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Holder in Due Course and Due Process

The first thing I want to do is add to my previous comments. I believe there is an implicit admission of failure of consideration in any case where a holder in due course is not identified. In addition, where a REMIC trust not alleged or asserted to be a holder in due course it means by definition that they did not purchase the loan for value in good faith without knowledge of the defense of the “borrower” (maker of the note).

 

I believe that what this means is that any court that enters an order or judgment against the homeowner, who was the maker of the note, is implicitly entering an order or judgment against the trust beneficiaries and the trust, resulting in a loss of favorable tax status and just as importantly an economic loss directly resulting from being forced to accept a loan that is presumed to be in default. The failure of the trust to pay for the loan and receive delivery of the loan documents to the depositor leaves one with the question of “what is the relationship of the Trust to the subject loan?”

 

The same logic would apply regardless of whether the citizens trust is in dispute or not. There is circular logic in the argument of the bank. On the one hand they want to be seen as a holder with rights to enforce but on the other hand they don’t want to disclose, alleged, assert, or prove the foundation or source of the right to enforce.

 

Based upon the provisions and restrictions of the pooling and servicing agreement, the investors who purchased mortgage backed securities issued by the Trust were intended to be the collective creditor for loans that were accepted into the Trust. The acceptance is stated in the pooling and servicing agreement and the exhibits to the pooling and servicing agreement should have the loans that were accepted. After the cutoff period, the only way a loan could be accepted was by acceptance by the Trustee. And the only way there could be acceptance by the trustee would be upon receipt of an opinion letter from counsel for the trust stating that they would be no adverse effect on the beneficiaries. The adverse effects are clear. One is the loss of advantageous tax treatment and the other is the economic loss from accepting a loan does not conform to the types of loans that are acceptable to the trust, as per the terms of the pooling and servicing agreement.

 

Pooling and servicing agreement is the trust instrument. Since the pooling and servicing agreement is governed under the laws of the state of New York, a violation of the restrictions and provisions of the trust is void, not voidable. The acceptance of a loan that is in default is not possible. The acceptance of any transaction that would violate the terms of the Internal Revenue Code sections on REMIC Trusts is not possible.

 

Thus the hidden issue here is that the real parties in interest who will be affected by the outcome of the litigation have not been given any notice of the pendency of the action. And the provisions of the pooling and servicing agreement prevent the trust beneficiaries from knowing or even inquiring about the status of any particular loan.

 

The confusion comes from the fact that the investors are indeed the creditors in practice. But because the trust was actually not utilized in the transaction they are direct creditors whose money was used to fund origination or acquisition of loans, contrary to the subscription agreement which promised that their money would be given to the issuer of the mortgage-backed securities that were being issued and purchased by the investors.

 

It seems obvious that the trust cannot be held to have acted in bad faith. It is equally obvious that the trust would have no knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. As the only element left for a holder in due course is the purchase for value. Since there is no allegation that the trust is a holder in due course, the bank is admitting that the trust never purchased the loan. It may be presumed that the trust might have originated or purchased the loan if it had received the proceeds of sale of the mortgage-backed securities issued by the trust. The logical assumption is that the trust never received those proceeds. The logical assumption is that the underwriter used the funds in ways that were never contemplated by the investors.

 

A further logical assumption would be that the underwriter kept the funds in its own name or in the accounts of entities controlled by the underwriter and is operating contrary to the interests of the investors.

 

The logical conclusion would be that the underwriter conducted a series of disguised sales of the same loan to multiple parties. Since the mortgage-backed securities were issued in the name of the underwriter as nominee (“street name”) they were able to trade on the loan and securities in their own name and receive the benefits without accounting to the investors or the borrower. The allocation of third-party funds (servicers, insurers, guarantors etc.) cannot be determined except by reference to books and records in the exclusive care, custody and control of the parties involved in the claims of securitization. It may be fairly concluded that such claims are false.

 

Now I will address the issues presented as to constitutional disposition of the case. It has long been judicial doctrine to avoid constitutional issues if the case can otherwise be decided on other grounds. It is also true that equal protection has proved more difficult than due process as the basis of any relief.

 

The problem in foreclosure litigation is that it must in my opinion include a claim for both due process and equal protection. The claim for lack of due process is not technically true. The true claim, in my opinion, would be lack of sufficient due process.

 

In actuality due process varies from state to state and even from county to county. If a party has been heard in court and presented arguments, then it may be fairly concluded that some due process was provided to that party. If presumptions arise against that party that give rise to orders and judgments that are contrary to the actual facts, a claim for denial of due process could be present. But the better claim, in my opinion, is to look at the state appellate decisions to show that more due process is allowed to debtors who are not involved in foreclosure litigation. I think this is a more accurate description of the actual situation.

 

The due process argument is simple: presumptions are used as shorthand for the facts. In this case the facts don’t match up with the presumptions. The only question is whose burden of proof is it. If the allegation was that a holder in due course was known and identified there is no doubt that anything the borrower had to say would be an affirmative defense, and thus after a prima facie case was made showing payment in good faith without knowledge of borrower’s defenses, the burden would shift to the alleged borrower who definitely was the maker of the note even if they were not the borrower in a loan transaction with the designated “lender.”

 

But, this is not the case at bar. The foreclosing party is asserting “holder” status, with dubious rights to enforce that are denied by the maker/homeowner. Absent is any allegation of status of a holder in due course, and of course noticeably absent is any allegation of the expenditure of funds or other consideration in exchange for delivery of the loan to the Depository designated in the PSA to receive the delivery. Thus neither the purchase nor the delivery are alleged. While being a holder might raise the presumption of being a holder with rights to enforce, it does not remove the burden of proving that said rights to enforce have been delivered from a party who definitely had the right to enforce — i.e., the holder in due course or “owner” of the loan.

 

The absence of the HDC allegation is an admission that the Trust did not buy the loan. The fact that the Trust did not buy the loan means that it is not and cannot be in the pool owned by the trust, with fractional shares owned by the investors who bought the MBS issued by the Trust. And that can ONLY mean that the right to enforce cannot be delivered or conveyed by the Trust because the Trust never received delivery and never had a right to receive delivery because they didn’t pay for the loan.

 

Thus on the face of the pleading it is up to the foreclosing party to prove its right to enforce the note by showing the identity of the party for whom the loan is being enforced, the fact that the party for whom it is being enforced owned the loan at the time the right to enforce was granted, the current balance ON THE BOOKS OF THE CREDITOR, the presence of a default ON THE BOOKS OF THE CREDITOR, and that the loan is still owned by the party who owns the loan (i.e., the HDC). Hence the burden is on the foreclosing party to reach the point where the borrower assumes the burden of refuting the case against him or her. The maker of the note is in an exclusive position of being shut out of the facts that would either corroborate or refute this narrative.

 

If the burden is placed on the borrower, it would be the equivalent of a murder on video in possession of the murderer but the State and the heirs of the victim are charged with proving the case without the video. The facts suggest here that the Trust paid nothing because it had no money to pay for a loan. The facts suggest that if it were otherwise, the Trust would have paid for the loan and be most anxious to plead HDC status. And thus the facts show that the foreclosing party cannot claim the right to enforce based upon a presumption without violating the due process rights of the homeowners here. Only the foreclosing party and its co-venturers have in their care, custody and control, the necessary information to refute or prove the facts behind the presumptions they are attempting to raise.

#foreclosureissues

 

#foreclosureguidance

 

#foreclosureoptions

 

#foreclosuresinflorida

 

#foreclosuresinunitedstates

 

#foreclosureblog

 

#foreclosureadvise

 

Voir Dire and Cross Examination — Neil Garfield Show 6 P.M. EDT Thursdays

What to ask and why to ask it.

Click in or phone in at The Neil Garfield Show

Or call in at (347) 850-1260, 6pm EDT Thursdays

HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? — Introducing two upcoming CLE Seminars from the Garfield Continuum on Voir Dire of corporate representatives in foreclosure litigation. The first is a two hour telephone conference devoted exclusively to voir dire examination and the second is a full day on only voir dire plus cross examination. The show is free. To preregister for the mini seminar on voir dire or the full seminar on voir dire and cross examination (at a discount) call 954-495-9867.

  • Overview of Foreclosure Litigation in Florida and Other States
  • The need for copies of actual case law and even memoranda supporting your line of questioning
  • The Three Rules for Questioning
  • —– (1) Know why you want to inquire
  • —– (2) Listen to the Answer
  • —– (3) Follow up and comment
  • What to ask, and when to ask it
  • The difference between voir dire and cross examination
  • Getting traction with the presiding Judge
  • Developing your goals and strategies
  • Developing a narrative
  • Impeaching the witness before he or she gets started
  • Preparing your own witnesses for voir dire questions

 

IF YOU MISSED IT: Go to blog radio link and click on the Neil Garfield Show — past shows include—-

News abounds as we hear of purchases of loans and bonds. Some of these are repurchases. Some are in litigation, like $1.1 Billion worth in suit brought by Trustees against the broker dealer Merrill Lynch, which was purchased by Bank of America. What do these purchases mean for people in litigation. If the loan was repurchased or all the loan claims were settled, does the trust still exist? Did it ever exist? Was it ever funded? Did it ever own the loans? Why are lawyers unwilling to make representations that the Trust is a holder in due course? Wouldn’t that settle everything? And what is the significance of the $3 trillion in bonds purchased by the Federal Reserve, mostly mortgage backed bonds? This and more tonight with questions and answers:

Adding the list of questions I posted last week (see below), I put these questions ahead of all others:

  1. If the party on the note and mortgage is NOT REALLY the lender, why should they be allowed to have their name on the note or mortgage, why are those documents distributed instead of returned to the borrower because he signed in anticipation of receiving a loan from the party disclosed, as per Federal and state law. Hint: think of your loan as a used car. Where is the contract (offer, acceptance and consideration).
  2. If the party receiving an assignment from the false payee on the note does NOT pay for it, why are we treating the assignment as a cure for documents that were worthless in the first place. Hint: Paper Chase — the more paper you throw at a worthless transaction the more real it appears in the eyes of others.
  3. If the party receiving the assignment from the false payee has no relationship with the real lender, and neither does the false payee on the note, why are we allowing their successors to force people out of their homes on a debt the “bank” never owned? Hint: POLITICS: What is the position of the Federal reserve that has now purchased trillions of dollars of the “mortgage bonds” from banks who never owned the bonds that were issued by REMIC trusts that never received the proceeds of sale of the bonds.
  4. If the lenders (investors) are receiving payments from settlements with the institutions that created this mess, why is the balance owed by the borrower the same after the settlement, when the lender’s balance has been reduced? Hint: Arithmetic. John owes Sally 5 bananas. Hank gives Sally 3 bananas and says this is for John. How many bananas does John owe Sally now?
  5. And for extra credit: are the broker dealers who said they were brokering and underwriting the issuance of mortgage bonds from REMIC trusts guilty of anything when they don’t give the proceeds from the sale of the bonds to the Trusts that issued those bonds? What is the effect on the contractual relationship between the lenders and the borrowers? Hint: VANISHING MONEY replaced by volumes of paper — the same at both ends of the transaction, to wit: the borrower and the investor/lender.

1. What is a holder in due course? When can an HDC enforce a note even when there are problems with the original loan? What does it mean to be a purchaser for value, in good faith, without notice of borrower’s defenses?

2. What is a holder and how is that different from a holder with rights to enforce? What does it mean to be a holder subject to all the maker’s defenses including lack of consideration (i.e. no loan from the Payee).

3. What is a possessor of a note?

4. What is a bailee of a note?

5. If the note cannot be enforced, can the mortgage still be foreclosed? It seems that many people don’t know the answer to this question.

6. The question confronting us is FORECLOSURE (ENFORCEMENT) OF A MORTGAGE. If the status of a holder of a note is in Article III of the UCC, why are we even discussing “holder” when enforcement of mortgages is governed by Article IV of the UCC?

7. Does the question of “holder” or holder in due course or any of that even apply in the original loan transaction? Hint: NO.

8. Homework assignment: Google “Infinite rehypothecation”

For more information call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688.

 

Pretender Mender: Foreclosure Crisis Continues to Rise Despite Obama Team Reports

Despite various “reports” from the Obama Administration and writers in the fields of real estate, mortgages and finance, the crisis is still looming as the main drag on the economy. Besides the fact that complete strangers are “getting the house” after multiple payments were received negating any claim of default, it is difficult to obtain financing for a new purchase for the millions of families who have been victims of the mortgage PONZI scheme. In addition, people are finding out that these intermediaries who received an improper stamp of approval from the courts are now pursuing deficiency judgments against people who cooperated or lost the foreclosure litigation. And now we have delinquency rates rising on mortgages that in all probability should never be enforced. And servicers are still pursuing strategies to lure or push homeowners into foreclosure.

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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Most people simply allowed the foreclosure to happen. Many even cleaned the home before leaving the keys on the kitchen counter. They never lifted a finger in defense. As predicted many times on this blog and in my appearances, it isn’t over. We are in the fifth inning of a nine inning game.

Losing homes that have sometimes been in the family for many generations results in a sharp decline in household wealth leaving the homeowner with virtually no offset to the household debt. Even if the family has recovered in terms of producing at least a meager income that would support a down-sized home, they cannot get a mortgage because of a policy of not allowing mortgage financing to anyone who has a foreclosure on their record within the past three years.

To add insult to injury, the banks posing as lenders in the 6 million+ foreclosures are now filing deficiency judgments to continue the illusion that the title is clear and the judgment of foreclosure was valid. People faced with these suits are now in the position of having failed to litigate the validity of the mortgage or foreclosure. But all is not lost. A deficiency judgment is presumptively valid, but in the litigation the former homeowners can send out discovery requests to determine ownership and balance of the alleged debt. Whether judges will allow that discovery is something yet to be seen. But the risk to those companies filing deficiency judgments is that the aggressive litigators defending the deficiency actions might well be able to peak under the hood of the steam roller that produced the foreclosure in the first instance.

What they will find is that there is an absence of actual transactions supporting the loans, assignments, endorsements etc. that were used to get the Court to presume that the documents were valid — i.e., that absent proof from the borrower, the rebuttable assumption of validity of the documents that refer to such transactions forces the homeowner to assume a burden of proof based upon facts that are in the sole care, custody and control of the pretender lender. If the former homeowner can do what they should have done in the first place, they will open up Pandora’s box. The loan on paper was not backed by a transaction where the “lender” loaned any money. The assignment was not backed by a purchase transaction of the loan. And even where there was a transfer for value, the “assignment turns out to be merely an offer that neither trust nor trustee of the REMIC trust was allowed to accept.

All evidence, despite narratives to the contrary, shows that not only have foreclosures not abated, they are rising. Delinquencies are rising, indicating a whole new wave of foreclosures on their way — probably after the November elections.

http://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/31089-are-we-facing-yet-another-foreclosure-crisis

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119187/mortgage-foreclosures-2015-why-crisis-will-flare-again

http://susiemadrak.com/2014/08/25/here-comes-that-deferred-mortgage-crisis/

More Derivatives — More Fraud

It is still the third rail of journalism. Like nobody is interested in corruption of our financial system and our entire political system. To the contrary, people are very interested and they know that the big banks have essentially taken control of our government — all three branches. People are voting with their feet. Nearly $11 Trillion is stuffed into mattresses or low interest safe accounts instead of going into equities and other potential investments that would stimulate the economy. People know the truth. And while most people could not define the terms used on Wall Street they still know that something is very wrong.

Politicians and the Press would serve the country far better if they were as persistent about Wall Street corruption as they are about running the Ferguson Story in Missouri. There is a connection there too as Ferguson was disproportionately hit with wild teaser, reverse amortization mortgages and extremely dubious foreclosures that were rushed through. All of that hurt the average wealth of any household in Ferguson and St Louis, exacerbated joblessness and lowered the already low median income of the residents — which only made the situation worse as home “prices” fell like a stone through the value of property based upon the median income index.

The climate was so adverse to those helping foreclosure victims that several of them literally left the state. The Banks had targeted the population that had the last time, the least education and the least sophistication with complex legal transactions and they got exactly what they wanted — a signature on a piece of paper that contained provisions that the signor would never have accepted if they knew. Missouri’s history of subjugation of minority groups is coming home to roost. The long-term issue is not Michael Brown, whose death was cruel and yet unfortunately the usual way of doing business in many communities. The explosion of violence and protests is only a presage of things to come.

When bullying of all sorts is regarded as unacceptable then justice will prevail. If the police officer does something wrong, he will pay for it. If the Banker does something wrong, he will pay for it. That day will come but in the meanwhile, people continue to benefit from the predatory tactics used in all forms of interaction between people in power and people who are viewed as powerless.

History has shown though that ultimately Thomas Jefferson’s statement is exactly true about the origin of power and government — it depends upon the consent of the governed. And if the consent is withdrawn, power is eroded. We have a democratic process in this Country that allows us to change government through our ability to vote. But our ability to change things with our vote is dependent upon the information we receive and that we understand.

That is where the government and the Press have failed us. We hear about vague allegations and accusations and settlements based upon those claims but we never hear the details. We hear of investigations where irregularities were found in the mortgage process and the foreclosure process — but the people who owned the homes whose files were reviewed by government investigators were never notified about the findings. Most of them were foreclosed while at the same time the government knew the foreclosures were fatally defective and to the detriment of the investors who thought they were buying valuable bonds issued by REMIC trusts and to the detriment of homeowners who would have been happy to settle the case on reasonable economic terms.

At some point, we are going to collectively ask the question “why are homeowners getting no justice and why are homeowners the ones who pay the most for the unlawful actions of the banks?” This isn’t about relief. It is about justice.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/big-banks-bought-congress-credit-derivatives-bigger-ever.html

The Art of Objections at Trial: A Success Story

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

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This story is good. It corroborates my articles on the needed skills to go to trial. Evan Rosen describes in brief what he did. It would be nice if he would expand on why these objections were right and how much more he could have said if he was challenged by opposing counsel. But it also shows another important thing.

While the Courts have yet to rule or express opinions on their doubts about the bogus loans, notes and mortgages, bogus bonds and bogus foreclosures, we are seeing a radical shift in their rulings at trial and an increasing shift in Discovery. Rulings against the Plaintiff foreclosing party are becoming increasingly common. Discovery is being allowed and many cases are thrown off the rocket docket and into general civil litigation. And a properly framed objection to evidence is taken seriously and frequently sustained leaving the foreclosing party with nothing.

These developments are especially important because many suits are being filed for deficiency judgments on foreclosures that were wrongful in the first place. 110 such actions were filed in Palm Beach County in the last month. Interestingly, the foreclosing party is NOT going back to the same Court in the same suit that was the foreclosure. They are filing separate actions. The Banks are afraid of providing a forum for the homeowner to challenge the assumptions that resulted in the foreclosure. Their fear is based in reality. The same Judges that were rubber stamping foreclosures are slowly changing their rulings as described by Rosen.

Trial practice is an art. There is no such thing as perfection. The trial lawyer must constantly make calculations as to what objections to raise and how to stick to his or her narrative of the case. Rosen here took control of the narrative by laying the foundation that the witness was legally incompetent to testify on the most important elements of the case filed for foreclosure. His objections flowed from that foundation. He threaded his case based upon feedback from the Judge. And he took a calculated risk when it came time for cross examination.

The lesson here is that there is a time to object and a time not to object regardless of whether you have grounds. There is a time to cross examine and there is a time to take the risk and close the case based upon the insufficiency of the Plaintiff’s case. The objective is to win. And this case described by Evan Rosen describes procedures that are far outside the knowledge of any pro se litigant. Trial practice is like surgery. Nobody should do it without specialized training, license and experience.

http://4closurefraud.org/2014/08/20/total-annihilation-of-a-bank-lawyer-and-their-witness-another-trial-win-for-the-law-offices-of-evan-m-rosen-p-a/

Confronting the Ridicule of Counsel for the Bank

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

See also these articles:

The Right to Foreclose & the UCC

Weinstein Article NJ Law Journal

SearchforNegotiability Ronald Mann (1)

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If you file a claim or affirmative defenses along with your answer denying everything, you will often be met with a motion to strike the affirmative defenses or claim. The reason is simple, once the court agrees that the matters you alleged in your pleading are in issue, you are automatically entitled to discovery on those issues. And that is why I continue to say that the more aggressive you are in the beginning of litigation the more likely you are to get win or get a settlement early in the process. Pleading lack of consideration raises the issue of what happened with the money? Once that is in issue, your discovery questions and requests can be directed at that. Once the foreclosers are forced to open up their books and records, my experience is that they will fold. They generally don’t have a cancelled check or wire transfer receipt from anyone in their “chain.”

Here is what was submitted in one case in opposition to the motion to strike the affirmative defenses of the homeowner:

 

  1. Counsel for the Plaintiff wants this court to ignore the defenses of the Defendants on the basis that the theory of the case advanced by said defendants is “Absurd.”
  2. Defendants agree that there are patent absurdities and unexplained mysteries in this case.
  3. Plaintiff has alleged that it is a “holder” and has not alleged that it is a “holder in due course.” And it has not alleged the source of its authority to claim “rights to enforce.” By definition this means they admit that Plaintiff is not a purchaser for value, in good faith without knowledge of the Borrower’s defenses.
  4. If Plaintiff (or anyone whom Plaintiff represents) actually purchased the loan for value, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses, they would say so. That would make them a Holder in Due Course. Florida statutes protect the Holder in Due Course allocating the risk of signing documents without receiving consideration to the borrower. It would end the debate — eliminating nearly all of the borrower’s defenses by definition. So where is a holder in due course in this court proceeding?
  5. Defendants concede that anyone who signs a document assumes the risk of liability (even if they didn’t get the loan) that it might be used as a negotiable commercial instrument (cash equivalent) and that if an innocent buyer of the loan documents who was acting in good faith without the knowledge of the borrower’s defenses acquires such loan documents those documents can be enforced and that the borrower is limited in potential remedies to pursue satisfaction from the loan originators, mortgage broker etc.
  6. But Plaintiff is not alleging it is an innocent buyer. It is not even disclosing for whom the  the loan documents are being enforced. By trick of logic, Plaintiff wants this court to “assume” or “presume” that some actual creditor or owner of the loan has given the Plaintiff the right to enforce. But Plaintiff is not providing any allegation or proof, despite numerous requests as detailed in the affirmative defenses, as to the identity of the real creditor nor any facts or documents that how show the “real creditor” is imbued with the status of holder in due course,, creditor or “owner” of the loan.
  7. Instead they allege status of “holder” without any clarity of how they acquired the loan documents nor the basis of their authority to enforce the loan documents.
  8. Counsel for the Plaintiff wants to be treated as a holder in due course where the defenses of the homeowner are ignored regardless of whether they have merit. Counsel is attempting to elevate the status of the Plaintiff to treatment as a holder in due course, while the only allegation is the the Plaintiff is a “holder.”
  9. Being a holder does not automatically entitle anyone to enforce a document. If it were otherwise any delivery service would be able to stop by the courthouse and file a lawsuit on the papers they are carrying. A “holder” must have “rights to enforce.” And these rights come from the actual owner of the loan, whom they refuse to disclose.
  10. The “absurd” conclusion that there was no consideration at the “closing” of the “loan” arises from the the perfectly logical progression of reasoning stemming from the lack of consideration at every step in the chain, upon which Plaintiff relies. If there does exist a transaction in which the loan was (a) funded by the designated lender and (b) transferred for value at each step of the “assignment” process, then it is impossible for SOMEONE not to be a holder in due course. But the Plaintiff refuses to disclose in its pleading the identity of the holder in due course or anyone else designated as the creditor or owner of the loan.
  11. If the Plaintiff wants this court to enforce the loan documents, by its own pleadings it does so as a mere “holder.” That means that Plaintiff is subject to the defenses of the borrower arising from the closing. Plaintiff stands in no better shoes than the “originator” of the loan whom Defendants allege was not the actual lender.
  12. If the Plaintiff wants this court to to enforce the loan documents, it must prove that it has the actual loan documents, and it must prove that it has the right to enforce those documents not by presumption but with facts. And Defendants are permitted to raise the issue of consideration and inquire in discovery as to the reality of the transaction at the time of the loan.
  13. If Plaintiff wishes to state that it has the right to enforce the loan documents, even though it is a mere holder, then it must have been given those rights to enforce from the actual creditor. That is a step that Plaintiff seeks to avoid for reasons that will be flushed out in discovery and at trial. Defendants take the position that the their is no real creditor or real owner of the loan in any sense of the words, in the entire chain of “ownership” relied upon by the Plaintiff. If that is untrue, then Plaintiff can simply provide proof of payment at each step of the original transaction and each step in which there was an alleged transfer.
  14. Plaintiff is attempting to rely upon presumptions which would lead to a conclusion that is contrary to the actual facts.
  15. The presumptions upon which Plaintiff intends to rely, as is obvious from their complaint, would lead the court to conclude that there was consideration at the “closing” and each “transfer” of the loan. Such presumptions are rebuttable for the precise reason that they exist for the sake of expediency. Ordinarily, before the era of “securitization” such presumptions reflected the actual facts. In this case, they do not.
  16. Defendants need not prove their case at this stage of litigation. They have raised bona fide issues. If the issues raised as defenses are completely devoid of any basis, then the court has remedies available. Defendants have requested proof of payment to support the closing documents and each “transfer” of the loan. Such requests are found in the fact pattern described in the affirmative defenses. Plaintiff refuses to show such proof, betting on this Court’s need for an expeditious result.
  17. The defensive pleading of the Defendants are sound and sustainable, as pled, because they must be taken as true for purposes of the hearing on the Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike.

“Teaser” Payments: Trick or Treat?

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In the final analysis, I think a reverse amortization loan is a way of hiding the true amount of the debt. —- Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

As an introduction, let me remind you that the viability and affordability of the loan, the loan to value ratios and all the other facts and ratios and computations are the responsibility of the lender, who must faithfully disclose the results to the borrower. It is a myth that these bad loans were in any way related to the bad intent of borrowers.

I have been examining and analyzing loans that are referred to as “reverse amortization loans”. They are, in every case, “teaser payments” that trap homeowners into a deal that guarantees they will not keep their home — even if it has been in their family for generations. And they are loans, in my opinion, that contain secret balloon payments. Nothing in this article should be construed as abandoning the fact that the “lender” never actually made the loan, nor that the actual lenders (investors) would never have approved the loan. The point of this article is that the borrower would not have approved the deal either if they had been informed of the real nature of the sham loan (even if it was real).

Teaser payments are neither illegal nor unfair (if they don’t involve reverse amortization). They have been used all over the world with great success. The deal is that they pay a lower payment before they get to the real payment. Nothing is owed on the lower interest or even lower escrow that results from such a loan product devised and prepared for signature by the Banks or agents for the Banks.

And remember again that when I refer to the Banks, I am talking about intermediary banks that in the “securitization” era were not making loans but were approving paperwork that nobody in their right might would have have approved under any interpretation of national underwriting standards. These banks diverted money and title from the actual transaction in which money from strangers and title of the homeowners was diverted from the real transaction — giving a problem to both. This left “investors” without an investment and the borrowers with corrupt title.

In my opinion the way the teaser payment option was handled in the era of securitization, the borrower ended up with an unaffordable loan with terms that he or she would not have approved and which no bank was permitted to approve under State and Federal lending laws. The result was a hidden balloon and hidden payments of principal and interest payments far higher than the apparent interest rate on the face of the note. In most cases, the requirement that the documents and good faith estimate were never provided to the borrower, to make sure that the sophisticated borrower would not have an opportunity to think about it.

In one case that is representative of many others I have seen, the interest rate was stated as 8.75%, but that was not true. The principal was fixed at $700,000, but that wasn’t true either. The principal was definitely going higher each month for about 26 months, at which point, the principal would have been 115% of the original principal on the note. THAT is because each teaser payment of a fraction of the amount due for interest alone, was being added to the principal due. That is reverse amortization. But that is only part of the story.

When the principal has risen to 115% of the stated principal due in the closing documents, the loan reverts from a teaser payment — promised for several years — to a full amortized payments. So the original teaser payments was $2300 per month, while the amount added to principal was around $3000 PER MONTH. Thus after her first payment, the borrower owed $703,000. While the note and disclosure documents referred to a teaser payment that would continue for five years, that was impossible — because deep in the riders to the note there was a provision that stated the teaser payment would stop when the accrued payment exceed 115% of the original principal stated on the promissory note.

With the original principal at $700,000, the interest due was around $5100 per month on the original principal. 115% of $700,000 is $805,000, which represents a hidden increase of principal built into the payment schedule. That is an increase of $105,000 for as long as it takes with the hidden accrued interest computed in the background and not disclosed to the borrower before, during or after the “loan closing.” For a loan requiring “20% down payment” this is lost money. The 20% vanishes at the loan closing while the borrower thinks they have equity in their property. They don’t — even if property prices had been maintained.

The hidden increase of $105,000 happens a lot sooner than you think. It is called “reverse amortization” for a reason. But the unsophisticated borrower, this computation is unknown and impossible to run. In the first month the interest rate of 8.875% is now applied against a “principal” due of $703,000. This raises the hidden interest due from around $3000 per month to $3025. Each month the hidden accrued interest being added to “principal” rises by $25 per month. At the end of the first year, the payment due and unpaid principal is rising by $3300 per month. At the end of the second year it is more than $3600 per month. And at the end of the third year, if you get that far the actual computation makes the accrued interest (and therefore the principal due) rise by over $4,000 per month.

Using the above figures which are rounded and “smoothed” for purposes of this article (they are actually higher), principal has gone up by around $20,000 in the first year, $56,000 in the second year, and $76,000 in the third year. So by the end of the third year, the principal due has changed from the original $700,000 to over $850,000. But this passes the threshold of $105,000 beyond which interest will no longer accrue and will be payable in full. And THAT means that during the third year, the payment changes from $2300 to the full interest payment of $5900 per month plus amortized principal plus taxes plus insurance. Hence the payment has changed to over $6500 per month plus taxes and insurance.

For a household that qualified for the $2300 payment, the rise in payment means a guaranteed loss of their home if the loan was real and the documents were enforceable. This is a hidden balloon. The company calling itself the “lender” or “servicer” is obviously not going to get many payments at the new rate. So you call up and they tell you that in order to get a loan modification, which was probably promised to you at your original “loan closing” you must be three months behind in your payments.

Relieved that you don’t need to pay an amount you can’t pay anyway, and afraid you are going to lose everything if you don’t follow the advice of the “customer service representative, you stop paying and find yourself looking at a notice of default. The company tells you don’t worry you are in process for modification when i fact they are preparing to foreclose. There are probably a few million families that have been through this process of “lost paperwork” redoing it several times, “incomplete” etc. only to be told that you don’t “qualify” or the “investor has turned down your offer (which is a lie because the investor has not even seen your file much less considered any offer for modification).

Next comes the notice of acceleration either in a letter or in a lawsuit for foreclosure and suddenly the borrower knows they are screwed but feels it is their own fault. They feel ashamed and they feel like a deadbeat but they really don’t understand how they got to this point. THAT is the hidden balloon — an acceleration in about 26 months that is virtually guaranteed. The entire balance becomes due which of course you cannot pay. If you could have paid the full balance you would not have have taken a loan. You never had a chance. But that is only the first balloon payment that is not revealed to the borrower at his or her “loan closing.”

The second one comes at the end of 36 months. And that is because the computation of the amortized payment has been based upon the original principal and the original interest rate, both of which has changed. So even if you made it to 36 months, you would be told that you will be in foreclosure unless you pay the unpaid principal balance as the “bank” has computed it, which will probably be around $50,000-$70,000.

Florida law requires balloon payments to be disclosed in very prominent fashion. In these cases it not only was not disclosed, it was hidden from the borrower.

It is unfair and illegal to force this idiotic loan upon either the investor whose money was used to fund it without their knowledge or consent, or the borrower who obviously would not have signed a loan that he or she had no chance of paying. This is why forensic reviewers are necessary and expert witnesses are necessary. But for those of you who are entering into trial without benefit of forensic reviews and experts, you can still do this computation yourself and see what happens. Or any accountant can compute the final figures for you.

It is simple and simply wrong. And while you are at it, ask any lender of any kind anywhere if they put THEIR OWN MONEY at risk making a loan like that. Notice that I have not even bothered to mentioned the inflated appraisal.

FYI. Failure to Disclose in capital letters with the statutory language in Florida extends the maturity date indefinitely untinl interest and principal are paid in full. For Florida law see

Florida Balloon Payments

But in addition, the failure to disclose this also violates the Federal Truth in Lending Act. And the failure to provide a good faith estimate three days prior to closing is also a violation — all leading to rescission. The 9th Circuit, which had said that rescission requires tender or ability to tender the money back, reversed itself and said that is no longer necessary. But there is a three day right of rescission and a three year statute of limitations on rescission. In my opinion, both time limits would probably be applied BUT I also think that the legislation can be used defensively as corroboration for your argument that the borrower had no way of knowing what he or she was signing. AND the hidden nature of the balloon payments can arguably be said to be a scheme to trick the borrower, which MIGHT extend the running of the statute.

See Reg Z in full, but here is the part that I think is important:

(e) Prohibition on steering.

Prohibits a loan originator from “steering” a consumer to a lender offering less favorable terms in order to increase the loan originator’s compensation.

Provides a safe harbor to facilitate compliance. The safe harbor is met if the consumer is presented with loan offers for each type of transaction in which the consumer expresses an interest (that is, a fixed rate loan, adjustable rate loan, or a reverse mortgage); and the loan options presented to the consumer include:

  • (A) the loan with the lowest interest rate for which the consumer qualifies;
  • (B) the loan with the lowest total dollar amount for origination points or fees, and discount points, and
  • (C) the loan with the lowest rate for which the consumer qualifies for a loan without negative amortization, a prepayment penalty, interest-only payments, a balloon payment in the first 7 years of the life of the loan, a demand feature, shared equity, or shared appreciation; or, in the case of a reverse mortgage, a loan without a prepayment penalty, or shared equity or shared appreciation.

To be within the safe harbor, the loan originator must obtain loan options from a significant number of the creditors with which the originator regularly does business. The loan originator can present fewer than three loans and satisfy the safe harbor, if the loan(s) presented to the consumer otherwise meet the criteria in the rule.

The loan originator must have a good faith belief that the options presented to the consumer are loans for which the consumer likely qualifies. For each type of transaction, if the originator presents to the consumer more than three loans, the originator must highlight the loans that satisfy the criteria specified in the rule.

< Back to Regulation Z

 

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