Hawaii Federal District Court Applies Rules of Evidence: BONY/Mellon, US Bank, JP Morgan Chase Failed to Prove Sale of Note

This quiet title claim against U.S. Bank and BONY (collectively, “Defendants”) is based on the assertion that Defendants have no interest in the Plaintiffs’ mortgage loan, yet have nonetheless sought to foreclose on the subject property.

Currently before the court is Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, arguing that Plaintiffs’ quiet title claim fails because there is no genuine issue of material fact that Plaintiffs’ loan was sold into a public security managed by BONY, and Plaintiffs cannot tender the loan proceeds. Based on the following, the court finds that because Defendants have not established that the mortgage loans were sold into a public security involving Defendants, the court DENIES Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.

Editor’s Note: We will be commenting on this case for the rest of the week in addition to bringing you other news. Suffice it to say that the Court corroborates the essential premises of this blog, to wit:

  1. Quiet title claims should not be dismissed. They should be heard and decided based upon the facts admitted into evidence.
  2. Presumptions are not to be used in lieu of evidence where the opposing party has denied the underlying facts and the conclusion expressed in the presumption. In other words, a presumption cannot be used to lead to a result that is contrary to the facts.
  3. Being a “holder” is a a conclusion of law created by certain presumptions. It is not a plain statement of ultimate facts. If a party wishes to assert holder or holder in due course status they must plead and prove the facts supporting that legal conclusion.
  4. A sale of the note does not occur without proof under simple contract doctrine. There must be an offer, acceptance and consideration. Without the consideration there is no sale and any presumption arising out of the allegation that a party is a holder or that the loan was sold fails on its face.
  5. Self serving letters announcing authority to represent investors are insufficient in establishing a foundation for testimony or other proof that the actor was indeed authorized. A competent witness must provide the factual testimony to provide a foundation for introduction of a binding legal document showing authority and even then the opposing party may challenge the execution or creation of such instruments.
  6. [Tactical conclusion: opposing motion for summary judgment should be filed with an affidavit alleging the necessary facts when the pretender lender files its motion for summary judgment. If the pretender’s affidavit is struck down and/or their motion for summary judgment is denied, they have probably created a procedural void where the Judge has no choice but to grant summary judgment to homeowner.]
  7. “When considering the evidence on a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all reasonable inferences on behalf of the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., 475 U.S. at 587.” See case below
  8. “a plaintiff asserting a quiet title claim must establish his superior title by showing the strength of his title as opposed to merely attacking the title of the defendant.” {Tactical: by admitting the note, mortgage. debt and default, and then attacking the title chain of the foreclosing party you have NOT established the elements for quiet title. THAT is why we have been pounding on the strategy that makes sense: DENY and DISCOVER: Lawyers take note. Just because you think you know what is going on doesn’t mean you do. Advice given under the presumption that the debt is genuine when that is in fact a mistake of the homeowner which you are compounding with your advice. Why assume the debt, note , mortgage and default are genuine when you really don’t know? Why would you admit that?}
  9. It is both wise and necessary to deny the debt, note, mortgage, and default as to the party attempting to foreclose. Don’t try to prove your case in your pleading. Each additional “explanatory” allegation paints you into a corner. Pleading requires a short plain statement of ultimate facts upon which relief could be legally granted.
  10. A denial of signature on a document that is indisputably signed will be considered frivolous. [However an allegation that the document is not an original and/or that the signature was procured by fraud or mistake is not frivolous. Coupled with allegation that the named lender did not loan the money at all and that in fact the homeowner never received any money from the lender named on the note, you establish that the deal was sign the note and we’ll give you money. You signed the note, but they didn’t give you the money. Therefore those documents may not be used against you. ]

MELVIN KEAKAKU AMINA and DONNA MAE AMINA, Husband and Wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, FKA THE BANK OF NEW YORK; U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR J.P. MORGAN MORTGAGE ACQUISITION TRUST 2006-WMC2, ASSET BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-WMC2 Defendants.
Civil No. 11-00714 JMS/BMK.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, FKA THE BANK OF NEW YORK AND U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR J.P. MORGAN MORTGAGE ACQUISITION TRUST 2006-WMC2, ASSET BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2006-WMC2’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
J. MICHAEL SEABRIGHT, District Judge.
I. INTRODUCTION

This is Plaintiffs Melvin Keakaku Amina and Donna Mae Amina’s (“Plaintiffs”) second action filed in this court concerning a mortgage transaction and alleged subsequent threatened foreclosure of real property located at 2304 Metcalf Street #2, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 (the “subject property”). Late in Plaintiffs’ first action, Amina et al. v. WMC Mortgage Corp. et al., Civ. No. 10-00165 JMS-KSC (“Plaintiffs’ First Action”), Plaintiffs sought to substitute The Bank of New York Mellon, FKA the Bank of New York (“BONY”) on the basis that one of the defendants’ counsel asserted that BONY owned the mortgage loans. After the court denied Plaintiffs’ motion to substitute, Plaintiffs brought this action alleging a single claim to quiet title against BONY. Plaintiffs have since filed a Verified Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”), adding as a Defendant U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee for J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC2, Asset Backed Pass-through Certificates, Series 2006-WMC2 (“U.S. Bank”). This quiet title claim against U.S. Bank and BONY (collectively, “Defendants”) is based on the assertion that Defendants have no interest in the Plaintiffs’ mortgage loan, yet have nonetheless sought to foreclose on the subject property.

Currently before the court is Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, arguing that Plaintiffs’ quiet title claim fails because there is no genuine issue of material fact that Plaintiffs’ loan was sold into a public security managed by BONY, and Plaintiffs cannot tender the loan proceeds. Based on the following, the court finds that because Defendants have not established that the mortgage loans were sold into a public security involving Defendants, the court DENIES Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background
Plaintiffs own the subject property. See Doc. No. 60, SAC ¶ 17. On February 24, 2006, Plaintiffs obtained two mortgage loans from WMC Mortgage Corp. (“WMC”) — one for $880,000, and another for $220,000, both secured by the subject property.See Doc. Nos. 68-6-68-8, Defs.’ Exs. E-G.[1]

In Plaintiffs’ First Action, it was undisputed that WMC no longer held the mortgage loans. Defendants assert that the mortgage loans were sold into a public security managed by BONY, and that Chase is the servicer of the loan and is authorized by the security to handle any concerns on BONY’s behalf. See Doc. No. 68, Defs.’ Concise Statement of Facts (“CSF”) ¶ 7. Defendants further assert that the Pooling and Service Agreement (“PSA”) dated June 1, 2006 (of which Plaintiffs’ mortgage loan is allegedly a part) grants Chase the authority to institute foreclosure proceedings. Id. ¶ 8.

In a February 3, 2010 letter, Chase informed Plaintiffs that they are in default on their mortgage and that failure to cure default will result in Chase commencing foreclosure proceedings. Doc. No. 68-13, Defs.’ Ex. L. Plaintiffs also received a March 2, 2011 letter from Chase stating that the mortgage loan “was sold to a public security managed by [BONY] and may include a number of investors. As the servicer of your loan, Chase is authorized by the security to handle any related concerns on their behalf.” Doc. No. 68-11, Defs.’ Ex. J.

On October 19, 2012, Derek Wong of RCO Hawaii, L.L.L.C., attorney for U.S. Bank, submitted a proof of claim in case number 12-00079 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Hawaii, involving Melvin Amina. Doc. No. 68-14, Defs.’ Ex. M.

Plaintiffs stopped making payments on the mortgage loans in late 2008 or 2009, have not paid off the loans, and cannot tender all of the amounts due under the mortgage loans. See Doc. No. 68-5, Defs.’ Ex. D at 48, 49, 55-60; Doc. No. 68-6, Defs.’ Ex. E at 29-32.

>B. Procedural Background
>Plaintiffs filed this action against BONY on November 28, 2011, filed their First Amended Complaint on June 5, 2012, and filed their SAC adding U.S. Bank as a Defendant on October 19, 2012.

On December 13, 2012, Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs filed an Opposition on February 28, 2013, and Defendants filed a Reply on March 4, 2013. A hearing was held on March 4, 2013.
At the March 4, 2013 hearing, the court raised the fact that Defendants failed to present any evidence establishing ownership of the mortgage loan. Upon Defendants’ request, the court granted Defendants additional time to file a supplemental brief.[2] On April 1, 2013, Defendants filed their supplemental brief, stating that they were unable to gather evidence establishing ownership of the mortgage loan within the time allotted. Doc. No. 93.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is proper where there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The burden initially lies with the moving party to show that there is no genuine issue of material fact. See Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509 F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323). If the moving party carries its burden, the nonmoving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts [and] come forwards with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (citation and internal quotation signals omitted).

An issue is `genuine’ only if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact finder could find for the nonmoving party, and a dispute is `material’ only if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” In re Barboza,545 F.3d 702, 707 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). When considering the evidence on a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all reasonable inferences on behalf of the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., 475 U.S. at 587.

IV. DISCUSSION

As the court previously explained in its August 9, 2012 Order Denying BONY’s Motion to Dismiss Verified Amended Complaint, see Amina v. Bank of New York Mellon,2012 WL 3283513 (D. Haw. Aug. 9, 2012), a plaintiff asserting a quiet title claim must establish his superior title by showing the strength of his title as opposed to merely attacking the title of the defendant. This axiom applies in the numerous cases in which this court has dismissed quiet title claims that are based on allegations that a mortgagee cannot foreclose where it has not established that it holds the note, or because securitization of the mortgage loan was defective. In such cases, this court has held that to maintain a quiet title claim against a mortgagee, a borrower must establish his superior title by alleging an ability to tender the loan proceeds.[3]

This action differs from these other quiet title actions brought by mortgagors seeking to stave off foreclosure by the mortgagee. As alleged in Plaintiffs’ pleadings, this is not a case where Plaintiffs assert that Defendants’ mortgagee status is invalid (for example, because the mortgage loan was securitized, Defendants do not hold the note, or MERS lacked authority to assign the mortgage loans). See id. at *5. Rather, Plaintiffs assert that Defendants are not mortgagees whatsoever and that there is no record evidence of any assignment of the mortgage loan to Defendants.[4] See Doc. No. 58, SAC ¶¶ 1-4, 6, 13-1 — 13-3.

In support of their Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants assert that Plaintiffs’ mortgage loan was sold into a public security which is managed by BONY and which U.S. Bank is the trustee. To establish this fact, Defendants cite to the March 2, 2011 letter from Chase to Plaintiffs asserting that “[y]our loan was sold to a public security managed by The Bank of New York and may include a number of investors. As the servicer of your loan, Chase is authorized to handle any related concerns on their behalf.” See Doc. No. 68-11, Defs.’ Ex. J. Defendants also present the PSA naming U.S. Bank as trustee. See Doc. No. 68-12, Defs.’ Ex. J. Contrary to Defendants’ argument, the letter does not establish that Plaintiffs’ mortgage loan was sold into a public security, much less a public security managed by BONY and for which U.S. Bank is the trustee. Nor does the PSA establish that it governs Plaintiffs’ mortgage loans. As a result, Defendants have failed to carry their initial burden on summary judgment of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact that Defendants may foreclose on the subject property. Indeed, Defendants admit as much in their Supplemental Brief — they concede that they were unable to present evidence that Defendants have an interest in the mortgage loans by the supplemental briefing deadline. See Doc. No. 93.

Defendants also argue that Plaintiffs’ claim fails as to BONY because BONY never claimed an interest in the subject property on its own behalf. Rather, the March 2, 2011 letter provides that BONY is only managing the security. See Doc. No. 67-1, Defs.’ Mot. at 21. At this time, the court rejects this argument — the March 2, 2011 letter does not identify who owns the public security into which the mortgage loan was allegedly sold, and BONY is the only entity identified as responsible for the public security. As a result, Plaintiffs’ quiet title claim against BONY is not unsubstantiated.

V. CONCLUSION

Based on the above, the court DENIES Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

[1] In their Opposition, Plaintiffs object to Defendants’ exhibits on the basis that the sponsoring declarant lacks and/or fails to establish the basis of personal knowledge of the exhibits. See Doc. No. 80, Pls.’ Opp’n at 3-4. Because Defendants have failed to carry their burden on summary judgment regardless of the admissibility of their exhibits, the court need not resolve these objections.

Plaintiffs also apparently dispute whether they signed the mortgage loans. See Doc. No. 80, Pls.’ Opp’n at 7-8. This objection appears to be wholly frivolous — Plaintiffs have previously admitted that they took out the mortgage loans. The court need not, however, engage Plaintiffs’ new assertions to determine the Motion for Summary Judgment.

[2] On March 22, 2013, Plaintiffs filed an “Objection to [87] Order Allowing Defendants to File Supplemental Brief for their Motion for Summary Judgment.” Doc. No. 90. In light of Defendants’ Supplemental Brief stating that they were unable to provide evidence at this time and this Order, the court DEEMS MOOT this Objection.

[3] See, e.g., Fed Nat’l Mortg. Ass’n v. Kamakau, 2012 WL 622169, at *9 (D. Haw. Feb. 23, 2012);Lindsey v. Meridias Cap., Inc., 2012 WL 488282, at *9 (D. Haw. Feb. 14, 2012)Menashe v. Bank of N.Y., ___ F. Supp. 2d ___, 2012 WL 397437, at *19 (D. Haw. Feb. 6, 2012)Teaupa v. U.S. Nat’l Bank N.A., 836 F. Supp. 2d 1083, 1103 (D. Haw. 2011)Abubo v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon, 2011 WL 6011787, at *5 (D. Haw. Nov. 30, 2011)Long v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Tr. Co., 2011 WL 5079586, at *11 (D. Haw. Oct. 24, 2011).

[4] Although the SAC also includes some allegations asserting that the mortgage loan could not be part of the PSA given its closing date, Doc. No. 60, SAC ¶ 13-4, and that MERS could not legally assign the mortgage loans, id. ¶ 13-9, the overall thrust of Plaintiffs’ claims appears to be that Defendants are not the mortgagees (as opposed to that Defendants’ mortgagee status is defective). Indeed, Plaintiffs agreed with the court’s characterization of their claim that they are asserting that Defendants “have no more interest in this mortgage than some guy off the street does.” See Doc. No. 88, Tr. at 9-10. Because Defendants fail to establish a basis for their right to foreclose, the court does not address the viability of Plaintiffs’ claims if and when Defendants establish mortgagee status.

The Truth: Was the Loan Sold or Not?

see http://livinglies.me/2013/04/29/hawaii-federal-district-court-applies-rules-of-evidence-bonymellon-us-bank-jp-morgan-chase-failed-to-prove-sale-of-note/

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.
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 Analysis: Suppose you wanted to foreclose on property for which you never made a loan. Suppose you don’t have a lien and never did. Suppose you wanted to do this on a grand scale. How could you get away with it?

If you start with the premise in the preceding paragraph then the entire foreclosure and mortgage mess comes into focus and makes a lot of sense. Conversely if you start with the premise that all mortgage claims are presumptively valid then nothing makes sense and when you try to fix it you get nowhere. That’s what the Florida legislature is attempting to do with Senate Bill 1666 (appropriately numbered).

If you start with the premise that the mortgage claims are valid then it is quite logical and appropriate to conclude that the attempts by borrowers to escape inevitable consequences of their own bad judgment are clogging the court system and that borrowers are essentially abusing their due process rights costing each state billions of dollars in one form or another. But you have to ask yourself why there has been a sudden meteoric rise in the percentage of cases in which the borrower vigorously defends and brings claims against the supposedly valid holder of the note. What if all your assumptions and presumptions are not valid?

This is the essence of the issue confronting the courts, borrowers and their attorneys. And in a display of extreme irony the Wall Street banks even have the borrowers and their attorneys convinced that the loan was closed and the loan was sold. “The Loan”  refers to the transaction that is memorialized in the loan documents. “The sale” refers to the transaction in which  the loan was sold by the owner of the loan to a buyer of the loan.

There are two key questions:

  1. The first (origination) fact pattern is usually the same.  A borrower applies to an entity that advertises itself as a lender and that “lender” agrees to loan the money to the borrower.  A closing agent contacts the borrower  with information concerning the closing of the loan.  The borrower goes to the closing,  the money appears, and the borrower signs a myriad of documents.  Here’s the question:  what if the  “lender” did not loan the money and either played the part of an undisclosed nominee, and unlicensed mortgage broker or licensed mortgage broker, and never had a valid legal claim to collect on the note or enforce the mortgage?
  2.  The second (assignment) fact pattern is also usually the same. In cases where there is litigation documents magically appear showing the assignment or endorsement of the loan using a claim of authority or the production of an apparent power of attorney. The assignment or endorsement frequently occurs more than once. There are actually two questions here: (A) assuming the facts in paragraph 1 above are true what difference does it make if there were one or 100 assignments? If there is no valid or perfected lien and the assignor never had a claim to collect on the “loan,” the assignment may give the appearance of propriety but it conveys nothing; (B) If the assignee never paid for the sale of the note how could the assignment transaction be considered complete?  The Uniform Commercial Code governing the creation and sale of negotiable instruments indicates that each transaction must be for value received or consideration.  Is the so-called assignment merely an offer lacking acceptance and payment?

 You can have 100 or 1000 pages of documentation, but without a completed underlying transaction nothing in the documentation will have any legal effect on anyone despite the apparent “weight of the evidence.”

 The point is actually very simple. Don’t get lost in the weeds of the documentation. The first question to be asked at the threshold is whether or not a transaction actually occurred containing the legal elements required for a completed transaction. If there is no consideration there is no transaction. If there is no transaction then there are no rights to enforce by or against anyone.

 The arguments about the holder of the note are frankly silly. In the absence of consideration the party holding the note is merely possessing the note without any rights of collection or enforcement. If it were otherwise then  any Courier, attorney or closing agent would be able to collect on the note and even foreclose on the mortgage leaving the lender out in the cold.

 Whether or not a party is a holder or holder in due course  is a question of law which raises presumptions if the proper foundation is established in order to conclude that a party is a holder or holder in due course. These are all legal conclusions and not factual issues.  In order to establish the legal conclusion of holder or holder in due course the proponent of that legal conclusion must have a prima facie case showing a legal transaction in which ownership of the loan was transferred. Imagine if it were otherwise: accepting the circular logic of the banks, if six people were sitting around a table with a note in the middle the one with the fastest hands would be able to collect on a note and foreclose the mortgage. This is not the law.

 As a tactical note, the practitioner should be relentless in the pursuit of the actual proof of payment (at origination or purported sale of the loan) without which there can be no proof of loss. If there is no proof of loss than there is no creditor. If there is no creditor there can be no credit bid at the time of auction of the property. And since that has occurred on a regular basis in all 50 states it would be fair to say that the sale of the property in foreclosure was never completed and that the homeowners still owns the home —  or is entitled to compensatory damages equal to the value of the home because of breach of contract,  slander of title, fraud etc.  I believe that the claim that is easier to pursue is the one for compensatory and punitive damages plus attorneys fees and costs of the action.

 In discovery what you are looking for is the actual wire transfer receipt, wire transfer instructions, ACH confirmation, cancelled check or Check 21 confirmation,  showing the name of the party who paid and the name of the party who received the payment.  Whether you are in small claims court or federal court the requirement is always the same. Any party seeking affirmative relief from the court must show that they were injured or damaged by the party whom they have sued. If they can’t show the payment and an unbroken chain of payments leading up and including the supposed assignment, then they have no claim because the court lacks jurisdiction and the party lacks standing to enforce or even consider a claim in which there is no injury.

 So the answer to the question posed in the title of this article is no, the loan was never sold. We know that because the investors deposited money with the investment bank and it was the investors’ money that funded the loan. Contrary to popular misconception the money from the investors was never used to fund any pool of assets or trust. It was used directly to fund loans and the various fees to undisclosed third parties contrary to the requirements of the truth in lending act. The investment by the investors into each loan was the only time  money changed hands which in turn means it was the only time that consideration existed.

 That is why you will never find payment from one party to another in the alleged securitization chain.  the truth is that there is no securitization chain and the banks intentionally failed to document the interest of the investors in each mortgage because the banks wanted to assert their own claim to ownership of the loan and the bogus securities allegedly backed by the loan. If they had been honest, then they would have taken the investor money, put it into an account that was owned by the asset pool, fund the loan from the asset pool and then document the transaction showing the interest  of the asset pool at the time of origination of the loan or at the time that the loan was in fact sold to the asset pool for payment received.

And THAT is why I say that the existence of MERS is proof of fraudulent intent. There would have been no need for MERS or anything like it (See Chase Bank and Wells Fargo) if the Banks were not going to trade securities based upon THEIR ownership of a loan they never made.

 If you prove these points in court I believe you will win the case.

SB 1666: Fast Foreclosure Bill Resurrected in Senate After Thought Dead
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/05/01/sb-1666-fast-foreclosure-bill-resurrected-in-senate-after-thought-dead/

WOULD THEY STILL BE TIGHT LIPPED IF THE NEWS WAS GOOD FOR THE BANKS? Regulators to Keep Tight Lips on Foreclosure Improprieties
http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/regulators_keep_tight_lips_over_foreclosure_improprieties_20130430/

Foreclosure Scams Rampant in Florida
http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/foreclosure-scams-rampant-in-florida-21904/

UBS faces calls for break-up at investor meeting
http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/05/02/ubs-faces-calls-for-break-up-at-investor-meeting/

Macro Factors and Their Impact on Monetary Policy, The Economy and Financial Markets
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/05/macro-factors-and-their-impact-on-monetary-policy-the-economy-and-financial-markets/

Roubini: Fed Risking Sequel to 2008 Financial Crisis
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100698405

GUILTY! DOCX Defendants Plead in Fraud Cases

“Ms. Brown admitted to participating in the falsification of more than a million documents.”

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

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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: A 2 year sentence can only be justified if she is cooperating with authorities, but he narrative coming out of this is that her “clients” didn’t know what she was doing. THAT is impossible.

“If citizens had filed these types of documents with a bank in an attempt to get a loan, the banks would have filed criminal cases against them,” Mr. Koster said. “The mortgage servicing industry has to be held to the same standard that the banks hold the rest of us to.”

The fact is that no bank would have accepted these documents if they came from a borrower and the deals would never have been done. Banks know when they are looking at fabricated documents and they know what questions to ask including requiring supporting documentation from the people who are “represented” on those one million falsified documents.

The real question is whether anyone in government is going to undo the damage caused by these practices. And perhaps even more important, why was it necessary to falsify documents if the deals were legitimate?

Think about it. If the origination of these loans had been proper, all the documents that were routinely required, verified and investigated would be present and accounted for. Instead the documents vanished, destroyed or lost 40%-80%  of them. That is no accident.

If the origination documents had been done properly, securitization could have been possible. But the banks were not interested in securitization, except as a buzz word to get investors to buy bonds. The origination documents would have named the REMICs as the payee and secured party. This is property law 101. If securitization was actually in action then the money from the investors would have been put in a trust account bearing the name of that REMIC. Neither one happened.

The Wall Street banks snookered the investors by diverting the money from the sale of bogus mortgage bonds from unfunded, incomplete common law trusts, which is to say, the trusts either held nothing or didn’t even exist for all practical purposes. They diverted the paperwork away from the REMIC so they could claim ownership of the loans for purposes of “trading” (tier 2 yield spread premium) and collecting the insurance, hedge proceeds and federal bailouts.

Here is what the “trading” looked like: The Wall Street Banks took let’s say $1 million from a pension fund (simplifying the situation) into numbers we can all grasp).

The pension fund was expecting a return of 5% or $50,000 per year in interest plus amortized principal. The banks put in the prospectus that the payments could come out of the money from the investing pension funds — the first red flag that a PONZI scheme was at work.

Then the Bank pulling the strings on thousands of puppets, the banks steered blacks, Latins and other unsophisticated, purposely uneducated borrowers into higher priced loans than they were qualified to receive. (I.e., predatory lending according to Federal and state deceptive lending laws).

For simplicity let’s say the loan was for $500,000 at 10%. The originator was representing several things that were not true to the borrower. First that they were the lender (violation of TILA), second that standard underwriting procedures were being followed including verification of income and verification of the value of the property (no such underwriting occurred because neither the originator nor the bank pulling the strings had any risk of loss — they were playing with investor — i.e., pension fund — money).

So they take the $500,000 loan at 10% which means that it would pay $50,000 per year in interest (just like the investor pension fund thought) but they did it knowing that the high price of the loan and the falsely appraised value of the property and false statement of income of the borrower would not repay the loan.

Now here comes the “trade”: They “sell” the loan to the investors for $1 million, the amount invested, because it produces $50,000 per year in interest income but that was contrary to the expectations and representations made to the investor who expected high quality mortgages in viable loans that would be repaid.

So the bank takes in $1 million, funds $500,000 and take the other $500,000 as a “trading profit,” without putting up a dime. And THAT is why the REMIC’s name was not put on the note and mortgage (or deed of trust). If the REMIC’s name had been put on the origination documents, the “trade could not exist because it would be selling the loan to itself.

The end result is that the Wall Street bank makes a $500,000 tier 2 yield spread premium trading profit by stealing the money of the pension funds. By not putting the name of the real source of funds on the origination documents, they raise another red flag showing that a PONZI scheme and a separate fraud were in play here.

And this is why I say you should FIRST FOLLOW the money using the DENY and Discover strategy. Once that order is entered requiring them to show the money trail they are dead in the water and you’ll either get the house or get a settlement in all likelihood — but you must present a credible, understandable threat to them.

And you must be as relentless in pursuing them as they are in pursuing the homeowner. The lawyers that have followed this advice or realized it on their own are picking up victory and after victory. The timid lawyers who for reasons unknown to this writer are afraid to deny the obligation, note and mortgage, lose almost every time.

Back in 2007 I told everyone that the defense was going to be plausible deniability on the part of the Wall Street banks — that they didn’t know of all the violations in the origination and assignments of the loans. That they deny knowledge is already established. That is plausible for them to deny it is impossible. It was the violations themselves that enabled the Wall Street banks to profit while the rest of the country was plunged into recession.

Guilty Pleas in Foreclosure Fraud Cases

By

The founder and former president of DocX, once one of the nation’s largest foreclosure-processing companies, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to fraud in one of the few criminal cases to have arisen out of the housing crisis.

The executive, Lorraine O. Brown, 56, entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florida and a plea agreement in state court in Missouri related to DocX’s preparation of improper documents used to evict troubled borrowers from their homes. Ms. Brown’s guilty pleas will lead to a prison term of at least two years, the Missouri attorney general said.

Foreclosure abuses, like the routine filing of apparent forgeries with the nation’s courts, gained widespread notoriety in 2010. Ms. Brown admitted to directing DocX employees, beginning in 2005, to sign other peoples’ names on crucial mortgage documents. Many of the documents, like assignments of mortgages and affidavits claiming that a borrower’s i.o.u. had been lost, were used by banks and their representatives to foreclose on homeowners. DocX also filed falsely notarized documents with county clerks across the country. These practices are now known as robo-signing. In her plea, Ms. Brown admitted to participating in the falsification of more than a million documents.

“We are sending a signal to the financial industry that these mortgage documents have meaning, they are legal documents and if you are going to file them in the courthouses of this country then they had better be honestly drafted,” said Chris Koster, the Missouri attorney general.

In a statement, Mark Rosenblum, a lawyer for Ms. Brown in Jacksonville, Fla., said: “By negotiating a settlement to her situation and entering her guilty plea, Lori has started the process of getting on with the rest of her life.”

Ms. Brown entered her pleas Tuesday afternoon. She pleaded to one count of mail fraud in federal court in Jacksonville and agreed to one count each of forgery and perjury in Missouri. The Missouri pleas follow a settlement last summer in which DocX agreed to pay the state $2 million and to cooperate with its investigation.

DocX, founded by Ms. Brown and later purchased by Lender Processing Services of Jacksonville, has executed and notarized millions of mortgage documents for big banks and loan servicers. Lender Processing closed the company in April 2010 after evidence of problems emerged.

According to her plea in Missouri, Ms. Brown said that in 2009 she directed a DocX employee to develop a surrogate signers program at the company because there were “too many documents to sign and not enough people with signature authority.”

Mr. Koster said he was unsure when Ms. Brown would be sentenced. In the federal case, she could face a minimum of probation and a maximum of five years in prison. In the Missouri matter, she could receive a sentence of two to three years. But if she receives a federal sentence of probation or fewer than two years in prison, Mr. Koster said, she would be obligated to serve at least two years in Missouri.

“If citizens had filed these types of documents with a bank in an attempt to get a loan, the banks would have filed criminal cases against them,” Mr. Koster said. “The mortgage servicing industry has to be held to the same standard that the banks hold the rest of us to.”

ALABAMA Appelate Court Deals Death Blow to Thousands of Foreclosures

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 EDITOR’S NOTE: “Because GMAC Mortgage lacked standing to bring the ejectment action, the trial court never acquired subject-matter jurisdiction over the ejectment action. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is void and is hereby vacated. Moreover, because a void judgment will not support an appeal, we dismiss this appeal. Id.

GMAC Mortgage, like BAC in Sturdivant, had not been assigned the mortgage before it initiated foreclosure proceedings. Consequently, under our holding in Sturdivant, GMAC Mortgage lacked authority to foreclose the mortgage when it initiated the foreclosure proceedings,

With those words tens of thousands of foreclosures, if not millions, are cast into doubt and, in Alabama — arguably the most conservative state in the nation, thousands of foreclosures can be overturned after eviction, after the sale at “auction” because if the creditor did not have proof of the sale of the loan (including payment, to complete the transaction, then they couldn’t very well initiate any Notice of Default, Notice of Sale, or submit a “credit bid” at auction, simply because they were not the creditor.

This is why homeowners, investors and banks looking to refinance property that was ever subject to claims of securitization and foreclosure must have the information contained in our COMBO title and Securitization report (see above). That house you think you lost or are in the process of losing or are in the process of buying or are in the process of refinancing needs to have these questions cleared up before anyone can proceed.

PATTERSON v. GMAC MORTGAGE, LLC
Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.
Decided January 20, 2012.


On appeal, the Pattersons assert, among other things, that the trial court erred in determining that the foreclosure was valid. While the Pattersons’ appeal was pending, this court delivered its decision in Sturdivant v. BAC Home Loans, LP, [Ms. 2100245, Dec. 16, 2011] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2011). In Sturdivant, BAC Home Loans, LP (“BAC”), initiated foreclosure proceedings on the mortgage encumbering Bessie T. Sturdivant’s house before the mortgage had been assigned to BAC. BAC then held a foreclosure sale at which it purchased Sturdivant’s house, and the auctioneer executed a foreclosure deed purporting to convey title to Sturdivant’s house to BAC. BAC was assigned the mortgage the same day as the foreclosure sale. Thereafter, BAC brought an ejectment action against Sturdivant, claiming that it owned title to her house by virtue of the foreclosure deed. After the trial court entered a summary judgment in favor of BAC, Sturdivant appealed to the supreme court, which transferred her appeal to this court. We held that BAC lacked authority to foreclose the mortgage because it had not been assigned the mortgage before it initiated foreclosure proceedings and that, therefore, the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed were invalid. We further held that, because the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed were invalid, BAC did not acquire legal title to Sturdivant’s house through the foreclosure deed and thus BAC did not own an interest in the house when it commenced its ejectment action. We further held that, because BAC did not own any interest in Sturdivant’s house when it commenced its ejectment action, BAC did not have standing to bring that action and, consequently, the trial court never acquired subject-matter jurisdiction over the ejectment action. Because BAC did not have standing to bring its ejectment action and the trial court never acquired jurisdiction over the ejectment action, we held that the judgment of the trial court was void, and we vacated that judgment. Moreover, because a void judgment will not support an appeal, we dismissed the appeal.

In the case now before us, GMAC Mortgage, like BAC in Sturdivant, had not been assigned the mortgage before it initiated foreclosure proceedings. Consequently, under our holding in Sturdivant, GMAC Mortgage lacked authority to foreclose the mortgage when it initiated the foreclosure proceedings, and, therefore, the foreclosure and the foreclosure deed upon which GMAC based it ejectment claim are invalid. Moreover, under our holding in Sturdivant, because GMAC Mortgage did not own any interest in the house, it lacked standing to bring its ejectment action against the Pattersons. Because GMAC Mortgage lacked standing to bring the ejectment action, the trial court never acquired subject-matter jurisdiction over the ejectment action. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is void and is hereby vacated. Moreover, because a void judgment will not support an appeal, we dismiss this appeal. Id.

JUDGMENT VACATED; APPEAL DISMISSED.

Pittman, Thomas, and Moore, JJ., concur.

Thompson, P.J., concurs in the result, with writing.

Bryan, J., dissents, with writing.

THOMPSON, Presiding Judge, concurring in the result.

 

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