The missing second witness —Attacking the Business Records of A Servicer: Start with the fact that the company is self-proclaimed servicer with no proof of authority and then pivot to the absence of records establishing the debt as an asset.

Excellent article written by attorneys at Blank Rome on the issue of Business Record exceptions to the hearsay rule. The hearsay rule is simple. It excludes from evidence any statement that is uttered out of court — whether that statement is in writing or was made orally.

see https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/florida-supreme-court-resolves-conflict-20649/

So here is what it looks like in a typical old-fashioned foreclosure trial.

The witness testifies that he or she is the records custodian of a bank. He/she says she has the records of the homeowner/borrower from the bank and he/she testifies that he/she knows from his/her own personal knowledge that those records were made at or near  the time of every transaction between the borrower and the bank.

The witness testifies that he/she has the actual records with handwritten entries showing the establishment of the loan as an asset through purchase of the promissory note in a transaction in which the borrower received money or in which money was paid on behalf of the borrower.

The written record is admitted into evidence as proof of two matters asserted: (1) establishment of the debt or underlying obligation and (2) the borrower’s payment history.

The witness goes on to testify that he/she holds in his/her hand the original promissory note and mortgage executed by the borrower and that is ahs been under lock and key, under his/her supervision since the time of origination of the loan.

The note and mortgage are accepted into evidence as proof of the terms of repayment and the establishment of a lien.

The Judge compares the obligation (promise to pay) as set forth on the note with the payment history and arrives at a factual conclusion as to whether the homeowner is in breach of the agreement and renders a final judgment for the bank, assuming the homeowner has not made payments that were promised by the homeowner to the bank.

Now let’s look at the modern day nontraditional foreclosure. First of all nobody from the bank or “lender” makes any appearance.

My point is that a foundation objection should be made and preserved if this is the case.

If a witness is a person other than the employee or officer of the named claimant or plaintiff in the foreclosure case, he/she cannot testify about records, payment history or anything else relating to the foreclosure claim without someone else first testifying that the witness is authorized to do so and that the company for whom the witness works maintains the records that establish the debt as owned by the claimant and that said company is in fact the servicer of the account.

That second witness must be an authorized employee or officer of the named claimant/plaintiff. In plain language if BONY/Mellon is named as trustee of a trust, and that they are filing on behalf of certificate holders of the trust, no evidence should be admitted without first establishing the foundation for the inferences that the foreclosure mill wishes to raise.

And frankly the court should on its own reject any attempt to work around this requirement. But as a practical matter, the way it is currently working, if you don’t object continuously to the absence of such foundation then you will be treated as having waived the issue and with that, you will effectively be treated as though you had waived your defenses.

So if securitization was real, the witness would come in and say that they are the authorized representative of BONY Mellon and that they are the trust officer in charge of record keeping for BONY Mellon in relation to this named trust and the certificate holder.

The witness would produce the trust agreement authorizing BONY/Mellon to act as trustee and a certificate indenture in which the holders of the certificates have been granted ownership shares of a pool of mortgages owned by the trust and which explicitly grant to BONY/Mellon the right to represent the certificate holders in connection with the enforcement of loans owned by teht rust for their benefit. The witness would establish that the certificate holders are beneficiaries.

The bank trustee witness would produce business records of BONY/Mellon that show the transaction in which the loans were established, having acquired same from the originator in a specific transaction in which value was paid for ownership of the debt, note and mortgage.

Or, the witness would testify that pursuant to some agreement, BONY/Mellon had outsourced functions to some other company that is acting as servicer. And the witness would testify that the servicer was operating in compliance with the servicing agreement by tendering the required payments in the certificate indenture to BONY/Mellon as trustee who in turn makes payments to the certificate holders.

You will never see such testimony because none of these things happen in what is loosely described as “Securitization.” Certificate holders own nothing but an unsecured IOU from an investment bank doing business under the name of a nonexistent trust. No servicer even has access to any information, data or entries on any record establishing the debt as an asset of anyone. In fact, no “servicer” knows or pays any money to anyone in a transaction that would even imply they are working for the owner of the debt. That is where aggressive discovery will tip the scales.

In reality the “records” submitted by the servicer are proffered as the payment history but there is never any direct testimony that the payment history constitutes business records of the claimant. That is because they are not business records of the claimant. They are only reports issued for the purpose of foreclosure. And that is not allowed. Such reports are not admissible in evidence and if excluded, the case fails.

In one form or another, every case I have won for homeowners and every case I know that was won for a homeowner has turned on the absence of foundation for the evidence sought to be admitted into evidence — without which no legal presumptions can arise or be used in the case against the homeowner.

Bottom Line: In virtually all foreclosure cases there is an absence of the required second witness because there is no such witness — i.e., a person with personal knowledge that the facts assumed or presumed are true.

Here are some important quotes from the above cited article:

On July 2, 2020, the Florida Supreme Court issued its written opinion[i] in Jackson v. Household Finance Corporation, III, 236 So. 3d 1170 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016) to resolve a conflict with a case decided by the Fourth District Court of Appeal (Maslak v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 190 So. 3d 656 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016). Specifically, the issue concerned whether the predicates were met for admissions of records into evidence under the business records exception to the hearsay rule during the course of a bench trial in a residential foreclosure case. The Florida Supreme Court held that the proper predicate for admission can be laid by a qualified witness testifying to the foundation elements of the exception set forth in Section 90.803(6) of the Florida Evidence Code.

a party has three options to lay the foundation to meet that exception: (1) offering testimony of a records custodian, (2) presenting a certification that or declaration that the elements have been established, or (3) obtaining a stipulation of admissibility. If the party elects to present testimony, the applicable case law explains that it does not need to be the person who created the business records. The witness may be any qualified person with knowledge of each of the elements.

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Neil F Garfield, MBA, JD, 73, is a Florida licensed trial attorney since 1977. He has received multiple academic and achievement awards in business and law. He is a former investment banker, securities broker, securities analyst, and financial analyst.
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Ken McLeod Files Complaints Against Notaries: 3 Licenses Revoked so far

So far he is three for three and he has no plans to stop filing complaints against notaries who signed false, fabricated affidavits. Ken McLeod (Arizona) is about the best investigator for economic crimes that I have ever come across. I won’t publish his number because the last time I did that he was swamped with calls and couldn’t do his work. If you can get to him, hire him. He has helped my law firm in a variety of ways sometimes tracking down witnesses within minutes and even telling us where they were standing at that moment. And he is devoted to bringing down this false system of foreclosures based upon false documents, false debts, and false testimony.

“The robo-signing notaries need to be stripped of their professional licenses.  I fully intend to file a complaint against every single notary who ever signed a false affidavit in Arizona.  It may take me years, but, this is how it’s done.  One at a time until they are all gone.

“Notice the Garcia revocation.  The notary presented after the fact falsified logs to try to cover his ass.  His other problems were accepting expired passports as proof of idea.  He even acknowledged the demand by a ‘detective’ but made a (wrong) legal decision he didn’t have to comply.

“Revocation of these commissions will have to be disclosed by these notaries any time they need a bond or apply for a government job.

The subtext for this is that if the notaries were committing crimes or violations of the rules and regulations governing their licenses as notaries, then two things are true: (1)  if a false notarization was affixed by a notary in order to record a document in public records or to authenticate an affidavit as testimony, then the document or affidavit needs to be expunged from the record or coupled with a notation that the affidavit or document was falsely notarized, and  (2) if the document was falsely notarized and is therefore not effective for the purpose for which it was improperly recorded, then any action based upon that recordation is void or voidable.

The one thing that I need to remind readers is that a false notary does not completely invalidate a document. It may invalidate the recording and it may imply that the entire document was false. But it doesn’t prove the entire document was false. For example, if you in fact signed a mortgage and a note and the mortgage was required to have two witnesses and a notary, you have a contract regardless of whether or not it was recorded.  The failure to provide the proper notarization does not nullify the instrument. When the notarization was not fraudulent, and affidavit attached to the instrument will suffice to correct the problem.

Luz Anaya Notary revocation letter from AZ SOS 09232013

Letter from AZ SOS revocation of notary commission Felix Garcia

Gloria Cramer AZ SOS Revocation Letterdated 1-20-2014

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