Who Can Help Me with Mortgage Problems?

A number of people have been contacting me about the work of people other than my company that produces reports and analysis and expert witnesses and my law firm, Garfield, Gwaltney, Kelley and White based in Tallahassee.

My first rule is that I don’t attack or smear anyone who might provide some service that has any chance of helping someone with a consumer debt, mortgage problem, foreclosure etc. Everyone is invited to the party and with more than 5 million foreclosures behind us and another 5 million projected into the future, there is plenty of room for everyone to take a share of the market.

My second rule is that this should be a collaborative effort in which anyone with an idea should have a platform to put forth their ideas.

And my third rule is that I don’t recommend anyone unless I have seen their work, examined their credentials (education, licenses and experience) and discussed their approach with them. Their are many approaches that work for a while then stop working because the banks change their tactics in response. There are many legal theories that are correct but the Judges refuse to apply them. What is important is that you develop a strategy for NOW, with those tactics and strategies, defenses and causes of action that are getting traction with Judges.

CAVEAT: There are many people and companies that are offering bogus relief programs — some with a lot of cash to do advertising and marketing. Be careful and ask questions. If you must take their word for it because they have no historical presence in the bank scam arena be extra careful. What I mean is how have they been contributing to the assistance of distressed consumers and homeowners?

With that in mind, here are some general guidelines for who can help and who might be well intended but ineffectual in achieving a satisfactory result. People that might possibly be of assistance include the following:

  1. LAWYERS: Simply because in the final analysis these are legal problems that usually end up in court where rules of procedure and rules of evidence usually determine the outcome. Within this category are lawyers with foreclosure defense experience, bankruptcy lawyers, property lawyers, and civil litigation lawyers. Anyone without a lot of trial experience should only be used for advice.
  2. HUD COUNSELORS: often overlooked, these people have relationships with the banks that neither lawyers nor forensic examiners have and can often ferret out facts that might not be available even through the process of legal discovery. The good ones have a pretty good track record of settling or modifying loans. AND they usually have relationships with lawyers, real estate brokers, appraisers, investigators, mortgage brokers, hard money lenders. They are licensed and regulated the same as lawyers, brokers, appraisers, and investigators.
  3. FORENSIC ANALYSTS: Very few of the people who perform this work can claim any credentials as an expert witness whose credibility will be accepted by the court. But on the other hand they often have become very adept at ferreting out information of value to your lawyer or whoever is helping you.
  4. EXPERT WITNESSES: Almost anyone will be allowed to testify as an expert witness these days because the rules are so relaxed. But the Judge is not going to give their testimony any weight unless the expert can clearly explain the facts, opinions and conclusions in a compelling way. An expert witness who is not licensed in any relevant field, possessing no academic degrees relating to a relevant field, who has no experience in the relevant field (e.g. a current or former banker, investment banker, broker etc.) might be allowed to testify but nobody is listening. On the other hand, such a witness can testify as a FACT witness rather than an opinion witness as to the results of their forensic examination of the loan, assignments or current status of the alleged loan. There are very few expert witnesses who can testify as to all aspects of securitization but many who can testify as to parts of it. You might need more than one. Lastly, even an unqualified expert witness with little credibility might give you or your lawyer an idea that had escaped your attention so there is no harm in talking or consulting with someone, even if they appear on paper to have few attributes of an actual expert.
  5. BROKERS: REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE: Firstly, as licensed, educated, experienced individuals they command some attention. They might have their own agenda they are pushing but when asked the right questions they can be worth the fee if they are able to describe past and current practices and their opinion of certain transactions alleged by your opposition. Keep in mind that real estate and mortgage brokers have a stake in the marketplace — to keep things moving, buying and selling, borrowing and refinancing.
  6. APPRAISERS: Usually licensed and experienced with many years behind them, they can provide very helpful insights as to whether the property was really worth anywhere near the loan value and the current fair market value. They could be a key ingredient, where it applies, to showing that that the originator was not acting as a lender because custom and practice in the industry was to take a lower appraisal righter than a higher one and that custom and practice was to “go back to the well” several times where the market appeared volatile — all things that were absent in the “underwriting” practices of the time. It was the the appraisers in 2005 who warned of the coming catastrophe and many of them suffered by getting no business because they refused to sign off on an appraisal that was misleading.
  7. INVESTMENT BANKERS: Lots of them exist, very few are willing to testify. But they obviously know a lot of shocking details if they were involved in the bundling and sale of mortgages. But remember there are several moving parts in securitization and some investment bankers might know nothing of value to your case. Only a few people at the top truly know what happened to the money and what decisions were made as to fabrication of paperwork to cover up the misappropriation of funds, title and rights to enforce.
  8. MORTGAGE ORIGINATORS: Lots of them exist, few are willing to testify. But there are some. They can tell you that they were never at risk on the Loan” and how the money came from a source outside the circle of parties at the loan closing table. TILA and RESPA claims can be corroborated with their testimony as well as questions regarding title and thee right to enforce.
  9. WHISTLE-BLOWERS: Like “experts” anyone can claim to be one. But if the person has information that can be corroborated they can be an excellent guide through the maze of curtains and obstacles that currently prevent most borrowers from figuring out and proving what is really going on.
  10. LOAN MODIFICATION PROGRAMS: As greater regulation and enforcement is starting to get some traction, so has the possibility of modification or settlement. Keep in mind that with so many successful illegal foreclosures behind them, the banks are more likely to seek finality to the situation since we have passed the half way mark and the possibilities of liability for buy-backs and refunds are declining. Be careful about anyone who tells you that you should stop paying the payments — a strategic default is something you should thoroughly examine and research and get advice before doing it. That includes especially the banks who are doing that as a matter of policy. If you do enter into a modification program make sure that the end result is going to be a modification and not just another excuse to foreclose on you with more information about you than they had before. And make sure you clear up title as well as the debt. Without that you are raising the probability that you will be fighting title issues later in court.

There are no doubt many other types of people who can or want to help. I can only mention the ones I know about. Be careful and don’t let desperation get the better of you.

FOOTNOTE: I am besieged by people trying to bait me into a “discussion” where I defend the strategies and tactics I use and describe on my blog. I won’t enter into such a discussion for the same reason that a judge would ignore what an “expert” says who has no credibility and no credentials. The only place where I will defend is in court for the benefit of clients. If someone doesn’t like my views because they think it discredits them or their services, then maybe they should do more research into what they are doing.

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34 Responses

  1. Don’t anybody tell me that moron isn’t beneficial to Garfield somewhere. Mandelman doesn’t put up with crap like that. Nor do Weidner, Barnes, Stopa, Gardner, McCandless, John Wright or any of the other, less known ones who get results.

    Garfield makes his money by the number of posts. Only rational explanation. And the imbecile is probably getting a cut too. Again, only reasonable way to understand it.

  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/19/sec-gao-survey_n_3623328.html?utm_hp_ref=business

    by Mark Gongloff

    .

    GAO Survey Finds Low Morale, Disarray At SEC, Wall Street’s Top Watchdog:

    Good news, Wall Street: Your top watchdog is too much of a hot mess to police you properly, according to a new study by another government watchdog.

    Current and former employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission complained of “low morale, distrust of management, and the compartmentalized, hierarchical, and risk-averse nature of the organization” in a new study by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office released on Thursday. The GAO said the SEC has an organizational culture that “is not constructive and could hinder its ability to effectively fulfill its mission.”

    The SEC now has a new chair, former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White, who just took over the agency in April. The GAO said the SEC has begun to take steps to fix its problems, and has agreed to pursue several additional recommendations outlined in the report.

    The news comes as the SEC is desperately trying to justify its existence with the trial of Fabrice “Fabulous Fab” Tourre, a former Goldman Sachs banker who the agency claims misled clients about the nature of a toxic mortgage security before the financial crisis. So far, that trial has been a disaster for the SEC, with its star witness shooting holes in the case and jurors falling asleep.

    Meanwhile, the agency is woefully underfunded and outgunned technologically by the high-speed traders that have come to dominate trading.

    The SEC asserts that it has at least been aggressive in holding Wall Street accountable for the financial crisis. It has brought civil charges against 157 institutions and people for misdeeds leading to the crisis, including 66 top executives, and has extracted $2.68 billion in penalties and profit clawbacks.

    Then again, that $2.68 billion is a sad pittance compared to Wall Street’s profits and the trillions of dollars in damage done to society by the crisis. Meanwhile, the SEC has cut deals with banks such as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup that have let those banks get off without admitting or denying wrongdoing, a practice it has only recently agreed to change, in a limited way, after years of criticism.

    The SEC is also woefully behind on writing new rules under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act. The agency has finished a little more than a third of the new rules it needs to write and has missed deadlines for writing more than half of those rules, according to the latest tally by the law firm Davis Polk.

    There have been some improvements at the agency, to be sure. For example, employees are apparently no longer just looking at porn all day. No, according to an SEC internal investigation last year, employees have moved on to downloading music and failing to safeguard sensitive information or protect their computers against malware. Baby steps, people!

  3. @stripes

    Is it important to you that anyone thinks you have credibility? You post here constantly, and seem to really be interested in someone believing the things you post…otherwise why would you do it? Unfortunately, the extensive negative and way off-topic things that you post make it very difficult to lend credibility to any of your posts that may have some insight. It simply cancels them out. Just sayin’. Peace.

  4. MUST WATCH:

    Senator Warren chews them up and spits them out:

    http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000182337

  5. good point, elex

  6. Dear E, have to agree with you. Not only is Stripes a waste of time, she is also bringing scrutiny upon herself as well as the rest of us. Feel free to contact me. I have been in the trenches for over five years. We can communicate outside of here.

  7. I wonder how many real gems of working tactics would emerge in these forums were NG to banish the personas of stripes and Marilyn h Lane.

    There are a number of things I would like to share about litigating in CA, for example, but I’ll be damned to put them in the pile of horsesh[t stripes leaves [from her] behind.

  8. Have a good day everyone- maybe we will see criminal prosecutions

    Exclusive: U.S. seeks new tactic in financial crisis prosecutions

    “U.S. federal prosecutors are considering a new strategy for criminally charging Wall Street bankers who packaged and sold bad mortgage loans at the height of the housing bubble, according to a federal official familiar with the investigation.

    The official said federal authorities are finding new evidence they say indicates intent to commit fraud over the packaging and sale of mortgage bonds backed by subprime home loans in some of the civil lawsuits plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed against large banks.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/17/us-financialcrisis-fraud-probes-idUSBRE96G13620130717

  9. The Truth is Stripes is a Moron!
    Shut Up Stripes! The only person inciting racial wars is You.. Moron!

    Behave Christine!
    Behave Bob!
    Behave UKG!
    Behave KC!

    :)

  10. Forgot to schedule an unsecured creditor?

    In re HOFFMAN (Bankr.N.D.Ohio 6-20-2013) 12-33140

    “For these reasons, amending the Debtor’s schedules, so as to add a creditor for noticing purposes, will have no effect on
    the dischargeability of the omitted creditor’s claim. Therefore, there is no relief that the court can afford to the Debtor
    by allowing her to reopen this case for the purpose of adding a creditor. Simply put, if the omitted creditor’s claim was
    incurred pre-petition, it will be discharged by statute unless it is the type of debt which falls within the dischargeability
    exceptions of 11 U.S.C. §§ 523 (a)(2), (4) or (6) or is otherwise nondischargeable.”

    Who knew? Not I. But, an exception would be or could be is if the
    unsecured debt one forgot to schedule put one over the unsecured
    debt limit of a C-13.
    lay opinion

  11. justme, sent you something to pass to your “friend”. thanks.

  12. to justme, earlier post by TBTFNOMORE, add this to my response to your email.

    They cannot identify the creditor. Ask them directly to identify creditor in an Affadavit signed by the creditor (someone in a position to legally bind the company, aka C-level person). Compare creditor to party named on mortgage insurance policy.

    very good way to see who was being indemnified.

    what if Wells is listed, TBTF? Does that prove RPII? undisclosed beneficiary?

  13. The credit IS gone, as in most cases…..you say save the house in BK – I AGREE. Others say just push for the mod..Mandelman preaches it..Personally- I think the mods FVck you more. ….and you can get screwed again,and worse, what is the benefit of mod vs. BK when you are already in FC….. you just may wind up back here, no> ? why choose a mod over Bk! curious anyone?

  14. Just re checked, I have my 4506 – no “t”- and my w9 – from the non MLO – I told you, I have everything. I just don’t know what point to attack at, in a matter of speaking,

  15. kill me softly UKG , kill me softly…. ;}

  16. danmoss, well said. no 2 cases (or loans) alike, and research/pleading is time intensive. Time is money.
    “you will have some Attorneys who, do not have a clue, as to how to beat a Foreclosure but who may know how to streatch the process out by getting ‘Stays’ and making frivilous filings; in order to justify, continued monthly PAYMENTS…”
    this is unethical, may warrant sanctions from the bench, and loss of the home without notice.

    justme, most county judges are covering for the banks, very few are taking the time to look at the issues. nothing gets done until you’re at the appellate level. most homeowners-playing-Perry Mason are excluded from the courts procedurally by getting limined to death, or worse, chasing a faux plaintiff and pleading origination claims against ghost holders in due course, A/K/A undisclosed beneficiary.

    I’ll say this again: a real foreclosure defense is an offensive/adversary action best taken in State court. If those roads are blocked, go file BK on the unsecured debt, including your unrecorded mortgage, wreck your credit, and SAVE your HOME. Those with assets or ability to pay will not be allowed to walk. They’re coming after you post foreclosure. That’s what the 4506T was all about, kiddies.

    Stan, why don’t you call Matt Weidner or Stopa or Tom Ice and ask for a referral? I know YOU know don’t work for free, nobody does. And don’t think these can’t turn into $20,000 plus cases real fast.
    When you find out who’s who, you end up serving 10 different parties with every motion. Appeal is $295. I don’t know a good attorney that isn’t billing, what, $250/hour? I’ve seen tens of hours go into briefs detailing the securitization fraud, racketeering, assignment extravaganzas.

    stripes, please shut up.

  17. make it simple = why you think she is covering something

  18. Stripes how is Warren Covering anything? I entertain the glass-steagall, and what she is doing. Not many others are, at least she is calling them out. Please explain – and PLEASE- you do repeat the same stuff over & over & over- ……..if you wane people to really hear you don’t rant all over. You are taking away from the other conversations in here and doing so with I would call a desperate scream for attention. . You have some valid points but flooding us with them ruins your means. We hear you, loud & clear. But – when you sound the alarm, x10 on what seems to be every legitimate post revealing or describing some truth on here it does really make YOU look like the throw off for the truth of this. Be with it – which I know you are- but in too much of a dominating way. Obama you like to hate- I dont blame you- he has pulled all this shit this off IN SILENCE. Maybe we all should should think about that.

  19. why pay 1500 when the judge could give a shVt? ‘They’ just may not care or see it worthy for someone to introduce their “science” into an analysis. And I am not being rude – no offense- but if what is right there and transparent is not enough why _ unless you have an honest to goodness judge —that are heard less than often in here- want to hear what ‘science’ you have? Even a dedicated, licensed, ‘degreed and 10 years in’ persuade him? If they take it GREAT. If they don’t – I have taken the approach this is a dying case- fradclosures in all.One day it might change but until then HOW MANY LAWYERS ARE EVEN WINNING CASES? ….take the numbers and decide if you want to fork out thousands on the fate on one person in a black robe. ……….Shitty, but the truth.

  20. Senator Warren chews them up and spits them out—very sweetly:

    http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000182337

  21. I would like to make a distinction between forensic ‘analyst’ and a forensic document examiner. The former is a ‘bird dog’ who sniffs things out for you. Most of what is uncovered can be found with your own investigation. There is no science involved.

    A forensic document examiner, on the other hand, is a professional able to join a professional association upon demonstration of their grasp of science in determining the source and legitimacy of a given document. As such they have a body of peers willing to vouch for their results, and can be employed as expert witnesses. They are the ones who know about the yellow dots and can go so far as to decode the location of a copy machine if available. They are well worth the $1500 or so if there is any question about the fidelity of the note document.

    Bottom line – don’t confuse ‘forensic analyst’ with a ‘forensic document examiner’. It’s a whole level of credibility difference.

  22. Jg
    I appreciate your info as i know its legitmately researched and understand the time you put in.

  23. There are no fool-proof methods… YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TEAM THAT WILL WORK ON YOU AND YOUR FAMILY’S BEHALF AND BEST INTEREST…

    The game is closer to CHESS and not CHECKERS…

    Keep up the fight… and May the Lord bless you and your family…

    Send me an email… ONLY IF YOU NEED HELP… I am tired of service providers, attempting to extract information (I wasn’t even born @ night, let alone, last night)…

    if you are dealing with a Foreclosure and would like to fight… send us a message: lowecommunityresourcepartners@live.com


    Have a good evening,
    Dan Moss

  24. you will have some Attorneys who, do not have a clue, as to how to beat a Foreclosure but who may know how to streatch the process out by getting ‘Stays’ and making frivilous filings; in order to justify, continued monthly PAYMENTS…

    Most of these guys don’t have any wins; unless they are counting, beating the very Clients that, they are representing.

  25. Howdy folks,

    I hope that all are doing well… I would like to thank Mr. Garfield for his, more than insightful articles and participation on the ‘Foreclosure-Front’. I would like to point out to any of the Livinglies-Detractors and even more so, distressed Home Owners that, THERE IS NO SILVER-BULLET to Foreclosure Defense/Litigation… None whatsoever… I’ve said it before; on several occassions (I DO HAVE WINS, POSTED HERE and ALL OVER THE INTERNET), Mr. Garfield has said it (WINS AS WELL) and a host of other Industry Insiders and Attorneys (TOO MANY TO MENTION), found commenting and posting, on this Blog.

    Here is one of the main problems or issues which, I have seen or personally experience:

    1. The time, communications and the research which, must needs (i love using that phrase) be applied to any and ALL of these cases is, to say the least, very time consuming… What I mean is, personally, I would love to start a web site and give you all of the ‘bells-n-whistles’, but here is the problem. When I Originated Loans and focused the bulk of my daily tasks to the Sales “A, B, C’s” (Always Be Closing); It really didn’t matter that I would have large pipelines of Customers because, to a commissioned salesperson, VOLUME WAS THE PRIORITY (won’t even mention graduated-scales and YSP)…

    The call of the day or rather, what is needed to win against Foreclosures IS QUALITY/FUNCTION… The Foreclosure Contest can be a very complex situation and I can honestly say that, I haven’t seen any (2) Foreclosures, exactly alike… Using Litigation-Templates doesn’t work (from venue to venue) the same and all of the time… There are too many unpredictable variables. I can do something for a Client in Michigan which, may not work, in Missouri… The Attorney getting big wins in Florida could, get it handed to them in Arizona… One of my proprietary process will work in New Jersey but, may be a serious mistake, in California…
    No, “One size fits all”

    2. There isn’t ANY service provider that, has all of the answers. Most of the ones you see, constantly advertising on the Blogs or building 5 different web sites (with different names but the same company) are doing too much special… Most of those sites GO FOR BULK… These will be the same organizations who will be, less than 30% because, they look for a flux of business instead of seriously working to the benefit of each and every Client (individual Client)… I can sell you a dream but, it was brokers like me that assisted some of these pirates (i mean ‘servicers’)…

    … any company or individual can take your money but will they really help you…

    The new racket that I’ve noticed are the Law Firms or group of Attorneys who use, something like an Agent or surrogate or BUFFER between the Clients they are suppose to be representing and themselves… why… well that one is easy because I see instances of it eveyday…

  26. Many states subscribe to the “security first” rule. This means as a matter of law that the first action to enforce a note secured by real property must be one against the collateral.
    The creditor may NOT move first against a borrower for a personal judgment. (some state do allow deficiency judgments, but to get one, a lender must move for one in the same action (one-action rule) wherein it moves against the collateral, that is, judicial foreclosure.
    Executing rights established in the dot to foreclosure non-judicially forecloses a later (or any) deficiency judgement as a matter of law. It’s mol a choice a lender has to make: if a lender opts for the relative ease of non-j foreclosure, it foregoes a right to a deficiency judgement (and that’s just in state which allow deficiency judgments in the first place).
    Apparently the legislators thought that – the one action rule – was part of a balancing act since one party to a contract could skip a court action to enforce the contract (by way of non-j). When AZ ruled as it did in Hogan, its court recognized that non-j was legislated to make foreclosure less expensive and cumbersome for lenders, but they forgot to look at other dispositive issues. I may never get around to my
    own thorough analysis of Hogan fwiw, but Arizonans and homeowner-advocate attorneys imo are remiss in not doing so. Many homeowners aren’t capable, but whaddup with those AZ attorneys?

    The security first rule is the one which would preclude a court from finding jurisdiction at the behest of anyone on the basis of either possession of a bearer note or ownership of a note. (As to -just- the security first rule, it doesn’t matter whether the claiimant is in possession or is an owner by proper negotiation) Without the security instrument, the lender has no way to enforce a note secured by real property since he can’t make a claim against the borrower personally.
    having a note does not lead to jurisdiction because just the note can’t be enforced. Banksters know this, you can bet on it. That’s one of the reasons they advocate carpenter v longan: they say they don’t need no stinking assignment of the coll instrument because it followed the note. They know that in whatever states have the security first rule, they MUST have the collateral instrument to enforce the note. Further, the language in the dot may spell out that this is a “security first” transaction / contract. I haven’t read it with that in mind, truth be told,, but imo people fighting should see if their
    state is security first (may take some digging) and then read their loan contract for add’l support after that to see what it says on the matter if anything.
    Who give a damn? We do. It’s one fo the reasons courts are now saying lenders (gag) must have both the note and dot prior to
    initiating an action. More to it. Later.
    Note to a couple people who know who they are here: I have a lot of patience. I didn’t ask for it. Just got stuck with it. I prefer hot-headed
    knee-jerk reactions, but I don’t get to have them. As I recall, even as they’re actually non-productive, they sure felt good.

  27. ?????????????????????????????

    Are we finally hitting the bottom of the deep end? While you’re at it, take your clone ML with you.

  28. Stanley,

    Call Matt Weidner, Mark Stopa and Jeff Barnes. At least one one them will help you. Call Liz Chaney as well. If Garfield hasn’t answered you for the past 2 or 3 weeks, he obviously won’t.

    It’s a shame.

    Sorry about that.

  29. Detroit files for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy

    Detroit becomes largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy
    Author: Dave Bartkowiak Jr. , Online News Editor,
    Published On: Jul 18 2013 04:02:14 PM EDT Updated On: Jul 18 2013 06:07:42 PM EDT

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/money/detroit-files-for-chapter-9-municipal-bankruptcy/-/1719116/21019898/-/14iqaycz/-/index.html

  30. Javagold:
    Try calling Neil yourself.
    Best of Luck
    Stanley

  31. If I could verify what Stanley is saying , I would never read another blog by Neil. WTF !!!!!!

  32. I have given up with LivingLies. Over 30 phone calls with NO response. Letters and emails along with monthly contributions. I needed help in Osceola County with my house. I am a disabled combat Vet. to no avail
    Stanley Putra

  33. shut up, stripes.

  34. This is a very good post with some really good ideas about protecting people in this nightmare of fraud and foreclosure. Lots of scam artists out there who are out to take your money and that is it. I can say I can leap tall buildings at a single bound, but can I prove it and DEMONSTRATE it?

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