Hawai’i Appellate Court Strikes at the Root of Fraudulent Foreclosures: HSBC Deutsch and PNC Crash and Burn

This decision, although not yet for publication, brings us another step closer to exposure to the largest economic crime in human history. Every lawyer should read it more than once in its entirety. It contains the arguments and the narrative for most successful defense strategies against fraudulent foreclosures.

Fundamental to understanding why foreclosures are fraudulent and why most borrowers should prevail is an examination of how the banks and servicers attempt to paper over the absence of (a) ownership of the debt and the failure to identify the owner and (b) any evidence of an actual nexus with the supposed contract they are seeking to enforce — in the absence of anyone else claiming the right to enforce. Their entire premise rests on bank control of who knows about the subject debt.

That void is what produced this decision and the decisions around the country in discovery, in motions (especially motions for summary judgment), and at trial that have been in favor of homeowners and then buried under settlements restricted by the seal of confidentiality —- thousands of them.

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

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See HSBC, Deutsch, PNC adv Felicitas Moore, Intermediate Court of Appeals, Hawai’i

Hat Tip to Da Goose and Awesome Order on Failure of Qualified Witness and Documents

Special kudos to Hawai’i Dubin Law Offices, representing the homeowner.

Whether this case will stand up to further appeal is a question that can only be answered by time. But I think that it will and that this case, like many in the past few weeks and months, is striking at the achilles heal of fraudulent foreclosures. It is worthy of study because it does much of the research and analysis for you. It is not binding in any other state and may not be binding even in Hawai’i, since it is currently designated as “not for Publication.”

If I were to write an article detailing the many fine points raised by this appellate court, it would be a book. So read the article and look for the following points:

  1. The existence and administration of the books and records of the supposed “REMIC” Trustee for the supposed trust is directly challenged, although indirectly.
  2. Summary Judgment just became more difficult for the banks and servicers, if you use the reasoning in this opinion.
  3. Verification of complaint by “authorized Signor” or the “attorney” does NOT end the inquiry into the facts.
  4. Presumptions work against the foreclosing party in motions for summary judgment.
  5. Courts are getting suspicious of anything proffered by a foreclosing party when there is an alleged “REMIC” “trust” involved.
  6. Affidavits or declarations that the affiant personally has possession of the note do NOT establish (a) possession or (b) the right to enforce before the foreclosure was initiated. [This will lead to even more backdating of documents]
  7. FOUNDATION: Self declaration of knowledge and competency are insufficient. Foundation requires that the affiant or declarant specifically state how he/she came into such knowledge and why he/she is competent to testify.
  8. A self-serving declaration that the affiant is the custodian of records as to one case” raises red flags. Such declarations are only proper when they come from an individual who is, in the ordinary course of business, the records custodian for the business. [This raises some very uncomfortable questions for the banks and servicers, to wit: there are no business records for the trust because (a) the trustee has no right to keep them or even review information that would be entered on such records and (b) the trust has no business that requires record-keeping. So the assumption that the servicer’s records are the records of the trust named as the foreclosing party is simply not true and more importantly, lacks the required foundation to get such records into evidence.]
  9. Self-serving declarations do not necessarily authenticate any documents.
  10. Attorneys for the banks and servicers are put on notice that chickens may come home to roost — for  filing attestations to facts, about which they knew nothing or worse, about which they knew were untrue.

 

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

American Meltdown: 3AM or 8PM—Emergency vs Urgency

Thomas Friedman, in Michael Moore -like frankness, doesn’t make a case, create a sound bite, or try to get elected. Here he simply tells the facts. 

If all Americans could compare Berlin’s luxurious central train station today with the grimy, decrepit Penn Station in New York City, they would swear we were the ones who lost World War II.

People want to do nation-building. They really do. But they want to do nation-building in America.

Any one of the candidates can answer the Red Phone at 3 a.m. in the White House bedroom. I’m voting for the one who can talk straight to the American people on national TV — at 8 p.m. — from the White House East Room.

millions of Americans are dying to be enlisted — enlisted to fix education, enlisted to research renewable energy, enlisted to repair our infrastructure, enlisted to help others. Look at the kids lining up to join Teach for America. They want our country to matter again. 

MOST OF ALL WE NEED TO STOP VOTING BECAUSE SOMEONE SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF US OR APPEALS TO BASE PREJUDICE. WHEN WE DO THAT WE ARE VOTING AGAINST OURSELVES, OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN.

The emergency is that the fiscal fiasco of the last 7 years is frightening larger than any public figure has stated. Who will tell the people? The reason why you hear scattered comments about this period being comparable to the great depression is that we have dug a real hole for ourselves, so big, so deep, that we can’t see the bottom anymore.

  • Buffett and others are admitting it — economists are slyly predicting it without being accused of starting riots and panic. There is general agreement that the housing market could have another 20% correction from current levels.
  • 20-30 million American homes will have greater mortgage indebtedness than they are worth within 12-14 months.  The same people are mired in credit card debt carrying interest and fees that assures( or at least threatens) the virtual permanent enslavement of a significant portion the American people. Americans spend more money on debt service (interest payments and principal) than many countries do on EVERYTHING. 
  • We have locked ourselves into an energy policy that allows both domestic and foreign enemies of freedom almost unfettered control over our property, our food, our lives and our civil liberties. We have done this while having the technology and knowledge to reduce our oil and gas consumption to a negligible amount, forever abandoning foreign policy based upon foreign fuel supplies. 
  • Inflation is already five times higher than the manipulative government statistics reported and it is increasing. 
  • Joblessness is five time higher as well. 
  • The Iraq war will take at least 7 years — our longest war.
  • Our healthcare system is in the death grip of a few people who have turned our vulnerability into an excuse to rob the public treasury and the private finance of every individual.
  • 1929? — we already there and headed downward, burdened in more debt than any country or its people have acquired in the world history.
  • And in world opinion our stock of confidence has never been lower and is clearly declining every other day, as the dollar goes lower and lower and the world’s central bankers look for alternatives for their currency reserves — anything other than the plummeting dollar. They know we caused, allowed and promoted the worst outbreak of financial fraud in history and that the measurement of the scope of the fraud keeps growing every day by trillions of dollars.

So there is the emergency. The urgency is that there is hope.

The Mortgage Meltdown was the trigger, the wake-up call that the fundamentals of our policy, our society and our economy were all wrong. The people know it, with 4 out of people asserting we are headed in the wrong direction.

We emerged from the Great Depression and we can emerge from this too, perhaps a little battered and wiser but still standing tall. The way we can do that is through ruthless truth, a tolerance for ambiguity, transcending our fears, acceptance of failure, determination to succeed, and persistent pursuit of the core values expressed, although unevenly lived, in our Declaration of Independence and our U.S. Constitution. 

MOST OF ALL WE NEED TO STOP VOTING BECAUSE SOMEONE SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF US OR APPEALS TO BASE PREJUDICE. WHEN WE DO THAT WE ARE VOTING AGAINST OURSELVES, OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN.

May 4, 2008
OP-ED COLUMNIST

Who Will Tell the People?

Traveling the country these past five months while writing a book, I’ve had my own opportunity to take the pulse, far from the campaign crowds. My own totally unscientific polling has left me feeling that if there is one overwhelming hunger in our country today it’s this: People want to do nation-building. They really do. But they want to do nation-building in America.

They are not only tired of nation-building in Iraq and in Afghanistan, with so little to show for it. They sense something deeper — that we’re just not that strong anymore. We’re borrowing money to shore up our banks from city-states called Dubai and Singapore. Our generals regularly tell us that Iran is subverting our efforts in Iraq, but they do nothing about it because we have no leverage — as long as our forces are pinned down in Baghdad and our economy is pinned to Middle East oil.

Our president’s latest energy initiative was to go to Saudi Arabia and beg King Abdullah to give us a little relief on gasoline prices. I guess there was some justice in that. When you, the president, after 9/11, tell the country to go shopping instead of buckling down to break our addiction to oil, it ends with you, the president, shopping the world for discount gasoline.

We are not as powerful as we used to be because over the past three decades, the Asian values of our parents’ generation — work hard, study, save, invest, live within your means — have given way to subprime values: “You can have the American dream — a house — with no money down and no payments for two years.”

That’s why Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous defense of why he did not originally send more troops to Iraq is the mantra of our times: “You go to war with the army you have.” Hey, you march into the future with the country you have — not the one that you need, not the one you want, not the best you could have.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I flew from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Singapore. In J.F.K.’s waiting lounge we could barely find a place to sit. Eighteen hours later, we landed at Singapore’s ultramodern airport, with free Internet portals and children’s play zones throughout. We felt, as we have before, like we had just flown from the Flintstones to the Jetsons. If all Americans could compare Berlin’s luxurious central train station today with the grimy, decrepit Penn Station in New York City, they would swear we were the ones who lost World War II.

How could this be? We are a great power. How could we be borrowing money from Singapore? Maybe it’s because Singapore is investing billions of dollars, from its own savings, into infrastructure and scientific research to attract the world’s best talent — including Americans.

And us? Harvard’s president, Drew Faust, just told a Senate hearing that cutbacks in government research funds were resulting in “downsized labs, layoffs of post docs, slipping morale and more conservative science that shies away from the big research questions.” Today, she added, “China, India, Singapore … have adopted biomedical research and the building of biotechnology clusters as national goals. Suddenly, those who train in America have significant options elsewhere.”

Much nonsense has been written about how Hillary Clinton is “toughening up” Barack Obama so he’ll be tough enough to withstand Republican attacks. Sorry, we don’t need a president who is tough enough to withstand the lies of his opponents. We need a president who is tough enough to tell the truth to the American people. Any one of the candidates can answer the Red Phone at 3 a.m. in the White House bedroom. I’m voting for the one who can talk straight to the American people on national TV — at 8 p.m. — from the White House East Room.

Who will tell the people? We are not who we think we are. We are living on borrowed time and borrowed dimes. We still have all the potential for greatness, but only if we get back to work on our country.

I don’t know if Barack Obama can lead that, but the notion that the idealism he has inspired in so many young people doesn’t matter is dead wrong. “Of course, hope alone is not enough,” says Tim Shriver, chairman of Special Olympics, “but it’s not trivial. It’s not trivial to inspire people to want to get up and do something with someone else.”

It is especially not trivial now, because millions of Americans are dying to be enlisted — enlisted to fix education, enlisted to research renewable energy, enlisted to repair our infrastructure, enlisted to help others. Look at the kids lining up to join Teach for America. They want our country to matter again. They want it to be about building wealth and dignity — big profits and big purposes. When we just do one, we are less than the sum of our parts. When we do both, said Shriver, “no one can touch us.”

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