Update on MERS

Just assume that everything is a fiction and none of it is real. Then set out to create the inference against the use of key legal presumptions necessary for the foreclosure mill to establish a prima facie case. Those presumptions lead to conclusions that are contrary to facts in the real world.

The answer is always the same. MERS is a data storage  company that has no ownership of the data, or any documents that contain references to data, events, payments, assets or liabilities. The MERS database in intentionally unsecured — anyone can get access with a login and password which are easy to obtain.

The first reason for the looseness of data entry, maintenance and reporting is that the only real purpose for MERS is foreclosure. It is not used by anyone for any other purpose.  The second reason for the looseness of data handling is that even its members and users know that it is not admissible in court. As far as I know, nobody has ever tried to foreclose using data from MERS.

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MERS. it is merely a naked nominee. In some states it is banned. The holder of a mortgage or the holder of a beneficial interest in a deed of trust is required to be the owner of the debt, which is somebody who has paid value for the debt. Check state law.
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But the assignment from MERS has more problems than that. MERS is basically an agent. The principal is defined as the party who has been labeled as the “lender.”
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The designation of MERS usually includes “its successors and assigns.”
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That is the place where the Foreclosure Mills and the banks try to stuff in third parties who have no connection with the loan. Since MERS is merely a naked nominee, the only party that could issue instructions to MERS is the “lender” or its successors and assigns.
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Why would they do that? Revenue! The foreclosure process in most instances is a revenue scheme and has no relation to any plan, scheme or process by which the result is restitution for an unpaid debt.
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In most cases, by  the time the foreclosure process is started, the “lender” is dead and nobody has acquired its assets, liabilities or  business. There is no successor. So there have been many cases in which a judge has decided that a document supposedly executed on behalf of MERS by someone on behalf of a company that is labeled as “attorney in fact” is void in the absence of foundation testimony or documents showing that the interest of the “lender” has actually been transferred by way of payment to a transferee.
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MERS is not a servicer and MERS is not the owner of the debt. It has bare naked legal title to mortgages.
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There are no successors in interest or assigns with respect to either MERS or the “lender.” Since MERS does not possess and even disclaims any financial interest in the debt, note or mortgage, it may not execute any document of transfer except on behalf of the “lender” on the mortgage deed or deed of trust, or on behalf of a genuine successor to the “lender,” the document signed on behalf of MERS must be void, and not voidable.
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This is where many attorneys and pro se litigants miss the mark. they fail to parse the words and thus fail to recognize the Achilles heel in any chain of title which is dependent upon the transfer of any interest in any mortgage by or on behalf of MERS.
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The label of “authorized signer” is a lie on many levels. The signer has no corporate resolution from the Board of Directors, appointment by an actual officer with administrative duties at MERS, nor any employment by MERSas employee or as independent contractor. The person who signs is not paid by MERS.
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The person who signs is the employee of one of three entities — (a) the foreclosure mill (see David Stern), (b) the party claiming to be an authorized servicer of an entity who also does not own the debt or (c) an outside vendor who specializes in fabricating documents to “clear up” (read that as falsify) the title chain.
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In most cases there is no power of attorney executed by any employee, officer or director of MERS. But even in the rare instances where such a document has actually been properly executed and dated, the Power of Attorney cannot create any right, title or interest to any debt, note or mortgage.
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You need to keep their feet to the fire. If you don’t successfully attack such issues the presumption will prevail — i.e., that the chain of title is perfect. If you do attack those issues the presumptions fail and in addition to MERS being naked so is the foreclosure mill and the claimed labeled servicer.
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As always you will do well if you presume the entire foreclosure is a fake process in which the foreclosure process is weaponized to obtain revenue instead of restitution for an unpaid debt. Just assume that everything is a fiction and none of it is real. Then set out to create the inference against the use of key legal presumptions necessary for the foreclosure mill to establish a prima facie case. Those presumptions lead to conclusions that are contrary to facts in the real world.

BANKS STOP FORECLOSURES AS THEY REVIEW COMPLIANCE WITH CONSENT ORDERS

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.

 

SEE ALSO: http://WWW.LIVINGLIES-STORE.COM

 

The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

EDITOR’S NOTE AND PRACTICE SUGGESTIONS: The approach taken by federal agencies and law enforcement with respect to illegal behavior on the part of the Wall Street banks and their affiliates, subsidiaries and co-venturers has basically been a collection of smoke and mirrors designed to create the illusion that the problems are being fixed. In fact the reality is that the problems are being swept under the rug leaving the economy, the middle class, and the title records of nearly all real estate transactions in shambles.

The temporary hold on foreclosure actions is the result of further scrutiny by federal agencies and law enforcement AND  the growing trend of lawyers for homeowners citing the consent orders in their  denials, defenses, and counterclaims.

The problems are obvious. We start off with the fact that  the notes and mortgages would ordinarily be considered unenforceable, illegal and possibly criminal. Then we have these consent decrees  in which administrative agencies and law enforcement agencies have found the behavior of the parties in the paper securitization trail to a violated numerous laws, rules and regulations. The consent decrees and settlements signed by virtually all of the players in the paper securitization chain require them to take action to correct wrongful foreclosures. Of course we all knew that  they would do nothing of the kind, since the result would be an enormous fiscal stimulus to the economy and restoration of wealth to the middle class at the expense of the banks who stole the money in the first place.

You can take it from the express wording as well as the obvious intention in the consent orders and settlements that most of the prior foreclosures were wrongful and then it would be wrongful to proceed with any further foreclosures without correcting or curing the problems caused by wrongful foreclosure on unenforceable notes and mortgages that are not owned by the originator of the alleged loan or any successor thereto. The further problem for them is that none of them were ever a creditor in the loan transaction.

There can be little doubt now that the principal intermediary was the investment bank that received deposits from investors under false pretenses.  There is no indication that the deposits from investors were ever credited to any trust or special purpose vehicle. Therefore  there can be no doubt that the alleged trust could have ever entered into a transaction in which it paid for the ownership of a debt, note or mortgage. It’s obvious that they are owed nothing from borrowers through that false paper chain and that there obviously could be no default with respect to the alleged trust or any of its predecessors or successors. Therefore the mortgage bonds supposedly issued by the trust were empty with respect to any mortgages that supposedly backed the bonds.

By the application of simple logic and following the actual money trail from the investors down to the borrowers, it is obvious that the investors were tricked into making a loan without documentation or security. This is why the megabanks and all of their affiliates and associates have taken such great pains to make sure that the investors and the borrowers don’t get together to compare notes. Most of the notes signed by borrowers would not have been acceptable to the investors even if the investors were named on the promissory note and mortgage. And both the investors and the borrowers would have been curious about all of the money taken out of the funds advanced by investors as undisclosed compensation in the making of the loan.

 So the banks are facing a major liability problem as well as an accounting problem. The accounting problem is that they are carrying  mortgage bonds and hedge products on their books as assets when they should be carried as liabilities.

The liability problem is horrendous. Most of the money taken from investors was taken under false pretenses. In most cases a receiver would be appointed and the investors would claw back as much as possible to achieve restitution.

This is further complicated by the fact that the homeowners are entitled to restitution as well as damages, treble damages and attorneys fees for all of the undisclosed compensation. This is why the banks want foreclosure and not modification or settlements. They need the foreclosure to complete the illusion that the alleged trust or special purpose vehicle was the proper owner of the debt, note and mortgage despite the fact that the trust neither paid for it nor accepted the assignment.

Thus  lawyers are now directing their discovery requests to the methods utilized by the banks and their affiliates to determine whether a particular foreclosure was wrongful and if so to determine the required corrective action.  It is perhaps the most appropriate question to ask and the most relevant as well.

The required corrective action should be the return of the home to the homeowner. That is what  would ordinarily happen if the scale of the problem was not so huge.

But the law does not favor that approach when applied by judges, lawyers, homeowners, legislators and law enforcement.  Instead, investors and homeowners alike are stuck in a web of politics instead of the application of black letter law that has existed for centuries.  As a result the government response has been tepid at best misleading virtually everyone with so-called settlements that work out to be a fraction of a cent on each dollar  that was stolen by the banks and a fraction of a cent on each dollar representing the value of homes that were taken in illegal foreclosures.

Fortunately none of these consent orders or settlements bar individual actions by homeowners against the appropriate parties. Below are the links to consent orders that may apply to your case — even where the Plaintiff or party initiating foreclosure sales is NOT named as one of these. One or more of them is usually somewhere in the so-called securitization chain. Hat tip to 4closurefraud.org.

Links to the OCC and former OTS Enforcement Actions (Issued April 2011):

 

 

Links to Enforcement Action Amendments for Servicers Entering the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement (Issued February 2013):

 

 

Wells, Citi Halt Most Foreclosure Sales as OCC Ratchets Up Scrutiny
http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/178_96/wells-citi-halt-most-foreclosure-sales-as-occ-ratchets-up-scrutiny-1059224-1.html

Thousands of Days Late, Billions of Dollars Short: OCC
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/05/18/thousands-of-days-late-billions-of-dollars-short-occ-correcting-foreclosure-practices/

US BANK: Lawsuit to Take Aurora Woman’s House is Guaranteed
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/05/17/us-bank-lawsuit-to-take-aurora-womans-house-is-guaranteed/

Short sales routinely show up in credit reports as foreclosures
http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-harney-20130519,0,111610.story {EDITOR’S NOTE: SEND OBJECTION TO CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES}

 

Big Banks Headed For Break-Up

“What policy makers are starting to realize is that the absence of prosecutions and regulatory action against these banks has produced a profound loss of confidence not only in the financial markets but in the leader of the financial markets (the United States) to control itself and its own participants in finance. It’s not just fair to enforce existing laws and regulations against the banks who so flagrantly violated them and nearly destroyed all the economies of the world, it’s the only practical thing to do.” — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me
If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 (East Coast) and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Comment: There is an old expression that says “At the end of the day, everybody knows everything.” The question of course is how long is the “day.” In this case the day for the bank appears to be about 10-12 years. The foibles of their masters, the conduct of their policies, and the arrogance of their behavior has led them into the position where the once unthinkable break-up of the bank oligopoly and their control, over our government is coming to a close.

The titans of Wall Street have thus far avoided criminal prosecution because of the misguided assumption — promulgated by Wall Street itself — that such prosecutions would destroy the economic systems all over the world (remember when Detroit arrogance reached its peak with “what’s good for GM is good for the country?”). But the Dallas Fed are joining the ranks of of once lone voices like Simon Johnson stating that Too Big to Fail is not a sustainable model and that it distorts the markets, the marketplace and our society.

It is virtually certain now that the mega banks are going to literally be cut down to size and that some form of Glass-Steagel will be revived. As that day nears, the images and facts pouring out onto the public and the danger to the American taxpayer facing deficits caused by the banks in part because they siphoned out the life-blood of liquidity from the American marketplace will overwhelm the last vestiges of resistance and the same lobbyists who were the king makers will be the kiss of death for re-election of any public official.

As they are cut down, the accounting and auditing will start and it will take years to complete. What will emerge is a pattern of theft, deceit, fraud, forgery, perjury and other crimes that are most easily seen in the residential foreclosures that now appear to be mostly illusions that have caused nightmare scenarios for millions of Americans and people in other countries. Those illusions though are still with us and they are still taken as real by many in all branches of government. The thought that the borrower should never have been foreclosed and that the amount demanded of them was wrong is not accepted yet. But it will be because of arithmetic.

Investment banks sold worthless bonds issued by empty creatures that existed only on paper without any assets, money or value of any kind. The banks then funded mortgages of increasingly obvious toxicity to people who might have been able to afford a normal mortgage or who couldn’t afford a mortgage at all but were assured by the banks that the deal was solid. Both investors and homeowners were taken to the cleaners. Neither of them has been addressed in any bailout or restitution.

It is the bailout or restitution to the investors and homeowners that is the key to rejuvenating our economy. Trust in the system and wealth in the middle class is the only historical reference point for a successful society. All the rest crumbled. As the banks are taken apart, the privilege of using “off-balance sheet” transactions will be revealed as a free pass to steal money from investors. The banks took the money from investors and used a large part of it to gamble. Then they covered their tracks with lies about the quality of loans whose nominal rates of interest were skyrocketing through previous laws against usury.

For those who worry about the deficit while at the same time remain loyal to their largest banking contributors, they are standing with one foot upon the other. They can’t move and eventually they will fall. The American public may not be filled with PhD economists, but they know theft when it is revealed and they know what should happen to the thief and the compatriots of the thief.

For the moment we are still rocketing along the path of assuming the home loans, student loans, credit cards, auto loans, furniture loans et al were valid loans wherein the lenders had a risk of loss and actually suffered a loss resulting from the non payment by the borrower. As the information spreads about what really happened with all consumer debt, housing included, the people will understand that their debts were paid off by the investment banks, the insurance, companies and the counterparties on hedge products like credit default swaps.

A creditor is entitled to be repaid the money loaned. But if they have been repaid, the fact that the borrower didn’t pay it does not create a fact pattern under which the current law allows the creditor to seek additional payment from the borrower when their receivable account is zero. Yet it is possible that the parties who paid off the debt might be entitled to contribution from the borrower — if they didn’t waive that right when they entered into the insurance or hedge contract with the investment banks. Even so, the mortgage lien would be eviscerated. And the debt open to discussion because the insurers and counterparties did in fact agree not to pursue any remedies against the borrowers. It’s all part of the cover-up so the transactions look like civil matters instead of criminal matters.

Thus far, we have allowed windfall after windfall to the banks who never had any risk of loss and who received federal bailouts, insurance, and proceeds of credit default swaps and multiple sales of the same loan — all without crediting the investors who advanced all the money that was used in the mortgage maelstrom.

The practical significance of this is simple: the money given to the banks went into a black hole and may never be seen again. The money given BACK to (restitution) investors will result in fixing at least partly the imbalance caused by the bank theft. It will also decrease the loss suffered by the lenders in the loans marked as home loans, auto loans, student loans etc. This in turn reduces the amount owed by the borrower. Their is no “reduction” of principal there is merely a “deduction” or “correction” to reflect payments received by the investors or their agents.

The practical significance of this is that money, wealth and income will be  channeled back to the those who are in the middle class or who belong there but for the trickery of the banks and the economy starts to hum a little better than before.

It all starts with abandoning the Too Big To Fail hypothesis. What policy makers are starting to realize is that the absence of prosecutions and regulatory action against these banks has produced a profound loss of confidence not only in the financial markets but in the leader of the financial markets to control itself and its own participants in finance. It’s not just fair to enforce existing laws and regulations against the banks who so flagrantly violated them and nearly destroyed all the economies of the world, it’s the only practical thing to do.

Big Banks Have a Big Problem
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/big-banks-have-a-big-problem/

We The Taxpayers Are On The Hook For Mortgages, Student Loans, Banks
http://lonelyconservative.com/2013/03/we-the-taxpayers-are-on-the-hook-for-mortgages-student-loans-banks/

Documentary Co-Produced by Broker Exposes Foreclosure Devastation, Housing System Flaws, in Low-Income Hispanic Neighborhood of Phoenix
http://rismedia.com/2013-03-13/documentary-co-produced-by-broker-exposes-foreclosure-devastation-housing-system-flaws-in-low-income-hispanic-neighborhood-of-phoenix/

Housing advocates accuse Wells Fargo of damaging communities through foreclosures
http://www.scpr.org/blogs/economy/2013/03/13/12908/housing-advocates-accuse-well-fargo-damaging-commu/

 

The Truth Keeps Coming: When Will Courts Become Believers?

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 (East Coast) and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Comments and Practice Suggestions: On the heels of AG Eric Holder’s shocking admission that he withheld prosecution of the banks and their executives because of the perceived risk to the economy, we have confirmation and new data showing the incredible arrogance of the investment banks in breaking the law, deceiving clients and everyone around them, and covering it up with fabricated, forged paperwork. And they continue to do so because they perceive themselves as untouchable.

Practitioners should be wary of leading with defenses fueled by deceptions in the paperwork and instead rely first on the money trail. Once the money trail is established, each part of it can be described as part of a single transaction between the investors and the homeowners in which all other parties are intermediaries. Then and only then do you go to the documentation proffered by the opposition and show the obvious discrepancies between the named parties on the documents of record and the actual parties to the transaction, between the express repayment provisions of the promissory note and the express repayment provisions of the bond sold to investors.

Practitioners should make sure they are up to speed on the latest news in the public domain and the latest developments in lawsuits between the investment banks, investors and guarantors like the FHA who have rejected loans as not conforming to the requirements of the securitization documents and are demanding payment from Chase and others for lying about the loans in order to receive 100 cents on the dollar while the actual loss was incurred by the investors and the government sponsored guarantors.

Another case of the banks getting the money to cover losses they never had because at all times they were mostly dealing with third party money in funding or purchasing mortgages. It was never their own money at risk.

Three “deals” are now under close scrutiny by the government and by knowledgeable foreclosure defense lawyers. For years, Chase, OneWest and BofA have taken the position that they somehow became the owner of mortgage loans because they acquired a combo of WAMU and Bear Stearns (Chase), IndyMac (OneWest), and a combo of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch (BofA).

None of it was ever true. The deals are wrapped in secrecy and even sealed documents but the truth is coming out anyway and is plain to see on some records in the public domain as can be easily seen on the FDIC site under the Freedom of Information Act “library.”

The naked truth is that the “acquiring” firms have very complex deals on those mortgage loans that the acquiring firm chooses to assert ownership or authority. It is  a pick and choose type of scenario which is neither backed up by documentation nor consideration.

We have previously reported that the actual person who served as FDIC receiver in the WAMU case reported to me that there was no assignment of loans from WAMU, from the WAMU bankruptcy estate, or the FDIC. “if you are looking for an assignment of those loans, you are not going to find it because there was no assignment.” The same person had “accidentally” signed an affidavit that Chase used widely across the country stating that Chase was the owner of the loans by operation of law, which is the position that Chase took in litigation over wrongful foreclosures. Chase and the receiver now take the position that their prior position was unsupportable. So what happens to all those foreclosures where the assertions of Chase were presumed true?

Now Chase wants to disavow their assumption of all liabilities regarding WAMU and Bear Stearns because it sees what I see — huge liabilities emerging from those “portfolios” of foreclosed properties that were foreclosed and sold at auction to non-creditors who submitted credit bids.

You might also remember that we reported that in the Purchase and Assumption Agreement with the FDIC, wherein Chase was acquiring certain operations of WAMU, not including the loans, the consideration was expressly stated as zero and that the bid price from Chase happened to be a little lower than their share of the tax refund to WAMU, making the deal a “negative consideration” deal — i.e., Chase was being paid to acquire the depository assets of WAMU. Residential loans were not the only receivables on the books of WAMU and the FDIC receiver said that no accounting was ever done to figure out what was being sold to Chase.

Each of the deals above was complicated by the creation of entities (Maiden Lane LLCs) to create an “off balance sheet” liability for the toxic loans and bonds that had been traded around as if they were real.

Nobody ever thought to check whether the notes and mortgages recorded the correct facts in their content as to the cash transaction between the borrower and the originator. They didn’t, which is why the investors and the FDIC both now assert that not only were the loans not subject to underwriting rules compatible with industry standards, but that the documents themselves were not capable of enforcement because the wrong payee is named with different terms of repayment to the investors than what those lenders thought they were buying.

In other words, the investors and the the government sponsored guarantee organizations are both asserting the same theory, cause of action and facts that borrowers are asserting when they defend the foreclosure. This has been misinterpreted as an attempt by borrowers to get a free house. In point of fact, most borrowers simply don’t want to lose their homes and most of them are willing to enter into modifications and settlements with proceeds far superior to what the investor gets on foreclosure.

Borrowers admit receiving money, but not from the originator or any of the participants in what turned out to be a false chain of securitization which existed only on paper. The Borrowers had no knowledge nor even access to the knowledge that they were actually entering into a loan transaction with a stranger to the documents presented at the loan “closing.” This pattern of table funded loans is branded by the Truth in Lending Act and Reg Z as “predatory per se.” The coincidence of the money being received by the closing date was a reasonable basis for assuming that the originator was not play-acting, but rather actually acting as lender and underwriter of the loan, which they were certainly not.

The deals cut by Chase, OneWest and BofA are models of confusion and shared losses with the FDIC and other investors who participated in the Maiden Lane excursion. The actual creditor is definitely not Chase, OneWest nor BofA. Bank of America formed two corporations that merely served as distractions — Red Oak Merger Corp and BAC Home Loans and abandoned both after several foreclosures were successfully concluded by BAC, which owned nothing.

As we have previously shown, if the mortgage securitization scheme had been a real financial tool to reduce risk and increase lending, the REMIC trust would have ended up on the note and mortgage, on record in the office of the County Recorder. There would have been no need to establish MERS or any other private database in which trades were made and “trading profits” were booked in order to siphon off a large chunk of the money advanced by investors.

The transferring of paper does not create a transaction wherein a loan is proven or established in law or in fact. There must be an actual transaction in which money exchanged hands. In most cases (nearly all) the actual transaction in which money exchanged hands was between the borrower and an undisclosed third party entity.

This third party entity was inserted by the investment bankers so that the investment bank could claim ownership (when legally the loans already were owned by the investors) and an insurable interest in the loans and bonds that were supposedly backed by the loans. This way the banks could assert their right to proceeds of sale, insurance, and credit default swaps leaving their investor clients out in the cold and denying the borrowers the right to claim a reduction in the liability for their loan.

In litigation, every effort should be made to force the opposition to prove that the investor money was deposited into the a trust account for the REMIC trust and that the REMIC trust actually paid for the loans. Actually what you will be doing is forcing an accounting that shows that the REMIC was never funded and was never the buyer of the loans. Hence nobody in the false securitization chain had any ownership of the debt leading to the inevitable conclusion that for them the note was unenforceable and the mortgage was a nullity for lack of consideration and a lack of a meeting of the minds.

Once you get to the accounting from the Trustee of the Trust, the Master Servicer and the subservicer, you will uncover trades that involve representations of the investment bank that they owned the loans and in fact the mortgage bonds which were clearly pre-sold to investors before the first application for loan was ever received.

Thus persistent borrowers who litigate for the actual truth will track the money and then show that the cash transactions differ from the documented transactions and that the documented transactions lacked consideration. The only way out for the banks is to claim that they embraced this convoluted route as agents for the investors, but then that still means that money received in federal bailouts, insurance and credit default swaps would reduce the receivable of the actual creditors (investors) and thus reduce the amount payable by the actual borrowers (homeowners).

The unwillingness of the Department of Justice to enforce long standing laws regarding fraud and deceit, identity theft and other crimes, tends to create an atmosphere of impunity a round the banks and a presumption that the borrowers are merely technical objections of a certain number of documents not having all their T’s crossed and I’s dotted.

From a public policy perspective, one would have to concede that protecting the banks did nothing for liquidity in the marketplace and nothing for the credit markets in particular. Holder’s position, which I guess is also Obama’s position, is that it is better to allow average Americans to sink into poverty than to hold the banks and bankers accountable for their white collar crimes.

Legally, if the prosecutions ensued and the cases were proven, restitution would be ordered based not on some back-room deal but on approval of the Court. Restitution would clawback much of the capital of the mega banks who are holding that money by virtue of illegal transactions. And restitution would provide the only stimulus to the economy that would be fundamentally sound. Investors and borrowers would both share in the recovery of at least part of the wealth lost to the banks during the mortgage maelstrom.

I have no doubt that the same defects will appear in auto loans, student loans and other forms of consumer loans especially including credit card loans. The real objection of the banks is that after all this effort of stealing the money and the homes they might be forced to give it all back. The banks perceive that as a “loss.” I perceive it as simple justice applied every day in the courtrooms of America.

JPM: The Washington Mutual Story
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/03/jpm-wamu/

Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase, and Maiden Lane LLC
http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/reform_bearstearns.htm

Mistakenly Released Documents Reveal Goldman Sachs Screwed IPO Clients
http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/03/12/mistakenly-released-documents-reveal-goldman-sachs-screwed-ipo-clients/

Shocking Bubble in Student Loans Adds to Economic Woes

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
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Editor’s Comments: First let me say in the interest of transparency that I favor all education to be paid by the government from pre-k through graduate school. My reason is simple — a well informed well educated populace will be more productive, more competitive and less easily fooled by politicians issuing sound bites instead of facts. Information is king. If you want to progress toward the American dream it is no longer evident that working with your hands will get you there. You have to know things that employers need you to know and you have to process things cognitively that only a good education can instill.

Back to reality. The game has been on for at least three decades, perhaps four depending upon how you look at it. Unions were busted  wages declined or stagnated, while corporate profits and bonuses went to dizzying heights, leaving the rest of the country at or near the poverty level.

In lieu of wages, we made credit available that was spent like wages except that you had to spend it twice to be out of debt — once at the point of purchase with your credit card and again in installments at usurious rates when the bill came in. Homeowners were using the homes as ATM machines taking out equity loans just to maintain their standard of living. It doesn’t take an economist to know that one day that bubble had to break when the low wages paid to consumers would be insufficient to cover basic living expenses and certainly insufficient to pay the interest and principal on loans.

Conservatives can blame consumers all they want, but the fact remains that in order to create the illusion of a healthy economy, credit and debt was forced onto 99% of the population while wealth was transferred to the top 1%. To live within your means during this period meant you would live with in the most dangerous run-down neighborhoods with the worst schools. The peer pressure and pressure from life virtually forced the vast majority of Americans to accept debt in lieu of the wages they should have been paid.

Now we have the start of suicide and murders that have littered the landscape during the mortgage meltdown and which continue to this day. I know because I get calls from people who threaten suicide and then do it. It’s like the war in Afghanistan: how many people are aware that there were more suicides than those killed in action in 2012? We are numb to the results and our belief in our institutions is at an all-time low for good reason. This was a gradual process with plenty of people who know a lot about finance and economics screaming “STOP!” but were ignored.

In both the mortgage crisis and the student loan crisis, where defaults are skyrocketing, there is an opportunity for a fiscal stimulus to the country that won’t cost the government a dime. Trillions of dollars of stimulus money is locked up in the banks who have sequestered the money overseas along with Corporate America’s $3 trillion that they are holding and afraid to invest because they see what I see — at best an uncertain future for America and a profound distrust of American institutions to cope with the issues because the government is controlled by big business and big banks. It’s called an oligopoly when a group of companies control the marketplace.

Simple logic: why is it that while unemployment remains high and wages remain too low to survive, that Wall Street and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are reaching historic highs? Somebody is paying for those results. Since we cannot support those results through spending discretionary income because we don’t have any, and since we can’t spend our way out using credit because there isn’t any, Big Banks and Big Business are now burying their heads in the public trough taking corporate welfare and dodging liabilities with the full support of all three branches of government.

Doesn’t it bother anyone that during the last three decades the amount of GDP measured by standard means includes financial services which went from 16% of GDP to nearly 50% of GDP. That means that the loss of real productive businesses has been replaced by trading paper on the same deals over and over again so we maintain the illusion that the United States is an economic superpower. And eventually the euphoria in the stock market will be replaced with something less than that when the correction turns into a crash.

If we really want to save our economy, our world status (aside from military power) and the prospects for future generations we need real jobs with real services and real products to be produced here and to stop treating trading paper as somehow adding to GDP.

The solution is right in front of us. In the mortgage markets, the appraisals were untrue and unsustainable and the responsible party, according to existing law, is the lending entity. The loans were unworkable and bound to fail in both the real estate loans and student loans. And the risk was transferred from the loan originator, which is supposed to be the gatekeeper to undisclosed third parties who funded the loan without any disclosure or documentation provided to the borrower.

In short, predatory loan practices and outright fraud, proven by the robo-signing scandal in which fabrication of entire loan files cost only $95 according to its price sheet, convinced millions of people to borrow sums of money they could never repay on terms that were guaranteed to fail at he borrower level. In the meanwhile, the lenders (investors) were sold a different set of terms. The intermediaries tricked the lender, tricked the borrower and then set out to claim the loans as their own, getting the insurance proceeds and proceeds from credit default swaps and federal bailout.

Look under any rock in the private student loan landscape and you’ll find lost documents, robo-signed documents, fabrications, forgery and perjury. It’s the same tune as the mortgage mess.

In any normal situation where bankers go wild, hundreds of people go to jail and receivers are appointed with the express purpose of clawing back as much as possible to provide restitution and reparation to the victims. Following the existing rule of law, that is exactly what should happen here with real estate loans and student loans. It won’t fix everything, but it will fix a lot more than current policy and give a boost to an ailing economy whose foundation is rotting and cracking under the weight of  shadow banking.

Lawyer’s Student Loans May Driven Him To Murder, Police Say
http://www.businessinsider.com/john-conrad-wagner-murder-motive-2013-3

http://gawker.com/5988302/its-eerie-how-perfectly-student-debt-is-following-the-financial-meltdown-script

http://www.businessinsider.com/one-law-school-finally-lets-students-know-how-poor-theyll-be-after-graduation-2013-3

Media Still Taking Their Queues from Wall Street

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What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

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

Editor’s Comment: If you read the mainstream media instead of the actual complaints being filed by agencies and consumers, you get the message that it is foreclosures that are dragging the economy down because of how slow they are in judicial states. They present a compelling case consisting of half truths about diminishing property values, lower lending, overwhelming servicer capacity, resistance to modifications, and delays in the “inevitable” foreclosure caused by judicial backlog.

The message is clear — let’s get this over with and move on with our economic recovery. With consumer purchasing weakening and the threat of huge lawsuits against the banks that caused this mess, the spin is that if we just forget about the whole mess, everyone would be better off.

My message is that the foreclosure mess is the result of compounded fraud, Ponzi schemes and unethical behavior by the Wall Street banks — and that the victims of that fraud deserve restitution just like any other fraud case.

Those victims include almost every part of the economy but the focus is on investors (pension funds providing lifeblood to people on fixed incomes) and homeowners who were coerced, enticed and deceived by the values used at their loan closing certified by appraisers who under threat of coercion (never working again) gave the banks the values as instructed.

Both sides of the transactions — the investors who loaned their money and the homeowners who borrowed money were deceived and economically devastated by the same lies and false documentation created to give the appearance of a proper mortgage-backed bond, a proper mortgage and then a proper foreclosure.

None of it was true. The bets were made against those mortgages because the banks knew the loans were bad and that even if they were not bad, they had unconditional power (through the Master Servicer) to declare that the “pool” was impaired. The fact that the pool was never funded and never received any of the loans escaped the attention of most people.

Neither the investors nor the homeowners ever had a chance. And the “burden” now placed on the banks of coughing up hundreds of billions (trillions) of dollars for their fraudulent behavior is said to endanger our economy. My message is that the economy, the dollar and our standing in the world is far more endangered by letting it be known that if your fraud is big enough you will never be prosecuted. It creates an uncertainty in the marketplace where trust and reliance on such checks and balances as appraisers and rating agencies is used as a principal measure as to whether to get involved in a deal.

If the banks were using the investor (pension) money, why did the banks get the bailout and other  forms of relief totaling more than all the mortgage loans put together, whether “in default” or or completely current in payments? Why didn’t that money go to the investors and the resulting credit inure to the borrowers whose loans were improperly priced by fraudulent and deceptive means?

My message is that the economy will recover far more quickly when people recognize that the government and the judicial system requires that everyone play by the same rules. If you have a case, then prove it. That is why I keep harping on Deny and Discover as the principal strategy for foreclosure and mortgage litigation.

The facts are that most of the loans were bad — defective as to who they named as payee on a loan the borrower never received, and defective as to the principal due based upon fraudulent appraisals. The borrowers received loans from third parties in table funded loans that were not only not disclosed, they were hidden from the borrower and the source of the loan money, the investors (pension funds).

The loans that were funded were undocumented intentionally because the banks wanted a window of time within which they could claim the loans were the asset of the bank instead of the investors. The documentation enabled the banks to pretend to be the lender and therefore reap the benefits of large bets against loans that increasingly were doomed from the start. After they made their money they pitched the loans, contrary to the express terms of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement, over the fence and told the investors that THEY had lost money while the banks had made trillions of dollars.

The reason why foreclosures proceed more slowly through those states requiring a judicial process is that the banks don’t have the goods. Most of the loans were never funded by the party whose name was placed on the note and mortgage. And it is no different but easier to circumvent in the non-judicial states.

The borrowers, completely ignorant of what was done to them at closing and completely ignorant of the trillions paid on the loan liability and received by the banks assume that they owe the amount demanded by the bank — when in fact the overpayment received by the banks as agent for the investors might well be an overpayment that is due back to the borrower after the investor is paid.

The only reason things that gone so far astray is that the bank strategy is working — blame the borrower and admit to some negligence and some paperwork problems. But forgery, robo-signing, powers of attorney, false endorsements, false beneficiaries, false substitutions of trustees and false affidavits are not “paperwork problems.”

False documents would not be necessary if the loans were real secured loans in a real fair and free market. If the investors and borrowers knew what was really being done with the documents and the money, they never would have entered the deal in the first place.

These are crimes that should be prosecuted. THEN the economy will recover when restitution is given to investors and homeowners, the banks assets are written down to true market value (excluding loans they never funded or purchased).

PRACTICE TIP: Attack the lien first without regard to the outstanding obligation to avoid appearing that you are seeking a “free house.”

Don’t limit your Discovery to the Subservicer. You are only getting a small slice of the pie of the information that way. Demand the same discovery from the Master Servicer and the “Trustee” of the “trust.”

Only the Master Servicer has access to information regarding third party payments. And only the Investment Banker (the brokerage that sold the bogus mortgage bonds) can account for the bets they made using insurance and credit default swaps.

And don’t forget to ask the Trustee why the “trust” was not administered through their trust division or trust subsidiary. You might well find that that no trust account was ever created for the trust and that the “trustee” did not administer the affairs of the trust because there was nothing to administer and the trustee’s powers are claimed by Deutsch, Mellon, and U.S. Bank to actually be that of agent rather than trustee with fiduciary responsibility — when it comes time to assess damages against the losing pretender lender.

Upshot of the Foreclosure Backlog

Sen. Merkley (Ore) Proposes Principal Correction for 75% of Underwater Homeowners

CREDITORS CAN ONLY GET PAID ONCE

Editor’s Note: If you are news junkie like I am and watch and read everything about the financial markets it is absolutely amazing how everyone seem to be in agreement that we are headed for a financial cliff and nobody wants to do anything about it.

Sen Merkley, with help from local organizers, is proposing a new bill that will require reductions in the principal due on residential loans. This isn’t hard folks, it just takes the guts to say the banks lied and they are still lying to us about the status of the loans, the origination of the loans and the money that has come and gone relating to these loans.

There are two basic reasons  why loan balances should be corrected: (1) simple arithmetic in an accounting and (2) the reality that people are simply not going to make a decision to keep their families enslaved to a mortgage (real or void) that will never justify itself in the marketplace because the original appraisal was artificially and fraudulently inflated.

In the first instance, the banks and servicers must be virtually removed from the equation because they never funded or bought any of these loans but they engaged in selling them as if they were owned by the banks. By taking out insurance, receiving bailouts, receiving proceeds from credit default swaps, just for a few examples, the banks were acting as agents for the investor lenders who were the only actual people to put up cash dollars. All the rest was paper pretending to be worth something.

An accounting from BOTH the Master Servicer and all subservicers will clear up all the money that came in from investors, borrowers and other parties and all the money that went out. We can then determine how much was paid or should have been paid by the banks as fiduciaries or agents of the investors. My analysis of hundreds of loans indicates that the total payments received on behalf of the real creditors was actually more than the obligation owed to that creditor which means that for that creditor, the loan proceeds should be corresponding reduced. That means the notice of default, notice of sale, foreclosure lawsuit are all based upon fake figures that at the very least should be reduced.

Under our laws, if a borrower has been defrauded under these facts, he is entitled to restitution under civil or criminal proceedings, which means that payments of actual money to actual recipients who may or may not have turned the money over to actual investors should be credited to the investor and therefore correspondingly reduce the principal due on loans funded by that creditor. They can only get paid once. If there are excesses that are legal, then I agree that it is an entirely separate matter as to whom that money should go, but to foreclose on a homeowner where the creditor has been entirely or mostly paid is absurd.

The second reason is equally simple as the mere adding and subtraction of a proper accounting. Nobody expects a businessman to languish without income in a failing business. He will walk from it, declaring bankruptcy or otherwise making arrangements with creditors. Somehow this basic principle has been warped, most recently by the renegade DeMarco in a moral hazard if a homeowner reaches the same conclusion. Whether you agree with the moral hazard argument or not, it is a simple fact that people WILL walk from the homes or stay as long as possible without paying a dime to get some of their equity back, if they find themselves in a failed investment that can never recover. It’s going to happen whether you like the idea or not. Better to manage the situation than have homes go without ANY bidding because the value is just too low but the people were kicked out anyway without accepting a loan modification. Those homes are the ones being bulldozed by the tens of thousands across the country.
If any of this makes sense to you, then you work for a bank and you are getting paid very well and expect bonuses despite an economy that is driving toward an economic cliff. You want as much money as possible before catastrophe hits, which is driven almost solely by the financial crisis caused by the use of deriviaties, especially in the mortgage markets — false and faked derivatives that are every bit as fraudulent as the robo-signed, forged and fabricated documents used in foreclosure.

Se. Merkley has cleverly gone the route of securitization to accomplish it so that it might incite the banks to agree and see this as a way of getting out of millions of lawsuits and criminal investigations. But perhaps we give the banks too much credit.

Merkley refi plan could reach 75% of private underwater mortgages

by John Prior, www.housingwire.com

Roughly 75% of underwater mortgages securitized into private-label bonds could be eligible for a refinance under the new plan from Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., according to analysts at JPMorgan Chase ($35.05 -0.95%).

The proposal would allow a Rebuilding American Homeownership Trust buy underwater mortgages with revenue from government bonds. The trust would be assembled either in the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Home Loan Banks system or the Federal Reserve.

Principal would be reduced, and the loans would be refinanced into FHA-backed mortgages. The trust would profit off the difference between the interest earned on the new loan and the cost of borrowing money through the bonds, according to the plan.

While Merkley said the program would target roughly 8 million borrowers, bank analysts anticipate less participation.

Roughly 1.2 million nonagency mortgages with loan-to-value ratios above 100% could benefit from the program, according to Chase analysts.

Borrowers would be able to refinance into either a 15-year 4% mortgage, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5%. Borrowers could also split the new loan into a 30-year fixed on 95% of the property’s value and a “soft second” on the remaining balance, which the borrower wouldn’t have to pay on for five years.

More than three-fourths of these borrowers would choose to split the refinanced loan into a “soft second,” according to analysts.

“Of course there are a lot of details that would need to be ironed out. After all, this is effectively forming (or building upon) another GSE,” Chase analysts said. “While we can see clear benefits for both borrowers and investors, the devil is in the details.”

Banks with large amounts of underwater mortgages would be unlikely to participate. Refinances aren’t like modifications. They must be offered to all borrowers who qualify, and many banks and servicers have been reluctant to write down principal for delinquent underwater borrowers, let alone current ones.

Borrowers with severely underwater mortgages would likely be shut out. Servicers must reduce principal to at least 140% LTV. In the analysts’ example, a borrower with a $340,000 mortgage at 170 LTV (owes 70% more on the loan than the house is worth) would need $60,000 reduced. Along with an $18,000 risk-transfer fee, the lender would likely lose $78,000 on the deal, and the risk of default would still remain.

Treasury Department Secretary Timothy Geithner testified before the Senate Banking Committee last week that he thought the Merkley plan was a good one and would work with the senator on possibly producing a pilot program, maybe even using unspent Hardest Hit Funds.

Chase analysts estimated that more than 525,000 borrowers with private-label loans could refinance into full 30-year fixed mortgages and save an average $207 per month or $1.3 billion total every year.

Celia Chen, senior director at Moody’s Analytics, said the program would also help borrowers rebuild equity faster and significantly reduce the risk of default.

“Moreover, it would benefit the broader economy, as refinancing frees up cash for consumer spending and generates business for mortgage originators and servicers,” Chen said.

But other questions remain such as selecting a servicer for the RAH Trust loans. It also remains unclear if trusts could participate in the program.

“Clearly, bonds with the highest concentration of current borrowers will benefit the most if this program will reach nonagency trusts,” Chase analysts said. “We expect any pilot program to target bank loans first.”

jprior@housingwire.com

@JonAPrior

Pensioners Will Feel the Pinch from Illegal Mortgages and Foreclosures

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Editor’s Comment:

There are many people whose opinion produces the resistance of government to rip up the banks that got us into this economic mess. They all say government is too big, that we already have too much regulation and that Obama is the cause of the recession. Their opinions are based largely on the fact that they perceive the borrowers as deadbeats and government assistance as another “handout.” 

But when it comes down to it, it’s easy to make a decision based upn ideology if the consequences are not falling on you. Read any news source and you will see that the pension funds are taking a huge hit as a rsult of illegal bank activities and fraudulent practices leaving the victims and our economy in a lurch.

The article below is about public pensions where the pension funds and the governmental units took a monumental hit when the banks sucked the life out of our economy. TRANSLATION: IF YOU DEPEND UPON PENSION INCOME YOU ARE LIKELY TO FIND OUT YOU ARE SCREWED. And even if you don’t depend upon pension income, you are likely to be taxed for the shortfall that is now sitting in the pockets of Wall Street Bankers.

Think about it. If the Banks were hit hard like they were in Iceland andother places (and where by the way they still exist and make money) then your pension fund would not have the loss that requires either more taxes or less benefits. And going after the banks doesn’t take a dime out of pulic funds which should (but doesn’t) make responsible people advocating austerity measures rejoice. They still say they don’t like the obvious plan of getting restitution from thieves because the theives are paying them and feeding them talking points. And some of us are listening. Are you?

Public Pensions Faulted for Bets on Rosy Returns

By: Mary Williams Walsh and Danny Hakim

Few investors are more bullish these days than public pension funds. While Americans are typically earning less than 1 percent interest on their savings accounts and watching their 401(k) balances yo-yo along with the stock market, most public pension funds are still betting they will earn annual returns of 7 to 8 percent over the long haul, a practice that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently called “indefensible.”

Now public pension funds across the country are facing a painful reckoning. Their projections look increasingly out of touch in today’s low-interest environment, and pressure is mounting to be more realistic. But lowering their investment assumptions, even slightly, means turning for more cash to local taxpayers — who pay part of the cost of public pensions through property and other taxes.

In New York, the city’s chief actuary, Robert North, has proposed lowering the assumed rate of return for the city’s five pension funds to 7 percent from 8 percent, which would be one of the sharpest reductions by a public pension fund in the United States. But that change would mean finding an additional $1.9 billion for the pension system every year, a huge amount for a city already depositing more than a tenth of its budget — $7.3 billion a year — into the funds.

But to many observers, even 7 percent is too high in today’s market conditions.

“The actuary is supposedly going to lower the assumed reinvestment rate from an absolutely hysterical, laughable 8 percent to a totally indefensible 7 or 7.5 percent,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a trip to Albany in late February. “If I can give you one piece of financial advice: If somebody offers you a guaranteed 7 percent on your money for the rest of your life, you take it and just make sure the guy’s name is not Madoff.” Public retirement systems from Alaska to Maine are running into the same dilemma as they struggle to lower their assumed rates of return in light of very low interest rates and unpredictable stock prices.

They are facing opposition from public-sector unions, which fear that increased pension costs to taxpayers will further feed the push to cut retirement benefits for public workers. In New York, the Legislature this year cut pensions for public workers who are hired in the future, and around the country governors and mayors are citing high pension costs as a reason for requiring workers to contribute more, or work longer, to earn retirement benefits.

In addition to lowering the projected rate of return, Mr. North has also recommended that the New York City trustees acknowledge that city workers are living longer and reporting more disabilities — changes that would cost the city an additional $2.8 billion in pension contributions this year. Mr. North has called for the city to soften the blow to the budget by pushing much of the increased pension cost into the future, by spreading the increased liability out over 22 years. Ailing pension systems have been among the factors that have recently driven struggling cities into Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Such bankruptcies are rare, but economists warn that more are likely in the coming years. Faulty assumptions can mask problems, and municipal pension funds are often so big that if they run into a crisis their home cities cannot afford to bail them out. The typical public pension plan assumes its investments will earn average annual returns of 8 percent over the long term, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Actual experience since 2000 has been much less, 5.7 percent over the last 10 years, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. (New York State announced last week that it had earned 5.96 percent last year, compared with the 7.5 percent it had projected.)

Worse, many economists say, is that states and cities have special accounting rules that have been criticized for greatly understating pension costs. Governments do not just use their investment assumptions to project future asset growth. They also use them to measure what they will owe retirees in the future in today’s dollars, something companies have not been permitted to do since 1993.

As a result, companies now use an average interest rate of 4.8 percent to calculate their pension costs in today’s dollars, according to Milliman, an actuarial firm.

In New York City, the proposed 7 percent rate faces resistance from union trustees who sit on the funds’ boards. The trustees have the power to make the change; their decision must also be approved by the State Legislature.

“The continued risk here is that even 7 is too high,” said Edmund J. McMahon, a senior fellow at the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a research group for fiscal issues.

And Jeremy Gold, an actuary and economist who has been an outspoken critic of public pension disclosures, said, “If you’re using 7 percent in a 3 percent world, then you’re still continuing to borrow from the pension fund.” The city’s union leaders disagree. Harry Nespoli, the chairman of the Municipal Labor Committee, the umbrella group for the city’s public employee unions, said that lowering the rate to 7 percent was unnecessary.

“They don’t have to turn around and lower it a whole point,” he said.

When asked if his union was more bullish on the markets than the city’s actuary, Mr. Nespoli said, “All we can do is what the actuary is doing. He’s guessing. We’re guessing.”

Vermont has lowered its rate by 2 percentage points, but for only one year. The state recently adopted an unusual new approach calling for a sharp initial reduction in its investment assumptions, followed by gradual yearly increases. Vermont has also required public workers to pay more into the pension system.

Union leaders see hidden agendas behind the rising calls for lower pension assumptions. When Rhode Island’s state treasurer, Gina M. Raimondo, persuaded her state’s pension board to lower its rate to 7.5 percent last year, from 8.25 percent, the president of a firemen’s union accused her of “cooking the books.”

Lowering the rate to 7.5 percent meant Rhode Island’s taxpayers would have to contribute an additional $300 million to the fund in the first year, and more after that. Lawmakers were convinced that the state could not afford that, and instead reduced public pension benefits, including the yearly cost-of-living adjustments that retirees now receive. State officials expect the unions to sue over the benefits cuts.

When the mayor of San Jose, Calif., Chuck Reed, warned that the city’s reliance on 7.5 percent returns was too risky, three public employees’ unions filed a complaint against him and the city with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They told the regulators that San Jose had not included such warnings in its bond prospectus, and asked the regulators to look into whether the omission amounted to securities fraud. A spokesman for the mayor said the complaint was without merit. In Sacramento this year, Alan Milligan, the actuary for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, recommended that the trustees lower their assumption to 7.25 percent from 7.75 percent. Last year, the trustees rejected Mr. Milligan’s previous proposal, to lower the rate to 7.5 percent.

This time, one trustee, Dan Dunmoyer, asked the actuary if he had calculated the probability that the pension fund could even hit those targets.

Yes, Mr. Milligan said: There was a 50-50 chance of getting 7.5 percent returns, on average, over the next two decades. The odds of hitting a 7.25 percent target were a little better, he added, 54 to 46.

Mr. Dunmoyer, who represents the insurance industry on the board, sounded shocked. “To me, as a fiduciary, you want to have more than a 50 percent chance of success.”

If Calpers kept setting high targets and missing them, “the impact on the counties won’t be bigger numbers,” he said. “It will be bankruptcy.”

In the end, a majority decided it was worth the risk, and voted against Mr. Dunmoyer, lowering the rate to 7.5 percent.


NO Reason to Modify: Banks Foreclosed to Collect 100 cents on the Dollar from the Government

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Editor’s Comment:

The math is simple which is why we are now offering as part of a forensic loan specific analysis, a HAMP analysis and proposal along with the worksheets that back it up. If they foreclose, then they get all the money due on the mortgage even if they would only get 30% of that (see previous article) in foreclosure. This is really simple folks. If you had two “buyers” who would you sell to — the one offering $300,000 or the one offering $100,000?

The servicers and master servicers have only one major incentive in play because our elected officials have let it stay in play — the paper representing mortgage bonds and loans which undoubtedly are riddled with misrepresentations and bad data, is worth 100% if the government gets it but only 30% if anyone else gets it. This is welfare for the largest banks that stole from the citizens and are being allowed to keep the money and gamble more with our future. This isn’t about deficits or budgets. This is about fraud and restitution.

The victims of fraud — all of them including financial institutions (if they are innocent, which is another story) should receive full restitution and if the net balance due on any one loan is proportionately reduced by receipts of payments from the servicer, the proceeds of insurance, credit default swaps and credit enhancements (and of course restructuring into even more exotic pools that are never reported, thus rendering even the “trust” to be non-existent), a fair deal can be reached because the principal will have been reduced.

Foreclosure Fraud 101 – How (not) to Fraudclose on a Default When There is No Default in Order to Steal $$$ from the Govt (FDIC)

By ZeroHedge.com

This little gem comes over from Mark Stopa…

Take a look at this Final Judgment, where a borrower prevailed over BB&T at trial. Yes, the bank was sleazier than the skuz on the bottom of my shoes, declaring this borrower in default when there was no default. But take a close look at WHY the bank did so. As the Final Judgment reflects, the bank was financially motivated to declare a default because it knew the government was going to pay the mortgage in the event of default.

As if that’s not disgusting enough, what makes it even worse was that BB&T did not even loan the money – a prior bank did. Yet as a result of a deal with the FDIC, BB&T was in the position of pocketing millions of dollars from our government merely by declaring this borrower in default. This should piss off everybody in America – a bank that didn’t loan money wrongly declares a default so it can collect millions from our government. Where is the outrage?

Don’t believe me? Don’t take my word for it – read the findings of Judge Levens in this Final Judgment.

From the judgment…

The evidence adduced at trial and considered by the court demonstrated that Plaintiff breached it duties of good faith and fair dealing in its contractual relationship with Defendants. The evidence also demonstrated that Plaintiff was motivated to behave in such as manner as a direct result of the PSA; that is, Plaintiff stood to profit by declaring a fraudulent default under the subject loan, collecting from the FDIC under the PSA for such default, and then enforcing the subject loan against Defendants, and retaining the property until such time as a real estate turnaround occurred in hopes to dispose of the property at the peak of the market. In fact, Mr. Bruni testified that Plaintiff may have already applied to the FDIC for a loss share payment on this loan. And Defendants’ expert, Jim Howard, explained that it was possible Plaintiff could have already applied for and received a payment from the FDIC on this loan, perhaps in an amount as high as $1,800,000.00. Notably, Plaintiff nowhere credited such potential payment from the FDIC against the amounts sought in the instant litigation; thereby giving the impression that Plaintiff might be “double dipping”, and possibly “triple dipping” if market conditions favorably change and the property likewise increases in value.

DISCUSSION

The evidence was clear that there was a long and unblemished record of good faith timely monthly payments by Defendants. The evidence is also clear that, both on legal and equitable grounds, a bona fide default never occurred, and the resulting loan acceleration and lawsuit were improvidently initiated by Plaintiff for purposes of trying to maximize collection simultaneously from the future sale of the property after favorable stabilization occurred. The evidence is clear that Plaintiff committed significant wrongdoing and breached the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing of a financial institution, such that the instant cause of action should be denied in its entirety.

Sounds like the plaintiff committed much more than “significant wrongdoing” but I guess when you’re the bank it isn’t a crime.

Now do you understand why there are so many “DEADBEATS” that do not pay their bills?


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Editor’s Comment:

The number of people passing up the administrative review process is appallingly low, considering the fact that many if not most homeowners are leaving money on the table — money that should rightfully be paid to them from wrongful foreclosure activity (from robo-signing to outright fraud by having non-creditors take title and possession).

The reason is simple: nobody understands the process including lawyers who have been notoriously deficient in their knowledge of administrative procedures, preferring to stick with the more common judicial context of the courtroom in which many lawyers have demonstrated an appalling lack of skill and preparation, resulting in huge losses to their clients.

The fact is, administrative procedures are easier than court procedures especially where you have mandates like this one. The forms of complaints and evidence are much more informal. It is much harder for the offending party to escape on a procedural technicality without the cause having been heard on the merits. 

The banks were betting on two thngs when they agreed to this review process — that people wouldn’t use it and that even if they used it they would fail to state the obvious: that the money wasn’t due or in default, that it was paid and that only a complete accounting from all parties in the securitization chain could determine whether the original debt was (a) ever secured and (b) still existence. They knew and understood that most people would assume the claim was valid because they knew that the loan was funded and that they had executed papers that called for payments that were not made by the borrower.

But what if the claim isn’t valid? What if the loan was funded entirely outside the papers they signed at closing? What if the payments were not due? What if the payments were not due to this creditor? And what if the payments actually were made on the account and the supposed creditor doesn’t exist any more? Why are you assuming that the paperwork at closing was any more real than the fraudulent paperwork they submitted during foreclosure?

People tend to think that if money exchanged hands that the new creditor would simply slip on the shoes of a secured creditor. Not so. If the secured debt is paid and not purchased then the new debt is unsecured even if the old was secured. But I repeat here that in my opinion the original debt was probably not secured which is to say there was no valid mortgage, note and could be no valid foreclosure without a valid mortgage and default.

Wrongful foreclosure activity includes by definition wrongful auctions and results. Here are some probable pointers about that part of the foreclosure process that were wrongful:

1. Use the fraudulent, forged robosigned documents as corroboration to your case, not the point of the case itself.

2. Deny that the debt was due, that there was any default, that the party iniating the foreclosure was the creditor, that the party iniating the foreclosure had no right to represent the creditor and didn’t represnet the creditor, etc.

3. State that the subsitution of trustee was an unauthorized document if you are in a nonjudicial state.

4. State that the substituted trustee, even if the substitution of trustee was deemed properly executed, named trustees that were not qualified to serve in that they were controlled or owned entities of the new stranger showing up on the scene as a purported “creditor.”

5. State that even if the state deemed that the right to intiate a foreclosure existed with obscure rights to enforce, the pretender lender failed to establish that it was either the lender or the creditor when it submitted the credit bid.

6. State that the credit bid was unsupported by consideration.

7. State that you still own the property legally.

8. State that if the only bid was a credit bid and the credit bid was invalid, accepted perhaps because the auctioneer was a controlled or paid or owned party of the pretender lender, then there was no bid and the house is still yours with full rights of possession.

9. The deed issued from the sale is a nullity known by both the auctioneer and the party submitting the “credit bid.”

10. Demand to see all proof submitted by the other side and all demands for proof by the agency, and whether the agency independently investigated the allegations you made. 

 If you lose, appeal to the lowest possible court with jurisdiction.

Many Eligible Borrowers Passing up Foreclosure Reviews

By Julie Schmit

Months after the first invitations were mailed, only a small percentage of eligible borrowers have accepted a chance to have their foreclosure cases checked for errors and maybe win restitution.

By April 30, fewer than 165,000 people had applied to have their foreclosures checked for mistakes — about 4% of the 4.1 million who received letters about the free reviews late last year, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The reviews were agreed to by 14 major mortgage servicers and federal banking regulators in a settlement last year over alleged foreclosure abuses.

So few people have responded that another mailing to almost 4 million households will go out in early June, reminding them of the July 31 deadline to request a review, OCC spokesman Bryan Hubbard says.

If errors occurred, restitution could run from several hundred dollars to more than $100,000.

The reviews are separate from the $25 billion mortgage-servicing settlement that state and federal officials reached this year.

Anyone who requests a review will get one if they meet certain criteria. Mortgages had to be in the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010, on a primary residence, and serviced by one of the 14 servicers or their affiliates, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo.

More information is at independentforeclosurereview.com.

Even though letters went to more than 4 million households, consumer advocates say follow-up advertising has been ineffective, leading to the low response rate.

Many consumers have also grown wary of foreclosure scams and government foreclosure programs, says Deborah Goldberg of the National Fair Housing Alliance.

“The effort is being made” to reach people, says Paul Leonard, the mortgage servicers’ representative at the Financial Services Roundtable, a trade group. “It’s hard to say why people aren’t responding.”

With this settlement, foreclosure cases will be reviewed one by one by consultants hired by the servicers but monitored by regulators.

With the $25 billion mortgage settlement, borrowers who lost homes to foreclosure will be eligible for payouts from a $1.5 billion fund.

That could mean 750,000 borrowers getting about $2,000 each, federal officials have said.

For more information on that, go to nationalmortgagesettlement.com.

FEDERAL RESERVE FINES Wells Fargo $85,000,000.00 for Falsifying Information on Loan App

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COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary GET COMBO TITLE AND SECURITIZATION ANALYSIS – CLICK HERE

HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO HEAR ABOUT FORGED, FRAUDULENT, FALSIFIED  DOCUMENTS BEFORE WE BELIEVE THAT THE BANKS ARE ENGAGED IN ONE BIG LIE AND THAT SECURITIZATION OF LOANS WAS AND IS A HOAX?

EDITOR’S NOTE: THE MONEY WAS REAL BUT THE DOCUMENTS WERE FAKED. THERE ARE NO VALID MORTGAGES. THEREFORE THERE CAN BE NO VALID FORECLOSURES IN MOST INSTANCES. CHECK WITH A LAWYER AND HAVE HIM EXAMINE EACH STEP. IF HE KNOWS ABOUT TITLE AND PERFECTION OF LIENS THE RESULT IS IN MY JUDGMENT INEVITABLE.

0 Posted by Dan Edstrom on September 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Wells Fargo Fined $85,000,000.00 for Falsifying Information on Loan Applications

By Daniel Edstrom
DTC Systems, Inc.

On July 20, 2011, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued an Order to Cease and Desist and Order of Assessment of a Civil Money Penalty Issued Upon Consent to Wells Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo Financial, Inc.

Here is an excerpt from this Order:

WHEREAS, this Order is issued with respect to the following allegations:

A. During the period from at least January 2004 to the Reorganization (the “Relevant Period”), Financial’s business model with respect to home mortgage lending was to sell debt consolidation, cash-out refinance loans at sub-prime rates (“nonprime loans”) to customers principally through a network of more than 800 offices located throughout the United States, called “stores.” The principal marketing method was salespersonnel making outbound, unsolicited telephone calls to individuals who had some existing customer relationship with Financial. Under Financial’s underwriting process, the salespersonnel were responsible for obtaining income-related documents (such as pay stubs and W-2 forms) and forwarding them to Financial’s centralized underwriting centers. Financial typically did not require that borrowers fill out and sign loan applications that included the borrower’s representation of his or her income.

B. Under Financial’s sales performance standards and incentive compensation programs, Financial salespersonnel, called “team members,” were expected to sell (a) a minimum dollar amount of loans to avoid performance improvement plans that could result in loss of their positions with Financial, and (b) a minimum dollar amount of loans to receive incentive compensation payments above their base salary.

C. In some cases, contrary to Financial’s written policies and procedures, salespersonnel marketed these loans to customers by representing that the debt-consolidation home mortgage refinancing loans would improve or repair a consumer’s credit.

Income Document Alteration or Falsification

D. Financial’s internal controls were not adequate to detect and prevent instances when certain of its salespersonnel, in order to meet sales performance standards and receive incentive compensation, altered or falsified income documents and inflated prospective borrowers’ incomes to qualify those borrowers for loans that they would not otherwise have been qualified to receive.

E. During the Relevant Period, particular instances of customer income document alteration or falsification by individual Financial salespersonnel came to the attention of Financial’s compliance officers. The compliance officers investigated the particular instances brought to their attention and disciplinary action was taken against certain individual salespersonnel if their involvement in income document alteration or falsification was admitted or otherwise proven. In mid-2008, Financial took steps to improve its internal controls that made it more difficult for salespersonnel to alter or falsify income-related documents.

Steering Potential Prime Borrowers Into Nonprime Loans

F. In or around August 2005, in response to public and regulatory criticism, Financial initiated a process, referred to as the “A-Paper Filter,” to provide prime pricing to customers for qualifying debt consolidation cash-out refinancing mortgage loans. Initially, if a transaction “passed” the filter and a further underwriting process, the customer would be offered prime pricing from Financial. Beginning in or around February 2006, the A-Paper Filter was modified so that customers with potentially qualifying transactions instead would be referred to Financial’s affiliate, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (“Home Mortgage”), which would determine the customer’s eligibility for prime pricing and, if eligible, originate the prime priced home mortgage loan. At approximately the same time, Financial revised its performance standards and compensation programs so that it generally was less advantageous for salespersonnel to sell a prime loan to the customer than a nonprime loan.

G. As a result of the modifications and revisions, some customers during the Relevant Period who may have qualified for a prime priced home mortgage loan at Financial or through referral to Home Mortgage were sold loans by salespersonnel priced at nonprime rates, primarily through “upselling” prospective borrowers so that the borrowers requested cash-back loans that were sufficiently large that the borrowers’ transactions no longer qualified for prime pricing. While the customers received disclosures regarding the nonprime rates they were being charged, the customers were not advised that they may have qualified for prime priced loans or that it was generally more advantageous for the salesperson to sell a nonprime, rather than a prime, loan.

H. Financial’s internal controls, including controls relating to Financial’s sales performance standards and compensation programs, were not adequate to detect and prevent incidents of evasion of the A-Paper Filter by Financial salespersonnel.

I. Deficiencies specified in paragraphs D. through H. above resulted in:

a. Unsafe or unsound banking practices;

b. Unfair or deceptive acts or practices within the meaning of section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1);

c. Violations of various state laws pertaining to fraud and false or misleading statements in home mortgage loan-related documents, and to unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

WHEREAS, the Board is assessing a civil money penalty of $85 million against Wells Fargo and Financial pursuant to section 8(i)(2)(B) of the FDI Act, 12 U.S.C. § 1818(i)(2)(B);

WHEREAS, Wells Fargo and Financial have agreed to make restitution to borrowers with respect to the Legacy Assets (and with respect to home mortgage loans that would be Legacy Assets except that they are no longer outstanding (“Former Legacy Assets”)) in accordance with the provisions of this Order pursuant to section 8(b)(6)(A) of the FDI Act, 12 U.S.C. § 1818(b)(6)(A). The amount of remedial compensation (in the form specified in subparagraph 5.a. below) that each eligible borrower is expected to receive ranges between $1,000 and $20,000, but some eligible borrowers may receive less than $1,000 and others may receive more than $20,000, depending on their particular circumstances. The number of eligible borrowers who may receive remedial compensation is estimated to be between about 3,700 to possibly more than 10,000;

Download this Order:http://dtc-systems.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Wells_Fargo_enf20110720a1-1.pdf

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