawyers, judges and policy makers are missing the genius of invention by Wall Street.

When I write a check on my bank to you, my bank and your bank are intermediaries. We depend upon the normal relationship of a customer and his bank. I expect my bank to pay your bank and I expect and you expect that your bank will pay you the money. And if that is what happens, then you still owe the $100.
Even if you deposit the check, which adds another bank intermediary to the story, nobody considers the banks to be anything other than providing services to you and me for access to the extensive grid that makes it possible to move money from me to you. Here again is where lawyers, judges and Policy makers get lost.
The presence of the banks is factually irrelevant because I could have lent a single crisp $100 bill to you without any banks being involved. Doing it by checks puts the nation’s payment processing grid to work — which makes it essential that you and I trust that the banks will do as we have instructed, which, after all, is governed by our contracts with our respective banks. It would never occur to either of us that the banks would make any claim to or about our private loan. And on the books and records of the intermediary banks there would be no loan receivable because such an entry would only be in my books and records. The loan receivable is mine because I loaned the money. It’s common sense.

In savings or investment accounts I maintain at the bank, the bank becomes both an intermediary holding my money safely and a borrower to the extent that the bank has agreed to pay me interest for leaving the money in the bank. Thus if my check to you was drawn on a money market account the amount withdrawn would only be the amount written on my check ($100). If the bank took part of the $100 and then forwarded to to your bank you would justifiably say the debt has been reduced because you didn’t get $100, you got less.

But if the bank loaned you $50 and you never received $100, you would agree that the debt is $50. In that case the bank would show on it’s books and records a loan receivable from you for $50. They would have you sign closing documents naming the bank as payee because the bank was the lender.
Sometimes banks intermediate loans just like they intermediate deposits. So in our example I might give the bank $100 with explicit instructions on what kinds of loans and what degree of risk was acceptable to me. If they loaned you money out of my account with the bank then the loan receivable would be on my books, not the books and records of the banks. And the documents you would sign for the loan would disclose that you are receiving the loan from me and that the bank was acting as an authorized representative for me. It’s all very logical and certain.
Now imagine that I wrote the check to XYZ investment bank for deposit. At that point they are still just an intermediary in the role of accepting deposits and not in processing transactions. They are awaiting further instructions from me as to what to do with the money I sent them. If the money was deposited into savings account, I sent them the money because they promised me interest of 5%.
As things get more sophisticated, I might deposit my money into an account to make loans to you and others like you for the same 5% interest or perhaps a little more in interest. But if they loaned you the money at 10%. as the depositor I understand that banks make money loaning out money on deposit. But I was expecting interest of 5% not 10% which is obviously a much riskier loan than I had agreed with the investment bank.

Why did the bank not follow my instructions and our agreement? The fact is they should have but they didn’t. Since I was loaning $100 and expecting 5% interest, I was expecting a $5 payment per year in interest. I expected the bank to get me a borrower whose credit rating was unassailable and safe or not to make the loan at all.

The bank violated my agreement, my trust and my instructions when they chose to insert themselves as a principal in the transaction. Both you and the banks became co-obligors. The bank would owe me money for whatever they took out contrary to contract and you would owe me money for the loan. The amount they took out of my account was much more than what you had actually borrowed.
The Bank’s obligation was to pay me back my principal with 5% interest. But they wanted more fees than customary so they found a less credit worthy borrower and loaned him the money. That borrower is you in many cases. And you agreed to the 10% interest because you knew you had bad credit.


But only on Wall Street would they take the extra interest charged to you using my money on deposit. They took it for themselves because they didn’t want to explain to me why they had funded a loan that violated the limits on risk that were expressed in my agreement with the bank. They lied to me and told me they had loaned $100 to you at 5%.  In fact they had only loaned $50 at 10%. By doing that they created a liability for the Bank which still owed me $100 even though they only loaned $50.

But wait. If the bank loaned the money out at 10% then the interest was being paid at $10 per year instead of five, right? Wrong! In order to get what I wanted, which was $5 per year, they only had to lend out $50 at 10%, which yields $5 per year. But I don’t know they did this because they reported that my money was being used as instructed when in fact they stopped being intermediaries and started being borrowers from me because now they had loaned you only $50 and they had taken $50 more from me. Remember I gave them $100, not $50.

If they were being truthful they would have said they couldn’t find a good borrower so they found one who wasn’t so highly rated. they should have given me the choice of whether or not to engage in that loan and I would have said no because I was interested in the safety of my money not the aggressive possibility of growth. And if they made the 10% loan anyway they would have reported to me at the end of the month in my end of month statement, that I had $50 still on deposit tom them in addition to the $50 I loaned you despite my instructions. So my statement would have two line items: one would be the loan receivable to me and the other would be the $50 they didn’t loan out which would be shown as cash on deposit with them, whom I trusted to keep my money safe.

But imagine now that they didn’t issue that report and instead issued a report that $100 had been removed to make loans to you and others, from which they had taken” customary fees”. Oops that would be a lie. They were using the other $50 for themselves, having sold your $50 loan to my account for $100, netting them as much in fees as had actually been used for my loan to you.

Back to dual tracking. Now imagine that the XYZ investment bank had to go looking for borrowers with higher credit risks in order to take that extra $50 out of my $100 investment. They find you. And they want you to sign the usual and customary paperwork associated with a loan, which of course is made payable to me, right? After all I was the lender, the source of funds and the creditor. But the XYZ investment bank when they took my $100 promised to pay me back $100 even though they were only lending out half. Just like any other deposit, where the bank will give you your money when it is due to you as a demand deposit, CD or in this case a loan to you.

Back to dual tracking. They couldn’t put my name on the loan documents because that would lead the borrower straight to me.  We would find out together that they loaned only half of the money I deposited with the bank and that the bank took the rest as “fees” and trading profits.

Enter the straw man also known as the nominee. The XYZ bank hires a mortgage broker who hires a loan originator who lies to you and tells you they are lending you the money. since you expected a $50 loan and you received the $50 loan neither you nor I was the wiser. We couldn’t compare notes or accounts because neither of us knew the identity of the other and I didn’t even know the transaction had occurred and that the terms of the transaction were so different from what I had agreed as a lender, should be the terms.

So you are asked to sign papers to some company called First Freedom Easy Mortgages, who your mortgage broker has told you is the lender. But we know now that First Freedom Easy Mortgage was not the lender. It was a hired actor in a play. You signed loan documents including a promissory note to a payee with whom you absolutely had no financial transaction and you still owe me the money. You owe me the money because it came from me, regardless of what paper you signed to anyone else. And you don’t owe the money to someone else just because you signed paperwork, but never received any money from them.

First freedom Easy Mortgage was a creature created by the banks, not me. They did that because they wanted to “borrow” the loan, claim it as their own, and sell it multiple times to multiple investors. This was all orchestrated by XYZ investment bank who not only sold and resold the loan as if it was their own, but they also bought insurance. They told me it was insured but they failed to tell me that they were the beneficiary who would receive the proceeds of the insurance — not as my agents, my depository institution, but for themselves.

When your loan went into default, according to the paperwork First Freedom Easy Mortgage was the payee on the note. And the only documents of your loan transaction are between you and First Freedom Easy Mortgage so that is the only thing that people look at and believe. But you still owe me $50 because the $50 you received was my $50.

Back to dual tracking. We have the money transaction in which I loaned you $50. And we have another $50 loan transaction that is fully documented but where no money was received by you. That was cover for the extra money the bank took for itself without using it to lend money and make interest income for me. According to the paperwork you owe $50 to First Freedom Easy Mortgage because that is what the documents say AND you still owe me my $50. So you owe twice the amount you borrowed. You know what we call that? Usury. It’s a crime.

If the signed documents have no value because no value was exchanged between those parties, then that mortgage is securing the faithful performance of the terms of a note in which there was no value (no loan was received by you from the documented transaction. So we are left with a document trail (securitization) with no value and in which all conventions and provisions were routinely ignored AND a money trail which leaves no documents at all (no footprints in the sand). That is dual tracking.

And that is why in discovery you need to press hard on the actual financial transactions to force them to show the actual flow of money. AND THAT is why they will most likely settle with you if it looks like you are getting too close for comfort.

Regulation and Prosecution on Wall Street

In my opinion, the growing anger at Wall Street is giving Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon another chance at misdirection. They are using the current popular angst to steer the debate into whether derivatives and synthetic CDOs should be banned. In the end they will win that debate, and they should win it. What they should lose is their freedom in a judicial forum where they are prosecuted like Ken Lay and Bernie Ebbers, and where it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they committed criminal fraud and securities fraud.

The fact that we had a bad experience with derivatives is not a reason to ban them. The fact that they were abused and that people were cheated and that the entire financial system was undermined is another story.

There is nothing wrong with any transaction if the playing field is relatively level and if the imbalances are addressed by law and regulation. That is what the Truth in lending Act is all about and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act is meant to address.

When the big guys use their superior knowledge to trick consumers into deadly transactions, the big guys should pay the price. We have the SEC to take care of that on the other end protecting investors. Licensing laws and administrative sanctions against those licensed by state or federal agencies are well-equipped to step in and deal with these abuses. But they didn’t.

Complaints sent to the Federal Trade Commission, Office of Thrift Supervision and Office of the Controller of the Currency have gone unheeded even to this day. The only answer you get is similar to the answer we get from sending short or long Qualified Written requests or Debt Validation Letters — short shrift of legitimate complaints that by law are required to be investigated, verified (not just restated) and corrected.

The inconvenient truth is that our regulators were not employing the tools given to them. Everyone knew it. In part it was because of undue influence and in part it was because they were deferring to larger “smarter” institutions like the Federal Reserve. But the biggest reason the Federal and state agencies didn’t do their job is that we, as a society, bought into the non-regulation philosophy which has failed so spectacularly. We didn’t support appropriate funding, training and resources for these agencies. If we had done what we should have done — elect people who were committed to government protecting and serving the people — this mess would never have mushroomed to the point where Wall Street issued proprietary currency equal to 12 times times the amount of government currency — all in a span only 25 years.

The simple truth is that there was nothing inherently wrong about securitizing residential mortgages. In theory, spreading the risk out created much greater liquidity for small and large consumers of credit. What was wrong and remains wrong is that the use of these instruments was for an illegal purpose — to defraud investors and borrowers alike. And they did it in an illegal manner — by denying and withholding information essential to the decision-making on both sides of these transactions.

On one side you had a creditor who was willing to loan money for residential mortgages under terms and conditions that were “explained” in mind-numbing prospectuses and guaranteed by “insurance” that wasn’t really insurance and which was appraised by government licensed rating agencies who issued investment grade appraisals that were so wrong that it strains credibility to assume they didn’t know they were part of a larger criminal enterprise. This creditor lent money and received a bond, whose terms referenced other documents in the securitization chain that imposed conditions, co-obligors, and protections to the intermediaries that completely changed the loans that were signed by borrowers far, far away.

On the other side, you had borrowers, homeowners, who put their largest or only investment in the world at risk in a transaction that they could not understand because the information required to understand it was withheld. But even Alan Greenspan admitted he didn’t understand the transactions with the help of 100 PhD’s. These borrowers relied upon the sanctity of an underwriting process that no longer existed. Verification of property value, quality, affordability etc. were no longer in the mix.

These borrowers undertook an obligation to repay and signed a note that was evidence of the obligation but was payable to someone other than the party(ies) who loaned the money. That note was only a tiny part of the obligation to the creditor as evidenced by the mortgage backed bond they received.

The creditor was bilked out of a dollar and contrary to the expectations of the creditor, less than 2/3 of each dollar was actually used to fund mortgages. The creditor never actually received or even saw the note but ownership of the note was conveyed to the investor along with many other terms — terms that were entirely different from the note the borrower signed as to interest payments, principal, fees etc.

In between were the dozens of intermediaries who treated the documentation like a hot potato because nobody wanted to be stuck with it — knowing that misrepresentation and bad appraisals were the root of the instruments signed by creditors and debtors. These intermediaries kept possession of the note, kept the security instrument and kept the money and most of the insurance proceeds, received the federal bailout and now are proceeding to repackage the junk they already sold and through “resecuritization” are selling them again.

In my opinion there is nothing theoretically wrong with anything described above except for one thing — they lied. Fraud is fraud. If they had educated the creditors and debtors, if they had complied with local property and contract law, if they had been transparent disclosing everything much the same way as the prospectus in an IPO, then two things are true: (a) transactions that were completed would have been done because both sides knew the risks and were willing to take the loss and (b) transactions that were NOT completed (which would have been nearly all of them) would been rejected because the costs were too high, the risks were too high, and the consequences too dire.

But none of that happened because we allowed our regulators to be co-opted by the industries they were supposed to regulate. So tell your legislators and government agencies that you’ll allow them the resources to properly regulate and that you expect to hold them and the elected officials who put them there fully accountable.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. It isn’t derivatives that are wrong it is the people who used them and the way they were used that is wrong. Killing derivatives would lead to stagnation of what once was our greatest asset — the engine of liquidity for access to capital that has kept our economy growing.

Wall Street Banks Don’t Own Toxic Loans: ABC


This is why it is critically important that (a) you get help in organizing your information (b) getting a forensic analysis, review or even a TILA Audit (c) that you secure a third party expert declaration that puts the the facts in issue and (d) that you aggressively pursue discovery without trying to convince the Judge that the mortgage, note or obligation is invalid.

see how-to-be-an-expert-witness

Everyone seems to be getting it right — including the New York Times lead editorial this morning — except the main point. It’s been said that there are two kinds of truth — reality and the collective perception of reality whether it is wrong or right. see self-dealing-part-ii-investigations-started
REALITY: The main point missed by nearly everyone is that in the securitization of real estate loans — residential and commercial — the Wall Street Banks do not own the toxic loans and never did. The simple ABC is that the loans were executed by homeowners and then trafficked like illegal drugs through middlemen until they ended up in the hands of investors (pension funds, sovereign wealth funds etc.).
The actual amount and movement of money was kept carefully hidden from investors and homeowners, violating Federal, State, and common law. Much of this money actually belongs in the hands of homeowners, investors, and taxing authorities from Federal State and Local governments.

CONSENSUS FALSEHOOD: The banks made loans that were too risky and “relaxed” their underwriting standards. A slew of defaults occurred causing a danger of a run on the banks. [The truth is that risk never entered the picture: there is no risk in arranging a loan (with investor funds) that you know for sure is guaranteed to fail because it will reset to a payment level that the homeowner could never be able to pay under any conceivable circumstances.]

THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Profits piled up off-shore that are being repatriated on a gradual basis showing incredible gains at the Wall Street Banks that supposedly lost hundreds of billions of dollars. The truth is they never lost a dime. The truth is the loan was sold multiple times through multiple intermediaries each of whom in each “sale” were paid fees and profits vastly exceeding any prior compensation to those who arranged or made loans prior to securitization.
Second Hidden Yield Spread Premium: As I have pointed out before the hidden yield spread premium was jaw-dropping (when the loans were packaged by the aggregator and then sold to the Special Purpose Vehicle that issued and sold the mortgage-backed securities. This second YSP was sent off-shore to the Bahamas or the Caymans to Structured Investment Vehicles with their own trustees, who scattered the actual depository accounts all around the world. The beneficiaries were the 100 Club — the main players in the creation, promotions and protection of the scheme through government contacts, plausible deniability, and simple non-disclosure sometimes achieved through the sheer complexity of the arrangements.

Nobody wants to acknowledge this fact because it would be admission that the con game is still on and that government is still part of it. They took many trillions of dollars to “bail out” banks that had arranged the bad loans but never underwrote them.

After centuries of lending in which banks made loans and were the obvious source of funds and the obvious losers if the loans went bad, it seems that there is hardly a soul in media, government, or the judiciary that is willing to come right out and say the banks are by nature intermediaries and that they carried their business of intermediation too far (removing the risk for bad loans).

In the old model, prior to Glass Steagel being repealed, the use of money held on deposit (i.e, your checking, savings or CD account) at a depository institution was the source of funds for the loans, thus putting the bank at risk. A bad loan meant that the payback had to be covered by the bank’s capital reserves that were regulated to make sure there was always enough money on hand to satisfy the demands of depositors who needed the use of the money they had deposited into the bank, for safe-keeping.

In fact, the scheme was built upon the premise that by not actually having any risk and by entering into “hedge (insurance) contracts, they could make far more money arranging bad loans than good loans. Logistically they guaranteed their profit by inserting terms into mortgage backed bond indentures that cut the investor out of the bounty.
The result, as always, was that Wall Street won and everyone else lost. 1 in 50 people now are living strictly on food stamps in this country. And the number is rising. Leading the pack are white-haired white people whose numbers are growing exponentially, followed by blacks and Hispanics. Fifty percent of the securitized loans were refi’s. Yet the misconception is that this crisis only affects people who bought houses they could not afford.
January 3, 2010
New York Times Editorial

Avoiding a Japanese Decade

Thankfully, 2009 ended better than it began. Economists talk about green shoots of recovery taking hold. Consumer confidence has improved. Equity markets have soared. But for all the progress, the American economy remains extremely vulnerable.

To understand those economic risks, it is worth considering Japan’s experience in the 1990s. A bursting housing bubble there sparked a banking crisis that was followed by a decade of economic stagnation.

The Japanese government lacked the resolve to do what was necessary. It failed to fix its banks and stopped its early fiscal stimulus before recovery had taken hold, leaving the economy all too vulnerable to outside shocks, including the Asian currency crisis and the dot-com collapse in 2001. Japan’s annual growth rate — which had averaged 4 percent since 1973 — slowed to less than 1 percent, on average, from 1992 to 2003.

President Obama’s economic advisers have learned from Japan’s experience. But they may not have learned enough. (Certainly Congress has not been paying attention.) If they are not careful, they could end up repeating some of the big mistakes that condemned Japan’s economy to a lost decade.

The green shoots are barely out of the ground and Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress are already demanding that the administration “do something” to cut the budget gap. We worry that the political drumbeat may be too hard to resist. In 1997, after three years of tepid growth, the Japanese government stopped its stimulus: it raised a consumption tax, ended a temporary income tax cut, increased social security premiums and nipped recovery in the bud.

Japan’s other blunder was its unwillingness to fix its banks. Regulators did not force banks and indebted firms to recognize trillions of yen worth of bad loans. Banks trundled along like zombies, squandering credit to keep insolvent firms on their feet. When the Asian currency crisis hit, many undercapitalized banks toppled over.

The Obama administration has not been quite as forgiving with the banks, but it still has been nowhere near aggressive enough. The regulatory reform meant to curb bankers’ destructive risk-taking is moving at a snail’s pace through Congress. While the Treasury has forced banks to raise capital, many — including some of the largest — remain thinly capitalized and weak.

Banks have been unwilling to sell bad assets and take a loss. They remain stuffed with risky commercial and residential mortgages and consumer debt. Bankers, meanwhile, have made things worse by insisting on paying themselves huge bonuses after profiting so handsomely from the taxpayers’ tolerance and largess.

There are two big problems with that. The bankers’ taste for risk has not been in any way quenched. And the American public is, justifiably, fed up. That means if there is another bank crisis — say when the Federal Reserve takes away the punch bowl of low interest rates — it will be a lot harder to get Congress to approve another bailout, no matter how necessary.

The Obama administration has still done a far better job — up to now — in addressing the crisis than Japan’s governments did. As dismal as 2009 was, it pales when compared with what would have happened without the fiscal stimulus and the Fed’s enormous monetary boost.

The White House is now pushing another mini-stimulus plan for next year. Chances are it will need to do a lot more to push reform and boost the economy. If there is an overarching lesson from Japan’s lost decade, it is that half measures don’t pay.

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