Woman Wins Home and Forecloses on Wells Fargo

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Editor’s Comment: We have seen some of these stories before. What is disconcerting is that the press is not getting the point — some homeowners are winning their cases and getting their house free and clear. The reason is simple: if you try to make the case that you should get a free house, then you are going to lose. But if you attack the would-be forecloser where it hurts, then your chances of getting a favorable result are immeasurably increased. Mark Stopa got 14 Judges to (a) deny the forecloser’s motion for summary judgment and (b) grant final summary judgment to the homeowner. It does happen.

In the final analysis the strategy and tactics are the same as in any civil case — deny each and every allegation that you know is absolutely true, like your name. If you don’t know if the note and mortgage are legitimate or if they are showing a copy of the note and mortgage (or deed of trust) that might be fabricated, deny it. The burden is on the party seeking affirmative relief. Too many times, I see homeowners and attorneys give away the store when they are asked whether there is any issue about the obligation, note or mortgage. Their reply is no “but”….

The fact is there is no “but.” You either deny their right to foreclose or you admit it. If you admit it, then all the argument in the world won’t allow you to win. The Judge has no choice but to allow the foreclosure if your admission, tacit or expressed, goes to all the elements required for a foreclosure.

For reasons that I do not understand the same lawyer that will summarily deny virtually all allegations in the complaint for anything other than a foreclosure action, will be very timid and uncertain about denying allegations and validity of the exhibits in a foreclosure. If you attack the foreclosure after admitting that the elements are there based upon UCC or other arguments attacking the documentary trail, you will most likely lose — unless you accidentally stumble upon an argument that deals with the money trail.

That is why I am continually pushing lawyers and pro se litigants to get advice from lawyers that allows them to deny the validity of the allegations of a judicial foreclosure and deny the validity and authenticity of the substitution of trustee, notice of default and notice of sale in the non-judicial states.

Say as little as possible. The more you allege, the more the burden is on you to prove things that only the other side has in the way of information. I have previously posted an article about that.

The judicial doctrine applies that where the information is exclusively in the care, custody and control of the the opposing side then the mere allegation from you will be sufficient to shift the burden of persuasion onto the forecloser — and their case generally will collapse.

Jacksonville Business Journal by Michael Clinton, Web Producer

In a strange twist of events, a St. Augustine woman has filed foreclosure on a local branch of Wells Fargo after a judge ruled she could keep her home.

The bank tried to foreclose on Rebecca Sharp’s home, but a judge ruled she could keep it and the bank owed her nearly $20,000 for attorney’s fees — eight months later, the bank still hasn’t paid, Action News Jax reports.

“Foreclosure cases are based on borrowers not paying bills. Now, Wells Fargo has not paid its bills. There’s an irony there,” Sharp’s attorney Tom Pycraft told Action News.

Read the full story and see the video at Action News Jax.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) is the third-largest bank in Northeast Florida, with $5.5 billion in area deposits and a market share of 12 percent.

We Are Drowning in False Debt While Realtors Push “Recovery”

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Editor’s Comment:

The figures keep coming in while the words keep coming out the mouths of bankers and realtors. The figures don’t match the words. The net result is that the facts show that we are literally drowning in debt, and we see what happens as a result of such conditions with a mere glance at Europe. They are sinking like a stone, and while we look prettier to investors it is only when we are compared to other places — definitely not because we have a strong economy.

Iceland and other “players” crashed but stayed out of the EU and stayed away from the far flung central banking sleeping arrangements with Banks. Iceland knows that banks got us into this and that if there is any way out, it must be the banks that either lead their way out or get nationalized so their assets can take the hit of these losses. In Phoenix alone, we have $39 BILLION in negative equity. 

This negative equity was and remains illusory. Iceland cut the household debt in each home by 25% or more and is conitinuing to do so. The result? They are the only country with the only currency that is truly recovering and coming back to real values. What do we have? We have inflated property appraisals that STILL dominate the marketplace. 

The absence of any sense of reality is all around us in Arizona. I know of one case where Coldwell Banker, easily one of the most prestigious realtors, actually put lots up for sale asking $40,000 when the tax assessed value is barely one quarter of that amount and the area has now dried up — no natural water supply without drilling thousands of feet or hauling water in by truck. Residents in the area and realtors who are local say the property could fetch at most $10,000 and is unsalable until the water problem is solved. And here in Arizona we know the water problem is not only not going to get solved, it is going to get worse because of the “theory” of global climate change.

This “underwater” mess is political not financial. It wouldn’t exist but for the willingness of the government to stay in bed with banks. The appraisals they used to grant the loan were intentionally  falsified to “get rid of” as much money as possible in the shortest time possible, to complete deals and justify taking trillions of dollars from investors. The appraisals at closing were impossibly high by any normal industry accepted standard and appraisers admit it and even predicted it it in 2005. Banks coerced appraisers into inflating appraisers by giving them a choice — either come in with appraisals $20,000 over the contract price or they will never get work again.

The borrower relied upon this appaisal, believing that the property value was so hot that he or she couldn’t lose and that in fact, with values going so high, it would be foolish not to get in on the market before it went all the way out of reach. And of course there were the banks who like the cavalry came in and provided the apparently cheap money for people to buy or refinance their homes. The cavalry was in a movie somewhere, certainly not in the marketplace. It was more like the hordes of invaders in ancient Europe chopping off the heads of men, women and children and as they lie dying they were unaware of what had happened to them and that they were as good as dead.

So many people have chosen death. They see the writing on the wall that once was their own, and they cannot cope with the loss of home, lifestyle and dignity. They take their own lives and the lives of those around them. Citi contributes a few million to a suicide hotline as a PR stunt while they are causing the distress through foreclosure and collection procedures that are illegal, fraudlent, and based upon forged, robosigned documents with robo-notarized attestations  that the recording offices still won’t reject and the judges still accept.

There is no real real economic recovery without reality in housing. Values never went up — but prices did. Now the prices are returning back to the values left in the dust during the big bank push to “get rid of” money advanced by investors. It’s a game to the banks where the homeowner is the lowly deadbeat, the bottom of the ladder, a person who doesn’t deserve dignity or relief like the bank bailouts. When a person gets financial relief from the government it is a “handout.” When big banks and big business get relief and subsidies in industries that were already profitable, it is called economic policy. REALITY CHECK: They are both getting a “handout” and economic policy is driven by politics instead of common sense. French arisocrats found that out too late as their heads rolled off the guillotine platforms.  

But Iceland and other places in the world have taught us that in reality those regarded as deadbeats are atually people who were herded into middle class debt traps created by the banks and that if they follow the simple precept of restoring victims to their previous state, by giving restitution to these victims, the entire economy recovers, housing recovers and everything resumes normal activity that is dominated by normal market forces instead of the force of huge banks coercing society and government by myths like too big too fail. The Banks are doing just fine in Iceland, the financial system is intact and the government policy is based upon the good of the society as a whole rather the banks who might destroy us. Appeasement is not a policy it is a surrender to the banks.

Cities with the Most Homes Underwater

Michael B. Sauter

Mortgage debt continues to be a major issue in the United States, nearly six years after home prices peaked, according to a report released Thursday by online real estate site Zillow. Americans continue to owe more on their homes than they are worth. Nearly one in three mortgages are underwater, amounting to more than 15 million homes and a total negative equity of $1.19 trillion.

In some of America’s largest metropolitan regions, however, the housing crash dealt a far worse blow. In these areas — most of which are in California, Florida and the southwest — home values were cut in half, unemployment skyrocketed, and 50% to 70% of borrowers now find themselves with a home worth less than the value of their mortgage. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 100 largest housing markets and identified the 10 with the highest percentage of homes with underwater mortgages. Svenja Gudell, senior economist at Zillow, explained in an interview with 24/7 Wall St. that the markets with the highest rates of underwater borrowers are in trouble now because of the rampant growth seen in these cities prior to the recession. Once home prices peaked, which was primarily in late 2005 through 2006, all but one of these 10 housing markets lost at least 50% of their median home value.

Making matters worse for families with high negative equity in these markets is the increased unemployment. “If you have a whole lot of unemployment in an area, you’re more likely to see home values continue to decline in the area as well,” says Gudell. While in 2007 many of these markets had average or below average unemployment rates, the recession took a heavy toll on their economies. By 2011, eight of the 10 markets had unemployment rates above 10%, and three — all in California — had unemployment rates of above 16%, nearly double the national average.

24/7 Wall St. used Zillow’s first-quarter 2012 negative equity report to identify the 10 housing markets — out of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country — with the highest percentage of underwater mortgages. Zillow also provided us with the decline in home values in these markets from prerecession peak values, the total negative equity value in these markets and the percentage of homes underwater that have been delinquent on payments for 90 days or more.

These are the cities with the most homes underwater.

10. Orlando, Fla.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 53.9%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 205,369
> Median home value: 113,800
> Decline from prerecession peak: -55.9%
> Unemployment rate: 10.4% (25th highest)

In 2012, Orlando moved into the top 10 underwater housing markets, bumping Fresno, Calif., to number 11. From its prerecession peak in June 2006, home prices fell 55.9% to $113,800, a loss of roughly $90,000. In 2007, the unemployment rate in the region was just 3.7%, the 17th-lowest rate among the 100 largest metros. By 2011, that rate had increased to 10.4%, the 25th highest. As of the first quarter of this year, there were more than 205,000 underwater mortgages in the region, with total negative equity of $16.7 billion.

9. Atlanta, Ga.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 55.5%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 581,831
> Median home value: $107,500
> Decline from prerecession peak: 38.8%
> Unemployment rate: 9.6% (37th highest)

Atlanta is the largest city on this list and the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. But of all the cities with the most underwater mortgages, it has the lowest median home value. In the area, 55.5% of homes have a negative equity value. With more than 500,000 homes with underwater mortgages, the city’s total negative home equity is in excess of $38 billion. Over 48,000 of these underwater homeowners, or nearly 10%, are delinquent by at least 90 days in their payments, which is also especially troubling. With home prices down 38.8% since June, 2007, the Atlanta area certainly qualifies as one of the cities hit hardest by the 2008 housing crisis.

8. Phoenix, Ariz.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 55.5%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 430,527
> Median home value: $128,000
> Decline from prerecession peak: 54.2%
> Unemployment rate: 8.6% (44th lowest)

At 55.5%, Phoenix has the same percentage of borrowers with underwater mortgages as Atlanta. Though Phoenix’s median home value is $21,500 greater than Atlanta’s, it experienced a far-greater decline in home prices from their prerecession peak in June 2007 of 54.2%. This has led to a total negative equity value of almost $39 billion. The unemployment rate also has skyrocketed in the Phoenix area from 3.2% in 2007 to 8.6% in 2011.

7. Visalia, Calif.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 57.7%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 33,220
> Median home value: $110,500
> Decline from prerecession peak: 51.7%
> Unemployment rate: 16.6% (3rd highest)

Visalia is far smaller than Atlanta or Phoenix and has less than a 10th the number of homes with underwater mortgages. Nonetheless, the city has been especially damaged by a poor housing market. Home values have fallen dramatically since before the recession, and the unemployment rate, at 16.6% in the first quarter of 2012, is third-highest among the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, behind only Stockton and Modesto. Presently, almost 58% of homes are underwater, with these homes carrying a total negative equity of $2.6 billion dollars.

6. Vallejo, Calif.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 60.3%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 44,526
> Median home value: $186,200
> Decline from prerecession peak: 60.6%
> Unemployment rate: 11.4% (16th highest)

In the Vallejo metropolitan area, more than 60% of the region’s 73,800 homeowners are underwater. This is largely due to a 60.6% decline in home values in the region from prerecession highs. Through the first quarter of this year, homes in the region fell from a median value of more than $300,000 to just $186,200. Of those homes with underwater mortgages, more than 10% have been delinquent on mortgage payments for 90 days or more.

5. Stockton, Calif.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 60.3%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 60,349
> Median home value: $146,500
> Decline from prerecession peak: 64.3%
> Unemployment rate: 16.8% (tied for highest)

With an unemployment rate of 16.8%, Stockton is tied for the highest rate among the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Few cities have been hit harder by the sinking of the housing market than Stockton, where 60.3% of home mortgages are underwater. Though there are only 100,014 houses with mortgages in Stockton, 60,348 of these are underwater and have a total negative home equity of slightly more than $6.9 billion. Meaning, on average, homeowners in Stockton owe at least $100,000 more than their homes are worth.

4. Modesto, Calif.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 60.3%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 46,598
> Median home value: $130,600
> Decline from prerecession peak: 64.5%
> Unemployment rate: 16.8% (tied for highest)

Since peaking in December 2005, home prices in Modesto have plunged 64.5%. This is the largest collapse in prices of any large metro area examined. As a result, 46,598 of 77,222 home mortgages in Modesto are underwater. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose to 16.8% in 2011. This number was 7.9 percentage points above the national average of 8.9% and almost double Modesto’s 2007 unemployment rate of 8.7%.

3. Bakersfield, Calif.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 60.5%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 70,947
> Median home value: $116,700
> Decline from prerecession peak: 57.0%
> Unemployment rate: 14.9% (5th highest)

From its peak in May 2006, the median home value in Bakersfield has plummeted from more than $200,000 to just $116,700, or a 57% loss of value. From 2007 through 2011, the unemployment rate increased from 8.2% to 14.9% — the fifth-highest rate in the country. To date, more than 70,000 homes in the region have underwater mortgages, with total negative equity of just over $6 billion.

2. Reno, Nev.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 61.7%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 46,115
> Median home value: $150,600
> Decline from prerecession peak: 58.3%
> Unemployment rate: 13.1%

There are fewer than 75,000 households in Reno, Nevada. Yet 46,115 home mortgages in the city are underwater, accounting for 61.7% of mortgaged homes. From January 2006 through the first quarter of 2012, home prices were more than halved, and negative home equity reached $4.39 billion. Additionally, the unemployment rate almost tripled in rising from 4.5% in 2007 to 13.1% by 2011. In 2007, Reno had the 54th-worst unemployment rate among the 100 largest metros. By 2007, Reno had the eighth-worst unemployment rate.

1. Las Vegas, Nev.
> Pct. homes w/underwater mortgages: 71%
> Number of mortgages underwater: 236,817
> Median home value: $111,600
> Decline from prerecession peak: 63.2%
> Unemployment rate: 13.9%

At 71%, no city has a greater percentage of homes with underwater mortgages than Las Vegas. The area with the second-worst percentage of underwater mortgages, Reno, has less than 62% mortgages with negative. The corrosive effects the housing crisis had on Las Vegas are evident in the more than 200,000 home mortgages that are underwater, 14.3% of which are at least 90 days delinquent on payments. Additionally, home values have dropped 63.2% from their prerecession peak, the third-greatest decline among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. Largely because of the collapse of the area’s housing market, unemployment in the Las Vegas area has soared. In 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.7%, only marginally different from the nation’s 4.6% rate. Yet by 2011, the unemployment rate had increased to 13.9%, considerably higher than the nationwide 8.9% unemployment rat.e.


Now They See the Light — 40% of Homes Underwater

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Editor’s Comment:

They were using figures like 12% or 18% but I kept saying that when you take all the figures together and just add them up, the number is much higher than that. So as it turns out, it is even higher than I thought because they are still not taking into consideration ALL the factors and expenses involved in selling a home, not the least of which is the vast discount one must endure from the intentionally inflated appraisals.

With this number of people whose homes are worth far less than the loans that were underwritten and supposedly approved using industry standards by “lenders” who weren’t lenders but who the FCPB now says will be treated as lenders, the biggest problem facing the marketplace is how are we going to keep these people in their homes — not how do we do a short-sale. And the seconcd biggest problem, which dovetails with Brown’s push for legislation to break up the large banks, is how can we permit these banks to maintain figures on the balance sheet that shows assets based upon completely unrealistic figures on homes where they do not even own the loan?

Or to put it another way. How crazy is this going to get before someone hits the reset the button and says OK from now on we are going to deal with truth, justice and the American way?

With no demographic challenges driving up prices or demand for new housing, and with no demand from homeowners seeking refinancing, why were there so many loans? The answer is easy if you look at the facts. Wall Street had come up with a way to get trillions of dollars in investment capital from the biggest managed funds in the world — the mortgage bond and all the derivatives and exotic baggage that went with it. 

So they put the money in Superfund accounts and funded loans taking care of that pesky paperwork later. They funded loans and approved loans from non-existent borrowers who had not even applied yet. As soon as the application was filled out, the wire transfer to the closing agent occurred (ever wonder why they were so reluctant to change closing agents for the convenience of the parties?).

The instructions were clear — get the signature on some paperwork even if it is faked, fraudulent, forged and completely outside industry standards but make it look right. I have this information from insiders who were directly involved in the structuring and handling of the money and the false securitization chain that was used to cover up illegal lending and the huge fees that were taken out of the superfund before any lending took place. THAT explains how these banks are bigger than ever while the world’s economies are shrinking.

The money came straight down from the investor pool that included ALL the investors over a period of time that were later broker up into groups and the  issued digital or paper certificates of mortgage bonds. So the money came from a trust-type account for the investors, making the investors the actual lenders and the investors collectively part of a huge partnership dwarfing the size of any “trust” or “REMIC”. At one point there was over $2 trillion in unallocated funds looking for a loan to be attached to the money. They couldn’t do it legally or practically.

The only way this could be accomplished is if the borrowers thought the deal was so cheap that they were giving the money away and that the value of their home had so increased in value that it was safe to use some of the equity for investment purposes of other expenses. So they invented more than 400 loans products successfully misrepresenting and obscuring the fact that the resets on loans went to monthly payments that exceeded the gross income of the household based upon a loan that was funded based upon a false and inflated appraisal that could not and did not sustain itself even for a period of weeks in many cases. The banks were supposedly too big to fail. The loans were realistically too big to succeed.

Now Wall Street is threatening to foreclose on anyone who walks from this deal. I say that anyone who doesn’t walk from that deal is putting their future at risk. So the big shadow inventory that will keep prices below home values and drive them still further into the abyss is from those private owners who will either walk away, do a short-sale or fight it out with the pretender lenders. When these people realize that there are ways to reacquire their property in foreclosure with cash bids that are valid while the credit bid of the pretender lender is invlaid, they will have achieved the only logical answer to the nation’s problems — principal correction and the benefit of the bargain they were promised, with the banks — not the taxpayers — taking the loss.

The easiest way to move these tremendous sums of money was to make it look like it was cheap and at the same time make certain that they had an arguable claim to enforce the debt when the fake payments turned into real payments. SO they created false and frauduelnt paperwork at closing stating that the payee on teh note was the lender and that the secured party was somehow invovled in the transaction when there was no transaction with the payee at all and the security instrumente was securing the faithful performance of a false document — the note. Meanwhile the investor lenders were left without any documentation with the borrowers leaving them with only common law claims that were unsecured. That is when the robosigning and forgery and fraudulent declarations with false attestations from notaries came into play. They had to make it look like there was a real deal, knowing that if everything “looked” in order most judges would let it pass and it worked.

Now we have (courtesy of the cloak of MERS and robosigning, forgery etc.) a completely corrupted and suspect chain of title on over 20 million homes half of which are underwater — meaning that unless the owner expects the market to rise substantially within a reasonable period of time, they will walk. And we all know how much effort the banks and realtors are putting into telling us that the market has bottomed out and is now headed up. It’s a lie. It’s a damned living lie.

One in Three Mortgage Holders Still Underwater

By John W. Schoen, Senior Producer

Got that sinking feeling? Amid signs that the U.S. housing market is finally rising from a long slumber, real estate Web site Zillow reports that homeowners are still under water.

Nearly 16 million homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their home was worth in the first quarter, or nearly one-third of U.S. homeowners with mortgages. That’s a $1.2 trillion hole in the collective home equity of American households.

Despite the temptation to just walk away and mail back the keys, nine of 10 underwater borrowers are making their mortgage and home loan payments on time. Only 10 percent are more than 90 days delinquent.

Still, “negative equity” will continue to weigh on the housing market – and the broader economy – because it sidelines so many potential home buyers. It also puts millions of owners at greater risk of losing their home if the economic recovery stalls, according to Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries.

“If economic growth slows and unemployment rises, more homeowners will be unable to make timely mortgage payments, increasing delinquency rates and eventually foreclosures,” he said.

For now, the recent bottoming out in home prices seems to be stabilizing the impact of negative equity; the number of underwater homeowners held steady from the fourth quarter of last year and fell slightly from a year ago.

Real estate market conditions vary widely across the country, as does the depth of trouble homeowners find themselves in. Nearly 40 percent of homeowners with a mortgage owe between 1 and 20 percent more than their home is worth. But 15 percent – approximately 2.4 million – owe more than double their home’s market value.

Nevada homeowners have been hardest hit, where two-thirds of all homeowners with a mortgage are underwater. Arizona, with 52 percent, Georgia (46.8 percent), Florida (46.3 percent) and Michigan (41.7 percent) also have high percentages of homeowners with negative equity.

Turnabout is Fair Play:

The Depressing Rise of People Robbing Banks to Pay the Bills

Despite inflation decreasing their value, bank robberies are on the rise in the United States. According to the FBI, in the third quarter of 2010, banks reported 1,325 bank robberies, burglaries, or other larcenies, an increase of more than 200 crimes from the same quarter in 2009. America isn’t the easiest place to succeed financially these days, a predicament that’s finding more and more people doing desperate things to obtain money. Robbing banks is nothing new, of course; it’s been a popular crime for anyone looking to get quick cash practically since America began. But the face and nature of robbers is changing. These days, the once glamorous sheen of bank robberies is wearing away, exposing a far sadder and ugly reality: Today’s bank robbers are just trying to keep their heads above water.

Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson—time was that bank robbers had cool names and widespread celebrity. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jesse James, and John Dillinger were even the subjects of big, fawning Hollywood films glorifying their thievery. But times have changed.

In Mississippi this week, a man walked into a bank and handed a teller a note demanding money, according to broadcast news reporter Brittany Weiss. The man got away with a paltry $1,600 before proceeding to run errands around town to pay his bills and write checks to people to whom he owed money. He was hanging out with his mom when police finally found him. Three weeks before the Mississippi fiasco, a woman named Gwendolyn Cunningham robbed a bank in Fresno and fled in her car. Minutes later, police spotted Cunningham’s car in front of downtown Fresno’s Pacific Gas and Electric Building. Inside, she was trying to pay her gas bill.

The list goes on: In October 2011, a Phoenix-area man stole $2,300 to pay bills and make his alimony payments. In early 2010, an elderly man on Social Security started robbing banks in an effort to avoid foreclosure on the house he and his wife had lived in for two decades. In January 2011, a 46-year-old Ohio woman robbed a bank to pay past-due bills. And in February of this year, a  Pennsylvania woman with no teeth confessed to robbing a bank to pay for dentures. “I’m very sorry for what I did and I know God is going to punish me for it,” she said at her arraignment. Yet perhaps none of this compares to the man who, in June 2011, robbed a bank of $1 just so he could be taken to prison and get medical care he couldn’t afford.

None of this is to say that a life of crime is admirable or courageous, and though there is no way to accurately quantify it, there are probably still many bank robbers who steal just because they like the thrill of money for nothing. But there’s quite a dichotomy between the bank robbers of early America, with their romantic escapades and exciting lifestyles, and the people following in their footsteps today: broke citizens with no jobs, no savings, no teeth, and few options.

The stealing rebel types we all came to love after reading the Robin Hood story are gone. Today the robbers are just trying to pay their gas bills. There will be no movies for them.

LPS: So We Fabricated and Forged Documents… So what? Here’s what!!

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, STUPID!

Editor’s Analysis: This is the moment I have been waiting for. After years of saying the documents were real, they admit, in the face of a mountain of irrefutable evidence, that the documents were not real, but that as a convenience they should still be allowed to use them. Besides the obvious criminality and slander of tile and all sorts of other things that are attendant to these practices, there is a certain internal logic to their assertion and you should not dismiss it without thinking about it. Otherwise you will be left with your jaw hanging open wondering how an admitted criminal gets to keep the spoils of illegal activities.

I have been pounding on this subject for weeks because I could see in the motions being filed by banks and servicers that they had changed course and were now pursuing a new strategy that plays on the simple logic that you took a loan, you signed a note, you didn’t make the payments as stated in the note — everything else is window dressing and for the various parties in securitization to sort amongst themselves.

All foreclosure actions are actually, when they boil them down, just collection actions. It is about money owed. So far, the arguments that have worked have been those occasions where the conduct of the Bank has been so egregious that the Judge wasn’t going to let them have the money or the house even if they stood on their heads.

But to coordinate an attack on these foreclosures, you need to defeat the presumption that the collection effort is simple, that the homeowner didn’t pay a debt that was due, and that the arguments concerning the forged, fabricated, fraudulent documents are paperwork issues that can be taken up with law enforcement or civil suits between the various undefined participants in the non-existent securitization chain.

Now we have LPS admitting false assignments. The question that must be both asked and answered by you because you have enough data and expert opinions to raise the material fact that there was a reason why the false paperwork was fabricated and forged and it wasn’t because of volume. Start with the fact that they didn’t have any problem getting the paperwork signed they wanted in the more than 100 million mortgage transactions “closed” during this mortgage meltdown period. Volume doesn’t explain it.

Your first assertion should be payment and waiver because the creditor who loaned the money got paid and waived any remainder. You use the Securitization and title report from a credible expert who can back up what you are saying. That gets you past the motions to dismiss and into discovery, where these cases are won.

Your assertion should be that the paperwork was fabricated because there was no transaction to support the contents of any of the assignments. And from that you launch the basic attack on the loan closing itself. First, following the above line of reasoning, they used the same tactics to create false paperwork at closing that identified neither the lender (contrary to the requirements of TILA and state lending statutes), nor ALL of the terms of the transaction, as contained in the prospectus and PSA given to investors.

But let us be clear. There are only two ways you can get out of a debt: (1) payment and (2) waiver. There isn’t any other way so stop imagining that some forgery in the documents is going to give you the house. It won’t. But if you can show payment or waiver or both, then you have a material issue of fact that completely or at least partially depletes the presumption of the Judge that you simply don’t want to pay a legitimate debt from a loan you now regret.

Why are the terms of the securitization documentation important?

  1. Because it was the investor who came up with the money and it was the borrower who took it. The money transaction was between the investors and the homeowners, with everyone else an intermediary or conduit.
  2. It is ONLY the securitization documents that provide power or authority for the servicer or trustee to act as servicer or trustee of the mortgage backed security pool.
  3. If the deal was between the investor who put up the money and the homeowner who took it, where are the documents between the investor and the homeowner? They can only exist if we connect the closing documents with the homeowner with the closing documents with the investor. 
  4. But if the transfer or assignment documents were defective, faulty, forged and fabricated, as well as fraudulent attempts to transfer bad loans into pools that investors said they would only accept good loans, then the there is nothing in the REMIC, there is no trust, there is no trustee of the pool and the servicer has authority to service nothing. 
  5. That breaks the connection between the so-called closing documents with the homeowner and the so-called closing documents with the investor. No connection means no nexus. No nexus means the investors have a claim arising from the fact that they loaned money but they don’t get the benefit of a secured loan and they especially don’t get anything unless THEY make the claim.
  6. If the investors choose not to make the claim for collection or foreclosure, there is nothing anywhere in any law that allows an interloper to insert himself into the process and say that if the investor doesn’t want it, I’ll take it.
  7. Your position should address the reality: appraisal fraud, deceptive lending practices, violations of TILA all contributed to the acceptance of a faulty loan product. But that isn’t why your client doesn’t owe the money. Your client does owe the money, but it has been paid to the creditor and the balance has been waived in the insurance and credit default swap contracts as well as the the Federal bailouts.
  8. The source of funding has been paid in whole or in part, they received the monthly payments even while they declared a default against your client homeowner, and they waived any right to pursue the rest from homeowners because they wish to avoid the exposure to defenses and affirmative defenses that the homeowner will  bring in the mortgage origination process.
  9. The failure to identify the true creditor contrary to the requirements of law and the failure to describe in the note and mortgage the full terms of the loans creates a fatal defect when applied to THIS case on its facts, which you will be able to prove if you are allowed to proceed in discovery.
  10. Allowing interlopers into the process to pretend as though they were the mortgage lenders or successors leaves the homeowner with nobody to sue for offset, and no defenses to raise against a party who had nothing to do with either the investor or the homeowner in the closing with the investor wherein mortgage bonds were purchased, and the closing with the homeowner in which a portion of the funds collected were used to fund a loan to the homeowner.

LPS Uses Bogus Florida IG Report on Firing of Foreclosure Fraud Investigators in Motion to Dismiss Nevada Lawsuit

By: David Dayen http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/01/31/lps-uses-bogus-florida-ig-report-on-firing-of-foreclosure-fraud-investigators-in-motion-to-dismiss-nevada-lawsuit/

We’re at T-minus four days for sign-ons to the foreclosure fraud settlement, and we know that Florida’s Pam Bondi is on board, despite pushback from advocates in her state, ground zero for the foreclosure crisis. There’s an interesting nugget buried in this article, though.

Bondi spokeswoman Jennifer Meale said in an email that their concerns are “misguided” because the settlement would provide a historic level of monetary relief and will overhaul the mortgage industry.

“Rather than engaging in political grandstanding, Attorney General Bondi is working hard to reach an agreement that gets Floridians substantial relief now and holds banks accountable for their misconduct,” Meale wrote.

The settlement is expected to provide $1,800 each for about 750,000 families across the country. It is a response to such practices as “robo-signing” by bank employees who often knew little or nothing about the mortgage documents they were hired to sign.

Nevada, New York, Delaware, New Hampshire and Massachusetts contend the deal isn’t strong enough because it would protect banks from future civil liability.

It will not, though, fully release them from future state criminal lawsuits.

Put aside Bondi’s dissembling for a second, and the idea that an $1,800 for the theft of your home represents “historic” relief. This lawyer in Utah called it what it is: “An arbitrary system of modifications administered by the same banks that knowingly perpetrated the fraud on the homeowner in the first place, and allowed to get off by paying $1800 for an illegal foreclosed home. That’s outrageous.”

But New Hampshire? That’s a new one. I know that Attorney General Michael Delaney has done some preliminary investigations of foreclosure practices in his state, and I know he was present at that meeting of 15 AGs looking for an alternative to the settlement. But Delaney has been pretty quiet overall. Since when is he listed among the holdouts?

That could just be bad information. And to be clear, liability isn’t the central issue anymore. But I don’t know how states like Massachusetts and Nevada, with active legislation against banks and document processors over the same conduct that would be released here, could possibly sign on to this deal.

There’s some news on that front. Lender Processing Services, which has been sued by Nevada for deceptive practices in generating false documents, sought to dismiss the complaint today in a filing with a state court.

The complaint by Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto fails to allege any document executed by subsidiaries was incorrect or caused any borrower financial harm, Lender Processing Services said in a statement today.

The state’s claims “are a collection of suppositions, legal conclusions and inflammatory labels,” the company said in the court filing. The document couldn’t be immediately verified in court records […]

Nevada sued the company in December, claiming that it engaged in a pattern of “falsifying, forging and/or fraudulently executing” foreclosure documents, requiring employees to execute or notarize as many as 4,000 foreclosure- related documents a day, according to a statement from the attorney general. Lender Processing Services also demanded kickbacks from foreclosure firms, the office said.

Two interesting things here. First, LPS leans hard on the idea that borrowers weren’t harmed by the use of false documents. The implication here is that the borrower was delinquent anyway, so there’s no abuse going on. But the more important part of the motion to dismiss (copy at the link) comes when LPS makes the claim that robo-signing isn’t really a crime. It’s merely “signing of documents by an authorized agent,” says LPS, and that is permitted under Nevada law. Here’s one way they justify that (DocX is a subsidiary of LPS):

The State of Florida has reached an identical conclusion regarding DocX’s surrogate signed documents. Two assistant attorneys general involved in that state’s investigation of the mortgage crisis, including DocX, prepared an information power point presentation in which surrogate signing was characterized as “forgery.” The two attorneys were subsequently terminated for alleged fraud, deficient and improper investigatory practices which triggered a formal review by the Inspector General of Florida. In a recently issued official report, the propriety of the termination of the attorneys was confirmed, and specifically, the power point characterization of surrogate signing as “forgery” was determined to be unsupported by the legal definition of forgery.

Wow. So LPS used the whitewash IG report from Florida to justify the dismissal of their lawsuit in Nevada. And remember, LPS lobbyists more recently urged the Florida AG’s office to intervene on their behalf in a criminal case in Michigan. The connections between the Florida AG’s office and LPS just continue to grow.

This also happens to be BS. Pam Bondi made a recent motion in a Florida appeals court, as part of a case against the foreclosure mill David J. Stern, which stated, among other things, this:

The Attorney General’s motion asks the Fourth DCA to certify that its decision in Stern passes upon the following question of great public importance: whether the creation of invalid assignments of mortgages by a law firm and subsequent use of such documents by the firm in foreclosure litigation on behalf of the purported assignee is an unfair and deceptive trade practice which may be the subject of an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General.

This is a tacit acknowledgement of illegal assignments, which is functionally the opposite of what the IG report said. So of course LPS uses the latter in their Nevada case.

It’s completely insidious. And if the foreclosure fraud settlement goes through, LPS will surely point to that as another reason why they should be held harmless for their illegal conduct.

Nevada AG Asks Pointed Questions to DOJ and HUD

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See Full Letter from Masto to DOJ and HUD Here 1-27-12

Hawaii did it, Nevada did it and now other states are doing it. Seeing the devastating effect on the state economy and the ensuing effects on the nation’s economy and the world finance, State Attorney generals are taking matters into their own hands, and pressing the points that hurt. The Banks don’t like it because it undermined their narrative. This year, 2012, is the year when most of the truth will come out and it will blow your mind to find out just how pernicious and pervasive this false, faked, securitization has been.

The number of foreclosures has plummeted in those states that have put up a fight. Why? Not because they were banned but because those states that require proof of authority to foreclose, proof of the accounting and the proof of settlement or the ability to mediate, have all but eliminated foreclosures. Now the question is how do we correct the corruption of the the title registries, get people restored to their homes and force the pretenders to compensate victims of fraud, forgery, and outright theft.

Catherine Cortez Masto has mastered the basics of securitization and she, like Beau Biden in Delaware, Schneiderman in New York, Coakley in Maine and others don’t like what they see — corroboration of some of the worst nightmares of conspiracy theorists.

It won’t be long before the investigations get traction and start picking up steam. Indictments will follow but not for a few months, at least.

You will hear words from these prosecutors that you never thought you would hear about the banks conduct, the transfer of wealth through theft, and the commission of crimes  too numerous to list here. As the momentum picks up, you will see thousands convicted, jailed, defrocked from their law license, notary license, appraisal license, title license and even the license to do business in the states where they thought they had a lock on the whole thing. People are wide awake right now and when Americans awaken, things happen fast.

Here are some of the more important questions and my comments that were posed in a recently released letter to Thomas J. Perrelli at the U.S. Department of Justice and Shaun Donovan as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It would be a good idea to take out those template discovery forms you have for clients and start your revisions. Stop assuming that anything the Banks said was true and start assuming the everything they said was false — including the losses they claimed to get the bailouts.

  1. What origination conduct did the federal agencies not release? [That’s not my question, it is Masto’s question. This is a direct frontal assault on the complicity of the Federal government in the mortgage mess. Inherently it addresses the issue of whether the origination process violated law, rules or regulations and whether there is a valid lien on most properties that were financed with investor money.]
  2. The State release refers to “…brother and sister corporations…” Please provide some clarity as to this particular phrase as used in the state release. [Masto is not going to be papered over by vague wording that could mean anything. She wants to know what went on. Where did the money go, and who were the parties involved?]
  3. The State release contains a provision that prevents the State AG’s and banking regulators from seeking to invalidate past assignments or foreclosures. Does this prevent States from effectively challenging future foreclosure actions that are based upon faulty prior assignments? [Masto nails it on the head. First of all this is AMNESTY for the Banks who committed crimes and want the government to ratify the crime since the government was complicit in allowing, creating and promoting the crime. It does nothing to clear up the title problems that currently exist or that will exist if the faulty assignments contain not only forgeries but fabrications of the truth of the transactions inherently referred to within the instruments.]
  4. Paraphrasing Masto, when will the results of existing investigations be made public — or do you want us to take your word for it that there are or are not weapons of mass financial destruction still hidden in the pile?
  5. Paraphrasing Masto, how will we be able toe enforce the new servicing standards or are we taking the word of the Banks and servicers who lied to us consistently up until this point in time?
  6. Paraphrasing Masto, how and when will consumers get relief if they were victims of fraud, chicanery and theft?
  7. Under what circumstances will the Monitor be able to access servicers source documents, i.e., the documents that form the underlying basis for the work papers? [Of course Masto knows that she will never see the source documents because they would contradict everything the Banks and servicers have said up until this point, one of many reasons she will not participate in the multi-state settlement.]
  8. What kind of data will the monitor be able to demand regarding the allocation and performance of servicers’ modification/other consumer relief? What compliance or enforcement provisions address the Monitor’s and States’ ability to enforce the consumer relief provisions? Before the claim of securitization of mortgage debt that never in fact was completed, there were simple formulas to determine whether the workout was good or bad for the lender. Now the servicers are using excuses like “everyone will do it” if they accept modifications, even though the proposed modifications i results in proceeds that are much higher than the results of foreclosure. So the real question is whether the consideration of modifications requires (a) authority and (b) no discretion if the proposed modification exceeds x% of fair market value of the collateral. If accepted, this change would have eliminated 2/3 of all the past foreclosures and 90% of the future ones.
  9. Please explain the assumptions on which the settlement value chart relies. It describes a maximum expected benefit; what is the minimum expected benefit? Can we get a range of values for each state.? [And what data exists showing the true liability for false, fraudulent, fabricated loans and foreclosures to compare with the settlement?]
  10. Paraphrasing Masto, how do these detailed formulas actually work in real life? What will be the effect on blighted areas and how can we as AG’s determine what risk is associated with acceptance of an agreement in which the probability of millions more foreclosures will take place under false pretenses, only to become abandoned property?

 

LPS POUNDED BY LAW SUITS AS WEAK LINK IN THE BANK SECURITIZATION SCAM

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WRONGFUL FORECLOSURE WAS THE RULE NOT THE EXCEPTION

“Plaintiffs and consumers have paid the ultimate price through bankruptcies, evictions and foreclosures that were predicated upon false, forged, fraudulent and/or inaccurate documents,” the lawsuit charges.

“Keep your eye on the MONEY. That will tell you everything. Not one cent was ever given by the parties who received documents purporting to give them rights over your loan. The documents — nearly all of them — are patent lies. Those lies are intended to deceive the public, the regulators, the investors, the courts and the homeowners into believing that the foreclosures are real. The foreclosures were not, for the most part, real in that their purpose was never to mitigate damages — it was to make money for intermediaries who never had a dime in the deal.” Neil Garfield, livinglies.me

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is why homeowners need the COMBO analysis whether it is from us (see above) or anyone else. The burden of proof SHOULD be on the forecloser but until Judges realize that error, they are looking for the homeowner to come into court loaded with data that can be introduced as evidence and which clearly define issues of fact that are triable by the court and that trigger the right to discovery.

The very presence of LPS and other  document fabrication factories like it provides instant corroboration of the homeowners’ allegations that the mortgages, and the foreclosures were rotten to the core. The notes are improper, the liens probably didn’t attach to the land, the closing documents were essentially vehicles to deliver the signature of borrowers to end the money chase that Wall Street started. As has been repeatedly asserted across the country this was not a case of people chasing money. It was a case of money chasing people. That signature of the borrower was worth more than the borrower ever knew and more than they realize even now.

Think about it. For hundreds of years lenders have been dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s creating near perfect documentary trails in hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of transactions. Suddenly they need to create layers upon layers of plausible deniability with document fabricators, substitute trustees (what was wrong with the old one?) and all sorts of excuses about why they don’t need to prove their case. Here is the truth: THEY HAVE NO CASE.

They were not the lender,the creditor or the assignee at any time. The documents refer to transactions (transfers) that never took place. The origination documents (note, mortgage, deed of trust etc.) refer to transactions that never took place because the actual lender/creditor was not disclosed — instead they put a straw-man on the note and another straw-man on the mortgage.

Keep your eye on the MONEY. That will tell you everything. Not one cent was ever given by the parties who received documents purporting to give them rights over your loan. The documents — nearly all of them — are patent lies. Those lies are intended to deceive the public, the regulators, the investors, the courts and the homeowners into believing that that the foreclosures are real. The foreclosures were not, for the most part, real in that their purpose was never to mitigate damages — it was to make money for intermediaries who never had a dime in the deal.

DON’T GET LULLED BY THE HOLIDAY MORATORIUM ON FORECLOSURES AND EVICTIONS. THEY WILL START AGAIN WITH A VENGEANCE IN JANUARY. THE BANKS MUST COMPLETE AS MANY FORECLOSURES AS POSSIBLE BEFORE THE PUBLIC, GOVERNMENT AND REGULATORS REALIZE, ONCE AND FOR ALL, THAT PRACTICALLY NONE OF THE FORECLOSURES WERE REAL, LEGAL OR AUTHORIZED.

Nevada homeowners file class-action lawsuit over foreclosure robosignings

SEE FULL ARTICLE ON VEGASINC.COM

by Steve Green

Lender Processing Services Inc., the company targeted by Nevada’s attorney general in a foreclosure robosigning investigation, has been hit with a class-action lawsuit filed by Las Vegas and Henderson homeowners.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based LPS, one of the nation’s largest foreclosure processors, has insisted its robosigning problems in Nevada involved mere paperwork issues, have been addressed and did not involve wrongful foreclosures.

But Tuesday’s homeowner lawsuit said LPS’s use of “forged, fraudulent and/or erroneous” foreclosure documents tainted the foreclosure process to the point where LPS and banks it worked with “did not have authority to foreclose or to continue with the foreclosure process.”

The suit filed in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas alleges violations of Nevada’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act, seeks to block pending foreclosures involving allegedly forged LPS documents and seeks unspecified damages for completed foreclosures.

Besides the Nevada attorney general’s lawsuit filed against LPS last week alleging widespread fraud in its foreclosure paperwork operations, criminal charges have been filed in Las Vegas against two LPS officers and four notaries in what state prosecutors call a scheme in which thousands of foreclosure documents were tainted by forged signatures and bogus notarizations.

Also named as defendants in Tuesday’s class-action lawsuit were lenders and foreclosure trustees that work with LPS. They are Bank of America, its subsidiary ReconTrust Co.; IndyMac Mortgage Services, a division of OneWest Bank; and Regional Service Corp., which acts as a foreclosure trustee.

Tuesdays lawsuit was filed by five homeowners and is proposed as a class action representing “countless” more plaintiffs, likely thousands. Four of the named homeowners face foreclosure and the fifth has been foreclosed on, the suit says.

The proposed class of plaintiffs is defined as borrowers in Nevada who received foreclosure documents, called notices of default, “that were improperly executed by LPS, its predecessors or its subsidiaries.”

Tuesday’s lawsuit seeks a court declaration that LPS and its codefendants violated Nevada’s law governing foreclosure proceedings “in that they proceeded with the foreclosure process despite relying upon forged and falsified notices of default.”

“Plaintiffs and consumers have paid the ultimate price through bankruptcies, evictions and foreclosures that were predicated upon false, forged, fraudulent and/or inaccurate documents,” the lawsuit charges.

The suit also seeks a declaration that the notices of default issued by LPS “are null and void” and asks for an injunction blocking LPS and the codefendants from proceeding with the allegedly tainted foreclosures.

“Plaintiffs’ properties face foreclosure as a result of defendants violations of NRS 107.080 (the foreclosure law),” the suit says.

The suit also seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages and attorney’s fees. It was filed by attorneys at the Las Vegas law firm Callister & Associates LLC.

An LPS spokesman said the company had no immediate comment on Tuesday’s lawsuit but reiterated its earlier statement: “LPS acknowledges the signing procedures on some of these documents were flawed; however, the company also believes these documents were properly authorized and their recording did not result in a wrongful foreclosure.”

 

LPS SQUIRMING TO FIND A DEFENSE TO NEVADA AG SUIT

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Nevada Attorney General Sues LPS – LPS Response to Nevada AG Complaint – Hogwash!

http://www.stayinmyhome.com/blog/2011/12/lps-response-to-nevada-ag-complaint-hogwash/

Lender Processing Services is the largest provider of mortgage default services in the United States, processing more than 50% of all foreclosures in America. Today, the Nevada Attorney General sued LPS, alleging it:
http://ag.state.nv.us/newsroom/press/2011/lpspressrelease.pdf

1. Engaged in a pattern and practice of falsifying, forging, and/or fraudulently executing foreclosure related documents, resulting in countless foreclosures that were predicated on deficient information;

2. Required employees to execute and/or notarize up to 4,000 foreclosure related documents every day;

3. Fraudulently notarized documents without ensuring that the notary did so in the presence of the person signing the document;

4. Implemented a widespread scheme to forge signatures on key documents, to ensure that volume and speed quotas were met;

5. Concealed the scope and severity of the document execution fraud by misrepresenting that the problems were limited to clerical errors;

6. Improperly directed and/or controlled the work of foreclosure attorneys by imposing inappropriate and arbitrary deadlines that forced attorneys to churn through foreclosures at a rate that sacrificed accuracy for speed;

7. Improperly obstructed communication between foreclosure attorneys and their clients; and

8. Demanded a kickback/referral fee from foreclosure firms for each case referred to the firm by LPS and allowed this fee to be misrepresented as “attorneys’ fees” passed on to Nevada consumers and/or submitted to Nevada courts.

These allegations are so powerful I see no need to elaborate. Instead, I’ll ask you this … if these things happened in Nevada, what are the chances they didn’t happen in Florida and every other state?

LPS Response to Nevada AG Complaint – Hogwash!
Posted on December 19th, 2011 by Mark Stopa

Suppose someone found thousands of terminally ill, cancer ridden patients and systematically killed them. Do you think he/she would avoid criminal prosecution for murder by arguing they were going to die anyway?

That sounds bizarre, I realize. But take a look at the statement issued today by Lender Processing Services in response to the Complaint filed by the Nevada Attorney General. The part that stuck out to me:
http://www.lpsvcs.com/LPSCorporateInformation/NewsRoom/Pages/20111216.aspx

the company is not aware of any person who was wrongfully foreclosed upon as a result of a potential error in the processes used by its employees.

Apparently, in the eyes of LPS, the end always justifies the means, so I’d love to ask LPS:

Do you think you could commit murder without penalty if the victims were terminally ill?

Mark Stopa Esq.

http://www.stayinmyhome.com

OCCUPY MOVEMENT GETS MORE INVOLVED IN SPECIFICS

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EDITOR’S COMMENT: The Occupy movement is taking on a life of its own, expressing citizen outrage over the behavior of the banks and the complicity of the government in aiding and abetting the stealing of homes. As the movement matures, it is getting increasingly focussed on the weak spots of the Banks and it is having a political effect as well as a judicial effect. Judges are having conferences that differ substantially from the ones they had only 6 months ago.

Judges still want to move their calendar along. And the issue of “finality” still looms large for them — someone has to say “game over.” But they are expressing doubt and dismay as more and more cases show up where it is obvious that the Banks are playing fast and loose with the rules of evidence and more importantly, violating criminal statutes to get a house in which they have no economic interest.

I say we should give the Occupy movement as much support as possible and that we should encourage Occupy leaders to take whatever political action they can to turn the course of the country from becoming a third world nation. The failure of the judicial system and the failure of law enforcement to lead the way on this, as they did when we had the savings loan scandal in the 1980’s is a sure sign that our system is broken and we know who broke it — the Banks.

If we succeed, then we will have reversed control over the government to the people, and reverted to the rule of law required by our Constitution. For those who depend upon the Bill of Rights for their existence, like the NRA (which depends upon the second amendment) they should be aware that acceptance of the status quo means that government can and will take any action it wants ignoring the Constitutional protections that were guaranteed. First, they take your house, then your guns.

Occupy Protests Spread Anti-Foreclosure Message During National ‘Occupy Our Homes’ Action

WASHINGTON — In the late evening on Tuesday, Brigitte Walker welcomed Occupy Atlanta onto her property in an effort to save her Riverdale, Ga., home from foreclosure.

Walker, 44, joined the Army in 1985 and had been among the first U.S. personnel to enter Iraq in February 2003. “I wasn’t happy about it,” she told The Huffington Post early Tuesday afternoon, speaking of her deployment. “But it’s my call of duty so had to do what I was supposed to do. It was a very difficult duty. It was a very emotional duty.”

Walker saw fellow soldiers die, get injured. She saw a civilian with them get killed. “It was very nerve-wracking,” she said. “It makes you wonder if you’re going to survive.”

She was in Iraq until May 2004, when the shock from mortar rounds crushed her spine. Doctors had to put in titanium plates to reinforce her spine, which had nerve damage. Today her range of motion is limited, and she still experiences a lot of pain. She still struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. Loud noises and big crowds are painful. The Fourth of July is difficult for her

She settled in Riverdale, a town outside of Atlanta, after purchasing a house in 2004 for $139,000. She has a brother who lives in the area and enjoyed it when she would visit him. “It seemed peaceful and quiet,” she said. “That’s what I needed.” Her active duty salary covered the mortgage.

But in 2007, the Army medically retired Walker against her wishes. “I thought I was going to rehab and come back,” she said. “But they told me I couldn’t stay in.” Walker now has to rely on a disability check.

After retiring from the Army, Walker used up her savings, and then got rid of a car to help pay her monthly mortgage payment. “I didn’t have problems until they put me out of the military,” she said. “It was just overwhelming.”

By April of last year, she was starting to fall behind on her mortgage. JPMorgan Chase — which owns Walker’s mortgage, according to an Occupy Atlanta press release — has since begun foreclosure proceedings. She said the bank is set to take her house on January 3.

“Nobody is willing to help me,” Walker said. “Where are the programs to help vets like me? I know I’m one of many.”

Enter Occupy Atlanta.

“I’m very hopeful that it will help me save my home and allow Chase to give me a chance to keep my home,” Walker said, speaking of the Occupiers. She added that she’s willing to celebrate Christmas with the activists.

“I guess,” she said with a laugh. “As long as it takes.”

Hours before Occupy Atlanta joined Walker at her home, the activists organized protests aimed at disrupting home auctions at three area courthouses. At a Fulton County Courthouse, civil rights leader Dr. Joseph Lowery joined 200 demonstrators at the county’s monthly foreclosure auction.

Across the country, activists associated with the Occupy movement and Occupy Our Homes reached out to families threatened by foreclosure and highlighted the crisis with marches, rallies and press conferences.

“Occupy Wall Street started because of a deep need in our country to address the financial and economic crisis that’s been created by the consolidation of wealth and political power in our country,” said Jonathan Smucker, 33, an organizer with Occupy Wall Street in New York. “The foreclosure crisis, at least as much as anything else, illustrates the deep moral crisis that we are facing. It illustrates what you have when you have your whole political system serving the needs of the one percent.”

Mothers spoke out on front lawns. In New York City, Occupy Wall Street marched through the streets of East New York. At the same time, Occupy groups were protesting home auctions in Nevada and New Orleans. In Seattle protesters tried to save a family from eviction. In all, activists took over vacant homes or homes facing foreclosures from being evicted in 20 cities.

During the actions, the activists tried to keep the mood light. In Chicago they planned a house-warming party for a family moving into an abandoned home. To announce their presence in New York, protestes held a block party and, in a play on police tape, wrapped a home in yellow tape bearing the word “Occupy.”

As the protest were taking place, the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, released a new report that found an increasing number of American homes are going unused, a spike attributed to high foreclosure and unemployment rates.

“According to Census Bureau data, nonseasonal vacant properties have increased 51 percent nationally from nearly 7 million in 2000 to 10 million in April 2010, with 10 states seeing increases of 70 percent or more,” the report read. “High foreclosure rates have contributed to the additional vacancies. Population declines in certain cities and high unemployment also may have contributed to increased vacancies.”

Vacant homes can cause a number of problems for the communities their located in, the report noted: “Vacant and unattended residential properties can attract crime, cause blight, and pose a threat to public safety.”

The need for action was obvious to Smucker.

“People need a place to live,” he said. “People need to have homes. Kids need to be able to count on not having to move, having some stability in their lives. That’s something we can all agree on in this country.”

Some of the most powerful stories came from the homeowners Occupiers targeted during the day’s events. One mother from Petaluma, Calif, held a press conference outside her home and discussed her struggle with foreclosure. An Oregon mother talked about her lose of a second job, cancer and bankruptcy at an event at her house.

In Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of downtown Atlanta, Occupiers came to the Pittman family home. Carmen Pittman, 21, said the home has been the backdrop to every family function and holiday dinner as far back as she can remember. The ranch-style home had been in the Pittman name since 1953.

“My every Christmas, my every Thanksgiving, my every birthday, my every dinner was in this house,” Pittman told HuffPost early this afternoon. “This was the base home. We could not stay away form this home. This home is my every memory.”

Now she worries that the last memory she will have is the home’s foreclosure. Her grandmother had become too sick to deal with the ballooning mortgage, and never addressed the court papers that arrived in the mail. Shortly before she passed away, the family finally realized the home was being foreclosed on when they got a notice on the front door. They have had to scramble ever since.

But on Tuesday, Pittman was feeling good about her prospects after the Occupy group had come to the house. “Maybe somebody heard my cries,” she said. “I’m full of sadness and joy. It’s like two mixed feelings at the same time.”

Walker, the Iraq War vet, let the Occupy Atlanta activists set up tents on her property this evening. While her eviction date is still set for Jan. 3, she said she remained cautiously optimistic that her situation could change.

“Everything’s fine,” she said. “Everything’s good. They have the tents set up outside. It’s awesome. I was a little nervous. But it’s awesome. I’m really hopeful and happy. I’m feeling really hopeful. I don’t feel like all is lost anymore.”

Additional reporting by Arthur Delaney.

Just some of the odd foreclosure stories of the last year:

CT Family Never Missed A Payment
Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa of Connecticut were threatened with foreclosure by Bank of America after never missing a payment. BofA mistakenly told credit agencies they were seeking a loan modification. “Now I am literally and financially paying for it,” Baitch told CTWatchdog.com.

Three more notaries charged in Nevada robo-signing scandal: Who Will Flip?

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EDITOR’S NOTE: It seems only a matter of time — very little time — before some of these notaries and others whose stamps and signatures were used, along with the supposed witnesses strike a deal with prosecutors and allow diligent prosecutors to move up the food chain to the highest players. Whoever they are, wherever they are, they better move fast to strike that deal because in these cases FIRST SING FIRST FREED — LAST TO SIGN GETS THE MOST TIME.

And it looks very much like the much maligned statute of limitations has been overused in quieting these people down. They have been “advised” not to say anything because they cannot be prosecuted. The complaints are quick to point out that while the crimes were committed 5-6 years ago, they were only discovered last year. In cases involving fraud, the statute usually doesn’t start to run until a reasonable person would have known sufficient facts about the fraud to allege the crime.

Three more notaries charged in Nevada robo-signing scandal
by JUSTIN T. HILLEY
Monday, December 5th, 2011, 4:27 pm

The Office of the Nevada Attorney General announced Monday that it filed complaints against three more notaries in the state’s continuing massive robo-signing investigation.

Meghan Shaw, Jennifer Bloecker and Joseph Noel were charged with notarization of the signature of a person not in their presence, a gross misdemeanor.

“These complaints are the result of notary practices which did not conform with legal requirements of our state,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General John Kelleher in a statement. “These requirements were enacted to ensure the integrity of public documents and our action today is another step in our attempt to determine those responsible.”

According to the Nevada Attorney General criminal complaint, Shaw’s and Bloecker’s alleged crimes took place in 2005 and were discovered in 2010. Noel’s alleged crimes took place in 2008 and were discovered in 2010.

“These actions were performed in a secretive manner in order that the false documents be given full legal effect and that this criminal activity not be discovered,” the complaint states.

The charges stem from the notaries’ involvement in the scheme to file fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s office. The documents, referred to as Notices of Default, were used to initiate foreclosure on local homeowners. Through an investigation led by the Attorney General’s office, the notaries charged in the case confirmed that their job duties included signing another person’s name on a document and then notarizing that signature as valid.

Last week, Las Vegas notary public Tracy Lawrence was scheduled to be sentenced for her part in a foreclosure robo-signing scheme, but was found dead in her home after failing to show up for sentencing. The local TV station referred to Lawrence as a whistleblower in a larger robo-signing investigation that resulted in the first criminal charges for the filing of faulty foreclosure documents.

Earlier in November, two employees of Lender Processing Services (LPS: 19.17 +1.48%) were indicted in Nevada on alleged robo-signing charges connected to foreclosure filings. Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, both California residents described as title officers, were indicted on a total of 606 counts by a Clark County grand jury.

Shaw, Noel and Bloecker are set to make an initial appearance in court on Wednesday, December 28.

Write to Justin T. Hilley.

Follow him on Twitter @JustinHilley.

BOMBSHELL- NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL RELEASES MASSIVE INDICTMENT

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The indictment alleges that both defendants directed the fraudulent notarization and filing of documents which were used to initiate foreclosure on local homeowners. The State alleges that these documents, referred to as Notices of Default, or “NODs”, were prepared locally. The State alleges that the defendants directed employees under their supervision, to forge their names on foreclosure documents, then notarize the signatures they just forged, thereby fraudulently attesting that the defendants actually signed the documents, which was untrue and in violation of State law. The defendants then allegedly directed the employees under their supervision to file the fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s office, to be used to start foreclosures on homes throughout the County.  The indictment alleges that these crimes were done in secret in order to avoid detection.  The fraudulent NODs were allegedly forged locally to allow them to be filed at the Clark County Recorder’s office on the same day they were prepared.

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Weidner has it right. It might seem like this is just two people, but we all know that these practices are a mirror of what has been done throughout the country — thus causing havoc in the lives of homeowners, violating the HAMP regulations and agreements, and corrupting the title chain on perhaps tens of millions of homes.

Fraudulent notarization: Remember that just because the notarization was improper doesn’t mean the document might not be otherwise valid and subject to a corrective instrument signed by the right people in the right way with the right notarization. BUT, that said, it is worthy of note because the notarizations were used to create the appearance of valid documents that were fabricated, forged and signed without the correct chain of authority. And the reason this practice is so widespread is that the Banks are scamming the market using the reluctance of investors to get into the foreclosure game as an excuse to “fill the void” and thus grab homes that were neither financed by them nor purchased by them.

False filing of documents: this is low hanging fruit for prosecutors across the country and no doubt will result in people “flipping” on their employers as prosecutors climb the ladder to the real decision-makers. Everyone was waiting for some attorney general to start the ball rolling. Well, this is it. I think Arizona might the the one to follow.

BOMBSHELL- NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL RELEASES MASSIVE INDICTMENT

November 17th, 2011 | Author:

This really is extraordinary. An Attorney General brings a HUGE indictment against two individuals…but here’s why it is so earth-shattering…..read carefully the crimes that are alleged….then understand that these same acts were probably performed all across this country hundreds of thousands of times.

The conundrum created by an announcement such as this is once it’s done once by one Attorney General, what are all the other Attorney’s General and enforcement agencies to do?  Shall they just ignore what their counterpart is alleging? Are they able to just sit on the sidelines and ignore the serious allegations of systemic violations knowing full well that it was/is happening in their states as well?

And what about states like North Carolina and Massachusetts where elected public officials like Jeff Thigpen and John O’Brien have been screaming bloody hell for years, demanding that something be done?

The implications here are mind-blowing…read the indictment carefully and just extrapolate out, all across the country……

Felony Indictment Against Robo-Signers

from Brevardtimes.com

The Office of the Nevada Attorney General announced yesterday that the Clark County grand jury has returned a 606 count indictment against two title officers, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, who directed and supervised a robo-signing scheme which resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s Office between 2005 and 2008.

According to the indictment, defendant Gary Trafford, a California resident, is charged with 102 counts of offering false instruments for recording (category C felony); false certification on certain instruments (category D felony); and notarization of the signature of a person not in the presence of a notary public (a gross misdemeanor). The indictment charges defendant Gerri Sheppard, also a California resident, with 100 counts of offering false instruments for recording (category C felony); false certification on certain instruments (category D felony); and notarization of the signature of a person not in the presence of a notary public (a gross misdemeanor).
”The grand jury found probable cause that there was a robo-signing scheme which resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s Office between 2005 and 2008,”said Chief Deputy Attorney General John Kelleher.
The indictment alleges that both defendants directed the fraudulent notarization and filing of documents which were used to initiate foreclosure on local homeowners. The State alleges that these documents, referred to as Notices of Default, or “NODs”, were prepared locally. The State alleges that the defendants directed employees under their supervision, to forge their names on foreclosure documents, then notarize the signatures they just forged, thereby fraudulently attesting that the defendants actually signed the documents, which was untrue and in violation of State law. The defendants then allegedly directed the employees under their supervision to file the fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s office, to be used to start foreclosures on homes throughout the County.  The indictment alleges that these crimes were done in secret in order to avoid detection.  The fraudulent NODs were allegedly forged locally to allow them to be filed at the Clark County Recorder’s office on the same day they were prepared.
District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti has set bail in the amount of $500,000 for Sheppard and $500,000 for Trafford. The case has been assigned to Department 5 District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth who will preside over the case.

Anyone who has information regarding this case is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Office at 702-486-3777 in Las Vegas or 775-684-1180 in Carson City.

SIMILAR STORIES:

Apr 16, 2011
Bill Posey (R-FL) will host a foreclosure and short sale forum with the Melbourne Association of Realtors on 1450 Sarno Rd. in Melbourne, Florida on April 28, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. despite his pro-bank legislative
Sep 21, 2011
After bailouts, quantitative easing, and no jail sentences for foreclosure fraud, several different groups have taken to Wall Street to protest what many believe is a lack of democracy in current U.S. politics. The financial crisis
Apr 21, 2011

Each property has since gone into foreclosure. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, Bureau of Financial Investigations.

Mar 19, 2011
neighborhoods with abandoned homes with 4-foot-tall dandelions, sitting-water mosquito factories, or rat colonies as the new tenants, the city is powerless to do anything to correct blighted homes facing foreclosure.
 

 

Nevada: Epidemic of robo-signing – false, fabricated and forged documents

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Why are they using false documents? The answer lies in the lies they were telling from the time they first sold the first bogus mortgage bond to investors right through the time they sold the borrower on a bogus “mortgage loan” that was actually part of a securities scam in which the homeowner was used as a pawn to issue “negotiable paper” (securities that were traded randomly for “trading profits” on Wall Street.

The loans were in many cases paid in full by the payment of insurance, bailout and proceeds from credit enhancement hedge products that were “traded” (often without money changing hands) and received in quantities far exceeding both the total amount of funded mortgages and of course the the much lower amount of mortgages that were “funded” which later “defaulted” (despite receipt of payment by or on behalf of the creditor.

They are using false and misleading paperwork to document transfers that never happened on loans that are claimed to have a balance due that is nowhere near as much as the actual balance due, if any. If they were operating honestly only a tiny fraction of foreclosures would survive. But the Banks and service saw an opportunity to grab the houses anyway, without a balance due, without  a payment due and they went for it. If you have another explanation for why they are using false paperwork and false accounting, then tell me about it. The world wants to know.

Proof is in their conduct. By pretending to comply with HAMP guidelines on mortgage modifications, after taking billions of taxpayers dollars and signing agreements to process modifications, the servicers and banks unilaterally and uniformly turn down modification requests without sitting any reason — because they want the house, not your modification. If the they turn the loan into a performing loan then the investors get the money. If they go through with foreclosure, the investors see little or nothing, as the balance or or the property is kept by Banks and servicers.

In most cases the modification offered is worth far more than the proceeds of foreclosure. IN any other setting where the players were acting in good faith they would falling all over themselves approving modifications that would (a) give them more money than a foreclosure and (b) eliminate all the borrowers’ claims for predatory lending and fraud in the origination of the loan.

Desert Underwater: Robo-Signing Problems on Foreclosure Documents

SEE FULL STORY WITH PICTURES HERE

Posted: Nov 15, 2011 2:57 PM MST Updated: Nov 16, 2011 8:50 AM MST

By Colleen McCarty, Investigative Reporter – bio | email
By Kyle Zuelke, Photojournalist – email

LAS VEGAS — The nation’s largest banks stopped foreclosures last fall following allegations their employees cut corners while processing the paperwork. A short time later — with promises to halt the illegal practices — foreclosures resumed.

The I-Team has learned robo-signing remains what some officials call an epidemic in Nevada. Robo-signing refers to a variety of practices. Among them — employees who sign foreclosure documents they haven’t read, employees who use fake signatures to process documents, or employees who fail to follow notary rules.

It matters because the people foreclosing on homes swear to the accuracy of their actions without actually verifying them. Beyond being illegal, it can lead to wrongful foreclosures.

To trace the last five year’s of Tanya Butterfield’s life, look no further than the home she so desperately wants to save. It was purchased in 2006 for $315,000. Now, she is at a bankruptcy attorney’s office.

“I didn’t realize this was going to be so emotional. It’s hard because it is our first home,” homeowner Tanya Butterfield said.

When the casino cut her husband’s hours and Tanya lost her job in 2009, the Butterfield’s could no longer afford their $2,800 a month mortgage payment. They gave the last of their savings to a man who promised them a loan modification yet delivered even more hardship.

“By the time they got to me, they were on the eve of foreclosure,” Butterfield’s attorney Tara Newberry said. She worked to facilitate a short sale. While negotiating with two different lien holders; Bank of America and Cenlar, Newberry uncovered even more suspected fraud.

“You look at the document and they sign as an officer of MERS and you look at the next recording down and it’s the same person signing as the vice president of Bank ABC and then the next document down, they’re signing as the foreclosure trustee and it’s like wait a minute,” Newberry said.

Read More About MERS

On the same day, in records used to foreclose on the Butterfield’s, the name Angela Nava appears wearing two hats. On one document, she’s the Assistant Secretary of MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System. On another document, she’s the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Bank.

“The question becomes who is Angela Nava? Did she have the authority to make this assignment and on who’s behalf is she acting?” Newberry suspects Nava is a robo-signer who is a mortgage servicing employee who signs off on thousands of foreclosures attesting to the accuracy of the documents without actually reviewing them.

Infamous robo-signer Linda Green, who appeared on 60 Minutes, fraudulently identified herself as vice president of more than 20 banks. Documents bearing Green’s signature have surfaced in Nevada.

“We’ve seen sloppy paperwork to outright fraud,” said John Kelleher, chief deputy attorney general.

Kelleher supervises the Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force and its active investigation into robo-signing.

“We’ve been finding so many fraudulently signed documents that I think it would be fair to say you could declare the county recorder’s office a crime scene. It’s that bad,” Kelleher said.

To test Kelleher’s claim, the I-Team did its own random search of foreclosure records filed beginning in October of last year. In just under a few minutes, notary B. Perez, licensed in California, stood out due to the variation in her signature.

Although, her employer – Quality Loan Service Corporation – in a written statement “adamantly asserts that the signatures on its documents were signed by the actual person whose name appears.” In addition, Quality Loan Service Corporation offered to have Ms. Perez and the three individuals on the documents sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that the signatures on the documents are their own.

“You can see in this, the B and the P are not connected,” said Brenda Anderson, forensic document examiner. “These are interpretations of what I believe to be four different people and their rendition of the signature of the notary.”

Anderson believes the signature varies with the trustee. If she’s right, each forgery recorded with the county, is a crime, at least on paper. Be it B. Perez, Linda Green, or Angela Nava.

In practice however, families like the Butterfield’s are finding it isn’t enough to save their homes.

“Even if they could raise these claims and offset some, they still aren’t going to be able to afford the house and they can’t sell it for what they owe,” Newberry said.

Even with a buyer, the short sale fizzled when the lenders couldn’t reach a deal. Now, bankruptcy is the Butterfield’s last hope.

“It’s very overwhelming.” For Tanya, the loss is about much more than a house, it’s her first home and the only home her son has known.

Many of the attorneys 8 News NOW spoke to say, as far as help for homeowners, finding this type of fraud serves several purposes. The first: know who you’re dealing with whether it be for a loan modification, a short sale, or even a foreclosure. You could end up paying someone who doesn’t hold your mortgage. The second: these issues can help to leverage your lender into negotiating with you, especially if you participate in the foreclosure mediation program. And finally: the Attorney General is investigating this activity and criminal charges might convince the servicers to clean up their act.

Quality Loan Service Corporation, meanwhile, said in a statement, “Quality adamantly asserts that the signatures on its documents were signed by the actual person whose name appears. Quality has offered to have Ms. Perez and the three individuals on the documents sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that the signatures on the questioned documents are that of their own.” [EDITOR’S NOTE: QLS IS BOA. Would did you expect them to say?]

DELAWARE TO MERS: NOT IN OUR STATE!

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Delaware sues MERS, claims mortgage deception

Posted on Stop Foreclosure Fraud

Posted on27 October 2011.

Delaware sues MERS, claims mortgage deceptionSome saw this coming in the last few weeks. Now all HELL is about to Break Loose.

This is one of the States I mentioned MERS has to watch…why? Because the “Co.” originated here & under Laws of Delaware…following? [see below].

Also look at the date this TM patent below was signed 3-4 years after MERS’ 1999 date via VP W. Hultman’s secretary Kathy McKnight [PDF link to depo pages 29-39].

New York…next!

Delaware Online-

Delaware joined what is becoming a growing legal battle against the mortgage industry today, charging in a Chancery Court suit that consumers facing foreclosure were purposely misled and deceived by the company that supposedly kept track of their loans’ ownership.

By operating a shadowy and frequently inaccurate private database that obscured the mortgages’ true owners, Merscorp made it difficult for hundreds of Delaware homeowners to fight foreclosure actions in court or negotiate new terms on their loans, the suit filed by the Attorney General’s Office said.

[DELAWARE ONLINE]

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CAL. AG DROPS OUT OF TALKS WITH BANKS: AMNESTY OFF THE TABLE

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EDITOR’S NOTE: California has approximately a 1/3 share of all foreclosures. So Harris’ decision to drop out of the talks is a huge blow to the mega banks who were banking (pardon the pun) on using it to get immunity from prosecution. The answer is no, you will be held accountable for what you did, just like anyone else. As I have stated before when the other AG’s dropped out of the talks (Arizona, Nevada et al), this growing trend is getting real traction as those in politics have discovered an important nuance in the minds of voters: they may have differing opinions on what should be done about foreclosures but they all hate these monolithic banks who are siphoning off the lifeblood of our society. And there is nothing like hate to drive voting.

This is a process, not an event. We are at the end of the 4th inning in a 9-inning game that may go into overtime. The effects of the mortgage mess created by the banks are being felt at the dinner table of just about every citizen in the country. The politics here is creating a huge paradox and irony — the largest source of campaign donations has turned into a pariah with whom association will be as deadly at the polls as organized crime.

The fact that so many attorneys general of so many states are putting distance between themselves and the banks means a lot. It means that the banks are in serious danger of indictment and conviction on criminal charges for fraud, forgery, perjury and potentially many other crimes.

IDENTITY THEFT: One crime that is being investigated, which I have long felt was a major element of the securitization scam for the “securitization that never happened” is the theft of identities. By signing onto what appeared to be mortgage documents, borrowers were in fact becoming issuers or pawns in the issuance of fraudulent securities to investors. Those with high credit scores were especially valued for the “cover” they provided in the upper tranches of the CDO’s that were “sold” to investors. An 800 credit score could be used to get a AAA  rating from the rating agencies who were themselves paid off to provide additional cover.

But it all comes down to the use of people’s identities as “borrowers” when in fact there was no “Lending” going on. What was going on was “pretend lending” that had all the outward manifestations of a loan but none of the substance. Yes money exchanged hands, but the real parties never met and never signed papers with each other. In my opinion, the proof of identity theft will put the borrowers in a superior position to that of the investors in suits against the investment bankers.

NO UNDERWRITING=NO LOAN: There was no underwriting committee, there was no underwriting, there was no review of the appraisal, there was no confirmation of the borrower’s income and there was no decision about the risk and viability of the so-called loan, because it wasn’t about that. The risk was already eliminated when they sold the bogus mortgage bonds to investors and thus saddled pension funds with the entire risk of loss on empty “mortgage backed pools.” So if the loan wasn’t paid, the players at ground level had no risk. Their only incentive was to get the signature of the borrower. That is what they were paid for — not to produce quality loans, but to produce signatures.

Little did we know, the more loans that defaulted, the more money the banks made — but they were able to mask the gains with apparent losses as an excuse to extract emergency money from the US Treasury using taxpayer dollars without accounting for the “loss” or what they did with the money. Meanwhile the gains were safely parked off shore in “off-balance sheet” transaction accounts.

The question that has not yet been asked, but will be asked as prosecutors and civil litigators drill down into these deals is who controls that off-shore money? My math is telling me that some $2.6 trillion was siphoned off (second level — hidden — yield spread premium) the investors money before the balance was used to fund “loans.”

When all is said and done, those loans will be seen for what they really were — part of the issuance of unregistered fraudulent securities. And you’ll see that the investors didn’t get any more paperwork than the borrowers did as to what was really going on. The banks want us to focus on the the paperwork when in fact it is the actual transactions involving money that we should be following. The paperwork is a ruse. It is faked.

NOTE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT: FOLLOW THE MONEY. IT WILL LEAD YOU TO THE TRUTH AND THE PERPETRATORS. YOUR EFFORTS WILL BE REWARDED.

California AG Harris Exits Multistate Talks
in News > Mortgage Servicing
by MortgageOrb.com on Monday 03 October 2011
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The multistate attorneys general group working toward a foreclosure settlement with the nation’s biggest banks suffered a blow Friday, when California’s Kamala Harris announced her departure from negotiations.

Harris notified Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and U.S. Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli of her decision in a letter that was obtained and published by the New York Times Friday. According to the letter, Harris is exiting the talks because she opposes the broad scope of the settlement terms under discussion.

“Last week, I went to Washington, D.C., in hopes of moving our discussions forward,” Harris wrote. “But it became clear to me that California was being asked for a broader release of claims than we can accept and to excuse conduct that has not been adequately investigated.”

“[T]his not the deal California homeowners have been waiting for,” Harris adds one line later.

Harris, who earlier this year launched a mortgage fraud task force, says she will continue investigating mortgage practices – including banks’ bubble-era securitization activities – independent of the multistate group.

“I am committed to doing as thorough an investigation as is needed – and to taking the time that is necessary – to set the stage for achieving appropriate accountability for misconduct,” she wrote.

Harris also told Miller and Perrelli that she intends to advocate for legislation and regulations that increase transparency in the mortgage markets and “eliminate incentives to disregard borrowers’ rights in foreclosure.”

Harris’ departure is considered significant given the high number of distressed loans in California. In August, approximately one in every 226 housing units in the state had a foreclosure filing of some kind, according to RealtyTrac data.

NEVADA: NEW LAW EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1: FORECLOSURE FRAUD REFORM

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NEVADA NEW ‘FORECLOSURE FRAUD REFORM’ BILL TO TAKE EFFECT OCTOBER 1

EDITOR’S COMMENT: One small step for mankind…. Requiring them to record any document relied upon in the chain of title to demonstrate their right to foreclose will not stop them, although it could slow them up a bit. The real piece here is the requirement of an affidavit, which is sworn under oath and establishes, with exhibits that the pretender is the party who can and should foreclose.

Who is going to sign it? With criminal charges pending against Wells Fargo and whistle-blowers headed for law enforcement to make deals, it seems unlikely that anyone will. But who knows? Upper management will never sign the affidavits unless they are sanitized to say virtually nothing, which then will put at issue whether the affidavit is sufficient. The lower paid robo-workers are not likely to do it unless they don’t realize what they are signing.

I think the most important part of this legislation is that it takes a baby step toward legislative mandate and recognition that something is going wrong in the courts and that Judges are going to at least notice that this happened. The real issue is shame —- those who feel it and those who cause it. Deep down most people seem to feel that they owe the money so they should lose their homes. They admit the default and they admit the payments were not made when in fact they have no idea whether or not the payments were made to the real creditor or if there is any creditor now because they were paid off.

I was explaining this yesterday and I used this analogy. Maybe this will help those who are being accused of seeking a free house when in fact they are seeking to protect their homes from thieves. If John  Smith snatches a woman’s purse in crowded jostling parking lot and then loans the money from the bag to you, who do you want to pay? Would you admit that you took the loan and agree to pay the criminal, John Smith, or would you say, wait, unless I know the money is going to the woman whose purse was snatched I’m not paying anything to reward the thief for his crime!

STOP THINKING YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG. YOU DIDN’T STEAL THE PURSE (I.E., THE MONEY FROM THE PENSION FUNDS) WALL STREET DID IT. AND YOU ARE A PERSON OF DIGNITY AND POWER TO DECIDE WHETHER WALL STREET GETS AWAY WITH SNATCHING THE PURSE. FIGHT ON!

NEVADA NEW ‘FORECLOSURE FRAUD REFORM’ BILL TO TAKE EFFECT OCTOBER 1Catherine Cortez Masto, Attorney General
555 E. Washington Avenue, Suite 3900
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Telephone – (702) 486-3420
Fax – (702) 486-3283
Web – http://ag.state.nv.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: September 29, 2011

Contact: Jennifer López
702-486-3782

ATTORNEY GENERAL CORTEZ MASTO AND ASSEMBLY MAJORITY LEADER
CONKLIN ANNOUNCE NEW ‘FORECLOSURE FRAUD REFORM’ BILL TO TAKE
EFFECT OCTOBER 1

Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Nevada Assembly Majority
Leader Marcus Conklin announced that the new ‘Foreclosure Fraud Reform’ law will take effect on
October 1, 2011.

“This new law helps protect Nevadans from improper foreclosures and protects the integrity of the
system for homeowners,” said Cortez Masto. “I was pleased to work with Majority Leader Conklin on
this important bill that creates security, legitimacy, and transparency in the foreclosure process.
Assembly Bill 284 will protect the Silver State’s housing market by ensuring homeowners and
prospective purchasers can get a clean chain of title and are treated more fairly.”

“There have been widespread instances of foreclosures based on false, improper or incomplete
documents throughout the nation over the past few years,” Conklin said. “This new law is part of our
ongoing commitment to prevent foreclosure fraud in our state and to ensure that the Attorney General
has the tools necessary to prosecute those who defraud homeowners.”

The bill gives Nevada residents access to information on the companies that hold their mortgages by
requiring the documents used in the foreclosure process to be recorded in the county where the
property is located. Additionally, the legislation requires a party seeking to foreclose in Nevada to
record a notarized Affidavit of Authority to Foreclose that includes information showing that the party
seeking to foreclose on the property has the legal right to exercise the power of sale. AB 284 also
strengthens the Attorney General’s enforcement authority over foreclosure fraud, and gives property
owners a new right of action to enforce their own legal rights in foreclosures.

###
www.StopForeclosureFraud.com

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NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL (Catherine Cortez Masto) TO FILE CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST WELLS FARGO FOR FORGERY

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“WE’VE GOT THEM COLD.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have all said what they did was criminal, now it is becoming official. And before you naysayers start complaining, let me point out that this has actually followed an orderly progression and you will see it many times over in the coming months.

  • First we started with the deductive logic and investigation, and allegations by borrowers in court. They were not taken seriously until the number of such complaints reached a crescendo, but that is the way our system works.
  • Then the regulators, who had turned a deaf ear to anyone writing a letter complaining about the servicing of their loan or the behavior of a pretender lender, turned themselves around and entered a slew of cease and desist, consent orders and those orders have teeth and can be used by borrowers in discovery and in their pleadings. The agency findings of misbehavior are presumptively correct.
  • Now the justice system is getting involved, because building criminal cases takes a lot longer than civil cases or even administrative cases against the banks. Remember they have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt — not merely on innuendo or they “must have done it” or anything but that they did do it, they knew they did it and they did it with criminal intent.

Wells Fargo accused of forging loan documents

By Doug McMurdo
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Sep. 22, 2011 | 2:02 a.m.
Updated: Sep. 22, 2011 | 8:27 a.m.

A Las Vegas attorney who represents people facing foreclosure has accused Wells Fargo of forging loan documents. The allegation is the latest sign that efforts to hold mortgage lenders accountable are escalating in Nevada.

In court papers filed this month in Clark County District Court, attorney Dave Crosby alleged bank employees committed forgery and fraud in making a $350,000 loan to a father of four who was unemployed at the time.

“They forged signatures, they backdated documents,” Crosby said. “We’ve got them cold.”

Crosby said the bank has presented two deeds of trust for the same property. One bears the signature of Olivia A. Todd, who on Jan. 27, 2010, was identified as an assistant secretary with MERS, Inc., a mortgage servicer from the Phoenix area and a co-defendant in the lawsuit.

But on Feb. 16, 2010, Todd’s signature appears on a second deed of trust, where she is identified as the firm’s president. Both assignments were notarized as authentic, Crosby said in court papers.

Crosby made his allegations in a request to have a judge review three failed mediations between him and his clients, Ryan and Mical Henderson of Las Vegas, and lawyers with Wells Fargo, formerly Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Attempts to contact bank attorney Kevin Soderstrom were unsuccessful. Calls to Wells Fargo also went unreturned.

Nevada Foreclosure Mediation rules allow for a judicial review of failed mediations. In Clark County, District Judge Donald Mosley hears all such reviews.

The Legislature created the Foreclosure Mediation Program in 2009 to help thousands of troubled homeowners in the state, considered ground zero of the U.S. housing crisis, where tens of thousands of homes have been abandoned or foreclosed and a staggering 80 percent of homeowners owe significantly more than their homes are worth.

But banks and title insurance companies have not always been able to prove they own the mortgage and have the right to foreclose.

The Henderson case is the latest shot across the bow of mortgage lenders. The Nevada Supreme Court has issued rulings favoring homeowners in several recent cases on appeal. Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is expected to file criminal charges against bank and title company employees, as well as notary publics, over allegations of robo signing.

The term applies to a practice of signing affidavits attesting that bank officials have reviewed documents and found them proper even without making any review.

When the robo-signing scandal erupted last October in Florida, bank employees admitted to signing 10,000 documents a month without knowing whether they are legitimate.

Masto’s office declined comment on any plans for criminal action against robo-signers. She has taken an aggressive approach to holding banks accountable, and the Legislature earlier this year enacted new laws regarding robo signing.

Crosby said he suspects robo-signing is widespread in Nevada. One of his cases was the subject of an appeal filed with the state’s high court, and he used the lender’s own words against it.

Supreme Court justices found in favor of Crosby’s client, Moises Leyva, ruling unanimously that lenders have an absolute duty to strictly follow foreclosure mediation rules exactly as written.

More important, the high court ensured lenders couldn’t simply provide a sworn statement, often from their own employees, that they were the lender even when they failed to provide a verified copy of the deed of trust.

“They admitted how disorganized they were, that they lost paperwork,” Crosby said.

In court papers, Crosby accused Wells Fargo of continuing to play outside the lines. He alleged that a document the bank produced during mediation was backdated and bore a style of notary stamp that didn’t exist at the time it was signed. The document is included in the court file.

He also alleged that two documents bore the name of a bank employee and “are notarized by the same notary, (but) both signatures do not belong to the same person.”

Crosby wants Mosley to rule that Wells Fargo acted in bad faith, to award sanctions for the “obvious forged, backdated and falsified documents” and to award cash sanctions.

Crosby will ask Mosley to fine Wells Fargo an amount equal to the difference between the loan and the home’s current value.

The Supreme Court in its recent decision has made it clear to judges that such sanctions are appropriate when lenders are found to have acted in bad faith. A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 6.

Review-Journal writer Chris Sieroty contributed to this report. Contact Doug McMurdo at dmcmurdo@reviewjournal.com or 224-5512.

BOA DEATHWATCH: PORTRAIT OF CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE?

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MORTGAGES WERE NOT SECURITIZED

“[Nevada Attorney General] Masto didn’t stop there. She also pulled out a bazooka. She accused BofA of failure to properly securitize mortgages, breaking the chain of title and nullifying their standing to foreclose. This is from the amended complaint:

Bank of America misrepresented, both in communications with Nevada consumers and in documents they recorded and filed, that they had authority to foreclose upon consumers’ homes as servicer for the trusts that held these mortgages. Defendants knew (and were on notice) that they had never properly transferred [text redacted] these mortgage to those trusts, failing to deliver properly endorsed or assigned mortgage notes as required by the relevant legal contracts and state law. Because the trusts never became holders of these mortgages, Defendants lacked authority to collect or foreclose on their behalf and never should have represented they could.”

Nevada AG Catherine Cortez Masto Destroys BofA in New Lawsuit

By: David Dayen Wednesday August 31, 2011 6:10 am

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s amended complaint in a lawsuit against Bank of America has so many interesting nuances, I think I need a new Internet to catalog them all. But let me start by saying that this complaint is a stick of dynamite to the foreclosure fraud settlement, exposing it as a useless whitewash that won’t deter banks from their criminal practices. Masto joins other skeptical AGs here in not acceding to such a dereliction of duty, and instead she lays out a thorough case of systematic fraud, in this case by Bank of America, at every step of the mortgage process.

First, the background. In October 2008, a group of twelve state Attorneys General, including Nevada, entered into a settlement with Bank of America over predatory lending at the mortgage lender Countrywide, which BofA had purchased in July. In the settlement, BofA promised to modify up to 400,000 mortgages nationwide, at a cost of up to $8.4 billion. This was to include principal reductions as well as refinancing, and all foreclosure operations on the affected loans would be suspended.

If any of this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same basic structure for the proposed settlement between all 50 AGs and leading banks over their fraudulent foreclosure operations. The question looming over the entire enterprise was whether the states could ensure vigorous enforcement. There’s a model with this Countrywide settlement in 2008 that we can look to. And apparently no AG but Catherine Cortez Masto has actually investigated whether or not BofA kept their promises. Turns out they haven’t. So Masto is seeking a pullout from the settlement, to pursue prosecution against the bank for multiple deceptive practices.

Allow me to highlight the deceptive practices in question. This is going to be a somewhat long excerpt because I want to add as much detail as possible:

In her filing, Ms. Masto contends that Bank of America raised interest rates on troubled borrowers when modifying their loans even though the bank had promised in the settlement to lower them. The bank also failed to provide loan modifications to qualified homeowners as required under the deal, improperly proceeded with foreclosures even as borrowers’ modification requests were pending and failed to meet the settlement’s 60-day requirement on granting new loan terms, instead allowing months and in some cases more than a year to go by with no resolution, the filing says […]

The complaint says the bank advised credit reporting agencies that consumers were in default when they were not, and contends that Bank of America employees deceived borrowers about why their requests to modify loans were denied. In addition, it says, the bank falsely claimed that the actual owners of loans had refused to allow changes to their mortgages, and it incorrectly claimed that borrowers had failed to make payments on trial loan modifications when in fact they had. Bank of America also misled borrowers, the Nevada attorney general’s filing noted, by offering loan modifications with one set of terms only to come back with a substantially different deal.

Among the more troubling findings in the Nevada complaint is the contention by several Bank of America employees that the company imposed strict limits on the amount of time they could spend on the phone assisting troubled borrowers seeking help with their loans.

One worker said in a deposition cited in the complaint that employees were punished if they spent more than seven minutes or 10 minutes with a customer. Even though these limits allowed almost no time for assistance, Bank of America employees who did not curtail their conversations were reprimanded, this employee said.

This is a portrait of a criminal enterprise, and to anyone who thinks the other mortgage servicers are somehow more chaste than Bank of America, I have some Bank of America stock to sell you.

But Masto didn’t stop there. She also pulled out a bazooka. She accused BofA of failure to properly securitize mortgages, breaking the chain of title and nullifying their standing to foreclose. This is from the amended complaint:

Bank of America misrepresented, both in communications with Nevada consumers and in documents they recorded and filed, that they had authority to foreclose upon consumers’ homes as servicer for the trusts that held these mortgages. Defendants knew (and were on notice) that they had never properly transferred [text redacted] these mortgage to those trusts, failing to deliver properly endorsed or assigned mortgage notes as required by the relevant legal contracts and state law. Because the trusts never became holders of these mortgages, Defendants lacked authority to collect or foreclose on their behalf and never should have represented they could.

We know that Countrywide didn’t convey the mortgage notes properly to the trust, their own officials testified to that in Countrywide v. Kemp (which is quoted in the complaint). Masto joins Eric Schneiderman in blowing the whistle on this corrupt securitization enterprise.

The entire complaint is here. Masto is seeking civil penalties of $5,000 per violation in the complaint, upping that to $12,000 when the violation affected a elderly or disabled person. She also wants restitution costs for wrongful foreclosures and the costs incurred by municipalities and homeowners from unnecessarily vacant foreclosed properties. Given that Nevada has so many foreclosures, the total liability could range higher than the original $8.4 billion settlement, and that’s just for Nevada alone.

So much else to say here. Masto’s lawsuit is as much about the current settlement talks as it is about the 2008 Countrywide settlement. She is saying, in no uncertain terms, that you simply cannot trust the banks to actually abide by settlement terms. As Masto says in the complaint, Bank of America’s “misconduct cut across virtually every aspect of the Defendant’s operations,” and they “materially and almost immediately violated the Consent Judgment” agreed upon in the settlement. At the time, Jerry Brown, then Attorney General of California, said that the settlement would “be closely monitored and enforced in the months ahead.” It clearly wasn’t. BofA didn’t wait for the ink to dry before violating the terms. And Masto has not only the accounts of borrowers to back this up, but also testimony from Bank of America employees.

Knowing this, seeing it fully documented in Nevada, how could there still be any negotiations on a settlement with the same people? The negotiation should be about whether there will be a public or private perp walk for BofA executives.

So why hasn’t any other state done the same basic investigation as Nevada, and sought to pull out of the Countrywide settlement? Arizona actually joined this lawsuit back in 2010, but that was when Democrat Terry Goddard was the AG. Republican Tom Horne became the AG after the 2010 elections, and he’s too busy literally trying to overturn the Voting Rights Act to worry about whether or not his constituents are being systematically ripped off by a bank, I guess. (Horne, by the way, is still on the executive committee of the foreclosure fraud settlement, I assume because he doesn’t want to do an investigation, and that’s the prerequisite, it seems.)

As for the others, let me tell you who one of the leaders on the Countrywide settlement was: a guy named Tom Miller, the Attorney General of Iowa and the leader of the 50-state settlement talks on foreclosure fraud. Here’s what he said at the time.

Miller said the Countrywide agreement’s program of loan modifications to prevent foreclosures is a win for all parties. “Foreclosure is the enemy. Most important, loan modifications can help homeowners avoid foreclosures and keep their homes. Avoiding foreclosures also helps the companies, helps communities and neighborhoods, and helps our overall economy by stabilizing the housing market,” he said.

“This is what we have been looking for. This agreement provides for the kind of systematic and streamlined loan modification program that is critical right now,” Miller said. “I strongly urge other servicers to undertake similar aggressive programs to prevent foreclosures.”

Do you think Tom Miller, who wants a foreclosure fraud settlement in the worst way, is going to bother to check to see if BofA managed to actually give Iowans the loan modifications they promised? Of course not. And he’s likely to bully all the other states in the Countrywide agreement to shut up about how that settlement was basically unenforced, because people would get the message that this new settlement would go the same way.

He must have got to all of them, but not Masto. And she has ruined his best wishes, not to mention the best wishes of Bank of America. They are denying any wrongdoing and still claiming that “the best way to get the housing market going again in every state is a global settlement that addresses these issues fairly, comprehensively and with finality.” Bullshit. The best way to restore the housing market, the rule of law, and faith in the American system is by rounding up criminal enterprises masquerading as banks.

And the investigation that would lead to that will surely happen now. Masto, Schneiderman and colleagues like Beau Biden, Martha Coakley and anyone else who actually takes their job description seriously will ensure that.

NEVADA S. CT.: CREDITOR MUST ESTABLISH ITSELF AT MEDIATION OR FACE SANCTIONS

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A number of juicy points here, but the main one I find interesting is that they remanded Wells to the lower court for imposition of sanctions. Why? Because they didn’t produce the documents showing they were the creditor. And they can’t go forward with foreclosure unless they attempt mediation. But they can’t mediate if they are not the creditor.

This case should be used in every state and jurisdiction where it is required that the parties seek modification or mediation. Unless the so-called creditor establishes to the court that it is in fact the creditor and has authority to mediate it is a sham. This case clearly addresses that issue on all fours.

You should note that many judges are now imposing “local rules” that require mediation or HAMP modification to be invoked before they will hear the case so just because it isn’t in the statutes doesn’t mean the rule is not there.

 

MERS Admits NO Interest in Mortgage and No Loss On Default

see MERS INSTRUCTIONS TO TRANSFER RIGHTS OPTION 1

MERS INSTRUCTIONS TO TRANSFER RIGHTS OPTION 2

PRECLOSING REG SHOWS PRE-KNOWLEDGE OF SECURITIZATION

Arnold admitted MERS does not have a beneficial interest in any mortgage; does not loan money; does not suffer a default if monies are not paid; etc...the internal agreement used by MERS expressly disavows any beneficial interest.

By Mark Mausert, Nevada  mark@markmausertlaw.com

On September 25, 2009, R.K. Arnold, the President and CEO of MERSCORP, Inc. — the parent corporation of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. was deposed in Alabama. Arnold is also an Officer of MERS. Arnold admitted MERS does not have a beneficial interest in any mortgage; does not loan money; does not suffer a default if monies are not paid; etc. etc. On November 11, 2009, William C. Hultman was deposed in Alabama and made the same admissions. And, of course, the internal agreement used by MERS expressly disavows any beneficial interest.

One tactic, if confronted with a foreclosure in Nevada, is to elect mediation. At the mediation, demand the assignments, i.e., the assignments which would cure the problem (according to Judge Riegle’s March 31, 2009, opinion, as affirmed by Judge Dawson on December 4, 2009). MERS and/or the lender has been unable to produce any such assignments — because they almost certainly do not exist.

Request the Mediator to check the appropriate box, i.e., the box which memorializes a failure by the lender to produce all required documents (all assignments must be produced per AB 149 — incorporated into Chapter 107 of the Nevada Revised Statutes). The requisite Certificate will not issue as a result. The Notice of Default is effectively negated. The “lender” must thereupon issue a new Notice and the borrower is again at liberty to elect mediation within 30 days of receipt thereof. The borrower should pay his or her taxes, and insurance, but not the mortgage — especially if upside down. It is an effective stopgap measure.

If the courts continue to follow the reasoning of Judge Riegle and Dawson a borrowr may, if otherwise eligible, declare bankruptcy; bring an adversary proceeding within the bankruptcy; and discharge the “mortgage” debt (which re a MERS mortgage is not really a mortgage but rather an unsecured debt — per Judge Riegle).

Or the borrower may initiate litigation based on causes of action for breach of contract, fraud by omission and racketeering (Chapter 207 of the Nevada Revised Statutes). By conducting systemic predatory lending, and coupling predatory lending with credit default swaps, i.e., bets homes would be foreclosed upon, the lenders breached the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing — the duty to refrain from frustrating the purpose of the contract. Borrowers generally harbored two main purposes — to secure a place to live and to safeguard/create an investment. By engaging in systemic predatory lending the banks frustrated the second purpose. They devalued the collaterized asset and breached the lending contract. Because this information was not disclosed, fraud by omission occurred. A series of fraudulent act constitutes racketeering, which gives rise to a claim for treble damages, plus fees and costs. Those are the theories.

Mortgage Meltdown: Central Bankers Prepare for Collapse of Dollar

That confidence in the U.S. dollar is at an all-time low is no surprise. But when countries start propping up currencies that are barely on the radar, you know that central bankers are thinking that the U.S. government is not doing enough to shore up the fundamentals of its economy. This translates to a lack of confidence that the dollar will recover. Like the price of oil headed inexorably toward $200 per barrel, the dollar is seen headed inexorably downward. This kind of thinking leads to self-fulfilling prophecy, so it needs to be taken seriously. 

The plain fact is that we have $500 trillion in derivative securities that are treated, for the most part, as cash equivalents. In the face of a half-gig behemoth of private sector money supply, central bankers understand that their impact on monetary policy, money supply, credit, and economic growth is virtually out of reach. Like it or not, economic policy is in the hands of the private sector now.

More pretense of regulation from a corrupt government will produce less rather than more instability in the financial sector. Government is providing cover for wrongdoers rather than relief for everyone. 

The dangers are obvious. The inevitable conclusion of this paradigm shift can already be seen: a massive shift in the distribution of wealth, with its attendant death grip on government policy and action.

The role of government — to be the referee in assuring a fair playing field — has been subverted beyond recognition.

The tangible results are that millions of homes are being foreclosed, tens of millions of people are being hit with economic losses, and despite even the calls of the conservative Economist magazine for a U.S. “Federal effort to streamline the states’ convoluted foreclosure laws” nothing has emerged thus far.

We are aware and I have assisted in the writing of emergency rules of civil procedure for foreclosures from initiation of proceedings through mediation and judgment. These rules have been submitted to Nevada, Florida and Arizona thus far. The Courts are warming to the idea, but it is likely that a uniform approach will not be adopted, leaving the country in a morass of hoops to jump through before borrowers and lenders and investors can be brought to the table to put a stop to the downward slide. 

Under normal conditions, we would be the first to scream for better regulation, more enforcement and criminal prosecution arising from the massive fraud that killed the residential housing market, and severely damaged the rest of the credit markets worldwide. But we are of the opinion that this is an emergency that transcends normal government response. It is akin to the emergency of war where we are fighting for our very survival. Amnesty for every participant on the investor-lender side and on the borrower loan origination side is essential even if it gives a break to “speculators” and criminal minds that irresponsibly launched this plan to nowhere.

Only then will we demonstrate to central bankers around the world that we are serious about this crisis. Only then will they lose momentum is distancing themselves from the dollar.

Overseas banks save a currency
Commentary: A useful game plan if the dollar really hits the skids
LONDON (MarketWatch) – It’s official — overseas central banks stepped in Friday to prop up a beleaguered currency that’s been weighed down by an out-of-control financial sector and an economy on the rocks.
Sounds like the U.S. dollar, but actually, it’s the Iceland krona. See related story.
The central banks of Norway, Sweden and Denmark will each provide up to 500 million euros that the Central Bank of Iceland can swap for krona.
Of course, any central bank intervention to prop up the dollar would have to be done on a far larger scale than chucking in a bit more than $2 billion.
So understandably, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank reportedly have kept their ammunition so far to words and arm twisting. See related story.
And U.S. interest rates are just a touch lower than what’s on offer in Iceland — 2.25% compared to 15.5%.
But it’s worth noting that the intervention has worked, on the day at least – the currency is up over 4% against the euro.
If nothing else, the move by the Scandinavian central banks is a game plan that can be dusted off if the dollar really goes into meltdown mode.
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