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IT WASN’T “RECKLESS” IT WAS FRAUDULENT
AND AIG WAS PART OF THE FRAUD
And now the real facts are coming out as people start worrying about going to jail for perjury and violations of Federal and State laws, rules and regulations. This isn’t just a leak. To quote from the movie “Absence of Malice” — “the last time we had a leak like this, Noah built himself a boat.” This article by Richard Eskow lays out the true facts which are in actuality only the tip of this iceberg.
The important thing about all this is that lawyers should remember that MERS is simply emblematic of the behavior of the banks, to wit: while some loan documents have MERS from the beginning, nearly all of the claims of securitization involve some form of parallel database system to hide the real parties in interest. Chase Bank, for example, stopped using MERS and started using its own system, modeled on MERS. Other banks simply relied upon a more informal method of transferring loan documents around “like a whiskey bottle at a frat party” for no reason other than to present a confused claim of ownership and balance of the debt — resulting in an apparently successful reliance on the predisposition of courts to look only at when the borrower stopped paying and ignoring the authorization of the party claiming rights to enforce collection and enforcement.
In addition, I have found evidence in a number of cases where the MERS system was used AFTER a loan closing in which MERS was never mentioned. Because of the publicity, the tracks leading to MERS were “erased”, but the practice continued in one form or another.
What has escaped the Courts until recently is that the convoluted actions undertaken by banks are part of a larger plan to defraud the Courts themselves, the borrowers and government agencies AND the initial fraud on investors, insurers (except apparently AIG, who obviously appears to be part of the scheme through its ownership of MERS).
By ruling for the Banks the Courts have become complicit in the larger fraud that resulted in millions of wrongful foreclosures and trillions of dollars that were taken from investors and intentionally misdirected away from REMIC trusts and put to use funding loans directly. The Courts are putting their stamp of approval on fraudulent conversion of investor money and fraudulent conversion of money and title that should have gone to the REMIC trusts.
If the concept of securitization had been followed, if the documents were not drafted as “fraud friendly” (see below) and if the actions of the banks were not fraudulent from beginning to end, many loans would never have been made, most loans would have been properly underwritten, and nearly all closings would have contained full disclosures protecting both the lender investors and the borrowers. Further, the industry standards of workouts (modifications) would have resulted in modifications that would have been economically viable; and the loans themselves would have been approved based upon the economic reality of honest appraisals in which price and value were roughly even with each other.
“These documents, which include training materials, PowerPoint presentations, and videos, suggest that the industry made a conscious attempt to bypass local jurisdictions and automate processes — in what can best be described as a fraud-friendly way.”
“Documents obtained from an industry-wide venture reveal that the nation’s leading mortgage lenders colluded to create a false-front company, driven by a back-end database, specifically for the purpose of bypassing local jurisdictions’ taxes and filing requirements. These banks were later to hire low-paid temp workers specifically to process foreclosures (JPMorgan Chase called them the “Burger King kids”).”
“MERS’ backers created something called “MOM” — MERS as Original Mortgagee — ensuring that the bank which originated the loan would never be a matter of public record.”
“…”innovative financial instruments,” many of which were falsely certified as “AAA” grade by ratings firms before being fraudulently misrepresented and sold to unwary investors.”
“…each bank was able to enter into foreclosure and other legal processes without disclosing its own identity or the fact that the ownership and administration of a loan had changed hands. Bank or servicing company employees had two jobs: their real ones, and their make-believe one as “officers” of MERS.” [Editor's Note: "Pretender Lenders"]
“By pretending to hold the loan, MERS is able to file papers on behalf of whoever is holding the title today — or may hold it tomorrow. Changes in ownership are invisible to the courts and recorders of deeds. It’s a false [claim] which bypasses centuries of legal protections and property holders’ rights.”
“If borrowers want to challenge the legality of a foreclosure action, they are entirely dependent on MERS itself to provide that information.”
And we have previously reported how honest and decent employees of the Pretender Lenders (on the loans) and Pretender Menders (on the servicing and modification recognized the problem and were greatly concerned that the scheme was in violation of laws governing lending and servicing. We know of 9 attorneys who quit their jobs rather assistant the drafting of documents that were, in the words of this article “fraud friendly.”
Exchanges drawn from the online “MERS Forum” in 2010 showed that homeowners and bank employees alike were troubled by this. Consumer advocate Nye Lavalle began raising questions about the legality of MERS on this forum more than a decade ago. Even bank employees were concerned. Someone who worked for a bank or its designee wrote the following (copied here verbatim, including errors):
(SUBJECT) Lost Note Affidavits & Beneficial Interests [from 2003]
I was recently told that the manner in which our firm was filing foreclosure actions in FLA was problematic in that MERS was claiming to hold the note and be the only beneficial party with an interest in restablishing the note, when we all know that servicers, investors and the GSEs hold the interests and the payments eventually go to them.
Also, my research of MERS info and procedures shows that MERS never holds any docs including the note and does not have any beneficial interest in the note. Can we be in violation of any applicable laws or putting ourselves indivudally or as a company for claims by borrowers claiming that MERS is not the owner or holder in due course for the loan? I’m troubled by this. Can you help?
The response from MERS Corporate Counsel, in its entirely, was as follows: “Please contact us directly to discuss your concerns. Thank you.”
Yves Smith is also mentioned in the article as having details of the MERS defeat in Pennsylvania.
But the takeaway from this article is that the media starting to investigate what will turn out to be the biggest corruption scandal in human history. We will have to wait for the media to catch up with our facts and ask the central question: Where did the money go?