What is the difference between the note and the debt? What difference does it make?

NOTE: This case reads like  law review article. It is well worth reading and studying, piece by piece. Judge Marx has taken a lot of time to research, analyze the documents, and write a very clear opinion on the truth about the documents that were used in this case, and by extension the documents that are used in most foreclosure cases.

Simple answer: if you had a debt to pay would you pay it to the owner of the debt or someone else who says that you should pay them instead? It’s obvious.

Second question: if the owner of the debt is really different than the party claiming to collect it, why hasn’t the owner shown up? This answer is not so obvious nor is it simple. The short version is that the owners of the risk of loss have contracted away their right to collect on the debt, note or mortgage.

Third question: why are the technical requirements of an indorsement, allonge etc so important? This is also simple: it is the only way to provide assurance that the holder of the note is the owner of the note. This is important if the note is going to be treated as evidence of ownership of the debt.

NY Slip Opinion: Judge Paul I Marx carefully analyzed the facts and the law and found that there was a failure to firmly affix the alleged allonge which means that the note possessor must prove, rather than presume, that the possessor is a holder with rights to enforce. U.S. Bank, N.A. as Trustee v Cannella April 15, 2019.

Now the lawyers who claim U.S. Bank, N.A. is their client must prove something that doesn’t exist in the real world. This a problem because U.S. Bank won’t and can’t cooperate and the investment bank won’t and can’t allow their name to be used in foreclosures.

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Words actually matter — in the world of of American Justice, under law, without words, nothing matters.
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So it is especially important to presume nothing and actually read words without making any assumptions. Much of what we see in the language of what is presented as a conveyance is essentially the same as a quitclaim deed in which there is no warranty of title and which simply grants any interest that the grantor MIGHT have. It is this type of wording that the banks use to weaponize the justice system against homeowners.
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There is no warranty of title and there is no specific grant of ownership in an assignment of mortgage that merely says the assignor/grantor conveys “all beneficial interest under a certain mortgage.” Banks want courts to assume that means the note and the debt as well. But that specific wording is double-speak.
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It says it is granting rights to the mortgage; but the rest of wording  is making reference only to what is stated in the mortgage, which is not the note, the debt or any other rights. So in effect it is saying it is granting title to the mortgage and then saying the same thing again, without adding anything. That is the essence of double speak.
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In the Cannela Case Judge Marx saw the attempt to mislead the court and dealt with it:

The language in RPAPL § 258, which this Court emphasized—”together with the bond or obligation described in said mortgage“—stands in sharp contrast to the language used here in the Assignment—”all beneficial interest under a certain Mortgage”. If such language is mere surplusage, as Plaintiff seems to believe, the drafters of RPAPL § 258 would not have included it in a statutory form promulgated for general use as best practice.

So here is the real problem. The whole discussion in Canella is about the note, the indorsement and the allonge. But notice the language in the opinion — “The Assignment did not go on to state that the referenced debt “…. So the Judge let it slip (pardon the pun) that when he refers to the note he means the debt.

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The courts are using “the debt” and “the note” as being interchangeable words meaning the same thing. I would admit that before the era of false claims of securitization I used the words, debt, note and mortgage interchangeably because while there were technical  difference in the legal meaning of those terms, they all DID mean the same thing to me and everyone else.
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While a note SHOULD be evidence of the debt and the possession of a note SHOULD be evidence of being a legal note holder and that SHOULD mean that the note holder probably has rights to enforce, and therefore that note “holder” should be the the owner of a debt claiming foreclosure rights under a duly assigned mortgage for which value was paid, none of that is true if the debt actually moved in one or more different directions — different that is from the paper trail fabricated by remote parties with no interest in the loan other than to collect their fees.
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The precise issue is raised because the courts have almost uniformly assumed that the burden shifts to the homeowner to show that the debt moved differently than the paper. This case shows that might not be true. But it will be true if not properly presented and argued. In effect what we are dealing with here is that there is a presumption to use the presumption.
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If Person A buys the debt (for real) for value (money) he is the owner of the debt. But that is only true if he bought it from Person B who also paid value for the debt (funded the origination or acquisition of the loan). If not, the debt obviously could not possibly have moved from B to A.
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It is not legally possible to move the debt without payment of value. It IS possible to appoint agents to enforce it. But for those agents seeking to enforce it the debtor has a right to know why he should pay a stranger without proof that his debt is being collected for his creditor.
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The precise issue identified by the investment banks back in 1983 (when securitization started) is that even debts are made up of component parts. The investment banks saw they could enter into “private contracts” in which the risk of loss and other bets could be made totalling far more than the loan itself. This converted the profit potential on loans from being a few points to several thousand percent of each loan.
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The banks knew that only people with a strong background in accounting and investment banking would realize that the investment bank was a creditor for 30 days or less and that after that it was at most a servicer who was collecting “fees’ in addition to “trading profits” at the expense of everyone involved.
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And by creating contracts in which the investors disclaimed any direct right, title or interest in the collection of the loan, even though the investor assumed the entire risk of loss, the investment banks could claim and did claim that they had not sold off the debt. Any accountant will tell you that selling the entire risk of loss means that you sold off the entire debt.
*
* Thus monthly payments, prepayments and foreclosure proceeds are absorbed by the investment bank and its affiliates under various guises but it never goes to reduce a debt owned by the people who have paid value for the debt. In this case, and all similar cases, U.S. Bank, N.A. as trustee (or any trustee) never received nor expected to receive any money from monthly payments, prepayments or foreclosure proceeds; but that didn’t stop the investment banks from naming the claimant as U.S. Bank, N.A. as trustee.
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**So then the note might be sold but the alleged transfer of a mortgage is a nullity because there was no actual transfer of the debt. Transfer of the debt ONLY occurs where value is paid. Transfer of notes occurs regardless of whether value was paid.
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US laws in all 50 states all require that the enforcer of a mortgage be the same party who owns the debt or an agent who is actually authorized  by the owner of the debt to conduct the foreclosure. For that to be properly alleged and proven the identity of the owner of the debt must be disclosed.
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That duty to disclose might need to be enforced in discovery, a QWR, a DVL or a subpoena for deposition, but in all events if the borrower asks there is no legal choice for not answering, notwithstanding arguments that the information is private or proprietary.
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The only way that does not happen is if the borrower does not enforce the duty to disclose the principal. If the borrower does enforce but the court declines that is fertile grounds for appeal, as this case shows. Standing was denied to U.S. Bank, as Trustee, because it failed to prove it was the holder of the note prior to initiating foreclosure.
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It failed because the fabricated allonge was not shown to be have been firmly attached so as to become part of the note itself.
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Thus the facts behind the negotiation of the note came into doubt and the presumptions sought by attorneys for the named claimant were thrown out. Now they must prove through evidence of transactions in the real world that the debt moved, instead of presuming the movement from the movement of the note.
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But if B then executes an indorsement to Person C you have a problem. Person A owns the debt but Person C owns the note. Both are true statements. Unless the indorsement occurred at the instruction of Person B, it creates an entirely new and separate liability under the UCC, since the note no longer serves as title to the debt but rather serves as presumptive liability of a maker under the UCC with its own set of rules.
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And notwithstanding the terms of the mortgage to the contrary, the mortgage no longer secures the note, which is no longer evidence of the debt; hence the mortgage can only be enforced by the person who owns the debt, if at all. The note which can only be enforced pursuant to rules governing the enforcement of negotiable instruments, if that applies, is no longer secured by the mortgage because the law requires the mortgage to secure a debt and not just a promissory note. See UCC Article 9-203.
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This is what the doctrine of merger is intended to avoid — double liability. But merger does not happen when the debt owner and the Payee are different parties and neither one is the acknowledged agent of a common principal.
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Now if Person B never owned the debt to begin with but was still the payee on the note and the mortgagee on the mortgage you have yet another problem. The note and debt were split at closing. In law cases this is referred to as splitting the note and mortgage which is presumed not to occur unless there is a showing of intent to do so. In this case there was intent to do so. The source of lending did not get a note and mortgage and the broker did get a note and mortgage.
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Normally that would be fine if there was an agency contract between the originator and the investment bank who funded the loan. But the investment bank doesn’t want to admit such agency as it would be liable for lending and disclosure violations at closing, and for servicing violations after closing.
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***So when the paperwork is created that creates the illusion of transfer of the mortgage without any real transaction between the remote parties because it is the investment bank who is all times holding all the cards. No real transactions can occur without the investment bank. The mortgage and the note being transferred creates two separate legal events or consequences.
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Transfer of the note even without the debt creates a potential asset to the transferee whether they paid for it or not. If they paid for it they might even be a holder in due course with more rights than the actual owner of the debt. See UCC Article 3, holder in due course.
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Transfer of the note without the debt (i.e. transfer without payment of value) would simply transfer rights under the UCC and that would be independent of the debt and therefore the mortgage which, under existing law, can only be enforced by the owner of the debt notwithstanding language in the mortgage that refers to the note. The assignment of mortgage was not enough.
Some quotables from the Slip Opinion:

A plaintiff in an action to foreclose a mortgage “[g]enerally establishes its prima facie case through the production of the mortgage, the unpaid note, and evidence of default”. U.S. Bank Nat. Ass’n v Sabloff, 153 AD3d 879, 880 [2nd Dept 2017] (citing Plaza Equities, LLC v Lamberti, 118 AD3d 688, 689see Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Brewton, 142 AD3d 683, 684). However, where a defendant has affirmatively pleaded standing in the Answer,[6] the plaintiff must prove standing in order to prevail. Bank of New York Mellon v Gordon, 2019 NY Slip Op. 02306, 2019 WL 1372075, at *3 [2nd Dept March 27, 2019] (citing HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Roumiantseva, 130 AD3d 983, 983-984HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Calderon, 115 AD3d 708, 709Bank of NY v Silverberg, 86 AD3d 274, 279).

A plaintiff establishes its standing in a mortgage foreclosure action by showing that it was the holder of the underlying note at the time the action was commenced. Sabloff, supra at 880 (citing Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Taylor, 25 NY3d 355, 361U.S. Bank N.A. v Handler, 140 AD3d 948, 949). Where a plaintiff is not the original lender, it must show that the obligation was transferred to it either by a written assignment of the underlying note or the physical delivery of the note. Id. Because the mortgage automatically passes with the debt as an inseparable incident, a plaintiff must generally prove its standing to foreclose on the mortgage through either of these means, rather than by assignment of the mortgage. Id. (citing U.S. Bank, N.A. v Zwisler, 147 AD3d 804, 805U.S. Bank, N.A. v Collymore, 68 AD3d 752, 754).

Turning to the substantive issue involving UCC § 3-202(2), Defendant contends that the provision requires that an allonge must be “permanently” affixed to the underlying note for the note to be negotiated by delivery. UCC § 3-202(1) states, in pertinent part, that if, as is the case here, “the instrument is payable to order it is negotiated by delivery with any necessary indorsement”. UCC § 3-202(1) (emphasis added). The pertinent language of UCC § 3-202(2) provides that when an indorsement is written on a separate piece of paper from a note, the paper must be “so firmly affixed thereto as to become a part thereof.” UCC § 3-202(2) (emphasis added); Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC v Kelly, 166 AD3d 843 [2nd Dept 2018]; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Roumiantseva, supra at 985see also One Westbank FSB v Rodriguez, 161 AD3d 715, 716 [1st Dept 2018]; Slutsky v Blooming Grove Inn, 147 AD2d 208, 212 [2nd Dept 1989] (“The note secured by the mortgage is a negotiable instrument (see, UCC 3-104) which requires indorsement on the instrument itself `or on a paper so firmly affixed thereto as to become a part thereof’ (UCC 3-202[2]) in order to effectuate a valid `assignment’ of the entire instrument (cf., UCC 3-202 [3], [4])”).

[Editor’s note: if it were any other way the free spinning allonge would become a tradable commodity in its own right. ]

The Assignment did not go on to state that the referenced debt was simultaneously being assigned to Plaintiff.

 

Case Involuntarily Dismissed: Caliber & U.S. Bank Trust for LSF9 Master Participation Trust Lose In Florida –

Please study the attached transcript for a road map regarding how a homeowner’s attorney should question a servicer’s witness.   See:  BOA-v-Asset-Acquisitions-Re-LSF9

Great job by Michelle Belmont, Esq.!

http://belmontesq.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/WON-Transrcipt-BOA-v-Asset-Acquisitions.pdf

Here’s a case we’ve seen a thousand times. Plaintiff, U.S. Bank Trust, N.A. as Trustee for LSF9 Master Participation Trust, is substituted in during the litigation. Caliber as the servicer sends in its witness minion to parrot what he/she has been told.
But this time things went south very quickly for Caliber. Though the note, mortgage, assignment, and most everything else were stipulated to prior to trial, attorney Michelle Belmont attacked the validity of the LPOA to which the court rejected and dismissed the case involuntarily. The Court clearly recognized that the witness could not reach first base without the Court allowing the LPOA into the record. The best part however, is the judge telegraphs what he perceives was the fatal strategy to bring in a witness from Caliber, when the Plaintiff became “U.S. Bank Trust, N.A.” He says, “Where’s the witness from U.S. Bank?” As everyone knows well, U.S. Bank Trust, N.A., or U.S. Bank, N.A. as Trustee knows nothing!
This is a roadmap that should be used in every single case!

Bill Paatalo

Oregon Private Investigator – PSID#49411

BP Investigative Agency, LLCP.O. Box 838

Absarokee, MT 59001Office: (406) 328-4075

Ft. Myers Attorney Michelle Belmont
http://belmontesq.com
Phone: (239) 848-6552 |
Office: 8660 College Parkway, Suite 180, Fort Myers, Florida

VICTORY for Homeowners: Received Title and 7 Figure Monetary Damages for Wrongful Foreclosure

As a California appellate court decision several years ago noted, “For homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure, this dual tracking might go by another name: the double-cross.” – See more at: http://calcoastnews.com/2013/09/onewest-bank-pays-7-figures-mortgage-fraud-case/#sthash.xcKP1Tpl.dpuf
As a California appellate court decision several years ago noted, “For homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure, this dual tracking might go by another name: the double-cross.” – See more at: http://calcoastnews.com/2013/09/onewest-bank-pays-7-figures-mortgage-fraud-case/#sthash.xcKP1Tpl.dpuf

“As a California appellate court decision several years ago noted, ‘For Homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure, this dual tracking might go by another name: the double-cross.'” Daniel Blackburn, www.calcoastnews.com, 9/11/13.

Internet Store Notice: As requested by customer service, this is to explain the use of the COMBO, Consultation and Expert Declaration. The only reason they are separate is that too many people only wanted or could only afford one or the other — all three should be purchased. The Combo is a road map for the attorney to set up his file and start drafting the appropriate pleadings. It reveals defects in the title chain and inferentially in the money chain and provides the facts relative to making specific allegations concerning securitization issues. The consultation looks at your specific case and gives the benefit of litigation support consultation and advice that I can give to lawyers but I cannot give to pro se litigants. The expert declaration is my explanation to the Court of the findings of the forensic analysis. It is rare that I am actually called as a witness apparently because the cases are settled before a hearing at which evidence is taken.
If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. 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. Get advice from attorneys licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property is located. We do provide litigation support — but only for licensed attorneys.
Neil Garfield, the author of this article, and Danielle Kelley, Esq. are partners in the law firm of Garfield, Gwaltney, Kelley and White (GGKW) based in Tallahassee with offices opening in Broward County and Dade County.
See LivingLies Store: Reports and Analysis

Neil F Garfield, Esq. www.Livinglies.me, 9/13/13

Victory in California, as we have predicted for years. Maria L. Hutkin and Jude J Basile were the attorneys for the homeowners and obviously did a fine job of exposing the truth. Their tenacity and perseverance paid off big time for their clients and themselves. They showed it is not over until the truth comes out. So for all of you who are saying you can’t find a lawyer who “gets it” here are two lawyers that got it and won. And for all those who were screwed by the banks, it isn’t over. Now it is your turn to get the rights and damages you deserve.

Maria L. Hutkin and Jude J. Basile
Maria L. Hutkin and Jude J. Basile

The homeowners won flat out at a trial — something that should have happened in most of the 6.6 million Foreclosures conducted thus far. U.S. Bank showed its ugly head again as the alleged Trustee of a trust that was most probably nonexistent, unfunded and without any assets at all much less the homeowners alleged loan. Still the settlement shows how far Wall Street will go to pay damages rather than admit their liability to investors, insurers, counterparties in credit default swaps, and the Federal Reserve.

When you think of the hundreds of millions of wrongful foreclosures that were the subject of tens of billions of dollars in “settlements” that preserved homeowners rights to pursue further damages and do the math, it is obvious why even the total of all the “settlements” and fines were a tiny fraction of the total liability owed to pension funds and other investors, insurers, CDS parties, the Federal Government and of course the borrowers who never received a single loan from the banks in the first place. If 5 million foreclosures were wrongful, as is widely suspected at a minimum, using this case and some others I know about the damages could well exceed $5 Trillion. Simple math. Maybe that will wake up the good trial lawyers who think there is no case!

Maria L. Hutkin and Jude J. Basile

A fitting announcement on the 5th anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse. the economy is still struggling as more than 15 million American PEOPLE were displaced, lost equity and forced into bankruptcy by imperfect mortgages that were a sham, and thus imperfect foreclosures that were also a sham. Another 15 million PEOPLE will be displaced if these wrongful, illegal and morally corrupt sham foreclosures are allowed to continue.

This case, like the recent case won by Danielle Kelley (partner of GGKW) was based upon dual tracking. In Kelley’s case the homeowners had completed the process of getting an approved modification, which meant that underwriting, review, confirmation of data, and approval from the investor had been obtained. In Kelley’s case the homeowner had made the trial payments in full and paid the taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance of the property.

The Bank argued they were under no obligation to fulfill the final step — permanent modification. Kelley argued that a new contract was formed — offer, acceptance and the consideration of payment that the Bank received, kept and credited to the homeowner’s account. But the bank as Servicer was still accruing the payments due on the unmodified mortgage, which is why I have been harping on the topic of discovery on the money trail at origination, processing, and third party payments. 

 

The accounting records of the subservicer and the Master Servicer should lead you to all actual transactions in which money exchanged hands, although getting to insurance payments and proceeds of credit default swaps might require discovery from the investment banker. So in Kelley’s case, the Judge essentially said that if an agreement was reached and the homeowner met the requirements of a trial period, the deal was done and entered a final order in favor of the homeowner eliminating the the foreclosure with prejudice.

In this One West case the court went a little further. The homeowners were lured into negotiations, expenses and augments under the promise of modification and then summarily without notice to the homeowner sold the property at a Trustee sale under the provisions of the deed of trust. The Judge agreed with counsel for the homeowners that this was dual tracking at its worst, and that the bank did not have the option of proceeding with the sale. 

 

The homeowners were forced to vacate the property and make other housing arrangements and these particular homeowners were enraged and had the resources to do what most homeowners are too fearful to do — go to the mat (go to trial.)
One West made several offers of settlement once the Judge made it clear that the homeowners had stated a cause of action for wrongful foreclosure. Bravely the attorneys and the homeowners rejected settlement and insisted on a complete airing of their grievances so that everyone would know what happened to them. After multiple offers, with trial drawing near, OneWest finally agreed to give clear title back to the homeowners and pay $1 million+ in damages on what was a six figure loan. 

 

We now have cases in both judicial and non-judicial jurisdictions in which the homeowner was awarded the house without encumbrance of a mortgage and even receiving monetary damages in which the attorneys achieved substantial rewards on 7 figure settlements  that probably would be much higher if they ever went to trial — particularly in front of a jury. This is only one of the paths to successful foreclosure defense. I hope attorneys and homeowners take note. Your anger can be channeled into a constructive path if the lawyers know how to understand these loans, and how to litigate them.

“There’s hope. I feel their pain.” — Danielle Kelley, Esq. , partner in Garfield, Gwaltney, Kelley and White.

http://calcoastnews.com/2013/09/onewest-bank-pays-7-figures-mortgage-fraud-case/

Occupy Member Bratton Held on $250,000 Bail

In my judgment, based upon the scant facts and documents supplied to me this far, there is no doubt that Bratton DID own the property and probably still does if the law is applied properly.

I know of cases where probable cause was found for Murder and the bail was set less than that. The calls and emails keep coming in and I can’t say that I have a total picture of what was really going on here. But, based upon what I have the current story is this:

Bratton is one of the members of the Occupy movement. It may be true that the Occupy movement has been put on a watch list or even the terrorist list which might account for the high bail. I have not been able to confirm that. But it seems that some inference of that sort was used in getting bail set at a quarter of a million dollars. If so, the government is confusing (intentionally or otherwise) the Occupy movement which is a political movement within the system allowed and encouraged by the U.S. Government — with the sovereign citizen movement for which I have taken a lot of heat.

The sovereign citizen concept is a contradiction in terms. If you are a citizen you are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which you are a citizen. If you are “sovereign” then you are announcing that you are outside the bounds of the rules, regulations and laws of government. It would seem to me that the use of the word “sovereign” might be tantamount to renouncing your citizenship and making you an alien, subject to the immigration and naturalization agencies of the Federal government, which is a Federal question, not a state question.

From what I understand, Bratton acted as a pro se fighter against an illegal taking of her property by U.S. Bank, who will probably disclaim knowledge of the event when the heat turns up on this news item. My experience is that where claims of securitization are involved and U.S. Bank is a key player, virtually everything is false, fabricated and illegal — including the notices of default, notices of sale, the “auction,” the “credit bid” and the deed issued upon “foreclosure” of the property based upon the alleged sale. Judges find this hard to believe but the facts are coming out as the tsunami of whistle-blowers has just started.

My opinion is that the deed issued on foreclosure is VOID (not voidable) if there was no consideration. Check with a lawyer in your jurisdiction before you act on that. If the party submitting the “credit bid” has no proof that they paid for the origination and/or acquisition of the loan, then all their actions constitute the same value as a “wild deed” which is customarily ignored by title examiners and title agents.

If in fact the situation goes to as far as establishing that no transaction occurred in which a purchase or funding of the loan occurred then fraud, utterance of a false instrument and the rest of the charges pending against Bratton now actually should be brought against U.S. Bank and the other parties that contributed to the plan leading to theft of Bratton’s title!?!

It is the latter situation that in my opinion is the dominant permeating fact pattern throughout the financial industry in which they put CLAIMS of securitization ahead of proof that it ever occurred — as a cover up for a racketeering scheme using a PONZI structure (new investments used to pay off old investors).

Based upon the facts and documents I have heard and seen Bratton went through the usual foreclosure fight where the Judge failed to apply the law properly and require proof of ownership the loan, mistakenly applying a presumption that is rebuttable, just as the Maryland Supreme Court did last week in a decision that will come back and haunt them. So needless to say she lost and the sale went forward with US bank submitting a credit bid on behalf of an asset pool that does not appear to exist in reality because it was never funded, and therefore was incapable of paying for the the funding of the origination of the loan nor the acquisition of the loan.

The usual fabricated papers were submitted and the usual untrue proffers by counsel apparently were present as well. So, like I have said on this blog, acting WITHIN THE SYSTEM, she went to the police showing them that she was alleging fraud, fabrication, forgery, and uttering an false instrument and recording it. The police refused to investigate saying it was a CIVIL MATTER.

So again, acting within the system, she went and filed a corrective deed in order to give legal notice to the world that the title was still in dispute. Meanwhile U.S. Bank allegedly sold the property to a third party who pay or may not have been a straw-man. The straw-man is attempting to get possession. Bratton is fighting it because the only basis for possession is not that she didn’t pay her rent, but because title changed from her to this third party.

Despite their refusal to investigate her claims as falling within the category of a civil matter, the police then arrested Bratton for filing in the public records a corrective deed. POOF! What was a civil matter suddenly turned into a serious criminal matter, alleging, apparently nearly word for word, the allegations Bratton made against U.S. Bank, which if true would mean that any deed FROM U.S. Bank would also be a wild deed conveying no interest in the property whatsoever.

The kicker is the bail that has been set: $250,000. While I am familiar with this tactic being used around the country to scare off the leaders in the fight, this is the first time I have ever seen bail set at level that effectively puts Bratton behind bars without any hope of release based solely on what appears to be a completely unfounded accusation of criminal intent.

There are some rumors that the reason bail was set so high was because there were inferences that Bratton was affiliated with a terrorist group — something I find hard to believe based upon the information I have received thus far. There is no evidence brought to my attention that could possibly be interpreted as coming within the scope of a definition of “terrorist.” If her accusations against U.S. Bank are true, the term terrorist would more aptly apply to U.S. Bank than anything Bratton did.

My view is that the failure of the police to investigate her claims on the basis of their determination that this was a matter to be resolved in the civil courts completely undermines even the semblance of probable cause. If the police could say that they DID investigate the claims of Bratton and found them to be without merit, THEN the technical violation MIGHT apply assuming the document she filed was completely without merit — i.e., that the content of the document was completely false.

My view is that without that investigation the best one could say about the police action in this case is that they were premature. The worst is that they were doing the bidding of the banks who have achieved a level of influence on law enforcement that is unprecedented in protecting themselves from prosecution for mass crimes against humanity AND bringing mortgage fraud and other criminal charges against those whom they are throwing under the bus or otherwise want to silence.

The police were wrong when they first told Bratton that this was a civil matter. The theft of millions of homes based upon false, fabricated, fraudulent documents corroborated by perjury and intentional misrepresentation to the court, is a big deal. It ripped open the fabric of our society and diminished respect for all three branches of government. Now that the police department has thrown its hat into the ring with this bogus criminal charge, it is time to force them politically to investigate the bank crimes (regardless of what assurances were given from the Bush and Obama administrations to the contrary).

Here is the Press RELEASE from the Bratton Camp:

PRESS RELEASE_Bratton Hearing 24June13

LAWYER BONANZA!: Wells Fargo Foreclosing on Homeowner Who Made all Payments and Paid Extra

WELLS FARGO MAKES HUGE ERROR ADMITTING LACK OF POWER TO BIND CREDITOR TO MODIFICATIONS OR SETTLEMENTS

The simple truth is that the banks are not nearly as interested in the property as they are in the foreclosure. It is the foreclosure sale that creates the illusion of a stamp of approval from the state government that the entire securitization scheme was valid and it creates the reality of a presumption of the validity of the deed issued at the so-called auction of the property upon submission of  false credit bid from a non-creditor who is a stranger (not in privity) to the transaction alleged. — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

see also http://livinglies.me/2013/05/16/estoppel-when-the-bank-tells-you-to-stop-making-payments/

Editor’s Comment and Analysis: Wells Fargo is foreclosing on a man who has made his payments early and made extra payments to pay down the principal allegedly due on his mortgage. In response to media questions as to their authority to foreclose, the response was curious and very revealing. Wells Fargo said that the reason was that the securitization documents contain restrictions and prohibitions that prevent modifications of mortgage.

The fact that Wells Fargo offered a particular payment plan and the homeowner accepted it together with the fact that the homeowner made the required payments and even added extra payments, all of which was accepted by Wells Fargo and cashed  doesn’t seem to bother Wells Fargo but it probably will bother a judge who sees both the doctrine of estoppel and a simple contract in which Wells Fargo had the apparent authority to make the offer, accept the payments, and bind the actual creditors (whoever they might be).

It also corroborates our continuing opinion that when Wells Fargo and similar banks received insurance and creditable swap payments, they should have been applied to the receivable account of the investors which in turn would have resulted by definition in a reduction of the amount owed. The reduction in the amount owed would obviously decrease the amount payable by the borrower. If we follow the terms of the only contract that was signed by the borrower then any overpayments to the creditor beyond account receivable held by the creditor would be due and payable to the borrower. It is a violation of the spirit and content of the federal bailout to allow the banks to keep the money that is so desperately needed by the investors who supplied the money and the homeowners whose loans were paid in whole or in part by insurance and credit default swaps.

The reason I am interested in this particular case and the reason why I think it is of ultimate importance to understand the significance of the Wells Fargo response to the media is that it corroborates the facts and theories presented here and elsewhere that the original promissory note vanished and was replaced by a mortgage bond, the terms of which were vastly different than the terms of the promissory note signed by the homeowner.

Wells Fargo seeks to impose the terms, provisions, conditions and restrictions of the securitization documents onto the buyer without realizing that they have admitted that the original promissory note signed by the homeowner and therefore the original mortgage lien or deed of trust were never presented to the actual lenders for acceptance or approval of the loan.

CONVERSION OF PROMISSORY NOTE TO MORTGAGE BOND WITHOUT NOTICE

In fact, Wells Fargo has now admitted that the terms of the loan are governed strictly by the securitization documents. How they intend to enforce securitization documents whose existence was actively hidden from the borrower is going to be an interesting question.  If the position of the banks were to be accepted, then any creditor could change the essential terms of the debt or the essential terms of repayment without notice or consent from the borrower despite the absence of any reference to such power in the documents presented to the borrower for the borrower’s signature.

 But one thing is certain, to wit: the closing documents presented to the borrower  were incomplete and failed to disclose both the real parties in table funded loans (making the loans predatory per se as per TILA and Reg Z) and the existence and compensation of intermediaries, the disclosure of which is absolutely mandatory under federal law. Each borrower who was deprived of knowledge of multiple other parties and intermediaries and their compensation has a clear right of action for recovery of all undisclosed fees, interest, payments, attorney fees and probably treble damages.

This case also clearly shows that despite the representations by counsel and “witnesses” Wells Fargo has now admitted the basic fact behind its pattern of conduct wherein they claim to be the authorized sub servicer fully empowered by the real creditors and then claim to have no responsibility or powers with respect to the loan or the real creditors (which appears to include the Federal Reserve if their purchase of mortgage bonds had any substance).

Wells Fargo, US Bank, Bank of New York and of course Bank of America have all been sanctioned with substantial fines of up to seven figures so far in individual cases where they clearly took inconsistent positions and the judge found them to be in contempt of court because of the lies they told and levied those sanctions on both the attorneys and the banks.

It was only a matter of time before this entire false foreclosure mess blew up in the face of the banks. You can be sure that Wells Fargo will attempt to bury this case by paying off the homeowner and any other people that have been involved who could blow the whistle on their illegal, fraudulent and probably criminal behavior.

This is not the end of the game for Wells Fargo or any other bank, but it is one more concrete step toward revealing basic truth behind the mortgage mess, to it: the Wall Street banks stole the money from the investors, stole the ownership of the loans from the “trusts” and have been stealing houses despite the absence of any monetary or other consideration in the origination or acquisition of any loan. This absence of consideration removes the paperwork offered by the banks from the category of a negotiable instrument. None of the presumptions applicable to negotiable instruments apply.

Once again I emphasize that in practice lawyers should immediately take control of the narrative and the case by showing that the party seeking foreclosure possesses no records of any actual or real transaction in which money exchanged hands. This means, in my opinion, that the allegations of investors in lawsuits against the investment banks on Wall Street are true, to wit: they were entitled to an forcible notes and enforceable mortgages but they didn’t get it. That is an admission in the public record by the real parties in interest that the notes and mortgages are fabricated because they referred to commercial transactions that never occurred.

Going back to my original articles when I started this blog in 2007, the solution to the current mortgage mess which includes the corruption of title records across the country is that the intermediaries should be cut out of the process of modification and settlement. A different agency should be given the power to match up investors and borrowers and facilitate the execution of new promissory notes new mortgages or deeds of trust that are in fact enforceable but based in reality as to both the value of the property and the viability of the loan. It is the intermediaries including the Wall Street banks, sub servicers, Master servicers, and so-called trustees that are abusing the court process and clogging the court calendars with false claims. Get rid of them and you get rid of the problem.

http://4closurefraud.org/2013/05/16/wells-fargo-forecloses-on-florida-man-who-paid-on-time-early/

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY: Why Do Banks Walk Away When Proof is Required?

FOR QUALIFIED INVESTORS ONLY:

HEDGE FUND TO

CALL THE BLUFF OF PRETENDER LENDERS

LISTEN TO NEIL GARFIELD INTERVIEW ON PIGGYBANK
http://piggybankblog.com/2010/09/09/donations/

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 South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-296-1960. 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.

SEE ALSO: http://WWW.LIVINGLIES-STORE.COM

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.

THEY DON’T HAVE THE PROOF, THEY DON’T OWN THE LOAN, THEY DON’T HAVE A PENNY INVESTED IN THE ORIGINATION OR ACQUISITION OF THE LOAN — SO WHY DO WE LET THEM COLLECT, FORECLOSE OR SUE?

Editor’s Analysis: If you loaned money to someone and you lost the note or correspondence reflecting the terms of the loan would you forget about getting the loan repaid? Of course not. You would sue anyway and proves that you either directly loaned the money to them or that you paid real money to acquire the debt. You would get a judgment and you would record that judgment in the county records as a lien against any real property in the name of the borrower.

In the states that have passed laws and regulations regarding the collection of debt and the foreclosure of mortgages requiring the party seeking to collect on the debt or foreclose on a mortgage to show that they in fact own the debt and requiring the attorney to verify the debt, note, mortgage, and default, foreclosure activity and collection activity has dropped like a stone. This corroborates the basic premise of this blog.  Despite all efforts to create the appearance to the contrary, there is no debt, note, mortgage or default —  at least in terms of seeking collection and foreclosure.

The apparent presence of money arriving at the loan closing is a red herring that has thrown off the borrowers, their attorneys, and the courts. But the money never came from anyone with whom the borrower was led to believe to be the source of funding of the loan. Therein lies the problem for the Wall Street banks. If you follow the money trail it simply does not and cannot match up with the paper trail. That is why we have consistently told attorneys to hit hard and hit fast with subpoenas directed at producing competent witnesses and real proof that the loan was funded or acquired by anyone in what we now know is a false securitization chain.

As a trial lawyer with decades of experience I can tell you with great assurance that most cases are decided on the basis of who controls the narrative. It is through that lens that all of the so-called facts are perceived by the court. If you failed to object or moved to dismiss pleadings that omit any allegations or attachments showing financial injury to the party initiating collection or foreclosure proceedings, then you are allowing the narrative to slip away from you. The pretender lenders will fill the void you have created with proffers of facts and conclusions that are unsupported by anything in the record.

Analyzing the foreclosure activity on a national basis clearly shows that those states which require the actual proof and verification by the attorney have eliminated the logjam in the courts because there are no claims. There is only one satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon. If the claimants had anything resembling a canceled check, a wire transfer receipt, an ACH confirmation, or a check 21 confirmation, the change in the laws and regulations of those states requiring proof of payment and proof of loss (which are the elements of proof of ownership) would have produced no result in terms of the number of foreclosures filed or the number of servicers claiming to have the authority to collect monthly payments.

Therefore the only logical conclusion is that they do not have anything resembling proof of payment, proof of loss or proof of ownership. This leaves them in the naked possession of attempting to collect or foreclose on a nonexistent or unenforceable debt, note, mortgage or default.  it looks like criminal fraud and civil fraud to me.

 As for collection, the servicers are clearly relying upon the paper trail in the so-called securitization chain.  If the debt cannot be established through proof of payment and proof of risk of loss than the paper trail in the securitization chain is  a sham.  If the debt is not established there is no payment due.  if the debt is not established and there is no payment due, the claim of status as a sub servicer or Master servicer is without merit.  For these reasons  it is incumbent upon the attorney for the borrower to submit a challenge either in court or in accordance with federal law governing collections,  mortgages and foreclosures.

HEDGE FUND TO CALL THE BLUFF OF PRETENDER LENDERS

This is why I have suggested the business plan wherein investors produce hard money offering same to the court registry in bankruptcy or civil litigation. The investor(s) would offer to refinance the entire mortgage balance if the claimant can prove title to the loan — which means that the claimant, starting with origination of the loan would be required to show proof of payment all the way through the assignment or “securitization chain” in order to determine which party should be paid off and which party therefore could execute a release or satisfaction of the loan and mortgage. It’s no bluff on the part of the investor or the homeowner who jointly present the offer to pay off the debt in full. It is calling the bluff of the pretender lender.

If the claimant is able to do so, then they get every penny demanded. If they are not able to produce such elemental proof, the case is still over because they have admitted lack of standing, lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and lack of a qualified party to submit a credit bid at auction. In that case, the homeowner’s agreement with the investor is to execute a note and mortgage in an amount not exceeding 50% of fair market value of the real property at a fixed rate with 30 year amortization.

The return on investment is nearly infinite. GTC|Honors, a trade name of General Transfer Corporation owning this blog, will provide the legal work and packaging of the loans for resale into the secondary market. Since no more than $3 million is required to start this project space is limited to only qualified investors. This is not a formal offering but merely a solicitation of those who may want to receive a prospectus which they can review and decide whether or not to invest. The name of the Hedge Fund will be revealed only to those who request the prospectus and those who demonstrate in advance that they are qualified investors. Management will be by and through GTC|Honors (“Workouts with Honor”) which will receive a fee of 20% of the net profits after payment of all legal, accounting and other professional fees, costs and expenses. By way of full disclosure, the law firm of Garfield Gwaltney, Kelley and White will be getting part of the legal fees.

Proceeds of investment will be used strictly for formation and operation of the Hedge fund, and shall not be used for any salaries paid to management directly or indirectly. Management includes Neil F Garfield, and such other persons designated by him to share in management responsibilities. Do not send money without first receiving the prospectus and consulting with an attorney, accountant or other professional trusted adviser.

California Homeowner Bill of Rights blocks BofA foreclosure
http://www.housingwire.com/news/2013/05/08/california-homeowner-bill-rights-blocks-bofa-foreclosure

Nevada maintains familiar perch atop foreclosure rankings
http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2013/may/08/nevada-maintains-familiar-perch-atop-foreclosure-r/

Mass. AG Coakley unveils anti-foreclosure program
http://bostonherald.com/business/real_estate/2013/05/mass_ag_coakley_unveils_anti_foreclosure_program

Massachusetts foreclosure filings drop 82% in March
http://www.housingwire.com/news/2013/05/13/massachusetts-foreclosure-filings-drop-82-march

Drastic Drop in Mass. Foreclosure Activity in March
http://rismedia.com/2013-05-13/drastic-drop-in-mass-foreclosure-activity-in-march/

Fla. foreclosures up as lenders speed up process
http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=291115

The Constitutionality of Colorado Foreclosure Law: US Bank Walks Away from Foreclosure on Aurora Woman
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/05/12/the-constitutionality-of-colorado-foreclosure-law-us-bank-walks-away-from-foreclosure-on-aurora-woman/

Aurora foreclosure halted; constitutionality issue unresolved
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23242542/foreclosure-halted-constitutionality-issue-unresolved

Mortgages are investment du jour for hedge funds – The Term Sheet: Fortune’s deals blogTerm Sheet
http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/05/13/mortgages-salt-hedge-funds/

14 American Housing Markets Struggling With Foreclosures
http://www.businessinsider.com/us-cities-with-most-foreclosures-2013-5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II. BACKGROUND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

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

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

IV. DISCUSSION

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

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

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

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

V. CONCLUSION

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

IT IS SO ORDERED.

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

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

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

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

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

Contempt of Court: U.S. Bank President Rejects Court Order to Appear

CHECK OUT OUR DECEMBER SPECIAL!

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

Editor’s comment: What do you think would happen if the Judge ordered you to appear in court for the next hearing and you simply did not show up and sent your cousin instead saying you were to too busy to see the Judge? My guess is that at a minimum you would be fined and you might even get free room and board in the County Jail without bond.

That is what U.S. Bank and its president are facing soon when they confront a very angry Judge in Sarasota, Florida. Playing fast and loose with the money, the documents, the forgeries and the lies in court, U.S. Bank stands out as the poster child of Bank Arrogance.

This is the same bank that allowed a foreclosure to proceed in its name without ever having specifically requested or authorized it. The attorney admitted in that case that he didn’t represent U.S. Bank and had never spoken with anyone there either. So the Bank was able to assert plausible deniability when the foreclosure was deemed wrongful. At this point the anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that if U.S. Bank is involved in a foreclosure the deal is dirty and should be scrutinized carefully.

Matt Weidner continues to keep up the pressure and the vast wall is cracking, the shrouds are tearing and the banks are being revealed for what they are: fairly common criminals with “get of jail free” passes. Thanks to Matt and other attorneys around the country, the tide is turning and those passes are going to expire. U.S. Bank will be the first one to see a bank executive behind bars. You see the problem is that they don’t want to commit perjury directly. They want to do it through surrogates. Matt understands this as well as I do. He knows that once the Judge things the forecloser is dirty, they are cooked. Settlement offers start popping out of the woodwork.

Contempt of Court: U.S. Bank Ignores Judge’s Order for President to Appear

Another Win and More Info on Modification

There are tons of ways of tripping the Banks in their pursuit of free houses through “foreclosure.” one of those ways is through challenging the rejection of the borrower’s proposal for modification. When it comes to U.S. Bank virtually nothing they say is true. When a bank says it fulfilled its obligation under HAMP to “consider” the proposal, most of the time it is a lie because the banks do not want a modification because each modification creates a brand new liability for them if they sold the loan multiple times.

The trick is to submit your proposal with an expert appraiser’s opinion that the proposal exceeds FMV of the property and hugely exceeds the proceeds from a foreclosure of the property which will only hurt property values again in neighborhood where the bank has other mortgages. Thus the allegation can be made that either they did not review the proposal or they did not apply reasonable standards for consideration of the modification.

What lawyers are doing is filing the motion and then demanding discovery about the ” consideration” process. Asking for what methods were used and who used them. Those cases settle often within hours of the Judge entering the order requiring the bank to respond.

http://www.examiner.com/article/queens-foreclosure-attorney-beats-back-us-bank-and-obtains-dismissal

US Bank Gets Banged for Forcing Homeowner Into Foreclosure

Hat tip to Attorney Dan Hanacek in Northern California for spotting this.

Editor’s Note: U.S. Bank has been called everything from a slumlord in L.A. to a co-conspirator in the Merendon Mining Scandal a few years back. We have already seen them scam the system by foreclosing on property without relief from stay in BKR, and was a pioneer in the phrase “U.S. Bank as trustee relating to…” which of course means nothing other than that they have arrogated to themselves the role of trustee even though the securitization documents (that were ignored anyway) say otherwise.

While a lot of people have been complaining about “dual tracking” (luring homeowners into stopping payments while their modification proposal is “considered” and then foreclosing) this time it was a court ruling that nailed them.

“Applying basic contract and tort law, we reverse the judgment in favor of U.S. Bank on the causes of action for negligent misrepresentation, fraud, violation of section 2924g(d), and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” The use of emotional distress damages in both a boon to lawyers who take on clients after foreclosure is complete and a real threat to the millions of wrongful foreclosures that have been processed.

When lawyers ask me my opinion on advice to give a client who has been told to withhold payments on an otherwise current loan, my response is always the same. Don’t do anything that puts you into a worse position than you were in before you take any action. Now the delinquency appears real and the default becomes real and the homeowner looks like a deadbeat just like everyone else. In this case the Plaintiff was able to prove that the negligent representation had been made and that she had reasonably relied upon it with full intention of making the payments.

Obviously this was a case where the lawyer both wrote good pleadings, made a good record on appeal and wrote a good brief and argued it effectively. But there is an additional element creeping into these decisions. It is becoming less likely that Judges are ruling on a speculative presumption that the property would have ended up in foreclosure anyway. That presumption lies at the root of a lot of negative decisions where the argument by the homeowner was legally correct but denied and affirmed. The tide is changing.

The other interesting aspect is that this one invovled Downey Savings, about which that have been many complaints and maybe some regulator will take a closer look at them. But the point is that the misrepresentation by Downey was all the more believable because it was a bank that not mentioned prominently in the news as opposed to the banks and servicers who are well-known to have engaged in this behavior. So be careful with whom you speak, and be ready to record all conversations — especially if they tell you that the call may be recorded for quality control purposes — that I believe and so do other attorneys, is consent for the recording even in a state requiring two party consent.

D.J. cite:   2012 DJDAR 12769
California Courts of Appeal – 4th District
DAILY JOURNAL SUMMARY
In 2002, Pam Ragland refinanced her home mortgage through Downey Savings and Loan Association. In April 2008, she asked Downey Savings to modify her loan to decrease her monthly payments. While attempting to do so, a Downey Savings employee told her not to make her April payment. Although Ragland planned on making the payment, she cancelled it based on what the employee told her. Later that month, Downey Savings notified Ragland that her loan was delinquent. By June, Ragland received a letter informing her the Downey Saving was beginning foreclosure proceedings on her home. After she lost her home, she sued Downey Savings, alleging negligent misrepresentation, and other claims. She claimed that Downey Savings induced her to miss the April 2008 loan payment, which wrongfully put her loan in foreclosure. The trial court found in favor of Downey Savings. Reversed in part. To prove negligent misrepresentation, a plaintiff has to show that the defendant misrepresented a fact without having a reasonable ground to think it is true, and with the intent to make the plaintiff rely on the fact. Also, the plaintiff must prove that she justifiably relied on the defendant’s statements. Here, Ragland’s evidence showed that Downey Savings told her that her loan was not “behind,” and that she should not make the April 2008 payment. Further, she showed that she did not make that payment because she relied on Downey Savings’ statements not to do so. As a result, Ragland presented evidence that would allow her to prove negligent misrepresentation, and the trial court should not have found in favor of Downey Savings on the claim. Thus, this court reversed the case for further proceedings. Opinion by Justice Fybel. 
OPINION

PAM RAGLAND,

Plaintiff and Appellant,

v.

U.S. BANK NATIONAL

ASSOCIATION et al.,

Defendants and Respondents.

No. G045580

(Super. Ct. No. 30-2008-00114411)

California Courts of Appeal

Fourth Appellate District

Division Three

Filed September 11, 2012

Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court of Orange County, Gregory H. Lewis, Judge.  Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.  Request for judicial notice.  Denied.  Motion to strike.  Granted in part and denied in part.

Travis R. Jack for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, Karin Dougan Vogel, J. Barrett Marum and Mark G. Rackers for Defendants and Respondents.

*                *                *

INTRODUCTION

After Pam Ragland lost her home through foreclosure, she sued defendants U.S. Bank National Association (U.S. Bank), the successor in interest to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as the receiver for Downey Savings and Loan Association (Downey Savings); DSL Service Company (DSL), the trustee under the deed of trust; and DSL’s agent, FCI Lender Services, Inc. (FCI).  (We refer to U.S. Bank, DSL, and FCI collectively as Defendants.)  She asserted causes of action for negligent misrepresentation, fraud, breach of oral contract, violation of Civil Code section 2924g, subdivision (d) (section 2924g(d)), intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and rescission of the foreclosure sale.  Ragland appeals from the judgment entered after the trial court granted Defendants’ motion for summary judgment and summary adjudication.

Applying basic contract and tort law, we reverse the judgment in favor of U.S. Bank on the causes of action for negligent misrepresentation, fraud, violation of section 2924g(d), and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Ragland produced evidence creating triable issues of fact as to whether Downey Savings induced her to miss a loan payment, thereby wrongfully placing her loan in foreclosure, and whether she suffered damages as a result.  We affirm summary adjudication of the causes of action for breach of oral contract, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and rescission, and affirm the judgment in favor of DSL and FCI because Ragland is no longer pursuing claims against them.

The FDIC took control of Downey Savings in November 2008 and later assigned its assets, including Ragland’s loan, to U.S. Bank.  For the sake of clarity, we continue to use the name “Downey Savings” up through December 17, 2008, the date of the foreclosure sale.

FACTS

I.

Ragland Refinances Her Loan.  Her Signature Is Forged on Some Loan Documents.

In June 2002, Ragland refinanced her home mortgage through Downey Savings.  She obtained the refinance loan through a mortgage broker.  The loan was an adjustable rate mortgage with an initial yearly interest rate of 2.95 percent, and the initial monthly payment was $1,241.03.

Ragland thought that Downey Savings had offered her a fixed rate loan and claimed her mortgage broker forged her name on certain loan documents.  In July 2002, she sent a letter to the escrow company, asserting her signature had been forged on the buyer’s estimated closing statement and on the lender’s escrow instructions, and, in September 2002, she notified Downey Savings of the claimed forgery.  A handwriting expert opined that Ragland’s signature had been forged on those two documents, and on a statement of assets and liabilities, an addendum to the loan application, a provider of service schedule, and an itemization of charges.  By August 2002, Ragland had consulted two attorneys about the forged documents, one of whom wanted to file a class action lawsuit on her behalf, and the other of whom advised her of her right to rescind the loan. Ragland signed, and did not dispute signing, the adjustable rate mortgage note, the deed of trust, and riders to both instruments.

II.

Ragland Seeks a Loan Modification.  She Is Told to Miss a Loan Payment to Qualify.

By April 2008, the yearly interest rate on Ragland’s loan had increased to 7.022 percent and her monthly payment had increased to over $2,600.  On April 13, Ragland spoke with a Downey Savings representative named John about modifying her loan.  John told Ragland her loan was not “behind” but he would work with her to modify it.  He told Ragland not to make the April 2008 loan payment because “the worst thing that’s going to happen is you are going to have a late fee, we will get this done for you.”  When Ragland asked if there was a chance the loan modification would not “go through,” John replied, “usually not, you are pre‑qualified.”

John told Ragland a $1,000 fee would be charged to modify the loan, and Downey Savings would not waive that fee.  She replied that Downey Savings should waive the fee because her “loan was forged and nothing was done about it.”  John said he would check with his supervisor about waiving the fee.

John did not call back, and on April 16, 2008, the last day to make a timely loan payment for April, Ragland, who was nervous about a late payment, called him.  John told her nothing could be done about the loan, so she asked to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told Ragland, “[i]f you have one document in your packet that’s forged, you may not be responsible for anything in your loan, at all, you may not have to even pay your loan.”  When Ragland said she had 13 to 15 forged documents, the supervisor checked her record and told her, “I can see that you reported . . . this to us.  We are going to have to put it in legal.”  The supervisor told Ragland that Downey Savings could not collect from her while its legal department investigated the forgery.   Ragland had planned to make her April 2008 loan payment but, based on what John and the supervisor told her, manually cancelled the automatic payment from her checking account.

In late April 2008, Downey Savings sent Ragland a notice that her loan payment was delinquent.  On April 29, 2008, Ragland spoke with Downey Savings representatives named Joseph and Claudia and made notes on the delinquency notice of her conversations with them.  Ragland noted that Claudia or Joseph told her:  “Can’t do modi[fication] while investigat[e] [¶] . . . Collection activity ‘frozen.’”  Claudia told Ragland that Downey Savings was initiating an investigation into her claim of forgery and could not accept further loan payments from her during the investigation.  Ragland noted that Joseph also told her, “collection activity frozen.”

No one from Downey Savings further discussed a loan modification with Ragland or requested financial information from her.  Ragland testified in her deposition, “once it went into legal, that was it.  It was like the legal black hole.”

In May 2008, a withdrawal was made from Ragland’s checking account and transmitted to Downey Savings as the May 2008 loan payment.  Downey Savings refused to accept the payment.

On May 5, 2008, Downey Savings sent Ragland a letter entitled “Notice of Intent to Foreclose” (some capitalization omitted).  According to the letter, the amount required to reinstate the loan was $5,487.80.  On May 9, Ragland called Downey Savings in response to this letter.  Her notes for this conversation indicate she spoke with “Reb,” who transferred her to “Jasmine,” who transferred her to “Lilia,” who said the loan was in Downey Savings’s legal department and “they[‘]ll C/B.”

III.

Downey Savings Institutes Foreclosure Proceedings; Ragland Gets the Runaround.

Nobody from Downey Savings called Ragland back.  In early July 2008, Ragland received a letter from Downey Savings’s collection department, informing her that foreclosure proceedings on her home had begun.  On July 15, Ragland had a telephone conversation with each of three Downey Savings representatives, identified in her notes of the conversations as Eric, Gail, and Leanna.  Ragland spoke first with Eric, who told her the account was in foreclosure and transferred her to the foreclosure department.  Ragland next spoke with Gail, who said she could not speak to her because the account was in foreclosure.  Gail transferred Ragland to Leanna.  Leanna told Ragland that the legal department failed to put a red flag in the computer to indicate the loan was being investigated and that the loan should never have been placed in foreclosure.  Leanna told Ragland that Downey Savings was “waiting for legal,” and Ragland’s attorney needed to “write the letter to legal and ask them . . . for a status update on the investigation, and that we had time, because it had just been referred in June and the sale wasn’t set for quite a while.”  Ragland’s notes from the conversation include, “[f]oreclosure on hold.”

IV.

Downey Savings Institutes Foreclosure Proceedings; Ragland Attempts to Make Loan Payments.

On July 18, 2008, Downey Savings instructed DSL, the trustee under the deed of trust, to initiate foreclosure proceedings on Ragland’s home.  DSL assigned its agent, FCI, to take the actions necessary to foreclose the deed of trust on Ragland’s home.

Ragland attempted to make payments on her loan in September, October, and November 2008 through transfers from her checking account.  Downey Savings rejected the payments.

On October 30, 2008, FCI recorded a notice of trustee’s sale, stating the foreclosure sale of Ragland’s home would be held on November 20.  Ragland filed this lawsuit against Downey Savings on November 7, 2008.  Several days later, Ragland’s attorney, Dean R. Kitano, spoke with general counsel for Downey Savings, Richard Swinney, about Ragland’s allegations of fraud and forgery in connection with the origination of her loan.  Swinney agreed to postpone the foreclosure sale until December 9, 2008.

By letter dated November 12, 2008, Swinney informed Kitano that until Downey Savings received certain documentation from Ragland, it would not consider modifying her loan.  The letter stated that any loan modification would require that she bring the loan current and described as “not credible” Ragland’s contention that a Downey Savings representative told her to skip a monthly payment.  The forgery issue, according to the letter, “has no impact on this loan” because Ragland did not claim her signatures on the disclosure statement, note, or deed of trust were forged.

Later in November 2008, the Office of Thrift Supervision closed Downey Savings, and the FDIC was appointed as its receiver.  U.S. Bank acquired the assets of Downey Savings from the FDIC.  Ragland’s loan was among those assets acquired by U.S. Bank.

V.

Ragland’s Home Is Sold at Foreclosure Sale on the Day After the Trial Court Denied Ragland’s Motion for
a Preliminary Injunction.

On November 12, 2008, Ragland filed an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order to enjoin the foreclosure sale scheduled for December 9.  The ex parte application was heard on November 26, on which date the trial court issued an order stating:  “Plaintiff shall be entitled to a temporary restraining order enjoining the foreclosure sale on December 9, 2008; upon bringing the loan current by Dec[ember] 16.  Current is as of Nov[ember] 26, 2008.”  A hearing on Ragland’s motion for a preliminary injunction was scheduled for December 16, 2008.

Following the ex parte hearing, Downey Savings provided Ragland a statement showing the amount necessary to reinstate her loan was $24,804.57, of which about $4,074 was for late charges, interest on arrears, property inspection and foreclosure costs.  Kitano sent Downey Savings a letter, dated December 2, 2008, stating that “[c]urrently, my client is unable to pay the arrearage to make the loan current” and proposing that (1) $12,000 of the reinstatement amount be “tacked onto the back end of the loan” and (2) Downey Savings forgive the remaining amount.

In advance of the hearing on Ragland’s motion for a preliminary injunction, the trial court issued a tentative decision that stated, in part:  “The court’s order of November 26, 2008, conditions the TRO [(temporary restraining order)] on plaintiff’s bringing her payments current as of November 26, 20[08] by no later than December 16, 2008.  According to defendant, t[he] amount necessary to bring the loan current is $24,804.57.  Plaintiff does not dispute that she owes regular monthly mortgag[e] payments on the loan, and therefore whether or not she is likely to prevail on the merits is not at issue insofar as her responsibilit[ies] to bring the loan payments current [are] concerned.  If plaintiff fails to bring her payments current by the hearing date, there is no reason to issue a preliminary injunction, since the injunction would serve no purpose but to prolong the inevitable to no good purpose. . . .  [¶]  If plaintiff does bring her payments current by the hearing date, then there is no basis for a foreclosure sale because the arrears would have been cured.  Hence there would seem to be no need for the issuance of a preliminary injunction under such circumstances.”

Ragland did not pay the amount demanded by Downey Savings to reinstate the loan by December 16, 2008.  She had sufficient funds to make the back payments due under the note, but not to pay the additional fees.

On December 16, 2008, the trial court denied Ragland’s motion for a preliminary injunction, and the foreclosure sale was conducted the next day.  Ragland’s home was sold at the sale for $375,000.

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Ragland’s third amended complaint asserted causes of action against U.S. Bank for negligent misrepresentation, breach of oral contract, and fraud, and against Defendants for violations of section 2924g(d), intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and rescission of foreclosure sale.

In December 2010, Defendants moved for summary judgment and, in the alternative, for summary adjudication of each cause of action.  In May 2011, the trial court granted the motion for summary judgment on the ground Ragland could not pay the full amount demanded by Downey Savings to reinstate her loan.  The trial court ruled:  “A valid and viable tender of payment of the indebtedness owing is essential to an action to cancel a voidable sale under a deed of trust . . . .  [Citation.] [¶]  This rule . . . is based upon the equitable maxim that a court of equity will not order a useless act performed . . . if plaintiffs could not have redeemed the property had the sale procedures been proper, any irregularities in the sale did not result in damages to the plaintiffs.  [¶]  [Citation.]  [¶]  The defendants have shown that all of plaintiff’s damages under each cause of action were suffered as a result of the foreclosure sale of her property. . . . Plaintiff alleges that the foreclosure sale occurred six days too early in violation of Civil Code §2924g.  Even if this were true, plaintiff’s damages are not recoverable because plaintiff was incapable of reinstating her loan. . . . This was made clear by plaintiff’s counsel in his letter to Downey Savings’ counsel two weeks before the foreclosure sale (December 2, 2008).  Plaintiff’s counsel stated that ‘. . . my client is unable to pay the arrearage to make the loan current[.’] . . . Plaintiff’s failure to reinstate the loan by the December 16, 2008 preliminary injunction hearing confirmed as much, and plaintiff also admitted this in her deposition.”

As to the contention that Ragland could have made the past due loan payments but not the added fees, the trial court ruled:  “Plaintiff claims that she indicated in her deposition that she had the money to make up the back payments, but not enough money to also make up the fees.  Plaintiff’s Separate Statement, page 6, lines 16‑18.  The referenced deposition testimony amounts to a claim that plaintiff had only part of the money necessary to reinstate the loan.”  The court also rejected the contention that Ragland was prepared to file bankruptcy to delay the foreclosure sale, stating, “[t]his is a further admission that plaintiff was incapable of reinstating her loan even if the foreclosure sale had been delayed an additional six days.”

Ragland timely filed a notice of appeal from the judgment entered in Defendants’ favor.

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE AND MOTION TO STRIKE

I.

Ragland’s Request for Judicial Notice

Ragland requests that we take judicial notice of 18 discrete facts concerning the financial condition of Downey Savings from 2005 to the time of its acquisition by U.S. Bank, the nature of Downey Savings’s assets in that timeframe, the resale of Ragland’s home, and the condition of the Orange County housing market.  She argues those 18 facts are relevant to show “when Downey Savings’ disastrous financial condition beg[a]n showing in late 2007, and bec[ame] clear by April, 2008, Downey’s desperate need for cash explains its unusual behavior.”  She concedes, “[t]he matters concerning which judicial notice is requested were not presented to the trial court.”  We deny the request for judicial notice.

Ragland requests we take judicial notice pursuant to Evidence Code section 452, subdivision (h), which provides the court “may” take judicial notice of “[f]acts and propositions that are not reasonably subject to dispute and are capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy.”  The Court of Appeal has the same power as the trial court to take judicial notice of matters properly subject to judicial notice.  (Evid. Code, § 459.)  “‘Matters that cannot be brought before the appellate court through the record on appeal (initially or by augmentation) may still be considered on appeal by judicial notice.’”  (Fitz v. NCR Corp. (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 702, 719, fn. 4.)

As evidentiary support for the request for judicial notice, Ragland offers 12 exhibits, consisting of an audit report of Downey Savings, prepared by the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of the Treasury (exhibit 1), printed pages from various Web sites and blogs (exhibits 2‑6 and 8‑12), and a recorded grant deed (exhibit 7). Ragland’s request for judicial notice requires us (with one exception) to take judicial notice of, and accept as true, the contents of those exhibits.  While we may take judicial notice of the existence of the audit report, Web sites, and blogs, we may not accept their contents as true.  (Unruh‑Haxton v. Regents of University of California (2008) 162 Cal.App.4th 343, 364.) “When judicial notice is taken of a document, however, the truthfulness and proper interpretation of the document are disputable.  [Citation.]”  (StorMedia Inc. v. Superior Court (1999) 20 Cal.4th 449, 457, fn. 9.)

Although the audit report is a government document, we may not judicially notice the truth of its contents.  In Mangini v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1057, 1063, overruled on another ground in In re Tobacco Cases II (2007) 41 Cal.4th 1257, 1276, the plaintiff sought judicial notice of a report of the United States Surgeon General and a report to the California Department of Health Services.  The California Supreme Court denied the request:  “While courts may notice official acts and public records, ‘we do not take judicial notice of the truth of all matters stated therein.’  [Citations.]  ‘[T]he taking of judicial notice of the official acts of a governmental entity does not in and of itself require acceptance of the truth of factual matters which might be deduced therefrom, since in many instances what is being noticed, and thereby established, is no more than the existence of such acts and not, without supporting evidence, what might factually be associated with or flow therefrom.’”  (Mangini v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.supra, at pp. 1063‑1064.)

Nor may we take judicial notice of the truth of the contents of the Web sites and blogs, including those of the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register.  (See Zelig v. County of Los Angeles (2002) 27 Cal.4th 1112, 1141, fn. 6 [“The truth of the content of the articles is not a proper matter for judicial notice”]; Unlimited Adjusting Group, Inc. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 883, 888, fn. 4 [statements of facts contained in press release not subject to judicial notice].) The contents of the Web sites and blogs are “plainly subject to interpretation and for that reason not subject to judicial notice.”  (L.B. Research & Education Foundation v. UCLA Foundation (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 171, 180, fn. 2.)

The exception is the grant deed.  A recorded deed is an official act of the executive branch, of which this court may take judicial notice.  (Evid. Code, §§ 452, subd. (c), 459, subd. (a); Evans v. California Trailer Court, Inc. (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 540, 549; Cal‑American Income Property Fund II v. County of Los Angeles (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 109, 112, fn. 2.)  The grant deed purports to show that Ragland’s home was conveyed by the purchaser at the foreclosure sale to another party. While we may take judicial notice of the grant deed, we decline to do so because we conclude it is not relevant to any issue raised on appeal.

In addition, Ragland has not shown exceptional circumstances justifying judicial notice of facts that were not part of the record when the judgment was entered.  (Vons Companies, Inc. v. Seabest Foods, Inc. (1996) 14 Cal.4th 434, 444, fn. 3;Duronslet v. Kamps (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 717, 737.)

II.

Defendants’ Motion to Strike Portions of Ragland’s Opening Brief

Defendants move to strike (1) six passages from Ragland’s opening brief that are supported by citations to the exhibits attached to the request for judicial notice or by citations to Web sites outside the record on appeal, and (2) three passages accusing Downey Savings of trying to swindle Ragland to generate cash.

California Rules of Court, rule 8.204(a)(1)(C) states an appellate brief must “[s]upport any reference to a matter in the record by a citation to the volume and page number of the record where the matter appears.”  We may decline to consider passages of a brief that do not comply with this rule.  (Doppes v. Bentley Motors, Inc. (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th 967, 990.)  As a reviewing court, we usually consider only matters that were part of the record when the judgment was entered.  (Vons Companies, Inc. v. Seabest Foods, Inc.supra, 14 Cal.4th at p. 444, fn. 3.)

We have denied Ragland’s request for judicial notice; we therefore decline to consider those passages of the appellant’s opening brief, noted in the margin, which are supported solely by citations to exhibits attached to that request or to Web sites outside the appellate record.1  The three passages from the appellant’s opening brief accusing Downey Savings of trying to swindle Ragland also are not supported by record references,2 but we consider those three passages to be argument rather than factual assertions.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

“A trial court properly grants summary judgment where no triable issue of material fact exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  [Citation.]  We review the trial court’s decision de novo, considering all of the evidence the parties offered in connection with the motion (except that which the court properly excluded) and the uncontradicted inferences the evidence reasonably supports.  [Citation.]”  (Merrill v. Navegar, Inc. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 465, 476.)  We liberally construe the evidence in support of the party opposing summary judgment and resolve all doubts about the evidence in that party’s favor.  (Hughes v. Pair (2009) 46 Cal.4th 1035, 1039.)

DISCUSSION

I.

Negligent Misrepresentation Cause of Action

In the first cause of action, for negligent misrepresentation, Ragland alleged:  “On or about April 29, 2008, Downey [Savings] represented to Plaintiff that Downey [Savings] could modify Plaintiff’s current loan during the time that the legal department was investigating the fraud allegation on Plaintiff’s loan.  However, in order to do a modification of Plaintiff’s loan, Plaintiff would have to be in arrears on her current loan.  Downey[ Savings]’s representative then told Plaintiff not to pay April’s mortgage payment.  Upon . . . Downey[ Savings]’s representations Plaintiff did not pay April’s mortgage payment.  Thereafter, Downey [Savings] informed Plaintiff that Downey [Savings] could not accept any further mortgage payments from Plaintiff until the legal department investigated the alleged fraud on the initial mortgage.”

The elements of negligent misrepresentation are (1) a misrepresentation of a past or existing material fact, (2) made without reasonable ground for believing it to be true, (3) made with the intent to induce another’s reliance on the fact misrepresented, (4) justifiable reliance on the misrepresentation, and (5) resulting damage.  (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. FSI, Financial Solutions, Inc. (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 1559, 1573; National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA v. Cambridge Integrated Services Group, Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 35, 50.)

In opposition to Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, Ragland presented evidence that John or his supervisor represented (1) her loan was not “behind” but he would work with her to modify the loan; (2) she should not make the April 2008 loan payment because “the worst thing that’s going to happen is you are going to have a late fee, we will get this done for you”; and (3) her loan modification request likely would be approved because she was prequalified.  Ragland also presented evidence that several days later, on the last day for her to make a timely loan payment for April, John’s supervisor told her the loan would be turned over to the legal department because Ragland had reported some of the loan documents were forged. The supervisor told Ragland that Downey Savings would not attempt to collect from her until the matter had been investigated by the legal department.

Ragland presented evidence that in reliance on the representations made by John or his supervisor, she did not make her April 2008 loan payment.  Defendants assert Ragland was already in default when she first spoke with John on April 13, 2008, because she failed to make her payment due April 1, 2008.  The note stated Ragland’s monthly payment was due on the first day of each month, but that the monthly payment would be deemed timely if paid by the end of the 15th day after the due date.  In addition, Ragland presented evidence that John told her on April 13, 2008, she was not “behind” but he would work with her to modify the loan.  The payments made by Ragland for September and October 2008, which were rejected by Downey Savings, were dated the 16th of the month, and the rejected payment for November 2008 was dated the 14th.  At the very least, there is a triable issue of fact whether Ragland was in default when she spoke with John on April 13.

Defendants argue Ragland did not rely on the misrepresentations because she tried to make her loan payments in May, September, October, and November 2008.  Ragland made her loan payment by automatic transfer from her checking account. She manually prevented or undid the automatic payments for April, June, July, and August 2008.  As Ragland argues in her reply brief, an inference could be drawn that she inadvertently did not stop the May 2008 payment.  We draw all reasonable inference in favor of the party against whom the summary judgment motion was made.  (Crouse v. Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 1509, 1520.)

Defendants argue Ragland’s reliance was not justified because she was told her loan was in the foreclosure department and nobody at Downey Savings ever told her she could stop making loan payments.  The evidence presented by Ragland created a triable issue of fact whether her reliance was justified.  On April 29, 2008, Ragland spoke with Joseph and Claudia at Downey Savings, and they told her Downey Savings was initiating an investigation of her forgery claim; during the investigation, Downey Savings would not accept loan payments; and collection activity was frozen.  In May 2008, on receiving a letter stating her loan was in foreclosure, Ragland called Downey Savings.  Her call was transferred several times, until a person named Lilia told her the loan was in Downey Savings’s legal department, which would call her back.  Nobody from the legal department called Ragland back.  In July 2008, Ragland received a letter from Downey Savings, telling her foreclosure proceedings had begun.  After receiving the letter, she called Downey Savings and spoke with three different representatives. The third, Leanna, told Ragland the legal department had failed to place a red flag on the loan and it should never have been placed in foreclosure.  Ragland’s notes from the conversation include the statement, “[f]oreclosure on hold.”

The trial court granted summary judgment against Ragland on the ground she suffered no damages because, on the date of the foreclosure sale, she could not reinstate the loan by tendering $24,804.57—the amount Downey Savings claimed was due and owing.  The evidence created at the very least a triable issue of fact on damages.  Ragland testified in her deposition that as of the date of the foreclosure sale, “I could have covered the back payments but not the fees, not all the fees.”  Those fees were tacked on because Ragland’s failure to make the April 2008 loan payment placed the loan in foreclosure.  However, Ragland presented evidence that she did not make the April 2008 payment because she relied on misrepresentations made by Downey Savings.  In July 2008, Downey Savings told Ragland her loan should not have been placed in foreclosure and the foreclosure was “on hold.”  If Downey Savings wrongfully placed Ragland’s loan in foreclosure, as Ragland alleges, then it had no right to demand payment of additional fees and interest to reinstate the loan.  Downey Savings could not take advantage of its own wrong.  (Civ. Code, § 3517.)

Defendants point to the December 2, 2008 letter from Ragland’s attorney as undermining her claim she could make the past due monthly loan payments.  In that letter, the attorney stated that Ragland could not pay the full amount required to bring the loan current and proposed $12,000 of the reinstatement amount be “tacked onto the back end of the loan.” Defendants ask, if Ragland could have made all of the past due monthly loan payments, why did she not offer to pay them? The question is rhetorical:  If she had offered to pay the past due monthly loan payments, Downey Savings certainly would have rejected the offer, just as now Defendants vigorously argue a tender must be unconditional and offer payment of additional fees.

Defendants argue Ragland’s declaration is inconsistent with her deposition testimony because, in her deposition, Ragland could not identify precisely the people from whom she asked to borrow money to make the past due monthly loan payments. Her declaration is consistent with her deposition testimony.  Ragland testified, under oath, in her deposition that as of the date of the foreclosure sale, she “could have covered the back payments but not the fees.”  The evidence established she was not behind on her monthly payments when she spoke with John at Downey Savings on April 13, 2008, and Downey Savings rejected her payments for May, September, October, and November 2008.  A reasonable inference from this evidence, which we liberally construe in Ragland’s favor, is that Ragland would have been able to make the past due monthly payments by the time of the foreclosure sale.  (Miller v. Department of Corrections (2005) 36 Cal.4th 446, 470 [“We stress that, because this is an appeal from a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants, a reviewing court must examine the evidence de novo and should draw reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party”].)

II.

Breach of Oral Contract Cause of Action

In her second cause of action, for breach of oral contract, Ragland alleged Downey Savings breached its promise to investigate her allegations of forgery.  On appeal, she does not attempt to support a claim of breach of oral contract and argues instead, “[t]he second cause of action for breach of oral promise to investigate should have been labeled as a cause of action for promissory estoppel.”  While conceding the second cause of action does not include the required allegation of detrimental reliance (Kajima/Ray Wilson v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2000) 23 Cal.4th 305, 310), she argues a detrimental reliance allegation may be extrapolated from the fraud cause of action.

The second cause of action did not incorporate by reference the allegations of the fraud cause of action.  Ragland argues we must ignore labels, but however labeled, the second cause of action does not allege promissory estoppel.  On remand, Ragland may seek leave to amend her complaint to allege a promissory estoppel cause of action.

III.

Fraud Cause of Action

In the third cause of action, for fraud, Ragland alleged Downey Savings “falsely and fraudulently” made the representations alleged in the negligent misrepresentation cause of action.

The elements of fraud are (1) the defendant made a false representation as to a past or existing material fact; (2) the defendant knew the representation was false at the time it was made; (3) in making the representation, the defendant intended to deceive the plaintiff; (4) the plaintiff justifiably and reasonably relied on the representation; and (5) the plaintiff suffered resulting damages.  (Lazar v. Superior Court (1996) 12 Cal.4th 631, 638.)

Defendants argue U.S. Bank was entitled to summary adjudication of the fraud cause of action because no evidence was presented of “a misrepresentation, reliance or damages.”  As explained in part I. of the Discussion on negligent misrepresentation, Ragland presented evidence in opposition to the motion for summary judgment that was sufficient to create triable issues as to misrepresentation, reliance, and damages.

Defendants do not argue lack of evidence of elements two (knowledge of falsity) and three (intent to deceive) and did not seek summary adjudication of the fraud cause of action on the ground of lack of evidence of either of those elements.3  Since Ragland submitted evidence creating triable issues of misrepresentation, reliance, and damages, summary adjudication of the fraud cause of action is reversed.

IV.

Violation of Section 2924g(d) Cause of Action

In the fourth cause of action, Ragland alleged Defendants violated section 2924g(d) by selling her home one day after the expiration of the temporary restraining order.

Section 2924g(d) reads, in relevant part:  “The notice of each postponement and the reason therefor shall be given by public declaration by the trustee at the time and place last appointed for sale.  A public declaration of postponement shall also set forth the new date, time, and place of sale and the place of sale shall be the same place as originally fixed by the trustee for the sale.  No other notice of postponement need be given.  However, the sale shall be conducted no sooner than on the seventh day after the earlier of (1) dismissal of the action or (2) expiration or termination of the injunction, restraining order, or stay that required postponement of the sale, whether by entry of an order by a court of competent jurisdiction, operation of law, or otherwise, unless the injunction, restraining order, or subsequent order expressly directs the conduct of the sale within that seven-day period.”  (Italics added.)

On November 26, 2008, the trial court issued an order stating:  “Plaintiff shall be entitled to a temporary restraining order enjoining the foreclosure sale on December 9, 2008; upon bringing the loan current by Dec[ember] 16.  Current is as of Nov[ember] 26, 2008.”  The foreclosure sale was conducted on December 17, 2008.

A.  Section 2924g(d) Creates a Private Right of Action and Is Not Preempted by Federal Law.

In their summary judgment motion, Defendants argued section 2924g(d) does not create a private right of action and is preempted by federal law.  Although Defendants do not make those arguments on appeal, we address, due to their significance, the issues whether section 2924g(d) creates a private right of action and whether it is preempted by federal law.  Following the reasoning of Mabry v. Superior Court (2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 208 (Mabry), we conclude section 2924g(d) creates a private right of action and is not preempted.

In Mabrysupra, 185 Cal.App.4th at page 214, our colleagues concluded Civil Code section 2923.5 may be enforced by private right of action.  Section 2923.5 requires a lender to contact the borrower in person or by telephone before a notice of default may be filed to “‘assess’” the borrower’s financial situation and “‘explore’” options to prevent foreclosure.  (Mabry,supra, at pp. 213‑214.)  Section 2923.5, though not expressly creating a private right of action, impliedly created one because there was no administrative mechanism to enforce the statute, a private remedy furthered the purpose of the statute and was necessary for it to be effective, and California courts do not favor constructions of statutes that render them advisory only.  (Mabrysupra, at p. 218.)

There is no administrative mechanism to enforce section 2924g(d), and a private remedy is necessary to make it effective.  While the Attorney General might be responsible for collective enforcement of section 2924g(d), “the Attorney General’s office can hardly be expected to take up the cause of every individual borrower whose diverse circumstances show noncompliance with section [2924g(d)].”  (Mabrysupra, 185 Cal.App.4th at p. 224.)

The Mabry court also concluded Civil Code section 2923.5 was not preempted by federal law because the statute was part of the foreclosure process, traditionally a matter of state law.  Regulations promulgated by the Office of Thrift Supervision pursuant to the Home Owners’ Loan Act of 1933 (12 U.S.C. § 1461 et seq.) preempted state law but dealt with loan servicing only.  (Mabrysupra, 185 Cal.App.4th at pp. 228‑231.)  “Given the traditional state control over mortgage foreclosure laws, it is logical to conclude that if the Office of Thrift Supervision wanted to include foreclosure as within the preempted category of loan servicing, it would have been explicit.”  (Id. at p. 231.)  Section 2924g(d), as section 2923.5, is part of the process of foreclosure and therefore is not subject to federal preemption.

B.  The Foreclosure Sale Violated Section 2924g(d).

Defendants argue the foreclosure sale did not violate section 2924g(d) on the ground the trial court’s November 26, 2008 order was not a temporary restraining order because it conditioned injunctive relief on Ragland bringing her loan current by December 16, 2008.  That condition was not met, and, therefore, Defendants argue, a temporary restraining order was never issued.

We disagree with Defendants’ interpretation of the November 26 order.  The foreclosure sale had been scheduled for December 9, 2008.  The November 26 order was for all intents and purposes a temporary restraining order subject to section 2924g(d) because the effect of that order was to require postponement of the sale at least to December 16, 2008.  The requirement that Ragland bring the loan current by that date was not a condition precedent to a temporary restraining order, which in effect had been issued, but a condition subsequent, the failure of which to satisfy would terminate injunctive relief.4

Defendants argue they were entitled nonetheless to summary adjudication of the fourth cause of action because Ragland could not have brought her loan current within seven days of December 16, 2008.  Although Ragland submitted evidence that she could pay back amounts due, she did not present evidence she could bring the loan current, including payment of additional fees, as required by the trial court’s November 26 order.

The purpose of the seven‑day waiting period under section 2924g(d) was not, however, to permit reinstatement of the loan, “but to ‘provide sufficient time for a trustor to find out when a foreclosure sale is going to occur following the expiration of a court order which required the sale’s postponement’ and ‘provide the trustor with the opportunity to attend the sale and to ensure that his or her interests are protected.’  [Citation].”  (Hicks v. E.T. Legg & Associates (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 496, 505.)  “The bill [amending section 2924g(d) to add the waiting period] was sponsored by the Western Center on Law and Poverty in response to an incident in which a foreclosure sale was held one day after a TRO was dissolved. The property was sold substantially below fair market value.  The trustor, who had obtained a purchaser for the property, did not learn of the new sale date and was unable to protect his interests at the sale.”  (Ibid.)

Thus, in obtaining relief under section 2924g(d), the issue is not whether Ragland could have reinstated her loan within the seven‑day waiting period but whether the failure of Downey Savings to comply with the statute impaired her ability to protect her interests at a foreclosure sale.  Defendants did not raise that issue as ground for summary adjudication of the fourth cause of action.

V.

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Cause of Action

In the fifth cause of action, Ragland alleged that in December 2008, Defendants intentionally caused her severe emotional distress by selling her home in a foreclosure sale.

Defendants argue Ragland cannot recover emotional distress damages—either intentionally or negligently inflicted—because she suffered property damage at most as result of their actions.  (See Erlich v. Menezes (1999) 21 Cal.4th 543, 554 [“‘No California case has allowed recovery for emotional distress arising solely out of property damage’”].)  Erlich v. Menezesand other cases disallowing emotional distress damages in cases of property damage involved negligent infliction of emotional distress.  (Ibid. [negligent construction of home does not support emotional distress damages]; Butler‑Rupp v. Lourdeaux(2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 1220, 1228‑1229 [negligent breach of lease of storage space]; Camenisch v. Superior Court (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 1689, 1693 [negligent infliction of emotional distress based on legal malpractice]; Smith v. Superior Court(1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 1033, 1040 [“mere negligence will not support a recovery for mental suffering where the defendant’s tortious conduct has resulted in only economic injury to the plaintiff”].)  The rule does not apply to intentional infliction of emotional distress:  “[R]ecovery for emotional distress caused by injury to property is permitted only where there is a preexisting relationship between the parties or an intentional tort.”  (Lubner v. City of Los Angeles (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 525, 532; see also Cooper v. Superior Court (1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 1008, 1012 [no recovery for emotional distress arising solely out of property damage “absent a threshold showing of some preexisting relationship or intentional tort”].)

The elements of a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress are (1) the defendant engages in extreme and outrageous conduct with the intent to cause, or with reckless disregard for the probability of causing, emotional distress; (2) the plaintiff suffers extreme or severe emotional distress; and (3) the defendant’s extreme and outrageous conduct was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s extreme or severe emotional distress.  (Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.(1993) 6 Cal.4th 965, 1001.)  “Outrageous conduct” is conduct that is intentional or reckless and so extreme as to exceed all bounds of decency in a civilized community.  (Ibid.)  The defendant’s conduct must be directed to the plaintiff, but malicious or evil purpose is not essential to liability.  (Ibid.)  Whether conduct is outrageous is usually a question of fact.  (Spinks v. Equity Residential Briarwood Apartments (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 1004, 1045 (Spinks).)

Ragland argues Downey Savings engaged in outrageous conduct by inducing her to skip the April loan payment, refusing later to accept loan payments, and selling her home at foreclosure.  She likens this case to Spinkssupra, 171 Cal.App.4th 1004, in which the appellate court reversed summary adjudication in the defendants’ favor of a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress.  The defendants in Spinks were landlords of an apartment complex in which the plaintiff resided under a lease entered into by her employer.  (Id. at p. 1015.)  When the plaintiff’s employment was terminated following an industrial injury, the defendants, at the employer’s direction, changed the locks on the plaintiff’s apartment, causing her to leave her residence.  (Ibid.)  The Court of Appeal rejected the contention the defendants’ conduct was not outrageous as a matter of law:  “First, as a general principle, changing the locks on someone’s dwelling without consent to force that person to leave is prohibited by statute.  [Citation.]  Though defendants’ agents were polite and sympathetic towards plaintiff, they nevertheless caused her to leave her home without benefit of judicial process. . . . ‘While in the present case no threats or abusive language were employed, and no violence existed, that is not essential to the cause of action.  An eviction may, nevertheless, be unlawful even though not accompanied with threats, violence or abusive language.  Here the eviction was deliberate and intentional.  The conduct of defendants was outrageous.’”  (Id. at pp. 1045‑1046.)  In addition, the defendants’ onsite property manager had expressed concern over the legality of changing the locks, and the plaintiff was particularly vulnerable at the time because she was recovering from surgery.  (Id. at p. 1046.)

Defendants argue Spinks is inapposite because changing locks on an apartment to force the tenant to leave is unlawful, while, in contrast, Downey Savings proceeded with a lawful foreclosure after Ragland defaulted and had a legal right to protect its economic interests.  (See Sierra‑Bay Fed. Land Bank Assn. v. Superior Court (1991) 227 Cal.App.3d 318, 334 [“It is simply not tortious for a commercial lender to lend money, take collateral, or to foreclose on collateral when a debt is not paid”]; Quinteros v. Aurora Loan Services (E.D.Cal. 2010) 740 F.Supp.2d 1163, 1172 [“The act of foreclosing on a home (absent other circumstances) is not the kind of extreme conduct that supports an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim”].)

This argument assumes Downey Savings had the right to foreclose, an issue at the heart of the case.  Ragland created triable issues of fact on her causes of action for negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and violation of section 2924g(d). Defendants do not argue Downey Savings would have had the right to foreclose if any of those causes of action were meritorious.  Ragland’s treatment by Downey Savings, if proven, was at least as bad as the conduct of the defendants in Spinksand was so extreme as to exceed all bounds of decency in our society.

VI.

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Cause of Action

In the sixth cause of action, Ragland alleged that in December 2008, Defendants negligently caused her severe emotional distress by selling her home in a foreclosure sale.  As explained above, Ragland cannot recover under her cause of action for negligent infliction because Defendants’ conduct resulted only in injury to property.  In addition, she cannot recover for negligent infliction of emotional distress because she cannot prove a relationship giving rise to a duty of care.

There is no independent tort of negligent infliction of emotional distress; rather, “[t]he tort is negligence, a cause of action in which a duty to the plaintiff is an essential element.”  (Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.supra, 6 Cal.4th at p. 984.)  “That duty may be imposed by law, be assumed by the defendant, or exist by virtue of a special relationship.”  (Id. at p. 985.)

Ragland asserted a “direct victim” claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress rather than a “bystander” claim. “‘Direct victim’ cases are cases in which the plaintiff’s claim of emotional distress is not based upon witnessing an injury to someone else, but rather is based upon the violation of a duty owed directly to the plaintiff.  ‘[T]he label “direct victim” arose to distinguish cases in which damages for serious emotional distress are sought as a result of a breach of duty owed the plaintiff that is “assumed by the defendant or imposed on the defendant as a matter of law, or that arises out of a relationship between the two.”  [Citation.]  In these cases, the limits [on bystander cases . . . ] have no direct application.  [Citations.]  Rather, well‑settled principles of negligence are invoked to determine whether all elements of a cause of action, including duty, are present in a given case.’”  (Wooden v. Raveling (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 1035, 1038.)

Ragland argues a relationship between her and Defendants, sufficient to create a duty of care, arose by virtue of (1) the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the loan documents and (2) financial advice rendered by John or Joseph during the telephone calls in April 2008.

The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is a contractual relationship and does not give rise to an independent duty of care.  Rather, “‘[t]he implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is limited to assuring compliance with the express terms of the contract, and cannot be extended to create obligations not contemplated by the contract.’”  (Pasadena Live v. City of Pasadena (2004) 114 Cal.App.4th 1089, 1094.)  Outside of the insured‑insurer relationship and others with similar qualities, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing does not give rise to tort damages.  (Foley v. Interactive Data Corp. (1988) 47 Cal.3d 654, 692‑693; see also Cates Construction, Inc. v. Talbot Partners (1999) 21 Cal.4th 28, 61 [no tort recovery for breach of implied covenant arising out of performance bond]; Applied Equipment Corp. v. Litton Saudi Arabia Ltd. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 503, 516 [“In the absence of an independent tort, punitive damages may not be awarded for breach of contract” even when the breach was willful, fraudulent, or malicious]; Mitsui Manufacturers Bank v. Superior Court(1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 726, 730‑732 [commercial borrower may not recover tort damages for lender’s breach of implied covenant in loan documents].)

No fiduciary duty exists between a borrower and lender in an arm’s length transaction.  (Oaks Management Corporation v. Superior Court (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 453, 466; Union Bank v. Superior Court (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 573, 579; Price v. Wells Fargo Bank (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 465, 476.)  “[A]s a general rule, a financial institution owes no duty of care to a borrower when the institution’s involvement in the loan transaction does not exceed the scope of its conventional role as a mere lender of money.”  (Nymark v. Heart Fed. Savings & Loan Assn. (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 1089, 1096.)

Relying on Barrett v. Bank of America (1986) 183 Cal.App.3d 1362 (Barrett), Ragland argues Downey Savings exceeded the scope of its role as a lender of money because John and Joseph gave her what amounted to investment advice by telling her not to make her April 2008 loan payment.  In Barrett, the plaintiffs executed personal guarantees to the defendant bank of two loans made to a corporation of which the plaintiffs were the principal shareholders.  (Id. at p. 1365.)  Soon after the loans funded, the plaintiffs were informed the corporation was in technical default because the corporation’s liability to asset ratios no longer met the bank’s requirements.  (Ibid.)  The bank’s loan officer assigned to the matter suggested three different ways to improve the corporation’s financial situation.  As to the third suggestion, merger or acquisition, the loan officer told the plaintiffs a merging company would be responsible for the loans and the plaintiffs would be released from the guarantees. (Ibid.)

The plaintiffs followed the third suggestion, and their corporation merged with another one.  The merging corporation soon could not make the payments on the loans.  (Barrettsupra, 183 Cal.App.3d at pp. 1365‑1366.)  The assignee of the loans enforced them against the plaintiffs and instituted foreclosure proceedings against their home.  (Id. at p. 1366.)  The plaintiffs sued the bank for various causes of action, including constructive fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  (Ibid.)  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the bank.  (Id. at pp. 1366‑1367.)

The issue on appeal was whether the trial court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on constructive fraud.  (Barrettsupra, 183 Cal.App.3d at p. 1368.)  The Court of Appeal, reversing, concluded substantial evidence supported a constructive fraud theory of recovery.  (Id. at p. 1369.)  Constructive fraud usually arises from a breach of duty in which a fiduciary relationship exists.  (Ibid.)  The court reasoned the bank acted as the plaintiffs’ fiduciary because one plaintiff perceived his relationship with the loan officer as “very close,” relied on the loan officer’s financial advice, shared confidential financial information with the loan officer, and relied on the loan officer’s advice about mergers.  (Ibid.)  In addition, a consultant for the merging corporation testified the loan officer assured him the plaintiffs would not be released from their guarantees.  (Ibid.)

The evidence presented in opposition to the motion for summary judgment did not create a triable issue of Ragland’s relationship with Downey Savings.  In contrast with the extensive financial and legal advice given by the loan officer inBarrett, John or his supervisor at Downey Savings told Ragland not to make her April 2008 loan payment in order to be considered for a loan modification.  This advice was directly related to the issue of loan modification and therefore fell within the scope of Downey Savings’s conventional role as a lender of money.

The undisputed facts established there was no relationship between Ragland and Downey Savings giving rise to a duty the breach of which would permit Ragland to recover emotional distress damages based on negligence.  The trial court did not err by granting summary adjudication of the cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

VII.

Rescission Cause of Action

Ragland concedes her seventh cause of action, for rescission, is no longer viable (“a dead letter”) because her home was resold after the foreclosure sale to a bona fide purchaser for value.  For that reason too, she states she is no longer asserting claims against DSL and FCI.

VIII.

Temporary Restraining Order

Ragland argues the trial court’s November 26, 2008 order violated her due process rights because it, in effect, required her to pay nearly $25,000 to bring her loan current or face foreclosure of her home.  There are two fundamental problems with Ragland’s challenge to the November 26 order.  First, an order granting or dissolving an injunction, or refusing to grant or dissolve an injunction, is directly appealable.  (Code Civ. Proc., § 904.1, subd. (a)(6).)  Ragland did not file a notice of appeal from the November 26 order or from the later order denying her motion for a preliminary injunction.  Second, even if Ragland properly had appealed, the sale of her home at foreclosure would have rendered the appeal moot.  An appeal from an order denying a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction will not be entertained after the act sought to be enjoined has been performed.  (Finnie v. Town of Tiburon (1988) 199 Cal.App.3d 1, 10.)  “An appeal should be dismissed as moot when the occurrence of events renders it impossible for the appellate court to grant appellant any effective relief. [Citation.]”  (Cucamongans United for Reasonable Expansion v. City of Rancho Cucamonga (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 473, 479.)

Ragland concedes her attempt to halt the foreclosure sale, like her rescission cause of action, is a “dead letter” and she is not seeking to set aside the November 26 order or the order denying a preliminary injunction.  She argues, “the denial of due process at the application for temporary restraining order was a substantial factor in [the] trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of U.S. Bank.”  We fail to see the connection.  In any event, we are reversing the judgment as to U.S. Bank, and affirming summary adjudication only of the causes of action for breach of oral contract, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and rescission.

DISPOSITION

The judgment in favor of DSL and FCI, and summary adjudication of the causes of action for breach of oral contract, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and rescission are affirmed.  Ragland may seek leave to amend in the trial court, as explained in this opinion.  In all other respects, the judgment is reversed and the matter remanded for further proceedings. Ragland shall recover costs incurred on appeal.

FYBEL, J.

WE CONCUR:

ARONSON, ACTING P. J.

IKOLA, J.

 1.  From page 4, the third full paragraph beginning “In October, 2007, Downeys’ publicly traded common stock,” through page 6, the citation following the first full paragraph and ending “http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bank-16076-fremont-fdic.html).

2  On page 7, footnote 3 that continues from page 6, the second sentence beginning “Between April 2008” and ending “[$543,000 + 14% = $619,020].”

3.  From page 7, in the third paragraph, the second sentence beginning “By that time, Downey’s” to page 8, the first line ending “(http:/www.bankaholic.com/ downey‑savings/).”

4.  On page 8, the second full paragraph beginning “In late July, 2008.”

5.  From page 9, the third full paragraph beginning “On November 21, 2008” through the first full paragraph on page 10.

6.  From page 31, the first full paragraph beginning “Going through a foreclosure can be so stressful” through page 32, the first full paragraph ending “(http://abcnews.go.com/Health/DepressionNews/story?id=5444573&page=1).

2  The three passages are:

1.  On page 16, the first full paragraph beginning “In the present case.”

2.  On page 16, footnote 4.

3.  On page 30, in the first full paragraph, the fourth sentence beginning “Downey Savings took Ms. Ragland’s home.”

3  In its notice of motion and separate statement of undisputed material facts, U.S. Bank moved for summary adjudication of two issues (issues 9 and 10) related to the fraud cause of action:  “9. U.S. Bank is entitled to summary adjudication against Plaintiff on the third cause of action for Fraud because U.S. Bank did not make an actionable misrepresentation.  [¶]  10. U.S. Bank is entitled to summary adjudication against Plaintiff on the third cause of action for Fraud because all of Plaintiff’s alleged damages arise from the foreclosure of her property and Plaintiff was incapable of reinstating the loan at the time of the foreclosure.”

4  The requirement that Ragland bring her loan current might also be viewed as a condition precedent to a preliminary injunction.  But, as the trial court noted: “If plaintiff does bring her payments current by the hearing date, then there is no basis for a foreclosure sale because the arrears would have been cured.  Hence there would seem to be no need for the issuance of a preliminary injunction under such circumstances.”

U.S. Bank: Many Names, Many Creditors — the ultimate shell game

U.S. Bank, Trustee of What?

U.S. Bank shows up in many foreclosure cases and many cases that go into litigation. I believe they are allowing the use of their name for a fee and that they have little or nothing to do with most of the cases where their name is used. A little discovery might cover that and a challenge to the attorney as to proving that he represents U.S. Bank as they have portrayed themselves would be a useful tactic.

One case in Florida U.S. Bank portrayed itself as the holder of the note. In the end the attorney who appeared for U.S. Bank admitted under questioning from the Judge that U.S. Bank was not the holder, was not a trustee, and that the attorney had no idea whether he actually represented U.S. Bank because he never had any contact with them.

In bankruptcy court, which is confusing enough, you must realize that it is actually an administrative hearing with a tinge of legal. Some lawyers file adversaries to prove this or that based upon the filing of conflicting papers in the administrative part of the bankruptcy. I think that is a mistake. What are you going to say in your adversary pleading. You are taking on the burden of proof for facts that are exclusively in the possession of either the people you are dealing with, or some other third parties. The Bankruptcy is an administrative action where the forms and procedure are everything. If conflicting claims are present, it isn’t up to you to clear it up. It is up to the creditors or have their claim denied.

It looks to me like you have an OBJECTION to their claim when they change horses, especially when it happens multiple times in one case. If they have not filed a proof of claim within the 90 day time limit (check statutes and consult with attorney) you are allowed to file one for them. In your version be sure to say they are unsecured. The primary grounds for your objections would be that there are obviously multiple creditors, each seeking to collect on the same debt. Don’t say it in your pleading but ONE of them must file an adversary against the others, or at least a motion with affidavits and potentially witnesses to explain the discrepancies.

Here is another case:

“After nearly 4 years of fighting, the “lender” has finally changed their position (again) and now submitted a request for notice in my BKR as the attorneys for US BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSTEE FOR RASC SERIES 2005- EMX4.
Here are some of the names they have used previously (in violation of California Rules of Evidence 623):
  • US Bank, NA as Trustee by Residential Funding Company, LLC fka Residential Funding Corporation Attorney in Fact
    • in a letter sent in conjunction with the NOD dated 12/24/2008 (NOD did not use this name or any derivative)
    • 1st assignment 1/2009 (MERS as nominee for MLN, and MLN went into BKR 2/2007)
    • Proof of Claim circa 5/2009
    • Motion for Relief from Stay circa 9/2009
    • Response to various state lawsuits saying “everything was fine with the recorded documents” (paraphrased)
  • US Bank, NA as Trustee
    • Note endorsement allegedly on or before 11/17/2005 (numerous intervening endorsements, but endorsement to depositor is skipped)
    • 2nd Assignment 7/2009 (MERS as nominee for MLN, and MLN went into BKR 2/2007)
    • Motion for Summary Judgment filed by NDeX West 5/30/2012 in my state court case
  • RFC Trustee 04
    • MERS Servicer ID states that the “investor” is RFC Trustee 04 (not sure when record was created, presumably in November/December 2005)
  • MERS
    • Motion for Summary Judgment filed by NDeX West 5/30/2012 in my state court case
  • US Bank, National Association as Trustee for RASC Series 2005-EMX4
    • Request for Notice filed in my Chp. 11 on 7/31/2012 by Barrett Daffin Treder & Weiss
    • This is the first time EVER this name appears in this form by ANY of the parties I have sued or sent letters. They have never mentioned the trust before.
They cannot perfect their security interest because there is a TRO in the state court case (plus I have the BKR automatic stay).
Attached is this notice, my preliminary status report (read section #6 where I describe the use of different names and tell the judge that I have no idea who I will be naming in the adv. proc. because they constantly change the name of the creditor), and my objection to their request for notice.”
The last sentence is exactly right. So why file it? If for some reason you feel the court requires you to take on the burden then I would suggest conducting a 2004 examination (deposition) in which you ask pertinent questions about the “Story” of how it changed from this creditor to that creditor.
BUT FIRST challenge the competency of the witness they produce to even testify. For those of you who attended my seminars, you know the four rules of competency — Oath, Personal Knowledge, Memory and Communication — all of which are required to establish the foundation for their testimony. If you get to the point where the witness admits they have no personal knowledge of either the particulars of your case or insufficient knowledge as to the records upon which they rely, then shut up and don’t ask questions about the facts of the case. Why put what THEY want into the record?
If the above is Greek to you then you need to attend one of our seminars on the 25th of August in Emeryville outside San Francisco or Anaheim 8/29-8/30, outside L.A.
Here is another case, which is being seen all over the place: “U.S. Bank, as trustee relating to ” and then there is description of certificates, but not certificate holders nor any other reference to a PSA or trust document.
So when they lose the case at the end, and the Judge is awarding attorney fees, many judges are allowing their ridiculous explanation that the award of fees must be against some other party but not U.S. Bank who is not the trustee of a trust but was merely acting as agent or servicer for a disclosed principal. The fact that they did the foreclosure without providing the trustee with evidence of the trust, and that they obtained a deed in foreclosure with a credit bid, without providing the trustee with proof of loan status from the “disclosed principal” seems lost on many judges.
And just for good measure notice that US Bank often enters the foreclosure process AFTER a different creditor has applied for relief from stay — one which has an easier time establishing grounds for the relief. THEN U.S. Bank does the foreclosure, violating the stay order, and contrary the terms of the order lifting stay naming the OTHER creditor as the owner of the loan. Precious few judges have the tenacity of patience to wade through this whirlwind of words to ask simple questions like — who has a loan receivable on their books for this loan? That is the creditor if the entry is supported by competent evidence.
But not all Judges are hoodwinked by these absurd word games. Millions of dollars in sanctions in fines have been levied against the banks and servicers for misdirecting the court and committing perjury or suborning perjury.

CA Trial Court Upholds Claims for Improper Assignment, Accounting, Unfair Practices

Editor’s Note: In an extremely well-written and well reasoned decision Federal District Court Judge M. James Lorenz denied the Motion to dismiss of US Bank on an alleged WAMU securitization that for the first time recognizes that the securitization scheme could be a sham, with no basis in fact.

Although the Plaintiff chose not to make allegations regarding false origination of loan documents, which I think is important, the rest of the decision breaks the illusion created by the banks and servicers through the use of documents that look good but do not meet the standards of proof required in a foreclosure.

  1. I would suggest that lawyers look at the claim and allegations that the origination documents were false and were procured by fraud.
  2. Since no such allegation was made, the court naturally assumed the loan was validly portrayed in the loan documents and that the note was evidence of the loan transaction, presuming that SBMC actually loaned the money to the Plaintiff, which does not appear to be the case.
  3. This Judge actually read everything and obvious questions in his mind led him to conclude that there were irregularities in the assignment process that could lead to a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff for quiet title, accounting, unfair practices and other claims.
  4. The court recites the fact that the loan was sold to “currently unknown entity or entities.” This implicitly raises the question of whether the loan was in fact actually sold more than once, and if so, to whom, for how much, and raises the issues of whom Plaintiff was to direct her payments and whether the actual creditor was receiving the money that Plaintiff paid.  — a point hammered on, among others, at the Garfield Seminars coming up in Emeryville (San Francisco), 8/25 and Anaheim, 8/29-30. If you really want to understand what went on in the mortgage meltdown and the tactics and strategies that are getting traction in the courts, you are invited to attend. Anaheim has a 1/2 day seminar for homeowners. Call customer service 520-405-1688 to attend.
  5. For the first time, this Court uses the words (attempt to securitize” a loan as opposed to assuming it was done just based upon the paperwork and the presence of the the parties claiming rights through the assignments and securitization.
  6. AFTER the Notice of Sale was recorded, the Plaintiff sent a RESPA 6 Qualified Written request. The defendants used the time-honored defense that this was not a real QWR, but eh court disagreed, stating that the Plaintiff not only requested information but gave her reasons in some details for thinking that something might be wrong.
  7. Plaintiff did not specifically mention that the information requested should come from BOTH the subservicer claiming rights to service the loan and the Master Servicer claiming rights to administer the payments from all parties and the disbursements to those investor lenders that had contributed the money that was used to fund the loan. I would suggest that attorneys be aware of this distinction inasmuch as the subservicer only has a small snapshot of transactions solely between the borrower and the subservicer whereas the the information from the Master Servicer would require a complete set of records on all financial transactions and all documents relating to their claims regarding the loan.
  8. The court carefully applied the law on Motions to Dismiss instead of inserting the opinion of the Judge as to whether the Plaintiff would win stating that “material allegations, even if doubtful in fact, are assumed to be true,” which is another point we have been pounding on since 2007. The court went on to say that it was obligated to accept any claim that was “plausible on its face.”
  9. The primary claim of Plaintiffs was that the Defendants were “not her true creditors and as such have no legal, equitable, or pecuniary right in this debt obligation in the loan,’ which we presume to mean that the court was recognizing the distinction, for the first time, between the legal obligation to pay and the loan documents.
  10. Plaintiff contended that there was not a proper assignment to anyone because the assignment took place after the cutoff date in 2006 (assignment in 2010) and that the person executing the documents, was not a duly constituted authorized signor. The Judge’s decision weighed more heavily that allegation that the assignment was not properly made according to the “trust Document,” thus taking Defendants word for it that a trust was created and existing at the time of the assignment, but also saying in effect that they can’t pick up one end of the stick without picking up the other. The assignment, after the Notice of Default, violated the terms of the trust document thus removing the authority of the trustee or the trust to accept it, which as any reasonable person would know, they wouldn’t want to accept — having been sold on the idea that they were buying performing loans. More on this can be read in “whose Lien Is It Anyway?, which I just published and is available on www.livinglies-store.com
  11. The Court states without any caveats that the failure to assign the loan in the manner and timing set forth in the “trust document” (presumably the Pooling and Servicing Agreement) that the note and Deed of trust are not part of the trust and that therefore the trustee had no basis for asserting ownership, much less the right to enforce.
  12. THEN this Judge uses simple logic and applies existing law: if the assignment was void, then the notices of default, sale, substitution of trustee and any foreclosure would have been totally void.
  13. I would add that lawyers should consider the allegation that none of the transfers were supported by any financial transaction or other consideration because consideration passed at origination from the investors directly tot he borrower, due to the defendants ignoring the provisions of the prospectus and PSA shown to the investor-lender. In discovery what you want is the identity of each entity that ever showed this loan is a loan receivable on any regular business or record or set of accounting forms. It might surprise you that NOBODY has the loan posted as loan receivable and as such, the argument can be made that NOBODY can submit a CREDIT BID at auction even if the auction was otherwise a valid auction.
  14. Next, the Court disagrees with the Defendants that they are not debt collectors and upholds the Plaintiff’s claim for violation of FDCPA. Since she explicitly alleges that US bank is a debt collector, and started collection efforts on 2010, the allegation that the one-year statute of limitation should be applied was rejected by the court. Thus Plaintiff’s claims for violations under FDCPA were upheld.
  15. Plaintiff also added a count under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) which prohibits any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice. Section 17200 of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code. The Court rejected defendants’ arguments that FDCPA did not apply since “Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated the UCL by collecting payments that they lacked the right to collect, and engaging in unlawful business practices by violating the FDCPA and RESPA.” And under the rules regarding motions to dismiss, her allegations must be taken as absolutely true unless the allegations are clearly frivolous or speculative on their face.
  16. Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants had created a cloud upon her title affecting her in numerous ways including her credit score, ability to refinance etc. Defendants countered that the allegation regarding a cloud on title was speculative. The Judge said this is not speculation, it is fact if other allegations are true regarding the false recording of unauthorized documents based upon an illegal or void assignment.
  17. And lastly, but very importantly, the Court recognizes for the first time, the right of a homeowner to demand an accounting if they can establish facts in their allegations that raise questions regarding the status of the loan, whether she was paying the right people and whether the true creditors were being paid. “Plaintiff alleges facts that allows the Court to draw a reasonable inference that Defendants may be liable for various misconduct alleged. See Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949.

Here are some significant quotes from the case. Naranjo v SBMC TILA- Accounting -Unfair practices- QWR- m/dismiss —

Judge Lorenzo Decision in Naranjo vs. SBMC Mortgage et al 7-24-12

No allegations regarding false origination of loan documents:

SBMC sold her loan to a currently unknown entity or entities. (FAC ¶ 15.) Plaintiff alleges that these unknown entities and Defendants were involved in an attempt to securitize the loan into the WAMU Mortgage Pass-through Certificates WMALT Series 2006-AR4 Trust (“WAMU Trust”). (Id. ¶ 17.) However, these entities involved in the attempted securitization of the loan “failed to adhere to the requirements of the Trust Agreement

In August 2009, Plaintiff was hospitalized, resulting in unforeseen financial hardship. (FAC ¶ 25.) As a result, she defaulted on her loan. (See id. ¶ 26.)
On May 26, 2010, Defendants recorded an Assignment of Deed of Trust, which states that MERS assigned and transferred to U.S. Bank as trustee for the WAMU Trust under the DOT. (RJN Ex. B.) Colleen Irby executed the Assignment as Officer for MERS. (Id.) On the same day, Defendants also recorded a Substitution of Trustee, which states that the U.S. Bank as trustee, by JP Morgan, as attorney-in-fact substituted its rights under the DOT to the California Reconveyance Company (“CRC”). (RJN Ex. C.) Colleen Irby also executed the Substitution as Officer of “U.S. Bank, National Association as trustee for the WAMU Trust.” (Id.) And again, on the same day, CRC, as trustee, recorded a Notice of Default and Election to Sell. (RJN Ex. D.)
A Notice of Trustee’s sale was recorded, stating that the estimated unpaid balance on the note was $989,468.00 on July 1, 2011. (RJN Ex. E.)
On August 8, 2011, Plaintiff sent JPMorgan a Qualified Written Request (“QWR”) letter in an effort to verify and validate her debt. (FAC ¶ 35 & Ex. C.) In the letter, she requested that JPMorgan provide, among other things, a true and correct copy of the original note and a complete life of the loan transactional history. (Id.) Although JPMorgan acknowledged the QWR within five days of receipt, Plaintiff alleges that it “failed to provide a substantive response.” (Id. ¶ 35.) Specifically, even though the QWR contained the borrow’s name, loan number, and property address, Plaintiff alleges that “JPMorgan’s substantive response concerned the same borrower, but instead supplied information regarding an entirely different loan and property.” (Id.)

The court must dismiss a cause of action for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint. Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). The court must accept all allegations of material fact as true and construe them in light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Cedars-Sanai Med. Ctr. v. Nat’l League of Postmasters of U.S., 497 F.3d 972, 975 (9th Cir. 2007). Material allegations, even if doubtful in fact, are assumed to be true. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). However, the court need not “necessarily assume the truth of legal conclusions merely because they are cast in the form of factual allegations.” Warren v. Fox Family Worldwide, Inc., 328 F.3d 1136, 1139 (9th Cir. 2003) (internal quotation marks omitted). In fact, the court does not need to accept any legal conclusions as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, ___, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)

the allegations in the complaint “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. Thus, “[t]o 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.'” Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. “The plausibility standard is not akin to a `probability requirement,’ but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A complaint may be dismissed as a matter of law either for lack of a cognizable legal theory or for insufficient facts under a cognizable theory. Robertson v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 749 F.2d 530, 534 (9th Cir. 1984).

Plaintiff’s primary contention here is that Defendants “are not her true creditors and as such have no legal, equitable, or pecuniary right in this debt obligation” in the loan. (Pl.’s Opp’n 1:5-11.) She contends that her promissory note and DOT were never properly assigned to the WAMU Trust because the entities involved in the attempted transfer failed to adhere to the requirements set forth in the Trust Agreement and thus the note and DOT are not a part of the trust res. (FAC ¶¶ 17, 20.) Defendants moves to dismiss the FAC in its entirety with prejudice.

The vital allegation in this case is the assignment of the loan into the WAMU Trust was not completed by May 30, 2006 as required by the Trust Agreement. This allegation gives rise to a plausible inference that the subsequent assignment, substitution, and notice of default and election to sell may also be improper. Defendants wholly fail to address that issue. (See Defs.’ Mot. 3:16-6:2; Defs.’ Reply 2:13-4:4.) This reason alone is sufficient to deny Defendants’ motion with respect to this issue. [plus the fact that no financial transaction occurred]

Moving on, Defendants’ reliance on Gomes is misguided. In Gomes, the California Court of Appeal held that a plaintiff does not have a right to bring an action to determine a nominee’s authorization to proceed with a nonjudicial foreclosure on behalf of a noteholder. 192 Cal. App. 4th at 1155. The nominee in Gomes was MERS. Id. at 1151. Here, Plaintiff is not seeking such a determination. The role of the nominee is not central to this action as it was in Gomes. Rather, Plaintiff alleges that the transfer of rights to the WAMU Trust is improper, thus Defendants consequently lack the legal right to either collect on the debt or enforce the underlying security interest.

Plaintiff requests that the Court “make a finding and issue appropriate orders stating that none of the named Defendants . . . have any right or interest in Plaintiff’s Note, Deed of Trust, or the Property which authorizes them . . . to collect Plaintiff’s mortgage payments or enforce the terms of the Note or Deed of Trust in any manner whatsoever.” (FAC ¶ 50.) Defendant simplifies this as a request for “a determination of the ownership of [the] Note and Deed of Trust,” which they argue is “addressed in her other causes of action.” (Defs.’ Mot. 6:16-20.) The Court disagrees with Defendants. As discussed above and below, there is an actual controversy that is not superfluous. Therefore, the Court DENIES Defendants’ motion as to Plaintiff’s claim for declaratory relief.

Defendants argue that they are not “debt collectors” within the meaning of the FDCPA. (Defs.’ Mot. 9:13-15.) That argument is predicated on the presumption that all of the legal rights attached to the loan were properly assigned. Plaintiff responds that Defendants are debt collectors because U.S. Bank’s principal purpose is to collect debt and it also attempted to collect payments. (Pl.’s Opp’n 19:23-27.) She explicitly alleges in the FAC that U.S. Bank has attempted to collect her debt obligation and that U.S. Bank is a debt collector. Consequently, Plaintiff sufficiently alleges a claim under the FDCPA.
Defendants also argue that the FDCPA claim is time barred. (Defs.’ Mot. 7:18-27.) A FDCPA claim must be brought “within one year from the date on which the violation occurs.” 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d). Defendants contend that the violation occurred when the allegedly false assignment occurred on May 26, 2010. (Defs.’ Mot. 7:22-27.) However, Plaintiff alleges that U.S. Bank violated the FDCPA when it attempted to enforce Plaintiff’s debt obligation and collect mortgage payments when it allegedly had no legal authority to do so. (FAC ¶ 72.) Defendants wholly overlook those allegations in the FAC. Thus, Defendants fail to show that Plaintiff’s FDCPA claim is time barred.
Accordingly, the Court DENIES Defendants’ motion as to Plaintiff’s FDCPA claim.
Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s letter does not constitute a QWR because it requests a list of unsupported demands rather than specific particular errors or omissions in the account along with an explanation from the borrower why she believes an error exists. (Defs.’ Mot. 10:4-13.) However, the letter explains that it “concerns sales and transfers of mortgage servicing rights; deceptive and fraudulent servicing practices to enhance balance sheets; deceptive, abusive, and fraudulent accounting tricks and practices that may have also negatively affected any credit rating, mortgage account and/or the debt or payments that [Plaintiff] may be obligated to.” (FAC Ex. C.) The letter goes on to put JPMorgan on notice of
potential abuses of J.P. Morgan Chase or previous servicing companies or previous servicing companies [that] could have deceptively, wrongfully, unlawfully, and/or illegally: Increased the amounts of monthly payments; Increased the principal balance Ms. Naranjo owes; Increased the escrow payments; Increased the amounts applied and attributed toward interest on this account; Decreased the proper amounts applied and attributed toward the principal on this account; and/or[] Assessed, charged and/or collected fees, expenses and miscellaneous charges Ms. Naranjo is not legally obligated to pay under this mortgage, note and/or deed of trust.
(Id.) Based on the substance of letter, the Court cannot find as a matter of law that the letter is not a QWR.
California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) prohibits “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice. . . .” Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200. This cause of action is generally derivative of some other illegal conduct or fraud committed by a defendant. Khoury v. Maly’s of Cal., Inc., 14 Cal. App. 4th 612, 619 (1993). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated the UCL by collecting payments that they lacked the right to collect, and engaging in unlawful business practices by violating the FDCPA and RESPA.

Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s allegation regarding a cloud on her title does not constitute an allegation of loss of money or property, and even if Plaintiff were to lose her property, she cannot show it was a result of Defendants’ actions. (Defs.’ Mot. 12:22-13:4.) The Court disagrees. As discussed above, Plaintiff alleges damages resulting from Defendants’ collection of payments that they purportedly did not have the legal right to collect. These injuries are monetary, but also may result in the loss of Plaintiff’s property. Furthermore, these injuries are causally connected to Defendants’ conduct. Thus, Plaintiff has standing to pursue a UCL claim against Defendants.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants owe a fiduciary duty in their capacities as creditor and mortgage servicer. (FAC ¶ 125.) She pursues this claim on the grounds that Defendants collected payments from her that they had no right to do. Defendants argue that various documents recorded in the Official Records of San Diego County from May 2010 show that Plaintiff fails to allege facts sufficient to state a claim for accounting. (Defs.’ Mot. 16:1-3.) Defendants are mistaken. As discussed above, a fundamental issue in this action is whether Defendants’ rights were properly assigned in accordance with the Trust Agreement in 2006. Plaintiff alleges facts that allows the Court to draw a reasonable inference that Defendants may be liable for various misconduct alleged. See Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949.

Bankers Using Foreclosure Judges to Force Investors into Bad Deals

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“Foreclosure judges don’t realize that they are entering orders and judgments on cases that are not in front of them or in which they have any jurisdiction. Foreclosure Judges are forcing bad loans down the throat of investors when the investor signed an agreement (PSA and prospectus) excluding that from happening. The problem is that most lawyers and pro se litigants don’t know enough to make that argument. The investor bought exclusively “good” loans. Foreclosure judges are shoving bad loans down their throats without notice or an opportunity to be heard. This is a classic case of necessary and indispensable parties being ignored.”

— Neil F Garfield, www.livinglies.me

Editor’s Comment:  About three times per week, something occurs to me about what is going on here and then I figure it out or get the information from someone else. The layers of the onion are endless. But this one is a showstopper. When I started blogging in October 2007 I thought the issue of necessary and indispensable parties John Does 1-1000 and Jane Roes 1-100 were important enough that it would slow if not stop foreclosures. The Does are the pension funds and other investors who thought that they were buying mortgage bonds and the Roes were the dozens of intermediaries in the securitization chain.

Of course we know that the Does never got their bond in most cases, and even if they did they received it issued from a “REMIC” vehicle that wasn’t a REMIC and which did not have any money or bonds before, during or after the transaction. Instead of following the requirements of the Prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement, the investment banker ignored the securitization documents (i.e., the agreement that induced the investor to advance the funds on a forward sale — i.e., sale of something the investment bank didn’t have yet). The money went from the investor into a Superfund escrow account. It is unclear as to whether the gigantic fees were taken out before or after the money went into the Superfund (my guess is that it was before). But one thing is clear — the partnership with other investors far larger than anything disclosed to the investors because the escrow account was from all investors and not for investors in each REMIC, which existed only in the imagination of the CDO manager at the investment bank that cooked this up.

We now know that in all but a scant few cases, the loan was (1) not documented properly in that it identified not the REMIC or the investor as the lender and creditor, but rather a naked straw-man that was a thinly capitalized or bankruptcy remote relationship and (2) the loan that was described in the documentation that the homeowner signed never occurred. The third thing, and the one I wish to elaborate on today, is that even if the note and mortgage were valid (i.e., referred to any actual transaction in which money exchanged hands between the parties to the agreements and documents that borrower signed) they never made it into the “pools” a/k/a REMICs, a/k/a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a/k/a/ Trust (of which there were none according to my research).

The fact that the loan never made it into the pool is what caused all the robo-signing, fabrication of documents, fraudulent documents, forgeries, misrepresentations and corruption of both the title system and the court system. Because if the loan never made it into the pool, the investment banker and all the intermediaries that were used were depending upon a transaction that never took place at the level of the investor, to wit: the loan was not in the pool, the originator didn’t lend the money and therefore was not the lender, and the “mortgage” or “Deed of trust” was useless because it was the tail of a tiger that did not exist — an enforceable note. This left the pools empty and the loan from the Superfund of thousands of investors who thought they were in separate REMICS (b) subject to nothing more than a huge general partnership agreement.

But that left the note and mortgage unenforceable because it should have (a) disclosed the lender and (b) disclosed the terms of the loan known to the lender and the terms of the loan known to the borrower. They didn’t match. The answer was that those loans HAD to be in those pools and Judges HAD to be convinced that this was the case, so we ended up with all those assignments, allonges, endorsements, forgeries, improper notarizations etc. Most Judges were astute enough to understand that the documents were fabricated. But they felt that since the loan was valid, the note was real, the mortgage was enforceable, the issues of where the loan was amounted to internal bookkeeping and they were not about to deliver to borrowers a “free house.”  In a nutshell, most Judges feel that they are not going to let the borrower off scott free just because a document was created or executed improperly.

What Judges did not realize is that they were adjudicating the rights of persons who were not in the room, not in the building, and in fact did not even know the city in which these proceedings were being prosecuted much less the fact that the proceedings even existed. The entry of an order presuming or stating that the loan was in fact in the pool was the Judge’s stamp of approval on a major breach of the Prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement. It forced bad loans down the throat of the investors when their agreement with the investment banker was quite the contrary. In the agreements the cut-off was 90 days after closing and required a fully performing mortgage that was originated utilizing industry standards for due diligence and underwriting. None of those things happened. And each time a Judge enters an order in favor of for example U.S. Bank, as trustee for JP Morgan Chase Bank Trust 1234, the Judge is adjudicating the essential deal between the investor and the investment banker, forcing the investor to accept bad loans at the wrong time.

Forcing the investors to accept bad loans into their pools, probably to the exclusion of the good loans, created a pot of s–t instead of a pot of gold. It isn’t that the investor was not owed money from the investment banker and that the money from the investment banker was supposed to come from borrowers. It is that the pool of actual money sidestepped the REMIC document structure and created a huge general partnership, the governance of which is unknown.

By sidestepping the securitization document structure and the agreements, terms, conditions and provisions therein, the investment banker was able, for his own purposes, to claim ownership of the loans for as long as it took to buy insurance making the investment banker the insured and payee. But the fact is that the investment banker was at all times in an agent/fiduciary relationship with the investor and ALL the proceeds of ALL insurance, Credit Default Swaps, guarantees, and credit enhancements were required to be applied FIRST to the obligation to the investor. In turn the investor, as the real creditor, would have reduced the amount due from the borrower on each residential loan. This means that the accounting from the Master Servicer is essential to knowing the actual amount due, if any, under the original transaction between the borrower and the investors.

Maybe “management” would now be construed as a committee of “trustees” for the REMICs each of whom was given the right to manage at the beginning of the PSA and prospectus and then saw it taken away as one reads further and further into the securitization documents. But regardless of who or what controls the management of the pool or general partnership (majority of partners is my guess) they must be disclosed and they must be represented in each and every foreclosure and Trustees on deeds of trust are creating huge liability for themselves by accepting assignments of bad loans after the cut-off date as evidence of ownership fo the loan. The REMIC lacked the authority to accept the bad loan and it lacked the authority to accept a loan that was assigned after the cutoff date.

Based upon the above, if this isn’t a case where necessary and indispensable parties is the key issue, I do not know of one — and I won the book award in procedure when I was in law school besides practicing trial law for over 30 years.

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Alabama Appeals Court Slams U.S. Bank Down on “Magic” Fabricated Allonge

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NY Trust Law — PSA Violation is FATAL

RE: Congress (yes that is really her name) versus U.S. Bank 2100934

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

Editor’s Comment:

Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism has it right in the article below and you should not only read it but study it. The following are my comments in addition to the well written analysis on Naked Capitalism.

  1. Alabama is a very conservative state that has consistently disregarded issues regarding the rules of evidence and civil procedure until this decision from the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals was handed down on June 8, 2012. Happy Birthday, Brother! This court has finally recognized (a) that documents are fabricated shortly before hearings and (b) that it matters. They even understand WHY it matters.
  2. Judges talk to teach other both directly and indirectly. Sometimes it almost amounts to ex parte contact because they are actually discussing the merits of certain arguments as it would effect cases that are currently pending in front of them. I know of reports where Judges have stated in open Court in Arizona that they have spoken with other Judges and DECIDED that they are not going to give relief to deadbeat borrowers. So this decision in favor of the borrower, where a fabricated “Allonge” was used only a couple of days before the hearing is indicative that they are starting to change their thinking and that the deadbeats might just be the pretender lenders.
  3. But they missed the fact that an allonge is not an instrument that transfers anything. It is not a bill of sale, assignment or anything else like that. It is and always has been something added to a previously drafted instrument that adds, subtracts or changes terms. See my previous article last week on Allonges, Assignments and Endorsements.
  4. What they DID get is that under New York law, the manager or trustee of a so-called REMIC, SPV or “Trust” cannot do anything contrary to the instrument that appointed the manager or trustee to that position. This is of enormous importance. We have been saying on these pages and in my books that it is not possible for the trustee or manager of the “pool” to accept a loan into the pool if it violates the terms expressly stated in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement. If the cut-off date was three years ago then it can’t be accepted. If the loan is in default already then it cannot be accepted. So not only is this allonge being rejected, but any actual attempt to assign the instrument into the “pool” is also rejected.
  5. What that means is that like any contract there are three basic elements — offer, consideration and acceptance. The offer is clear enough, even if it is from a party who doesn’t own the loan. The consideration is at best muddy because there are no records to show that the REMIC or the parties to the REMIC (investors) ever funded the loan through the REMIC. And the acceptance is absolutely fatal because no investor would agree or did agree to accept loans that were already in default.
  6. The other thing I agree with and would expand is the whole notion of the burden of proof. In this case we are still dealing with a burden of proof on the homeowner instead of the pretender lender. But the door is open now to start talking about the burden of proof. Here, the Court simply stated that the burden of proof imposed by the trial judge should have been by a preponderance (over 50%) of the evidence instead of clear and convincing (somewhere around 80%) of the evidence. So if it is more likely than not that the instrument was fabricated, the document will NOT be accepted into evidence. The next thing to work on is putting the burden of proof on the party seeking affirmative relief — i.e., the one seeking to take the home through foreclosure. If you align the parties properly, all of the other procedural problems disappear. That will leave questions regarding admissible evidence (another time).
  7. Keep in mind that this decision will have rumbling effects throughout Alabama and other states but it is only persuasive, not authoritative. So the fact that this appellate court made this decision does not mean you win in your case in Arizona.
  8. But it can be used to say “Judge, I know how the bench views these defenses and claims. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that the party seeking to foreclose is now and always was a pretender. And further, it is equally apparent that they are submitting fabricated and forged documents. 
  9. ‘More importantly, they are trying to get you to participate in a fraudulent scheme they pursued against the investors who advanced money without any proper documentation. This Alabama Appellate Court understands, now that they have read the Pooling and Servicing Agreement, that it simply is not possible for the investors to be forced into accepting a defaulted loan long after the cut-off date established in the PSA.
  10. ‘If you rule for the pretender creditor here you are doing two things: (1) you are providing these pretenders with the argument that there is a judicial ruling requiring the innocent investors to take the defaulted loan and suffer the losses when they never had any interest in the loan before and (2) you are allowing and encouraging a party who is not a creditor and never was a creditor to submit a credit bid at auction in lieu of cash thus stealing the property from both the homeowner and in violation of their agency or duty to the investors.
  11. ‘This Court and hundreds of others across the country are reading these documents now. And what they are finding is that pension funds and other regulated managed funds were tricked into buying non-existent assets through a bogus mortgage bond. The offer and promise made to these investors, upon whom millions of pensioners depend to make ends meet, was that these were industry standard loans in good standing. None of that was true and it certainly isn’t true now. Yet they want you to rule that you can force investors from another state or country to accept these loans even though they are either worthless or worth substantially less than the amount represented at the time of the transaction where the investment banker took the money from the investor and put it into a giant escrow fund without regard to the REMIC’s existence.

We don’t deny the existence of an obligation, but we do deny that this trickster should be given the proceeds of ill-gotten gains. The actual creditors should be given an opportunity to reject non-conforming loans that are submitted after the cut-off date and are therefore indispensable parties to this transaction.”

Alabama Appeals Court Reverses Decision on Chain of TitleCase, Ruling Hinges on Question of Bogus Allonges

In a unanimous decision, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals reversed a lower court decision on a foreclosure case, U.S. Bank v. Congress and remanded the case to trial court.

We’d flagged this case as important because to our knowledge, it was the first to argue what we call the New York trust theory, namely, that the election to use New York law in the overwhelming majority of mortgage securitizations meant that the parties to the securitization could operate only as stipulated in the pooling and servicing agreement that created that particular deal. Over 100 years of precedents in New York have produced well settled case law that deems actions outside what the trustee is specifically authorized to do as “void acts” having no legal force. The rigidity of New York trust has serious implications for mortgage securitizations. The PSAs required that the notes (the borrower IOUs) be transferred to the trust in a very specific fashion (endorsed with wet ink signatures through a particular set of parties) before a cut-off date, which typically was no later than 90 days after the trust closing. The problem is, as we’ve described in numerous posts, that there appears to have been massive disregard in the securitization for complying with the contractual requirements that they established and appear to have complied with, at least in the early years of the securitization industry. It’s difficult to know when the breakdown occurred, but it appears that well before 2004-2005, many subprime originators quit bothering with the nerdy task of endorsing notes and completing assignments as the PSAs required; they seemed to take the position they could do that right before foreclosure. Indeed, that’s kosher if the note has not been securitized, but as indicated above, it is a no-go with a New York trust. There is no legal way to remedy the problem after the fact.

The solution in the Congress case appears to have been a practice that has since become troublingly become common: a fabricated allonge. An allonge is an attachment to a note that is so firmly affixed that it can’t travel separately. The fact that a note was submitted to the court in the Congress case and an allonge that fixed all the problems appeared magically, on the eve of trial, looked highly sus. The allonge also contained signatures that looked less than legitimate: they were digitized (remember, signatures as supposed to be wet ink) and some were shrunk to fit signature lines. These issues were raised at trial by Congress’s attorneys, but the fact that the magic allonge appeared the Thursday evening before Memorial Day weekend 2011 when the trial was set for Tuesday morning meant, among other things, that defense counsel was put on the back foot (for instance, how do you find and engage a signature expert on such short notice? Answer, you can’t).

The case was ruled in favor of the US Bank, in a narrow and strained opinion (which was touted as significant by reliable securitization industry booster Paul Jackson). It argued that the case was an ejectment action (the final step to get the borrower out after the foreclosure was final) so that, per securitization expert, Georgetown law professor Adam Levitin,

..the question of ownership of the note was not an issue of standing, but an affirmative defense for which the homeowner had the burden of proof…Crazy or not, however, this meant that the homeowner wasn’t actually challenging the trust’s standing. From there it was a small step for the court to say that the homeowner couldn’t invoke the terms of the PSA because she wasn’t a party to it…..

The case has been remanded back to trial court, and the judges put the issue of the allonge front and center.

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OCC Issuing Alert to Consumers About Independent Foreclosure Reviews

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The OCC is rolling out its first public service announcements to alert consumers about the Independent Foreclosure Review announced by it, the Fed, and the OTS in early November.  The campaign follows the distribution of over 4 million letters to potentially eligible borrowers which include forms for submitting requests and instructions on how to use them.

The public service materials include a feature story and two 30-second radio spots in English and Spanish.  These will be distributed to 7,000 small newspapers and 6,500 radio stations throughout the U.S. The announcements inform consumers of the specifics of the program which lets borrowers who faced foreclosure during 2009 or 2010 request reviews of their cases if they believe errors in the procedures used by servicers pursuing foreclosure actions caused them to suffer financial loss. 

The parameters for determining eligibility are explained and borrowers are directed to a starting point for their requests.  Over 20 of the largest servicing companies are mandated to offer and process the reviews:  America’s Servicing Company, Aurora Loan Services, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, Citi Mortgage, Country-Wide, EMC, EverBank/Everhome, Freedom Financial, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Ser vices, MetLife Bank, National City, PNC, Sovereign Bank, Sun-Trust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo.

US BANK SLAMMED FOR FALSE PLEADINGS

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Schack doesn’t say the pleadings were false but the inference is obvious. The documents submitted were fabricated, forged and false. US Bank couldn’t come up with something better. And the lawyers for US Bank balked at signing an affirmation of the pleadings and exhibits, as required under New York State law.

From my seat it looks like this: if it is US Bank, the pleadings and representations are most likely living lies.

The implications are obvious. Homeowners who were “foreclosed” and/or evicted by US Bank probably have a right to go back into court and make their case for damages and recovery of the property, clearing title by a lawsuit for quiet title.

NYSC Judge Schack Slams Foreclosure Firm Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C. “Conflicted Robosigner Kim Stewart”

SEE FULL ARTICLE ON STOPFORECLOSURE FRAUD.COM

NYSC Judge Schack Slams Foreclosure Firm Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C. “Conflicted Robosigner Kim Stewart”

Decided on December 12, 2011

Supreme Court, Kings County

U.S. Bank, N.A., Plaintiff,

against

Wayne Ramjit et al., Defendants.

17027/08 Plaintiff Rosicki Rosicki and Associates

Batavia NY

Arthur M. Schack, J.

In this foreclosure action, plaintiff, U.S. BANK N.A. (U.S. BANK), moved for an order of reference and related relief for the premises located at 1485 Sutter Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4259, Lot 22, County of Kings). For the Court to consider the motion for an order of reference, I ordered plaintiff’s counsel, Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., on July 29, 2011, to comply with the October 20, 2010 Administrative Order of then Chief Administrative Judge Ann T. Pfau, as revised on March 2, 2011, and concluded that:

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that plaintiff U.S. BANK N. A.’s motion for an

order of reference and related relief for the premises located at 1485

Sutter Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4259, Lot 22, County of

Kings) and the instant foreclosure action will be dismissed with

prejudice, unless, within sixty (60) days from this decision and order,

counsel for plaintiff, U.S. BANK N.A., complies with the new Rule,

promulgated by the Chief Administrative Judge Ann T. Pfau on

October 20, 2010, as revised on March 2, 2011, by submitting an

affirmation, to my Chambers (not the Foreclosure Department), [*2]

360 Adams Street, Room 478, Brooklyn, NY 11201, using the new

standard Court form, pursuant to CPLR Rule 2106 and under the

penalties of perjury, that counsel for plaintiff, U.S. BANK N.A., has

“based upon my communications [with named representative or

representatives of plaintiff], as well as upon my own inspection and

reasonable inquiry under the circumstances . . . that to the best of

my knowledge, information and belief, the Summons, Complaint and

other papers filed or submitted to the Court in this matter contain no

false statements of fact or law”, and is “aware of my obligations under

New York Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR Part 1200) and

22 NYCRR Part 130.”

On September 23, 2011, plaintiff’s counsel, Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., filed with the Court the instant motion, requesting an extension of thirty (30) days, up to and including October 26, 2011, to submit the required attorney’s affirmation.

According to ¶ 15 of the affirmation in support of the motion, by Timothy Menasco, Esq., of Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., “plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel has been actively reviewing the file in order to properly abide by said Administrative Order creating the delay in submission of the affirmation.” Mr. Menasco then states, in ¶ 16 of his affirmation, “[i]t is unduly harsh and inappropriate to dismiss this action, on the basis of a delay in submitting an affirmation to the court.”

Plaintiff’s counsel, Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., continued, for reasons unknown and not satisfactorily explained to the Court, to not comply with the Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge and my July 28, 2011 order. I have not received the affirmation from plaintiff’s counsel, as ordered by the Chief Administrative Judge’s Administrative Order and my previous order.

Today, plaintiff U.S. BANK’S instant motion to extend the time to file the required attorney’s affirmation, appeared on my motion calendar. It is one hundred thirty-seven (137) days since I issued my July 28, 2011 order and four hundred eighteen (418) days since the Chief Administrative Judge issued her Administrative Order. Therefore, for violation of these orders, the instant foreclosure action is dismissed with prejudice and the notice of pendency is cancelled and discharged.

Discussion

The Office of Court Administration issued a press release on October 20, 2010 explaining the reasons for the Administrative Ordered issued that day by Chief Administrative Judge Pfau. It stated:

The New York State court system has instituted a new filing

requirement in residential foreclosure cases to protect the integrity

of the foreclosure process and prevent wrongful foreclosures. Chief

Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced that plaintiff’s counsel in

foreclosure actions will be required to file an affirmation certifying

that counsel has taken reasonable steps — including inquiry to banks

and lenders and careful review of the papers filed in the case — to

verify the accuracy of documents filed in support of residential [*3]

foreclosures. The new filing requirement was introduced by the

Chief Judge in response to recent disclosures by major mortgage

lenders of significant insufficiencies — including widespread deficiencies

in notarization and “robosigning” of supporting documents — in

residential foreclosure filings in courts nationwide. The new requirement

is effective immediately and was created with the approval of the

Presiding Justices of all four Judicial Departments.

Chief Judge Lippman said, “We cannot allow the courts in

New York State to stand by idly and be party to what we now know

is a deeply flawed process, especially when that process involves

basic human needs — such as a family home — during this period of

economic crisis. This new filing requirement will play a vital role in

ensuring that the documents judges rely on will be thoroughly examined,

accurate, and error-free before any judge is asked to take the drastic step

of foreclosure.” [Emphasis added]

(See Gretchen Morgenson and Andrew Martin, Big Legal Clash on Foreclosure is Taking Shape, New York Times, Oct. 21, 2010; Andrew Keshner, New Court Rules Says Attorneys Must Verify Foreclosure Papers, NYLJ, Oct. 21, 2010).

The failure of plaintiff’s counsel, Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., to comply with two court orders, my July 28, 2011 and Chief Administrative Judge Pfau’s October 20, 2010 order, as revised on March 2, 2011, demonstrates delinquent conduct by Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C. This mandates the dismissal with prejudice of the instant action. Failure to comply with court-ordered time frames must be taken seriously. It cannot be ignored. There are consequences for ignoring court orders. Recently, on December 16, 2010, the Court of Appeals, in Gibbs v St. Barnabas Hosp., 16 NY3d 74, 81 [2010], instructed:

As this Court has repeatedly emphasized, our court system is

dependent on all parties engaged in litigation abiding by the rules of

proper practice (see e.g. Brill v City of New York, 2 NY3d 748 [2004];

Kihl v Pfeffer, 94 NY2d 118 [1999]). The failure to comply with

deadlines not only impairs the efficient functioning of the courts and

the adjudication of claims, but it places jurists unnecessarily in the

position of having to order enforcement remedies to respond to the

delinquent conduct of members of the bar, often to the detriment of

the litigants they represent. Chronic noncompliance with deadlines

breeds disrespect for the dictates of the Civil Practice Law and Rules

and a culture in which cases can linger for years without resolution.

Furthermore, those lawyers who engage their best efforts to comply

with practice rules are also effectively penalized because they must

somehow explain to their clients why they cannot secure timely [*4]

responses from recalcitrant adversaries, which leads to the erosion

of their attorney-client relationships as well. For these reasons, it

is important to adhere to the position we declared a decade ago that

[i]f the credibility of court orders and the integrity of our judicial

system are to be maintained, a litigant cannot ignore court orders

with impunity [Emphasis added].” (Kihl, 94 NY2d at 123).

Despite Mr. Menasco’s assertion, it is not unduly harsh and inappropriate to

dismiss the instant action because of the delay by plaintiff’s counsel, Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C. to submit the required affirmation. “Litigation cannot be conducted efficiently if deadlines are not taken seriously, and we make clear again, as we have several times before, that disregard of deadlines should not and will not be tolerated (see Miceli v State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 3 NY3d 725 [2004]; Brill v City of New York, 2 NY3d 748 [2004]; Kihl v Pfeffer, 94 NY2d 118 [1999]) [Emphasis added].” (Andrea v Arnone, Hedin, Casker, Kennedy and Drake, Architects and Landscape Architects, P.C., 5 NY3d 514, 521 [2005]).As we made clear in Brill, and underscore here, statutory time frames —like court-order time frames (see Kihl v Pfeffer, 94 NY2d 118 [1999]) — are not options, they are requirements, to be taken seriously by the parties. Too many pages of the Reports, and hours of the courts, are taken up with deadlines that are simply ignored [Emphasis added].” (Miceli, 3 NY3d at 726-726). The Court cannot wait for plaintiff’s counsel, Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., to take its time in complying with court mandates.

Moreover, even if plaintiff U.S. BANK’s counsel complied in a timely manner

with my July 28, 2011 order and the order of the Chief Administrative Judge, plaintiff U.S. BANK would have to address its use, in the instant action, of conflicted robosigner Kim Stewart. The instant mortgage and note, were executed on October 11, 2007 and recorded on December 10, 2007, by MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATIONS SYSTEM, INC. (MERS), “acting solely as a nominee for Lender [U.S. BANK]” and “FOR PURPOSES OF RECORDING THIS MORTGAGE, MERS IS THE MORTGAGEE OF RECORD,” in the Office of the City Register of the City of New York, at City Register File Number (CRFN) 2007000605594. Then on May 23, 2008, MERS assigned the instant mortgage and note back to U.S. BANK. This was recorded on July 24, 2008. in the Office of the City Register of the City of New York, at CRFN 2008000294495.

The assignment was executed for MERS, in Owensboro, Kentucky, by Kim Stewart, Assistant Secretary of MERS, as assignor. The very same Kim Stewart, as Assistant Vice President of assignee U.S. BANK, on April 13, 2009, also in Owensboro, Kentucky, executed the affidavit of merit for an order of reference in the instant action.She signed the affidavit of merit as Assistant Vice President of plaintiff U.S. BANK. However, in ¶ 1 of her affidavit of merit, Ms. Stewart alleges to “a Vice President of U.S. BANK, N.A., the plaintiff.”

Perhaps, plaintiff U.S. BANK and its counsel, Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., do not want the Court to confront the conflicted Ms. Stewart? This would certainly contradict the disingenuous opening statement by Richard K. Davis, Chairman, President and Chief Executive [*5]Officer of U.S. BANCORP, (U.S. BANK’s parent corporation), in his cover letter to the 2010 Annual Report of U.S. BANCORP, sent to U.S BANCORP’s shareholders. Mr. Davis stated that “[t]hroughout its history, U.S. Bancorp has operated with a tradition of uncompromising honesty and integrity.”

Further, the dismissal of the instant foreclosure action requires the cancellation of the notice of pendency. CPLR § 6501 provides that the filing of a notice of pendency against a property is to give constructive notice to any purchaser of real property or encumbrancer against real property of an action that “would affect the title to, or the possession, use or enjoyment of real property, except in a summary proceeding brought to recover the possession of real property.” The Court of Appeals, in 5308 Realty Corp. v O & Y Equity Corp. (64 NY2d 313, 319 [1984]), commented that “[t]he purpose of the doctrine was to assure that a court retained its ability to effect justice by preserving its power over the property, regardless of whether a purchaser had any notice of the pending suit,” and, at 320, that “the statutory scheme permits a party to effectively retard the alienability of real property without any prior judicial review.”

CPLR § 6514 (a) provides for the mandatory cancellation of a notice of pendency by:

The Court,upon motion of any person aggrieved and upon such

notice as it may require, shall direct any county clerk to cancel

a notice of pendency, if service of a summons has not been completed

within the time limited by section 6512; or if the action has been

settled, discontinued or abated; or if the time to appeal from a final

judgment against the plaintiff has expired; or if enforcement of a

final judgment against the plaintiff has not been stayed pursuant

to section 551. [emphasis added]

The plain meaning of the word “abated,” as used in CPLR § 6514 (a) is the ending of an action. “Abatement” is defined as “the act of eliminating or nullifying.” (Black’s Law Dictionary 3 [7th ed 1999]). “An action which has been abated is dead, and any further enforcement of the cause of action requires the bringing of a new action, provided that a cause of action remains (2A Carmody-Wait 2d § 11.1).” (Nastasi v Nastasi, 26 AD3d 32, 40 [2d Dept 2005]). Further, Nastasi at 36, held that the “[c]ancellation of a notice of pendency can be granted in the exercise of the inherent power of the court where its filing fails to comply with CPLR § 6501 (see 5303 Realty Corp. v O & Y Equity Corp., supra at 320-321; Rose v Montt Assets, 250 AD2d 451, 451-452 [1d Dept 1998]; Siegel, NY Prac § 336 [4th ed]).” Thus, the dismissal of the instant complaint must result in the mandatory cancellation of plaintiff U.S. BANK’s notice of pendency against the subject property “in the exercise of the inherent power of the court.”

Conclusion

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that the instant action, Index Number 17027/08, is dismissed with

prejudice; and it is further

ORDERED that the Notice of Pendency in this action, filed with the Kings

County Clerk on June 16, 2008, by plaintiff, U.S. BANK, N.A., to foreclose on a mortgage for real property located at 1485 Sutter Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (Block 4259, Lot 22, County [*6]of Kings), is cancelled and discharged.

This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.

ENTER

________________________________HON. ARTHUR M. SCHACK

Cal. BKR: No Trust Identified, No Relief From Stay

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PRO SE LITIGANT NAILS US BANK — NDEX WEST SHELL GAME

see in RE Deamicis – Real Party in Interest – For Publication

NOTABLE QUOTES FROM CASE:

“A motion for relief from the automatic stay must be prosecuted by the real party in interest… “party in interest” under section 362 must be determined on a case by case basis, with reference to the interest asserted and how that interest is affected by the automatic stay.” [Court refers to In re Veal, 9th Circuit, BAP 2011].

“The problem with this Motion lies in the fact that three different proceedings have now been prosecuted in the state court and in this bankruptcy court by three different entities.

“If USBNA was the wrong party to bring the first 362 motion, then by the same logic the court is not persuaded that the Terwin Trust is the right party to enforce the U.D. Judgment which was not issued in its name.

“The Terwin Trust offers no evidence to suggest that the entity identified in the court pleadings and the U.D. Judgment as “U.S. Bank National Association as indenture Trustee” even exists separate from the specific trust(s) for which it is supposed to serve.” (e.s.)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

By Dan Edstrom, Senior Securitization Analyst, Livinglies

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.  This email contains my opinions and is for educational purposes only.

This case is HUGE for what it says, which is exactly what Jim Macklin and I have been saying.  In my (non-legal) opinion, California Civil Code 1558 applies (although it was not mentioned directly in this case).  This case will have an impact in a HUGE number of cases where loans were securitized.  This is because in a large number of cases we have analyzed (including our own cases), no trust is identified.  Or where a “trust” is identified, the name given is not the actual name of any trust.  In many cases they list the names of the certificates and not the legal name of the trust.

This case shows that you should focus on these issues where they apply.  Also remember that where a trust is private, there is no publicly available document showing that the trust was actually created.  In my opinion, without presenting the trust document (Pooling and Servicing Agreement, Trust Agreement, etc.), there is no proof that the trust itself actually exists.  For the in RE Deamicis case, the trust is a private trust and the documents showing that the trust was formed and constituted are not available through the SEC.  So even if they somehow overcome the obstacles in front of them now, they will have to prove the trust itself exists and what it can actually do (capacity).

Speaking of where they apply, in Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie cases this is HUGE.  Because they each securitized the loans and do not even identify that a trust actually exists.

In my case I have an assignment of my loan from Mortgage Lenders Network (the originator) to US Bank, NA as Trustee by Residential Funding Company, LLC FKA Residential Funding Corporation Attorney in Fact.  How this would relate to the trust my loan was allegedly conveyed to is beyond my understanding.  The name of the Trust is RASC Series 2005-EMX4.  Residential Funding was the sponsor of the trust.  The attorney in fact is (allegedly) Wells Fargo Bank.  By failing to identify the trust, this assignment is meaningless.

I have a 2nd assignment done some 5 months later.  The assignment this time was from Mortgage Lenders Network to U S Bank NA, as Trustee.  This time they completely changed it, but it is still meaningless.  Plus they never rescinded the first assignment.

My Substitution of Trustee was done by “Wells Fargo Bank NA, attorney in fact for U S Bank National Association, as Trustee” …   Again, a meaningless entry that fails to actual name any entity.

Attached is this case, plus my two assignments and my Substitution of Trustee for reference.

see Assignment of Deed of Trustsee Assignment_07_15_2009

see Notice_of_Substitution_page2

[EDITOR’S NOTE: THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT WAS PROBABLY ROBO-SIGNED. The substitution of trustee, a document often just glanced over, tells a story that will plague  the banks and those in the title business for decades unless the truth be known and told, to wit: Edstrom, homeowner, signed a deed of trust to MERS and his original “lender.” The substitution is signed by (probably robo-signed, forged in other words) Karen Abernathy as “assistant secretary.” (A sure sign of robo-signing is when someone is identified as “assistant secretary” on a document as important as substitution of trustee with the power of sale over hundreds of thousands of dollars in real property.

Karen Abernathy is thus said to have signed this document and is said to be an assistant secretary. The question is “assistant secretary to what and to whom?” It doesn’t say. Above her signature is Wells Fargo Bank, NA, but it is not saying it is acting as a bank. It says it is acting as “attorney in fact.” Any title writer will tell you that without the written power of attorney in recordable form, that signature is worthless. It immediately clouds and probably slanders the title of Edstrom.

But it doesn’t stop there. Karen Abernathy, assistant secretary to somebody somewhere is signing on the signature line for Wells Fargo who in turn is signing for “U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee.” The question first is “Who is U.S. Bank, and since they are not appearing as a bank, but instead appearing as “trustee” what is the name of the trust for whom they are signing” (see above case). Is U.S. Bank., Trustee an actual entity? The answer is no it isn’t unless it identifies the Trust, which this document does not.

But wait, there’s more. There is nothing in the document that recites the authority of US Bank, Wells Fargo or Karen Abernathy to sign anything in this chain of title since before this time none of them were mentioned anywhere in the chain of title. So what we have here is a document that looks official but says nothing. And that means that ALL ACTIONS FLOWING FROM THE “SUBSTITUTION OF TRUSTEE” ARE VOID, WHETHER IT IS FORECLOSURE, EVICTION, SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE OR SALE OF PROPERTY TO A THIRD PARTY AFTER A SUPPOSED AUCTION SALE WHICH WAS ALSO NOT REAL.

By the way this judge HAMMERED Ruth in the beginning, basically telling her she was crazy and she could not list the property as part of her estate.  She has been fighting all of her cases in pro per and objecting like crazy – and now it has paid off.  But she still needs a good lawyer.  When Wells Fargo changed their mind as to who the real party in interest was (I think this was a case in Mass. or somewhere on the East coast), they were sanctioned $800,000).Thank you,
Daniel Edstrom
DTC-Systems

Judge Bashes Bank in Foreclosure Case: “Criminal Probe in Florida.”

Judge Bashes Bank and Stern Law Firm in Foreclosure Case

By AMIR EFRATI

A Florida state-court judge, in a rare ruling, said a major national bank perpetrated a “fraud” in a foreclosure lawsuit, raising questions about how banks are attempting to claim homes from borrowers in default.

The ruling, made last month in Pasco County, Fla., comes amid increased scrutiny of foreclosures by the prosecutors and judges in regions hurt by the recession. Judges have said in hearings they are increasingly concerned that banks are attempting to seize properties they don’t own.

The Florida case began in December 2007 when U.S. Bank N.A. sued a homeowner, Ernest E. Harpster, after he defaulted on a $190,000 loan he received in January of that year.

The Law Offices of David J. Stern, which represented the bank, prepared a document called an “assignment of mortgage” showing that the bank received ownership of the mortgage in December 2007. The document was dated December 2007.

But after investigating the matter, Circuit Court Judge Lynn Tepper ruled that the document couldn’t have been prepared until 2008. Thus, she ruled, the bank couldn’t prove it owned the mortgage at the time the suit was filed.

The document filed by the plaintiff, Judge Tepper wrote last month, “did not exist at the time of the filing of this action…was subsequently created and…fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead.” She dismissed the case.

Forrest McSurdy, a lawyer at the David Stern firm that handled the U.S. Bank case, said the mistake was due to “carelessness.” The mortgage document was initially prepared and signed in 2007 but wasn’t notarized until months later, he said. After discovering similar problems in other foreclosure cases, he said, the firm voluntarily withdrew the suits and later re-filed them using appropriate documents.

“Judges get in a whirl about technicalities because the courts are overwhelmed,” he said. “The merits of the cases are the same: people aren’t paying their mortgages.”

Steve Dale, a spokesman for U.S. Bank, said the company played a passive role in the matter because it represents investors who own a mortgage-securities trust that includes the Harpster loan. He said a division of Wells Fargo & Co., which collected payments from Mr. Harpster, initiated the foreclosure on behalf of the investors.

Wells Fargo said in a statement it “does not condone, accept, nor instruct counsel to take actions such as those taken in this case.” The company said it was “troubled” by the “conclusions the Court found as to the actions of this foreclosure attorney. We will review these circumstances closely and take appropriate action as necessary.”

Since the housing crisis began several years ago, judges across the U.S. have found that documents submitted by banks to support foreclosure claims were wrong. Mistakes by banks and their representatives have also led to an ongoing federal criminal probe in Florida.

Some of the problems stem from the difficulty banks face in proving they own the loans, thanks to the complexity of the mortgage market.

The Florida ruling against U.S. Bank was also a critique of law firms that handle foreclosure cases on behalf of banks, dubbed “foreclosure mills.”

Lawyers operating foreclosure mills often are paid based on the volume of cases they complete. Some receive $1,000 per case, court records show. Firms compete for business in part based on how quickly they can foreclose. The David Stern firm had about 900 employees as of last year, court records show.

“The pure volume of foreclosures has a tendency perhaps to encourage sloppiness, boilerplate paperwork or a lack of thoroughness” by attorneys for banks, said Judge Tepper of Florida, in an interview. The deluge of foreclosures makes the process “fraught with potential for fraud,” she said.

At an unrelated hearing in a separate matter last week, Anthony Rondolino, a state-court judge in St. Petersburg, Fla., said that an affidavit submitted by the David Stern law firm on behalf of GMAC Mortgage LLC in a foreclosure case wasn’t necessarily sufficient to establish that GMAC was the owner of the mortgage.

“I don’t have any confidence that any of the documents the Court’s receiving on these mass foreclosures are valid,” the judge said at the hearing.

A spokesman for GMAC declined to comment and a lawyer at the David Stern firm declined to comment.

Write to Amir Efrati at amir.efrati@wsj.com

Forensic Analysis: Unions Amass Armory of Research on Foreclosures of Securitized Mortgages

“We did not service the loan,” Mr. Dale said. “We did not originate the loan, and we were not the financial entity that placed it into foreclosure. Do you understand what a trustee does?”
Editor’s Note: Well, Yes Mr. Dale, we do understand what a trustee does and can do —- nothing. So why are you initiating foreclosures if you say that a trustee doesn’t do that?
Mr. Dale is reading from the end of the enabling documents instead of the first page where it looks like Trustee is really a trustee and that there really is a trust and that the trust holds assets. But by the time you read to the end of the document, the trustee is not a trustee, there is no trust and even if there was, there is nothing in the trust.
It is all an illusion. The “Trustee” is a “contingent agent” for a “conduit” (REMIC) that holds nothing. The enabling document is nothing more than the equivalent of an operating agreement in an LLC.
The “pool of loans” is owned by the investors who, as creditors, purchased mortgage backed derivative securities whose value is derived SOLELY from the promise to pay executed by the homeowners.
March 24, 2010

Unions Make Strides as They Attack Banks

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE and LOUISE STORY

When the city of Los Angeles started looking into its complex financial contracts with banks earlier this year, some council members turned to an unusual corner for financial advice: labor unions.

Turns out that union leaders had amassed an armory of research on derivatives, mortgage foreclosures and even Wall Street pay as part of their effort to hold bankers accountable for the economic pain they helped cause in Los Angeles and across the country.

Unions have criticized Wall Street before. But their attacks have taken on a new shape, both in ferocity and style, over the last 18 months, ever since the federal government doled out billions of dollars in bank bailouts.

Why? Labor leaders say the fortunes of banks and unions are linked more than people realize. Wall Street manages union pension portfolios worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Much of that is invested in financial institutions, giving unions a loud voice as shareholders.

Then there are all the unionized workers whose fates are indirectly shaped by the world of high finance. The jobs of hundreds of thousands of union members, like police officers and teachers, have been threatened by municipal budget cuts, made worse in some cases by exotic investments gone bad.

More abstractly, union leaders are framing their fight against Wall Street as a symbolic one, underscoring America’s large disparities in wealth and wages.

“Many unions see that they need to be responsible for not just members’ needs at the bargaining table, but other hardships in their lives, like foreclosures and high mortgage costs,” said Peter Dreier, a political science professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Unions are holding up many of their own members as victims of the banks’ bad bets, like subprime mortgages, and are providing a steady stream of research in an effort to demystify the exotic financial products that they say are harming dozens of cities. Unions have also helped underwrite Americans for Financial Reform, a prominent group pushing for further bank regulation.

Labor leaders were among the first to call for the resignation of Bank of America’s chief executive, who did retire months later. Unions issued a scathing report on bank bonuses, months before the federal pay czar presented his findings, and they criticized Goldman Sachs’s bonus pool just before the bank said its chief would receive only stock.

This month, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the nation’s main labor federation, has organized 200 protests nationwide to publicly shame bankers, calling for new taxes on bankers’ bonuses and on speculative short-term financial transactions — in the hope of collecting tens of billions of dollars to finance a job creation program.

“They played Russian roulette with our economy, and while Wall Street cashed in, they left Main Street holding the bag,” Richard L. Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president, said last Friday at a rally in Philadelphia. “They gorge themselves in a trough of taxpayers’ dollars, while we struggle to make ends meet.”

Labor is directly at odds with Wall Street on unionization drives and many other matters. Banks and private equity firms own stakes in many businesses that unions would like to unionize, like nursing home chains and food service companies. Labor groups like the Service Employees International Union and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. are pressuring financial companies not to oppose union membership drives.

It is hard to know for certain whether the unions’ efforts have affected decisions made by Wall Street firms. But for cities like Los Angeles, feeling the squeeze of lower tax receipts, the service employees’ pressure campaign seemed to have had an impact.

“They knew more about our own water deal than I knew,” said Richard Alarcón, a Los Angeles councilman, referring to an interest-rate swap between the city’s water system and the Bank of New York Mellon that converted the system’s variable-rate bonds into bonds with a fixed rate. “They also knew the dynamics of swap deals, and they were very helpful.”

As the city faces a deficit of nearly $500 million, the council was unhappy that Los Angeles would have to pay Bank of New York millions of dollars a year.

“Our members don’t like it any more than other Americans when cities have less firefighters, less teachers or less police officers,” said Andy Stern, president of the service employees’ union.

The labor protests against the banks sometimes have murky targets. This month, service employees joined community leaders on the City Hall steps in Oakland, Calif., to denounce Goldman Sachs for arranging interest-rate swaps that have the city paying the bank millions a year.

After that rally, union leaders led a march to a local Citigroup branch. Goldman declined to comment, but a Citigroup representative scoffed.

“We weren’t even involved in those deals,” said Alex Samuelson, a Citigroup spokesman. “We were just a symbolic place to go and rail against Wall Street. You can’t go to a Goldman Sachs branch.”

Many bankers criticize the protests, saying they make lots of noise but often accomplish little. Steve Bartlett, president of the industry’s Financial Services Roundtable, who has been the target of several union-led protests, including one outside his home on a Sunday morning, said, “Protests can be misguided or even damaging to your cause.”

While union leaders say they are championing the concerns of Main Street, their antibank campaign has certainly advanced some of labor’s longtime objectives, like unionizing workers.

For instance, the S.E.I.U. has pressed several banks and private equity firms to agree to allow card check — a process that makes unionization easier — at companies in which they own stakes.

Service employees officials say they urged Goldman Sachs, which owns part of the food service company Aramark, to get Aramark to accept card check and not oppose an organizing drive. In December, the union’s president, Mr. Stern, even met with Goldman’s chief executive, Lloyd C. Blankfein, about universal health care and other labor-related issues.

Labor unions are using some of their members’ hard-luck stories to frame their battle as one between the haves and the have-nots, and in some cases that tactic is advancing the unions’ traditional goals in contract talks.

In February, for example, the service employees’ union publicized that one of its members cleaned the office of U.S. Bank’s chief in Minneapolis. That janitor, Rosalina Gomez, was facing foreclosure, and the union publicized that U.S. Bank had purchased her home in the foreclosure.

Steve Dale, a spokesman for the bank, said the union was attacking U.S. Bank even though JPMorgan Chase was the bank servicing Ms. Gomez’s mortgage. U.S. Bank, he said, was just the trustee, holding the loan for a mortgage bond.

“We did not service the loan,” Mr. Dale said. “We did not originate the loan, and we were not the financial entity that placed it into foreclosure. Do you understand what a trustee does?”

That aside, when the union threatened to have Ms. Gomez approach U.S. Bank’s chief, Richard K. Davis, at an awards luncheon, the bank rushed to set up a meeting between Ms. Gomez and JPMorgan. Fifty union supporters were at the site of the luncheon to conduct a silent vigil, with several reporters on hand.

Also at that time, the union was in contract negotiations with Ms. Gomez’s employer, the janitorial company that cleans U.S. Bank’s headquarters. Javier Morillo-Alicea, a leader of the union’s Minneapolis local, said its effort to embarrass the bank helped persuade the cleaning company to reach a contract that raised wages and provided better health insurance for the janitors.

“We put a lot of pressure on the bank,” he said, “and that led to a really good contract settlement in a tough economy.”

TILA Rescission Revived Without Tender

Max Gardner’s Protoge Achieved This result as Reported Max’s Current Newsletter:

Editor’s Note: Most of what we have seen reported indicates that although TILA is clear in is legislative expression that NO TENDER is required for the rescission remedy under TILA, Judges don’t like it. It seems they feel that Big Bad Borrowers are taking advantage of Bambi Banks. Yet here is a case where the Judge DID apply the law as written.

TILA was written with teeth, but Judges are reluctant to apply it. Yet on its face TILA possesses the strongest remedy against predatory loan practices in existence. It allows the borrower to declare a rescission which requires the alleged lender to (a) step forward (which they don’t want to do) (b) file a satisfaction of mortgage and (c) negotiate return of the money, less of course any claims for damages that the borrower has claimed and can prove.

This comes back to the issue of the real creditor, the pretender lender etc. In the current environment, there is nobody around who actually has the authority to satisfy a mortgage. But TILA addresses that too. It says that by operation of law the security instrument is void not voidable. Thus the mortgage or deed of trust no longer applies because it is void even if it was properly recorded. In turn, this means the debt, if any, has been converted from secured to unsecured.

The bargaining power of the borrower cannot be overstated if this provision of TILA is applied. By eliminating the secured aspect of the mortgage, the loan is easily stripped down to fair market value less damages, attorneys fees, interest paid, etc. We can only hope that we see more application of law as written and less hip-shooting from the bench creating uncertainty and complexity where the law could not be more clear.

Defendant U.S. Bank, N.A., as Trustee for the LXS2007-4N Trust (“U.S. Bank”), seeks dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) of a complaint filed by plaintiff
homeowner Henry Botelho. Specifically, U.S. Bank claims that Botelho cannot state a claim for rescission of his mortgage loan under the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq., unless he alleges a present ability to tender the loan proceeds. As discussed in
further detail in the Order, such an allegation is not necessary for Botelho’s case to survive the pleading stage.
Accordingly, U.S. Bank’s motion is denied.
Hat tip to Boot Camp Grad Carmen Dellutri http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/
200814991.pdf

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