The rules matter — CASE DISMISSED, without prejudice

For assistance with your mortgage go to www.livingliesstore.com or call 520-405-1688. Remember these issues not only apply to homeowners not paying their mortgages. They apply to everyone who has a mortgage or who has acquired title from someone who had a mortgage that was subject to claims of securitization.

Lenders and buyers can get a risk assessment report and recommendations to clear title from GGKW, with its home office in Tallahassee. Those in litigation can get information and their lawyers can get litigation support by calling 850-765-1236.

For information on direct representation of clients in Florida, call 954-495-9867 in Broward County, and 850-765-1236 for Northern Florida. GGKW is the acronym for Garfield, Gwaltney, Kelley and White, a law firm with offices currently in Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale.

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When the dam breaks, the speed with which the water starts moving increases dramatically at first before it subsides. This is what is happening in the courts. Judges are increasingly becoming aware as they read the newspaper, that the big broker-dealer banks at the center (Master Servicer) of this mess in mortgages, committed civil fraud, and probably committed criminal fraud in connection with the sourcing of money for originating or acquiring loans from homeowners. The presumption of trustworthiness of the banks is gone, except for a fast shrinking group of judges around the country.

  • If there was fraud at the top of the sham securitization chain then why wouldn’t there by fraud at the bottom?
  • And if there was fraud in the origination of the loan, or the sourcing of money for the loan, then why wouldn’t there be a question of whether the note or mortgage or both were invalid empty pieces of paper referring to a non-existent transaction?
  • And therefore might that not explain why the banks do not allege in judicial states that a loan was made by the payee listed on the note?
  • Why didn’t the Trust show up in the County records within 90 days of its creation and right on the the original note and mortgage?
  • Why wouldn’t there be a question about whether there was any lien to foreclose because the banks were too busy screwing investors to create a perfected encumbrance on the collateral for the investors whose money was improperly channeled and used for the sole benefit of the banks.
  • And why are the banks not alleging the existence of a loan or financial injury in their complaints? Are they avoiding a can of worms that will show they have no transaction to sue on?
  • Are the real lenders so much in the dark that they don’t even know the case has been brought by someone without authority or consent of the lender of money (not the lender on paper)?

The colloquy between judge and counsel in the link below clearly shows what is happening in a growing number of cases where the Judges have stopped ignoring the rules of civil procedure, stopped ignoring the rules of evidence, and stopped assuming that the borrower is a deadbeat looking for a free house.

They are now getting the idea that the homeowner is in search of a lender, not a free house.

The homeowner is in search of a balance on his loan whether it is secured or not and is fully willing to execute new documentation in favor of any investor with an unpaid receivable attributable to the property of the homeowner. The banks are playing fast and loose with the rules and the judges are coming down as hard on them as they were knocking around borrowers just a few months ago. I know, I am seeing it in court over and over again. The entire atmosphere has changed.

So when the bank fails to send out a notice required by the judge’s order, civil procedure or the rules of evidence, they lose. And when they lose, without prejudice, if they have been sitting on it for more than 5 years in Florida they are barred by the statute of limitations at least as to the default that occurred 5 years before and probably everything up to the time of dismissal. The payments might not be cutoff by the statute but foreclosure or collection is barred. payments due after such an order are probably subject to a collection or foreclosure action but they should be met with an argument that due to the statute of limitations they are forever time-barred.

If the bank sends a pretrial statement to you saying “corporate representative” is their witness or even worse, attaches a list of 35 potential witnesses, that is the equivalent of not giving any notice of who the witness is going to be. That is subject to a motion in limine to prevent the bank from putting on witnesses. So far the judges are either extending the trial date out further and requiring compliance with the rules or they involuntarily dismissing the case thus entitling the Defendant to recovery of attorney fees in most cases.

Teaser: Take a close look at the laws of evidence passed by the legislature of your state. You will find some things in there that might prove deadly t the bank at the time of trial if you follow the path required and make your motions and preserve your objections. Those business records don’t belong in evidence and we all know it. They are not complete because they don’t include payment OUT to the creditor thus establishing WHO the creditor is and requiring an explanation of WHY the creditor is not the foreclosing party. But the fact that they are not complete is not nearly as strong as that they are by definition hearsay and inadmissible unless they are business records that follow the requirements of the evidence statutes that carve out an exception to the hearsay prohibition. 

Practice Hint: Judges always seem inclined to think they have discretion in virtually all matters. The evidence statute is a rule of law that the Judge has sworn to uphold, defend and enforce. Unless there is some ambiguity in the statute no judicial interpretation is allowed. The ambiguity must be raised by the party seeking to state that the statute is ambiguous. Without that, the Judge has NO DISCRETION, because it is a law and not a rule of civil procedure.

We are sitting on the edge of a cliff where the judges are ready to tip for the borrower. The sanction for trickery in notices and discovery will be judgment for the borrower or dismissal with prejudice. The conversation below shows just how close we are to that moment.

http://4closurefraud.org/2013/10/23/foreclosure-fight-club-another-trial-another-win-by-the-law-offices-of-evan-m-rosen-part-2/

The Notice Letters and Legal Strategies

Now that I am actively practicing law I see the reasons for the anger and recriminations regarding the conduct of proceedings involving foreclosure. But whether the judge likes it or not the law is very clear regarding a condition precedent to the filing of foreclosure action. The borrower must receive notice. The notice must state that the borrower is in default and must also state the conditions for reinstatement to cure the default. The law is very clear that failure to give proper notice is reason enough to deny the foreclosure. It doesn’t stop the bank from coming back later after giving proper notice, but it does stop the current foreclosure proceeding.

Generally speaking you’ll find the required language in the mortgage in paragraph 22. There are other paragraphs that speak to default have the right to reinstatement —  usually in the preceding paragraphs to the paragraph 22.

Notwithstanding the law, I am finding that there are many judges who consider it to be their political mandate to push the foreclosures through to sale. They may be right as to the political mandate but they are wrong to use it in a court of law. Failure to give proper notice or any other material fact that might be in issue is sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment as long as it is clearly in the record at the time the order on summary judgment is entered. In Florida at least I detect an attitude from the bench which disregards the facts of the case in favor of entering judgment for the banks.

Having the facts and law on your side does not mean that you will be able to stop the foreclosure. This does not stop judges from blaming borrowers for delays in the proceedings despite the fact that it is the obligation of the foreclosing party to prosecute the action. And yesterday I saw a judge enter an order granting summary judgment despite the fact that there were dozens of facts in dispute. His reason appeared to be that the case had been hanging around for four or five years —  during which time the homeowner could have filed a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute the action at least twice.

Of course homeowners do not know the Rules of Civil Procedure which is why I have stated so strongly and so often why they should retain counsel if they really want to keep their home.

In the course of my research on a related topic I uncovered the information shown below. It is obvious that under federal and Florida law the notice must contain information concerning the right to reinstate the loan and a demand for a specific amount of money required for reinstatement. Some banks have chosen to ignore the right to reinstatement because of their enthusiasm for obtaining a foreclosure judgment. And there are judges that will ignore the issue of notice and enter judgment for the bank. But on appeal there seems to be little doubt that the judges order will be reversed, the sale will be reversed, and the foreclosure action will be dismissed (without prejudice to refile).

Most judges appeared to approach a foreclosure case as a fairly simple matter that is very annoying to them. Instead of asking the attorney for the bank to present his/her case there are several judges who are announcing that everything seems to be in order and so judgment will be entered. While this is wrong I would caution the reader not to draw the  further conclusion that the judge is corrupt or has an agenda designed to hurt homeowners. In the eyes of the judge, based upon actual experience for several years, most defenses that have been presented to judges have been for the purposes of delay. In part this was allowed and even encouraged by the banks who were unready to fully prosecute the foreclosure action because of the potential liability for taxes, insurance and maintenance.

In my firm we generally refer clients who are simply looking for delays to other attorneys whose down payment and monthly payment is far less than what we charge. After years of writing about it I have reentered the practice of law and I am attempting to set a standard of vigorous and aggressive prosecution of the case against the bank. This of course is only possible if the bank has done something wrong. But you are not going to know that without someone going through the entire process starting with the application for mortgage and going through the present time. It also requires discovery in the form of interrogatories, requests for admission, requests to produce, and subpoenas issued to appropriate witnesses requiring them to bring documents with them.

In my opinion the more lawyers that aggressively pursue the case, the more judges will start questioning why the bank is backpedaling. Once you get a judge thinking that you are the aggressor, you have succeeded in taking control of the narrative. Once you have taken control of the narrative you can raise questions in the judge’s mind as to whether or not there might actually be something wrong with this particular foreclosure action.

I don’t deny that there is a value to any homeowner in getting free rent or no mortgage payment and that an attorney might be useful in maximizing the length of time in which the homeowner is not required to pay anything. It might be the only way that the homeowner can recover part of his or her investment. But delay tactics seem to dominate the litigation landscape. So it should come as no surprise that any judge would approach a foreclosure case with the assumption that the debt is valid and that the documents are in order; the only question left is when will the sale take place.

My mission, as I conceive it, is to make some changes in the litigation landscape. Specifically, I think that with proper pleading and discovery, it may be revealed that the party seeking the foreclosure lacks any ownership interest in the loan and lacks any authority to represent anyone with an ownership interest in the loan. I also think that the amount demanded for reinstatement or redemption is also misstated in that the borrower is not getting the benefit of offset from third-party payments that should be credited to the account in which the loan receivable is held. In short, I still believe what I said six years ago, to wit: as crazy as it might seem, the loan was prepaid at the time of origination and then repaid several times over after which it was then sold to the Federal Reserve probably multiple times  and sold two government-sponsored entities multiple times. If the loan is paid (several times over, no less) then there can be action to collect on it, least of all foreclosure.

While the presumption is on preventing a homeowner from getting a free ride, courts have been giving the financial industry the equivalent of corporate welfare with each  foreclosure sale. And in doing so they have actually stripped the true creditor from any collateralized claim and further stripped the true creditor from making any claim at all. The beneficiaries of this idiotic system are obviously the banks. The victims include everyone else including the investors, insurers, taxpayers, borrowers, and the Federal Reserve. Of course in the case of the Federal Reserve, it knows that it is a victim and that it is buying completely worthless paper from the banks who have previously sold the same paper to others. That doesn’t seem to matter to the federal reserve and so far it doesn’t seem to matter to any of the judges sitting on the bench.

http://www.credit.com/credit_information/credit_law/Understanding-Your-Foreclosure-Rights.jsp

http://floridaforeclosurefraud.com/2010/03/notice-of-default-prior-to-acceleration-whats-in-your-mortgage/

http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/2011/06/09/fl-2dca-reverses-sj-acceleration-letter-failed-to-state-the-default-as-required-by-the-mortgage-terms-konsulian-v-busey-bank-na/

They Will Get You on Procedure Everytime

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Madison v. MERS et al

Madison v MERS et al

Editor’s Comment:

The Madison decision from the Arizona Appellate Court is an example of two warnings that I have repeatedly stated on these pages, in my books and in my seminars.  First doing an appeal yourself without getting appropriate advice from competent licensed counsel is most likely to result in failure.  It is a rare layman who understands the Rules of Civil Procedure.  And it is even more rare that a layman understands the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

As a result, the Madison decision will be used as yet more ammunition against homeowners, borrowers, and lawyers to “prove” that their defenses are frivolous when in fact the court of appeals decision states the opposite – even while they rule against the borrower.  On appeal the only thing the appellate court is permitted to review are those items on the record.  This is further restricted by the items that are presented as issues on appeal.  The homeowner, appearing on her own behalf, missed two opportunities to force the pretender lenders into a contested adversary position.

Like many other states, Arizona has section 33-811[c]which mandates waiver of all defenses to a trustee’s sale if the objecting party fails to obtain an injunction before the sale date.  The problem here is that the statute is worded improperly but that issue was never raised.  Obtaining an injunction requires a lawsuit filed against the Trustee and the pretender lenders which results in the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and which the homeowner will result in the issuance of a permanent restraining order.

Virtually all non-judicial states have a similar provision.  The obvious problem with this provision which violates due process on its face is that it requires the homeowner to first prove his or her case in court before being allowed to assert and pursue defenses and counterclaims. 

This is precisely the issue addressed in the second edition Attorney’s Workbook regarding the realignment of parties.  In a judicial state all that a homeowner is required to do is deny the allegations of the pretender lender.  This puts the matter at issue and allows the homeowner/borrower to proceed with discovery and all other pre-trial motions.  The Arizona statute relied upon by the appellate court requires the homeowner to utilize a crystal ball to determine the allegations of the pretender lender and then win at a preliminary hearing on the merits of the defenses to a claim that has never been filed. 

The issuance of the TRO in non-judicial states is discretionary and not ministerial or mandatory.  Thus the burden of proof is improperly put on the defending party before the proponent seeking affirmative relief (taking the house) is required to file any pleadings or produce any evidence that could be subject to court scrutiny or challenge by the homeowner. 

As applied, Arizona Revised Statue 33-811 [c] is clearly unconstitutional and violates due process.  The homeowner should simply be permitted to deny the factual allegations contained in the Notice of Default and Notice of Sale.  The appropriate party to bring a lawsuit is not the borrower but either the Trustee or Beneficiary.  Once the borrower has denied the factual allegations, the matter should be converted to a judicial foreclosure which is provided for in Arizona Statutes.  In the absence of the beneficiary starting such a lawsuit, it is the trustee who should file an action in interpleader stating that the Trustee is an uninterested party with no stake in the outcome and alleging that there are two parties each of whom allege an interest in the subject matter of the lawsuit and which are in conflict with each other.  The Trustee, not having the power to conduct hearings (the Trustee is not a special master) has no choice but to take unresolved issues to the court and make its claim for attorney’s fees, costs and expenses to having had to file the interpleader.

Naturally Maidson failed to raise any of these issues. So the appellate court was left with a statue which is “on the books” and which operates to waive all defenses of the homeowner to the Trustee’s sale – in the event the homeowner fails to obtain an injunction before the sale date.  In the Madison case, needless to say, the homeowner failed to obtain and apparently failed to seek an injunction prior to the sale.  Therefore the appellate court was perfectly within its right to simply affirm the trial court’s decision that stated that the homeowner had no right in this instance to assert any defenses.

In such cases of such conflicts of obvious due process the ACLU and other such organizations have occasionally been successful in having an appellate court rule on an issue that was never presented in the trial court and may not even have been presented in the initial briefs of the parties on appeal. 

Hence the outcome of this case, like so many others, was a foregone conclusion simply based on the most simple application of statutory law and the rules of civil procedure as they are currently applied in Arizona. 

Failing to obtain the TRO is therefore the same as admitting all of the allegations of fact contained in the Notice of Default and Notice of Sale and all of the allegations that would have been pled in a judicial foreclosure.  The court affirmed the trial court’s decision to dismiss the homeowner’s lawsuit. 

The kicker in this case is that the appellate court went on to overrule the trial court for having declared Madison a vexatious litigant and further restricting her ability to file future lawsuits.  This was not only a violation of due process it was a demonstration of court bias and I invite attorneys who are committed to the movement to assist Madison in attacking the bias of the trail judge and getting the decision of the trial judge vacated thus rendering the appellate decision moot. 

It is plainly outrageous for any judge to declare that a litigant is vexatious or frivolous when they clearly have never been heard on the merits of any of their claims or defenses.  The retired judge who heard this case should be prevented from hearing any further cases involving foreclosures or related evictions or any other such cases. 

Without beating a dead horse the section of the opinion entitled “background” clearly shows that Madison failed to deny the essential elements of the foreclosure and therefore all of the obvious issues regarding the identity of the creditor, the status of the loan, the nature of the actual transaction, the substitution of beneficiary, the substitution of trustee, and all the other claims and defenses were deemed admitted by both the trial court and the appellate court.  If the case can be reopened on the basis of the bias of the judge and the bias can be shown to have predated the decision that was appealed and if that results in vacating the entire order the homeowner might have had an opportunity to obtain the injunction and assert the claims and defenses, and attack the statute as it is applied.

 This is the reason why I reluctantly agreed to start a national law firm to assist homeowners and borrowers and their lawyers.  I have been doing nothing but writing, educating, and consulting for 5 years only to see the work and analysis performed by me or my team to be presented improperly and after which most defenses and claims were waived.  In the GarfieldFirm.com all of the attorneys recruited will be required to follow appropriate professional standards in the research and advocacy of the positions of clients who sign up for representation. 

There is no guarantee of any result when you hire any attorney or any professional.  The only guarantee is that they will apply their best efforts on your behalf.  The GarfieldFirm.com is a operating under a business model which requires a 50-state rollout to oppose all of the foreclosure mills who currently act in concert with each other.  Their opposition will now be an organized and consistent challenge to the fraudulent proffers of false, forged and fabricated facts and evidence in and out of court.  As I have stated before, we are only halfway through this mighty contest.  Until now we have been taking all the punches.  Now it is our turn.

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Az Statute on Mortgage Fraud Not Enforced (except against homeowners)

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Editor’s Comment:

With a statute like this on the books in Arizona and elsewhere, it is difficult to see why the Chief Law Enforcement of each state, the Attorney General, has not brought claims and prosecutions against all those entities and people up and down the fraudulent securitization chain that brought us the mortgage meltdown, foreclosures of more than 5 million people, suicides, evictions and claims of profits based upon the fact that the free house went to the pretender lender.

Practically every act described in this statute was committed by the investment banks and all their affiliates and partners from the seller of the bogus mortgage bond (sold forward, which means that the loans did not yet exist) all the way down to the people at the closing table with the homeowner borrower.

I’d like to see a script from attorneys who confront the free house concept head on. The San Francisco study and other studies clearly show that many if not most foreclosures resulted in a “sale” of property without any cash offered by the buyer who submitted a credit bid when they had not established themselves as creditors nor had they established the amount due. And we now know that they failed to establish themselves as creditors because they neither loaned the money nor purchased the loan in any transaction in which they parted with money. So the consideration for the sale was not present or if you want to put it in legalese that would effect those states that allow review of the adequacy of consideration at the auction.

I’d like to see a lawyer go to court and say “Judge, you already know it would be wrong for my client to get a free house. I am here to agree with you and state further that whether you rule for the borrower or this pretender lender here, you are going to give a free house to somebody.

“Because this party initiated a foreclosure proceeding without being the creditor, without spending a dime on the loan or purchase of the loan, and without any right to represent the multitude of people and entities that should be paid on this loan. This pretender, this stranger to this transaction stands in the way of a mediated settlement or HAMP modification in which the borrower is more than happy to do a traditional workout based upon the economic realities.

“And they they maintain themselves as obstacles to mediation or modification because they have too much to hide about the origination of this loan.

“All I seek is that you recognize that we deny the loan on which this party is pursuing its claims, we deny the default and we deny the balance. That puts the matter at issue in which there are relevant and material facts that are in dispute.

“I say to you that as a Judge you are here to call balls and strikes and that your ruling can only be that with issues in dispute, the case must proceed.”

“The pretender should be required to state its claim with a complaint, attach the relevant documents and the homeowner should be able to respond to the complaint and confront the witnesses and documents being used. And that means the pretender here must be subject to the requirements of the rules of civil procedure that include discovery.

“Experience shows that there have been no trials on the evidence in all the foreclosures ever brought during this period and that the moment a judge rules on discovery in favor of the borrower, the pretender offers settlement. Why do you think that is?”

“If they had a good reason to foreclose and they had the authority to allege the required the elements of foreclosure and they had the proof to back it up they would and should be more than willing to put a stop to all these motions and petitions from borrowers. But they don’t allow any case to go to trial. They are winning on procedure because of the assumption that the legitimate debt is unpaid and that the borrower owes it to the party making the claim even if there never was transaction with the pretender in which the borrower was a party, directly or indirectly.”

“Neither the non-judicial powers of sale statutes nor the rules of civil procedure based upon constitutional requirements of due process can be used to thwart a claim that has merit or raises issues that have merit. You should not allow the statute and rules to be applied in a manner in which a stranger to the transaction who could not even plead a case in good faith would win a foreclosed house at auction without court review and a hearing on the merits.”

Residential mortgage fraud; classification; definitions in Arizona

Section 1. Title 13, chapter 23, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 13-2320, to read:
13-2320.

A. A PERSON COMMITS RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE FRAUD IF, WITH THE INTENT TO DEFRAUD, THE PERSON DOES ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

  1. KNOWINGLY MAKES ANY DELIBERATE MISSTATEMENT, MISREPRESENTATION OR MATERIAL OMISSION DURING THE MORTGAGE LENDING PROCESS THAT IS RELIED ON BY A MORTGAGE LENDER, BORROWER OR OTHER PARTY TO THE MORTGAGE LENDING PROCESS.
  2. KNOWINGLY USES OR FACILITATES THE USE OF ANY DELIBERATE MISSTATEMENT, MISREPRESENTATION OR MATERIAL OMISSION DURING THE MORTGAGE LENDING PROCESS THAT IS RELIED ON BY A MORTGAGE LENDER, BORROWER OR OTHER PARTY TO THE MORTGAGE LENDING PROCESS.
  3. RECEIVES ANY PROCEEDS OR OTHER MONIES IN CONNECTION WITH A RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN THAT THE PERSON KNOWS RESULTED FROM A VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH 1 OR 2 OF THIS SUBSECTION.
  4. FILES OR CAUSES TO BE FILED WITH THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY RECORDER OF ANY COUNTY OF THIS STATE ANY RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN DOCUMENT THAT THE PERSON KNOWS TO CONTAIN A DELIBERATE MISSTATEMENT, MISREPRESENTATION OR MATERIAL OMISSION.

Those convicted of one count of mortgage fraud face punishment in accordance with a Class 4 felony.  Anyone convicted of engaging in a pattern of mortgage fraud could be convicted of a Class 2 felony


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