Ocwen Stock Is Riskier Than Investors Know

the truth is there for anyone who wants to see it, which means that the entire prospect for Ocwen is that of an actor with only one foot on the edge of a cliff.

This article represents the analysis and opinion of the writer. Take no action with consulting a legal and financial adviser. 

The common stock of Ocwen Loan Servicing is traded actively. The company is backed by the largest banks in the world and its reported income is generally rising. BUT Ocwen has also been positioned by its backers (Goldman, BofA, Citi, etc.) to be thrown under the bus if the going gets rough.

The stock is currently valued based upon the presumption of economic viability because all the mortgages claimed to be servicing are generating revenue and Ocwen is receiving revenue and making a profit.

But another scenario is emerging from the shadows even if it appears unlikely. The number and percentage of homeowner successes in foreclosure is increasing. Those successes are all based upon one single fact, whether explicitly stated in court findings or not — that the named creditor on whose behalf Ocwen says it is collecting was not the owner of the debt. Hence Ocwen’s claims, notices, and testimony are not based upon its relationship with such named creditors or claimants.

If it is further revealed that Ocwen was in fact acting at the behest of an investment bank rather than a trustee of a named REMIC trust, the result could be catastrophic for both Ocwen and the investment bank. That scenario occurs if the investment bank was giving instructions on loan administration and foreclosure while it had no financial interest in the underlying debt.

That would mean that Ocwen never had any nexus to the debt owner. And that in turn would mean that Ocwen, in many and perhaps most cases, does not have any right to administer or service the loan “portfolio” it claims to be managing. And it would mean that all “modification” applications were improperly directed and processed. It could also mean that Ocwen is being paid to pretend it possesses such rights.

Ocwen could be the target of even more lawsuits alleging fraud and other intentional torts. On a more granular level the absence of any agency relationship with an identified creditor who owned the debt by reason of having paid for it would disqualify an Ocwen representative from testifying as the robowitness and would fail the exception test to hearsay objections as to their records, since they would not be records of either the named claimant nor of the actual owner of the debt.

If the facts are revealed and finally accepted by American courts, most foreclosures would grind to a halt. American law requires that paper title and actual payment of value for the debt must be combined into one party before any foreclosure action is filed. Under the weird securitization scheme adopted by the major investment banks no such party exists. The whole point of what they were doing was to sell parts of the debt for amounts vastly exceeding the market value of the actual debt.

By using Ocwen as the front for enforcing foreclosure actions, Ocwen is primed to be the one thrown under the bus wherein the inevitable finger pointing from investment banks will be directed at Ocwen and other servicing entities like it. Acting without authority and knowingly contributing to windfall illicit gains from foreclosures also places Ocwen at risk for actions by Attorneys General of all 50 states and several regulatory authorities.

The combined administrative and legal risks vastly exceeds the market valuation of the entire company. If and when these facts are finally accepted in the courts, Ocwen would be forced into bankruptcy and would most likely file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 as a liquidation in bankruptcy. Either way, the outlook for  the valuation of Ocwen shares would be bleak at best.

If somehow the investment banks are either able to maintain the ruse or continue the current governmental attitude of wink and nod, none of those scenarios are applicable. But the truth is there for anyone who wants to see it, which means that the entire prospect for Ocwen is that of an actor with only one foot on the edge of a cliff.

How to Follow the Money

Ultimately all debts, notes and mortgages (or deeds of trust) are about money. They are not about property. The property is incidental to the deal and ONLY comes about if there is a dispute in which there is a claim that you didn’t pay money that is owed to the owner of the mortgage deed or the beneficial owner of a deed of trust. The mortgage deed or deed of trust is conditional, not absolute like your deed to your property that names you as owner. There is no such thing as a fee simple absolute mortgage or encumbrance. It doesn’t exist in our jurisprudence or for that matter any jurisprudence. 

The ONLY reason your property can be legally sold, denying you future title and possession of the property is that you owe money to the party who foreclosed — or on whose behalf the foreclosure was initiated. Mastering this one fact will pull your head and that you attorney’s head out of the weeds. 

We take it as a given that you owe money. The question is whether there is a party that can be identified as the the one to whom the money is owed. If so, who is that? What is the identification, address and contact information for the party who is actually owed money from you.

Spoiler alert: So far the banks have successfully skirted the question of money. From funding of the initial loan to the proceeds of sale fo the property nobody has actually disclosed where the money came from and where the money went when payments were made or the property was liquidated.

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Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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And the absolute immutable truth is that the so-called investors (i.e., the ones who bought “certificates” or “mortgage bonds”) do not receive your mortgage payments nor do they receive the proceeds of the sale your home. So who actually wants the foreclosure and why? The truth is that the investors get paid in the sole discretion of the underwriter of the “certificates.” Their payment is not conditioned upon your payment.

They get paid ONLY because the underwriter promised to pay them based upon certain conditions which does NOT include the receipt of mortgage payments. They do not get paid because you promised to pay the investors nor because your promise to pay was sold to either the investors or the trust. That sale never occurred. 

How do I know this? Because I have asked two questions thousands of times in the last 12 years. First, to whom were my payments forwarded by the self-proclaimed servicer? Answer: None of my business. Second, who received the proceeds of liquidation of the foreclosed property? Answer: none of my business. 

Knowing the banking industry as I do, there was only one possible conclusion: if they answered the question they would either perjury themselves or they would be admitting that the party named as being entitled to foreclosure was not really entitled to foreclosure. You see it is well established law — for centuries — that only the owner of a debt can foreclosure on collateral. 

For convenience sake a holder of a promissory note can enforce the note but only the owner of the debt is entitled to foreclose. If the foreclosing party claims a representative capacity the to establish a prima facie case it must disclose the party whom they claim to be representing and prove that the party being represented is the owner of the debt. 

So the one area, pointed out by Charles Koppa in So.Cal. a decade ago is what happens after the sale is authorized and the property is liquidated. He was figuring out the relationship between the bid amount and the amount the underwriter claimed as unpaid servicer advances (in the role of self-proclaimed master servicer for the nonexistent trust). Here we knew the answer but we were lucky enough to get hold of copies of a check made out to BONY/Mellon as trustee (Blah blah). BONY mailed it to the servicer and the servicer mailed it to Chase (i.e., the underwriter and master servicer doing business as the nonexistent trust, like a DBA.

No trust and no investor ever received the money. Chase got it and lest you forget, remember that Chase was all about selling loans and derivatives based upon loans and synthetic derivatives based upon the derivatives. It was never about actually making loans where Chase could lose money or buying loan as that were going to be worthless of worth less. It was about selling them. So the revelation is that BONY never had a claim to the money and either did the nonexistent trust that was ignored once the foreclosure court proceedings were over. 

Our investigations so far, with considerable help from Bill Paatalo, shows that multiple transfers of title occur AFTER the foreclosure sale or shortly before signaling the real player who is going to get the money. So you might want to think about the sale of your property title as the beginning rather than the end. It is the beginning of an action (lawsuit) to vacate the sale and award damages. 

Modification Muddle

There is a great deal of conflict and confusion in the world of foreclosure defense about the prospect of modification. It is obvious that approvals are random only to create the impression that an entire system devoted to foreclosing on as many homes as possible is purportedly attempting to work with homeowners.

We all know that we are dealing with entities who have no right, title or interest to the loans or the servicing or the administration of them. Yet we are presented with a crazy hodgepodge of demands for paperwork so that the unauthorized servicer can “consider” and “get approval” from the “investor.”

If the terms are favorable to the homeowners, many homeowners are advised by me and others to accept the modification even though we know that we are not settling with anyone who has the right or authority to bring the claim, much less settle it. But the process of settlement/modification brings with it some potential opportunities to drill home your primary defense narrative.

Let us help you plan your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

Purchase now Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense webinar including 3.5 hours of lecture, questions and answers, plus course materials that include PowerPoint Presentations. Presenters: Attorney and Expert Neil Garfield, Forensic Auditor Dan Edstrom, Attorney Charles Marshall and and Private Investigator Bill Paatalo. The webinar and materials are all downloadable.

Get a Consult and TEAR (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345. The TEAR replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!

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

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Tens of thousands of homeowners have reported to us that they are in conflict with their own attorneys about how to proceed — litigation or modification. This article is meant to convey the complexity of strategic legal decisions. Your attorney has not been bought off by the other side. Suggesting settlement is not a betrayal. It is called doing the job of a lawyer. The justice system runs on money. If you want all out war, then you must pay for it. If you can’t or won’t pay for it, then you must accept the probability of achieving less than your main goal.

Unless you are wiling to spend large amounts of money on fees such that the attorney is being paid to do all the research, all the analysis and all the strategic planning required to litigate, then you must accept the consequences of limited strategies in place of strategies that are designed to win the case. But modification represents a backdoor to beating your opposition using the same defense narrative as you are presently using in litigation.

We should not be annoyed with local counsel. We defer to local counsel always. This is not a contest. If local counsel deems it best that the homeowner settle then it should at least be pursued, but in the end it is the homeowner who decides what to accept.

The findings in the TERA report can be used as a reason to demand that the named Trustee of the named Trust acknowledge a settlement and the authority of whoever is negotiating the settlement.
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When the intermediary “servicers” refuse to present any signature from any officer of the purported “Trustee” of a purported “Trust” that owns the subject debt, the homeowner can go to court. This time the homeowner is armed with inequitable conduct by purported agents of the purported Plaintiff or foreclosing party.
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In court, the homeowner would say the purported “servicer” has proposed a settlement/modification that the homeowner has already accepted; but now the “servicer” refuses to have the Plaintiff (foreclosing party) execute any document memorializing the settlement/modification. Instead they are requiring acceptance of a signature from a person of unknown authority on behalf of a self-proclaimed servicer of unknown authority.
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Reports from forensic experts show that none of the parties have any right, title or interest in the debt or servicing; however homeowner is willing to accept the risks of dealing with an unauthorized entity, as long as the named Trustee executes the settlement on behalf of the Plaintiff Trust.
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A close examination of the proposed modification document will usually show that the creditor is being subtly changed. Payments are now owed to the servicer and there is no mention that the servicer is accepting those payments on behalf of the named creditor who is named as the foreclosing party. At best the creditor is being changed from the foreclosing trust to unknown. At worst the debt is being joined with the note and mortgage and changed to being presumptively owned by parties who, to the detriment of the owners of the debt, have never paid for ownership.
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The defending homeowner would be saying that the intermediary with whom she has been corresponding is acting in bad faith and/or without authority. He/She would be seeking relief in the form of a court order requiring an officer of the named Trustee Bank, as trustee for the named Trustee appearing as the Plaintiff and foreclosing party to either sign the deal or reject it if the current servicer had no authority to offer it.
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This is akin to cases in which there is a settlement and the attorney executes documentation or a pleading; the court most often rejects the “acceptance” by the attorney even though he/she is an officer of the court. The court, especially in foreclosures, will almost always require the signature of the homeowner. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
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The purpose of going through all that is to force the other side to offer a better deal or back away. I can virtually guarantee that the “Trustee” for the “REMIC Trust” will NOT sign a document in which they admit to being a player. The way it is set up now, the “Trustee’s” name is falsely used and the bank named as Trustee can claim plausible deniability in any given case in the event that the situation explodes and there is liability for false claims. In all likelihood the Trustee doesn’t even have a retainer agreement with the law firm that is falsely reporting that they are representing a nonexistent client Trust.
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Using this strategy drives the opposition to the wall. They know that the “Trustee” has no authority or interest in the litigation. They know the Trust is empty and most likely nonexistent. They know that without the subject loan being entrusted to a trust, no amount of writing can authorize the administration of the loan on behalf of the trust. They know there is potential liability for sanctions and punitive damages that could reach into the millions, but more importantly reach the press where homeowners will get the idea that maybe they can and ought to win.
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In my experience, the end result is usually a vast reduction in the amount demanded that is so steep that the homeowner feels constrained to accept it in exchange for accepting the risk that the parties with whom he/she is doing business have no right, title or interest in the loan.
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If the opposition were to produce a newly fabricated document the homeowner’s position strengthens. First the homeowner can seek to confirm the execution of the document by named “Trustee, on behalf of the named ‘Trust'”. Second the existence of a newly executed document may be used to argue that there was no privity or authorization before.

Are Foreclosure Trustees Debt Collectors?

Such rulings from appellate courts undermine confidence in the judicial system for those who are victims of wrongdoing and reinforce the confidence and arrogance of those committing the wrongs that they will get away with it.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345
https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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see 9th Circuit Foreclosure Trustee not a debt collector 10-56884

The entire “Substitution of Trustee” scheme is performed with two purposes only — (1) to record a self servicing document that will be considered facially valid establishing a “new” beneficiary and (2) the selection of an entity whose sole purpose is to facilitate foreclosure.

As a Trustee on a deed of trust it has obligations set forth in state statutes allowing the use of non-judicial foreclosure proceedings. The old beneficiary, frequently a title company, would follow the requirements of the statutes and common sense. The “new” one is “appointed” by a self-proclaimed beneficiary with instructions to foreclose. Hence the new trustee is obviously selected because of the likelihood that it will follow instructions from the self-proclaimed “successor” beneficiary and thus “establish” the validity of the new beneficiary and the data from the new beneficiary indicating the existence of a default. That is why it is described as “the foreclosure trustee.” The old one might require more information and documentation to establish the authenticity of the successor beneficiary.

The 9th Circuit here amending its prior opinion, rules out the foreclosure trustee as a debt collector because it is only selling collateral and not seeking recovery of money. Never mind the default letter that gives the amounts required for reinstatement or the redemption rights of any borrower. Playing right into the hands of the banks, the 9th Circuit has simply failed to deal with realities and instead has arrived at a result that this is as remote from the realities of today’s foreclosures as any Dickensian portrayal of the courts (see “Bleakhouse“).

The dissenting opinion from which I quote below sums up the weakness of this decision:

The suggestion in Hulse that a foreclosure proceeding is one in which “the lender is foreclosing its interest in the property” is flatly wrong. A foreclosure proceeding is one in which the interest of the debtor (and not the creditor) is foreclosed in a proceeding conducted by a trustee who holds title to the property and who then uses the proceeds to retire all or part of the debt owed by the borrower. See Cal. Civ. Code § 2931; Yvanova v. New Century Mortg. Corp., 365 P.3d 845, 850 (Cal. 2016). Any excess funds raised over the amount owed by the borrower (and costs associated with the foreclosure) are paid to the borrower. See Cal. Civ. Code § 2924k; see also Jesse Dukeminier & James E. Krier, Property 590 (2d ed. 1988). Thus, contrary to the holding in Hulse, “[t]here can be no serious doubt that the ultimate purpose of foreclosure is the payment of money.” Glazer, 704 F.3d at 463. Nor, because the FDCPA defines a “debt collector” as one who collects or attempts to collect, “directly or indirectly,” debts owed to another, 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6), does it matter that the money collected at a foreclosure sale does not come directly from the debtor.

But even this fairly clear rendition of foreclosures recites “facts” that are in an alternate universe, to wit: that “the money collected at a foreclosure sale does not come directly from the debtor.” Where else did it come from? It came from the sale of the alleged debtor’s homestead which is property owned by the debtor and which can only be stopped by payment of the amount demanded or a lawsuit challenging the Substitution of Trustee, the status of the supposed successor beneficiary and the presence of a default between the homeowner, on the one hand, and the new beneficiary on the other hand. Either way the money comes from the debtor.

Add to that the obvious fact that Recontrust and other entities similarly situated are simply controlled entities of the large banks. In a word, they are appointing themselves as beneficiary and as successor trustee through the use of a sham entity that has no interest nor any power to act like a true trustee. The analytical issue appears to be that taken collectively, the Foreclosure Trustee, the self proclaimed successor beneficiary and the self proclaimed or appointed “servicer” are aiming for foreclosure under the guise of a quest for money.

“Resecuritization”

the basic thrust of the defense is to point out what is absent rather than attack what is not absent.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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As predicted on my blog back in 2008, we are seeing new names of Trusts emerge in foreclosure cases — involving old loans that were declared in default years ago by parties asserting they represent the alleged servicer of either a named bank or servicer or an old trust. What happened? As our sources had revealed, the alleged trusts had nothing in them and were the source of extreme liability of the Master Servicer acting as underwriter to the investors and third parties who traded in securities based upon the representation that the Trust actually owned the debts of millions of homeowners.
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We have not seen the agreements, but we are told, and our analysis confirms, that the old trusts were “retired” and that new trusts, also empty, are now being used wherein the paperwork for the new “Trusts” is far more complete than what we have previously seen.
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As far as we have determined thus far the mechanics of the change of trust name are along the following lines:
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  1. There is probably a purchase and sale agreement between the old trust and the new trust. Like previous documentation there are no warranties of ownership but ownership of the debts is implied.
  2. Like the old Trusts, foreclosures are brought in the name of the new trusts, using US Bank or other major institution as the “Trustee.”
  3. Investors in the old trusts are given certificates in the new trust as settlement of claims brought by investors for malfeasance in the handling of their money — namely the origination of loans instead of the acquisition of loans and the granting of loans that were far lower in quality than agreed and far higher risks than allowed for stable managed funds.
  4. This “resecuritization” process is a sham just like the original old trust. But it follows the playbook the banks have been using for over a decade. By adding another level of paper to fabricated documents based upon nonexistent transactions, it promotes the illusion of valid transactions and valid documents.
  5. Like all other trusts and hybrid situations in which trusts were involved but not named, the entire scheme is based upon a simple premise. The banks have managed information and data such that there remains a false sense of security that they are still credible sources of information — despite all evidence to the contrary. The additional layer of documents then adds to the illusion because it is counterintuitive to believe that these high level complex documents represent transactions in the real world that don’t exist.
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Defense strategies remain the same, however. The issues in evidence laws and rules are foundation, and hearsay.The basic defects in the bank’s credibility must be revealed even if it does not get to the point where everything is revealed. The rent-a-name practice for appointment of trustees that have no obligations or duties continues. The “apparent authority” of the servicers is based upon a trust document of an entity in which there is no asset. But the website of US Bank and others suggest that they have business records — which in actuality do not exist. Hence, the basic thrust of the defense is to point out what is absent rather than attack what is not absent.
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This takes strict logical analysis by the attorney representing the homeowner — an exercise that in most cases cannot be accomplished by a pro se litigant. It may be beyond the confidence of the lawyer too, but there are many people in the country who provide services that assist with the logical analysis and factual analysis — including but not limited to the team at LivingLies and LendingLies. The analyst should be well-steeped in the three classes of securitization — concept, written documents and actual practice in order to come to conclusions that are not only correct but are likely to give traction in court.
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While tempting, attacking the existing documentation on the basis of authenticity or validity is a rabbit hole. The only parties that actually have the proof as to the fabrication of any one particular transaction are the parties with whom you are in litigation and the parties who created them and use them as sham conduits. They resist by all means available any attempt to provide access tot he real information and the real monetary transactions which look very different from the ones portrayed in court.
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By making an allegation you are now required to prove what you have said by evidence that the other side simply will not give up. This is not to say that there is no value in sending a QWR (Qualified Written Request), (DVL) Debt Validation Letter, or a complaint to the state AG or the CFPB. Much of the inconsistent statements come from those responses and can be used in court. And there is also considerable value in seeking discovery even if we know that in most cases, while it should be allowed, the judge will issue protective orders or sustain objections to requests seeking the identity of the owner of the debt.
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The value of those apparently futile endeavors can be that at trial the foreclosing party will almost certainly rely on legal presumptions that depend upon information contained in your discovery request.
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OBJECTIONS AT TRIAL: This requires research and analysis of potential objections and how they should be used. While a motion in limine before trial would seem to be the better practice, the real traction seems to come at trial when the homeowner raises objections and moves to exclude evidence that relies upon data contained in discovery they refused to answer and which the court ruled was irrelevant. It is of utmost importance, however, that in order to use the discovery exchanges, you must file a motion to compel and set it for hearing and get it heard. The risk of a motion in limine is that the court is more likely to deny it and then when raised at trial in an objection will regard your objection as a second bite an apple that has already been the subject of a dispositive ruling.
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Cross examination of the robo-witness should be aggressive and relentless pointing to the actual lack of knowledge of the witness about anything other than the script from which he was trained to testify.

US Bank Business: Rent-A-Name, Trustee

IF THE SERVICER IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH US BANK “IN ANY WAY” THEN EITHER US BANK HAS NO TRUST DUTIES OR THE SERVICER HAS NO SERVICING AUTHORITY

BOTTOM LINE: A trust without a trustee holding fiduciary duties and actual powers over trust assets is no trust at all. This signals corroboration for what is now well known in the public domain: the REMIC trustee has no powers or duties because there is no trust and there are no trust assets.

See below for why I am re-publishing this article.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Until now I knew about a letter sent out by US Bank until the TBTF banks in control of the mortgage mess realized that this was a dangerous letter. It provides proof and corroboration and opportunities for further corroboration that US Bank is a fictitious trustee even when named in a PSA/Trust.

I can’t give you a copy of the actual letter as that contains private information. But I now physically have in my possession of the wild card letter sent out by US Bank filled with factual misstatement, legal absurdities, fraud, and admissions against interest that show clearly that the  entire “securitization” game is but a rotating cloud of existing and non-existing entities blinking in and out such that finding the those in charge becomes impossible to detect.

The text in blue are direct unedited quotes from the letter answering a homeowner, in 2013, who was trying to figure out who is in charge. This is a short letter and the quotes essentially make up virtually the entire letter. They are not taken out of context. The rest are my comment and opinions.

NOTE: [FORECLOSURE BY PARTY CLAIMING TO BE THE CREDITOR OR HOLDER OR OWNER WITHOUT MENTION OF TRUST;]Where the Master Servicer or a subsidiary or affiliate of the Master Servicer names itself as Plaintiff (i.e., the foreclosing party) you may not realize that you are dealing with a securitization plan that went bad or was reconstituted, but either way the Master Servicer never funded (i. e., was the source) any loans within this class of loans that were falsely represented to be subject to claims of securitization. The goal is the same because internally the Master Servicer is attempting to seal the illegal record with a legal act or judgment and is attempting to get its hands on mislabeled “servicer advances.”

Here are the quotes (in blue0 from the letter with commentary (in black):

  • I have researched your mortgage and have determined that
    • Since he disclaims any authority or responsibility for the trust assets, what “research” did he perform?
    • Where did he get his information from when the authority and responsibility for the loans rests with a third party?
    • US Bank clearly could not have business records unless the Master Servicer was reporting to the NAMED Trustee. But we know that isn’t happening because the PSA expressly prevents the beneficiaries or the trustee from getting any information about the trust assets or in even seeking such information. 
    • This letter is clearly a carefully worded document to give false impressions.
    • Upon reading the PSAs it is obvious that neither the Trustee nor the beneficiaries have any permitted access to know how the money or assets is being managed
    • This opens the door to moral hazard: i.e., that the sole source of information is coming from third parties and thus neither the beneficiaries nor the putative “borrowers” have any information disclosed about who is actually performing which task. 
    • This could be concealment fraud in which the direct victims are the investors and the indirect victims are the homeowners.
  • US Bank is merely the Trustee for the pool of mortgages in which your loans sits.
    • “Merely the Trustee” is non descriptive language that essentially disclaims any actual authority or duties. It is apparently conceding that it is “merely” named as Trustee but the actual duties and authority rests elsewhere.
  • The Trustee does not have the authority to make any decisions regarding your mortgage loans.
    • So we have a Trustee with no powers over mortgage loans even if the “loans” were in a pool in which ownership was ascribed to the Trust. Again the statement does not specifically disclaim any DUTIES. 
  • The servicer is the party to the trust that has the authority and responsibility to make decisions regarding individual mortgage loans in the trust. It is the Servicer who has taken all action regarding your property.
    • “all action” would include the origination of the loan if the investors’ money was being used to originate loans rather than buying existing loans.
    • This statement concedes that it is the servicer (actually the Master servicer) that has all power and all responsibility for administration of the trust assets. 
    • In short he is probably conceding that while US Bank is NAMED as Trustee, the ROLE of Trustee is being performed by the Master Servicer, without any information or feedback to the named Trustee as a check on whether a fiduciary duty has been created between the Master Servicer and the trust or the Master Servicer and the trust beneficiaries. 
    • Hence the actual authority and duties with respect to the trust assets lies with the Master Servicer who hires subservicers to do whatever work is required, mainly enforcement of the note and mortgage, regardless of whether the loan ever made it into the Trust. 
    • It follows that the sole discretion of the Master Servicer creates an opportunity for the Master Servicer to gain illicit profits by handling or mishandling originations, foreclosures and liquidations of property. Taking fictitious servicer advances into account it is readily apparent that the sole basis for foreclosure instead of workouts is to “recover” money for which the Master Servicer never had a claim for recovery. 
      • Reporting in actuality is nonexistent except for the reports of “borrower payments” which are massaged through multiple subservicers each performing a “boarding process” in which in actuality they merely input new data into the subservicer system and claim it came from the old subservicer.
      • This “boarding process” is a charade as we have seen in the majority of cases where the knowledge and history of the payments and alleged delinquency or default has been challenged. In nearly all cases despite the initial representation from the robo-witness, it becomes increasingly apparent that neither the witness nor his company, the subservicer, have any original data nor have they performed any reviews to determine if the data is accurate.
      • In fact, upon inquiry it is readily apparent now that the “records” are created, kept and maintained by LPS/BlackKnight who merely assigns “ownership” of the records from one assigned subservicer to the next. LPS fabricates whatever data is necessary to allow an appointed “Plaintiff” to foreclose, including the fabrication adnfoqgery of documents.
        • This is why the parties to the 50 state settlement do not perform the reviews required under the settlement and under the Dodd-Frank law: they have no records to review. 
    • in this case the current subservicer is SLS — Specialized Loan Servicing LLC
  • While US Bank understands and wishes to assist you with this matter, the servicer is the only party with the authority and responsibility to make decisions regarding your mortgage and they are not affiliated with US Bank in any way.
    • Hence he concedes that the duties of a trustee (who by definition is accepting fiduciary responsibilities to the trust entity and the trust beneficiaries) is being performed by a third party, with absolute power and sole discretion, who has no affiliation with US Bank.
      • This concedes that US Bank is not a trustee even though it is named as Trustee in some trusts and otherwise “acquired the trust business” from Bank of America and others. 
        • A Trustee without powers or duties is no trustee. Disclaimer of fiduciary duties denotes non acceptance of being the Trustee of the Trust.
        • Acquiring the trust business is a euphemism for the continuation of the musical chair business that is well known in subservicers. 
        • Being the trustee is NOT a marketable commodity without amendment to the Trust document. Hence if a Trustee is named and has no power or duties, and which then “sells” its “trust business” to US Bank the “transfer” trust responsibility is void but damnum absque injuria. 
        • No action for breach of fiduciary exists because nobody assumed the fiduciary duty that must be the basis of any position of “trustee” of any trust.
  • BOTTOM LINE: A trust without a trustee holding fiduciary duties and actual powers over trust assets is no trust at all. This signals corroboration for what is now well known in the public domain: the REMIC trustee has no powers or duties because there is no trust and there are no trust assets. 

============================

Update: An identical letter (see below) has been sent to me from various sources all ostensibly from US Bank. My opinion is that

  • The letter is not from US Bank
  • US Bank Corporate Trust Services has nothing on the alleged loans
  • No business records are kept by US Bank in connection with alleged loans subject to alleged claims of securitization
  • The letter was not sent out by Bank of America either although one might surmise that. It was sent by LPS/Black Night
  • The letter is pure fabrication and forgery.
  • The cutting and pasting was done by persons who have no relationship with even the false claims of the banks
  • Goldade has no trust duties in connection with the alleged loan
  • And of course the alleged loan is not in the trust, making claims by or behalf of the “trustee” or the “Servicer” completely without merit or foundation.

Here is an example of one of the letters that I used for analysis : Note that the “:,F4” indicates that the signature was pasted not executed by a real person with a pen. You can examine your own letters like this by highlighting the letter contents and then pasting to text edit rather than Word or any other program that corrects and substitutes the command rather than just printing it. The “errors” in grammar and formatting occur in text edit.

The meta data from the letter shows the following, and I have the rest of it as well.

/Type /Metadata
/Subtype /XML
/Length 673
>>
stream
<?xpacket begin=”” id=”W5M0MpCehiHzreSzNTczkc9d”?><x:xmpmeta x:xmptk=”NitroPro 9.5″ xmlns:x=”adobe:ns:meta/”><rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf=”http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#”><rdf:Description rdf:about=”” xmlns:dc=”http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/” xmlns:pdf=”http://ns.adobe.com/pdf/1.3/” xmlns:pdfaExtension=”http://www.aiim.org/pdfa/ns/extension/” xmlns:pdfaProperty=”http://www.aiim.org/pdfa/ns/property#” xmlns:pdfaSchema=”http://www.aiim.org/pdfa/ns/schema#” xmlns:pdfaid=”http://www.aiim.org/pdfa/ns/id/” xmlns:xmp=”http://ns.adobe.com/xap/1.0/”><xmp:ModifyDate>2016-11-04T18:28:42-07:00</xmp:ModifyDate>
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<?xpacket end=”w”?>
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xref

Note the reference to Nitro Pro 9.5 --- 
which is a program that allows one to edit pdf files
 and then print them out 
as though the new pdf was simply a printout 
of a pre-existing document.  
Here is how the letter appears in text edit:
I am writing in response to your Debt Elimination Scheme and complaint on the subject property sent to U.S. Bank National Association (“U.S. Bank”). On behalf of U.S. Bank, I am happy to assist you with this matter to the extent I am able to provide information.
I have researched your mortgage and have determined that U.S. Bank is merely the trustee for the Trust that owns yourmortgageandnote. PleasenotetheTrustistheownerofyourmortgageandnote,notthetrustee. Theservicer is the party to the Trust that has the authority and responsibility to make decisions and take action regarding individual mortgage loans in the Trust. The trustee has no authority or responsibility to review and or approve or disapprove of these decisions and actions. It is the servicer who has taken all action regarding your property, and has the information you have requested.
As we stated in our response of July 27, 2016 you must work with Bank of America as the servicer of your loan, to have your request addressed. I have forwarded your correspondence to Bank of America and they have responded and stated you may utilize the following email – litigation.intake@bankofamerica.com.
While U.S. Bank understands and wishes to assist you with this matter, the servicer is the only party with the authority and responsibility to make decisions regarding this mortgage and they are not affiliated with U.S. Bank in anyw ay.
Please work with Bank of America to address your concerns using the information provided to you in this letter, so they may assist you in a more timely and efficient manner.

Sincerely  :,f4

Kevin Goldade Corporate Trust Services 60 Livingston Ave
St Paul, MN 55107
cc Bank of America
  •  IF THE SERVICER IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH US BANK “IN ANY WAY” THEN EITHER US BANK HAS NO TRUST DUTIES OR THE SERVICER HAS NO SERVICING AUTHORITY

 

FAMILIARITY IS BREEDING CONTEMPT IN THE COURTS

Business Records Exception On Shaky Ground: The main point is foundation: the affidavit or testimony by the robo-witness must show that the company he works for is in fact the servicer of the loan, as authorized by the owner of the debt, and that he/she has actual knowledge of the procedures and posting policies of the servicer and the owner of the debt. I would add that this “corporate representative” must show that he/she and the “servicer” is authorized to speak for, and thus appear for the foreclosing party.

see http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/home/id=1202770275522/Casting-Doubt-on-Validity-of-Servicer-Affidavits-in-Foreclosure-Litigation?mcode=1202615326010&curindex=0&slreturn=20160925141040

Hearsay is always excluded from evidence — at least when it is ruled as hearsay. A document is hearsay in nearly all instances and thus may not be introduced into evidence — unless it satisfies the elements of a exception to the hearsay rule of exclusion.

In foreclosures the main hearsay event arises from the fact that no creditor appears in court. It is virtually always a company that claims to be a servicer for the owner of the debt, but the situation is nearly always opaque as to the identity of the owner of the debt who they say authorized them as servicer.

The typical testimony from a robo-witness, on leading questions from the attorney, is that he/she is familiar with the the record keeping process and policies of the servicer and that the letter, or payment history sought to be introduced into evidence was produced in the ordinary course of business from records kept in the ordinary course of business based upon entries made at or near the time of an actual event. Of course, with most of such documents there is no “event” and that is a problem for banks and servicers.

New York seems to be leading the way on the issue of whether these documents are trustworthy exceptions to the hearsay rule of exclusion. See the above link.

Judges in New York now know they will be reversed unless there is clear and competent evidence that the witness can attest from their own personal knowledge using one or more of their five senses — i.e., that they have seen and heard and followed the process of making and keeping records and that they had access to the records showing that the “servicer” was authorized to act as such.

The reason why banks have shifted from the old tried and true practice of sending a representative of the alleged owner of the debt to court is that such a person knows too much and would either be required to perjure themselves or tell the truth, to wit: that the company he/she works for is not the owner of the debt and he/she has no idea who is the owner. Such a person would be forced to admit either ignorance of any transaction in which their employer purchased the loan or that the loan was not in fact purchased by his/her employer.

Such an admission would completely obliterate the claim of the company claiming to be a servicer on behalf of the owner of the debt. This in turn would eliminate the business records exception to the hearsay rule of exclusion. We could go deeper into the number of IT platforms that are maintained and by whom they are maintained and whether the “servicer” even has access to the actual records, but it seems potentially unnecessary with decisions coming from appellate courts who are worried about opening the door on hearsay in millions of other cases unrelated to foreclosure.

Those courts are rapidly retreating from the temporary imposition of an extended exception to the hearsay rule because they can readily see how justice would not be served in criminal and civil matters if the rule remains as loose as it is now.

It is much better for the banks to send someone who knows nothing and therefore cannot accidentally or otherwise tell the truth about these bogus loans and fraudulent foreclosures. The banks are in essence throwing the servicers under the bus, along with the attorneys hired by the servicers. But the walls are caving in on them and they will soon need to put up or shut up — producing a real witness with real (not presumed) knowledge or take a voluntary dismissal. As we have seen in thousands of cases, when presented with that choice the banks voluntarily dismiss their actions even when it means they must pay attorney fees to the homeowner.

The obvious conclusion is that there is no such witness and the facts asserted by the foreclosing party are pure fiction, reliant entirely upon illusion and the erroneous application of legal presumptions.

From the article cited above:

“Lenders will need to find ways in which to meet the new requirements imposed in order to satisfy the business records exception to the hearsay rule announced in decisions such as Royal. For instance, lenders may seek to avoid altogether obtaining affidavits from third-party loan servicers, and instead use representatives of the lender, who can attest to their familiarity with the lender’s record-keeping practices and procedures, in order to submit affidavits and documents to the court.

 
Alternatively, if lenders continue to insist, even after Royal and the other decisions of the Second Department discussed above, to use affidavits from third-party loan servicers in mortgage foreclosure litigation, then the best practice will be to have loan servicers (as opposed to lenders) be the party to act as the plaintiff in the foreclosure litigation. So long as the loan servicer is authorized to do so by the lender, courts have found that loan servicers have standing to present claims for foreclosure and sale on behalf of the lender that owns and holds the note and mortgage at the time of the commencement of the action. See, e.g., Flushing Preferred Funding Corp. v. Patricola Realty Corp., 964 N.Y.S.2d 58 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk Co. 2012).”

About Those PSA Signatures

What is apparent is that the trusts never came into legal existence both because they were never funded and because they were in many cases never signed. Failure to execute and failure to fund the trust reduces the “trust” to a pile of ashes.

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

—————-
From one case in which I am consulting, this is my response to the inquiring lawyer:

I can find no evidence that there is a Trust ever created or operational by the name of “RMAC REMIC Trust Series 2009-9”. In my honest opinion I don’t think there ever was such a trust. I think that papers were drawn up for the trust but never executed. Since the trusts are phantoms anyway, this was consistent with the facts. The use of the trust as a Plaintiff in a court action is a fraud upon the court and the Defendants. The fact that the trust does not exist deprives the court of any jurisdiction. We’ll see when you get the alleged PSA, which even if physically hand-signed probably represents another example of robo-signing, fabrication, back-dating and forgery.

I think it will not show signatures — and remember digital or electronic signatures are not acceptable unless they meet the terms of legislative approval. Keep in mind that the Mortgage Loan Schedule (MLS) was BY DEFINITION  created long after the cutoff date. I say it is by definition because every Prospectus I have ever read states that the MLS attached to the PSA at the time of investment is NOT the real MLS, and that it is there by way of example only. The disclosure is that the actual loan schedule will be filled in “later.”

 

see https://livinglies.me/2015/11/30/standing-is-not-a-multiple-choice-question/

also see DigitalSignatures

References are from Wikipedia, but verified

DIGITAL AND ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES

On digital signatures, they are supposed to be from a provable source that cannot be disavowed. And they are supposed to have electronic characteristics making the digital signature provable such that one would have confidence at least as high as a handwritten signature.

Merely typing a name does nothing. it is neither a digital nor electronic signature. Lawyers frequently make the mistake of looking at a document with /s/ John  Smith and assuming that it qualifies as digital or electronic signature. It does not.

We lawyers think that because we do it all the time. What we are forgetting is that our signature is coming through a trusted source and already has been vetted when we signed up for digital filing and further is backed up by court rules and Bar rules that would reign terror on a lawyer who attempted to disavow the signature.

A digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message or documents. A valid digital signature gives a recipient reason to believe that the message was created by a known sender, that the sender cannot deny having sent the message (authentication and non-repudiation), and that the message was not altered in transit (integrity).

Digital signatures are a standard element of most cryptographic protocol suites, and are commonly used for software distribution, financial transactions, contract management software, and in other cases where it is important to detect forgery or tampering.

Electronic signatures are different but only by degree and focus:

An electronic signature is intended to provide a secure and accurate identification method for the signatory to provide a seamless transaction. Definitions of electronic signatures vary depending on the applicable jurisdiction. A common denominator in most countries is the level of an advanced electronic signature requiring that:

  1. The signatory can be uniquely identified and linked to the signature
  2. The signatory must have sole control of the private key that was used to create the electronic signature
  3. The signature must be capable of identifying if its accompanying data has been tampered with after the message was signed
  4. In the event that the accompanying data has been changed, the signature must be invalidated[6]

Electronic signatures may be created with increasing levels of security, with each having its own set of requirements and means of creation on various levels that prove the validity of the signature. To provide an even stronger probative value than the above described advanced electronic signature, some countries like the European Union or Switzerland introduced the qualified electronic signature. It is difficult to challenge the authorship of a statement signed with a qualified electronic signature – the statement is non-reputable.[7] Technically, a qualified electronic signature is implemented through an advanced electronic signature that utilizes a digital certificate, which has been encrypted through a security signature-creating device [8] and which has been authenticated by a qualified trust service provider.[9]

PLEADING:

Comes Now Defendants and Move to Dismiss the instant action for lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction and as grounds therefor say as follows:

  1. The named plaintiff in this action does not exist.
  2. After extensive investigation and inquiry, neither Defendants nor undersigned counsel nor forensic experts can find any evidence that the alleged trust ever existed, much less conducted business.
  3. There is no evidence that the alleged trustee ever ACTUALLY conducted any business in the name of the trust, much less a purchase of loans, much less the purchase of the subject loan.
  4. There is no evidence that the Trust exists nor any evidence that the Trust’s name has ever been used except in the context of (1) “foreclosure” which has, in the opinion, of forensic experts, merely a cloak for the continuing theft of investor money and assets to the detriment of both the real parties in interest and the Defendants and (2) the sale of bonds to investors falsely presented as having been issued by the “trust”, the proceeds of which “sale” was never received by the trust.
  5. Upon due diligence before filing such a lawsuit causing the forfeiture of homestead property, counsel knew or should have known that the Trust never existed nor has any business ever been conducted in the name of the Trust except the sale of bonds allegedly issued by the Trust and the use of the name of the trust to sue in foreclosure.
  6. As for the sale of the bonds allegedly issued by the Trust there is no evidence that the Trust ever issued said bonds and there is (a) no evidence the Trust received any funds ever from the sale of bonds or any other source and (b) having no assets, money or bank account, there is no possible evidence that the Trust acquired any assets, business or even incurred any liabilities.
  7. Wells Fargo, individually and not as Trustee, has engaged in a widespread pattern of behavior of presenting itself as Trustee of non existent Trusts and should be sanctioned to prevent it or anyone else in the banking industry from engaging in such conduct.

WHEREFORE Defendants pray this Honorable Court will dismiss the instant complaint with prejudice, award attorneys fees, costs and sanctions against opposing counsel and Wells Fargo individually and not as Trustee of a nonexistent Trust for falsely presenting itself as the Trustee of a Trust it knew or should have known had no existence.

===================

SCHEDULE CONSULT!

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

US Bank, BofA, LaSalle Bank and Other Trustees Slammed the Door on Their Own Toes

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS A LEGAL ANALYSIS THAT MAY OR MAY NOT APPLY TO CASES ON WHICH YOU ARE WORKING. IT IS REALLY MEANT FOR ATTORNEYS WHO ARE REPRESENTING PARTIES IN FORECLOSURE LITIGATION. No lay person should assume that anything in this article is true or applies to their case. Nobody should use this information without careful consultation with a knowledgeable attorney licensed in the jurisdiction in which the subject property is located. This may or may not have applicability to other securitized debt including student loans, auto loans etc. Each case rests on its own merits. Do not assume that there is any magic bullet that ends any case in favor of the borrower.

For Litigation Support for Attorneys in all fifty states, please call 520-405-1688. For general search and information products, consultations and services please go to www.livingliesstore.com.

MBS TRUSTEES HAVE NO RIGHT TO BRING FORECLOSURE ACTIONS

SEE QUOTES FROM US BANK WEBSITE

Upon analysis, research and reflection it appears as though the game could be over in the US Bank cases, the Bank of America cases, and any case in which the foreclosing party is identified as the Trustee. US Bank clearly has no right or even access to the foreclosure process. How do we know? Because US Bank says so on its own website. SEE  https://www.usbank.com/pdf/community/Role-of-Trustee-Sept2013.pdf.

Here are some notable quotes from the US Bank websites which references materials to make their own assertions apply to all trustees over MBS trusts:
“Parties involved in a MBS transaction include the borrower, the originator, the servicer and the trustee, each with their own distinct roles, responsibilities and limitations.”

“ U.S. Bank as Trustee:

“As Trustee, U. S. Bank Global Trust Services performs the following responsibilities:

Holds an interest in the mortgage loans for the Benefit of investors
Maintains investors/securities holder records
Collects payments from the Servicer
Distributes payments to the investors/securities holder
Does not initiate, nor has any discretion or authority in the foreclosure process (e.s.)
Does not have responsibility for overseeing mortgage servicers (e.s.)
Does not mediate between the servicers and investors in securitization deals (e.s.)
Does not manage or maintain properties in foreclosure (e.s.)
Is not responsible for the approval of any loan modifications (e.s.)

“All trustees for MBS transactions, including US Bank have no advanced knowledge of when a mortgage loan has defaulted.

“ Trustees on MBS transactions, while named on the mortgage and on the legal foreclosure documents, are not involved in the foreclosure process.”

“ While trustees are listed on mortgages, and therefore in legal documents as well, as the owner of record, its interest is solely for the benefit of investors. The trustee does not have an economic or beneficial interest in the loans and has no authority to manage or otherwise take action on the loans which is reserved for the servicer.” (e.s.)

“Additional sources of information:
— American Bankers Association White Paper, The Trustee’s Role in Asset-backed securities, dated November 9, 2010, http://www.aba.com/Press+Room/110910Roleofatrustee.htm ”

— The Trust Indenture Act of 1939

In several cases I am litigating, the servicer seems to be saying that they approve the foreclosure but do not want the turnover of rents. This brings up the question of whether the notice of default was sent by the Trustee, who according to the attached information would not even know if the default is being “called,” in which case the notice would be fatally defective. The fatal defect would be that it is not a function of the Trustee if the PSA has the usual language. That function is exclusively reserved for the Servicer. Since the PSA probably has language in it that restricts the knowledge of the Trustee to virtually zero, and certainly restricts the knowledge of the Trustee as to all receipts and disbursements processed by the sub-Servicer, the broker dealer (investment bank), and the Master Servicer. Thus the Trustee of the MBS trust is the last party on whom one could depend for information about a default — except that if “Servicer advances” (quotations used because the money is coming from the investment bank) then the Trustee would presumably know that from the creditor’s point of view, there is no default.

A NOTICE OF FILING could be sent to the Court with the full pdf file from the US Bank website while the smaller pdf file containing excerpts from the full pdf file could be attached as an exhibit to the Motion. THIS WILL HAVE BROAD RAMIFICATIONS FOR THOUSANDS OF FORECLOSURE CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IF THE TRUSTEE INITIATED THE FORECLOSURE, EVERYTHING IS VOID, NOT VOIDABLE ACCORDING TO NEW YORK AND DELAWARE LAW. ACTIONS COULD BE BROUGHT BASED UPON JURISDICTIONAL GROUNDS FOR WRONGFUL FORECLOSURE THUS TURNING EACH FORECLOSURE CASE INTO AN ACTION FOR DAMAGES OR TO REGAIN TITLE SINCE THE SALE WAS BOGUS.

But the complexity gets worse. If the action should have been brought by the servicer, but the creditor was really a funded trust who was legally represented by a properly authorized servicer, then the bid by the Trustee at the auction might have been valid. Hence the attack should be on the foreclosure process itself rather than the credit bid.

Not to worry. I don’t think any of the Trusts were funded — or to put it more precisely, I have found no evidence in the public domain that any of the MBS trusts were in fact funded the way it was set forth in the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement. There does not appear to be any actual trust account over which the Trustee has control. Hence both the existence and capacity of the Trust and the Trustee are issues of fact that must be decided by the Court.
That leaves the MBS trusts with no money to originate or acquire mortgages. So who really owns the loans? This is why in Court on appeal, the attorneys agree that they don’t know who owns the loans. But what they really mean, whether they realize it or not, is that they don’t know if any of the loans are secured by a perfected mortgage. If none of the parties in their “chain” actually came up with money or value, then the lien is not perfected or valid. The mortgage would be subject to nullification of the instrument.
If the question was really who owns the loans, the answer is simple — the investors who put up the money. We all know that. What they are dancing around is the real nub of the confrontation here:  Since we know who put up the money and therefore who owns the loan, was there any document or event that caused the loan as owned by the investors to be secured? The answer appears to be no, which is why the investment banks are all being sued every other day for FRAUD. First they diverted the investor money from the trust and then they diverted the title from the trust beneficiaries to one of their own entities. The actions of the investment banks constitutes, in my opinion, an intervening tortious or criminal act that frustrated the intent of both the borrowers (homeowners) and the lenders (investors).

So the real question is whether the Court can be used to reform the closing and create a loan agreement that is properly enforceable against lender and borrower. That appears to require the creation of an equitable mortgage, which is held in extremely low regard by courts across the country. And then you have questions like when does the mortgage begin and what happens to title with respect to intervening events?
The simple answer, as I said in 2007, is do some sort of amnesty and reframe the deals to reflect economic reality allowing everyone to bite a bullet and everyone to cover their losses but avoid, at this point another 6 million families being displaced. My experience with borrowers is that the overwhelming majority would sign a new mortgage document that is enforceable together with a new note that is enforceable and leaves all issues behind even though they know they could push the issue further. The borrower s are a lot more honest and straightforward than their banker counterparts. The deal should essentially be between the investors and the homeowners.
The question is whether the case is dismissed, possibly with prejudice, or if they can try to substitute the servicer as the Plaintiff in a style that would or might read “SPS, as servicer, on behalf of ????, Trustee for the asset backed trust” or “on behalf of the trust beneficiaries.”

The further question is whether the complaint could be amended. But if the servicer didn’t send the NOTICE OF DEFAULT, there is nothing to amend since on its face, the Notice of Default was sent by a party who not only was not authorized to start the process but who was expressly precluded from having any knowledge of the default.

This in turn leads to the further question of whether the verification was valid if signed on behalf of US Bank or any other party “as trustee” on the complaints to foreclose.
The smaller file tells the whole story we have been arguing and it should be attached. I would attach the smaller one page synopsis of quotations from their website. It leaves no room for interpretation — trustees do not, and cannot initiate foreclosures or anything else relating to enforcement. They may not meddle in the foreclosure and they may not meddle or mediate in settlement or mediation. Here is the smaller file: US BANK ROLE OF TRUSTEE

As to Bank of America, the situation is even more dire —-

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/orders/20070914a1.pdf

contains the Federal reserve Order approving the Bank of America – LaSalle merger. I can find no such order for the CitiMortgage-ABN Amro mortgage. It is also true that I can find no evidence that the BOA merger was completed whereas there is plenty of evidence that the Citi-ABN merger was in fact completed. This means that CitiMortgage became the parent company of LaSalle Bank.

While it is theoretically possible for an ACQUISITION of LaSalle to have taken place in which BOA acquired LaSalle Bank, no evidence exists that any such transaction exists between BofA and Citi. It is clear that Citi completed its deal in September of 2007 at around the same time that BOA was getting the approval order shown above on the federal reserve website.  But most curiously the Fed does not mention the Citi-ABN Amro deal. What we know for sure is that there was no MERGER between BofA and Citi.

In my opinion based upon review of this order from the Federal Reserve and other pronouncements from the FED, this order was either never officially issued in actuality or it never was used. In the absence of further contrary information which I have not been able to uncover, thus far, the irrefutable conclusion is that BOA never became the successor by merger to LASalle Bank. Therefore BOA was never the trustee for the asset backed REMIC trust. Therefore, the transaction to which US Bank refers granted US Bank nothing even if the position of trustee is determined to be a commodity — an idea that would create havoc in the marketplace.

As for whether US Bank as trustee for MBS trusts has standing, the answer is no and they have absolutely no right, obligation or even access to the foreclosure or settlement process. In the same REMIC out in California, I am the expert witness on a case in which the same trust is represented by Chase as servicer. The case has not caught up with the fact that Chase has sold or transferred servicing rights to SPS (Select Portfolio Services) or at least that is what they say.

This being the case, several questions arise:

Since this information from the public domain is on the U.S. Bank website without any disclaimers, are we sure they authorized the foreclosure and the action for turnover of rents? Or are they going to say it was an error by the law firm? Who is actually the client of the opposing law firm — the trust beneficiaries, the trust,, the trustee or US Bank who doesn’t really appear to be the trustee?

The same question could be asked of Bank of America who says they are or were a trustee based upon a dubious series of announcements that seem to lack the same underlying transactions as all securitized loans that report a transaction has taken place (i.e.., on the note the contract is implied because the borrower agrees to repay a loan to a lender that never gave them the money).

The Devil Is In the Details: Summary of Issues

Editor’s note: in preparing a complex motion for the court in several related cases I ended up writing the following which I would like to share with my readers. As you can see, the issues that were once thought to be simple and susceptible to rocket docket determination are in fact complex civil cases involving issues that are anything but simple.

This is a guide and general information. DO NOT USE THIS IF YOU ARE NOT A LICENSED ATTORNEY. THESE ISSUES ARE BOTH PROCEDURALLY AND SUBSTANTIVELY ABOVE THE AVERAGE KNOWLEDGE OF A LAYMAN. CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY LICENSED IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA IN WHICH THE PROPERTY IS LOCATED.

If you are seeking litigation support or referrals to attorneys or representation please call 520-405-1688.

SUMMARY OF ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED

 

1)   Whether a self proclaimed or actual Trustee for a REMIC Trust is empowered to bring a foreclosure action or any action to enforce the note and mortgage contrary to the terms of the Trust document — i.e., the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA) — which New York and Delaware law declare to be actions that are VOID not VOIDABLE; specifically if the Trust document names a different trustee or empowers only the servicer to bring enforcement actions against borrowers.

2)   Whether a Trustee or Servicer may initiate actions or take legal positions that are contrary to the interests of the Trust Beneficiaries — in this case creating a liability for the Trust Beneficiaries for receipt of overpayments that are not credited to the account receivable from the Defendant Borrowers by their agents (the servicer and the alleged Trustee) and the creation of liability to LaSalle Bank or the Trust by virtue of questionable changes in Trustees.

3)   Whether US Bank is the Plaintiff or should be allowed to claim that it is the Trustee for the Plaintiff Trust. Without Amendment to the Complaint, US Bank seeks to be substituted as Plaintiff in lieu of Bank of America, as successor by merger with LaSalle Bank, trustee for the Plaintiff Trust according to the Trust Document (the Pooling and Servicing Agreement) Section 8.09.

a)    A sub-issue to this is whether Bank of America is actually is the successor by merger to LaSalle Bank or if CitiMortgage is the successor to LaSalle Bank, as Trustee of the Plaintiff Trust — there being conflicting submissions on the SEC.gov website on which it appears that CitiMortgage is the actual party with ownership of ABN AMRO and therefore LaSalle Bank its subsidiary.

b)   In addition, whether opposing counsel, who claims to represent U.S. Bank may be deemed attorney for the Trust if U.S. Bank is not the Trustee for the Trust.

i)     Whether opposing counsel’s interests are adverse to its purported client or the Trust or the Trust beneficiaries, particularly with respect to their recent push for turnover of rents despite full payment to creditors through non stop servicer advances.

4)   Whether any Trustee for the Trust can bring any enforcement action for the debt including foreclosure, assignment of rents or any other relief.

5)   Whether the documentation of a loan at the base of the tree of the assignments and transfers refers to any actual transaction in which the Payee on the note and the Mortgagee on the Mortgage.

a)    Or, as is alleged by Defendants, if the actual transaction occurred when a wire transfer was received by the closing agent at the loan closing with Defendant Borrowers from an entity that was a stranger to the documentation executed by Defendant Borrowers.

b)   Whether the debt arose by virtue of the receipt of money from a creditor or if it arose by execution of documentation, or both, resulting in double liability for a single loan and double payment.

6)   Whether the assignment of mortgage is void on its face as a fabrication because it refers to an event that occurred long after the date shown on the assignment.

7)   Whether the non-stop servicer advances in all of the cases involving these Defendants and U.S. Bank negates the default or the allegation of default by the Trust beneficiaries, the Trust or the Trustee, regardless of the identity of the Trustee.

a)    Whether a DEFAULT exists or ever existed where non stop servicer advances have been paid in full.

b)   Whether the creditor, under the debt obligation of the Defendant borrowers can be allowed to receive more than the amount due as principal , interest and expenses. In this case borrower payments, non stop servicer advances, insurance, credit default swap proceeds and other payments by co-obligors who paid without subrogation or expectation of receiving refunds from the Trust Beneficiaries.

c)    Whether a new debt arises by operation of law as a result of receipt of third party defendants in which a claim might be made by the party who advanced payment to the creditor, resulting in a decrease the account receivable and a corresponding decrease in the borrower’s account (loan) payable.

i)     Whether the new debt is secured by the recorded mortgage that the Plaintiff relies upon without the borrower executing a security instrument in which the real property is pledged as collateral for the advances by third parties.

8)   Whether turnover of rents can relate back to the original default, or default letter, effectively creating a final judgment for damages before evidence is in the court record.

9)   Whether the requirements of a demand letter to Defendants for turnover of rents can be waived by the trial Court, contrary to Florida Statutes.

a)    Whether equity demands that the turnover demand be denied in view of the fact that the actual creditors — the Trust Beneficiaries of the alleged Trust were paid in full up to and including the present time.

b)   Whether, as argued by opposing counsel, the notice of default letter sent to Defendant Borrowers is an acceptable substitute to a demand letter for turnover of the rents if the letter did not mention turnover of rents.

c)    Whether the notice of default letter and acceleration was valid or accurate in view of the servicer non-stop advances and receipt of other third party payments reducing the account receivable of the Trust beneficiaries (creditors).

i)     Whether there was a difference between the account status shown by the Servicer (chase and now SPS) and the account status actually shown by the creditor — the Trust Beneficiaries who were clearly paid in full.

10)         Whether the Plaintiff Trust waived the DUE ON SALE provision in the alleged Mortgage.

a)    Whether the Plaintiff can rely upon the due on sale provision in the mortgage to allege default without amendment to their pleadings.

11)         Whether sanctions should apply against opposing counsel for failure to disclose essential facts relating to the security of the alleged creditor.

Whether this (these cases) case should be treated off the “rocket docket” for foreclosures and transferred to general civil litigation for complex issues

Federal Judge Slams Wells Fargo for Violation of Debt Collector’s Act in Florida

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: this is why I am encouraging attorneys to take cases involving foreclosure, even if the foreclosure itself is problematic. The FDCPA federal counterpart essentially states the same rules. These cases allow for damages and recovery of attorney fees that might aid in the cost of protracted litigation by a pretender lender. Most of my clients are receiving these contacts even after they have expressly told the caller that they are represented by counsel and even that there is a lawsuit pending. I would add that there is clearly a question as to whether the offer of modification is an admission against interest that the loan is in default and that therefore the current “default” is waived.

Danielle Kelley of our firm Garfield, Kelley and White has been writing about this for some time. She firmly believes, and I agree with her, that the time has come to file these actions. I would suggest that a debt validation letter be sent under the FDCPA and that the “borrower” obtain a title and securitization report as well, in order to shore up the potential setoffs and counterclaims against the pretender lender. But the good part of this law is that even if the caller is in fact the true lender or creditor, they must follow the rules — or pay the penalty.

2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172716, *


ANDREW CONKLIN, Plaintiff, v. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Defendant.

Case No. 6:13-cv-1246-Orl-37KRS

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA, ORLANDO DIVISION

2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172716

December 8, 2013, Decided
December 9, 2013, Filed 

CORE TERMS: collection, mortgage, debt-collection, phone, cell, collect a debt, telephone, solicitations, exemption, consumer, foreclosure, landline, factual allegations, security interest, express consent, prerecorded, foreclose, servicer, exempt, foreclosure action, emergency calls, business relationship, cellular phones, telephone-solicitation, categorically, communicate, pre-suit, exempted, notice

COUNSEL:  [*1] For Andrew Conklin, Plaintiff: Richard S. Shuster, LEAD ATTORNEY, Shuster & Saben, LLC, Satellite Beach, FL.

For Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a foreign corporation, Defendant: Aaron S. Weiss, LEAD ATTORNEY, Carlton Fields, PA, Miami, FL; April Y. Walker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Carlton Fields, PA, Orlando, FL; Michael Keith Winston, LEAD ATTORNEY, Carlton Fields, PA – West Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, FL.

JUDGES: ROY B. DALTON, JR., United States District Judge.

OPINION BY: ROY B. DALTON, JR.

OPINION

ORDER

This cause is before the Court on the following:

1. Plaintiff’s Complaint (Doc. 2), filed August 15, 2013;

2. Defendant Wells Fargo’s  Click for Enhanced Coverage Linking SearchesMotion to Dismiss Plaintiff Andrew Conklin’s Complaint and Supporting Legal Memorandum (Doc. 12), filed August 28, 2013; and

3. Plaintiff Andrew Conklin’s Response to Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 18), filed September 23, 2013.

Upon consideration, the Court finds that Defendant’s motion is due to be denied.

BACKGROUND

Defendant is the loan servicer on Plaintiff’s mortgage. (Doc. 2, ¶ 4.) In 2010, Defendant sued Plaintiff to foreclose on his house. (Doc. 18, p. 1.) Defendant allegedly continued to communicate about the foreclosure directly to Plaintiff after he was represented by counsel; this led Plaintiff  [*2] to file a previous Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”) claim against Defendant. (Id. at 1-2.) That case later settled. (Id. at 2.)

Then, earlier this year, Defendant allegedly resumed calling Plaintiff’s cell phone. (Doc. 2, ¶¶ 16-18.) After one of the calls, Defendant left a voicemail stating: “This is . . . your mortgage servicer, calling in regards to your mortgage. . . . This is an attempt to collect a debt . . . .” (Id. ¶ 16.) Plaintiff accordingly filed this suit in state court, alleging that Defendant has violated the FCCPA and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). (Id. ¶¶ 10-26.) Defendant removed the case to this Court on the basis of federal-question jurisdiction. (Doc. 1.)

Defendant now moves to dismiss the Complaint, arguing that it fails to state either an FCCPA or a TCPA claim. 1 (Doc. 12.) Plaintiff opposes. (Doc. 18.) This matter is ripe for the Court’s adjudication.

FOOTNOTES

1 Defendant also argues that Plaintiff failed to give pre-suit notice, which was allegedly required by Plaintiff’s mortgage. (Doc. 12, pp. 2-4.) First, this suit is about the calls, not the mortgage; thus, the mortgage is not “central” to the Complaint, and the Court declines to consider  [*3] it at the motion-to-dismiss stage. See Day v. Taylor, 400 F.3d 1272, 1276 (11th Cir. 2005). Second, the Court is skeptical that a contractual requirement of pre-suit notice to allow the other party an opportunity to cure a breach is applicable to this action, which is not on the contract itself. Nevertheless, because the Court declines to consider this argument now, it will not preclude Defendant from raising it at a later point.

STANDARDS

A plaintiff must plead “a short and plain statement of the claim.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). On a motion to dismiss, the Court limits its consideration to “the well-pleaded factual allegations.” La Grasta v. First Union Sec., Inc., 358 F.3d 840, 845 (11th Cir. 2004). The factual allegations in the complaint must “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007). In making this plausibility determination, the Court must accept the factual allegations as true; however, this “tenet . . . is inapplicable to legal conclusions.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009). A pleading that offers mere “labels and conclusions” is therefore insufficient. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

DISCUSSION

I. FCCPA

The  [*4] FCCPA provides that “[i]n collecting consumer debts, no person shall . . . [c]ommunicate with a debtor if the person knows that the debtor is represented by an attorney with respect to such debt . . . .” Fla. Stat. § 559.72(18). Defendant argues that Plaintiff has failed to state an FCCPA claim because: (1) enforcing a security instrument does not amount to debt collection within the meaning of the FCCPA; (2) Plaintiff has not alleged that Defendant was attempting to collect a debt; and (3) Plaintiff has not alleged that Defendant “communicated” with him within the meaning of the FCCPA. (Doc. 12, pp. 4-6.) The Court disagrees.

It is true that “a mortgage foreclosure action itself” does not qualify as debt collection under the FCCPA. Trent v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 618 F. Supp. 2d 1356, 1360-61 (M.D. Fla. 2007) (Corrigan, J.) (noting that Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) case law applies to FCCPA cases); see also Warren v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 342 F. App’x 458, 460 (11th Cir. 2009) (“[F]oreclosing on a security interest is not debt collection activity [for the purposes of § 1692g of the FDCPA].”). However, the action at issue here is not the invocation  [*5] of “legal process to foreclose,” see Trent, 618 F. Supp. 2d at 1361, but rather debt collection calls made outside that judicial process. It is not as if these calls were made to notify Plaintiff of the foreclosure action or to attempt to comply with the statute. Cf. Diaz v. Fla. Default Law Grp., P.L., No. 3:09-cv-524-J-32MCR, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68541, 2011 WL 2456049, at *4 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 3, 2011) (Corrigan, J.) (“The timing of the filing of the foreclosure complaints [just weeks before the communications] confirms that defendant was not using the [alleged debt collection] letters in an attempt to collect the debt outside the foreclosure process.”). Rather, the calls were made years into the underlying foreclosure action, and after Plaintiff previously filed an FCCPA claim for this very same behavior, in an explicit attempt to collect a debt. (Doc. 2, ¶ 16 (“This is . . . your mortgage servicer, calling in regards to your mortgage. . . . This is an attempt to collect a debt . . . .”).) To try to claim now that these calls were made in an attempt to foreclose the security interest rather than to collect a debt is simply disingenuous. See Reese v. Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams, LLP, 678 F.3d 1211, 1217 (11th Cir. 2012)  [*6] (holding that a letter explicitly stating that the defendant was attempting to collect a debt plainly constituted debt-collection activity, and noting that “[t]he fact that the letter and documents relate to the enforcement of a security interest does not prevent them from also relating to the collection of a debt”). To give credence to that argument would be to give carte blanche to any holder of secured debts to harass consumers in the process of foreclosure, and as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit aptly noted, “That can’t be right. It isn’t.” Id. at 1218.

Plaintiff has alleged that Defendant bypassed his lawyer and called him directly to discuss payment on his mortgage and to attempt to collect a debt. (Doc. 2, ¶¶ 16-18.) This is precisely the kind of behavior that the FCCPA was designed to prevent. The Court therefore finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently stated an FCCPA claim, and Defendant’s motion is due to be denied on that ground.

II. TCPA

The TCPA prohibits making any call using an autodialer to any cell phone, except for emergency calls or calls where the called party has given prior consent. 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(A)(iii). Defendant argues that all debt-collection  [*7] calls, including those made to cell phones, are categorically exempt from the TCPA. (Doc. 12, p. 7.) However, the case on which Defendant relies for that proposition, Meadows v. Franklin Collection Serv., Inc., 414 F. App’x 230 (11th Cir. 2011), is distinguishable from the one at bar.

In Meadows, the plaintiff was suing under two provisions of the TCPA which are inapplicable here: § 227(b)(1)(B), regarding landlines, 2 and § 227(c)(5), regarding telephone solicitations. 3 Id. at 235-36. Neither of those provisions apply in this case, as Plaintiff is suing under § 227(b)(1)(A)(iii), regarding cell phones. (See Doc. 2, ¶ 21.) Though Meadows does broadly state that “the FCC has determined that all debt-collection circumstances are excluded from the TCPA’s coverage,” that statement is dicta and is also qualified by the narrow holding of the case, which was specifically based on the landline and telephone-solicitation provisions. 414 F. App’x at 235.

FOOTNOTES

2 The court held that the defendant did not violate the landline provision because it had an existing business relationship with the intended recipient of the call and the call was made for a commercial, non-solicitation purpose—both explicit  [*8] exemptions from that provision of the TCPA. Meadows, 414 F. App’x at 235 (citing In re Rules & Regulations Implementing Tel. Consumer Prot. Act of 1991, 7 FCC Rcd. 8752, 8773 (Oct. 16, 1992) (“[P]rerecorded debt collection calls would be exempt from the prohibitions on such calls to residences as: (1) calls from a party with whom the consumer has an established business relationship, and (2) commercial calls which do not adversely affect privacy rights and which do not transmit an unsolicited advertisement.” (emphasis added)).

3 The court held that the defendant did not violate the telephone-solicitation provision because the calls made were debt collections, not telephone solicitations. Meadows, 414 F. App’x at 236. The court rightly noted that the FCC has determined that debt-collection calls are “not subject to the TCPA’s separate restrictions on telephone solicitations.Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted) (emphasis added).

Further, this Court must read that statement in Meadows in conjunction with the FCC ruling on which it relies, which provides that “prior express consent [in debt-collection calls made to cell phones] is deemed to be granted only if the wireless  [*9] number was provided by the consumer to the creditor, and that such number was provided during the transaction that resulted in the debt owed.” In re Rules & Regulations Implementing Tel. Consumer Prot. Act of 1991, Request of ACA Int’l for Clarification & Declaratory Ruling, 23 FCC Rcd. 559, 564-65 (Dec. 28, 2007) (FCC Ruling). This ruling clarifies that not all debt-collection calls to cell phones are categorically exempted from the TCPA—unlike the broad exemptions for landline debt-collection calls and telephone solicitations, which are based on the content of the call itself. See id. at 561-62 (“[P]rerecorded debt collection calls are exempted from Section 227(b)(1)(B) of the TCPA which prohibits prerecorded or artificial voice messages to residences.”), 565 (“[C]alls solely for the purpose of debt collection are not telephone solicitations . . . . Therefore, calls regarding debt collection . . . are not subject to the TCPA’s separate restrictions on ‘telephone solicitations.'”). Rather, with regard to cell phones, a debt collector must show that the debtor provided the number during the debt transaction; only then will a debt-collection call fall under the consent exception in  [*10] the cell-phone provision. See Gager v. Dell Fin. Servs., LLC, 727 F.3d 265, 273 (3d Cir. 2013) (“The only exemptions in the TCPA that apply to cellular phones are for emergency calls and calls made with prior express consent. Unlike the exemptions that apply exclusively to residential lines, there is no . . . debt collection exemption that applies to autodialed calls made to cellular phones. Thus, the content-based exemptions invoked by [the defendant] are inapposite.”).

In sum, debt-collection calls to cell phones are only exempt from the TCPA if the debtor had prior express consent, in the form of a number provided by the debtor during the transaction giving rise to that debt. See FCC Ruling, 23 FCC Rcd. at 564-65. As Plaintiff has pled that he did not give consent or alternatively revoked consent (Doc. 2, ¶¶ 22-23), he has adequately stated a TCPA claim, and Defendant’s motion is due to be denied on that ground. It will be Defendant’s task to prove consent at the summary-judgment stage. See FCC Ruling, 23 FCC Rcd. at 565 (putting the burden on the caller to show consent); see, e.g., Osorio v. State Farm Bank, F.S.B., 859 F. Supp. 2d 1326, 1330-31 (S.D. Fla. 2012) (reviewing the issue  [*11] of consent and revocation on summary judgment).

CONCLUSION

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant Wells Fargo’s  Click for Enhanced Coverage Linking SearchesMotion to Dismiss Plaintiff Andrew Conklin’s Complaint and Supporting Legal Memorandum (Doc. 12) is DENIED.

DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers in Orlando, Florida, on December 8, 2013.

/s/ Roy B. Dalton Jr.

ROY B. DALTON JR.

United States District Judge

 

Servicer’s Advance Payments When Borrower Stops

The following message and article brings up questions that I have been receiving with increasing frequency as homeowners, their forensic analysts and attorney dig further and further. They are following the money and coming up with the fact that servicers are advancing payments to investors when the borrower stops paying. In fact, they advance those payments to investors after the declaration of default and even after the foreclosure is complete. Where do they get the money from?

The answer is that they either get the money from their own pockets or funds they “borrow” from the investment banker that did the underwriting on the mortgage bonds or they are taking money paid on other performing loans and using it to make payments on loans that are not performing. Either way, the payment has been made and the account receivable of the real creditor is not in default. The only way to conclude that it doesn’t make any difference is if you look at all the players in the cloud of so-called “securitization of debt” as one single venture — a view that would raise all kinds of questions as to why and when you can ignore the corporate veil or the existence of a separate entity.

When this gets litigated, and I am sure it will, Judges will probably tend to the easier cloud view. But on appeal, it is likely that the appellate court will look at each transaction, the pleadings and the proof. They will likely conclude that with the account receivable of the alleged creditor being current, there should have been no declaration of default, acceleration, foreclosure or sale of the house. But they will say that the borrower is not off the hook. The Servicer has a separate claim for contribution or unjust enrichment. But such claims are obviously not secured by a pledge of the house as collateral because no such documentation exists.

Which brings me back to the falsification of securitization as cover for a PONZI scheme. If the bankers had played fair, they would have had the notes payable to the REMIC trusts and the mortgages naming the trusts as mortgagees or immediately record assignments of both. They could have disclosed the securitization at closing but they didn’t. If they did, the advances by servicers could have been covered by the documents producing the cloud effect that the banks want to see from the courts.
=================================================================
From Dan Edstrom, senior mortgage analyst for Livinglies.—

I am not sure if you are aware of a recent article from Martin Andelman. His position on servicer advances of principal and interest is that it has nothing to do with the Borrower and these are just loans. Jim and I talked with him on the phone for a short period of time, but he wasn’t convinced that these payments should be applied to the Borrower (not that we can convince him or have to convince him). But I just read the following article and the light bulb went on again. Martin said the servicer advance is a loan and is to be repaid. Possible, although this isn’t contemplated (that I know of) in UCC 3-602. But now consider the following article that just came out. The advance pays senior tranches in full. By the time the servicer goes to pull the money out of the trust, a lower tranche loses that money (that was paid by other borrowers) and it gets diverted to the servicer for reimbursement. The losing tranche agreed to take these losses. The Borrower did not agree to make a payment to one creditor, give that creditor a discharge, and then take out a new loan with a different creditor and owe that creditor money (the creditor who agreed to lose money). When did I transfer the right to others to open and close credit accounts (or transactions) on my behalf (paying off debt to one party and acquiring debt from another party)?

Investors Warned on Nationstar, Ocwen RMBS Cash Remit Differences
Analysts are warning investors about the impact of different servicing strategies on the cash flow generated by mortgage servicing rights on securitized delinquent loans.

A Moody’s Investors Service analysis of the loss mitigation practices of Nationstar and Ocwen, two of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing servicers, revealed “particularly different advancing rates on delinquent loans,” enable Nationstar to pay more cash from its securitized subprime residential loans than Ocwen.

Findings matter to investors involved in current and future servicing transfers from portfolios acquired by Nationstar and Ocwen as well as to other residential mortgage-backed securities trusts eyeing MSR market deals.

“Ocwen’s recent acquisition of GMAC’s RMBS servicing portfolio is credit negative for that reason, although GMAC’s performing loans will continue to generate strong cash flow,” explained Jiwon Park, a Moody’s analyst who specializes in the MSR market.

Comparatively, Park wrote in a recent report, Nationstar’s scheduled acquisition of certain RMBS loan portfolios from Bank of America Corp. “is likely to have a minimal impact” on affected loans and their securities because “Nationstar has generally remitted” the same amount of cash on these assets as B of A.

The trend persists across the board with subprime RMBS vintages securitized between 2005 and 2010. Data show Nationstar implements higher advancing rates for delinquent loans and consistently pays more cash than Ocwen. Higher cash payments help keep the RMBS credit positive “because they pay down senior bonds with priority and more quickly,” the analyst wrote.

For example, during the first two months of the third quarter of this year, Nationstar’s monthly cash flow remittances from principal and interest collections, net proceeds from short sales and foreclosure liquidations, voluntary prepayments and delinquent loan advances was at 0.82% of the servicer’s outstanding RMBS balance, compared to 0.77% for Ocwen.

Park finds advancing rate differences between the two servicers are significant. During the same time period the amount of cash generated from distressed securities by source, Nationstar paid 0.07% of the balances from delinquent loan advances, compared to only 0.02% paid by Ocwen.

Loss mitigation strategies also influenced the amount of cash remittances leading to higher revenue from Nationstar’s REO property liquidations, while Ocwen is more successful in generating cash from loan modifications.

In the long term, however, even though Ocwen stops generating advances much faster than Nationstar, its much lower cash flow advances on delinquent loans is not expected to have a long-term effect on the relatively large GMAC portfolio, which includes a larger percentage of performing loans.
frequency. As homeowners, their forensic analysis, and lawyers dig further and further Follow the movement of money, they are finding that the so-called real creditor continues to get paid long after the borrower stops paying, and even long after the actual foreclosure. The motivation for this behavior in my opinion is to keep the investors happy, not suing the investment banker and still buying more mortgage bonds.

But the question is what is the effect of these payments? It has been postulated that it changes nothing. I don’t agree. Using generally accepted accounting principles, we find that the the creditor’s receivable account shows no default because they received payment from the Servicer. Since they never receive direct payment from the Borrower, they are satisfied — the amounts payable under the mortgage bond are fully satisfied. And the mortgage bond obligation is based on payments from borrowers plus payments from third party obligors but no where in the PSA or prospectus does it provide that the Servicer has an obligation to continue making payments when the borrower stops.

If the creditor’s account does not show a default then there should be no declaration of default, acceleration, foreclosure and/or eviction — which is why the Banks are doing a two step and moving the goal post around the field on who has the right to initiate a foreclosure. It is also covers up the fact that the Foreclosures are merely a way to conclude the fraudulent PONZI scheme that is mistakenly referred to as securitization.

So does that mean that the debt of the borrower has been extinguished? The answer is yes and no. Yes it satisfies the payment requirement to the creditor on the mortgage. But no, that doesn’t mean that the borrower is off the hook like magic. The Servicer has an action against the borrower for contribution or unjust enrichment. The difference is that the servicer’s claim is not secured with the house because THAT debt has been paid pursuant to the note (readers are reminded that I don’t believe either the note or mortgage are valid instruments in most cases).

When this matter is litigated as I am positive it will be, Judges will want to look at “securitization” of loans as a cloud, and that what goes on in the cloud, doesn’t matter. So my prediction is that at the trial level there will be mostly decisions against the borrower. On appeal, with the issues properly preserved and a good record for the appeals court to see, I think they will be required to look into the cloud and see that if they ignore the existence of separate entities without any pleading or proof as to why the corporate veils should be ignored, they will open the door to a boatload of trail and other moral hazards. Taking the transactions one payment at a time, the payments by the Servicer converts the obligation from payment on a secured note to a liability to the Servicer that is unsecured.

The other question is where do they get the money from if not the borrower making payments? The answer by pure logic is one of two ways — either from payments received from other borrowers or money they have or “borrow” from a very willing investment banker who doesn’t want another investor lawsuit and who wants to sell that investor more mortgage bonds.
==========================================================
From Dan Edstrom, senior mortgage analyst for livinglies.—

I am not sure if you are aware of a recent article from Martin Andelman. His position on servicer advances of principal and interest is that it has nothing to do with the Borrower and these are just loans. Jim and I talked with him on the phone for a short period of time, but he wasn’t convinced that these payments should be applied to the Borrower (not that we can convince him or have to convince him). But I just read the following article and the light bulb went on again. Martin said the servicer advance is a loan and is to be repaid. Possible, although this isn’t contemplated (that I know of) in UCC 3-602. But now consider the following article that just came out. The advance pays senior tranches in full. By the time the servicer goes to pull the money out of the trust, a lower tranche loses that money (that was paid by other borrowers) and it gets diverted to the servicer for reimbursement. The losing tranche agreed to take these losses. The Borrower did not agree to make a payment to one creditor, give that creditor a discharge, and then take out a new loan with a different creditor and owe that creditor money (the creditor who agreed to lose money). When did I transfer the right to others to open and close credit accounts (or transactions) on my behalf (paying off debt to one party and acquiring debt from another party)?

Investors Warned on Nationstar, Ocwen RMBS Cash Remit Differences
Analysts are warning investors about the impact of different servicing strategies on the cash flow generated by mortgage servicing rights on securitized delinquent loans.

A Moody’s Investors Service analysis of the loss mitigation practices of Nationstar and Ocwen, two of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing servicers, revealed “particularly different advancing rates on delinquent loans,” enable Nationstar to pay more cash from its securitized subprime residential loans than Ocwen.

Findings matter to investors involved in current and future servicing transfers from portfolios acquired by Nationstar and Ocwen as well as to other residential mortgage-backed securities trusts eyeing MSR market deals.

“Ocwen’s recent acquisition of GMAC’s RMBS servicing portfolio is credit negative for that reason, although GMAC’s performing loans will continue to generate strong cash flow,” explained Jiwon Park, a Moody’s analyst who specializes in the MSR market.

Comparatively, Park wrote in a recent report, Nationstar’s scheduled acquisition of certain RMBS loan portfolios from Bank of America Corp. “is likely to have a minimal impact” on affected loans and their securities because “Nationstar has generally remitted” the same amount of cash on these assets as B of A.

The trend persists across the board with subprime RMBS vintages securitized between 2005 and 2010. Data show Nationstar implements higher advancing rates for delinquent loans and consistently pays more cash than Ocwen. Higher cash payments help keep the RMBS credit positive “because they pay down senior bonds with priority and more quickly,” the analyst wrote.

For example, during the first two months of the third quarter of this year, Nationstar’s monthly cash flow remittances from principal and interest collections, net proceeds from short sales and foreclosure liquidations, voluntary prepayments and delinquent loan advances was at 0.82% of the servicer’s outstanding RMBS balance, compared to 0.77% for Ocwen.

Park finds advancing rate differences between the two servicers are significant. During the same time period the amount of cash generated from distressed securities by source, Nationstar paid 0.07% of the balances from delinquent loan advances, compared to only 0.02% paid by Ocwen.

Loss mitigation strategies also influenced the amount of cash remittances leading to higher revenue from Nationstar’s REO property liquidations, while Ocwen is more successful in generating cash from loan modifications.

In the long term, however, even though Ocwen stops generating advances much faster than Nationstar, its much lower cash flow advances on delinquent loans is not expected to have a long-term effect on the relatively large GMAC portfolio, which includes a larger percentage of performing loans.

Keystone Fraud by Banks: Business Records Exception to Hearsay Rule

Practice Note: Hearsay is not evidence and should not be used as the basis for any conclusion of facts that would support any conclusion of law. While the banks are extremely vulnerable to having all testimony and documents barred by the hearsay rule, this is ONLY true if the proper objection is made at the proper time — and objections should be made when opposing counsel makes reference to the content of those records as though they were already established. Although representations by counsel are not evidence, the attorney’s failure to object to the representation is a failure to bring to the Judge’s attention the fact that you contest those assertions. The objection could be phrased that counsel is attempting to get his own representations on record based upon facts that are in dispute and not in the record. A good record of those objections — including the use of a court reporter — is the basis for appeal. Without that record the Judge is inclined to do whatever he or she wants and while it is possible to re-establish the record in the absence of a court reporter it is very difficult and time-consuming. The reviewing court looks only to the record. If the objection does not appear, then the reviewing court has no choice but to affirm the lower court decision. An appeal is NOT an opportunity to retry the case. on substantive grounds. It is primarily a vehicle to contest the procedures and rulings in the court below as to procedure and the admissibility of evidence.

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: Business records are ALWAYS hearsay and barred by the hearsay rule in state and Federal courts. The question is not whether the business records are hearsay but rather whether the records are deemed reliable enough to waive the requirement of testimony from those with knowledge of the facts offered to prove the case of the proponent of those records. If they are deemed reliable by the Judge then they are allowed to be admitted as evidence to prove the truth of the matters asserted in those records. The tests for reliability are in the statutes of each state and the Federal rules of evidence that allow for exceptions to hearsay in order to allow the business records into evidence, which ARE hearsay and otherwise barred as evidence, under the “business records exception.”

The general rule is that evidence consists of testimony from a knowledgeable witness competent to testify as to the matters asserted. Competency of witnesses is determined by oath, personal perception of events, memory and the ability to communicate the facts as personally experienced, viewed, or heard by the witness. The business records exception requires the custodian of records to provide the foundation for asserting the business records exception. This is the starting point.

The custodian of records must be established by foundation testimony and should not be allowed without testimony that demonstrates the witness’ scope of employment, knowledge and authority. Objection should be made when the leading question is asked “Are you the custodian of the records?” An objection is required that the question is leading and lacks foundation — showing the facts and circumstances under which the witness should be accepted by the court as the custodian of the records.

The records must be from a source that is relevant to the proceedings. If the party seeking foreclosure is an asset pool, represented by a trustee, then the business records of the trustee are the only thing that is relevant unless the foundation is laid by opposing counsel to show that the records of the servicer matches the records of the trustee.

TESTIMONY OF THE SERVICER: Without the custodian of records for the trustee, it seems impossible to establish the proper foundation showing that the trustee asserts that the records of the trustee are the same as the servicer. And if that is true, there may be no reason for the servicer to testify as to the business records since it is only the trustee who can account for all money paid out and all money received, directly or indirectly on account of the subject loan.

[NOTE: THE TRUSTEE SHOULD BE ABLE TO TESTIFY THAT IT IS THE TRUSTEE OF THE TRUST THAT OWNS THE SUBJECT LOAN AND TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS SHOWING THE SALE OF THE LOAN TO THE TRUST OR ASSET POOL. REMEMBER THAT A SALE REQUIRES CONSIDERATION AND THUS THE RECORDS SHOULD INCLUDE A RECORD OF THAT SALE, THE AMOUNT PAID, AND THE DOCUMENTS MEMORIALIZING THAT TRANSACTION.]

The witness who testifies for the proponent of the documents sought to be admitted into evidence must be competent to testify as records custodian that the trust has been and still is the owner of the loan. The banks will vigorously oppose your effort to hold their feet to the fire because all indications are that the trustee has no records and doesn’t even have a bank account for the “trust’ or asset pool, much less evidence of the amount paid for the loan, and the documents memorializing the “transaction.”

In many cases, the case for ownership or foreclosure collapses completely because in fact the trust or pool never did acquire ownership because there was no sale and the trustee never had any records showing the money paid by the homeowner or other parties who may have paid down the loan under non-subrogated obligations to payoff the debt. The creditor only being entitled to recover once on the debt, must show that there were no mitigating payments received by the trustee or anyone on its behalf as agent, servant or employee or affiliate.

In truth the relevant records are either wholly within the records of the MASTER SERVICER and neither the subservicer that the proponent wishes to offer nor the trustee has a complete record who who funded the origination or purchase of the loan. Thus while the business records of the sub-servicer might eventually be admitted over objection of the homeowner, it can and should be argued that this is only a partial picture; this accomplished on cross examination or if possible voir dire, where the witness is questioned as to what they don’t know, to wit” the details of the origination, purchase or funding of the loan together with all receipts relating to the loan account directly or indirectly.

Having started with the question of whether the witness is in fact a records custodian, the question then becomes whether the proffered witness is the only records custodian. At one trial recently conducted the witness was (a) not a custodian, (b) declared that the records came from numerous “clients” and other departments, the identity of the custodian of those records never being mentioned.

[Practice Note: When the witness is from the “loss mitigation department” or some similar division or department, they are by virtual definition not the records custodian, and cannot be a competent witness to testify as to the records. On voir dire conclusion the objection should be made that the witness is not the records custodian for any or all of the records sought to be introduced and is therefore not competent to provide the foundation for the business records exception to the hearsay rule.]

The first requirement (see Florida statutes below for example) to test the reliability of the records is that the the record entry be made at or near the time of the event.

If the servicer is testifying, then the servicer cannot testify as to the either the origination or sale of the loan, both having preceded the involvement of the servicer virtually by definition. While the impulse of the court is going to be presume that the closing was completed, this is overcome by the denial of the homeowner that the closing was in fact completed because the named payee on the note and mortgage never fulfilled their obligations — to fund the loan. It is not enough to be the party who caused the loan to be made —- that is a mortgage broker who obviously has not rights to ownership or foreclosure. This leaves the proponent with the requirement of proving up the completion of the initial transaction showing the funding by testimony of a competent witness (custodian of records of the relevant parties) to show payment and receipt of the funding of the origination or sale of the loan.

The second test relates to competency of the witness which is that the person offering the testimony or even the affidavit must show that they are a person with personal knowledge sufficient to be either the records custodian or a witness to the event.

The banks in Florida will attempt to get around this problem by offering a certification, but the certification must contain sworn statements as to the personal knowledge of the person who executes such certification. The requirements of testimony on the stand are NOT waived by virtue of submitting a certification. Without establishing the competency of the person to be admitted as a witness custodian of the records, the certification is a sham. And such certification should be determined before trial in a motion in limine before trial begins or objection to certification (see below).

The “certification” must contain the same required statements of fact that would otherwise be required on the stand as a live witness. Timeliness of objections is the key to trial practice. Failure to object and take the offensive on this issue will result in documents being admitted into evidence that establish a prima facie case when no such case exists.

If a certification is intended to be used, the homeowner must receive notice of such intent, the identity and contact information for the person signing the certification and an opportunity to challenge the veracity of the statements contained in the certification and the authenticity of the documents itself given the constant practice of robo-signing and surrogate signing.

Discovery is appropriate to require the proponent of the certification to show the employment record and other indicia that the person is indeed a custodian of all the records and that all the records sought to be introduced at trial are within the custody of the witness. A trick often used in court is that the witness will testify as to custody of one document and without an alert objection from the homeowner, the rest of the documents, which are hearsay, are then admitted into evidence without the certification or the foundation because the homeowner failed to object.

Failure to give notice of the intent to use certification in lieu of live testimony is fatal at trial — if the homeowner objects. Certification should ALWAYS be met with a well written objection — and fee free to plagiarize anything in this article. In most cases in an abundance of caution, the Judge will require live testimony in lieu of certification.

Conversely, failure to object to the certification may well leave the homeowner in the cold, because by the time the trial begins all acts necessary to the prima facie case of the proponent of foreclosure or ownership of the loan will have already been established.

Florida Statutes 90.803 et seq: in pertinent abstract is as follows:

(6)  RECORDS OF REGULARLY CONDUCTED BUSINESS ACTIVITY.–

(a)  A memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, in any form, of acts, events, conditions, opinion, or diagnosis, made at or near the time by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge, if kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity and if it was the regular practice of that business activity to make such memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, all as shown by the testimony of the custodian or other qualified witness, or as shown by a certification or declaration that complies with paragraph (c) and s. 90.902(11), unless the sources of information or other circumstances show lack of trustworthiness. The term “business” as used in this paragraph includes a business, institution, association, profession, occupation, and calling of every kind, whether or not conducted for profit.

(b)  Evidence in the form of an opinion or diagnosis is inadmissible under paragraph (a) unless such opinion or diagnosis would be admissible under ss. 90.701-90.705 if the person whose opinion is recorded were to testify to the opinion directly.

(c)  A party intending to offer evidence under paragraph (a) by means of a certification or declaration shall serve reasonable written notice of that intention upon every other party and shall make the evidence available for inspection sufficiently in advance of its offer in evidence to provide to any other party a fair opportunity to challenge the admissibility of the evidence. If the evidence is maintained in a foreign country, the party intending to offer the evidence must provide written notice of that intention at the arraignment or as soon after the arraignment as is practicable or, in a civil case, 60 days before the trial. A motion opposing the admissibility of such evidence must be made by the opposing party and determined by the court before trial. A party’s failure to file such a motion before trial constitutes a waiver of objection to the evidence, but the court for good cause shown may grant relief from the waiver.

(7)  ABSENCE OF ENTRY IN RECORDS OF REGULARLY CONDUCTED ACTIVITY.–Evidence that a matter is not included in the memoranda, reports, records, or data compilations, in any form, of a regularly conducted activity to prove the nonoccurrence or nonexistence of the matter, if the matter was of a kind of which a memorandum, report, record, or data compilation was regularly made and preserved, unless the sources of information or other circumstances show lack of trustworthiness.

(8)  PUBLIC RECORDS AND REPORTS.–Records, reports, statements reduced to writing, or data compilations, in any form, of public offices or agencies, setting forth the activities of the office or agency, or matters observed pursuant to duty imposed by law as to matters which there was a duty to report, excluding in criminal cases matters observed by a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, unless the sources of information or other circumstances show their lack of trustworthiness. The criminal case exclusion shall not apply to an affidavit otherwise admissible under s. 316.1934 or s. 327.354.

W VA Court Says Directions to Stop Making Payments and Refusing to Apply Payments is Breach of Contract

BANK OF AMERICA TAKES ANOTHER HIT:
BANKS MISLEAD BORROWERS WHEN THEY INSTRUCT THEM TO STOP MAKING PAYMENTS AND REFUSE PAYMENTS
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 Note: We’ve all heard it a million times. “The bank told me to stop making payments in order to get modification or other relief.” It was a blatant lie and it was intended to get the borrower in so deep they couldn’t get out, leading inevitably to foreclosure.

Why would the “bank” want foreclosure? Because they took far more money from investors than they used to fund loans. If the deal fails and dissolves into foreclosure the investors are less likely to probe deeply into the transaction to find out what really happened. The fact is that the banks were all skimming off the top taking as much as 50% f the money from investors and sticking it in their own pockets, using it to gamble and keeping the proceeds of gambling.

If the banks really went the usual route of workouts, deed in lieu, modifications and other relief to borrowers, there would be an accounting night mare for them as eventually the auditing the firms would pick up on the fact that the investment banks were taking far more money than was actually intended to be used for investing in mortgages.

They covered it up by creating the illusion of a mortgage closing in which the named payee on the note and security instrument were neither lenders nor creditors and eventually they assigned the loan to a REMIC trust that had neither received the loan nor paid for it.

In this case the Court takes the bank to task for both lying to the borrower about how much better off they would be if they stopped making payments, thus creating a default or exacerbating it, and the refusal of the bank to accept payments from the borrower. It is a simple breach of contract action and the Court finds that there is merit to the claim, allowing the borrower to prove their case in court.

Another way of looking at this is that if everyone had paid off their mortgages in full, there would still be around $3 trillion owed to the investors representing the tier 2 yield spread premium that the banks skimmed off the top plus the unconscionable fees and costs charged to the accounts.  Where did that money go? See the previous post

This well-reasoned well written opinion discusses the case in depth and represents a treasure trove of potential causes of action and credibility to borrowers’ defenses to foreclosure claims.

 

2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35320, * MOTION TO DISMISS DENIED

JASON RANSON, Plaintiff, v. BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Defendant.
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:12-5616
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA, HUNTINGTON DIVISION
2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35320

March 14, 2013, Decided
March 14, 2013, Filed 

CORE TERMS:modification, foreclosure, borrower, citations omitted, mitigation, misrepresentation, servicer, consumer, lender, cause of action, contractual, guaranteed, mortgage, estoppel, contract claim, default, special relationship, reinstatement, collection, quotation, breached, notice, factual allegations, breach of contract, force and effect, indebtedness, thereunder, foreclose, veteran’s, manual

COUNSEL: [*1] For Jason Ranson, Plaintiff: Daniel F. Hedges 1, Jennifer S. Wagner, LEAD ATTORNEYS, MOUNTAIN STATE JUSTICE, INC., Charleston, WV.

For Bank of America, N.A., Defendant: Carrie Goodwin Fenwick, Victoria L. Wilson, LEAD ATTORNEYS, GOODWIN & GOODWIN, Charleston, WV.

JUDGES: ROBERT C. CHAMBERS, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

OPINION BY: ROBERT C. CHAMBERS

OPINION

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Pending before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss by Defendant Bank of America, N.A. (BANA). ECF No. 4. Plaintiff Jason Ranson opposes the motion. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES, in part, and GRANTS, in part, Defendant’s motion.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On September 19, 2012, Defendant removed this action from the Circuit Court of Putnam County based upon diversity of jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 and 1441. In his Complaint, Plaintiff asserts that he took out a mortgagewith Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. to purchase a house in 2007. The loan was originated pursuant to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Guaranty Program. Plaintiff alleges the loan “contained a contractual guarantee by the . . . (VA), which requires—as incorporated into the contract—that Defendant comply with regulations and [*2] laws governing VA guaranteed loans, including those regulations governing Defendant’s actions in the event of the borrower’s default” as he was, and continues to be, on active duty with the United States Army. Compl. at ¶5, in part. Defendant is the current servicer and holder of the loan.

In 2009, Plaintiff became two months behind on the loan. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant informed him he was eligible for a loan modification and requested he submit certain documentation to have the modification finalized. Plaintiff claims that Defendant also told him to stop making any payments as they would interfere with the finalization process. Plaintiff states he had the means to make the two delinquent payments at that time or he could have sought refinancing or taken other actions to save his house and credit. However, he relied upon Defendant’s statements and stopped making payments, pending its assurance that he was eligible for a modification. In fact, Plaintiff states that Defendant returned his last payment without applying it to his account.

Over the next several months, Plaintiff asserts he repeatedly submitted the documentation requested by Defendant for the modification process. [*3] Plaintiff also contacted Defendant on a weekly basis for updates. Plaintiff claims he was assured by Defendant it would not foreclose, and Defendant discouraged him from calling by stating it would delay finalization of the modification. Approximately eight months after the process began, Plaintiff contends that Defendant informed him the loan would not be modified because VA loans do not qualify for assistance. According to Plaintiff, Defendant nevertheless requested that he submit documentation for another modification. Plaintiff states he complied with the request but, approximately six months later, Defendant again told him the modification was denied because he had a VA loan. Defendant further told him he should vacate the property because it was going to foreclose. Plaintiff asserts he asked Defendant if he could short sell the house, but Defendant said no and stated the only way he could save his house would be by full reinstatement. As fourteen months had passed since he was told to stop making payments, Plaintiff states that he could not afford to pay the full amount owed.

As a result of these alleged activities, Plaintiff filed this action, alleging five counts of action. [*4] Count I is for breach of contract, Count II is for negligence, Count III is for fraud, Count IV is for estoppel, and Count V is for illegal debt collection. Defendant now moves to dismiss each of the counts.

II.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), the United States Supreme Court disavowed the “no set of facts” language found in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957), which was long used to evaluate complaints subject to 12(b)(6) motions. 550 U.S. at 563. In its place, courts must now look for “plausibility” in the complaint. This standard requires a plaintiff to set forth the “grounds” for an “entitle[ment] to relief” that is more than mere “labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. at 555(internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Accepting the factual allegations in the complaint as true (even when doubtful), the allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level . . . .” Id. (citations omitted). If the allegations in the complaint, assuming their truth, do “not raise a claim of entitlement to relief, this basic deficiency should . . .be exposed [*5] at the point of minimum expenditure of time and money by the parties and the court.” Id. at 558 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

In Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the Supreme Court explained the requirements of Rule 8 and the “plausibility standard” in more detail. In Iqbal, the Supreme Court reiterated that Rule 8 does not demand “detailed factual allegations[.]” 556 U.S. at 678(internal quotation marks and citations omitted). However, a mere “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-

harmed-me accusation” is insufficient. Id. “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Facial plausibility exists when a claim contains “factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citation omitted). The Supreme Court continued by explaining that, although factual allegations in a complaint must be accepted as true for purposes of a motion to dismiss, this tenet does not apply to legal conclusions. Id. “Threadbare recitals of the elements [*6] of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citation omitted). Whether a plausible claim is stated in a complaint requires a court to conduct a context-specific analysis, drawing upon the court’s own judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679. If the court finds from its analysis that “the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]’-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Id. (quoting, in part, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)). The Supreme Court further articulated that “a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.” Id.

III.

DISCUSSION

A.

Breach of Contract

In Count I, Plaintiff alleges that the Deed of Trust and the VA Guaranteed Loan and Assumption Policy Rider provide that “Defendant’s rights upon the borrower’s default are limited by Title 38 of the United States Code and any regulations issued thereunder.” [*7] Compl., at ¶22. According to Plaintiff, the contract also provides that Defendant must apply all payments to his account. Plaintiff asserts Defendant breached the contract by (1) discouraging him from making payments, (2) returning his payments, (3) allowing the accumulation of arrears until it was impossible for him to reinstate the loan, (4) initiating foreclosure and failing to grant a modification after assuring him it would be granted, and (5) “failing to comply with VA regulations and guidance requiring, inter alia, that the Defendants [sic] consider Plaintiff for a variety [of] loss mitigation options, and provide notice of such rejection(s) in writing, prior to foreclosure.” Id. at ¶24(d).

To avoid dismissal of a breach of contract claim under Rule 12(b)(6), West Virginia law requires: “the existence of a valid, enforceable contract; that the plaintiff has performed under the contract; that the defendant has breached or violated its duties or obligations under the contract; and that the plaintiff has been injured as a result.” Executive Risk Indem., Inc. v. Charleston Area Med. Ctr., Inc., 681 F. Supp.2d 694, 714 (S.D. W. Va. 2009) (citations omitted). For a claim of breach [*8] of contract to be sufficient, “a plaintiff must allege in his complaint ‘the breach on which the plaintiffs found their action . . . [and] the facts and circumstances which entitle them to damages.'” Id. In this case, Defendant argues Plaintiff has failed to sufficiently allege a breach of contract because he has not specified what specific VA regulations purportedly were violated and, in any event, the regulations only require the foreclosure be conducted in accordance to West Virginia law. As Defendant maintains it complied with the West Virginia law, Defendant asserts it has not breached the contract.

Plaintiff does not dispute that neither the contracts nor West Virginia law require a loan modification. However, Plaintiff argues that the VA has promulgated regulations to limit foreclosures of loans it has guaranteed and Defendant did not comply with those requirements. Plaintiff quotes from the VA Guaranteed Loan and Assumption Policy Rider, which provides, in part:

If the indebtedness secured hereby be guaranteed or insured under Title 38, United States Code, such Title and Regulations issued thereunder and in effect on the date hereof shall govern the rights, duties and liabilities [*9] of Borrower and Lender. Any provisions of the Security Instrument or other instruments executed in connection with said indebtedness which are inconsistent with said Title or Regulations, including, but not limited to, the provision for payment of any sum in connection with prepayment of the secured indebtedness and the provision that the Lender may accelerate payment of the secured indebtedness pursuant to Covenant 18 of the Security Instrument, are hereby amended or negated to the extent necessary to confirm such instruments to said Title or Regulations.

VA Guar. Loan and Assumption Policy Rider, at 2, ECF No. 4-1, at 15. Specifically, Plaintiff cites 38 U.S.C. § 36.4350(f), (g), and (h), which requires, inter alia, Defendant to send Plaintiff a letter outlining his loss mitigation options after he fell behind on his payments and, under certain circumstances, have a face-to-face meeting with Plaintiff. Likewise, 38 C.F.R. § 36.4319 provides incentives to servicers to engage in loss mitigation options in lieu of foreclosure, and 38 C.F.R. § 36.4315expressly allows a loan modification under certain circumstances if it is in veteran’s and the Government’s best interest. Plaintiff also [*10] cites a Servicer Guide for VA guaranteed loans, which contains similar loss mitigation considerations. 1 Plaintiff states that all these requirements are incorporated into the contract, and Defendant violated the contract by stating he could not receive a loan modification because he had a VA loan; by telling him to stop making payments rather than placing him on a repayment plan; by not timely evaluating the loan and considering him for loss mitigation and, instead, placing him in foreclosure; and by refusing to allow Plaintiff to apply for a compromise sale because Defendant had started foreclosure. Moreover, Plaintiff asserts Defendant violated his right to reinstate and failed to exercise its discretion in good faith by refusing his payment; telling him to stop making payments; informing he was qualified for loan modification, and then denying the modification; providing him conflicting, inconsistent, and inaccurate information about his account; refusing to consider a short sale; and never providing him a written explanation of why loss mitigation was denied.

FOOTNOTES

1 U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, VA Servicer Guide 6 (July 2009), available at http:www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/docs/va_servicer_guide.pdf.

Defendant [*11] responds by asserting that the VA regulations and the handbook are permissive in nature, not mandatory, and the VA Servicer Guide is not binding. See VA Servicer Guide, at 4 (“This manual does not change or supersede any regulation or law affecting the VA Home Loan Program. If there appears to be a discrepancy, please refer to the related regulation or law.”); see also 38 C.F.R. § 36.4315(c)(stating “[t]his section does not create a right of a borrower to have a loan modified, but simply authorizes the loan holder to modify a loan in certain situations without the prior approval of the Secretary” 38 U.S.C. § 36.4315(c)). Thus, Defendant argues they establish no affirmative duty for it to act. In support of its position, Defendant cites several older cases which held certain regulations issued by the VA and other governmental agencies do not have the force and effect of law. 2

FOOTNOTES

2 See First Family Mortg. Corp. of Fl. v. Earnest, 851 F.2d 843, 844-45 (6th Cir. 1988)(finding that mortgagors could not state a cause of action based on VA publications against the VA for allegedly failing to monitor lender servicing of VA-backed loans); Bright v. Nimmo, 756 F.2d 1513, 1516 (11th Cir. 1985) [*12] (rejecting the plaintiff’s argument that he has an implied cause of action against the VA or lender based upon the VA’s manual and guidelines); United States v. Harvey, 659 F.2d 62, 65 (5th Cir. 1981)(finding that the VA manual did not have the force and effect of law by itself and it was not incorporated into the promissory notes or deeds to support a contract claim); Gatter v. Cleland, 512 F. Supp. 207, 212 (E.D. Pa. 1981)(holding “that the decision to implement a formal refunding program is one that squarely falls within the committed to agency discretion exception [of the VA] and is not subject to judicial review” (footnote omitted)); and Pueblo Neighborhood Health Ctrs., Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Serv., 720 F.2d 622, 625 (10th Cir. 1983)(finding a pamphlet issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, referred to as a Grant Application Manual, was not the product of formal rule-making and did not have the force and effect of law).

However, upon review of those cases, the Court finds that they generally involve situations in which the plaintiffs were attempting to assert a cause of action based upon the regulation itself, rather than as a breach of contract [*13] claim. An action based on a contract involves a much different legal theory than one based solely on enforcement of a regulation apart from a contractual duty. Indeed, Plaintiff cites a number of comparable mortgagecases in which courts permitted homeowners to pursue claims against lenders based upon regulations issued by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) where it was alleged that the parties contractually agreed to comply with those regulations. As explained by the Court in Mullins v. GMAC Mortg., LLC, No. 1:09-cv-00704, 2011 WL 1298777, **2-3 (S.D. W. Va. Mar. 31, 2011), plaintiffs, who allege a straightforward breach of contact claim, “are not, as defendants would have the court believe, suing to enforce HUD regulations under some vague and likely non-existent cause of action allowing a member of the public to take upon himself the role of regulatory enforcer. These two theories of recovery are distinct and unrelated,” and the Court held the plaintiffs could proceed on their express breach of contract claim. 2011 WL 1298777, *3. 3Upon review, this Court is persuaded that the same reasoning controls here. Therefore, the Court will not dismiss Plaintiff’s contract claim based [*14] upon Defendant’s argument that the regulations and handbook do not have full force and effect of law because Plaintiff has alleged the contract incorporates the limitations set by the regulations. See Compl., at ¶22 (“The contract provides that Defendant’s rights upon the borrower’s default are limited by Title 38 of the United States Code and any regulations issued thereunder.”).

FOOTNOTES

3 See also Kersey v. PHH Mortg. Corp., 682 F. Supp.2d 588, 596-97 (E.D. Va. 2010), vacated on other grounds, 2010 WL 3222262 (E.D. Va. Aug. 13, 2010) (finding, in part, that the plaintiff sufficiently alleged a claim that the defendant breached an FHA regulation which was incorporated in a Deed of Trust); Sinclair v. Donovan, Nos. 1:11-CV-00010, 1:11-CV-00079, 2011 WL 5326093, *8 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 4, 2011) (“find[ing] that the HUD-FHA regulations concerning loss mitigation are enforceable terms of the mortgagecontract between the parties and that Plaintiffs cannot be denied the benefit of these provisions by virtue of the fact of simple default”); and Baker v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 3:08-CV-0916-B, 2009 WL 1810336, **5-6 (N.D. Tex. June 24, 2009) (stating that a “failure to comply with the [HUD] regulations [*15] made part of the parties’ agreement may give rise to liability on a contact theory because the parties incorporated the terms into their contact”).

Defendant further argues, however, that some of the regulations cited by Plaintiff are irrelevant to this case because, for instance, a face-to-face meeting with a borrower is required only under certain circumstances which do not exist in this case. See 38 C.F.R. § 36.4350(g)(iii). In addition, Defendant asserts that, in any event, it did not breach the contract because it had no duty to engage in loss mitigation and it otherwise complied with the contract’s terms. The Court finds, however, that whether or not Defendant violated any of the terms of the contract is a matter best resolved after discovery. Therefore, at this point, the Court finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a breach of contract claim and, accordingly, DENIES Defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim. 4

FOOTNOTES

4Plaintiff obviously disagrees with Defendant’s argument and filed a “Notice of Additional Authority” disputing Defendant’s position that the VA regulations require holders to evaluate borrowers for loss mitigation. Plaintiff cites the Veterans Benefits Administration, [*16] Revised VA Making Home Affordable Program, Circular 26-10-6 (May 24, 2010), which states, in part: “Before considering HAMP-style modifications, servicers must first evaluate defaulted mortgages for traditional loss mitigation actions cited in Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, section 36.4819 (38 CFR § 36.4819); i.e., repayment plans, special forbearances, and traditional loan modifications. . . . If none of the traditional home retention loss mitigation options provide an affordable payment, the servicer must evaluate the loan for a HAMP-style modification prior to deciding that the default is insoluble and exploring alternatives to foreclosure.” (Available at http://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/circulars/26_10_6.pdf).

B.

Negligence and Fraud

Defendant next argues that Plaintiff’s claim for negligence and fraud in Counts II and III, respectively, are duplicative of his illegal debt collection claim in Count V under the West Virginia Consumer Credit Protection Act (WVCCPA) and cannot survive because Plaintiff fails to allege Defendant owed him a special duty beyond the normal borrower-servicer relationship. Therefore, Defendant asserts Counts II and III should be dismissed.

In Bailey [*17] v. Branch Banking & Trust Co., Civ. Act. No. 3:10-0969, 2011 WL 2517253 (S.D. W. Va. June 23, 2011), this Court held that the West Virginia Supreme Court in Casillas v. Tuscarora Land Co., 412 S.E.2d 792 (W. Va. 1991), made it clear a plaintiff can pursue claims under the WVCCPA and common law at the same time. 2011 WL 2517253, *3. The Court reasoned that “[i]t would be contrary to both the legislative intent of the WVCCPA and the whole crux of Casillas if the Court were to preclude consumers from bringing actions for violations of the WVCCPA and common law merely because the claims are based upon similar facts.” Id. The Court found that “[n]either the WVCCPA nor Casillasmakes a consumer choose between the two options. A consumer clearly can choose to pursue both avenues provided “separate” claims are set forth in a complaint.” Id.

However, under West Virginia law, a plaintiff “cannot maintain an action in tort for an alleged breach of a contractual duty.” Lockhart v. Airco Heating & Cooling, 567 S.E.2d 619, 624 (W. Va. 2002)(footnote omitted). Rather, “[t]ort liability of the parties to a contract arises from the breach of some positive legal duty imposed by law because of the relationship [*18] of the parties, rather than a mere omission to perform a contract obligation.” Id. (emphasis added). Whether a “special relationship” exists between the parties beyond their contractual obligations is “determined largely by the extent to which the particular plaintiff is affected differently from society in general.” Aikens v. Debow, 541 S.E.2d 576, 589 (W. Va. 2000). “In the lender-borrower context, courts consider whether the lender has created such a ‘special relationship’ by performing services not normally provided by lender to a borrower.” Warden v. PHH Mortgage Corp., No. 3:10-cv-00075, 2010 WL 3720128, at *9 (N.D. W. Va. Sept. 16. 2010 (citing Glascock v. City Nat’l Bank of W. Va., 576 S.E.2d 540, 545-56 (W. Va. 2002) (other citation omitted)).

Here, Plaintiff’s negligence claim is quite simple. He alleges that, where “Defendant engaged in significant communications and activities with Plaintiff[] and the loan, Defendant owed a duty to Plaintiff to provide him with accurate information about his loan account and its obligations and rights thereunder.” Compl., at ¶27. Next, Plaintiff asserts “Defendant[] breached that duty by instructing Plaintiff not to make payments, advising [*19] Plaintiff that he would receive a loan modification, and then instead allowing arrears to accrue for months and ultimately denying Plaintiff[] assistance and pursuing foreclosure.” Id. at ¶28. Upon review of these allegations, the Court finds Plaintiff has failed to allege any positive legal duty beyond Defendant’s purported contractual obligations. There is nothing about these allegations that creates a “special relationship” between the parties. Indeed, a duty to provide accurate loan information is a normal service in a lender-borrower relationship.

In support of their claim Plaintiff relies, inter alia, on Glasock v. City National Bank of West Virginia, 576 S.E.540 (W. Va. 2002), where the West Virginia Supreme Court found that a special relationship existed between a lender and the borrowers. In Glascock, the bank maintained oversight and was significantly involved in the construction of the borrowers’ house. The bank possessed information that there were substantial problems with the house, but it failed to reveal those problems to the borrowers. 576 S.E.2d at 545. The West Virginia Supreme Court found that the bank’s significant involvement in the construction created a special [*20] relationship between the parties which carried “with it a duty to disclose any information that would be critical to the integrity of the construction project.” Id. at 546 (footnote omitted).

To the contrary, Plaintiff’s negligence claim in this case rests merely on the fact Defendant had a duty to provide him accurate information about the loan and failed to do so. Plaintiff has failed to sufficiently allege any facts which support a special relationship between the parties as existed in Glascock. Therefore, the Court GRANTS Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s negligence claim in Count II.

Turning next to Plaintiff’s fraud claim, Defendant argues the claim must be dismissed because it fails to meet the heightened pleading standard found in Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 9(b)provides that, “[i]n alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person’s mind may be alleged generally.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). Under this heightened pleading standard, a plaintiff is required to “at a minimum, describe the time, place, and contents of the false [*21] representations, as well as the identity of the person making the misrepresentation and what he obtained thereby.” U.S. ex rel. Wilson v. Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., 525 F.3d 370, 379 (4th Cir. 2008) (quoting Harrison v. Westinghouse Savannah River Co., 176 F.3d 776, 784 (4th Cir. 1999))(internal quotation marks omitted). In other words, the plaintiffs must describe the “‘who, what, when, where, and how’ of the alleged fraud.” Id. (quoting U.S. ex rel. Willard v. Humana Health Plan of Texas Inc., 336 F.3d 375, 384 (5th Cir. 2003) (other citation omitted)).

In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he had trouble making his mortgage payments around 2009. Compl, at ¶6. When he was approximately two months behind on his payments, Defendant informed him that he qualified for a loan modification, but he needed to complete the necessary paperwork to have it finalized. Id. at ¶7(a). “At this time,” Defendant also informed Plaintiff not to make any more payments until the modification was finalized. Id. at ¶7(b). About eight months later, Defendant told Plaintiff that he did not qualify for a modification, but Defendant instructed him to submit documentation for another modification. Id. at [*22] ¶13. After approximately six more months passed, Plaintiff was notified again that he was being denied assistance. Id. at ¶14. Plaintiff further alleges that, before May of 2012, Defendant never gave him “a written decision on his loan modification applications or any explanation for why he had denied him for assistance, other than its statements by telephone that he did not qualify for assistance because he had a VA loan.” Id. at ¶18.

In addition to these alleged facts, Plaintiff specifically states in his cause of action for fraud that “[i]n or around 2009,” Defendant told him to stop making payments and it would modify his loan rather than pursue foreclosure. Id. at ¶31. Plaintiff asserts these “representations were false and material,” and they were made knowingly, recklessly, and/or intentionally. Id. at ¶¶32-33. Plaintiff further claims he detrimentally relied upon these misrepresentations by stopping his payments and not attempting reinstatement, after which Defendant sought foreclosure. Id. at ¶¶34-35.

In considering these allegations, the Court is mindful of the fact it should be hesitant “to dismiss a complaint under Rule 9(b) if the court is satisfied (1) that the defendant [*23] has been made aware of the particular circumstances for which she will have to prepare a defense at trial, and (2) that plaintiff has substantial prediscovery evidence of those facts.” Harrison v. Westinghouse Savannah River Co., 176 F.3d 776, 784 (4th Cir. 1999). Here, the Court finds that Plaintiff adequately alerts Defendant as to “the time, place, and contents of the false representation[.]” U.S. ex rel. Wilson, 525 F.3d at 379(internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Plaintiff clearly alleges the fraudulent activity consisted of Defendant instructing him to stop making payments and assuring him he would receive a loan modification instead of foreclosure. He also asserts the representations were made over the telephone and occurred in 2009, when his payments were two months in arrears, and before Defendant returned his payment. In addition, Plaintiff states that he continued to call Defendant approximately once a week and was assured that it would not proceed with foreclosure. Compl., at ¶12(a), (b), and (c). Given this information, Defendant should be able to prepare its defense based upon the allegations made. In addition, the allegations provide enough information that [*24] Defendant also should be able to identify and review its customer service notes, call logs, account records, and any phone recordings it may have during the specified time period. Thus, the Court DENIES Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for fraud.

C.

Estoppel

Defendant further argues that Plaintiff’s claim in Count IV for estoppel must be dismissed. To maintain a claim for estoppel in West Virginia, a plaintiff must show:

[(1)] a false representation or a concealment of material facts; [(2)] it must have been made with knowledge, actual or constructive of the facts; [(3)] the party to whom it was made must have been without knowledge or the means of knowledge of the real facts; [(4)] it must have been made with the intention that it should be acted on; and [(5)] the party to whom it was made must have relied on or acted on it to his prejudice.

Syl. Pt. 3, Folio v. City of Clarksburg, 655 S.E.2d 143 (W. Va. 2007) (quoting Syl. Pt. 6, Stuart v. Lake Washington Realty Corp., 92 S.E.2d 891 (W. Va. 1956)). Defendant asserts Plaintiff had actual knowledge via correspondence it sent to Plaintiff that he was not guaranteed loan assistance and loan assistance would not impact Defendant’s [*25] right to foreclose. Defendant attached the correspondence to its Motion to Dismiss as Exhibit D. In addition, Defendant argues that Plaintiff admits to missing two payments before the alleged misrepresentations occurred so he cannot state he relied upon those alleged misrepresentations in failing to make his payments.

“[W]hen a defendant attaches a document to its motion to dismiss, ‘a court may consider it in determining whether to dismiss the complaint [if] it was integral to and explicitly relied on in the complaint and [if] the plaintiffs do not challenge its authenticity.’ ” Am. Chiropractic Ass’n v. Trigon Healthcare, Inc., 367 F.3d 212, 234 (4th Cir. 2004) (quoting Phillips v. LCI Int’l, Inc., 190 F.3d 609, 618 (4th Cir. 1999)). In this case, Plaintiff asserts that, “at this point there is no evidence that the letter was actually sent to or received by Plaintiff, nor has Plaintiff had the opportunity to present mailings, call logs, or testimony supporting his claim.” Pl.’s Res. in Opp. to Def.’s Mot. to Dis., ECF No. 7, at 16. 5Therefore, the Court will not consider the letter. Likewise, the Court finds no merit to the argument that Plaintiff’s admission that he was two months [*26] behind on his loan extinguishes his estoppel claim. It is clear from the Complaint that Plaintiff’s claim is that he relied upon the alleged misrepresentations after he was two months delinquent. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Defendant’s motion to dismiss the estoppel claim.

FOOTNOTES

5In addition, the Court notes that the letter appears undated and Defendant sometimes refers to it as a 2009 letter and sometimes as a 2010 letter. At the top right-hand side of the letter, there is a statement providing: “Please complete, sign and return all the enclosed documents by December 5, 2009.” Exhibit D, ECF No. 4-4, at 1.

D.

WVCCPA

Finally, Defendant asserts Plaintiff’s claim under the WVCCPA in Count V must be dismissed because it fails to meet the requirements of Rules 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 8(a)(2)provides that “[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief[.]” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Defendant argues that Plaintiff fails to meet this requirement because he merely pled a legal conclusion that Defendant engaged in illegal debt collection and he does not plead sufficient [*27] factual content to support that conclusion. In addition, Defendant states it had a contractual right to return Plaintiff’s partial payment so returning the payment cannot support a WVCCPA claim.

Plaintiff, however, argues that his claims under the WVCCPA are based on three grounds. First, Plaintiff asserts Defendant used fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading representations to collect the debt or get information about him, in violation of West Virginia Code § 46A-2-127. 6 Second, he claims that Defendant used unfair or unconscionable means to collect the debt, in violation of West Virginia Code § 46A-2-128. 7 Third, Plaintiff contends that Defendant’s refusal to apply payments to his account violated West Virginia Code § 46A-2-115. Plaintiff then argues that the first two claims are sufficiently supported in opposition to a motion to dismiss based upon his allegations that (1) Defendant told him he qualified for loan modification and would receive one if he completed the requested financial information; (2) Defendant told him to stop making payments because it would interfere with the modification process, but in reality it increased the likelihood of foreclosure; (3) Defendant assured [*28] Plaintiff it would not foreclose on his home during the time the loan modification application was being processed; (4) Defendant ultimately represented it could not modify the loan because it was a VA loan; and (5) Defendant would not consider a short sale of the house and, instead, proceeded with foreclosure. Plaintiff argues that each of these misrepresentations made by Defendant were intended to collect financial information about him through the modification process or collect the debt via foreclosure. He also states the delay and improper refusal of payments greatly increased the amount he was in arrears, which allowed Defendant to attempt to collect the debt through foreclosure.

FOOTNOTES

6Section 127 provides, in part: “No debt collector shall use any fraudulent, deceptive or misleading representation or means to collect or attempt to collect claims or to obtain information concerning consumers.” W. Va. Code § 46A-2-127, in part.

7Section 128 states, in part: “No debt collector shall use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any claim.” W. Va. Code §46A-2-128, in part.

Upon consideration of these allegations, the Court finds they are sufficient to state a claim [*29] under the WVCCPA. As stated by the Honorable Thomas E. Johnston stated in Koontz v. Wells Fargo, N.A., Civ. Act. No. 2:10-cv-00864, 2011 WL 1297519 (S.D. W. Va. Mar. 31, 2011), West Virginia “§ 46A-2-127applies to both ‘misrepresentations made in collecting a debt’ and ‘misrepresentations . . . [made] when obtaining information on a customer.'” 2011 WL 1297519, at *6. Therefore, allegations that a financial institution misrepresented to the borrower that it would reconsider a loan modification and, thereby, obtained additional financial information from the borrower, are sufficient to state a claim. Id. Likewise, the Court finds the allegations are sufficient to state a claim that Defendant used “unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any claim” pursuant to West Virginia Code §46A-2-128, in part. Cf. Wilson v. Draper v. Goldberg, P.L.L.C., 443 F.3d 373, 376 (4th Cir. 2006)(stating “Defendants’ actions surrounding the foreclosure proceeding were attempts to collect that debt” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (citations omitted)). 8

FOOTNOTES

8 Defendant asserts that a debt collection does not give rise to a claim under the WVCCPA. Citing Spoor v. PHH Mortgage [*30] Corp., Civ. Act. No. 5:10CV42, 2011 WL 883666 (N.D. W. Va. Mar. 11, 2011). The Court has reviewed Spoorand finds that it primarily focused only on the plaintiff’s request for a loan modification with respect to her WVCCPA claims. The district court in Spoor stated that the defendant’s consideration of the request is not an attempt to collect a debt. 2011 WL 883666, at *7. In the present case, however, the allegations Plaintiff argues supports his claim extend beyond a mere “request” for a modification. Moreover, the Court finds that, to the extent Spoor is contrary to the reasoning in Wilson and Koontz, the Court declines to apply it to this case.

With respect to Plaintiff’s third claim that Defendant illegally returned his payment pursuant to West Virginia Code § 46A-2-115(c), this provision states:

All amounts paid to a creditor arising out of any consumer credit sale or consumer loan shall be credited upon receipt against payments due: Provided, That amounts received and applied during a cure period will not result in a duty to provide a new notice of right to cure; and provided further that partial amounts received during the reinstatement period set forth in subsection (b) of this [*31] section do not create an automatic duty to reinstate and may be returned by the creditor. Defaultcharges shall be accounted for separately; those set forth in subsection (b) arising during such a reinstatement period may be added to principal.

W. Va. Code § 46A-2-115(c). Plaintiff argues that § 46A-2-115(b)defines the reinstatement period as the time “beginning with the trustee notice of foreclosure and ending prior to foreclosure sale,” and he made clear it clear in his Complaint that Defendant returned his payment prior to the requesting a trustee notice of the foreclosure sale. See Compl., at ¶¶7 & 10. Defendant responds by stating that it was within its contractual right to refuse the payment. However, West Virginia Code § 46A-1-107makes it clear that, “[e]xcept as otherwise provided in this chapter, a consumer may not waive or agree to forego rights or benefits under this chapter or under article two-a, chapter forty-six of this code.” W. Va. Code 46A-1-107. Therefore, upon review, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s claim is sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. Thus, for the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Defendant’s motion to dismiss Count V for alleged violations [*32] of the WVCCPA.

V.

CONCLUSION

Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract, fraud, estoppel, and violations of the WVCCPA. However, the Court GRANTS Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s negligence claim.

The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to send a copy of this Memorandum Opinion and Order to all counsel of record and any unrepresented parties.

ENTER: March 14, 2013

/s/ Robert C. Chambers

ROBERT C. CHAMBERS, CHIEF JUDGE

9th Circuit Circular Logic: Medrano v Flagstar

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Editor’s Note: If a Court wants to come to a certain conclusion, it will, regardless of how it must twist the law or facts. In this case, the Court found that a letter that challenges the terms of the loan or the current loan receivable is not a qualified written request under RESPA.

The reasoning of the court is that a challenge or question about the real balance and real creditor and real terms of the deal is not related to servicing of the loan and therefore the requirement of an answer to a QWR is not required.

The Court should reconsider its ruling. Servicing of a loan account assumes that there is a loan account that the presumed subservicer has received authorization to service. The borrower gets notice often from companies they never heard of but they assume that the servicing function is properly authorized.

The “servicer” is used too generally as a term, which is part of the problem. The fact that there is a Master Servicer with information on ALL the transactions affecting the alleged loan receivable from inception to the present is completely overlooked by most litigants, trial judges an appellate courts.

The “servicer” they refer to is actually the subservicer whose authority could only come from appointment by the Master Servicer. But the Master Servicer could only have such power to appoint the subservicer if the loan was properly “securitized” meaning the original loan was properly documented with the right payee and the lien rights alleged in the recorded mortgage existed.

If the party asserts itself as the “Servicer” it is asserting its appointment by the Master Servicer who also has other information on the money trial. It should be required to answer a QWR and based upon current law, should be required to answer on behalf of all parties including the Master Servicer and the “trustee” of the loan pool claiming rights to the loan. If there are problems with the transfer of the loan compounding problems with origination of the loan, the borrower has a right to know that and the QWR is the appropriate vehicle for that.

The servicer cannot perform its duties unless it has the or can produce the necessary information about the identity of the real creditor, the transactions by which that party became a creditor and proof of payment or funding of the original loan and proof of payment for the assignments of the loan, along with an explanation of why the “Trustee” for the pool was not named in the original transaction or in a recorded assignment immediately after the “closing” of the loan transaction.

The 9th Circuit, ignoring the realities of the industry has chosen to accept the conclusion that the “servicer” is only the subservicer and that information requested in a QWR can only be required from the subservicer without any duty to provide the data that corroborates the monthly statement of principal and interest due. The new rule from the Federal Consumer Financial Board stating that all parties are subject to the Federal lending laws underscores and codifies industry practice and common sense.

The Court is ignoring the reality that the lender is the investor (pension funds etc.) and the borrower is the homeowner, and that all others are intermediaries subject to TILA, RESPA, Reg Z etc. The servicer appointed by the Master Servicer is a subservicer who can only provide a snapshot of a small slice of the financial transactions related to the subject loan and the pool claiming to own the loan.

They are avoiding the clear premise of the single transaction doctrine. If the investors did not advance money there would have been no loan. If the borrower had not accepted a loan, there would have been no loan. That is the essence of the single transaction doctrine.

Now they are opening the door to breaking down single transactions into component parts that can change the contractual terms by which the lenders loaned money and the borrower borrowed money.

It is the same as if you wrote a check to a store for payment of a TV or groceries and the intermediary banks and the financial data processors suddenly claimed that they each were part of the transaction and there had ownership rights to the TV or groceries. It is absurd. But if the question is one of payment they are ALL required to show their records of the transaction. This includes in our case the investment banker who is the one directing all movements of money and documents.

If the Court leaves this decision in its current form it is challenging the law of unintended consequences where no transaction is safe from claims by third party intermediaries. Even if Flagstar had no authority to service the account, which is likely, they were acting with apparent authority and must be considered an intermediary servicer for purposes of RESPA and a QWR.

PRACTICE TIP: When writing a QWR be more explicit about the connections between your questions, your suspicion of error as to amount due, payments due etc. Show that the amount being used as a balance due is incorrect or might be incorrect based upon your findings of fact. Challenge the right of the “servicer” to be the servicer and ask them who appointed them to that position.

9th Circuit Medrano v Flagstar on Qualified Written Request

Message on the Forensic TILA Analysis — It’s a Lot More Than it Appears

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No doubt some of you know that we have had some challenges regarding the Forensic TILA analysis. It’s my fault. I decided that the plain TILA analysis was insufficient for courtroom use based upon the feedback that I was getting from lawyers across the country. Yet I believed then as I believe now that the only law that will actually give real help to the homeowners — past, present and future — is TILA, REG Z and RESPA. Once it dawns on more people that there were two closings, one that was hidden from the borrower which included the real money funding his loan and the other being a fake closing purporting to loan money to the homeowner in a transaction that never happened, the gates will start to open. But I am ahead of the curve on that.

For those patiently waiting for the revisions, I appreciate your words of kindness. And your words of wisdom regarding the content of the report which I have been wrestling with. I especially appreciate your willingness to continue doing business with us despite the lack of organizational skills and foresight that might have prevented this situation. I guess the problem boils down to the fact that when I started the blog in 2007 I never intended it to be a business. But as it evolved and demands grew we were unable to handle it without help from the outside. If I had known I was starting a business at the beginning I would have done things much differently.

At the moment I am wrestling with exactly how I want to portray the impact of the appraisal fraud on the APR and the impact on “reset” payments have on the life of the loan, which in turn obviously effects the APR. I underestimated the computations required to do both the standard TILA Audit and the extended version which I think is the only thing of value. The standard TILA audit simply doesn’t tell the story although there is some meat in there by which a borrower could recover some money. There is also the standard issue of steering the borrower into a more expensive loan than that which he qualified for.

The other thing I am wrestling with is the computational structure of the HAMP presentation so that we can show that we are using reasonable figures and producing a reasonable offer. This needs to be credible so that when the rejection comes, the borrower is able to say that the offer was NOT considered by the banks and servicers because of the obvious asymmetry of results — the “investor” getting a lot less money from the proceeds of foreclosure.

And THAT in turn results in the ability of the homeowner to demand proof (a) that they considered it (b) that it was communicated to the investor (with copies) and (c) that there was a reasonable basis for rejection — meaning that the servicer must SHOW the analysis that was used to determine whether to accept or reject the HAMP proposal. Limited anecdotal evidence shows that like that point in discovery when the other side has “lost” in procedural attempts to block the borrower, the settlement is achieved within hours of the entry of the order.

So I have approached the analysis from the standpoint of another way to force disclosure and discovery as to exactly what money the investor actually lost, whether the investor still exists and whether there were payments received by agents of the creditor (participants in the securitization chain) that were perhaps never credited to the account of the bond holder and therefore which never reduced the amount due to the creditor from the homeowner. My goal here is to get to the point where we can say, based upon admissions of the banks and servicers that there is either nobody who qualifies as a creditor to submit a “credit bid” at auction or that such a party might exist but is different than the party who was permitted to initiate the foreclosure proceedings.

The complexity of all this was vastly underestimated and I overestimated the ability of outside analysts to absorb what I was talking about, take the ball and run with it. Frankly I am wondering if the analysis should be worked up by the people who do our securitization work, whose ability to pierce through the numerous veils has established a proven track record. In the meantime, I will plug along until I am satisfied that I have it right, since I am actually signing off on the analysis, and thus be able to confidently defend the positions taken on the analytical report (Excel Spreadsheet) etc.

Aztec Foreclosure Corp Antics Analyzed

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In California, OR, WA, CO (non judicial states) place an Automatic Stay one must file Bankruptcy “BK” which stops notice of defaults?
sadly allowing substitute trustee to act as robo-mill and includes bank attorneys who don’t have to reveal ‘security’ the mortgage note as collateral attached.

‘substitute’ trustees file falsified documents as does the documented LPS/DOCX employees, just the employee may be a contractor such as Aztec Foreclosure Corp.

The falsified documents as required by the BK courts excludes the same transactions in judicial states just the ‘Trustee’ and Substitute Trustee don’t have to disclose the ‘name of the loan trust, trust fund, certificates, the ‘mortgage note’ as collateral attached inside and sliced and diced when sold to FREDDIE MAC and others Institutional Investors.

You are forced to fight harder under COTA and Accounting GAAP to reveal what is not recorded with county recorder. You are forced to fight pro pe and when 90 days in default of any amount, the SERVICER of the asset as a receivable – advances funds and tracks the debt they will claim when they liquidate your mortgage.
You are fighting with the ‘Servicer’ who has to advance funding to the ‘Master Servicer’ get it! The party before BK does not have legal standing and the CA Courts ignore? WHY?

Aztec Foreclosure Corp

Aztec Foreclosure Corporation is a full service foreclosure trustee concentrating its practice in the representation of mortgage lenders and other financial institutions in foreclosure of residential real estate collateral in the States of California and Nevada.

Aztec Foreclosure Corporation of Washington is a full service foreclosure trustee serving the State of Washington.

Who is Robbie Weaver Office Manager in CA and Elaine Malone Foreclosure Supervisor? Who is the ‘attorney’ providign due dilligence? Kelly D. Sutherland ‘Managing Attorney’ in state of Washington? Is she licensed to practice in CA?

Look at the 21 Pages of Completed RESALES of Properties!
Please take NOTICE that
THe ‘LIST’ 21 pages of sales REPORT generated by data extracted from databases in which somebody programmed the appearance of the data in a report form all CREATED BY A COMPUTER

A LIST OF ‘COMPUTER GENERATED SALES’ ALL PURCHASED AT THE ‘OPENING BID’ WERE THE HIGHEST BID’
WHO WAS AT THE SALE? WHAT ‘TRUSTEE’ SIGNED C/O …. generated 8/12/2011 @ 3:00:50 PM

Report Date 8/12/2011 (Note the report is generated bya computer from database) organized by Case#, Sale Date, Property Address, Bids in which then the ‘security’ identified. Get that information while you are in BK!

http :// www . aztectrustee . com / Reports / CAZ_WebCompSalesRpt . pdf

Aztec Foreclosure Corporation | Professional Foreclosure Trustee Serving California and Nevada

Aztec Foreclosure Corporation of Washington (Washington State only)

Aztec Foreclosure Corporation has the necessary experience working with lenders to protect their delinquent mortgage assets. Our tenured staff has assisted lenders in their default management department, providing unique insight and an ability to better communicate with our clients. Our knowledge and experience extends beyond the routine foreclosure process into the daily operations of the default management industry. Aztec Foreclosure Corporation of Washington provides the same services in the State of Washington.

STATE OF CALIFORNIA:
Notice of Default – State of California
Upon receipt of the foreclosure referral package, the Notice of Default (“NOD”) is prepared and forwarded to the title company for recording along with the executed Declaration from the lender. Recoding of the NOD constitutes ‘first legal’ when recorded. Once recorded, a copy of the NOD and Declaration will be mailed to all parties to the Deed of Trust and parties having recorded a request for notice.

A Trustee Sale Guarantee (“TSG”) will be ordered from the title company and reviewed upon receipt that will disclose all parties entitled to notice, as well as any other encumbrances recorded against the Deed of Trust and reviewed for any possible defects which may exist that would prevent continuation of foreclosure. The one-month mailing notices are sent to any parties requiring notice.

Notice of Sale
A Notice of Sale (NOTS) will be recorded in the appropriate county and all parties requiring notice will be sent certified and regular mailings of the upcoming foreclosure sale date. The NOTS will be published for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation for the city and county the property is located. A copy of the NOTS will be posted on the property itself and recorded in the county recorder’s office. The sale will be conducted at the time and place set forth on the NOTS.

Bidding instructions will be requested from the client and should be submitted to our office no later than 5 days before the scheduled sale date. Aztec will bid according to the client’s instructions. If there are no competitive bidders, the interest of the property will revert to the beneficiary. Third party bidders must outbid the beneficiary to obtain the property, and the sale proceeds are distributed in the order of priority, with the beneficiary being satisfied first.

The sale may be postponed pursuant to the client’s instructions without an additional publication. The sale may be postponed up to a maximum of 365 days after the original sale date. After that a new publication will have to be set with a new sale date, mailings, etc.

Redemption
There is a 3 month redemption period that must run from when the NOD is recorded before a foreclosure sale can be set. Effective June, 2009, CA implemented the CA Foreclosure Prevention Act which required an additional 90 days of redemption:

On February 20, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed ABX2 7 and SBX2 7, which establish the California Foreclosure Prevention Act. The California Foreclosure Prevention Act modifies the foreclosure process to provide additional time for borrowers to work out loan modifications while providing an exemption for mortgage loan servicers that have implemented a comprehensive loan modification program. Civil Code Section 2923.52 requires an additional 90 day period beyond the period already provided before a Notice of Sale can be given in order to allow all parties to pursue a loan modification to prevent foreclosure of loans meeting certain criteria identified in that section.

A mortgage loan servicer who has implemented a comprehensive loan modification program may file an application for exemption from the provisions of Civil Code Section 2923.52. Approval of this application provides the mortgage loan servicer an exemption from the additional 90-day period before filing the Notice of Sale when foreclosing on real property as designated by this Section.

Upon expiration of redemption, sale, publication and posting dates will be set. The sale cannot be held until the expiration of 21 days from redemption.

Sale
The sale will be conducted at the time and place set forth on the NOTS. Aztec will bid according to the client’s instructions. If there are no competitive bidders, the interest of the property will revert to the beneficiary. Third party bidders must outbid the beneficiary to obtain the property, and the sale proceeds are distributed in the order of priority, with the beneficiary being satisfied first.

The sale may be postponed pursuant to the client’s instructions without an additional publication. The sale may be postponed up to three times at the request of the beneficiary, after which it will be necessary to republish a new sale date.

Conveyance & Final Title
After the foreclosure sale is conducted, a Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale is issued by Aztec conveying title to the successful bidder. If the property reverts to the beneficiary, it is sent for recording within a few days of the sale. If a third-party purchases the property, the unrecorded Trustee’s Deed will be sent to the address specified by that party.

If the property is to be conveyed to the Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (“HUD”) or Secretary of Veterans Affairs (“VA”), a Grant Deed from the beneficiary to the agency is sent to the client for execution prior to the sale.

After receipt of the Grant Deed, if it is a VA loan, the deed is sent for recording immediately. Aztec will order a title policy and forward it to VA within their required time line. If it is a HUD loan, Aztec will await instructions to record the deed to HUD. Prior to the deed recording, Aztec will obtain tax and lien information to verify if title is clear before recording the HUD deed. When all taxes and liens are cleared, with the client’s instructions, the deed is recorded. Once recorded, the title policy is obtained and forwarded to HUD within their required time line. The clients are given copies of the title polices and recorded deeds.

The only post-sale right of redemption occurs when an IRS tax lien is recorded against the property. Once the sale is held, the lien is extinguished, but the IRS retains a 120-day right of redemption. During this time frame, the IRS has the right to purchase the property.

Reinstatement and Payoff
The trustors, owners and junior lienholders have a statutory right to reinstate the loan up to five business days prior to the sale. The beneficiary may waive the five-day limit and accept reinstatement at any time prior to the sale. Reinstatement must be tendered in the amount of all sums due the lender plus all foreclosure fees, costs and any attorney’s fees and costs incurred.

Deficiency Judgment – State of California
The right to a deficiency judgment following the foreclosure sale is limited by anti-deficiency legislation. Under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 508b, there can be no deficiency judgment on foreclosure of a purchase-money mortgage or trust deed. Also, under Section 580d, one cannot seek a deficiency after a non-judicial foreclosure sale.

The anti-deficiency rule does make a distinction between vendors and third-party lenders. The vendor is precluded from seeking a deficiency judgment where his loan secures payment of the balance of the purchase price of real property. In respect to a third-party lender, the anti-deficiency rule applies only to a dwelling of not more than four families given to secure repayment of a loan that was used to pay all or part of the purchase price of such dwelling occupied entirely or in part by the purchaser.

Deficiency judgments may be obtained if the obligation is not subject to California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 580. These cases are outside the scope of this synopsis.

Eviction – State of California
The eviction process is initiated by serving the owners/trustors with a three-day Notice to Quit. All other occupants must be given a sixty-day Notice to Quit.
After the 3/60 day period has expired and if the property is still occupied, a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer is filed. The summons and complaint are sent for service upon all defendants. The requisite personal or substitute service of process may take up to two weeks. In cases where service cannot be effectuated, application is made to the court for permission to serve by posting and mailing the summons and complaint to the property.

Defendants have five days to answer the complaint after service, plus ten extra days if service was made by substitute service or posting and mailing. If the defendants do not respond timely, a default judgment is entered. If defendants file an answer and contest the action, a motion for summary judgment is filed and usually granted within two weeks. In those infrequent cases in which summary judgment is not granted, a trial date is requested. A judgment and writ for possession are submitted to the court within 48 hours of a trial, granting a motion for summary judgment or a default judgment is entered. The court is requested to forward the writ to the marshals for posting on the property. Processing of the writ and posting take approximately two weeks.

The defendants have five days to vacate after posting of the writ. The marshal then returns to the property to physically remove the occupants. The servicer must arrange to have a representative present to take possession and secure the property. The majority of eviction cases that are former owner occupied are completed within 60 to 75 days.

SEE AZTEC FORECLOSURE ‘TRUSTEE’

SAME DETAILS ABOVE FOR NEVADA,
AND SAME DETAILs ABOVE FOR ‘WASHINGTON STATE ONLY’

Washington Staff:

Kelly D. Sutherland
Managing Attorney
360.260.2253 ext 281
ksutherland@logs.com

A USEFUL PRIMER OF TERMS FROM O. MAX GARDNER AND RICHARD D. SHEPARD

Your Client’s Securitized Mortgage: a Basic Roadmap Part 1 [2009-11-19]

Your Client’s Securitized Mortgage: A Basic Roadmap

PART 1: The Parties and Their Roles

The first issue in reviewing a structured residential mortgage transaction is to differentiate between a private-label deal and an “Agency” (or “GSE”) deal. An Agency (or GSE) deal is one involving Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae, the three Government Sponsored Enterprises (also known as the GSEs). This paper will review the parties, documents, and laws involved in a typical private-label securitization. We also address frequently-occurring practical considerations for counsel dealing with securitized mortgage loans that are applicable across-the-board to mortgages into both private-label and Agency securitizations.
The parties, in the order of their appearance are:

Originator.
The “originator” is the lender that provided the funds to the borrower at the loan closing or close of escrow. Usually the originator is the lender named as “Lender” in the mortgage Note. Many originators securitize loans; many do not. The decision not to securitize loans may be due to lack of access to Wall Street capital markets, or this may simply reflect a business decision not to run the risks associated with future performance that necessarily go with sponsoring a securitization, or the originator obtains better return through another loan disposition strategy such as whole loan sales for cash.

Warehouse Lender. The Originator probably borrowed the funds on a line of credit from a short-term revolving warehouse credit facility (commonly referred to as a “warehouse lender”); nevertheless the money used to close the loan were technically and legally the Originator’s funds. Warehouse lenders are either “wet” funders or “dry” funders. A wet funder will advance the funds to close the loan upon the receipt of an electronic request from the originator. A dry funder, on the other hand, will not advance funds until it actually receives the original loan documents duly executed by the borrower.

Responsible Party.
Sometimes you may see another intermediate entity called a “Responsible Party,” often a sister company to the lender. Loans appear to be transferred to this entity, typically named XXX Asset Corporation.

Sponsor. The Sponsor is the lender that securitizes the pool of mortgage loans. This means that it was the final aggregator of the loan pool and then sold the loans directly to the Depositor, which it turn sold them to the securitization Trust. In order to obtain the desired ratings from the ratings agencies such as Moody’s, Fitch and S&P, the Sponsor normally is required to retain some exposure to the future value and performance of the loans in the form of purchase of the most deeply subordinated classes of the securities issued by the Trust, i.e. the classes last in line for distributions and first in line to absorb losses (commonly referred to as the “first loss pieces” of the deal).

Depositor. The Depositor exists for the sole purpose of enabling the transaction to have the key elements that make it a securitization in the first place: a “true sale” of the mortgage loans to a “bankruptcy-remote” and “FDIC-remote” purchaser. The Depositor purchases the loans from the Sponsor, sells the loans to the Trustee of the securitization Trust, and uses the proceeds received from the Trust to pay the Sponsor for the Depositor’s own purchase of the loans. It all happens simultaneously, or as nearly so as theoretically possible. The length of time that the Depositor owns the loans has been described as “one nanosecond.”

The Depositor has no other functions, so it needs no more than a handful of employees and officers. Nevertheless, it is essential for the “true sale” and “bankruptcy-remote”/“FDIC-remote” analysis that the Depositor maintains its own corporate existence separate from the Sponsor and the Trust and observes the formalities of this corporate separateness at all times. The “Elephant in the Room” in all structured financial transactions is the mandatory requirement to create at least two “true sales” of the notes and mortgages between the Originator and the Trustee for the Trust so as to make the assets of the Trust both “bankruptcy” and “FDIC” remote from the originator. And, these “true sales” will be documented by representations and attestations signed by the parties; by attorney opinion letters; by asset purchase and sale agreements; by proof of adequate and reasonably equivalent consideration for each purchase; by “true sale” reports from the three major “ratings agencies” (Standard & Poors, Moody’s, and Fitch) and by transfer and delivery receipts for mortgage notes endorsed in blank.

Trustee. The Trustee is the owner of the loans on behalf of the certificate holders at the end of the securitization transaction. Like any trust, the Trustee’s powers, rights, and duties are defined by the terms of the transactional documents that create the trust, and are subject to the terms of the trust laws of some particular state, as specified by the “Governing Law” provisions of the transaction document that created the trust. The vast majority of the residential mortgage backed securitized trusts are subject to the applicable trust laws of Delaware or New York. The “Pooling and Servicing Agreement” (or, in “Owner Trust” transactions as described below, the “Trust Indenture”) is the legal document that creates these common law trusts and the rights and legal authority granted to the Trustee is no greater than the rights and duties specified in this Agreement. The Trustee is paid based on the terms of each structure. For example, the Trustee may be paid out of interest collections at a specified rate based on the outstanding balance of mortgage loans in the securitized pool; the Master Servicer may pay the Trustee out of funds designated for the Master Servicer; the Trustee may receive some on the interest earned on collections invested each month before the investor remittance date; or the Securities Administrator may pay the Trustee out of their fee with no charges assessed against the Trust earnings. Fee amounts ranger for as low as .0025% to as high as .009%.

Indenture Trustee and Owner Trustee. Most private-label securitizations are structured to meet the Internal Revenue Code requirements for tax treatment as a “Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (“REMIC”). However some securitizations (both private-label and GSE) have a different, non-REMIC structure usually called an “Owner Trust.” In an Owner Trust structure the Trustee roles are divided between an Owner Trustee and an Indenture Trustee. As the names suggest, the Owner Trustee owns the loans; the Indenture Trustee has the responsibility of making sure that all of the funds received by the Trust are properly disbursed to the investors (bond holders) and all other parties who have a financial interest in the securitized structure. These are usually Delaware statutory trusts, in which case the Owner Trustee must be domiciled in Delaware.

Primary Servicer. The Primary Servicer services the loans on behalf of the Trust. Its rights and obligations are defined by a loan servicing contract, usually located in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement in a private-label (non-GSE) deal. The trust may have more than one servicer servicing portions of the total pool, or there may be “Secondary Servicers,” “Default Servicers,” and/or “Sub-Servicers” that service loans in particular categories (e.g., loans in default). Any or all of the Primary, Secondary, or Sub-Servicers may be a division or affiliate of the Sponsor; however under the servicing contract the Servicer is solely responsible to the Trust and the Master Servicer (see next paragraph). The Servicers are the legal entities that do all the day-to-day “heavy lifting” for the Trustee such as sending monthly bills to borrowers, collecting payments, keeping records of payments, liquidating assets for the Trustee, and remitting net payments to the Trustee.

The Servicers are normally paid based on the type of loans in the Trust. For example, a typical annual servicing fee structure may be: .25% annually for a prime mortgage; .375% for an Alt-A or Option ARM; and .5% for a subprime loan. In this example, a subprime loan with an average balance over a given year of $120,000 would generate a servicing fee of $600.00 for that year. The Servicers are normally permitted to retain all “ancillary fees” such as late charges, check by phone fees, and the interest earned from investing all funds on hand in overnight US Treasury certificates (sometimes called “interest earned on the float”).

Master Servicer. The Master Servicer is the Trustee’s representative for assuring that the Servicer(s) abide by the terms of the servicing contracts. For trusts with more than one servicer, the Master Servicer has an important administrative role in consolidating the monthly reports and remittances of funds from the individual servicers into a single data package for the Trustee. If a Servicer fails to perform or goes out of business or suffers a major downgrade in its servicer rating, then the Master Servicer must step in, find a replacement and assure that no interruption of essential servicing functions occurs. Like all servicers, the Master Servicer may be a division or affiliate of the Sponsor but is solely responsible to the Trustee. The Master Servicer receives a fee, small compared to the Primary Servicer’s fee, based on the average balance of all loans in the Trust.

Custodian. The Master Document Custodian takes and maintains physical possession of the original hard-copy Mortgage Notes, Mortgages, Deeds of Trust and certain other “key loan documents” that the parties deem essential for the enforcement of the mortgage loan in the event of default.

  • This is done for safekeeping and also to accomplish the transfer and due negotiation of possession of the Notes that is essential under the Uniform Commercial Code for a valid transfer to the Trustee to occur.
  • Like the Master Servicer, the Master Document Custodian is responsible by contract solely to the Trustee (e.g., the Master Document Custodial Agreement). However unlike the Master Servicer, the Master Document Custodian is an institution wholly independent from the Servicer and the Sponsor.
  • There are exceptions to this rule in the world of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac (“GSE”) securitizations. The GSE’s may allow selected large originators with great secure storage capabilities (in other words, large banks) to act as their own Master Document Custodians. But even in those cases, contracts make clear that the GSE Trustee, not the originator, is the owner of the Note and the mortgage loan.
  • The Master Document Custodian must review all original documents submitted into its custody for strict compliance with the specifications set forth in the Custodial Agreement, and deliver exception reports to the Trustee and/or Master Servicer as to any required documents that are missing or fail to comply with those specifications.
  • In so doing the Custodian must in effect confirm that for each loan in the Trust there is a “complete and unbroken chain of transfers and assignments of the Notes and Mortgages.”
  • This does not necessarily require the Custodian to find assignments or endorsements naming the Depositor or the Trustee. The wording in the Master Document Custodial Agreement must be read closely. Defined terms such as “Last Endorsee” may technically allow the Custodian to approve files in which the last endorsement is from the Sponsor in blank, and no assignment to either the Depositor or the Trustee has been recorded in the local land records.
  • In many private-label securitizations a single institution fulfills all of the functions related to document custody for the entire pool of loans. In these cases, the institution might be referred to simply as the “Custodian” and the governing document as the “Custodial Agreement.”

O Max Gardner, III and Richard D. Shepherd
October, 2009

Minnesota Prepares to Sue A Debt Collection Agency: Robosigning

COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary SEE LIVINGLIES LITIGATION SUPPORT AT LUMINAQ.COM

“The Minnesota attorney general, Lori Swanson, accused Encore of fraud, saying it had filed false affidavits to collect consumer debt that was not owed or had been already paid off.”

HUGE POTENTIAL EFFECT ON FORECLOSURES

EDITOR’S COMMENT:

The significance here is not just that robo-signing was used, which violates even common sense rules of evidence. It is the fact that the false affidavits were used to collect debts that were not due or had already been paid. This is the same as the current foreclosure mess, where pretenders are using false representations, fabrications, forgeries and perjured testimony to collect on non-existent debt, and debt which has already been paid by parties who have expressly waived any right to subrogation, which means they paid, but they did not purchase the receivable — to protect themselves from being called “lenders” or being subject to claims from homeowners for fraudulent or predatory lending.

As you will see from the description below, this opaque construct of conflicting “deals” and “trades” created a context in which the borrower’s obligation would be paid, regardless of whether the homeowner made the payments or not. The pretender lenders stepped in to the void created by this scheme to enforce a void note, void mortgage and an obligation in which it was neither the lender nor the purchaser of the receivable.

The pretenders are able to do this under the noses of the people who were the actual lenders because the investors don’t want to accept any responsibility for the fraudulent and predatory lending and documentation.

On a basic intuitive level it would seem that if a borrower received the benefit of funding of a loan, that the borrower was responsible for paying it back, regardless of what back-room deals were made. But in the words of Renaldo Reyes, Chief Asset Acquisition Officer (i.e., “trustee”) for Deutsch bank, the whole thing is COUNTER-INTUITIVE. That is why the courts are having so much trouble with these foreclosures — AND THAT IS THE SOLE REASON FOR THE USE OF ROBO-SIGNERS, FABRICATED DOCUMENTS AND FORGERIES TOGETHER WITH PERJURED TESTIMONY.

If the creditor was actually named, the real issues would come out and the issue would be completely reframed — because the the real creditor doesn’t want the house or the foreclosure, and in many cases is still getting paid. This leaves a “floating obligation owed to nobody” which is what the pretenders are exploiting and using on their balance sheets as “assets.”

Payment came from third parties who expressly waived rights of subrogation — it is right there in the insurance, credit default swap and buy-out agreements in the bailouts. That was intentionally done to remove the insurers or counterparts from any potential liability for fraudulent or predatory lending claims. But you can’t pick up one end of the stick without picking up the other end. The payments were received by agents of the investors — and the servicers keep on paying the payments to assure the imposition of absurd fees and costs. So at no time is the borrower’s debt to the investor-lender ever in default despite representations to the contrary in court. AND THAT IS WHY THEY USE ROBO-SIGNING, FABRICATION AND FORGERY — BECAUSE IF THEY WENT TO THE ACTUAL CREDITOR, THE DOCUMENT WOULD NOT BE SIGNED. SAME THING WITH CREDIT CARDS, STUDENT LOANS AND OTHER CONSUMER CREDIT WHICH INCIDENTALLY WAS MOSTLY SECURITIZED AS WELL.

Minnesota Prepares to Sue A Debt Collection Agency

By REUTERS

Minnesota’s attorney general accused the Encore Capital Group of cutting corners by filing “robo-signed” affidavits in debt collection lawsuits, the same practice for which banks have come under fire in home foreclosures.

Encore shares fell as much as 10.3 percent before closing with a 3 percent loss on the day.

The Minnesota attorney general, Lori Swanson, accused Encore of fraud, saying it had filed false affidavits to collect consumer debt that was not owed or had been already paid off.

Encore is one of the nation’s largest debt collection companies, and often buys debt from credit card companies.

The allegations follow an Ohio federal judge’s preliminary approval on March 11 of a $5.2 million class-action settlement of similar claims against Encore’s Midland Funding unit.

An Encore spokesman, Mike Huckman, had no immediate comment.

Robo-signing is a term coined to describe employees’ signing of litigation documents without reviewing their contents. All 50 state attorneys general are investigating robo-signing and other practices by banks in the mortgage industry.

Ms. Swanson said such practices were pervasive in debt collection. Ben Wogsland, a spokesman for Ms. Swanson, said she was investigating about a half-dozen other companies that buy debt.

Encore, which is based in San Diego, had through year-end invested $1.8 billion to buy 33 million accounts with a face value of $54.7 billion, according to its annual report.

Ms. Swanson wants the Ohio court to clarify that the proposed class-action settlement does not bar government agencies from pursuing similar litigation. She is seeking to file her lawsuit in a Minnesota state court, Mr. Wogsland said.

WAREHOUSE LENDING SHUFFLE: DIGGING DEEPER INTO THE SCAM

ONE ON ONE WITH NEIL GARFIELD ONE ON ONE WITH NEIL GARFIELD

DOUBLE DUTY

EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of the pattern of obfuscation and confusion, the securitizers intentionally create entire patterns of infrastructure that mimic the loan transaction — except with entirely different people or entities. Brian Davies dug up this Warehouse Lending agreement. It’s like picking a bank from which you will write checks. When you write a check on your account, the bank is not part of the deal that you are funding with that check. It is a conduit or facilitator. So here we are, with a BORROWER, SERVICER AND ORIGINATOR — none of which match up with the entities meeting that description in the loan transaction with the homeowner.

So there are two BORROWERS, two SERVICERS and two ORIGINATORS — all performing different tasks, all creating layers of confusion to enable the participants to claim plausible deniability. But how do you you REALLY deny something that happens 20 million times?

Now here comes the big question for investors. If they advanced money (called “selling forward” on Wall Street) for the purchase of a bond (same as a note), who was the payor and who was the payee? That is the essence of the question of identifying the real creditor, with standing. And it defines the essence of what documentation describes the payor? On the other end the same questions apply. Since the deal with the investor took place before the loan with the homeowner, the question of of the identity of the payor on the obligation due to investors must be answered first.

The payor to the investor is described in the documents setting up the securitization infrastructure. It includes many potential sources of revenue of channels of money for guarantees, cross collateralization, over-collateralization, guarantees and credit default swaps with insurance. AND it includes payments from a borrower who is NOT YET Identified. Thus the documentation does not describe a loan on a home between the owner of that home and the source of funds, it describes a transaction, part of which is being funded now, and part of which will be funded later whenever a borrower with a home shows up.

So now turn to the homeowner’s transaction which takes place without any disclosure of the above, contrary to the requirements of Federal and State law. The money comes from what is left of the investor’s money who advanced his funds for the purchase of the “bond” with multiple payors, one of which was not yet known. The payee is unknown and undisclosed. The fees generated from the transaction are undisclosed. AND the status of the people at the table is misrepresented. A note and mortgage (or deed of trust) is prepared introducing a totally new entity (that the banks call “bankruptcy-remote”) as the payee and the secured party, but which has no actual participation in the transaction except what is recited on paper.

Thus neither the investor nor the homeowner sees any paperwork that actually describes the transaction that they were induced to enter under obviously false pretenses. Neither of them has a fully documented transaction. And neither of them is the party to any instrument purporting to be security for the homeowner’s obligation because neither of them has signed or even seen the transaction that actually occurred. The paperwork is fatally defective in that it describes a transaction that did not occur while the real transaction goes without any paperwork at all.

The investor is owed money and the homeowner may owe money but neither one knows the other and neither is in privity with the other for contract purposes. In equity there might be a claim from the investor against the homeowner but the real claim, and the one the investors are pursuing is against the investment bank who duped them into purchasing a holographic image of a paper bag.

SUBMITTED BY BRIAN DAVIES

http://www.scribd.com/doc/48033689/Amended-and-Restated-Loan-Agreement-Lennar-Sept-26-2006-by-uamc-captial-llc

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN THE WAREHOUSE LENDING SHUFFLE HERE IS A GOOD AGREEMENT.

BORROWER UAMC CAPITAL
ORIGINATOR UAMCC
SERVICER UAMC LLC

NOW THE TRANSFER TO THE BUYER FROM THE WAREHOUSE LINE OPTEUM FINANCIAL SEE NEXT POST–PURCHASE THE LOAN PACKAGE OF $13MM FROM UAMCC/UAMC AFTER THESE ORIGINATORS PURCHASED THE LOANS BACK FROM UAMC CAPITAL LLC. SEE THIS AGREEMENT AND COMPARE TO THE PAGE 3 AND 4 OF THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT.

NOW THE MERS AUDIT TRAIL SAYS INVESTOR UAMC LLC. THE GESTATIONAL WAREHOUSE BANK ONE. WELL BANK ONE IN 2004 BECAME JP MORGAN. THE AGREEMENT SAY TO WIRE TO AN UNKNOW ACCOUNT AT JP MORGAN THE PAYMENTS FOR THE $13MM LOANS. THE LETTER IS FROM RESIDENTIAL FUNDING CORP. THIS IS INTERTWINED INTO ANOTHER AGREEMENT CALLED A THIRD AMENDED AND RESTATED WAREHOUSE LINE.

THE LOAN THEREFORE GOES UAMCC—>>UAMC CAPITAL LLC [BORROWER FROM JP MORGAN]—>>BACK TO UAMC LLC TO SELL TO OPTEUM. THE SERVICER UAMC LLC WHO IS ALSO THE SERVICER TO THE HOMEOWNER IS ALSO THE TRUSTEE OF THE DEED OF TRUST. THE INSURANCE IS PMI BY THE SUBSIDIARY OF THE BUILDER LENNAR, THE HAZARD INSURANCE IS THE SUBSIDIARY OF THE BUILDER. ESCROW AND TITLE IS A SUBSIDIARY OF THE BUILDER. UAMC LLC IS A SUBSIDIARY OF THE BUILDER. UAMCC IS A SUBSIDIARY OF THE BUILDER AND UAMC LLC. 67% OF ALL LENNAR HOMES WERE STEERED TO USE THEIR PREFERRED LENDER UAMCC. THAT THE DISCOUNTS OF $20,000 IN UPGRADES ARE ONLY WITH THEIR PREFERRED LENDER. THAT THE BUILDER, LENDER AND ALL SALES STAFF HAD WEEKLY MEETINGS. DOES THIS SEEM TO BE A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP. NOW THE BUILDER HAS A BUYING GROUP RIALTO CAPITAL WHICH JUST DID A PRIVATE PUBLIC DEAL WITH THE FDIC TO BUY LOANS. WOW, SEEMS LIKE ALOT OF OVERSIGHT.

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