The Facts Behind Smoke and Mirrors

Nearly everyone is confused as to the identity of the real holder in due course, or the “creditor,” or the owner of the debt. Nearly everyone thinks that ultimate it is investors who purchased certificates.

In fact there is no holder in due course and there never will be in most instances. There was never any possibility for a holder in course claim because in most cases the origination of the loan took place in what is called a table funded loan, which is against public policy as a matter of law (as expressed in the Truth in Lending Act).

The creditor or owner of the debt is actually a party who was never disclosed in any of the dealings with borrowers and is not adequately disclosed in the secondary market or pretend underwritings and sales of certificates.

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A Client just asked me if we should consider all the disclosed players as a single entity. Here is what I replied:

You could take that position but in reality they are all taking orders from a single entity that does not appear anywhere in the paper trail.

But it’s not like they are receiving orders on specific cases or events. They have standing orders to which they have agreed.

The party from whom they are receiving instructions is an investment bank who posed as an underwriter for the issuance and sale of bogus certificates from a nonexistent trust. The investment bank used money obtained under false pretenses from investors.

The investment bank might, under law, be considered a creditor — but it can’t assert that without opening itself up to a myriad of liabilities. In fact the investment will move heaven and Earth to avoid the revelation that the only financial transaction that means anything as a basis for foreclosure involves the investment bank and NOT any of the other disclosed parties with whom you are in litigation.

So in the end, the bottom line is that there is party who is willing to step up and claim status as creditor or owner of the debt — ever.

If you push this to the extreme in litigation you get some interesting results. Instead of being afraid that they will pop out a real creditor or owner of the debt, you should know that that in the end they will refuse to produce any such party.

And you will know that when they do assert or imply that this is the creditor you should look carefully at their wording and realize they are using a sham entity to cover up the fact that the investment bank who started it all is the real party in interest.

It is the investment banks’ unwillingness (for good reason) to be revealed as having anything to do with the loan, foreclosure or any other transactions that can be used as leverage if you push hard enough.


In answer to questions frequently asked of me, the term “dark pool” was not coined by me nor was it discovered by me as an instrumentality of obscuring financial transactions. I have understood the workings of dark pools since my Wall Street days. But back then, in the 1960’s and 1970’s they were not so common.

What I did discover was a dark pools were in widespread use in the era of false claims of securitization — a discovery provoked by reading the prospectuses and pooling and servicing agreements (Trust instruments) for the issuance of of “certificates” a/k/a “mortgage bonds.”  There, in black and white, was a “reserve fund” consisting of money from investors who bought the certificates from underwriters using the fictitious name of a Trust that never existed. And it was stated therein that investors could be paid from this reserve — i.e.,. paid using their own money.

There were virtually no restrictions on the use of the “reserve fund.” The more I read and the more I asked my tipsters, it became very apparent that the reserve funds were interconnected, that the Trusts did not exist and so the reserve fund was actually a dark pool — a trading ground for securities and money. It is also the locale where the the most gross violations of law occur because they are hidden from public view and often hidden even from the financial statements of the participants.

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Securitization was at first disclaimed by all the banks and servicers 10-15 years ago. Most people don’t remember that. The defense was “What Trust?”

Forensic researchers then discovered that underwriters or others had uploaded “securitization” documents to the SEC website and later added mortgage loan schedules, (that trend out to be false and fabricated) in which certain “REMIC” trusts claimed ownership of the “mortgage loans.”

Going with the flow, the banks and servicers then filed foreclosures in the name of the nonexistent trusts — and they got away with it. Today we have a mixed blend of claims of trust ownership of loans (i.e., the underwriter using the fictitious name of the nonexistent trust) and claims of corporate ownership of loans where a major bank or “successor” trust initiates foreclosure.

But in the end what they filed in foreclosures was antithetical to the claim they were making. None of the Trusts ever acquired loans from a settlor or trustor. Nor did any trust receive the proceeds of investor capital. By definition, securitization never actually happened. Adam Levitin calls this “securitization fail.”

The true money trail starts with the dark pool consisting of all proceeds of the sale of certificates or bonds issued by the underwriter in the name of the nonexistent trust. Hence the money is not in the trust; it is in the dark pool where money and trading, deposits and withdrawals occur in great frequency. Hence the underwriter has performed a Texas two step — on the one hand it claims that ownership is in the name of the fictitious REMIC Trust while at the same time funding the origination and acquisition of loans from the dark pool.

This is critically relevant to the foreclosures. In virtually all cases, the money came from the dark pool (not a trust) to originate (not allowed under the prospectus) or acquire loans. Careful securities analysis reveals a simple fact, to wit: that there IS a money trail but it leads back to the dark pools. Hence the paper trail that leads to the successors and “trusts” are documenting transactions that never occurred between the parties named on the written instruments. This in turn means that the certificates and bonds issued in the name of the named trust were neither backed by notes or mortgages and were most certainly not backed by debts.

A careful reading of certificates indicates that most of them have a disclaimer of any interest in the underlying debts, notes and mortgages. The investors acknowledge that all they are receiving is a promise to pay issued by in the name of the trust (but not issued By the trust). The real party in interest is the underwriter who also poses as “Master Servicer” for assets owned by the named Trust. But there are no such assets; so in the end we should be dealing with, and litigating with the underwriter.

Investors gave money to the underwriter believing their money would be deposited into the “REMIC” Trust. It wasn’t. Instead their money ended up in a dark pool with no rules. The money in the dark pool should be considered as deposits by investors rather than investments since the certificates were bogus. To consider it otherwise would be to deprive investors of the last vestige of ownership of the debts, notes and mortgages that were to be conveyed into the trust in exchange for the money paid to the “trust” by investors and then paid out by the “Trustee.” No such thing ever happened.

So the answer to the frequently asked question of “then where did the money come from” is that it came from an unregulated, undisclosed dark pool invented for the purpose of defrauding investors and homeowners. And the answer to the the other frequently asked question of “how do I prove that” is you don’t prove it. You prove the inevitable gaps that show that no financial transaction occurred anywhere along the paper trail.

Remember: documenting a false transaction doesn’t make it real. The document (note, mortgage, assignment, etc.) is either tethered to a real transaction in the real world that can be disclosed or it is untethered to any real transaction. If there is no real transaction in the real world the document becomes only a piece of paper. If there is a real transaction in the real world that your opposition can prove resulted in the creation of the document, then they win — simple as that. If there is no such transaction then the claimed liability does not exist, hence there can be no default. You can’t default on a nonexistent obligation. But obviously the investors have an equitable right to the loans funded with their money.


JP Morgan Corners Gold Market — where did they get the money? notes that JP Morgan has cornered the market in gold derivatives. They ask how the CFTC, who supposedly regulates the commodities markets could have let this happen. I ask some deeper questions. If JPM has cornered the market on those derivatives, is this a reflection that they, perhaps in combination with others, have cornered the market on actual gold reserves? leaves this question open.

I suggest that this position in derivatives (private contracts that circumvent the actual futures market) is merely a reflection of a much larger position — the actual ownership or right to own gold reserves that could total more than a trillion dollars in gold. And the further question is that if JPM has actually purchased gold or rights to own gold, where did the money come from? And the same question could be asked about other commodities like tin, aluminum and copper where Chase and Goldman Sachs have already been fined for manipulating market prices.

This is the first news corroborating what I have previously reported — that trillions of dollars have been diverted from investors and stolen from homeowners by the major banks, parked off shore, and then laundered through investments in natural resources including precious metals. This diversion occurred as an integral part of the mortgage madness and meltdown. It was intentional and knowing behavior — not bad judgment. It was bad because of what happened to anyone who wasn’t an insider bank (see Thirteen Bankers by Simon Johnson). But to attribute stupidity to a group of bankers who now have more money, property and investments than anyone else in the world is pure folly. What Is stupid about pursuing a strategy that brings a geometric increase in wealth and power? This was no accident.

And the answer is yes, all of this is relevant to foreclosure litigation. The question is directed at the source of funds for JP Morgan, Chase, Goldman Sachs and the other main players on Wall Street. And the answer is that they stole it. In the complicated world of Wall Street finance, the people at the Department of Justice and the SEC and other regulatory agencies, there are scant resources to investigate this threat to the entire financial system, the economy in each of the world marketplaces, and thus to national security for the U.S. And other nations.

It would be naive in the context of current litigation over mortgages and Foreclosures to expect any judge to allow pleading, discovery or trial on evidence that traces these investments backward from gold derivatives to the origination or acquisition of mortgages. Perhaps one of the regulators who read this blog might make some inquiries but there is little hope that they will connect the dots. But it is helpful to know that there is plenty of corroboration for the position that the REMIC Trusts could not have originated or acquired mortgages because they were never funded with the money given to the broker dealers who sold “mortgage bonds” issued by those Trusts with no chance of repayment because the money was never used to fund the trusts.

The unfunded trusts could not originate or acquire the loans because they never had the money. In fact, they never had a trust account. Thus in a case where the Plaintiff is US Bank as trustee is not only wrong because the PSA and their own website says that trustees don’t initiate Foreclosures — that is reserved to the servicers who appear to have the actual powers of a trustee. The real argument is that the trust was never a party to the loan because the trust was never party to a transaction in which any loan was acquired or originated.

Investors and governmental agencies have sued the broker dealers accusing them of fraud (not bad judgment) and mismanagement of money — all of which lawsuits are being settled almost as quickly as they are filed. The issue is not just bad loans and underwriting of bad loans. That would be breach of contract and could not be subject to claims of fraud. The fraud is that the investment banks took the money from investors and then used it for their own purposes. The first step was skimming a large percentage of the investor funds from the top, in addition to fake underwriting fees on the fake issuance of mortgage bonds from an unfunded trust.

And here is where the first step in mortgage transactions and foreclosure litigation reveals itself — compensation that was never disclosed closed to the borrower in violation of he the Truth in lending Act. While most judges consider the 3 year statute of limitations to run absolutely, it will eventually be recognized by the courts that the statute doesn’t start to run until discovery of the undisclosed compensation by an undisclosed party who was a principal player in permeating the loan. This will be a fight but eventually success will visit someone like Barbara Forde in Scottsdale or in one of the cases my firm handles directly or where we provide litigation support.

The reason it is relevant is that by tracing the funds, it can be determined that the actual “lender” was a group of investors who thought they were buying mortgage bonds and who did not know their money had been diverted into the pockets of the broker dealers, and then used to create fictitious transactions that the banks falsely reported as trading profits. In order to do this the broker dealers had to create the illusion of mortgage loans that were industry standard loans and they had to divert the apparent ownership of those loans from the investors through fraudulent paper trails based on the appearance of transactions that in fact never happened. In truth, contrary to their duties under the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement, the broker dealers created a false “proprietary” trade in which the investment bank was the actual trader on both sides of the transaction.

They booked some of these “trades” as profits from proprietary trading, but the truth is that this was a yield spread premium that falls squarely within the definition of a yield spread premium — for which the investment bank is liable to be named as a party to the closing of the loan with borrowers. As such, the pleading and proof would be directed at the fact that the investment bank was hiding their identity or even their existence along with the fact that their compensation consisted of a yield spread premium that sometimes was greater than the principal amount of the loan. Under federal law under these facts (if proven) and the pleading would establish that the investment bank should be a party to the claim, affirmative defenses or counterclaim of borrowers for “refund” of the undisclosed compensation, treble damages, interest and attorney fees. I might add that common law doctrines that are not vulnerable to defenses of the statute of limitations under TILA or RESPA, could be used to the same effect. See the Steinberger decision.

Lawyers take note. Instead of getting lost in the weeds of the sufficiency of documentation, you could be pursuing a claim that is likely to more than offset the entire loan. I make this suggestion to attorneys and not to pro se litigants who will probably never have the ability to litigate this issue. My firm offers litigation support to those law firms who have competent litigators who can appear in court and argue this position after our research, drafting and scripting of litigation strategies. Once taught and practiced, those firms should no longer require us to provide support except perhaps for our expert witnesses (including myself). For more information on litigation support services offered to attorneys call 850-765-1236 or write to

I conclude with this: it is unlikely that any judge would seriously entertain discharging liability or stop enforcement of a mortgage merely because of a defect in the documentation. These defects should be used — but only as corroboration for a more serious argument. That the attempted enforcement of the documentation is a cover-up of a fraud against the investors and the borrower; this requires artful litigating to show the judge that your client has a legitimate claim that offsets the alleged debt to the investors who are seeking damage awards not from the borrowers but from the investment bankers. As long as the Judge believes that the right lender and the right borrower are in his court, the judge is not likely to make rulings that would create additional uncertainties in a market that is already unstable.

I have always maintained that a pincer action by investor lenders and homeowner borrowers would bring home the point. The real culprits have been left out of foreclosure litigation. Tying investment banks to the loan closing would enable the homeowner to show that the intermediaries are in fact inserting themselves as parties in interest — to the detriment of the real parties. The investors are bringing their claims against the broker dealers. Now it is time for the borrowers to do their part. This could lead to global settlements in which borrowers and investors are able to mitigate (or even eliminate) their losses.

World Savings Bank Loans Were Securitized Before Wachovia Merger

World Savings Bank  was acquired by Wachovia Bank  which in turn was acquired by Wells Fargo.  We have previously reported here that we had no information regarding the actual securitization of loans had been originated by World Savings Bank.  Now we have that information. And in a case of the right hand not aware of the left hand it turns out the source is our very own senior securitization analyst — Dan Edstrom, who operates DTC Systems (shown as watermark on documents shown below).

The original opinion that I had written about was that virtually all of the loans originated by world savings bank were eventually securitized either by World Savings Bank directly,  or by Wachovia Bank after it acquired WSB, or by Wells Fargo bank after it acquired Wachovia Bank.  I am now more sure than ever that this is correct. Despite the public assurances during the mortgage meltdown WSB was in fact acting solely as an originator and not as a lender in many transactions. Many other transactions in which they were technically the lender were actually closed in anticipation of sale into the secondary market for securitization.

If you look at the link below, you will be able to see part of the information that has been sent to me. Apparently Foreclosure Hamlet has been ahead of me on this issue since some of the screenshots show that they are from that blog site. This opens the door to a whole set of cases in which Wells Fargo is insisting that it is the current creditor when in fact the loan was securitized and sold into what appeared to be a REMIC trust. of course it still remains an issue as to whether or not the money taken from investors for the purchase of mortgage bonds ever made it into the trust; so it remains an issue as to whether or not the trust is the creditor or the investors are the creditor.

Thus it remains an issue as to whether or not any of the alleged securitization participants can claim authority to act on behalf of the “trust beneficiaries” when the actual status of the entity (the trust) was ignored by those parties. It might be that they can only claim apparent authority as opposed to legal authority since the documents that were given to the investors show a structure that is very different from what was done in  the real world.

World Savings Bank REMICs

Comment from Dan Edstrom:

These docs are mostly from DTC Systems.  We have been reporting on this since at least October 2010.  DTC Systems does Securitization Reverse Engineering and Failure Analysis for attempted World Savings securitizations and they are also included in the LivingLies combo’s where your client had a World Savings loan.  We have the names of all (or most) of the REMICs.  In a judicial foreclosure case in the mid-west a Wells Fargo expert (a former World Savings Bank employee) testified that the loan was pledged to a World Savings REMIC, but was “unpledged” when the homeowner was behind on the loan.  This is why we see several World Savings promissory notes with an endorsement to The Bank of New York on the back but they are stamped “Cancelled”.

Which is very interesting because the PSA states that the loans will be endorsed to the trustee (without recourse and showing an unbroken chain of endorsements (and/or certificates of corporate succession) from the originator thereof to the Person endorsing ti to the Trustee AND an original assignment to Trustee or a copy of such assignment.
So they seem to have the FORM of without recourse but the SUBSTANCE of the transaction is recourse?  What is the purpose of such ambiguity?  Or is it only ambiguous now in light of the mortgage meltdown and the related handling, such as that discussed (unsafe and unsound handling) in the OCC Cease and Desist Consent Order against Wells Fargo and others?
Also note this law from CA which I have yet to see brought up in a case like this (it seems that it is highly probable this same law exists in most states):
CA Civ. Code 1058
Redelivering a grant of real property to the grantor, or canceling it, does not operate to retransfer the title.
The expert testified that it was a pledge and that World Savings (and thus Wells Fargo) owned both the loan and the REMIC.


Ohio S. Ct: Standing is jurisdictional at the beginning of the foreclosure


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In a well-reasoned and well-written opinion, the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio analyzed the questions of standing and real party in interest — two doctrines that are all too often used interchangeably. They lead to different results. You can fix “real party in interest” but you can’t fix standing, which is a jurisdictional issue. And standing applies at the moment the foreclosure is started — if they don’t have it they must be dismissed.

The question of wrongful foreclosure based upon standing is interesting because the normal doctrine is that jurisdiction can be raised at any time. But at some point the issue of “finality” comes into play. But it would be wise to consider an action where you believe that jurisdiction was lacking even though the case went all the way through foreclosure and eviction. If jurisdiction was lacking, then any orders for or against either party would be void.

Among the interesting parts of this decision is the concept of “injury,” and by that they mean financial injury. If the party attempting to foreclose has not suffered financial damage, they have no right to sue. They lack standing at the commencement of the action and if they try to correct that by showing up with a new assignment AFTER the action was started, that does NOT cure the issue of standing.

The reason is simple, if the court lacked jurisdiction at the beginning of the action because the party starting the foreclosure had not YET suffered any injury than the case MUST be dismissed. The fact that it wasn’t dismissed by the trial judge does not mean that the court had any right to hear the case. The trial court cannot confer jurisdiction upon itself.

If they want to come back in and go for it again, they could conceivably use the new assignment and pass the threshold for the jurisdictional requirement of standing.  BUT that doesn’t mean you should admit or accept the assignment as having any validity. This is where an inquiry into the assignment, why it wasn’t done before and whether any money was paid for the assignment. If there was no money exchanging hands (which in 99% of cases is true) then even the new forecloser fails the financial injury test.

The deeper you dig the more you will find that the assignment is defective either on its face or that the recitations in the assignment are untrue (“for value received”) or that the person signing the assignment lacked authority or even knowledge as to what he or she was signing.

Once you prove the assignment is materially defective YOU (following Stopa’s strategy) should move for summary judgment in favor of the homeowner or file a renewed motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction because the document upon which they rely is fabricated, forged, robo-signed and false.

The Achilles heal of the foreclosures is that virtually none of the pretenders can show actual financial injury. It is presumed to be true by borrowers, their lawyers, opposing counsel and the judge.

But in most cases it is not true. The initial closing was funded by investors whose money was commingled and mangled by the investment banks. The documents from closing and the so-called assignments, endorsements and allonges are neither supported y consideration nor is their any evidence of ACCEPTANCE of the assignment by the assignee.

So you have a financial transaction for which there are virtually no documents and you have a set of documents that are used to trade, buy insurance, make claims on credit default swaps and federal bailouts — none of which are based upon any transaction in which money exchanged hands.

If you can prove that none of the documents were supported by consideration then you have proven that there is no financial injury — which means that you could demand either dismissal on standing, a jurisdictional issue or summary judgment that relies on both the jurisdictional issue and the lack of other evidence.

Schwartzwald opinion

9th Circuit BAP: HSBC, ASC Not Real Party In Interest, No Standing, MERS Has No Interest


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Fontes-MEMO-9th Ciruit BAP – Judge Jury a Member of the Panel

The collateral benefit MUST go solely to the homeowner. If the creditor chooses not to exercise any right or intention to collect, it is not a license for ANYONE to come in as a third party and make the claim.

“If you don’t want it, we’ll take it” is not a cause of action. Pretender lenders are not entitled to collect on the claim of the real creditor under any theory.


Interesting that the Judges on the panel had previously tossed out expert testimony from me and otherwise ruled against the theories and facts reported on this blog. Now, sitting on an appellate review panel, the same Judges decided that Judge Hollowell should be reversed, but like other favorable decisions, announced that their decision should not be used as binding legal precedent. In other words, they are creeping toward our conclusions, accepting them gradually with a toe in the water to see what happens. The primary new event is that these Judges are no longer giving lip service to the “free house” political argument that was previously made and accepted by pretender lenders. Things are changing! Hold on tight, this ride is not over yet.

Despite the acknowledgment by the Bankruptcy Chapter 13 Petitioner that ASC had a secured claim, the appellate panel said that relying on the Petition is not enough. As we have said repeatedly here on these pages, many lawyers suggest that the Petition be filed such that these issues don’t even arise, thus bolstering at the administrative level in Bankruptcy or the Trial level in civil litigation the argument that the borrower already admitted that this was a secured liquidated claim. The truth is, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many other lawyers and Judges, that the claims being presented in nonjudicial (which is the subject of this Fontes case) and judicial proceedings are neither secured nor liquidated.

Whether you look at the Herrera case, reported earlier, or any of the recent cases we have reported in the last week, you will see very clearly that the courts no longer have the automatic knee jerk prejudice to rule against the homeowner. A bad mortgage is a bad mortgage. The securitizers created these table funded loans with undisclosed lenders and messed up almost everything that was a clerical task. If the end result runs negative to the foreclosers, too bad, they never showed they had any loss anyway (because in fact they had no loss).

The real party in interest is the investor-lender who has chosen NOT to enforce against the homeowner because they don’t want any part of the multitude of affirmative defenses and counterclaims for fraud, predatory lending, statutory violations etc. Instead, they are suing the investment banks who sold them “mortgage bonds” without the mortgages.

The collateral benefit MUST go solely to the homeowner. If the creditor chooses not to exercise any right or intention to collect, it is not a license for ANYONE to come in as a third party and make the claim. “If you don’t want it, we’ll take it” is not a cause of action.

Pretender lenders are not entitled to collect on the claim of the real creditor under any theory.


“Under sec 362(d) only a “party in interest” may seek relief from the operation of the automatic stay from the bankruptcy court.”

In Weisband “the court concluded that MERS did not have constitutional standing and, if MERS did not have constitutional standing, its assignee could not satisfy the requirements of constitutional standing either. Id. see also Wilhelm, 407 B.R. at 404 (discussing validity of MERS’s assignments related tot he note). We do not perceive a different result is warranted…”

“it is axiomatic that HSBC must show that it has both constitutional standing and prudential, or party in interest, standing to bring the motion for relief from stay. Satisfying one standing requirements and not the other is insufficient. See Valley Forge Christian Coll. v Ams. United for Separation of Church and State, Inc. 454 U.S. 464, 474-75 (1982)”

“The only manner in which HSBC links itself to ASC in the record is through its repeated assertions (e.s.) without any reference to any evidence that ASC was its “Servicer.” No further details were given [Editor’s note: nor are further details EVER given, thus the importance of this statement in the case]. Does HSBC mean that ASC was its agent at thet ime fo the debtors’ filing? Or, does HSBC mean it somehow became the sucessor in interest to ASC? The record does not support either theory.”

“The record contains no servicing agreement between ASC and HSBC indicating that ASC was HSBC’s agent, and ASC’s proof of claim did not state it was acting as the agent for HSBC.”

“… the only inference to be drawn from the record is that ASC was acting as the servicer for some other party than HSBC when debtors filed their petition.” [Editor’s Note: The court recognized the shell game and put a stop to it]


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EDITOR’S NOTE: Finding that lawyers and judges are confused about the meaning and use of terms like “real party in interest” and “standing,” it hardly comes as a surprise that pro se litigants and other homeowners are confused as well. These concepts, which have been used and abused for years now, lie at the crux of the foreclosures and the reason why they should not be allowed to proceed.

In plain language only someone who has suffered a loss resulting from something that someone else did. The caveat is that just because you suffer some injury doesn’t mean you can sue. You can only sue if the other party who “DONE YOU WRONG” had some LEGAL DUTY to you. If somebody is being murdered and the method used is throwing them off a roof, their estate cannot be sued by the person upon whom they landed down below.

In the case of mortgages and notes it is very simple. ONLY the person who is losing money is entitled to relief. And they are ONLY entitled to relief from those people who promised them money. With a conventional old-style mortgage we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Common sense would tell you that if you borrow money from 1st National bank and don’t pay it, they are going to lose money unless you pay them. If you don’t pay them they will lose money unless they get to sell the collateral you offered to guarantee the loan. In the case of a mortgage, the collateral is the house. 

The real parties in interest are present in the above example — the actual borrower who received the benefit of borrowing the money and the actual lender who dug into their pockets and lent you their money or their credit. In such a transaction the real parties in interest are the debtor and creditor. If there is a dispute and the creditor must seek relief in court then they must allege the above facts which gives them “legal standing” — i.e., they are the creditor who is losing money because they have not been repaid as per the agreement between debtor and creditor (borrower and lender).  ONLY THE REAL CREDITOR MAY SUBMIT A CREDIT BID AT AUCTION BECAUSE ONLY THE CREDITOR IS OWED MONEY FROM THE DEBTOR. ALL OTHERS MUST PAY CASH. 

The problems start when the original loan closing did not involve the real parties in interest. A table funded loan is one in which the lender hides behind a curtain while another party pretends to be the lender. In so-called securitized loans there is a genuine issue of fact and law as tow ether the original loan documents represent a transaction that was table funded or whether such documents represent a separate fictitious transaction altogether. Either way the real party in interest on the lender side is not present at the table nor named in the closing documents.

In the event of a dispute, the pretender lender, not a real party in interest, lacks legal standing to allege anything to enforce the borrower’s obligation UNLESS the pretender can state that it is the agent of the real lender (real party in interest) and show that such agency existed at the time of the loan closing and/or at the present time. Whatever the pretender does must be done in the name of the real party in interest or there is no party with legal standing on the creditor side.

Similarly, the real lender, although a real party in interest, lacks standing unless it can show that the closing documents were done in the name of the real lender with proper agency relationships documented and recorded between the pretender lender and the real lender. If such documents existed, the loan would no longer be table-funded, nor would it be susceptible to a claim that the documents described a fictitious transaction. If such documents are not in existence, then the real party in interest (real lender) has a problem. They really loaned the money but they are not named in any document.

And in the case of the mortgage meltdown, they really loaned the money, but they were never disclosed — so the borrower is in the position of having a party in his documents stated as “lender” without standing and without rightful claim to being the real party in interest, on the one hand, and a party who says they really loaned the money, but has nothing to prove it from the closing documents.

In fact, the real lender received a wholly different set of documents in which many promises to pay or guarantee were made by parties who were involved in a direct transaction with the investor (real lender) — but the borrower never saw nor signed those documents.  Thus the real lender may have some claim,  but it is against multiple parties that MIGHT include the homeowner, but which do not include enforcement of the original loan documents — because the investor-lender was not party to those documents and therefore was not and is not a real party in interest in relation to the original documents.


submitted by Hanna LAW:

From In re Sheridan, Idaho 2009

“Hasso v. Mozsgai (In re La Sierra Fin. Servs.),
290 B.R. 718 (9th Cir. BAP 2002), explained that the doctrine of standing encompasses both constitutional limitations on federal court jurisdiction (i.e., the case or controversy requirements of Article III), and prudential limitations on the court’s exercise of that
jurisdiction. Constitutional standing requires an
injury in fact, viz. an invasion of a judicially
cognizable interest. 290 B.R. at 726-27. Prudential
standing requires that the party’s assertions fall
within the zone of interests protected by the statute
and, further, requires that the litigant assert only
its own rights and not those of another party. Id.
at 727 (citing Bennett v. Spear, 520 U.S. 154, 162, 167-68 (1997). The party asserting standing exists has the BURDEN OF PROVING IT. Id. at 726. ……

These same standing requirements were
recently highlighted in a stay relief context by the court in In re Jacobson, ___ B.R. ___, 2009 WL 567188 at Page 8 *5-6 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. Mar. 6, 2009).

2. Real party in interest

Under Rule 9014, which by virtue of Rule 4001(a)(1) governs stay relief requests, certain “Part VII” rules are applicable. See Rule 9014(c). Among those incorporated rules is Rule 7017,
which in turn incorporates Fed.R.Civ.P. 17, and Rule 17(a)(1) provides that “An action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest.”

Jacobson notes that its moving party, who claimed to be a servicer for the holder of the note, “neither asserts beneficial interest in the note, nor that it could enforce the note in its own right.” 2009 WL 567188 at *4. It concluded that Fed.R.Civ.P. 17 applied, requiring the stay relief motion to be brought in the name of the real party in interest. Id. (citing In re Hwang, 396 B.R. 757, 767 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008)); see also In re Vargas, 396 B.R. 511, 521 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2008). As Jacobson

The real party in interest in relief from stay is
whoever is entitled to enforce the obligation sought to be enforced. Even if a servicer or agent has authority to bring the motion on behalf of the holder, it is the holder, rather than the servicer, which must be the moving party, and so identified in the papers and in the electronic docketing done by the moving party’s counsel.

The upshot of these several provisions of the Code, Rules, local rules and case law is this: to obtain stay relief, a motion must be brought by a party in interest, with standing. This means the motion must be brought by one who has a pecuniary interest in the case and, in connection with secured debts, by the entity that is entitled to payment from the debtor and to enforce security for such payment. That entity is the real party in interest.
It must bring the motion or, if the motion is filed by a servicer or nominee or other agent with claimed
authority to bring the motion, the motion must IDENTIFY and be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest……………”

The court said in regard to a newly submitted note with an endorsement not on the note originally proferred:
“Sixth, even were it considered, the “new” Note’s asserted indorsement states: “Pay To The Order Of [blank] Without Recourse” and then purports to be signed by Fieldstone Mortgage Company through a named assistant vice president. There is no
date nor indication of who was or is the transferee. Fieldstone Mortgage Company may have indorsed the Note in blank, but this document does not alone establish that either HSBC Bank USA or
Fieldstone Mortgage Investment Trust is the Note’s holder.

Thus, even if a “nominee” such as MERS could properly bring a motion for stay relief in the name of and on behalf of the real party in interest — the entity that has rights in and pecuniary
interest under the Note secured by the Deed of Trust — nothing of record adequately establishes who that entity actually is.
Under the evidence submitted at the § 362(e) final hearing, which consists solely of Exhibit 1, the only entity that MERS could conceivably represent as an agent/nominee would be Fieldstone Mortgage Company. But MERS does not represent that party
according to the Motion and, in fact, its contentions are to the effect that Fieldstone Mortgage Company is no longer a party in interest.[fn18]

At the time of that final hearing, counsel for Movant conceded that he had no documentation provided to him by his “client” which indicated the interests under the Note or Deed of Trust were held by either HSBC Bank USA or the Fieldstone Mortgage
Investment Trust. Counsel filed the Motion and characterized the Movant’s identity therein based solely on undocumented representations made to him. This would appear to be a problematic approach generally.[fn19] And, in this particular case, Trustee’s objection to the Motion put the matter at issue and Movant to its PROOF……………

Mass Extinction of Pools Becomes Clearer

Our good friend “Anonymous” has piped up with more vital information and expressed it more succinctly than I did.

“The senior tranches have largely already been paid and closed. Since the junior tranches are paid only if there is left over current payment – after the senior tranches have been paid. Thus, junior tranches are paid nothing (this is evident in investor lawsuits – damages do not deduct foreclosure recovery). If anything remains today from the toxic mortgage loan securitizations, it is the residual tranche – which has likely been resecuritized into a separate Trust – that is not a current pass-through security – but, rather, synthetically derived from a dismantled original Trust structure. “

Editor’s Note: In other words, if you have a high quality loan wherein you have a high credit score and received relatively good terms, it was in the “senior tranches.” The senior tranches were paid and closed. They were paid from the meager proceeds of the junior tranches, from insurance, credit default swaps etc. Bottom Line: If you got one of those mortgages, it has almost certainly been paid in full. So why are they still collecting your payments? Because they can.

Your obligation has most likely been satisfied long ago without any rights of subrogation. If you are in foreclosure now with one of these loans, the “Trustee” is in actuality out of the picture because the “Trust” was closed out (IF IT EVER LEGALLY EXISTED). All of this leads to the politically incorrect conclusion that people gt their houses for “nothing.” But that is not true.


More comments from “Anonymous”

This is a very important post. I have been aware of cases where the defendant is sent to mediation without first identifying the real creditor. Some here have stated that the real party issue is not relevant because eventually the plaintiff will get his “ducks in a row” and proceed with the foreclosure under the real party name.

Not identifying the real party in court is not only fraud but also deprives the defendant of direct and timely negotiation with the real party true creditor. Thus, damages accrue to the defendant.

Although real party, in my opinion, is the single most important issue, I am not seeing courts enforce discovery to ascertain the real party. Once it can be established that the real party is not before the court, all the produced documents are also subject to question. I have seen cases where the real party is at issue – but most of the cases simply state that the plaintiff does not have standing – without attempting to demonstrate why the plaintiff is not the real party.

Since foreclosure cases most often are indicative of securitization, knowing the chain of sale/assignment in a securitization is crucial. Also, knowing what the “investors” are entitled to is important. Again, while I think this post is very important – i disagree with “there is nothing left to pay the investors who advanced money into a pool from which some mortgages were funded” 1) any investors who indirectly funded a “pool” – did not directly fund mortgages and 2) tranche “investors” – for which there a limited number of tranches – were only entitled to current income pass-through – not foreclosure recovery (which is not current and not passed on to pass-through security investors. (However, the residual tranche is not a pass-through – and is usually held by the servicer – who may -or may not be the current creditor). 3) the Trust is likely dissolved.

The fact that mediation is being conducted without identification of the current creditor – in whose name any modification must be contracted – is simply additional fraud upon the borrower defendant. This fraud is akin to “loan modification” scams that are being currently investigated by some state Department of Justices.

How and why the courts are allowing this to happen – and actually promoting it – is beyond me.

Editor’s Note: Legally this puts us at the horns of a dilemma. If we want to travel the path of “PAID IN FULL” then we are treading on the thin ice of accepting or admitting that the loan was actually legally and correctly assigned and indorsed into the pool, in addition to the usual “free house” talk.  If we travel the path of UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTED ASSIGNMENT then we get to the conclusion that the loan is still owned by the originating lender, who was PAID IN FULL at the time of the loan closing, but still is the owner of record. If we travel both paths, we are presenting a highly complex argument that most judges won’t understand. This is why the winners out there are not making big splashes with exotic legal arguments (even though they would be right), the winners are getting down to the details that any Judge would understand — SHOW ME THE TRUST DOCUMENT, SHOW ME THE NOTE, SHOW ME THE ASSIGNMENT, SHOW ME THE INDORSEMENT, SHOW ME THE ACCOUNTING, SHOW ME THE CREDITOR ETC.


MERS Bashed Again as Not Owning Anything

Therefore they cannot convey any interest in a note, mortgage, debt or obligation since they expressly do not own it and in fact openly disclaim it.

And stating the obvious the decision says that that note is payable to a specific payee. It must therefore be endorsed by that payee for it to be transferred.

SEE MERSdecision 5-20-10

What Do Those Losses at Fannie and Freddie Mean?

Editor’s Note: While the courts hear arguments and decide this way and that about standing and real party in interest, the elephant in the living room is that we have highly publicized reports of LOSSES associated with more than $5 trillion in loans bought or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. That amounts to around 25 million loans more or less. So I ask myself, “Self, if those loans were bought or guaranteed by Freddie or Fannie, what’s left?”

If they were bought, did they keep them or sell them into the secondary market for securitization?

If they own them, why are they not at least nominal plaintiffs or beneficiaries in foreclosure sales?

If they guaranteed them, and they show a loss, doesn’t that mean they paid?

If they paid, it was presumably the loss or full balance of the loan, so which is it?

If they paid, what did they get in return?

If they paid, who owns the loan now?

If they report an “inventory” of foreclosed property, who actually is named as the owner and who gets the proceeds of sale?

If property is “inventory” were Freddie and Fannie involved on any level of the foreclosure or sale?

Did Freddie or Fannie get the benefit of any credit enhancements, insurance, credit default swaps etc.?

Who makes modification decisions for Fannie and Freddie?

Do some or all of these loans fall under the category of unsecured debt, the enforcement of which is subject to pennies on the dollar debt collection?


May 10, 2010, 4:46 am

<!– — Updated: 11:47 am –>

Ignoring the Elephant in the Bailout

From Gretchen Morgenson’s latest Fair Game column:

If you blinked, you might have missed the ugly first-quarter report last week from Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giant that, along with its sister Fannie Mae, soldiers on as one of the financial world’s biggest wards of the state.

Freddie — already propped up with $52 billion in taxpayer funds used to rescue the company from its own mistakes — recorded a loss of $6.7 billion and said it would require an additional $10.6 billion from taxpayers to shore up its financial position.

The news caused nary a ripple in the placid Washington scene. Perhaps that’s because many lawmakers, especially those who once assured us that Fannie and Freddie would never cost taxpayers a dime, hope that their constituents don’t notice the burgeoning money pit these mortgage monsters represent. Some $130 billion in federal money had already been larded on both companies before Freddie’s latest request.

But taxpayers should examine Freddie’s first-quarter numbers not only because the losses are our responsibility. Since they also include details on Freddie’s delinquent mortgages, the company’s sales of foreclosed properties and losses on those sales, the results provide a telling snapshot of the current state of the housing market.

That picture isn’t pretty. Serious delinquencies in Freddie’s single-family conventional loan portfolio — those more than 90 days late — came in at 4.13 percent, up from 2.41 percent for the period a year earlier. Delinquencies in the company’s Alt-A book, one step up from subprime loans, totaled 12.84 percent, while delinquencies on interest-only mortgages were 18.5 percent. Delinquencies on its small portfolio of option-adjustable rate loans totaled 19.8 percent.

The company’s inventory of foreclosed properties rose from 29,145 units at the end of March 2009 to almost 54,000 units this year. Perhaps most troubling, Freddie’s nonperforming assets almost doubled, rising to $115 billion from $62 billion.

When Freddie sells properties, either before or after foreclosure, it generates losses of 39 percent, on average.

There is a bright spot: new delinquencies were fewer in number than in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Freddie Mac said the main reason for its disastrous quarter was an accounting change that required it to bring back onto its books $1.5 trillion in assets and liabilities that it had been keeping off of its balance sheet.

None of the grim numbers at Freddie are surprising, really, given that it and Fannie have pretty much been the only games in town of late for anyone interested in getting a mortgage. The problem for taxpayers, of course, is that the company’s future doesn’t look much different from its recent past.

Indeed, Freddie warned that its credit losses were likely to continue rising throughout 2010. Among the reasons for this dour outlook was the substantial number of borrowers in Freddie’s portfolio that currently owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

Even as its business suffers through a sour real estate market, Freddie must pay hefty cash dividends on the preferred stock the government holds. After it receives the additional $10.6 billion it needs from taxpayers, dividends owed to Treasury will total $6.2 billion a year. This amount, the company said, “exceeds our annual historical earnings in most periods.”

In spite of these difficulties, Freddie and Fannie are nowhere to be seen in the various financial reform efforts under discussion on Capitol Hill. Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, offered a vague comment to Congress last March, that after some unspecified reform effort someday in the future, the companies “will not exist in the same form as they did in the past.”

Fannie and Freddie, lest you’ve forgotten, have been longstanding kingpins in the housing market, buying mortgages from banks that issue them so the banks could turn around and lend even more. After both companies overindulged in the lucrative but riskier end of home loans, they nearly collapsed, prompting the federal rescue. Since then, the government has continued to use the firms as mortgage buyers of last resort, to help stabilize a housing market that is still deeply troubled.

To some, the current silence on what to do about Freddie and Fannie is deafening — as is the lack of chatter about Freddie’s disastrous report last week.

“I don’t understand why people are not talking about it,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, referring to Freddie’s losses. “It seems to me the most fundamental question is, have they on an ongoing basis been paying too much for loans even since they went into conservatorship?”

Michael L. Cosgrove, a Freddie spokesman, declined to discuss what the company pays for the mortgages it buys. “We are supporting the market by providing liquidity,” he said. “And we have longstanding relationships with all the major mortgage lenders across the country. We’re in the business of buying loans, and we are one of the few sources of liquidity available.”

But Mr. Baker’s question gets to the heart of the conflicting roles that Freddie and Fannie are being asked to play today. On the one hand, the companies are charged with supporting the mortgage market by buying loans from banks and other lenders. At the same time, they must work to minimize credit losses to make sure the billions that taxpayers have poured into the firms don’t disappear.

Freddie acknowledged these dueling goals in its quarterly report. “Certain changes to our business objectives and strategies are designed to provide support for the mortgage market in a manner that serves our public mission and other nonfinancial objectives, but may not contribute to profitability,” it noted. Freddie said that its regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has advised it that “minimizing our credit losses is our central goal and that we will be limited to continuing our existing core business activities and taking actions necessary to advance the goals of the conservatorship.”

Mr. Baker’s concern that Freddie may be racking up losses by overpaying for mortgages derives from his suspicion that the government might be encouraging it to do so as a way to bolster the operations of mortgage lenders.

That would make Fannie’s and Freddie’s mortgage-buying yet another backdoor bailout of the nation’s banks, Mr. Baker said, and could explain the government’s reluctance to include them in the reform efforts now being so hotly debated in Washington.

“If they are deliberately paying too much for mortgages to support the banks,” Mr. Baker said, “the government wants them to be in a position to keep doing that, and that would mean not doing anything about their status until further down the road.”

It’s no surprise that the government doesn’t want to acknowledge the soaring taxpayer costs associated with these mortgage zombies. The truth about Fannie and Freddie has always been hard to come by in Washington, and huge piles of money seem to circulate silently around both firms.

Remember last Christmas Eve? That’s when the Treasury quietly decided to remove the $400 billion limit on federal borrowings available to Fannie and Freddie through 2012.

That stealth move didn’t engender much confidence in either the companies or their government guardian.

But because taxpayers own Freddie and Fannie, we should know more about their buying habits, as Mr. Baker points out. Unfortunately, if the government’s past actions are any indication of what we can expect, then don’t hold your breath waiting for the facts.

Go to Column from The New York Times »
Go to Freddie Mac Quarterly Report »

Shack; JPM, Trustee Lacks Standing, Vacates Foreclosure

The true answer is that securitization is a process that is still on going and not an event.The Real Party in Interest (and the real amount of principal due, if any) is in a state of flux hidden by obscure, hidden or “confidential documentation.” Don’t make it your problem to unravel it. Use your strength to force THEM to prove their claim whether it is in a judicial or non-judicial proceeding.

Editor’s Comment: In case you haven’t noticed, this case, along with some others I’ve heard about but not received, closes the loop. The Pretender Lenders have now tried to use all the major parties and some of the minor parties in foreclosures and when tested have failed to prove standing. standing is a jurisdictional matter and it basically boils down to “You don’t belong here, you have no rights to enforce, you have no interest in this litigation, so get out of here and don’t come back.”

They tried MERS, Servicers, Foreclosure Specialty processors, Trustees, originating “lenders” and they come up empty. why because they are all intermediaries and as Judge Holloway put it, the note is not payable to them, the mortgage does not secure them, the obligation is not due to them and therefore they can’t proceed. In non-judicial states they get around this requirement unless the homeowner brings suit.

So who is the real party in interest? See the Fordham Law Review article posted on this blog more than two years ago “Will the Real Party in Interest Please Stand Up.”

The answer isn’t easy, but the strategy is very simple — don’t accept responsibility for the narrative or you will be taking on the burden of proof in THEIR case. They have the information and you don’t. The true answer is that securitization is a process that is still on going and not an event. The Real Party in Interest (and the real amount of principal due, if any) is in a state of flux hidden by obscure, hidden or “confidential documentation. Don’t make it your problem to unravel it. Use your strength to force THEM to prove their claim whether it is in a judicial or non-judicial proceeding.

The real reason for them NOT simply bringing in the investors who at least WERE parties in interest is multifold:

  • The meeting of the investor with the borrower will result in comparing notes and the fact that not all the money advanced by investors was actually invested in mortgages will be “problematic” for the investment bankers who put this scheme together.
  • The meeting of the investor and borrower could result in an alliance in litigation in which the shell game would be impossible.
  • The meeting of the investor and the borrower could result in a settlement that cuts the servicers and other intermediaries out of the gravy train of servicing fees, foreclosures with rigged bids, etc.
  • The conflict of interest between the intermediaries and the investors might become evident, and lead to further litigation both from the investors and the SEC, state attorneys general and Department of Justice.
  • The investment vehicle (the “trust” or Special Purpose Vehicle) might have been dissolved with the investors paid off and/or with the “assets” resecuritized into a new BBB rated vehicle. This could lead to the nuclear question: what if any, is the balance due in principal on this OBLIGATION. Warning: If you let the narrative shift to the NOTE (which is merely evidence of the obligation) you risk being entrapped by the simple question “Did you make your payments under this note?” This immediately puts you on the defensive BEFORE they have established THEIR case. Since THEY are the party seeking affirmative relief, THEY should establish the foundation first.
  • And the last thing that comes to my mind is the last thing anyone wants to hear — was this obligation satisfied in whole or in part by third party payments through credit enhancements or federal bailout?

Hon. Arthur M. Schack does it again!

JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v George

2010 NY Slip Op 50786(U)
Decided on May 4, 2010

Supreme Court, Kings County
Schack, J.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on May 4, 2010
Supreme Court, Kings County





Plaintiff– JP Morgan Chase Bank
Steven J Baum, PC
Amherst NY

Defendant– Gertrude George
Edward Roberts, Esq.
Brooklyn NY

Defendant– Ivy Mae Johnson
Precious L. Williams, Esq.
Brooklyn NY

Arthur M. Schack, J.


Accordingly, it is
ORDERED, that the order to show cause of defendant IVY MAE JOHNSON, to vacate the January 16, 2008 judgment of foreclosure and sale for the premises located at 47 Rockaway Parkway, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4600, Lot 55, County of Kings), pursuant to CPLR Rule 5015 (a) (4), because plaintiff, JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS TRUSTEE FOR NOMURA ASSET ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2004-AR4, lacked standing to commence the instant action and thus, the Court never had jurisdiction, is granted; and it is further

ORDERED, the instant complaint of plaintiff JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., AS TRUSTEE FOR NOMURA ASSET ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2004-AR4 for the foreclosure on the premises located at 47 Rockaway Parkway, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4600, Lot 55, County of Kings) is dismissed with prejudice.

This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.



Hon. Arthur M. SchackJ. S. C..

WEISBAND Case No. 4:09-bk-05175-EWH. BKR Tucson Judge HOLLOWELL Denies MLS for Lack of Standing

GMAC has failed to demonstrate that it is the holder of the Note because, while it was in possession of the Note at the evidentiary hearing, it failed to demonstrate that the Note is properly payable to GMAC

Once the securities have been sold, the SPV is not actively involved.


In re: BARRY WEISBAND, Chapter 13, Debtor.

Case No. 4:09-bk-05175-EWH.

United States Bankruptcy Court, D. Arizona.

March 29, 2010.

Barry Weisband, Tucson, AZ, Ronald Ryan, Ronald Ryan, P.C., Tucson, AZ, Attorney for Debtor.


EILEEN W. HOLLOWELL, Bankruptcy Judge


The debtor, Barry Weisband (“Debtor”), has challenged the standing of creditor, GMAC Mortgage, LLC (“GMAC”), to seek stay relief on his residence. After reviewing the documents provided by GMAC and conducting an evidentiary hearing, the court concludes that GMAC, the alleged servicer of the Debtor’s home loan, lacks standing to seek stay relief. The reasons for this conclusion are explained in the balance of this decision.


A. Creation of Debtor’s Note And Asserted Subsequent Transfers

On or about October 6, 2006, the Debtor executed and delivered to GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. (“GreenPoint”) an adjustable rate promissory note in the principal sum of $540,000 (“Note”) secured by a Deed of Trust (“DOT”) on real property located at 5424 East Placita Apan, Tucson, Arizona 85718 (“Property”).

On a separate piece of paper, GreenPoint endorsed the Note to GMAC (“Endorsement”). The Endorsement is undated. The DOT was signed by the Debtor on October 9, 2006, and recorded on October 13, 2006. The DOT lists GreenPoint as the lender, and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) as the beneficiary of the DOT “solely as nominee for [GreenPoint], its successors and assigns.”

Approximately five months before the creation of the Note and DOT, on April 10, 2006, GreenPoint entered into a Flow Interim Servicing Agreement (“FISA”) (Exhibit D)[ 1 ] with Lehman Capital, a division of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. (collectively “Lehman”), pursuant to which Lehman agreed to purchase conventional, residential, fixed and adjustable rate first and second lien mortgage loans from GreenPoint. Under the FISA, GreenPoint agreed to service the mortgage loans it sold to Lehman. According to GMAC, GreenPoint transferred the Note and DOT to Lehman under the FISA.

On November 1, 2006, Lehman entered into a Mortgage Loan Sale and Assignment Agreement (“MLSAA”) with Structured Asset Securities Corporation (“SASC”) (Exhibit E). Under that agreement, Lehman transferred a number of the mortgage loans it acquired under the FISA to SASC. GMAC claims that the Note was one of the mortgage loans transferred to SASC. SASC created a trust to hold the transferred mortgages — GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Trust (“Trust”). The MLSAA also transferred the right to receive principal and interest payments under the transferred mortgage loans from Lehman to the Trust.

Also, on November 1, 2006, SASC entered into a Trust Agreement (Exhibit F) with Aurora Loan Services (“Aurora”) as the master servicer, and U.S. Bank National Association (“U.S. Bank”) as the trustee. A Reconstituted Servicing Agreement (Exhibit G) was executed the same day, which provided that GreenPoint would continue to service the mortgages transferred to the Trust under the MLSAA, but that the Trust could change servicers at any time. Also, according to GMAC, on November 1, 2006, GMAC, Lehman, and Aurora entered into a Securitization Servicing Agreement (“SSA”) (Exhibit H), pursuant to which GMAC would service the loans transferred to the Trust. GMAC claims that under the SSA it is the current servicer of the Note and DOT.

Thus, according to GMAC, as of November 1, 2006, the Note and DOT had been transferred to the Trust, with SASC as the Trustor, U.S. Bank as the Trustee, Aurora as the master servicer, and GMAC as the sub-servicer. GreenPoint went out of business in 2007. According to GMAC, it remains the sub-servicer of the Note, and that is its only financial interest in the Note and DOT. (Transcript Nov. 10, 2009, pp. 44, 47, 75.)

B. Bankruptcy Events

As of March 1, 2009, the Debtor was in default of his obligations under the Note. Debtor filed his petition for relief under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code on March 19, 2009. On May 16, 2009, GMAC filed a proof of claim (“POC”), which attached the Note and DOT. The Endorsement from GreenPoint to GMAC was not attached to GMAC’s proof of claim. On May 12, 2009, MERS, as nominee for GreenPoint, assigned its interest in the DOT to GMAC (“MERS Assignment”). The MERS Assignment was recorded on July 16, 2009.

GMAC filed a Motion for Relief from Stay (“Motion”) on May 29, 2009, on the grounds that the Debtor had no equity in the Property and the Property was not necessary for an effective reorganization. The Motion also requested adequate protection payments to protect GMAC’s alleged interest in the Property. GMAC attached the Note with the Endorsement and DOT as exhibits to the Motion.

The Debtor filed a response challenging GMAC’s standing to seek relief from stay. After various discovery disputes, GMAC sent a letter dated September 17, 2009, to the Debtor which purported to explain the various transfers of the Note and the DOT. (Docket #90). The letter explained that GreenPoint transferred the “subject loan” to Lehman under the FISA, that Lehman sold the “subject loan” to SASC under the MLSAA, that SASC, Aurora Loan Services, and U.S. National Bank entered into a trust agreement, which created the Trust and made Aurora the master servicer for the “subject loan,” and, that GMAC was the servicer of the “subject loan” under the SSA. According to GMAC, its status as servicer, along with the Endorsement of the Note to GMAC and the assignment of the DOT from MERS to GMAC, demonstrated that it had standing to bring the Motion.

On November 10, 2009, the Court conducted an evidentiary hearing on the Motion. GMAC offered the original Note at the hearing and admitted into evidence a copy of the Note, DOT, copies of the FISA, MLSAA, Trust Agreement, the Reconstituted Servicing Agreement and the SSA. However, GMAC did not offer any documents demonstrating how the Note and DOT were conveyed by GreenPoint to the FISA. No document was offered demonstrating how the Note and DOT were conveyed from the FISA to the MLSAA or from the MLSAA into the Trust. Schedule A-1 of the MLSAA, where the transferred mortgages presumably would have been listed, only has the words “Intentionally Omitted” on it, and Schedule A-2 has the word “None.” (Exhibit F, pp. 19-20). Similarly, there is no evidence that the Note and DOT are subject to the SSA. Exhibit A to the SSA, titled “Mortgage Loan Schedule,” is blank. At the conclusion of the hearing, this Court ordered the Debtor to begin making adequate protection payments commencing on December 1, 2009 to the Chapter 13 Trustee. The Court further ordered GMAC and the Debtor to negotiate the amount of the adequate protection payments. When the parties were unable to reach agreement, the Court set the amount of the monthly payments at $1,000.


Does GMAC have standing to bring the Motion?


Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1334(a) and 157(b)(2)(G).


A. Introduction

Section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code provides that the filing of a bankruptcy petition operates as a stay of collection and enforcement actions. 11 U.S.C. § 362(a). The purpose of the automatic stay is to provide debtors with “protection against hungry creditors” and to assure creditors that the debtor’s other creditors are not “racing to various courthouses to pursue independent remedies to drain the debtor’s assets.” In re Tippett,Dean v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 72 F.3d 754, 755-56 (9th Cir. 1995)); see also In re Johnston, 321 B.R. 262, 2737-4 (D. Ariz. 2005). Despite the broad protection the stay affords, it is not without limits. 542 F.3d 684, 689-90 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Section 362(d) allows the court, upon request of a “party in interest,” to grant relief from the stay, “such as terminating, annulling, modifying, or conditioning such stay.” 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(1). The court may grant relief “for cause, including the lack of adequate protection.” Id. The court may also grant relief from the stay with respect to specific property of the estate if the debtor lacks equity in the property and the property is not necessary to an effective reorganization. 11 U.S.C. § 362(d)(2).

Any party affected by the stay should be entitled to seek relief. 3 COLLIER’S ON BANKRUPTCY ¶ 362.07[2] (Henry Somers & Alan Resnick, eds. 15th ed., rev. 2009); Matter of Brown Transp. Truckload, Inc., 118 B.R. 889, 893 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 1990); In re Vieland, 41 B.R. 134, 138 (Bankr. N.D. Ohio 1984)). Relief from stay hearings are limited in scope — the validity of underlying claims is not litigated. In re Johnson, 756 F.2d 738, 740 (9th Cir. 1985). As one court has noted, “[s]tay relief hearings do not involve a full adjudication on the merits of claims, defenses or counterclaims, but simply a determination as to whether a creditor has a colorable claim.” In re Emrich, 2009 WL 3816174, at *1 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2009).

Nevertheless, in order to establish a colorable claim, a movant for relief from stay bears the burden of proof that it has standing to bring the motion. In re Wilhelm, 407 B.R. 392, 400 (Bankr. D. Idaho 2009). The issue of standing involves both “constitutional limitations on federal court jurisdiction and prudential limitations on its exercise.” Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498 (1975). Constitutional standing concerns whether the plaintiff’s personal stake in the lawsuit is sufficient to have a “case or controversy” to which the federal judicial power may extend under Article III. Id.; see also Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 559-60 (1992); Pershing Park Villas Homeowners Ass’n v. United Pac. Ins. Co., 219 F.3d 895, 899 (9th Cir. 2000).

Additionally, the “prudential doctrine of standing has come to encompass several judicially self-imposed limits on the exercise of federal jurisdiction.'” Pershing Park Villas, 219 F.3d at 899. Such limits are the prohibition on third-party standing and the requirement that suits be maintained by the real party in interest. See Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. at 498-99; Gilmartin v. City of Tucson, 2006 WL 5917165, at *4 (D. Ariz. 2006). Thus, prudential standing requires the plaintiff to assert its own claims rather than the claims of another. The requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 17, made applicable in stay relief motions by Rule 9014, “generally falls within the prudential standing doctrine.” In re Wilhelm, 407 B.R. at 398.

B. GMAC’s Standing

GMAC advances three different arguments in support of its claim to be a “party in interest” with standing to seek relief from stay. First, GMAC asserts it has standing because the Note was endorsed to GMAC and GMAC has physical possession of the Note. Second, GMAC asserts that by virtue of the MERS Assignment, it is a beneficiary of the DOT and entitled to enforce and foreclose the DOT under Arizona law. Third, GMAC asserts it has standing because it is the servicer of the Note. The court addresses each of GMAC’s claims in turn.

1. GMAC Has Not Demonstrated That It Is A Holder Of The Note

If GMAC is the holder of the Note, GMAC would be a party injured by the Debtor’s failure to pay it, thereby satisfying the constitutional standing requirement. GMAC would also be the real party in interest under Fed. R. Civ. P. 17 because under ARIZ. REV. STAT. (“A.R.S.’) § 47-3301, the holder of a note has the right to enforce it.[ 2 ] However, as discussed below, GMAC did not prove it is the holder of the Note.

Under Arizona law, a holder is defined as “the person in possession of a negotiable instrument that is payable either to bearer or to an identified person that is the person in possession.” A.R.S. § 47-1201(B)(21)(a).[ 3 ] GMAC has failed to demonstrate that it is the holder of the Note because, while it was in possession of the Note at the evidentiary hearing, it failed to demonstrate that the Note is properly payable to GMAC. A special endorsement to GMAC was admitted into evidence with the Note. However, for the Endorsement to constitute part of the Note, it must be on “a paper affixed to the instrument.” A.R.S. § 47-3204; see also In re Nash, 49 B.R. 254, 261 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 1985). Here, the evidence did not demonstrate that the Endorsement was affixed to the Note. The Endorsement is on a separate sheet of paper; there was no evidence that it was stapled or otherwise attached to the rest of the Note. Furthermore, when GMAC filed its proof of claim, the Endorsement was not included, which is a further indication that the allonge containing the Endorsement was not affixed to the Note.[ 4 ]

In Adams v. Madison Realty & Dev., Inc., 853 F.2d 163 (3d Cir. 1988), the plaintiffs executed promissory notes which, after a series of transfers, came into the defendant’s possession. At issue was whether the defendant was the rightful owner of the notes. The court held that the defendant was not entitled to holder in due course status because the endorsements failed to meet the UCC’s fixation requirement. Id. at 168-69. The court relied on UCC section 3-202(2) [A.R.S. § 47-3204]: “An indorsement must be written by or on behalf of the holder and on the instrument or on a paper so firmly affixed thereto as to become a part thereof.” Id. at 165. Since the endorsement page, indicating that the defendant was the holder of the note, was not attached to the note, the court found that the note had not been properly negotiated. Id. at 166-67. Thus, ownership of the note never transferred to the defendant. Applying that principle to the facts here, GMAC did not become a holder of the Note due to the improperly affixed special endorsement.

While the bankruptcy court in In re Nash, 49 B.R. 254 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 1985) found that holder in due course status existed even though an allonge was not properly affixed to an instrument, the court based its determination on the clear intention that the note assignment be physically attached because: (1) the assignment was signed and notarized the same day as the trust deed; (2) the assignment specifically referenced the escrow number; (3) the assignment identified the original note holder; and (4) the assignment recited that the note was to be attached to the assignment. Id. at 261.

In this case, however, there is no proof that the allonge containing the special endorsement from GreenPoint to GMAC was executed at or near the time the Note was executed. Furthermore, the Endorsement does not have any identifying numbers on it, such as an account number or an escrow number, nor does it reference the Note in any way. There is simply no indication that the allonge was appropriately affixed to the Note, in contradiction with the mandates of A.R.S. § 47-3204. Thus, there is no basis in this case to depart from the general rule that an endorsement on an allonge must be affixed to the instrument to be valid.

GMAC cannot overcome the problems with the unaffixed Endorsement by its physical possession of the Note because the Note was not endorsed in blank and, even if it was, the problem of the unaffixed endorsement would remain.[ 5 ] As a result, because GMAC failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that the Endorsement was proper, it has failed to demonstrate that it is the holder of the Note.

2. The MERS Assignment Of The DOT Did Not Provide GMAC With Standing

GMAC argues that it has standing to bring the Motion as the assignee of MERS.[ 6 ] In this case, MERS is named in the DOT as a beneficiary, solely as the “nominee” of GreenPoint, holding only “legal title” to the interests granted to GreenPoint under the DOT. A number of cases have held that such language confers no economic benefit on MERS. See, e.g., In re Sheridan, 2009 WL 631355, *4 (Bankr. D. Idaho 2009); In re Mitchell, 2009 WL 1044368, *3-4 (Bankr. D. Nev. 2009); In re Jacobson, 402 B.R. 359, 367 (Bankr. W.D. Wash. 2009). As noted by the Sheridan court, MERS “collect[s] no money from [d]ebtors under the [n]ote, nor will it realize the value of the [p]roperty through foreclosure of the [d]eed of [t]rust in the event the [n]ote is not paid.” 2009 WL 631355 at *4.

Because MERS has no financial interest in the Note, it will suffer no injury if the Note is not paid and will realize no benefit if the DOT is foreclosed. Accordingly, MERS cannot satisfy the requirements of constitutional standing. GMAC, as MERS’ assignee of the DOT, “stands in the shoes” of the assignor, taking only those rights and remedies the assignor would have had. Hunnicutt Constr., Inc. v. Stewart Title & Trust of Tucson, Trust No. 3496, 187 Ariz. 301, 304 (Ct. App. 1996) citing Van Waters & Rogers v. Interchange Res., Inc., 14 Ariz. App. 414, 417 (1971); In re Boyajian, 367 B.R. 138, 145 (9th Cir. BAP 2007). Because GMAC is MERS’ assignee, it cannot satisfy the requirements of constitutional standing either.[ 7 ]

3. GMAC Does Not Have Standing As The Servicer Of The Note

(a) Servicer’s Right To Collect Fees For Securitized Mortgages

Securitization of residential mortgages is “the process of aggregating a large number of notes secured by deeds of trust in what is called a mortgage pool, and then selling security interests in that pool of mortgages.” Kurt Eggert, Held Up In Due Course: Predatory Lending, Securitization, and the Holder in Due Course Doctrine, 35 CREIGHTON L. REV. 503, 536 (2002). The process begins with a borrower negotiating with a mortgage broker for the terms of the loan. Then, the mortgage broker either originates the loan in its own name or in the name of another entity, which presumably provides the money for the loan. Almost immediately, the broker transfers the loan to the funding entity. “This lender quickly sells the loan to a different financial entity, which pools the loan together with a host of other loans in a mortgage pool.” Id. at 538.

The assignee then transfers the mortgages in the pool to another entity, which in turn transfers the loans to a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”,) whose sole role is to hold the pool of mortgages. Id. at 539. “The transfer to the special purpose trust must constitute a true sale, so that the party transferring the assets reduces its potential liability on the loans and exchanges the fairly illiquid loans for much more liquid cash.” Id. at 542. Next, the SPV issues securities which the assignee sells to investors. Id. at 539.

Once the securities have been sold, the SPV is not actively involved. It “does not directly collect payments from the homeowners whose notes and deeds of trust are held by the SPV.” Id. at 544. Rather, servicers collect the principal and interest payments on behalf of the SPV. Id. Fees are associated with the servicing of loans in the pool. Therefore, GMAC would have constitutional standing if it is the servicer for the Note and DOT because it would suffer concrete injury by not being able to collect its servicing fees.[ 8 ]In re O’Kelley, 420 B.R. 18, 23 (D. Haw. 2009) . In this case, however, the evidence does not demonstrate that the Note and DOT were transferred to the Trust, and, without that evidence, there is no demonstration that GMAC is the servicer of the Note.

(b) There Is Insufficient Evidence That The Note Was Sold To Lehman And Became Part Of The Trust

When the Debtor executed the Note and DOT, GreenPoint was the original holder of the Note and the economic beneficiary of the DOT. GreenPoint, allegedly, transferred the Note to Lehman pursuant to the FISA. However, the term “mortgage loans” is not defined in the FISA and GMAC’s documents regarding the securitization of the Note and DOT provide no evidence of actual transfers of the Note and DOT to either the FISA or the Trust. Because such transfers must be “true sales,” they must be properly documented to be effective. Thus, to use an overused term, GMAC has failed “to connect the dots” to demonstrate that the Note and DOT were securitized. Accordingly, it is immaterial that GMAC is the servicer for the Trust.

C. Debtor’s Other Arguments

1. Securities Investors Are Not The Only Individuals Who Can Satisfy Standing Requirements When Dealing With A 362 Motion on a “Securitized” Mortgage

The Debtor argues that, in an asset securitization scheme, only the securities investors have standing to seek stay relief because they are the only parties with a financial interest in the securitized notes. However, because the Debtor executed the Note and received consideration (which he used to purchase the house), the contract is enforceable regardless of who provided the funding. In other words, the fact that the funds for a borrower’s loan are supplied by someone other than the loan originator, does not invalidate the loan or restrict enforcement of the loan contract to the parties who funded the loan. A number of cases and treatises recognize that consideration for a contract, including a promissory note, can be provided by a third party. See, e.g., DCM Ltd. P’ship v. Wang, 555 F. Supp. 2d 808, 817 (E.D. Mich. 2008); Buffalo County v. Richards, 212 Neb. 826, 828-29 (Neb. 1982); 3 WILLISTON ON CONTRACTS § 7:20 (Richard A. Lord, 4th ed. 2009); RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS § 71(4) (2009).

Notes are regularly assigned and the assignment does not change the nature of the contract. The assignee merely steps into the shoes of the assignor. In re Boyajian, 367 B.R. 138, 145 (9th Cir. BAP 2007); In re Trejos, 374 B.R. 210, 215 (9th Cir. BAP 2007). No additional consideration is required, as opposed to a novation which creates a new obligation. Id. at 216-17 citing RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONTRACTS § 280, cmt. e. Therefore, the Debtor’s argument that the Note is unenforceable because the funder of the Note was not the payee fails. The Note is still valid and can be enforced by the party who has the right to enforce it under applicable Arizona law.

2. Proof Of A Note’s Entire Chain Of Ownership Is Not Necessary For Stay Relief

A movant for stay relief need only present evidence sufficient to present a colorable claim — not every piece of evidence that would be required to prove the right to foreclose under a state law judicial foreclosure proceeding is necessary. In re Emrich, 2009 WL 3816174, at *1 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. 2009). Accordingly, not every movant for relief from stay has to provide a complete chain of a note’s assignment to obtain relief.

Arizona’s deed of trust statute does not require a beneficiary of a deed of trust to produce the underlying note (or its chain of assignment) in order to conduct a Trustee’s Sale. Blau v. Am.’s Serv. Co., 2009 WL 3174823, at *6 (D. Ariz. 2009); Mansour v. Cal-W. Reconveyance Corp., 618 F. Supp. 2d 1178, 1181 (D. Ariz. 2009); Diessner v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., 618 F. Supp. 2d 1184, 1187 (D. Ariz. 2009). It would make no sense to require a creditor to demonstrate more to obtain stay relief than it needs to demonstrate under state law to conduct a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure. Moreover, if a note is endorsed in blank, it is enforceable as a bearer instrument. See In re Hill, 2009 WL 1956174, at *2 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 2009). Therefore, this Court declines to impose a blanket requirement that all movants must offer proof of a note’s entire chain of assignments to have standing to seek relief although there may be circumstances where, in order to establish standing, the movant will have to do so.

3. The Movant Has Not Violated Rule 9011

The Debtor argues that GMAC “violated Rule 7011” by presenting insufficient and misleading evidence. Given that there is no Rule 7011, the Court assumes that the Debtor was actually referring to Bankruptcy Rule 9011. Rule 9011 allows a court to impose sanctions for filing a frivolous suit. FED. R. BANKR. P. 9011(c); see also FED. R. CIV. P. 11(c). As noted at the evidentiary hearing, the Court did not find that GMAC filed its motion for relief stay in bad faith, nor does this Court believe GMAC filed its motion thinking it did not have proper evidentiary support. There are numerous, often conflicting, decisions on the issues of “real party in interest” and constitutional standing, and what evidence must be presented by a servicer seeking stay relief. The record in this case does not support imposition of 9011 sanctions.


GMAC has not demonstrated that it has constitutional or prudential standing or is the real party in interest entitled to prosecute a motion for relief from stay.

Accordingly, its motion is DENIED without prejudice.

New Workshop on Motion Practice and Discovery




May 23-24, 2010 2 days. 9am-5pm. Neil F Garfield. CLE credits pending but not promised. Register Now. Seating limited to 18. INCLUDES LUNCH AND EXTENSIVE MANUAL OF FORMS, NARRATIVE AND CASES. An in-depth look at securitized residential mortgages and deeds of trust. Latest cases on standing, nominees, splitting note from security instrument, bankruptcy strategies, expert declarations, forensic analysis reports.

Lawyers, paralegals, experts, forensic analysts will all benefit from this. This workshop includes monthly follow-up teleconferences and continuing on-going support with advance copies of articles, cases and analysis.


Magnetar Echoes Livinglies call for Alignment of Investors, Servicers and Borrowers

see Magnetar%20Mortage%20Recovery%20Backstop%20Whitepaper%20Jun09.pdf

Magnetar Mortage Recovery Backstop Whitepaper Jun09

Two things jump out at me with this paper from June, 2009.

First it is obvious that the “real money” investors are defined as those seeking low risk and willing to take lower yield. The fact that they are called “Real Money Investors” underscores my point about the identity of the creditor. Those “traditional” investors are no longer available to buy the mortgage backed securities or any other resecuritized derivative package based upon mortgage backed securities. Legal restrictions requiring the securities to be investment grade would prevent them from jumping back in even if they wanted to do so, which they obviously don’t.

Thus the inevitable conclusion drawn almost a year ago and borne out by history, is that the fair market value of the securities, trading as pennies on the dollar, is reflective of a lack of demand for mortgage backed securities no matter how high the yield (i.e., no matter how low the price).

Second there is a growing realization that the interests of the investor and the borrowers are actually aligned in many ways and that the solution to mortgage modification, principal reduction, and other aspects of the mortgage mess and the foreclosure crisis lies in recognizing certain realities and then dealing with them in an equitable manner. The properties were never worth the amount of the appraisal in most instances and now they are worth even less than they were when the loan deals were closed. The securities were also “appraised” far too high thus creating a giant yield spread premium for the investment bank-created seller of mortgage backed securities.

In my opinion, based upon a sampling of the data available, it is entirely possible that the “true” fair market value of those securities in the best of circumstances is probably less than 40% of the initial offering price. It is this well-hidden analysis that is not getting the attention of the Obama administration and which completely explains why servicers are obstructing modifications under instruction from investment banking intermediaries like the “Trustee”.

Leaving the servicers and other parties as the middlemen “in the middle” to sort this out is another license to steal creating another mark-up applied against both borrowers and investors as the “real money” parties. The status quo is what is causing the stagnation in lieu of recovery. Until everyone accepts basic notions of “real party in interest” and eliminates those who don’t fit that description, the moral hazards will remain and escalate.

As concluded in this paper, either judicial or executive intervention is required to kick the middlemen out of the way and let the light in. When investors and borrowers are able to compare notes and work with each other the figures for both will be enhanced, foreclosures will decline, losses will be taken, and yes it is highly probable that the number of investor lawsuits will proliferate against those who defrauded them.

The lender is identified as the investor in this paper (indirectly) and the party who defrauded them is not some greedy borrower with stars in his eyes, it was the usual suspect — a financial wizard making a sales pitch that was so complex, the buyer basically was forced to rely upon the integrity of the investment banking house for appropriate pricing. That is where the system fell apart. Moral hazard escalated to moral mess.

New MERS Standing Case Splits Note and Mortgage: Bellistri v Ocwen Loan Servicing, Mo App.20100309


Bellistri v Ocwen Loan Servicing, Mo App.20100309

Mortgage Declared Unenforceable in DOT Case: NOTE DECLARED UNSECURED

“When MERS assigned the note to Ocwen, the note became unsecured and the deed of trust became worthless”

Editor’s Note:

We know that MERS is named as nominee as beneficiary. We know that MERS is NOT named on the note. This appellate case from Missouri, quoting the Restatement 3rd, simply says that the note was split from the security instrument, and that there is no enforcement mechanism available under the Deed of Trust. Hence, the court concludes, quiet title was entirely appropriate and the only remedy to the situation because once the DOT and note are split they is no way to get them back together.


The deed of trust, …did not name BNC [AN AURORA/LEHMAN FRONT ORGANIZATION TO ORIGINATE LOANS] as the beneficiary, but instead names Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), solely as BNC’s nominee. The promissory note does not make any reference to MERS. The note and the deed of trust both require payments to be made to the lender, not MERS.

a party “must have some actual, justiciable interest.” Id. They must have a recognizable stake. Wahl v. Braun, 980 S.W.2d 322 (Mo. App. E.D. 1998). Lack of standing cannot be waived and may be considered by the court sua sponte. Brock v. City of St. Louis, 724 S.W.2d 721 (Mo. App. E.D. 1987). If a party seeking relief lacks standing, the trial court does not have jurisdiction to grant the requested relief. Shannon, 21 S.W.3d at 842.

A Missouri appellate court, without trying, may have drawn a map to a defense to foreclosures-if borrowers can figure it out before the Missouri Supreme Court overturns the decision in Bellistri v Ocwen. The opinion shows how an assignment of a loan to a servicing company for collection can actually make the loan uncollectible from the mortgaged property.

This case concerns the procedures of MERS, which is short for Mortgage Electronic Registration Service, created to solve problems created during the foreclosure epidemic of the 1980s, when it was sometimes impossible to track the ownership of mortgages after several layers of savings and loans and banks had failed without recording assignments of the mortgages. The MERS website contains this explanation:

MERS is an innovative process that simplifies the way mortgage ownership and servicing rights are originated, sold and tracked. Created by the real estate finance industry, MERS eliminates the need to prepare and record assignments when trading residential and commercial mortgage loans.

MERS is the named mortgage holder in transactions having an aggregate dollar value in the hundreds of billions, and its service of providing a way to trace ownership of mortgages has played a large role in the securitization of mortgages and the marketability of derivative mortgage-backed securities, because it seemed to eliminate the necessity of recording assignments of mortgages in county records each time the ownership of a mortgage changed, allowing mortgage securities (packages of many mortgages) to be traded in the secondary market, with less risk.

This case began as a routine quiet title case on a collector’s deed, also known as a tax deed. Following the procedure by which people can pay delinquent property taxes and obtain the ownership of the delinquent property if the owner or lien holder fails after notice to redeem, Bellistri obtained a deed from the Jefferson County (Mo.) collector.

Because of the possibility of defects in the procedures of the county collectors and in the giving of proper notices, the quality of title conferred by a collector’s deed is not insurable.

A suit to cure the potential defects (called a “quiet title suit”) is required to make title good, so that the property can be conveyed by warranty deed and title insurance issued to new lenders and owners. The plaintiff in a quiet title suit is required to give notice of the suit to all parties who had an interest in the property identified in the collector’s deed.

A borrower named Crouther had obtained a loan from BCN Mortgage. The mortgage document (called a deed of trust) named MERS as the holder of the deed of trust as BCN’s nominee, though the promissory note secured by the deed of trust was payable to BCN Mortgage and didn’t mention MERS.

Crouther failed to pay property taxes on the mortgaged property.

Bellistri paid the taxes for three years, then sent notice to Crouther and  BNC that he was applying for a collector’s deed. After BNC failed to redeem (which means “pay the taxes with interest and penalties,” so that Bellistri could be reimbursed), the county collector issued a collector’s deed to Bellistri, in 2006.

Meanwhile, MERS assigned the promissory note and deed of trust to Ocwen Servicing, probably because nobody was making mortgage payments, so that Ocwen would be in a position to attempt to (a) get Crouther to bring the loan payments up to date or (b) to foreclose, if necessary. But this assignment, as explained below, eliminated Ocwen’s right to foreclose and any right to the property.

Bellistri filed a suit for quiet title and to terminate any right of Crouther to possess the property. After discovering the assignment of the deed of trust to Ocwen, Bellistri added Ocwen as a party to the quiet title suit, so that Ocwen could have an opportunity to prove that it had an interest in the property, or be forever silenced.

Bellistri’s attorney Phillip Gebhardt argued that Ocwen had no interest in the property, because the deed of trust that it got from MERS could not be foreclosed. As a matter of law, the right to foreclose goes away when the promissory note is “split”  from the deed of trust that it is supposed to secure. The note that Crouther signed and gave to BNC didn’t mention MERS, so MERS had no right to assign the note to Ocwen. The assignment that MERS made to Ocwen conveyed only the deed of trust, splitting it from the note.

When MERS assigned the note to Ocwen, the note became unsecured and the deed of trust became worthless. Ironically, the use of MERS to make ownership of the note and mortgage easier to trace also made the deed of trust unenforceable. Who knows how many promissory notes are out there that don’t mention MERS, even though MERS is the beneficiary of the deed of trust securing such notes?

O. Max Gardner III

Gardner & Gardner PLLC

PO Box 1000

Shelby NC 28151-1000

704.418.2628 (C)

704.487.0616 (O)

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704.475.0407 (S)

Next Boot Camp:  May 20 to May 24, 2010


More and more authorities are holding that in order for a claimant to prove itself to be the real party in interest to support a proof of claim or motion for relief from stay in bankruptcy, as well as to prove itself to be a holder in due course, they have to prove the entire chain of “ownership” and “holdership” of the Note complete with proof of “value paid to purchase the note ownership.” —  Lane Houk

Thanks to Ron Ryan

Editor’s note: If you really think about it there is no reason for MERS to exist EXCEPT to hide transactions under a veil of a “private” association of members, sidestepping the recording statues of every state and fooling Judges, Lawyers and homeowners around the state. Ron came up with the suspicion that Wells Fargo, HSBC and others were posting false entries on ownership of the note so as to dissuade homeowners from a “real party in interest” challenge.

He’s right and the information is starting to pop up showing this pattern of deceit, as you can see from the exchange below and MERS report below. Finding the creditor is this vast array of players is a task that must not be overlooked.

It’s just another example of why “auditors” and “analysts” need to include a complete review and research of the chain before they come to any conclusions about the TILA Report. These factors have a deep impact on APR, undisclosed fees and parties, and a host of other issues that are missed by most TILA Audits.

Brad Keiser’s Forensic Analysis Workshop will show you how to perform this analysis and research. If you are not already well versed in the securitization process and its impact on the mortgage, note, obligation and closing documents, you need to attend this workshop before you send out any more reports without referencing these factors.


Ronald Ryan: [It is highly probable] that HSBC, Wells Fargo and some others have come up with an extra creative way to hide the fact that a Note has been pooled into a MBS Pool. As many know, if one is able to obtain the MERS Milestone History and MERS Min Summary there is a great wealth of useful information. These documents are available online, but not to the public. It is not always easy to obtain these. Also, the information that is even on this is not perfect. The information that is shown depends on the information provided by the MERS Membership. I think that HSBC, Wells and others routinely list loans in which they are the Servicer as showing they are both Servicer and Current Investor. In other words, they publish on these secret data bases that they actually own and hold the Note in their own right, when they are really only the Servicer and the Note is pooled just like in every other instance of a Note executed between 2001-early 2008. The idea is that they know that attorneys for borrowers may obtain these documents, and this may dissuade an attack on their “real party in interest” status.

(520)743‐1020 fax
MILESTONES for 1000302-0055800082-2
Description Date Initiating
Organization / User Milestone Information
Foreclosure Status
11/27/2007 1000115 CitiMortgage, Inc. MIN Status: Active (Registered)
Foreclosure Status: Foreclosure
Pending (option 2), retained on
Quality Review: Y
Transfer of Flow
Servicing Rights
10/17/2005 1000302 Cherry Creek Mortgage Company,
MIN Status: Active (Registered)
New Investor: 1000115
CitiMortgage, Inc.
Old Investor: 1000302 Cherry
Creek Mortgage Company, Inc.
Batch Number: 2785251
Transfer Date: 10/14/2005
Christy Martin
Transfer of Flow
Servicing Rights
10/17/2005 1000302 Cherry Creek Mortgage Company,
MIN Status: Active (Registered)
New Servicer: 1000115
CitiMortgage, Inc.
Old Servicer: 1000302 Cherry
Creek Mortgage Company, Inc.
Batch Number: 2785251
Sale Date: 10/14/2005
Transfer Date: 10/14/2005
Christy Martin
Release Interim
Funder Interests
10/14/2005 1000108 GMAC Bank (1) MIN Status: Active (Registered)
Old Interim Funder: 1000108
Batch GMAC Bank (1)
Registration 10/03/2005 1000302 Cherry Creek Mortgage Company,
MIN Status: Active (Registered)
Servicer: 1000302 Cherry Creek
Batch Mortgage Company, Inc.
Page 1 of 1
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2010 7:02 AM
To: ‘Lane Houk’
Attachments: image001.png; image002.gif
Thank you. That is very helpful. As to discovery on MERS, do you mean a subpoena or a request for production? I have
had them ignore subpoenas. Do you have a ruling on enforcement of a request for production against them, if they are not named? Also, see below. If you would like a copy of my latest briefing on the relevant issues, I would be happy to provide it to you for the assistance you provided. Thanks again.
(520)743‐1020 fax
From: Lane Houk []
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2010 6:19 AM
Your suspicions are correct. See attached milestone report… Citimortgage is listing itself as Servicer and Investor.
Citimortgage does not invest in the loans. At the very least, the owner is Citibank but more likely a private trust or public trust since the loan is a jumbo.
Also, another thing to note on this report is the 10/14/2005 milestone… “Release Interim Funder Interests” naming GMAC Bank as the Interim Funder. On this transaction, GMAC Bank was never named in any document, no disclosure,
nothing. Cherry Creek Mortgage Company was supposedly the “Lender” in this transaction and is listed on HUD‐1 as lender, was the entity which disclosed under the TILA.
The “Lender” on the Note and DOT is never the actual source of funds. Is it your position that TILA requires that the actual source of funding be disclosed?
When we got this milestone report, it prompted specific discovery for all bailee agreements subject to this transaction; still waiting on that. There will also be a break in chain of title since the only assignment they’ve ever produced/recorded is from MERS to Citimortgage.
When you say break in the chain of title, you mean break in the chain of ownership of the Note? More and more authorities are holding that in order for a claimant to prove itself to be the real party in interest to support a proof of claim or motion for relief from stay in bankruptcy, as well as to prove itself to be a holder in due course, they have to prove the entire chain of “ownership” and “holdership” of the Note complete with proof of “value paid to purchase the note ownership.”
Lastly, you can get these milestone reports through discovery served on MERS regardless if they are named.
Hope this helps,
Lane Houk, CLA
National Institute of Consumer Advocacy, LLC
Consumer Debt Analyst & Investigator

Ohio Appeals Court Bangs BONY For Not Owning the Loan

see 2010-ohio-542 After-acquired interest not good BONY v Gendele

Significant Excerpts: By the way this is why we need title and escrow agents to act as experts or forensic analysts. A simple title chain analysis reveals the defect and now  Trial Judges in Ohio have a rule to follow. Will the real party in interest please stand up? See Fordham Law Review Article written more than two years ago on this very issue (under our links to the right of this page).

Gindeles argue that Bank of New York did not acquire its interest until after the foreclosure complaint had been filed, and that under our holding in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Byrd,1 Bank of New York’s complaint should have been dismissed without prejudice. We agree.

In Byrd, we held that “in a foreclosure action, a bank that was not the
mortgagee when suit was filed cannot cure its lack of standing by subsequently obtaining an interest in the mortgage.”2

the record does not reflect any understandable mistake by Bank of New York; there is no indication that the identity of the proper party was difficult to ascertain; and there is no documentary proof that Bank of New York owned an enforceable interest when it filed its foreclosure complaint.

Foreclosure Defense: Offensive Strategy — Foreclose on the Lender!

QUIET TITLE: From Demand Letter — see Forms Page
In essence the reverse of a traditional foreclosure where the owner of the property forecloses the claim of the people against whom he he has filed suit claiming the property free and clear of all encumbrances. Demand is made that you accept service of process of a quiet title action through your designated attorney and that you admit the essential allegations and consent to judgment being entered.
The significance in foreclosure OFFENSE is that the loan has been assigned, sold and transferred multiple times and broken up into thousands of pieces along with many others that were intermingled in portfolios, sometimes with cross guarantees from one portfolio to another.
This process started before the first payment was due on the mortgage loan and before the victim/borrower came to know the real facts of the loan withheld from him in an asymmetric information environment in an inter-temporal transaction.
Thus the true owner, against whom rescission could be claimed was never disclosed to the victim/borrower. The quiet title action sues “John Doe” identified as all persons having an ownership interest in the mortgage lien on the subject property. The allegation is made that while the victim/borrower has been notified of a transaction, the victim/borrower, petitioner has not been advised of who the entities or people are who own this interest. And since there are TILA and other fraudulent violations, the victim/ borrower/petitioner wishes to rescind. Efforts to determine the true owners have led the Borrower to determine that there may be thousands of entities or owners, none of whom have been disclosed to Borrower despite attempts to secure said information (contained in the TILA report and demand).
In Ohio and other states, the inability of the “Lender” or Mortgage Servicer to produce the original note and mortgage, combined with their inability to produce the documentation regarding the assignment or sale of the loan has resulted in de-linking the mortgage from the security interest in the home and the cancellation of the note giving the borrower free and clear title to the property that was subject to the original loan transaction.
If the court demands that the mortgage servicing company be named as nominal Defendant or Respondent, the mortgage servicing company has only one job: to produce information and proof of ownership of the loan. It is doubtful that anyone, least of all the mortgage servicing entity will be able to fulfill this condition.
Thus the default judgment will be entered, the victim stops paying the mortgage, and has a recorded judgment relieving his property of any mortgage lien and offsetting the note with the refunds and damages payable to the victim, thus satisfying the entire principal of the note and awarding attorney fees to the victim/petitioner.

In those states where the mortgage servicer is empowered to bring the foreclosure action, like Michigan, you will need to add allegations that the Mortgage Servicer lacks authority to foreclose because the party in privity with the mortgage servicer no longer has any interest in the mortgage or note by virtue of the multiple assignments and parsing of the note and mortgage. The non-disclosure of the real parties in interest at closing removed the ability of the borrower to rescind because the party was unknown. Thus the mortgage servicing rights never became executable, and no foreclosure or notice of sale could be advertised. You can add the fact that those multiple assignments created co-obligors and potentially other unknown parties that might claim an interest, all of whom are indispensable parties and each of whom probably has some right to issue instructions regarding the foreclosure or sale of the property

Foreclosure Offense and Defense for Borrower’s and Their Lawyers


Deed of Trust
An instrument signed by a borrower, lender and trustee that conveys the legal title to real property as security for the repayment of a loan. The written instrument in place of mortgage in some states.




In a conventional mortgage transaction, a mortgage is in default when any of its terms are breached. While there are cases where the default consists of compromising the security (e.g. failure to insure — favorite among predatory lenders who “force place” insurance at exorbitant rates without just cause), the most common default claimed is in the event that the borrower fails to make the payments as agreed to in the original promissory note.

In the Mortgage Meltdown context, the entire concept of default has been redefined by

(1) disengagement of the borrower’s obligations from the security instrument and note

(2) substitution (novation) of parties with respect to all or part of the risk of default

(3) substitution (novation) of parties with respect to the obligations and provisions of the security instrument (mortgage) and promise to pay (promissory note)

(4) merger of mortgage obligations with other borrowers

(5) addition of third parties responsibility to comply with mortgage terms, especially payment of revenue initiated in multiple mortgage notes and

(6) a convex interrelationship between

(a) the stated payee of the note who no longer has any interest in it

(b) the possessor of the note who is most frequently unknown and cannot be found and therefore poses a threat of double liability for the obligations under the note and

(c) cross guarantees and credit default swaps, synthetic collateralized asset obligations and other exotic equity and debt instruments, each of which promises the holder an incomplete interest in the original security instrument and the revenue flow starting with the alleged borrower and ending with various parties who receive said revenue, including but not limited to parties who are obligated to make payments for shortfalls of revenues.

It may fairly be argued that there is no claim for default without (1) ALL the real parties in interest being present to assert their claims, (2) a complete accounting for revenue flows related to a particular mortgage and note including payments from third parties, sinking funds, reserve funds from proceeds of sale of multiple ABS instruments referencing multiple portfolios of assets in which your particular mortgage and note may or may not be affiliated and (3) production of the ORIGINAL NOTE (probably intentionally destroyed because of markings on it or other tactical reasons or in the possession of an SIV in the Cayman Islands or other safe haven.

In ALL cases, including recent ones in Ohio, New York, Maryland and others, it is apparent that the “lender” is either not the lender or upon challenge, cannot prove it is or ever was the lender. Wells Fargo definitely engaged in the practice of pre-selling loans upon execution of loan applications rather than assignment AFTER a loan had actually been created. In nearly all cases the Trustee or MERS or mortgage service operation has no knowledge of where the original note is, has no interest in the note or mortgage, and has no knowledge of the identity, location or even a contact person who could provide information on the real parties in interest in a particular mortgage note.

The “clearing and settlement” of “sale” or “assignments’ of mortgages, notes, ABS instruments and collateral exotic derivatives whose value is derived from the original ABS of the SPV which received representations from an unidentified SIV (probably off-shore).

The abyss created in terms of identifying the actual owner of the mortgage and note was intentionally created to avoid liability for fraudulent representations on the sale of the derivative securities to investors. The borrower’s signature on an application or closing documents was part of the single transaction process of the sale of ABS unregulated security instruments to qualified investors based upon fraudulent appraisals of (1) the underlying real property, (2) the financial condition of the “borrower” and (3) the securities offered to investors.