The Strategic Warfare of Mortgage “Servicing”

By William Hudson
You can choose your sexual orientation and even your ethnicity but you can’t change your loan servicer. Mortage “servicing” is the ultimate misnomer. Modern loan servicing has nothing to do with service but instead provides a “disservice” in order to boost profits or engineer a default if at all possible. Being forced to contract with a sketchy loan servicer is like being forced to stay married to a spouse who lies, cheats and steals all your money.

 
The servicer’s job is to collect payments and manage the day to day operations of the loan, but servicers have taken on the new role of “default engineer” and “disinformation agent”. The servicers have found a new way of increasing profits and it is at the expense of a customer who has no choice in regards to who services their mortgage.

 
It is likely that the servicing rights to your loan were sold to either  the lowest bidder, or Pirates-R-Us Loan Servicing who purchased the note at a fire sale for pennies on the dollar with the knowledge that your loan had some major defect. It is even possible that your loan servicer is not a servicer at all but is pretending that they are forwarding your payments to the true owner when instead they are keeping your monthly payments for their own enrichment (and there is no creditor).

 
The typical tools servicers use to create a deliberate default include:
• providing disinformation or conflicting information to the homeowner
• failing to follow through with agreements (modifications or repayment)
• misapplying funds/refusing to take payments
• weeks spent trying to correct an issue (phone transferitis followed by disconnect)
• failure to answer QWR or failure to provide requested answers
• failure to acknowledge rescission
• backdating denial letters so homeowners don’t have sufficient time to challenge the              modification  denial
• forced-place insurance
• assign servicing rights to new servicer
• dual-tracking while modification is under consideration or borrower is in compliance
• revoking modification when homeowner is compliant (no opportunity to appeal)
• bankruptcy payment issues (misapplication of payments pre and post-bankruptcy)
• fabricating document to create the appearance of holder status
• misrepresenting status of relationship to loan
• Fabrication, forgery and other tactics to “perfect” the appearance of holder status

 
All of these activities serve to confuse the homeowner and require significant amounts of time and frustration to resolve as days, weeks and sometimes months are spent on trying to correct the situation (during work hours).   On a regular basis Servicers now participate in calculated fraud in order to create a default. The unsuspecting homeowner can be lulled by their servicer into practices that will increase the chances of foreclosure.

 
Over the past several months, the Lending Lies team has seen a disturbing trend of servicers taking advantage of people who are elderly, obviously mentally incapacitated, and economically vulnerable. Servicers are now aware of who the best victims are and who to pursue with impunity. The elderly who are on fixed incomes are particularly vulnerable, single mothers who are burdened by work and raising children on their own appear to be targets, and we have seen more and more mature single women with few assets except for their homes being given incorrect information to deliberately force them into arrears (many of these women acquired real estate through divorce or a spouse’s death- and are told they have no survivor rights and the bank refuses to accept payment). These people lack the financial resources to obtain legal assistance, and often are so beaten-down emotionally they have no ability to fight back.

 
The servicer’s current weapon of choice continues to be the loan modification offer, when the bank has no intention of granting one. During the loan modification process, paper work will be destroyed, customer service reps will claim to not have received paperwork, and the homeowner will be caught in an endless phone transfer loop (followed by an abrupt disconnect of the call in which the homeowner will be forced to start all over). After months of this nearly futile run-around the bank will claim the homeowner doesn’t qualify for a modification- but will then fail to provide a reason for the modification denial or an opportunity to appeal the servicer’s decision (last week Ocwen was sanctioned by the National Mortgage Settlement for this metric violation). Another tactic is to dual-track the customer (proceed with foreclosure while homeowner is in negotiations for a modification).

 
Unfortunately almost all homeowners are at the mercy of the party who acquires the servicing rights to their Note- and if the homeowner has the misfortunate of their loan being acquired by Ocwen, Nationwide, Bank of America, JPMorgan-Chase, CitiMortgage or Bank of America- the homeowner is almost assured that if they miss one payment during the life of their loan or have some other issue- there will be hell to pay and the bank will make it as difficult as possible to correct the issue.

 

 

Without effective counsel, the homeowner is literally at the servicer’s mercy.
Part of the servicer’s modus operandi is emotional warfare. First of all, mortgage issues are complex and most homeowners have no comprehension of what is going on except for what they are told by low-level employees at the banks that are literally practicing law without a license when speaking to homeowners. By keeping the victim confused, on edge, unable to receive concise answers and other gaslighting techniques- they can exponentially increase default odds in their favor. Most homeowners will follow the directions of their loan servicers without question- and are taken advantage by their naiveté and willingness to comply with the servicer’s demands. It is unconscionable that a loan servicer with a conflict of interest is able to advise vulnerable homeowners about saving their home when the servicer has very clear goals of foreclosure.

 
Over the past nine years, servicers have learned how to “perfect” their default model to ensure foreclosures occur. Now that it is well known that the servicers forge signatures, falsify notarizations, and fabricate documents, the banks have now reverted to “Plan B”. If paperwork they forged and altered over the past six years is a known liability, lenders are now resorting to “lost note” strategies so they can try to start over with a “clean” slate. Once they have convinced the court the note was lost and claim plausible deniability they can use a lost note affidavit to try and correct any earlier issues or oversights that occurred when sloppy fabrication and forgeries were used. The banks can then recreate their foreclosure “storyline”  in order to “perfect” their standing. Don’t be fooled by this tactic.

 
The homeowner’s chance of saving their homes are compromised when their own servicer behaves in predatory ways. Servicers are well aware of how to create a default and who to best target for their crime. The National Mortgage Settlement has proven impotent to stop loan servicers from continuing with their deceptive tactics. Society’s most vulnerable are victimized and have no hope of fighting back against these abusive servicer crime-syndicates with deep pockets, political allies and the courts in their corner. Welcome to the new America.

Why Do Subservicers Continue to Pay Investors After Borrower Stops Paying?

It is now common knowledge that subservicers are continuing to pay investors and reporting the loan as “performing” after they have sent a default and right to reinstate notice as required by the mortgage (usually paragraph 22) and by the uniform debt collection laws. The first problem about this is that the actual creditor does not show a default whereas the bookkeeper Servicer is declaring the default. With the investor receiving his regular payments, how can a default exist? This appears to apply to securitized student loans as well.

Bottom line is that the subservicer is reporting to the borrower that the loan is in default but reporting to the investor (the creditor) that it isn’t in default. These payments have gone on for as long as 18 months that I have seen. Which brings us back to the first articles ever written on this blog.

The borrower is only required to make payments that are DUE. The payment isn’t due if it is already been made and there is nothing to reinstate if the creditor has already received his expected payment. The payments are NOT DUE TO THE SERVICER. They are due to the creditor. If the creditor received the payment on that loan as shown in the distribution report to the creditor, then the conditions necessary to declare that the loan is in default are not present. Remember that the presence of a table funded loan, an aggregator, the securitization, the trust was withheld from the borrower. The banks could have covered themselves by adding to the mortgage and note that third party payments to the creditor will not reduce the payments, principal or interest. But if they had done that, they would have required to answer so e uncomfortable questions.

The second issue is the constant question “Why would they continue making payments to the ‘creditor’ when they are not receiving payments from the borrower?” And “Where are they getting the money to pay the creditor?”

After talking with sources from deep inside the industry the answer to why they are paying is primarily to sell more bonds and hide the default issues. The secondary reason is to make the investor complacent about the accounting for what was really received on account of the loans and from whom. That inquiry could lead to a demand from the investor for payment in full and if the REMIC doesn’t pay, then the investors sue the investment banker who was the one playing with OPM (other people’s money).

The answer to the second question is that the money comes from the investment banker. Whether the investment banker is merely using the investor’s money (allowed under prospectus) or using insurance proceeds or payments on CDS (credit default swaps) or even sale proceeds to the Federal Reserve varies. Either way it is an effort to keep money that should go to the investor and reduce the amount payable to the investor and which would reduce or eliminate the debt owed by the homeowner to the investor. It is fraud, theft and probably a bunch of other things.

Sample Interrogatories

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY

CHANCERY DIVISION – ESSEX VICINAGE

——————————————————————X                Civil Action

Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, As Trustee Of

Argent Securities, Inc. Asset Backed Pass Through Certificates, Series 2004-PW1

Docket Number: XXX

REQUEST FOR

INTERROGATORIES

Plaintiff(s),

vs.

XXX; John Doe,

Husband Of XXX                                                                            XXX Avenue

Rosedale, NY 11422

Defendant(s)/Pro Se ——————————————————————X

REQUEST FOR DISCOVERY: INTERROGATORIES

i). Defendant, XXX, serves these interrogatories on Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as authorized by Case Management Order dated September 30, 2009, and by the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company must serve an answer to each interrogatory separately and fully, in writing and under oath within 30 days after service to: XXX, XXX Ave., Rosedale, NY 11422.

INSTRUCTIONS

ii). These requests for interrogatories are directed toward all information known or available to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company – not its lawyer, Ralph F. Casale, Esq. – including information contained in the records and documents in Deutsche Bank National Trust Company’s custody or control or available to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company upon reasonable inquiry.

iii). Each request for interrogatory is to be deemed a continuing one. If, after serving an answer, you obtain or become aware of any further information pertaining to that request, you are requested to serve a supplemental answer setting forth such information.

iv). As to every request for interrogatory which an authorized officer of Deutsche Bank National Trust Company fails to answer in whole or in part, the subject matter of that request will be deemed confessed and stipulated as fact to the Court.

v). Kindly attach additional sheets as required identifying the Interrogatory being answered.  You have a continuing obligation to update the information in these Interrogatories as you acquire new information. If no such update is provided in a reasonable period of time that you acquired such information, it may be excluded at trial or hearing.

DEFINITIONS

vi). “You” and “your” include Deutsche Bank National Trust Company and any and all persons acting for or in concert with Deutsche Bank National Trust Company.

vii). “Document” is synonymous in meaning and equal in scope to the usage of this term in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(a) and includes computer records in any format. A draft or non-identical copy is a separate document within the meaning of this term. The term “document” also includes any “tangible things” as that term is used in Rule 34(a).

viii). Parties. The term “plaintiff” or “defendant”, as well as a party’s full or abbreviated name or a pronoun referring to a party, means the party and, where applicable, (his/her/its) agents, representatives, officers, directors, employees, partners, corporate parent, subsidiaries, or affiliates.

ix). Identify (person). When referring to a person, “identify” means to give, to the extent known, the person’s full name, present or last known address, telephone number, and when referring to a natural person, the present or last known place of employment. Once a person has been identified in compliance with this paragraph, only the name of that person needs to be listed in response to later discovery requesting the identification of that person.

x). Identify (document). When referring to a document, “identify” means to give, to the extent known, the following information: (a) the type of document; (b) the general subject matter of the document; (c) the date of the document; (d) the authors, address, and recipients of the document; (e) the location of the document; (f) the identity of the person who has custody of the document; and (g) whether the document has been destroyed, and if so, (i) the date of its destruction, (ii) the reason for its destruction, and (iii) the identity of the person who destroyed it.

xi). Relating. The term “relating” means concerning, referring, describing, evidencing, or constituting, directly or indirectly.

xii). Any. The term “any” should be understood in either its most or its least inclusive sense as necessary to bring within the scope of the discovery request all reasons that might otherwise be construed to be outside of its scope.

REQUEST FOR INTERROGATORIES

1. Please identify each person who answer these interrogatories and each person (attach pages if necessary) who assisted, including attorneys, accountants, employees of third party entities, or any other person consulted, however briefly, on the content of any answer to these interrogatories.

ANSWER:

2. For each of the above persons please state whether they have personal knowledge regarding the subject loan transaction.

ANSWER:

3. Please state the date of the first contact between Deutsche Bank National Trust Company and the borrower in the subject loan transaction, the name, address and telephone number of the person(s) in your company who was/were involved in that contact.

ANSWER:

4. Please identify every potential party to this lawsuit.

ANSWER:

5. Please identify the person(s) involved in the underwriting of the subject loan. “Underwriting” refers to any person who made representations, evaluations or appraisals of value of the home, value of the security instruments, and ability of the borrower to pay.

ANSWER:

6. Please identify any person(s) who had any contact with any third party regarding the securitization, sale, transfer, assignment, hypothecation or any document or agreement, oral, written or otherwise, that would effect the funding, closing, or the receipt of money from a third party in a transaction that referred to the subject loan.

ANSWER:

7. Please identify any person(s) known or believed by anyone at Deutsche Bank National Trust Company who had received physical possession of the note and allonges, the mortgage, or any document (including but not limited to assignment, endorsement, allonges, Pooling and Servicing Agreement, Assignment and Assumption Agreement, Trust Agreement,  letters or email or faxes of transmittals  including attachments) that refers to or incorporates terms regarding the securitization, sale, transfer, assignment, hypothecation or any document or agreement, oral, written or otherwise, that would effect the funding, or the receipt of money from a third party in a transaction, and whether such money was allocated to principal, interest or other obligation related to the subject loan.

ANSWER:

8. Please identify all persons known or believed by anyone in Deutsche Bank National Trust Company or any affiliate to have participated in the securitization of the subject loan including but not limited to mortgage aggregators, mortgage brokers, financial institutions, Structured Investment Vehicles, Special Purpose Vehicles, Trustees, Managers of derivative securities, managers of the company that issued an Asset-backed security, Underwriters, Rating Agency, Credit Enhancement Provider.

ANSWER:

9. Please identify the person(s) or entities that are entitled, directly or indirectly to the stream of revenue from the borrower in the subject loan.

ANSWER:

10 Please identify the person(s) in custody of any document that identifies the loan servicer(s) in the subject loan transaction.

ANSWER:

11. Please identify any person(s) in custody of any document which refers to any instruction or authority to enforce the note or mortgage in the subject loan transaction.

ANSWER:

12. Other than people identified above, identify any and all persons who have or had personal knowledge of the subject loan transaction, underwriting of the subject loan transaction, securitization, sale, transfer, assignment or hypothecation of the subject loan transaction, or the decision to enforce the note or mortgage in the subject loan transaction.

ANSWER:

13. Please state address, phone number, and employment history for the past 3 years of Tamara Price, Vice President, Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, “designated as the Assignor” of the mortgage loan to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (Assignment of Mortgage recorded in Essex County Register’s Office on June 25, 2008).

ANSWER:

14. Please state the date on which Argent Mortgage Company, LLC (originator) sold the mortgage loan to Ameriquest Mortgage Company (Seller and Master Servicer).

ANSWER:

15. Please state the date on which Ameriquest Mortgage Company (Seller and Master Servicer) sold the mortgage loan to Argent Securities, Inc. (Depositor).

ANSWER:

16. Did Argent Mortgage Company, LLC (originator) or previous servicers of this account receive any compensation, fee, commission, payment, rebate or other financial considerations from Ameriquest Mortgage Company (Seller and Master Servicer) or any affiliate or from the trust funds, for handling, processing, originating or administering this loan?

ANSWER:

17. If yes, please describe and itemize each and every form of compensation, fee, commission, payment, rebate or other financial consideration paid to Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, the originator or previous servicers of this account by Ameriquest or any affiliate, or from the trust fund.

ANSWER:

18. Please identify any party, person or entity known or suspected by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company or any of your officers, employees, independent contractors or other agents, or servants of your company who might possess or claim rights under the subject loan or mortgage and/or note.

ANSWER:

19. Please identify the custodian of the records that would show all entries regarding the flow of funds for the subject loan transaction prior to and after closing of the loan. (Flow of funds, means any record of money received, any record of money paid out and any bookkeeping or accounting entry, general ledger and accounting treatment of the subject loan transaction at your company or any affiliate including but not limited to whether the subject loan transaction was ever entered into any category on the balance sheet at any time or times, whether any reserve for default was ever entered on the balance sheet, and whether any entry, report or calculation was made regarding the effect of this loan transaction on the capital reserve requirements of your company or any affiliate.)

ANSWER:

20. Please identify the auditor and/or accountant of your financial statements or tax returns.

ANSWER:

21. Please identify any attorney with whom you consulted or who rendered an opinion regarding the subject loan transaction or any pattern of securitization that may have effected the subject loan transaction directly or indirectly.

ANSWER:

22. Please identify any person who served as an officer or director with Deutsche Bank National Company or Argent Mortgage Company LLC commencing with 6 months prior to closing of the subject loan transaction through the present. (This interrogatory is limited only to those people who had knowledge, responsibility, or otherwise made or received reports regarding information that included the subject loan transaction, and/or the process by which solicitation, underwriting and closing of residential mortgage loans, or the securitization, sale, transfer or assignment or hypothecation of residential mortgage loans to third parties.)

ANSWER:

23. Did any investor/certificate holder approve or authorize foreclosure proceedings on XXX’s property?

ANSWER:

24. Please identify the person(s) involved or having knowledge of any insurance policy or product, plan or instrument describing over-collateralization, cross-collateralization or guarantee or other instrument hedging the risk of default as to any person or entity acting as an issuer of any securities or certificates. (Such instrument(s) relate to the composition of a pool, tranche or other aggregation of assets that was created, included or referred to the subject loan and the pool or aggregation was transmitted, transferred, assigned, pledged or hypothecated to any entity or buyer. A person who “transmitted, transferred, assigned, pledged or hypothecated” refers to any person who suggested, approved, received or accepted the composition of the pool or aggregation made or confirmed representations, evaluations or appraisals of value of the home, value of the security instruments, ability of the borrower to pay.)

ANSWER:

25. Please identify the person(s) involved or having knowledge of any credit default swap or other instrument hedging the risk of default as to any person or entity acting as an issuer of any securities or certificates. (Such instrument(s) relate to the composition of a pool, tranche or other aggregation of assets that was created, included or referred to the subject loan.)

ANSWER:

Submitted by:  XXX

XXX  Ave

Rosedale, NY 11422

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I, I, XXX certify that on this 29th day of the month of October, 2009.

1. A true copy of the 10-page Request for Interrogatories was served on The New Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division – Essex Vincinage, at 212 Wasington Street, Eighth Floor, Newark, New Jersey.

2. A copy of the foregoing was mailed on October 28, 2009 to

Dated: Queens New York

This _________ day of ___________ 2009    XXX

XXX Ave

Rosedale, NY 11422

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