Maybe this should have been divided into three articles:
- Saldivar: Texas BKR Judge finds Assignment Void not voidable. It never happened.
- Erobobo: NY Judge rules ownership of note is burden of the banks. Not standing but rather capacity to sue without injury.
- SEC Orders Credit Suisse to disgorge illegal profits back to investors. Principal balances of borrowers may be reduced. Defaults might not exist because notices contain demands that include money held by banks that should have been paid to investors.
But these decisions are so interrelated and their effect so far-reaching that it seems to me that if you read only one of them you might head off in the wrong direction. Pay careful attention to the Court’s admonition in Erobobo that these defenses can be waived unless timely raised. Use the logic of these decisions and you will find more and more judges listening with increasing care. The turning point is arriving and foreclosures — past, present and future — might finally get the review and remedies that are required in a nation of laws.
Courts and SEC Drilling Down on Reality of BANK Fraud.
The effects will be far-reaching. The complexity of the false securitization scam was intended to shield Wall Street from continuing its endless pattern of conduct of fraud, misdeeds, perjury and other crimes and other acts of contempt for the courts. The result was that the entire finance system and the economies of the world were turned upside down. Now we are going to see them turn right-side up.
It has taken years, but the SEC and the Courts are now unraveling the mysteries behind the secret curtains of the scam of securitization, which turns out to be nothing more than a cover for a giant PONZI scheme that fell apart as soon as investors stopped buying mortgage bonds. That is the hallmark of PONZI schemes — using the new investor money to pay the expected returns to the older investors.
If it was a legitimate business plan, the failure of the investors to buy more mortgage bonds would have no effect on the rest of the system. Each bond, each mortgage would have either succeeded or failed on its own merit. But that is not what happened.
As can be seen by the decisions noted below, Wall Street defrauded investors on many levels, defrauded the government, and defrauded the borrowers on mortgages they knew with certainty would never survive even a few months.
In confidential deals, the banks entered into agreements to be compensated for the failure of the mortgage bonds and defaulting loans and then simply lied to regulators, investors and borrowers — and kept the money for themselves instead of turning over the money to the investors who were going to lose more money than they had ever dreamed on “triple A” rated “insured” and “hedged” (credit default swaps).
The SEC is now ordering Credit Suisse (and soon others) to disgorge $60 million that clearly should have been paid to investors and thus reduced the accounts receivable of investors. A much better educated SEC and much better educated Judges are peeking behind the curtains and they don’t like what they see. These decisions are, in my opinion, the precursors of a wave of decisions that overturns the entire foreclosure tragedy.
The bottom line is that investors funded the mortgages (plus a lot of fees and “proprietary trading profits” that were hidden from the investors and indeed the world), the banks stole the money, the accounts due to the investors is much lower than what is alleged in foreclosure actions, and none of the foreclosers have any right to be in court because (a) they have no capacity to sue in the absence of financial injury caused by the borrower and (b) they are relying on assignments that in the eyes of the law never happened. They not only didn’t lose money, they made more money than most people imagined. Now they are being ordered to pay back the money they promised to investors whose losses will be correspondingly reduced.
How this will be apportioned to the principal balance supposedly due from borrowers has yet to be determined. But it is clear that the receivable from the only real lender is being reduced by the amount of money received by the intermediaries in the securitization chain — in deals that were intended to defraud investors on two levels — not giving the money that the investors should have received and withholding disclosure about the actual quality of the loans.
The reduction in loss or accounts receivable of the investors should proportionately reduce the amount due from borrowers, which means that most foreclosures were based upon a number of false premises: a balance due, a default by borrowers, and the right to submit a false credit bid at auction from a non-creditor on a “foreclosure” that should never have occurred in the first place. Ownership of the note can only be proven if the would-be forecloser received the actual note (not a photo-shopped “original”) in a transaction in which it paid money pursuant to the actual authority to enter into the transaction. That is three elements: the real note, real ownership of the note and real authority to enter into the transaction by which the loans were allegedly assigned years after the cut-off date. The authority for this position is (a) New York Law, (b) the Internal revenue Code, (c) constitutional requirements of due process, (d) the UCC requiring an instrument to be “negotiated rather than just delivered (meaning payment was involved) and (e) common sense, to wit: lenders are entitled to be repaid but only once.
It has been argued here that the REMICs were ignored and that therefore they could not possibly be in the ownership chain of the note and mortgage. We have also argued that the originator of the mortgage has originated nothing if they didn’t pay anything.
With the help of the SEC and the these two court decisions we can see that there are many reasons why the REMIC could not be the owner of the loan and that no party in the securitization chain could be secured unless we invent a new entity in which all the parties in the securitization chain are rolled into one entity.
In the absence of such an entity or the lawful ability to create one retroactively we are left with an unsecured debt — the amount of which runs the gamut from the banks owing the borrower money to the substantial reduction of the principal due after credit is given for the ill-gotten gains stolen by the banks from the investors. Given these facts, there is no legal justification for even contemplating the purported existence of a default by the borrower since the amount due, and the amount of the required payment are both unknown without an accounting from ALL parties in the securitization chain.
If the cut-off date and the Internal Revenue Code and the Pooling and Servicing Agreement all state that any transaction assigning a loan after the cut-off date is not allowed, then the assignment is void. Add to that New York law that expressly states that the transaction is void, not voidable, (see below) which means that legally it never happened. Without a valid assignment, there can be no foreclosure. Add to that the lack of any consideration, and you have a dead shark on your hands —something that struck fear into the hearts of homeowners, governments, and investors but is now lying, gasping for breath, as the finale nears.
There is nothing left to hide because the doors are all open. It will still take years to unravel the financial mess, but now we have a chance to change policy and direct relief to where it belonged all along — to the investors who supplied the money and the homeowners who were duped into crazy, exotic mortgages that hid the real objective: foreclosure.
REQUIRED READING: Read Carefully and Take Notes
“Plaintiff’s ownership of the note is not an issue of standing but an element of its cause of action which it must plead and prove.(e.s.) …
… dismissal on a pre answer motion by the defendant and are waived if not raised in a timely manner.” (e.s.) Wells Fargo v Saitta 4/29/13 Slip Op 50675
PRACTICE AND DISCOVERY NOTE: “
In fact, the identity of the owner of the note and mortgage is information that is often in the exclusive possession of the party seeking to foreclose. Mortgages are routinely transferred through MERS, without being recorded. (e.s.) The notes underlying the mortgages, as negotiable instruments, are negotiated by mere delivery without a recorded assignment or notice to the borrower. A defendant has no method to reliably ascertain who in fact owns the note, within the narrow time frame allotted to file an answer. In light of these facts and the fact that Defendant contested the factual allegations asserted in Plaintiff’s pleading, Defendant’s general denial is sufficient to contest whether Plaintiff owns the note and mortgage.”
4th paragraph, page 11
“Since the trustee acquired the subject note and mortgage after the closing date, the trustee’s act in acquiring them exceeded its authority and violated the terms of the trust.The acquisition of a mortgage after 90 days is not a mere technicality but a material violation of the trust’s terms, which jeopardizes the trust’s REMIC status.”
SEC FINDS FRAUD, ORDERS DISGORGEMENT OF ILLEGAL PROFITS.
This SEC decision is one that deserves several readings. It essentially condenses 6 years of teaching on this blog into one decision, although they have still not quite drilled down all the way on the money trail. But they have drilled down far enough to discover that the banks made settlements on buy-backs, kept the money and didn’t give to the investors because (1) they wanted to keep it for themselves and (2) the huge number of early defaults would have led the investors to question whether industry standards were being followed in the underwriting of these loans. Had that happened, the well would have dried and nobody would be buying mortgage bonds because they would be revealed as PONZI certificates.
Even if you have been following this blog for years, as I know many of you have done, reading this decision from the SEC will bring it all together as to who , what, where, why and when. Anyone who takes another step in litigation without reading this is stepping into the darkness.
Next Case: Saldivar
And then there is this: the assignment is void, not voidable and therefore the banks can’t attack the ability of the homeowner to attack the assignment since they are arguing that the assignment never really took place. It puts the burden of proof back on to the banks, where it belongs — a burden they cannot sustain because they cannot prove anything that would give traction to their position of keeping the money, taking the houses, taking the insurance taking the credit default swap proceeds, and taking the federal bailouts, all without giving an accounting other than the subservicer’s partial snapshot consisting of accounting records reflecting ONLY transactions with the borrower, neither proving nor offering to prove the validity or existence of the assignment. What you have essentially is what I have said a few times before on this blog — offer, without acceptance or the right to accept and no consideration.
This decision is important because of the reasoning, the logic and most importantly the application of New York law. Virtually all the REMIC trusts were common law trusts formed under New York law for a lot of reasons. So this decision is extremely important as persuasive authority in its finding that if the REMIC is closed, there is nothing to make the assignment TO after the close-out date, which as the Judge points out is the start of business for the trust.
He reasons that if the assignment after the close out date could be ratified then it is voidable and not void. If it is voidable then the homeowner has no standing to challenge the validity of the assignment. But, the Judge says if the assignment was void ab initio then there is nothing to ratify because the event never happened. If the event never happened then the homeowner does have standing to challenge the validity if the assignment. Essentially the homeowners saying that he denies there was any assignment. If there was no assignment then any action by the assignee is without any right, justification or excuse.
It is potentially standing which is jurisdictional to be sure but it is in personam jurisdiction now instead of subject matter jurisdiction — or perhaps both.
As pointed out above, the capacity to sue involves the basic elements of any lawsuits for money or equitable relief based upon a money debt: (1) duty, (2) breach of duty, (3) injury and (4) causation — the injury was caused by the borrower. As pointed out by these cases, NONE of the required elements are present and therefore, there is no capacity to sue. Capacity to sue is close to the issue of standing but it isn’t the same thing. While standing involves jurisdictional issues over the parties, capacity to sue involves jurisdictional issues over the subject matter. There is no subject matter jurisdiction unless the foreclosing party can make a case for stating the four elements of any lawsuit.
The keys here are the Judge’s citation to two things. First that the law of New York says it is void and the court must use the laws of the state of New York — a position mercilessly pounded into the courts by the banks. Now that position is blowing up in their faces. Second, he points out that under the Internal Revenue Code contains huge penalties and negative economic consequences if the REMIC was still accepting assignments after the cut- off date. Thus the Judge used reason, logic, New York law, and the negative effect imposed by the IRC if the REMIC provisions were violated. We might also add that the PSA contained the same restrictions. He concludes that the assignment 3 years after the cutoff was void, not void able and that it was void ab initio which means that there was no effective assignment despite the fabrication of a piece of paper.
This puts Deutsch and others who have stated they are the trustee for the REMIC in a no-win position. To the extent they have corroborated the assignment they have delivered an economic blow to the investors in the REMIC — and are now subjected to potential liability in the trillions of dollars. If they have not tried to back up the assertions of those bringing foreclosure then they clearly won’t do it now. And it explains why no actual signature for an actual Deutsch officer or employee is on any document used in bringing the foreclosure.
The further interesting point is that this is the fire in the brush that flushes the investors out. They must corroborate what we have been saying — that their agents violated the restrictions of the pooling and servicing agreement and that they, the investors, cannot be held to be bound to the ultra vires actions of their agents. And it raises the question of what else did these intermediaries do that violated the terms of the investment in mortgage bonds? It raises, most importantly, the question of WHY they violated the terms of the PSA and prospectus.
The only rational answer is MONEY — like the insurance and CDS proceeds. But beyond that and tantalizingly raised in this decision is — if the investors gave up money and it wasn’t through the REMIC — then you have two choices, to wit: either they invested in nothing or, as I have repeatedly stated on the blog and in my expert testimony, they became involuntary common law partners in a common law general partnership.
This raises issues that Wall Street wants to stay very far from. All their authority comes from a PSA that is now revealed to have been violated resulting in the inescapable conclusion, using the logic from this Texas bankruptcy judge, that Wall Street has no power over these transactions — including servicing loans. This means we can insist on the identity of the investors and that the ONLY people to go to for HAMP are the investors or some new authorized agent. But remember that in a true common law general partnership with no documentation there are some real knotty problems as to how investors could hire a Servicer without 100% of the holders of what might indivisible interests in loans, insurance proceeds and credit default swaps bought with money from the investors.
Filed under: foreclosure, Investor, CDO, Eviction, CORRUPTION, securities fraud, Mortgage, GTC | Honor, GARFIELD GWALTNEY KELLEY AND WHITE | Tagged: insurance, standing, assignments, REMIC, BKR, credit default swaps, Texas, PSA, VOID AB INITIO, erobobo, capaicty to sue, void or voidable, disgorgement of illegal profits, accounting for true balance due investors, New York LAw, IRC | 282 Comments »