Revisiting the Boyco Decision in 2007

Probably the most important comments from judge Boyco relate to the fact that (1) these cases are about money for the banks (or whoever is claiming to be the successor to an originator who may or may not have actually loaned money to the homeowner) and (2) these cases are about forfeiture as it relates to the homeowner. Forfeiture is an extreme remedy in which the courts should pay special attention to the requirements of standing and other jurisdictional issues, as well as rulings in discovery, motion practice and at trial. My comment is that nearly all the Judges have relied upon the former assumption: that the case for money automatically leads to forfeiture even if the requirements are not met.

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

—————-

see Ohio – Judge Boyko Decision 2007

Hat tip to Bill Paatalo

Sometimes it is a good idea to look at older decisions that occurred before millions of foreclosures were concluded against the homeowner in which the homeowner forfeited ownership and possession of their homestead under at best, questionable circumstances. The argument from the banks has been consistent: this is the way we have been doing things so now it is law. Federal Judge Boyco stops them at the gate.

Here are some of the relevant comments by Judge Boyco when he dismissed a series of cases. He clearly understood that there was something inherently wrong with the position of the “banks” and trusts and servicers and therefore something inherently wrong and defective about allowing foreclosures when the initiator of the foreclosure showed no real interest in the alleged transaction.

Probably the most important comments from judge Boyco relate to the fact that (1) these cases are about money for the banks (or whoever is claiming to be the successor to an originator who may or may not have actually loaned money to the homeowner) and (2) these cases are about forfeiture as it relates to the homeowner. Forfeiture is an extreme remedy in which the courts should pay special attention to the requirements fo standing and other jurisdictional issues, as well as rulings in discovery, motion practice and at trial. My comment is that nearly all the Judges have relied upon the former assumption: that the case for money automatically leads to forfeiture even if the requirements are not met.

To satisfy the requirements of Article III of the United States Constitution, the plaintiff must show he has personally suffered some actual injury as a result of the illegal conduct of the defendant. (Emphasis added). Coyne, 183 F. 3d at 494; Valley Forge, 454 U.S. at 472.

In each of the above-captioned Complaints, the named Plaintiff alleges it is the holder and owner of the Note and Mortgage. However, the attached Note and Mortgage identify the mortgagee and promisee as the original lending institution — one other than the named Plaintiff.

none of the Assignments show the named Plaintiff to be the owner of the rights, title and interest under the Mortgage at issue as of the date of the Foreclosure Complaint. The Assignments, in every instance, express a present intent to convey all rights, title and interest in the Mortgage and the accompanying Note to the Plaintiff named in the caption of the Foreclosure Complaint upon receipt of sufficient consideration on the date the Assignment was signed and notarized. Further, the Assignment documents are all prepared by counsel for the named Plaintiffs. These proffered documents belie Plaintiffs’ assertion they own the Note and Mortgage by means of a purchase which pre-dated the Complaint by days, months or years.

“The provision should not be misunderstood or distorted. It is intended to prevent forfeiture when determination of the

proper party to sue is difficult or when an understandable mistake has been made. … It is, in cases of this sort, intended to insure against forfeiture and injustice …” Plaintiff-Lenders do not allege mistake or that a party cannot be identified. Nor will Plaintiff-Lenders suffer forfeiture or injustice by the dismissal of these defective complaints otherwise than on the merits.

since the unique nature of real property requires contracts and transactions concerning real property to be in writing. R.C. § 1335.04. Ohio law holds that when a mortgage is assigned, moreover, the assignment is subject to the recording requirements of R.C. § 5301.25. Creager v. Anderson (1934), 16 Ohio Law Abs. 400 (interpreting the former statute, G.C. § 8543). “Thus, with regards to real property, before an entity assigned an interest in that property would be entitled to receive a distribution from the sale of the property, their interest therein must have been recorded in accordance with Ohio law.” In re Ochmanek, 266 B.R. 114, 120 (Bkrtcy.N.D. Ohio 2000) (citing Pinney v. Merchants’ National Bank of Defiance, 71 Ohio St. 173, 177 (1904).1

the federal courts must act as gatekeepers, assuring that only those who meet diversity and standing requirements are allowed to pass through. Counsel for the institutions are not without legal argument to support their position, but their arguments fall woefully short of justifying their premature filings, and utterly fail to satisfy their standing and jurisdictional burdens. The institutions seem to adopt the attitude that since they have been doing this for so long, unchallenged, this practice equates with legal compliance. Finally put to the test, their weak legal arguments compel the Court to stop them at the gate.

The Court will illustrate in simple terms its decision: “Fluidity of the market” — “X” dollars, “contractual arrangements between institutions and counsel” — “X” dollars, “purchasing mortgages in bulk and securitizing” — “X” dollars, “rush to file, slow to record after judgment” — “X” dollars, “the jurisdictional integrity of United States District Court” — “Priceless.

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.

Quicken Loans Cut to the Quick for $3.5 million on $180k Loan

“[Customers and employees] accuse the company of using high-pressure salesmanship to target elderly and vulnerable homeowners, as well as misleading borrowers about their loans, and falsifying property appraisals and other information to push through bad deals….

A group of ex-employees, meanwhile, have gone to federal court to accuse Quicken of abusing workers and customers alike. In court papers, former salespeople claim Quicken executives managed by bullying and intimidation, pressuring them to falsify borrowers’ incomes on loan applications and to push overpriced deals on desperate or unwary homeowners.”

Internet Store Notice: As requested by customer service, this is to explain the use of the COMBO, Consultation and Expert Declaration. The only reason they are separate is that too many people only wanted or could only afford one or the other — all three should be purchased. The Combo is a road map for the attorney to set up his file and start drafting the appropriate pleadings. It reveals defects in the title chain and inferentially in the money chain and provides the facts relative to making specific allegations concerning securitization issues. The consultation looks at your specific case and gives the benefit of litigation support consultation and advice that I can give to lawyers but I cannot give to pro se litigants. The expert declaration is my explanation to the Court of the findings of the forensic analysis. It is rare that I am actually called as a witness apparently because the cases are settled before a hearing at which evidence is taken.
If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services. Get advice from attorneys licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property is located. We do provide litigation support — but only for licensed attorneys.
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Editor’s Comment and Analysis: Quicken is one of those company’s that looks like a lender but isn’t. They say they are the bank when they are not. And they have been as predatory or more so than anyone else in the marketplace, despite the PR campaign of Dan Gilbert, formerly of Merrill Lynch Bond Trading department, who now heads up the company after selling it and then buying it back. They also have an “appraisal” company that is called Cornerstone Appraisals, that shares in the appraisal fees a fact missed by every one of the lawsuits I have seen.

The Quicken two step generally involved the company as an aggressive originator and nowhere is their aggressiveness more apparent than in the lawsuit than in the lawsuit described below. The one fact that everyone still has wrong however is that there is an assumption that Quicken loaned the money to the borrower. In fact, Quicken was neither the underwriter nor the lender and never had a risk of loss on any of the loans it originated. It used the Countrywide IT platform to underwrite the loans, inflated appraisals to increase its fees, and lured borrowers into deals that were impossible — like the lawsuit described below where a piece of property was worth about 1/6th of the original appraisal amount. AND when even the borrower thought the appraisal was ridiculous and refused to sign the loan, they reduced the appraisal and loan so it was still more than 4x the value of the property.

After that the closing funds came from an investment bank, not Quicken Loans or even Countrywide. The investor money was applied to the closing but the investors received nothing of what they were promised. They didn’t get a note or a mortgage. THAT paperwork went to naked nominees of the investment bank so they could steal, trade and create the largest inflation of pseudo-dollars in the shadow banking world that we have ever known — ten times the actual money supply.

Quicken Loans arrogantly rolled the dice and ended up with punitive damages in the millions and a large fee award top the the law firm of Bordas and Bordas in Wheeling Ohio. The Bordas firm proved many points worth mentioning.

  1. Appraisal fraud was at the heart of the mortgage meltdown. If industry standards were applied as stated in the petition of more than 8,000 licensed appraisers in 2005, these deals would never have happened and none of the foreclosures would have happened. And let’s remember that the appraisal is a representation of the LENDER not the borrower.
  2. Cases taken on contingency fee represent a huge share of commerce in the legal profession. My opinion is that liability and damages are starting to form a pattern and that cases against lenders for wrongful foreclosure, slander of title, fraud, RICO and other causes of action will start settling like PI cases currently do, which is why so many lawyers go into personal injury law.
  3. Judicial recognition of the overbearing and egregiously fraudulent behavior of the banks against unwary or unsophisticated homeowners is at the brink of total acceptance.
  4. As courts begin to zoom in on these closings they don’t like what they see. None of it makes sense because none of it is legal.
  5. Courts don’t like to be played as the fool or tool of a gangster perpetrating a large scale fraud. They get testy when pushed, and that is exactly what happened in Ohio.
  6. Most importantly, plain old good lawyering will win the day if you are prepared, understand the material and practice your presentation. Jason Causey, Jim Bordas, and their legal team deserve many kudos for taking on a company whose PR image was squeaky clean and then showing the dirt underneath — just as the Trusts were gilded with a few good looking loans and the rest, underneath, were toxic waste.

“Quicken ordered an appraisal of the home that Jefferson was interested in refinancing and the appraisal request included an estimated value of the subject property of $262,500. The trial court would later conclude the value of the property was $46,000.

“Appraiser Dewey Guida of Appraisals Unlimited, Inc. valued the property at $181,700 and after Jefferson backed out of the process for a few weeks because of her concern that she would be unable to afford the payments, Johnson was able to close her on a $144,800 loan.

“Although Jefferson had initially received a written Good Faith Estimate for a loan in the amount of $112.850 with a 2.5 “loan discount points” and no balloon feature, this much larger loan actually charged her for 4.0 points, while only giving her 2.5, and had a balloon payment after 30 years of $107,015.71, the amount of which was not disclosed, according to court documents.”

 

  1. Quicken Loans ordered to pay $3.5M in mortgage case, appeals

    wvrecord.com › Ohio County

    Aug 7, 2013 – WHEELING – A judgment in a fraud lawsuit against Quicken Loans has only gotten bigger since an appeal to the state Supreme Court, so the 

  2. Mortgage Mess: Why Quicken Loans May Not Be as Squeaky Clean

    www.cbsnews.com/…/mortgage-mess-why-quickenloans-may-not-be-as…

    Feb 8, 2011 – Quicken Loans‘ lending practices may not be as exemplary as the company contends. A federal lawsuit starting in Detroit today and other legal 

  3. Ripoff Report | quicken loans directory of Complaints & Reviews

    www.ripoffreport.com/directory/quickenloans.aspx

    Ripoff Report | Complaints Reviews Scams Lawsuits Frauds Reported. Company Directory | quickenloans. Approximately 342 Reports Found Showing 1-25.

Woman Wins Home and Forecloses on Wells Fargo

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

CHECK OUT OUR NOVEMBER SPECIAL

For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

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.

LivingLies Announces Columbus Ohio Law Office

If you are looking for legal representation in Ohio, please call our customer service line at 520-405-1688. You will either be interviewed or directed to a form on line to fill out as to the status of your case and various other matters. Or you can call the Columbus office direct. Client intake has already begun under this arrangement.

Editor’s Comment: I am thrilled announce this association with lawyers in Columbus, Ohio who not only understand the intricacies of securitization and not only represent homeowners fighting the banks, but whose mission is to WIN not just buy time. NO guarantees of course, but these guys are the real deal.

They are scholars, writers, creative and innovative as well as knowledgeable in trial practice, bankruptcy and property law. I have associated with them directly as being of counsel, which is not something I ordinarily do, as most of you know.

MEET WITTENBERG LAW GROUP
Please allow us to introduce Wittenberg Law Group, a Columbus, Ohio-based law firm that helps to defend homeowners against foreclosures. The professionals of Wittenberg Law Group stand ready to help you.
Eric J. Wittenberg is the founder and manager of the firm. Mr. Wittenberg is in his 26th year in the practice of law. He is involved in a great deal of litigation with lenders trying to wrongfully foreclose upon homeowners. Mr. Wittenberg shares something important with Neil Garfield–like Mr. Garfield, Mr. Wittenberg is an alumnus of Dickinson College. He has a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was the Head Notes and Comments Editor for the Journal of Law and Commerce. For 25 years, he has worked to protect the rights of individuals and small businesses.
He is also an award-winning Civil War historian and author, with 17 books on the subject in print. Mr. Wittenberg regularly lectures and leads tours of Civil War battlefields and is in great demand. He is also an ardent baseball fan and the co-author of You Stink! Major League Baseball’s Terrible Teams and Pathetic Players.
Jennifer L. Routte is a Columbus native who comes from a background of a successful family business. She worked in the family business for going to law school and understands the challenges faced by small businesses. She is an graduate of The Ohio State University and the Capital University School of Law.
Treisa L. Fox is an associate attorney who works almost exclusively on defending foreclosures. Ms. Fox, a native of West Virginia, is a graduate of Marshall University and of the Capital University School of Law. She has a great deal of experience with challenging the validity of loan documents and of the claims of lenders, and she stands prepared to assist you.
The professionals of Wittenberg Law Group stand prepared to assist you with your efforts to defend your homes.
Eric J. Wittenberg
Attorney and Counselor at Law
WITTENBERG LAW GROUP
6895 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
614.834.9650
Fax: 614.328.0576
eric@wittenberglawgroup.com
www.wittenberglawgroup.com

CORRUPTION OF TITLE CHAINS IS PANDEMIC

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Editor’s Notes:  

As we predicted more and more County recorder offices are suing to collect transfer fees on loans that have gone to foreclosure under the allegation that a valid loan and lien was transferred.  Expect other revenue collectors in the states to start doing the same for registration fees, taxes, interest, penalties and fines. This battle is just beginning. We are now about to enter the phase of finger pointing in which each type of defendant — bank, servicer, MERS, Fannie, Freddie etc. defends with varying exotic defenses that more or less point the finger at some other part of the securitization chain. 
The real story is that title chains have been irretrievably corrupted — which means that title cannot be established by using the documents alone. Parole evidence from witnesses and production of back-up documents must show the path of the loan and the proof that the transaction was real. Defenders of these lawsuits may be forced to admit that there was no actual financial transaction and that the assignments were assignments of “convenience” negating the reality of the transfer or of any transaction at all. 
Either way they are going to have a problem that can’t be fixed. They can’t prove up the documents because the documents are contrary to the path of monetary transactions and recite facts that are untrue —- in addition to the fact that the documents themselves were fabricated, forged, robo-signed and fraudulently presented. This is why I say that regardless of how hard anyone tries to do the wrong thing, the only right way to correct these problems is to negate the foreclosures that have already been concluded, stop the ones that are being conducted in the same way as the old way, and make them prove up their right to foreclose. They either must admit that there were not valid transactions — including the original note and mortgage — or they won’t be able to prove a valid transaction because the money came from sources other than those shown on the closing documents. 
The actual sources of the money loaned the money to borrowers without documentation believing they had the documentation. But the mere fact that borrowers signed documents is not an invitation for any stranger to imply that it was for their benefit. For these reasons the mortgage in most cases was never perfected into a valid lien and cannot be perfected without corrective instruments signed by the borrower or upon some order by a court. But the courts are going to be far more careful about the proof here. Most Judges are going to take the position that they could be fooled once when the foreclosure originally went through on the premise of valid documents and an actual financial transaction attached to THOSE documents, but that they won’t be fooled a a second time. They will demand proof. And proof according to the normal rules of evidence is completely lacking because the entire securitization chain was a lie from one end to the other.
The borrower will end up owing the money less offsets for payments received by the real creditor, once the identity of the real creditor is revealed, but the absence of a mortgage or deed of trust naming that actual creditor will void the mortgage and negate the credit bid at the auction.

Ohio lawsuit accuses Freddie Mac of fraud

by Tara Steele

The battle between Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and various government entities continues, each taking a different approach on the battlefield.

Freddie Mac sued by county in Ohio

Last year, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS) became the subject of lawsuits from counties across the nation as District Attorneys allege the company never owned the loans they were facilitating foreclosures for, and in most cases, judges agree, and their authority to facilitate has been denied in several counties. Dallas County alleges the mortgage-tracking system violates Texas laws and shorted the county anywhere from $58 million to over $100 million in uncollected filing fees due to the MERS system, dating back to 1997.

Others sued MERS as well; in February, in the U.S. Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Chief Judge Joseph McKinley Jr. dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Christian County Clerk, denying relief to the County for the same relief sought by Dallas County and others.

Rampant mortgage fraud, continued robosigning

Studies have shown that MERS destroyed the chain of title in America, and other studies reveal that illegal robosigning is still in play, and that foreclosure fraud has occurred in themajority of loans.

As the courts have not yet rewarded cities, counties, or states pursuing action against MERS, other tactics are being taken by these entities, for example, Louisiana is using RICO laws to sue MERS.

Summit County, Ohio taking a different approach

Summit County, Ohio filed a lawsuit1 Tuesday against Freddie Mac, alleging a failure to pay fees on transfer taxes on over 3,500 real estate transactions over six years. Court documents show that the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation is accused of committing fraud by claiming it was a government entity, thereby exempt from transfer taxes. The County has not released a final assessment of the amount they believe is due, but they will also be seeking interest and penalties.

This approach is far different than going after MERS (which coincidentally was established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over 15 years ago), rather going directly after the still-functioning Freddie Mac.

“The reality is Freddie Mac is a federally chartered, private corporation and they should have been paying these fees and taxes,” Assistant Prosecutor Joe Fantozzi told the Akron Beacon Journal.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae began paying transfer taxes in 2009, so the lawsuit is only seeking transfer taxes due from 2002 through 2008, which in Summit County are $4 per $1,000 on all real estate transactions. Additionally, the county also charges a 50-cent lot fee and recording fees, which are $28 for the first two pages and $8 for each additional page.

Fannie Mae not named, FHFA already fighting back

Although Geauga County in Ohio sued MERS, Chase Bank, and CoreLogic, the Akron Beacon Journal reports that Summit County is believed to be the first county in the state to file legal action against Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae was not named in the suit due to the low volume of mortgages in the county it handled during the time period.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the conservator of Fannie and Freddie, is fighting back on these same battle lines, suing in Illinois to validate the two mortgage giants’ tax-exempt status, the Chicago Tribune reported. This move is likely an effort to circumvent more lawsuits like the one currently being filed in Summit County.

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Appearance Counsel for Homeowners

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Editor’s Comment:

By Bruce M Broyles esq.

I am not suggesting that Attorneys start doing this.  Instead, I am just floating an idea for people to comment on and critique.  There are probably a number of ethical rules that would prevent someone from actually doing it.  But what would happen if attorneys who practiced foreclosure defense just showed up at the Courthouse.  These attorneys could sit in the Courtrooms from 9:00 to 11:00 and again at 1:00 to 2:00.  When a case was called the attorney would wait to make certain that the Defendant did not stand or that another attorney was not present to represent the Defendant.  When it was clear that no one was there on behalf of the Defendant, the Attorney would simply state that he was there on behalf of the Defendant; that he had not had an opportunity to speak with Defendant regarding the matter but that he would ask the Court for an additional 30 days within which to file an answer.  The Court rarely requires Civil Rule 6 “good cause” and the Court would likely grant an extension of time.

The Attorney would then have 30 days to contact the Defendant and see if the Defendant was interested in defending the foreclosure.  If the defendant was not interested, the attorney had obtained an additional 30 days for the Defendant to determine his next move.  No harm no foul.

If the Attorney was succesful in contacting the Defendant and the Defendant was interested in defending the foreclosure, then the Attorney could offer his services.  The attorney would not be causing delay merely for the sake of delay, as almost every foreclosure case that I have reviewed has some portion that has a defensible issue.  I am certain that the Supreme Court and Disciplinary Counsel would be concerned about the undue pressure that would result from this type of direct contact (soliciatation) by an attorney with a potential client. Maybe we should request an ehical opinion on the issue?

I do not see a great difference between the above and “appearance counsel” who have no authority and no contact with the client prior to walking into the Courtroom on behalf of the Plaintiff.  If the defendant does not appear, the appearance counsel is able to complete his task; hand the proposed entry to the court.  If the Defendant does appear, then appearance counsel stands there siliently while the Court resets the matter giving the Defendant time to either file an answer or retain an attorney.

If Attorneys could act as “appearance counsel”, then the biggest obstacle to defending the foreclosure complaint would be avoided; getting the Homeowner facing foreclosure to take some inital action.  Almost every Homeowner Facing Foreclosure wants to defend their home.  The Homeowners are simply too scared to take the initial step.  One or two “appearance counsel” could prevent foreclosures in an entire county.  A network of “appearance counsel” across the entire State could combine their efforts and a handful of Foreclosure Defense Attorneys could prevent foreclosures in the State of Ohio.  With foreclosures piling up in the Courts,  the Ohio Supreme Court would have to extend the time for the Courts to resolve a foreclosure case.  As prosecuting foreclosures to a conclusion became more time consuming fewer law firms would agree to handle foreclosures.  Finally, the banks would have to make legitimate business decisions on a case by case basis.  No more governmental programs.  Bankers simply deciding that some cash flow is better than no cash flow.

Again, this is only an idea that has been posted for suggestions, comments, and ethical reviews.  While we are waiting for a decision on the propriety of “appearance counsel” for Defendants facing foreclosure, maybe we can get Homeowners to start contacting an attorney for help


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.

BLOOMBERG: GMAC CASE MAY ESTABLISH ANTI-BANK PRECEDENT

GMAC foreclosure case may set anti-bank precedent

Michael Riley, Bloomberg News

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When James Renfro had to stop making payments on his two-story fixer-upper in Parma, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, he triggered events that were supposed to result in the forced sale of his home.

That Nov. 15 auction has been canceled because of defects in documents submitted by his loan servicer, Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit. Two affidavits about Renfro’s home were signed by Jeffrey Stephan, a GMAC employee who said in sworn depositions in Florida and Maine that he hadn’t read thousands of affidavits he’d signed.

Renfro’s case has created a showdown between GMAC and Ohio’s Attorney General Richard Cordray. Cordray has asked Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Nancy Russo not to let GMAC simply submit new documents to cure defects without consequences. He’s taken the same stand against Wells Fargo & Co., which has said it found defects in 55,000 foreclosures.

“This is just the first,” said Cordray, who filed an amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief in the Renfro case. He argued that Russo should punish GMAC for its conduct.

The judge in Cleveland set an accelerated schedule on Monday for evidence-gathering in the case, leading up to a Feb. 17 hearing on the integrity of the loan documents. Cordray’s office plans to file a motion today asking to take part in the case and participate in so-called discovery.

May speed cases

The precedent set by the case might hasten a settlement between home lenders and the attorneys general of the 50 U.S. states, who are investigating allegations of fraud in foreclosure filings. Those being probed include Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, which has said it will refile foreclosure affidavits involving statements that “did not strictly adhere to the required procedures.”

In potentially thousands of cases across the United States, judges have the power to impose “sanctions, penalties, fines and even default,” as the banks try to submit substitute paperwork to proceed with flawed foreclosures, Cordray said.

“The banks want to wish this away and pretend like it doesn’t exist,” he said.

In September, Ally briefly suspended foreclosures in 23 states where there is judicial review and later announced an independent survey of foreclosure proceedings that would extend nationwide. After a review, the company began reinstating proceedings in cases it said didn’t involve errors.

Tom Goyda, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, said the lender would go ahead with plans to resubmit thousands of affidavits in cases nationwide, including Ohio. When judges seek information on documents already filed, “we will work with them to meet their concerns,” Goyda said.

Scope of robo signing

The 50-state investigation is focused on uncovering the scope of tainted foreclosures, including how what are being called robo signers processed documents they didn’t review, Cordray said. So far, investigators have identified “double figures of robo signers” working on behalf of lenders such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., he said.

Such banks are conducting their own reviews to spot errors and determine how many cases with defects are involved. GMAC’s Stephan testified to signing as many as 10,000 documents a month. JPMorgan initially suspended foreclosures in 23 states affecting 56,000 cases to review potentially faulty documents.

Among the least appealing scenarios for the lenders is that affected cases will have to be examined, like the Renfro case, in individual courtrooms across the country, with the possibility of thousands of judges questioning robo signers and other loan processing officials.

Judge Russo said in an interview that until hearing the evidence, she has no way of telling whether the documents represent an error, negligence, or fraud, and that other judges will have to make the same time-consuming inquiries.

“If Ohio has 10,000 of these cases, there should be 10,000 hearings,” Russo said. “I’m sympathetic to the fact that it’s onerous for the lenders, but I still have to do my job.”

Market Data Provided by Bloomberg News

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/08/BUKL1G8UH4.DTL#ixzz14oAobg4Z

Ohio Attorney General Fights Against Wall Street, Joining More Attorneys General

October 11, 2010

Ohio Attorney General Fights Against Wall Street

By MICHAEL POWELL

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Back East, at the corner of Broad and Wall Streets, the view is swell. The Dow is soaring, and bankers look pleased.

But here on East Broad Street, the mood is gloomier. At least 90,000 residential and commercial foreclosure notices will be filed in Ohio this year. Pension funds for teachers, secretaries and janitors have suffered grave losses. And multitudes of the unemployed in Ohio now speak of turning to prayer.

Ohio’s attorney general, Richard Cordray, might be seen as their pinstriped avenger.

“There’s a belief here that Wall Street is a fixed casino and it’s back in business, and we’re left holding the bag,” said Mr. Cordray, whose office overlooks East Broad. “It’s important for us to show we’ll go after a company that does wrong.”

Mr. Cordray in two years in office has demonstrated a willingness to sue early and often, filing lawsuits against global financial houses, rating agencies, subprime lenders and foreclosure scammers. He has wrested about $2 billion so far, a string of gilded pelts: a $475 million Merrill Lynch settlement, $400 million from Marsh & McLennan and $725 million from the American International Group.

Last week, he filed suit against GMAC Mortgage, accusing the loan servicer of filing fraudulent affidavits in hundreds of Ohio foreclosures.

His office has returned money to investors, pension funds, schools and cities. And he has directed millions to agencies fighting foreclosure.

“We see what Washington doesn’t: the houses lying vacant, the eyesore stripped for copper piping with mattresses out back,” Mr. Cordray says. “We bailed out irresponsible banks, but we forgot about everyone else.”

It speaks to this political age that such words are more rarely heard from federal regulators, who walk quietly and carry big bailout checks. Instead state attorneys general, in this case, a sandy-haired 51-year-old Democrat who sits about 400 miles from Washington, are giving full throat to popular outrage.

If Eliot Spitzer, the former New York attorney general, was the prototype of this breed, a handful of current ones, like Mr. Cordray, Martha Coakley of Massachusetts, Lisa Madigan of Illinois, Tom Miller of Iowa and Roy Cooper of North Carolina, lay claim to his mantle. Like recessionary scouts, they spot trouble, like a rapacious foreclosure-rescue operator, a predatory credit card company or a financial firm draining a pension fund.

Ms. Coakley secured millions of dollars in mortgage modifications from Countrywide Financial and reached a $102 million settlement with Morgan Stanley over its role in financing the subprime loans that fed the housing crash in Massachusetts.

“We were the first to go after predatory loans — we’re not waiting for federal agencies to act,” Ms. Coakley said.

Some express skepticism, suggesting that such lawsuits are emotionally pleasing but economically destructive. Former Senator Michael DeWine, a Republican who is running against Mr. Cordray, a Democrat, in the November election, has implied that Mr. Cordray wields an antibusiness cudgel. Better to rely on federal regulators, others argue, to constrain global corporations.

That strikes James E. Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia, as a bit beside the point.

“Is state action as effective as a federal regulator going after these companies? Absolutely not,” says Mr. Tierney, a former state attorney general for Maine. “But when regulators are too worried about giving offense, there’s no reason an enterprising attorney general can’t go in there,”

Born in Grove City, Ohio, Mr. Cordray was educated at Michigan State, Oxford and the University of Chicago Law School. A Supreme Court clerk, he also argued cases before the court. In 1987, he enjoyed a run as a five-time winner on the television show “Jeopardy!”

Somewhere along the way, he hankered for more. His father ran a program for mentally disabled people; his mother, a social worker, founded an organization of foster grandparents; and he wanted to enter the public sphere. Mr. Cordray began running for office.

His yearning often went unrequited; voters, he noted with a hike of the eyebrows, elected him state representative but rejected his run for Congress and an early attempt at state attorney general.

He shrugs.

“I really got my head pounded in over the years in politics,” Mr. Cordray says. “My wife thought I was nuts.”

Eventually, he downsized his ambitions, and ran successfully for Franklin County treasurer and later for state treasurer. And in 2008, he won a special election for attorney general.

Mr. Cordray is no William Jennings Bryan inveighing against the evils of monopoly capital. He can be eloquent about corporate misbehavior, in an eyes-downcast and soft-spoken fashion. (His language reads hotter on the page than it sounds in person.)

He is, however, tapping a populist tradition in Ohio. This is where politicians mounted challenges to the Standard Oil monopoly of John Rockefeller and where Senator John Sherman led a late 19th-century campaign to pass the Sherman Antitrust Act, which was the first law to require the federal government to investigate companies suspected of running cartels and monopolies.

Mr. Cordray carefully describes his allegiance to capitalism, although he says the financial crisis should explode forever the efficient-markets theory, popular with economists, that the best market is a self-correcting one. (Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” shares space on his office bookshelf with books by the urbane Keynesian John Kenneth Galbraith.)

“The notion that banks will just get things right over time is perhaps true,” Mr. Cordray says. “But over what time period, and at what terrible cost to the individual American?”

Certainly, he has not minced words in pursuing a steady stream of cases against corporations.

He accused Marsh & McLennan of conspiring to eliminate competition in the insurance business by generating fictitious quotes. He denounced three credit rating firms, Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services and Standard & Poor’s, for giving inflated ratings to packages of troubled mortgages put together by the big investment houses. He says that Ohio pension funds lost close to half a billion dollars by investing in those triple-A rated securities.

And last October, he accused Bank of America officials of concealing critical facts in the acquisition of Merrill Lynch, even as that firm careened toward insolvency. Top bankers, he said, had not come remotely clean about the extent of the losses at Merrill and its bonuses.

The lawsuit against Bank of America was the first of its kind, although Mr. Cordray’s actions drew rather less press than a lawsuit filed months later by Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. Mr. Cuomo, whose skill with the tactical leak, news release and the lawsuit is considerable, tends not to work closely with his fellow state attorneys general, say two officials from states other than Ohio.

Attorneys general are perhaps more successful at extracting large sums of money than in changing corporate behavior. A Goldman Sachs or Marsh & McLennan, to this view, tends to see such settlements as a cost of doing business.

“The settlements are large, but the changes in behavior don’t seem to be that large,” said Daniel C. Richman, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Columbia Law School. “These targets have massive amounts of money to pay off and continue on their merry way.”

Raise this criticism to Mr. Cordray and he nods in agreement.

“In an ideal world, if the S.E.C. had done its job, that would be much better,” he said. “Our settlements make up for the losses fractionally.”

As it happens, Mr. Cordray now faces a more existential threat. Legal challenges to corporate misbehavior are not proven electoral gold. This year, Ms. Coakley, a Democrat, fell to Republican Scott Brown in a race to fill the Senate seat of Edward M. Kennedy.

And polls show Mr. Cordray running behind in his race with Mr. DeWine. He’s no natural glad-hander — he apologizes when he realizes he has automatically extended his hand at a luncheon. More paradoxical, he finds himself at risk of being identified with “them,” which is to say the establishment that Ohio residents view as having failed them.

Again, he shrugs. He is not inclined to blame voters for his troubles.

“Politicians are kind of like adolescents, always looking in the mirror and assuming that’s what people see,” he says. “But there’s a great anxiety out there, a great unease about our future. Most people are hurting, and they don’t have the time to pay attention to us.”

Wells Fargo, Option One, American Home Mortgage Relationship

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. appears in many ways including as servicer (America Servicing Company), Trustee (although it does not appear to be qualified as a “Trust Company”), as claimed beneficiary, as Payee on the note, as beneficiary under the title policy, as beneficiary under the property and liability insurance, and it may have in actuality acted as a mortgage broker without getting licensed as such.

In most securitized loan situations, Wells Fargo appears with the word “BANK” used, but it acted neither as a commercial nor investment bank in the deal. Sometimes it acted as a commercial bank meaning it processed a deposit and withdrawal, sometimes (rarely, perhaps 3-4% of the time) it did act as a lender, and sometimes it acted as a securities underwriter or co-underwriter of asset backed securities.

It might also be designated as “Depositor” which in most cases means that it performed no function, received no money, disbursed no money and neither received, stored, handled or transmitted any documentation despite third party documentation to the contrary.

In short, despite the sue of the word “BANK”, it was not acting as a bank in any sense of the word within the securitization chain. However, it is the use of the word “BANK” which connotes credibility to their role in the transaction despite the fact that they are not, and never were a creditor. The obligation arose when the funds were advanced for the benefit of the homeowner. But the pool from which those funds were advanced came from investors who purchased certificates of asset backed securities. Those investors are the creditors because they received a certificate containing three promises: (1) repayment of principal non-recourse based upon the payments by obligors under the terms of notes and mortgages in the pool (2) payment of interest under the same conditions and (3) the conveyance of a percentage ownership in the pool, which means that collectively 100% of the ivnestors own 100% of the the entire pool of loans. This means that the “Trust” does NOT own the pool nor the loans in the pool. It means that the “Trust” is merely an operating agreement through which the ivnestors may act collectively under certain conditions.  The evidence of the transaction is the note and the mortgage or deed of trust is incident to the transaction. But if you are following the money you look to the obligation. In most  transactions in which a residential loan was securitized, Wells Fargo did not work under the scope of its bank charter. However it goes to great lengths to pretend that it is acting under the scope of its bank charter when it pursues foreclosure.

Wells Fargo will often allege that it is the holder of the note. It frequently finesses the holder in due course confrontation by this allegation because of the presumption arising out of its allegation that it is the holder. In fact, the obligation of the homeowner is not ever due to Wells Fargo in a securitized residential note and mortgage or deed of trust. The allegation of “holder” is disingenuous at the least. Wells Fargo is not and never was the creditor although ti will claim, upon challenge, to be acting within the scope and course of its agency authority; however it will fight to the death to avoid producing the agency agreement by which it claims authority. remember to read the indenture or prospectus or pooling and service agreement all the way to the end because these documents are created to give an appearance of propriety but they do not actually support the authority claimed by Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo often claims to be Trustee for Option One Mortgage Loan Trust 2007-6 Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2007-6, c/o American Home Mortgage, 4600 Regent Blvd., Suite 200, P.O. Box 631730, Irving, Texas 75063-1730. Both Option One and American Home Mortgage were usually fronts (sham) entities that were used to originate loans using predatory, fraudulent and otherwise illegal loan practices in violation of TILA, RICO and deceptive lending practices. ALL THREE ENTITIES — WELLS FARGO, OPTION ONE AND AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A SINGLE JOINT ENTERPRISE ABUSING THEIR BUSINESS LICENSES AND CHARTERS IN MOST CASES.

WELLS FARGO-OPTION ONE-AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE IS OFTEN REPRESENTED BY LERNER, SAMPSON & ROTHFUSS, more specifically Susana E. Lykins. They list their address as P.O. Box 5480, Cincinnati, Oh 45201-5480, Telephone 513-241-3100, Fax 513-241-4094. Their actual street address is 120 East Fourth Street, Suite 800 Cincinnati, OH 45202. Documents purporting to be assignments within the securitization chain may in fact be executed by clerical staff or attorneys from that firm using that address. If you are curious, then pick out the name of the party who executed your suspicious document and ask to speak with them after you call the above number.

Ms. Lykins also shows possibly as attorney for JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. as well as Robert B. Blackwell, at 620-624 N. Main street, Lima, Ohio 45801, 419-228-2091, Fax 419-229-3786. He also claims an office at 2855 Elm Street, Lima, Ohio 45805

Kathy Smith swears she is “assistant secretary” for American Home Mortgage as servicing agent for Wells Fargo Bank. Yet Wells shows its own address as c/o American Home Mortgage. No regulatory filing for Wells Fargo acknowledges that address. Ms. Smith swears that Wells Fargo, Trustee is the holder of the note even though she professes not to work for them. Kathy Smith’s signature is notarized by Linda Bayless, Notary Public, State of Florida commission# DD615990, expiring November 19, 2010. This would indicate that despite the subject property being in Ohio, Kathy Smith, who presumably works in Texas, had her signature notarized in Florida or that the Florida Notary exceeded her license if she was in Texas or Ohio or wherever Kathy Smith was when she allegedly executed the instrument.

Citi to Try New Version of Cash for Keys

Editor’s Note: The decision about flight or fight is deeply personal and there is no right answer. The decision you make ought not be criticized by anyone. For those with the fight knocked out of them the prospect of taking on the giant banks in court is both daunting and dispiriting. So if that is where you are, and this Citi program comes your way, it might be acceptable to you. AT THE MOMENT, CITI IS SAYING YOU NEED TO BE 90 DAYS BEHIND IN YOUR PAYMENTS AND NOT HAVE A SECOND MORTGAGE. (A quick call to the holder of a second mortgage or the party claiming to be that holder could result in a double settlement since they are going to get wiped out anyway in a foreclosure. You can offer them pennies on the dollar or simply the chance to avoid litigation.)
Citi, faced with the prospects of increasing legal fees even if they were to “win” the foreclosure battle in court, along with the rising prospects of losing, is piloting a program where they will give you $1,000 and six months in your current residence — and then they take over your house by way of a deed in lieu of foreclosure, which you sign as part of a settlement. Make sure all terms of the settlement are actually in writing and signed by someone who is authorized to sign for Citi.
The deed is simply a grant of your ownership interest to Citi and frankly does little to “cure” the title defect caused by securitization. HOPEFULLY THAT WILL NEVER BE A PROBLEM TO YOU, EVEN THOUGH IT PROBABLY WILL BE CAUSE FOR LITIGATION OR OTHER CONFRONTATIONS BETWEEN PARTIES OTHER THAN YOU WHEN ALL OF THIS UNRAVELS.
The possibility remains that you will have deeded your house to Citi when in fact the mortgage loan was owed to another party or group (investors/creditors).
The possibility remains that you could still be pursued for the full amount of the loan by the REAL holder of the loan.
Yet in this topsy turvy world where up is down and left is right, the Citi program might just take you out of the madness and give you the new start. They apparently intend to offer to waive any claim they have for deficiency which in states where deficiency judgments are allowed at least gives you the arguable point that you gave the house to some party with “apparent” authority. And the hit on your FICO score is less than foreclosure or bankruptcy, under the proposed Citi plan.
In the six months, which can probably be extended through negotiation or other legal means, you can accumulate some cash from what otherwise would have been a rental or mortgage payment. Taken as a whole, even though I would say that you are probably dealing with a party who neither owns the loan nor has any REAL authority to offer you this plan, it probably fits the needs of many homeowners who are just one step away from walking away from their home anyway.
As always, at least consult a licensed real estate attorney or an attorney otherwise knowledgeable about securitized loans before you make your final decision or sign any documents. BEWARE OF HUCKSTERS WHO MIGHT SEIZE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT AS A MEANS TO GET YOU TO PART WITH YOUR MONEY. THERE IS NO NEED FOR A MIDDLEMAN IN THIS TYPE OF TRANSACTION.
February 24, 2010

Another Foreclosure Alternative

By BOB TEDESCHI

HOMEOWNERS on the verge of foreclosure will often seek a short sale as a graceful exit from an otherwise calamitous financial situation. Their homes are sold for less than the mortgage amount, and the remaining loan balance is usually forgiven by the lender.

But with short sales beyond the reach of some homeowners — they typically won’t qualify if they have a second mortgage on the home — another foreclosure alternative is emerging: “deeds in lieu of foreclosure.”

In this transaction, a homeowner simply relinquishes the property, turning over the deed to the bank, in exchange for the lender’s promise not to foreclose. In a straight foreclosure, a lender takes legal control of the property and evicts the occupants; in deeds-in-lieu transactions, the homeowner is typically allowed to remain in the home for a short period of time after the agreement.

More borrowers will at least have the chance to consider this strategy in the coming months, as CitiMortgage, one of the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders, tests a new program in New Jersey, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

Citi recently agreed to give qualified borrowers six months in their homes before it takes them over. It will offer these homeowners $1,000 or more in relocation assistance, provided the property is in good condition. Previously, the bank had no formal process for serving borrowers who failed to qualify for Citi’s other foreclosure-avoidance programs like loan modification.

Citi’s new policy is similar to one announced last fall by Fannie Mae, the government-controlled mortgage company. Fannie is allowing homeowners to return the deed to their properties, then rent them back at market rates.

To qualify for the new program, Citi’s borrowers must be at least 90 days late on their mortgages and must not have a second lien on the home.

That policy may be a significant obstacle for borrowers, since many of the people facing foreclosure originally financed their homes with second mortgages — called “piggyback loans” — or borrowed against the homes’ equity after buying them.

Partly for that reason, Elizabeth Fogarty, a spokeswoman for Citi, said that the bank had only modest expectations for the test. Roughly 20,000 Citi mortgage customers in the pilot states will be eligible for a deed-in-lieu agreement, she said, and of those, about 1,000 will most likely complete the process.

As is often the case with deed-in-lieu settlements, Citi will release the borrower from all legal obligations to repay the loan.

In some states, like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, banks can legally retain the right to pursue borrowers for the balance of the loan after a foreclosure, a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. That is one reason why housing advocates say borrowers should carefully weigh these transactions with the help of a lawyer or nonprofit housing counselor before proceeding.

Ms. Fogarty said Citi had no specific timetable for rolling out the program nationally.

Among the other major lenders, there is no formalized program for deeds-in-lieu. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, for instance, generally require borrowers to try a short sale before considering a deed-in-lieu transaction.

A deed-in-lieu is better for banks than a foreclosure because it reduces the company’s legal costs, and it is better for the homeowners because it is less damaging to their credit score.

Banks may also end up with homes in better condition.

J. K. Huey, a senior vice president at Wells Fargo, says her bank usually offers relocation assistance — often $1,000 to $2,500 — as long as the borrower leaves the property in move-in condition after a deed-in-lieu transaction.

“The idea is to help them transition in a way where they can keep their family intact while looking for another place to live,” Ms. Huey said. “This way, they only have to move once, as opposed to getting evicted.”

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FOR FORECLOSURE DEFENSE LAWYERS

See Judge Long’s Decision – Make sure you shepardize 384283_Ibanez Larace motion to vacate memorandum Oct2009Misc 384283 and Misc 3867551

when a foreclosure is noticed and conducted for one party
by another, the name of the principal must be disclosed in the notice.

the plaintiffs themselves recognized that they needed assignments in recordable form explicitly to them (not in blank) prior to their initiation of the mortgage foreclosure process, that the plaintiffs’ “authorized agent” argument fails both on its facts and as a matter of law

Editor’s Note: We’ve reported on this case before. And as a caution, there is report that the case was overturned on appeal but I don’t see it. Either way, the reasoning of the case is extremely persuasive and the only basis for reversal would be on procedural grounds, not substance.

Here is the essence of the pretender lender tactic. Their argument is basically that they have the right to foreclose whether or not they are the real party in interest, whether or not they are the holder in due course and especially whether or not they are the creditor in the “loan” transaction with the homeowner(s).

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FOR FORECLOSURE DEFENSE LAWYERS: If you engage the “enemy” on their terms you will most likely lose. After all they created a narration that they think they can win. So YOUR strategy should be to change the narrative to YOUR points that can win.

In this case, it was simple. The Judge simply saw that the creditor was not involved in the foreclosure process and that the sale was therefore invalid. Implicitly the Judge was protecting both the real creditor and the homeowner from financial double (or multiple jeopardy).

So the Judge helped out the homeowner here by giving the homeowner the correct narrative. to wit: even if the party seeking to initiate the collection on the note or the foreclosure of the mortgage is an authorized agent (by virtue of possession or holding the note, etc.) the principal MUST BE DISCLOSED. How else can the court or the homeowner or the principal know the matter is subject to disposition through sale or judgment?

In a recent case in Arizona a pro se litigant finally penetrated the fog of Chauncery (see Dickens, BLEAK HOUSE), and the Judge who denied all homeowner motions before the weekend, finally got it and asked the attorney for the pretender lender what was going on (in another case in Ohio the Judge said “what are you trying to pull here?”).

Those cases are now proceeding through discovery (which we all know will never be completed) in which the identity of the creditor and a full accounting of ALL money transacted in connection with the subject loan is fully disclosed.

While there are cases we are tracking in which the homeowner is being bounced on his/her rear end, the tide is turning. The fact that there was federal bailout money and insurance proceeds paid in connection with these loans, is extremely relevant to the amount due and the identity of the current creditor.

This in turn is extremely relevant to the homeowner and the “lender” complying with federal mandate for modifications or state mandate for mediation. If the creditor is unknown how can the court or anyone else know that the “agent” is authorized?

At first the Judge’s knee jerk reaction is “What are you talking about, who else would make payments on this loan.?” But upon hearing the answer that the U.S. Treasury (TARP, TALF etc.), Federal reserve, and counter-parties in credit default swap insurance have made billions of dollars in payments and have not thus far accounted for their use of the money, the Judge may not believe you will succeed in your case but he will agree that you have a right to inquire. And THAT is all you need. because once you make the inquiry, the pretender lender will be on the defensive from that point on, disclosing itself as an impostor and a fabricator.


Michigan, Ohio, Texas Lawyers Wanted: We Know You’re Out There

The business case for taking, handling and litigating residential “mortgage” cases has been proven over and over again. Unfortunately most lawyers are ignoring this opportunity.

The latest estimates are that it will take 6-12 years to clean up this mess and I think that is very conservative. My analysis shows that it will take the better part of 30 years, and even then there will be cases that are still outstanding. One case, just filed, involves a mere $500,000 mortgage but alleges more than $27 million in damages (which could end up north of $81 million), credibly, the proximate cause of which was the eggregious, tortious behavior of loan originators and investment banks who gave the impression that normal underwriting standards and procedures were in place. The complaint alleges breach of Federal Statutes, State Statutes and common law including identity theft, slander of title, and fraudulent or negligent appraisal.

Lawyers who were starving are getting to understand that monthly payments from the client will cover them until the contingency fee kicks in and that there are clear ways to collect damage judgments. Some lawyers we know have $50,000 per month or more coming in from clients.

Let me spell it out for you. Most analysts agree with my estimate from 2 years ago: $13 trillion in erroneous, fraudulent paper was floated producing some $25 trillion in profits that was sequestered off shore. There appears to be some 60 million loans affected by this massive scheme. If your contingency fee is only 20% that means that around $5 trillion in contingency fees is sitting out there waiting to be pocketed. If every lawyer in America took these cases, they would each have around 40-50 cases involving title claims, securities claims defenses. But we all know that only a fraction of the 1 million lawyers are even doing trial practice. The short story is that for every lawyer there are hundreds if not thousands of cases that can be handled each averaging fees in excess of $100,000 per case.

We know there are lawyers out there some of whom are taking a few but not many of these cases. Livinglies takes in requests for services at the rate of 15-20 per day. And THAT is without any promotion. We don’t do any promotion because we have an insufficient number of lawyers to refer these prospective clients. WAKE UP LAWYERS! We have referrals for you and we require NO COMPENSATION for the referral and no co-counsel fee.

Send your resume:

eFAX: 772-594-6244

eMail: ngarfield@msn.com


MERS History Re-Re-Revised

Several comments have been posted in addition to other information about MERS which is bringing the entire MERS issue over the brink of the absurd. Who, what where is MERS? Write in with your MERS stories. Take note that we are dealing with at least four entities that I am now aware of —MERS, MERSCORP, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., (note plural), Mortgage Electronic registration System, Inc. (note singular). Who are they? What are they in this shell game of “bankruptcy remote vehicles and why are the courts so deaf to the obvious implications of this game on the quality of title on each and every one of the 60 million homes that MERS alleges to have in its data base? Is our judiciary being run by politics — the one branch of government that is supposed to be independent of the executive and legislative branches that have been so useless in this crisis?

In a classic reverse of fortunes, the bad guys have taken control of the dialogue and using legal technicalities and their formidable size and names to impress the judge that it is the hapless borrower who is trying to get away with something on a legal technicality. In a perversion of lady justice, these people take homes that satisfy no obligation and keep the proceeds as a tip for keeping their mouths shut about the pornographic profits earned by Wall Street when these financial products were sold upstream to investors and down stream to homeowners. It is hush money to maintain the cone of silence about the huge profits earned on the down side when the mortgages went into default, just as they were always planned to do.

One reader writes in about Ohio: “I find it very interesting that here in Summit County Ohio, MERS USED to be listed as the Plaintiff in foreclosure actions within our court system. NOW, they are always listed as a Defendant. It’s like playing a game of MONOPOLY with my little brother here. When he found himself on the losing end of the game, he simply changed the rules.They CANNOT have it both ways.”
Another reader wrote in that in Florida the ONLY way MERS is registered to do business is as registered agent to receive service of process. If that is true their representations in hundreds of thousands of foreclosures has been false, fraudulent and flagrant. But of course we know that isn’t the only reason their representations have been false, fraudulent and flagrant.

Yet Minnesota seems to be sensitive to the banking interests, passing laws and interpreting statutes to give MERS status it was never meant to have. Bypassing those annoying provisions of the 5th and 14th amendment about due process, and 500 years of common law, they allow MERS to foreclose on a home and keep the house distributing the title and proceeds anyway it wants even though no MERS entity has EVER put one dime into the transaction and even though MERS is a total stranger to the transaction other than being named, without its knowledge but with its consent in tens of millions of real estate closings.

And California is allowing Judges to abandon 500 years of common law in allowing someone who is a stranger to the transaction to make claims at the cost, detriment and prejudice to the real parties to that transaction. Further, California continues to allow the procedural shell game in unlawful detainers wherein they use the law that was meant to be used in normal evictions and misapply to foreclosures in which the actors are impostors, blocking the homeowner from access to the courts or the right to be heard, and preventing the exercise of his/her rights to due process.

How do we know? Because if you go to the MERS website they tell you. And what they tell you is that they are a bankruptcy remote vehicle to be utilized in evading or avoiding laws on taxes, recordation, fees, and reporting. They tell the banks not to worry, they will never make a claim for the mortgage or the note or the obligation. They say they are only a bookkeeping service.

And from other sources we know they have about 17 employees, they have an automated attendant system to deputize anyone who knows how to access their system, and that ANYONE can sign as an officer of MERS even if none of the 17 people who work there ever heard of you or ever will hear of you.
It’s a shell game, and lawyers and Judges should be concentrating on this not because it is a legal technicality but because if we are a nation of laws, the protection of ALL interested parties should be our paramount concern. In each and every legal action neither the borrower nor the actual lender who advanced the cash for the loan is part of that equation.

In a classic reverse of fortunes, the bad guys have taken control of the dialogue and using legal technicalities and their formidable size and names to impress the judge that it is the hapless borrower who is trying to get away with something on a legal technicality. In a perversion of lady justice, these people take homes that satisfy no obligation and keep the proceeds as a tip for keeping their mouths shut about the pornographic profits earned by Wall Street when these financial products were sold upstream to investors and down stream to homeowners. It is hush money to maintain the cone of silence about the huge profits earned on the down side when the mortgages went into default, just as they were always planned to do.

This isn’t hard to understand. It is hard to accept. It is a challenge to us as citizens regardless of our political persuasions, to break up the oligopoly that controls Washington in BOTH political major parties and reinstate government for the people and by the people. I’m doing my part, what are you doing?

Foreclosure Defense: 11 Year Ohio Fight Keeps Going — Persistence Pays

Go Davet GO!!!!!!

The Court House:
 How One Family
 Fought Foreclosure
By AMIR EFRATI
December 28, 2007; Page A1
BEACHWOOD, Ohio — Faced with the threat of foreclosure, many homeowners give up and abandon their homes.
Then there’s Richard Davet.
He and his wife, Lynn, lived in a six-bedroom home in this Cleveland suburb for nearly 20 years when, in 1996, he was served with a foreclosure lawsuit. Rather than turn over the keys, he hit the law books. Flooding the courts with papers, Mr. Davet staved off foreclosure for 11 years, until this past January, when a county sheriff’s deputy evicted the couple and changed the locks. They didn’t make a mortgage payment the entire time.
“Our four Scottish terriers are buried there,” says the 63-year-old Mr. Davet. “It was heaven on earth, an unbelievable property, and they took it from us like candy from a baby.”
Mr. Davet’s case is believed to be the longest residential foreclosure of its kind in the history of Cuyahoga County, which is at the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis currently enveloping Ohio and many other parts of the country. Foreclosure actions are generally routine, typically taking from a few months to a couple of years to get the borrower out of the home. Companies turn the work over to so-called foreclosure-mill law firms, and generally cases are uncontested.

Mr. Davet’s argument — NationsBanc couldn’t bring the suit because it didn’t legally own his mortgage — is the same red-hot legal theory now being embraced by judges and regulators in Ohio and elsewhere to help give homeowners a chance against foreclosure. Is this all about a legal system at work, or not working? Discuss it here.
These days, more homeowners are digging in their heels.
They delay foreclosures by filing for bankruptcy on the eve of a court-ordered sale of the property, or by refusing to answer the door when the plaintiff tries to “serve” them with a foreclosure lawsuit. They pay lawyers a few hundred dollars to file a motion that can buy them a little more time.
But few are as dogged as Mr. Davet. And his fight may not be over yet. Though ousted from his home for nearly a year now, he is trying to get the charming 1940s house back, plus damages. He’s relying on the legal argument — currently making headlines — that a financial institution can only file a foreclosure action if it can prove it actually owns and holds the mortgage and promissory note.

FORECLOSURE DEFENSE: VICTORY IN OHIO

OHIO STATE COURT CANCELS FORECLOSURE SALE AND STAYS FORECLOSURE CASE FILED BY TRUSTEE FOR BEAR STEARNS ASSET-BACKED SECURITIES ON FILING OF FEDERAL ACTION AGAINST BEAR STEARNS AND ITS BROKERS AND OTHERS FOR VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL TRUTH-IN-LENDING ACT, FEDERAL REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT, CONSUMER PROTECTION STATUTE, CIVIL RICO, FRAUD, AND OTHER RELIEF

In another historic victory for borrower victims of predatory loan practices, the Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio has entered an Order today canceling a foreclosure sale set for June 24, 2008 and staying same pending the outcome of the borrower’s Federal lawsuit which has been filed against Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage Corporation, Encore Credit Corporation, Option One Mortgage Corporation, Motion Financial, and broker Ellyn Klein Grober (of Motion Financial) sounding in claims for violations of the Federal Home Ownership Equity Protection Act, the Federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Federal Truth-In-Lending Act, the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Ohio Consumer Practices Act, and the Ohio Mortgage Broker’s Act; Fraudulent Misrepresentation; Breach of Fiduciary Duty; Unjust Enrichment; Civil Conspiracy to defraud; and Civil RICO. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.

The ruling comes on the heels of the June 19, 2008 press release, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Press Office, as to the more than 400 Defendants charged for their roles in mortgage fraud schemes, including 60 arrests in 15 districts. Charges were brought in every region of the United States and in more than 50 judicial districts by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. The indictments included two Senior Managers of Bear Stearns who were indicted in a mortgage-related securities fraud case.

The Ohio state court ruling paves the way for borrowers seeking relief from foreclosure by parties who have, in many instances, falsely represented to the Courts that they have the proper capacity to institute a foreclosure action when quite the opposite is true. Recent judicial decisions in California and other states have stated very clearly that the question of legal standing to institute a foreclosure is paramount, and absent satisfactory proof of this threshold element, foreclosure may not proceed. The Federal case filed in Ohio in connection with the ruling of the Judge in Mahoning County seeks various additional forms of relief, including money damages, refund of all monies paid by the borrower, rescission, punitive damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees against the Defendants Bear Stearns, Encore Credit, Option One, and Motion Financial.

Jeff Barnes, Esq.

Mortgage Meltdown: State and Local Action Could Save Everyone

 

  • By slowing down the progression of foreclosures in the courts, judicial sales and bankruptcies, states can effectively bring the fall of housing to a point of equilibrium where at least the opportunity will arise for recovery. It is distinctly possible, particularly with the effect of inflation and devaluation of the dollar, that the numbers can work out even without a strong market. 
  • Borrowers, lenders, investment bankers and owners of CMOs might breathe a sigh of relief in a few years if they cooperate in these procedural mechanisms designed to slow down foreclosures. Kudos to Philadelphia Sheriff John Green who took the stand. That’s not just politics, it is courage. 
  • And it’s not socialism, it is reality: those people who would oppose these measures are arguing against their own interests. These measures are what Government is for — to step in and NOT let the the fabric of society get ripped apart and by the way, to prevent the precipitous decline in YOUR equity in YOUR home even though YOU are not in foreclosure. Do you really think that this mortgage meltdown is not going to cost YOU?
Philadelphia suspends sales of foreclosed homes (more socialism will fix it).

Reuters ^ | March 28th, 2008 | Jon Hurdle 

Posted on March 31, 2008 6:50:08 AM MST by 2banana

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Authorities in Philadelphia will suspend foreclosure sales of homes whose owners have fallen behind on adjustable-rate subprime loan payments — potential relief for tens of thousands of struggling debtors.

Sheriff John Green said on Friday he would halt sales of foreclosed properties in April and would seek a court order extending a moratorium for an unspecified period.

His action follows a nonbinding resolution passed unanimously by the Philadelphia City Council on Thursday calling on Green to stop the sales to give borrowers more time to seek a settlement that would prevent them from losing their homes.

Philadelphia becomes the first U.S. city to halt foreclosure sales in the current crisis, although Cleveland and Baltimore are considering similar measures, said ACORN, an advocacy group for low-income families.

The group said 45,470 subprime foreclosures are expected in Pennsylvania between the third quarter of 2007 and the end of 2009.

Green, the sheriff of Philadelphia city and county, is trying to identify and track homeowners with weak credit histories who took out the loans with initially low repayments but who are no longer able to afford them because their rates have adjusted sharply higher.

Such loans are expected to lead to a flood of foreclosures throughout the United States this year, and have led to severe losses among financial firms trading in securities backed by the mortgages. ACORN estimates 2.2 million mortgage loans will go into foreclosure in 2008 due to the subprime crisis.

“Given the severity and complexity of mortgage foreclosures, a moratorium will allow for more time to identify and help distressed home owners,” Green said in a statement.

  • There is a most interesting by-product of all this is that the refusal of the Federal Government to get involved in the remedy to a problem that was created by intentional non-regulation and non-enforcement at the Federal level: 
  • States are rediscovering their power, their rights and their obligations. The fact is that the Federal government cannot be be trusted (or at least IS not trusted) by most participants in the mortgage meltdown. 
  • The unintended consequence of the mortgage meltdown, which adds to the Katrina fall-out is that states will take action on their own and that they might form regional unions through agreements that will look very much like treaties between sovereign nations.

 

 

States Tackle Foreclosures In Absence of Federal Help

By Dina ElBoghdady and Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 16, 2008; A01

 

This month alone, Philadelphia‘s sheriff delayed foreclosure auctions of 759 homes at the city council’s urging. Maryland extended the time it takes to complete a foreclosure. State leaders in Ohio recruited more than 1,000 lawyers to aid distressed borrowers.

Frustrated by the slow pace of federal action on behalf of struggling homeowners, some states and cities have struck out on their own to stem an alarming rise in foreclosures that has depressed home prices in most parts of the country and eroded local governments’ revenues as property taxes and utility bills go unpaid.

Nine states have committed more than $450 million to “loan funds” aimed at refinancing the mortgages of at-risk borrowers, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. A handful have brokered deals with major lenders who have pledged to ease terms for some troubled loans. A few states have lengthened the time it takes to complete a foreclosure.

“What the states are saying is: ‘We can’t wait any longer for the federal government. We have to get ahead of this,’ ” said Tobi Walker, a senior officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “The states are experiencing this pain more directly than the federal government is.”

 

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