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Brent Bentrim, a regular contributor to the dialogue, posed a question.
I am having some trouble following this. The note cannot be converted any more than when a stock is purchased by a mutual fund (trust) it becomes a mutual fund share.
You’re close and I understand where you seem to be going…ie, the loans were serviced not based on the note and closing documents, but on the PSA. What I do not understand is the assumption that the note was converted. From a security standpoint, it cannot.
You are right. When I say it was “converted” I mean in the lay sense rather a legal one. Of course it cannot be converted without the borrower signing. That is the point. But the treatment of the debt was as if it had been converted and that is where the problem lies for the Courts — hence the diametrically opposed appellate decisions in GA and MA. Once you have pinned down the opposing side to say they are relying on the PSA for their authority to bring the foreclosure action, and relying on the “assignment” without value, the issue shifts —- because the PSA and prospectus have vastly different terms for repayment of interest and principal than the note signed by the borrower.There are also different parties. The investor gets a bond from a special purpose vehicle under the assumption that the money deposited with the investment bank goes to the SPV and the SPV then buys the mortgage or funds the origination. In that scenario the payee on the note would either be the SPV or the originator. But it can’t be the originator if the originator did not fulfill its part of the bargain by funding the loan. And there is no disclosure as to the presence of other parties in the securitization chain much less the compensation they received contrary to Federal Law. (TILA).
Under the terms of the PSA and prospectus the expectation of the investor was that the investment was insured and hedged. That is one of the places where there is a break in the chain — the insurance is not made payable to either the SPV or the investors. Instead it is paid to the investment bank that merely created the entities and served as a depository institution or intermediary for the funds. The investment bank takes the position that such money is payable to them as profit in proprietary trading, which is ridiculous. They cannot take the position that they are agents of the creditor for purposes of foreclosure and then take the position that they were not agents of the investors when the money came in from insurance and credit default swaps.
Even under the actual money trail scenario the same holds true — they were acting as agents of the principal, albeit violating the terms of the “lender” agreement with the investors. Here is where another break occurred. Instead of funding the SPV, the investment bank held all investor money in a commingled undifferentiated mega account and the SPV never even had any account or signatory on any account in which money was placed.
Hence the SPV cannot be said to have purchased the loan because it lacked the funding to do it. The banks want to say that when they funded the origination or acquisition of the loan they were doing so under the PSA and prospectus. But that would only be true if they were following the provisions and terms of those instruments, which they were not. The banks funded the acquisition of loans directly with investor money instead of through the SPV, hence the tax exempt claims of the SPV’s are false and the tax effects on the investors could be far different — especially when you consider the fact that the mega suspense account in the investment bank had funds from many other investors who also thought they were investing in many different SPVs.
The reality of the money trail scenario is that the SPV can’t be the owner of the note or the owner of the mortgage because there simply was no transaction in which money or other consideration changed hands between the SPV and any other party. The same holds true for all the parties is the false securitization trail — no money was involved in the assignments. Thus it was not a commercial transaction creating a negotiable instrument.
In both scenarios the debt was created merely by the receipt of money that is presumed not to be gift. The question is whether the note, the bond or both should be used to re-structure the loan and determine the amount of interest, principal, if any that is left to pay.
The further question is if the originator did not loan any money, how can the recording of a mortgage have been proper to secure a debt that did not exist in favor of the secured party named on the mortgage or deed of trust?
And if the lender is determined by the actual money trail then the lenders consist of a group of investors, all of whom had money deposited in the account from which the acquisition of the loan was funded. And despite investment bank claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that there was any attempt to actually segregate funds based upon the PSA and prospectus. So the pool of investors consists of all investors in all SPVs rather just one — a factor that changes the income and tax status of each investor because now they are in a common law general partnership.
Thus the “conversion” language I have used, is merely shorthand to describe a far more complex process in which the written instruments were ignored, more written instruments were fabricated based upon nonexistent transactions, and no documentation was provided to the investors who were the real lenders. That leaves a common law debt that is undocumented by any promissory note or any secured interest in the property because the recorded mortgage or deed of trust was filed under false pretenses and hence was never perfected.
The conversion factor comes back in when you think about what a Judge might be able to do with this. Having none of the documentation naming and protecting the investors to document or secure the loan, the Judge must enter judgment either for the whole amount due, if any (after deductions for insurance and credit default swap proceeds) or in some payment plan.
If the Judge refers to the flawed documentation, he or she must consider the interests and expectation s of both the lender (investors) and the borrower, which means by definition that he must refer back to the prospectus and PSA as well as the promissory note.
The interesting thing about all this is that homeowners are of course willing to sign new mortgages that reflect the economic reality of the value of their homes, and the principal balance due, as well as money that continued to be paid to the creditor by the same same servicer that declared the default (and was therefore curing the default with each payment to the creditor).
The only question left is where did the money come from that was paid to the creditor after the homeowner stopped making payments and does that further complicate the matter by adding parties who might have an unsecured right of contribution against the borrower for money advanced advanced by an intermediary sub servicer thereby converting the debt (or that part that was paid by the subservicer from funds other than the borrower) from any claim to being secured to a potential unsecured right of contribution from the borrower.
To that extent the servicer should admit that it is suing on its behalf for the unsecured portion of the loan on which it advanced payments, and for the secured portion they claim is due to other parties. They obviously don’t want to do that because it would focus attention on the actual accounting, posting and bookkeeping for actual transfers or payments of money. The focus on reality could be devastating to the banks and reveal liabilities and reduction of claimed assets on their balance sheets that would cause them to be broken up. They are counting on the fact that not too many people will understand enough of what is contained in this post. So far it seems to be working for them.Remember that as to the insurance and credit default swaps there are express waivers of subrogation or any right to seek collection from the borrowers in the mortgages. The issue arises because the bonds were insured and thus the underlying mortgage payments were insured — a fact that played out in the real world where payments continued being made to creditors who were advancing money for “investment” in bogus mortgage bonds. This leaves only the equitable powers of the court to fashion a remedy, perhaps by agreement between the parties by which the lenders are made parties to the action and the borrowers are of course parties to the action but he servicers are left out of the mix because they have an interest in continuing the farce rather than seeing it settled, because they are receiving fees and picking up property for free (credit bids from non-creditors).
This is precisely the point that the courts are missing. By looking at the paperwork first and disregarding the actual money trail they are going down a rabbit hole neatly prepared for them by the banks. If there was no commercial transaction then the UCC doesn’t apply and neither do any presumptions of ownership, right to enforce etc.
The question of “ownership” of the note and mortgage are a distraction from the fact that neither the note or the mortgage tells the whole story of the transaction. The actions of the participants and the real movement of money governs every transaction.
Whether the courts will recognize the conversion factor or something similar remains to be seen. But it is obvious that the confusion in the courts relates directly to their ignorance of the the fact that the actual money transaction is not brought to their attention or they are ignoring it out of pure confusion as to what law to apply.
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Filed under: CDO, CORRUPTION, foreclosure, GARFIELD GWALTNEY KELLEY AND WHITE, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud | Tagged: Conversion of note to bond, DEED OF TRUST, foreclosure, money trail, Mortgage, originator, paper trail, Pooling and Servicing Agreement, Prospectus, securitization, SPV, UCC | 37 Comments »