Bank of America Ordered to Pay $1.2 BILLION for Fraudulent Mortgages

“Given the current environment where robo-signing became institutionalized as a practice even though it is the equivalent of forgery and where fabrication of documents by law offices and “document processors” were prepared according to a published menu of prices, why would anyone, least of all a court of law, apply general principles surrounding presumptions when established fact makes it more likely than not that the presumptions lead to the wrong conclusions? Where is the prejudice to anyone in abandoning these presumptions in light of all the information in the public domain?” — Neil Garfield, livinglies.me

THEY ACTUALLY CALLED IT “HUSTLE”

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan ruled nine months after jurors found Bank of America and former Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone liable for defrauding government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) through the sale of shoddy loans by the former Countrywide Financial Inc in 2007 and 2008.

The case centered on a mortgage lending process known as “High Speed Swim Lane,” “HSSL” or “Hustle,” and which ended before Bank of America bought Countrywide in July 2008.

Investigators said the program emphasized quantity over quality, rewarding employees for producing more loans and eliminating checkpoints designed to ensure the loans’ quality. (see link below)

Now that an actual employee of the Bank has also been ordered to pay $1 Million, maybe others will start coming out of the woodwork seeking immunity for their testimony. There certainly has been a large exodus of employees and officers of Bank of America to other Banks and even other industries. They are all trying to distance themselves from the inevitable down fall of the Bank. Meanwhile the corrupt system is heavily engaged with financial news reporting. For every article pointing out that Bank of America might have hundreds of Billions of dollars in legal liabilities for their fraudulent practices in originating, acquiring, servicing and foreclosing mortgages, there are five articles spread over the internet telling investors that BOA is a good investment and it is advisable to buy the stock. I know how that system works. For favors or money some people will write anything.

THE BURDEN OF PLEADINGS AND PROOF MUST BE CHANGED

The question I continue to raise is that if there was an administrative finding of fraud by an agency of the government, which there was, and if there was a jury finding of fraud involved in the Countrywide mortgages (and other mortgages) why are we presuming in court that that the mortgage is valid?

I understand the statutory and common law presumptions arising out of certain instruments that appear to be facially valid. But I propose that lawyers challenge those presumptions based upon the widespread knowledge and information across the public domain that many if not most of the mortgages were procured by fraud, processed fraudulently, serviced fraudulently, and foreclosed fraudulently. In my opinion it is time for lawyers to challenge that presumption in light of the numerous studies, agency investigations and findings that the mortgages, from beginning to end, were fraudulently originated, acquired and processed.

Why should the filings of a pretender lender receive the benefit of the presumptions of validity just because it exists when we already know it is more likely than not that there are no underlying facts to support the presumptions — and knowing that there was probably fraud involved? Why should the burden remain on the borrowers who have the least access to the information about that fraud and who get nothing from the banks during discovery?

Forfeiture of the private residence of a person is the worst outcome of any civil litigation. It is like the death penalty in criminal litigation. Shouldn’t it require intense scrutiny instead of a rocket docket that presumes the validity of the mortgage and note, and presumes that a possessor of a note (that more likely than not was fabricated and forged by a machine) has the right to enforce?

In a REAL transaction in the REAL world, the originator of a loan would demand that all underwriting restrictions be applied, and confirmation of the submissions by the borrower. If anyone was buying the loan in the secondary market, they would demand the same thing and proof that the assignor, endorser or transferor of the loan had title to it in every conceivable way.

The buyer would demand copies of the actual documentation so that they could enforce the loan. These documents would exist and be kept in a vault because the fate of the investment normally depends upon the ability of the “lender” or “purchaser” of the loan to prove that the loan was properly originated and transferred for value in good faith without knowledge of any defenses of the borrower.

In short, they would demand that they receive proof of all aspects in the chain of title such that they would be considered a Holder in Due Course.

Today, nobody seems to allege they are a holder in due course and nobody seems to want to identify any party as a Holder in Due Course or even a creditor. They use the term “holder” with its presumptions as a sword against the hapless borrower who doesn’t have the information to know that his or her loan is likely NOT owned by anyone in the chain claimed by the foreclosing party.

If it were otherwise, all foreclosure cases would end with a thud — the loan would be produced in all its glory with everything in its place and fully disclosed. The only defense left would be payment. Instead the banks are waiting years to run the statute on TILA rescission and TILA violations before they start actively prosecuting a foreclosure.

What bank with a legitimate claim for foreclosure would want to wait before it got its hands on the collateral for a loan in default? Incredibly, these delays which often amount to five years or more, are ascribed to borrowers who are “buying time” without looking at the docket to see that the delay is caused by the Plaintiff foreclosing party, not the borrower who has been actively seeking discovery.

What harm would there be to anyone who is a legitimate stakeholder in this process if we required the banks to plead and prove in all cases — judicial and nonjudicial — the following:

  1. All closing documents with the borrower conformed with Federal and State law as to disclosures, Good Faith Estimate and appraisals.
  2. Underwriting and due diligence for approval of the loan application was performed by [insert name of party].
  3. The payee on the note loaned money to the borrower.
  4. The mortgagee on the mortgage (or beneficiary on the deed of trust) was the source of funds for the loan.
  5. The “originator” of the loan was the lender.
  6. No investor or third party was the creditor, investor or lender at the closing of the loan.
  7. Attached to the pleading are wire transfer receipts or canceled checks showing that the borrower received the funds from the party named on the settlement documents as the lender.
  8. Each assignment in the chain of title to the loan was the result of a transaction in which the loan was sold by the owner of the loan for value in good faith without knowledge of borrower’s defenses.
  9. Each assignment in the chain of title to the loan was the result of a transaction in which the loan was purchased by a bona fide purchaser for value in good faith without knowledge of borrower’s defenses.
  10. Attached to the pleading are wire transfer receipts or canceled checks showing that the seller of the loan received the funds from the party named on the assignment or endorsement as the purchaser.
  11. The creditor for this debt is [name the creditor]. The creditor has notice of this proceeding and has authorized the filing of this foreclosure [see attached authorization document].
  12. The date of the purchase by the creditor Trust is [put in the date]. Attached to the pleading are wire transfer receipts or canceled checks showing that the seller of the subject loan received the funds from the REMIC Trust named in the pleadings as the purchaser.
  13. The purchase by the Trust conformed to the terms and conditions of the Trust instrument which is the Pooling and Servicing Agreement [attached, or URL given where it can be accessed]
  14. The Creditor’s accounts show a deficiency in payments caused by the failure of the borrower to pay under the terms of the note.
  15. All payments received by the creditor (owner of the loan) have been posted whether received directly or received indirectly by agents of the creditor.
  16. The creditor has suffered financial injury and has declared a default on its own account. [See attached Notice of Default].
  17. The last payment received by the creditor from anyone paying on this subject loan account was [insert date].

When I represented Banks and Homeowner Associations in foreclosures against homeowners and commercial property owners, I had all of this information at my fingertips and could produce them instantly.

Given the current environment where robo-signing became institutionalized as a practice even though it is the equivalent of forgery and where fabrication of documents by law offices and “document processors” were prepared according to a published menu of prices, why would anyone, least of all a court of law, apply general principles surrounding presumptions when established fact makes it more likely than not that the presumptions lead to the wrong conclusions? Where is the prejudice to anyone in abandoning these presumptions in light of all the information in the public domain?

see http://thebostonjournal.com/2014/07/30/bank-of-america-ordered-to-pay-1-27-billion-for-countrywide-fraud/

For consultations, services, title and securitization reports, reviews and analysis please call 520-405-1688 or 954-495-9867.

Fatal Flaws in the Origination of Loans and Assignments

The secured party, the identified creditor, the payee on the note, the mortgagee on the mortgage, the beneficiary under the deed of trust should have been the investor(s) — not the originator, not the aggregator, not the servicer, not any REMIC Trust, not any Trustee of a REMIC Trust, and not any Trustee substituted by a false beneficiary on a deed of Trust, not the master servicer and not even the broker dealer. And certainly not whoever is pretending to be a legal party in interest who, without injury to themselves or anyone they represent, could or should force the forfeiture of property in which they have no interest — all to the detriment of the investor-lenders and the borrowers.
There are two fatal flaws in the origination of the loan and in the origination of the assignment of the loan.

As I see it …

The REAL Transaction is between the investors, as an unnamed group, and the borrower(s). This is taken from the single transaction rule and step transaction doctrine that is used extensively in Tax Law. Since the REMIC trust is a tax creature, it seems all the more appropriate to use existing federal tax law decisions to decide the substance of these transactions.

If the money from the investors was actually channeled through the REMIC trust, through a bank account over which the Trustee for the REMIC trust had control, and if the Trustee had issued payment for the loan, and if that happened within the cutoff period, then if the loan was assigned during the cutoff period, and if the delivery of the documents called for in the PSA occurred within the cutoff period, then the transaction would be real and the paperwork would be real EXCEPT THAT

Where the originator of the loan was neither legally the lender nor legally a representative of the source of funds for the transaction, then by simple rules of contract, the originator was incapable of executing any transfer documents for the note or mortgage (deed of trust in nonjudicial states).

If the originator of the loan was not the lender, not the creditor, not a party who could legally execute a satisfaction of the mortgage and a cancellation of the note then who was?

Our answer is nobody, which I know is “counter-intuitive” — a euphemism for crazy conspiracy theorist. But here is why I know that the REMIC trust was never involved in the transaction and that the originator was never the source of funds except in those cases where securitization was never involved (less than 2% of all loans made, whether still existing or “satisfied” or “foreclosed”).

The broker dealer never intended for the REMIC trust to actually own the mortgage loans and caused the REMIC trust to issue mortgage bonds containing an indenture for repayment and ownership of the underlying loans. But there were never any underlying loans (except for some trusts created in the 1990’s). The prospectus said plainly that the excel spreadsheet attached to the prospectus contained loan information that would be replaced by the real loans once they were acquired. This is a practice on Wall Street called selling forward. In all other marketplaces, it is called fraud. But like short-selling, it is permissible on Wall Street.

The broker dealer never intended the investors to actually own the bonds either. Those were issued in street name nominee, non objecting status/ The broker dealer could report to the investor that the investor was the actual or equitable owner of the bonds in an end of month statement when in fact the promises in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement as to insurance, credit default swaps, overcollateralization (a violation of the terms of the promissory note executed by residential borrowers), cross collateralization (also a violation of the borrower’s note), guarantees, servicer advances and trust or trustee advances would all be payable, at the discretion of the broker dealer, to the broker dealer and perhaps never reported or paid to the “trust beneficiaries” who were in fact merely defrauded investors. The only reason the servicer advances were paid to the investors was to lull them into a false sense of security and to encourage them to buy still more of these empty (less than junk) bonds.

By re-creating the notes signed by residential borrowers as various different instruments, and there being no limit on the number of times it could be insured or subject to receiving the proceeds of credit default swaps, (and with the broker dealer being the Master Servicer with SOLE discretion as to whether to declare a credit event that was binding on the insurer, counter-party etc), the broker dealers were able to sell the loans multiple times and sell the bonds multiple times. The leverage at Bear Stearns stacked up to 42 times the actual transaction — for which the return was infinite because the Bear used investor money to do the deal.

Hence we know from direct evidence in the public domain that this was the plan for the “claim” of securitization — which is to say that there never was any securitization of any of the loans. The REMIC Trust was ignored, thus the PSA, servicer rights, etc. were all nonbinding, making all of them volunteers earning considerable money, undisclosed to the investors who would have been furious to see how their money was being used and the borrowers who didn’t see the train wreck coming even from 24 inches from the closing documents.

Before the first loan application was received (and obviously before the first “closing” occurred) the money had been taken from investors for the expressed purpose of funding loans through the REMIC Trust. The originator in all cases was subject to an assignment and assumption agreement which made the loan the property and liability of the counter-party to the A&A BEFORE the money was given to the borrower or paid out on behalf of the borrower. Without the investor, there would have been no loan. without the borrower, there would have been no investment (but there would still be an investor left holding the bag having advanced money for mortgage bonds issued by a REMIC trust that had no assets, and no income to pay the bonds off).

The closing agent never “noticed” that the funds did not come from the actual originator. Since the amount was right, the money went into the closing agent’s escrow account and was then applied by the escrow agent to fund the loan to the borrower. But the rules were that the originator was not allowed to touch or handle or process the money or any overpayment.

Wire transfer instructions specified that any overage was to be returned to the sender who was neither the originator nor any party in privity with the originator. This was intended to prevent moral hazard (theft, of the same type the banks themselves were committing) and to create a layer of bankruptcy remote, liability remote originators whose sins could only be visited upon the aggregators, and CDO conduits constructed by CDO managers in the broker dealers IF the proponent of a claim could pierce a dozen fire walls of corporate veils.

NOW to answer your question, if the REMIC trust was ignored, and was a sham used to steal money from pension funds, but the money of the pension fund landed on the “closing table,” then who should have been named on the note and mortgage (deed of trust beneficiary in non-judicial states)? Obviously the investor(s) should have been protected with a note and mortgage made out in their name or in the name of their entity. It wasn’t.

And the originator was intentionally isolated from privity with the source of funds. That means to me, and I assume you agree, that the investor(s) should have been on the note as payee, the investor(s) should have been on the mortgage as mortgagees (or beneficiaries under the deed of trust) but INSTEAD a stranger to the transaction with no money in the deal allowed their name to be rented as though they were the actual lender.

In turn it was this third party stranger nominee straw-man who supposedly executed assignments, endorsements, and other instruments of power or transfer (sometimes long after they went out of business) on a note and mortgage over which they had no right to control and in which they had no interest and for which they could suffer no loss.

Thus the paperwork that should have been used was never created, executed or delivered. The paperwork that that was created referred to a transaction between the named parties that never occurred. No state allows equitable mortgages, nor should they. But even if that theory was somehow employed here, it would be in favor of the individual investors who actually suffered the loss rather than the foreclosing entity who bears no risk of loss on the loan given to the borrower at closing. They might have other claims against numerous parties including the borrower, but those claims are unliquidated and unsecured.

The secured party, the identified creditor, the payee on the note, the mortgagee on the mortgage, the beneficiary under the deed of trust should have been the investor(s) — not the originator, not the aggregator, not the servicer, not any REMIC Trust, not any Trustee of a REMIC Trust, and not any Trustee substituted by a false beneficiary on a deed of Trust, not the master servicer and not even the broker dealer. And certainly not whoever is pretending to be a legal party in interest who, without injury to themselves or anyone they represent, could or should force the forfeiture of property in which they have no interest — all to the detriment of the investor-lenders and the borrowers.

Why any court would allow the conduits and bookkeepers to take over the show to the obvious detriment and damage to the real parties in interest is a question that only legal historians will be able to answer.

Servicer Advances: More Smoke and Mirrors

Several people are issuing statements about servicer advances, now that they are known. They fall into the category of payments made to the creditor-investors, which means that the creditor on the original loan, or its successor is getting paid regardless of whether the borrower has paid or not. The Steinberger decision in Arizona and other decisions around the country clearly state that if the creditor has been paid, the amount of the payment must be deducted from the amount allegedly owed by the “borrower” (even if the the borrower doesn’t know the identity of the creditor).

The significance of servicer advances has not escaped Judges and lawyers. If the payment has been made and continues to be made, how can anyone declare a default on the part of the creditor? They can’t. And if the payment has been made, then the notice of default, the end of month statements, the notice of acceleration and the amount demanded in foreclosure are all wrong by definition. The tricky part is that the banks are once again lying to everyone about this.

One writer opined either innocently or at the behest of the banks that the servicers were incentivized to modify the loans to get out of the requirement of making servicer advances. He ignores the fact that the provision in the pooling and servicing agreement is voluntary. And he ignores the fact that even if there is a claim for having made the payment instead of the borrower, it is the servicer’s claim not the lender’s claim. That means the servicer must bring a claim for contribution or unjust enrichment or some other legal theory in its own name. But they can’t because they didn’t really advance the money. Anyone who has experience with modification knows that the servicers make it very difficult even to apply for a modification.

Once again the propaganda is presumed to be true. What the author is missing is that there is no incentive for the Servicer to agree to make the payments in the first place. And they don’t. You can call them Servicer advances but that does not mean the money came from the Servicer. The prospectus clearly states that a reserve pool will be established. Usually they ignore the existence of the REMIC trust on this provision like they do with everything else. The broker dealer (investment banker) is always the one party who directly or indirectly is in complete control over the funds of investors.
Like the loan closing the source of funds is concealed. The Servicer issues a distribution report with disclaimers as to authenticity, accuracy etc. That report gets to the investor probably through an investment bank. The actual payment of money comes from the reserve pool made out of investor’s funds. The prospectus says that the investor can be paid out of his own funds. And that is exactly what they do. If the Servicer was actually taking its own money to make payments under the category of Servicer advances, the author would be correct.
The Servicer is incentivized by two factors — its allegiance to the broker dealer and the receipt of fees. They get paid for everything they do, including their role of deception as to Servicer advances.
When you are dealing with smoke and mirrors, look away from the mirror and walk through the smoke. There, in all its glory, is the truth. The only reason Servicer advances are phrased as voluntary is because the broker dealer wants to make the payments every month in order to convince the fund manager that they should buy more mortgage bonds. They want to be able to stop when the house of cards falls down.

The Confusion Over Consideration: If they didn’t pay for it, they have nothing against the property

There have been multiple questions directed at me over the issue of consideration arising from presumptions made about a note and mortgage that appear to be facially valid. Those presumptions are rebuttable and indeed in many cases would be rebutted by the actual facts. That is why asserting the right defenses is so important to set the foundation for discovery.

The cases thrown at me usually relate to adequacy of consideration. Some relate wrongly to Article 3 as to enforcement of the note. I agree that enforcement of the note is easier than enforcement of the mortgage. But that is the point. If they really want the property even a questionable holder of the note might be able to get a civil judgment and that judgment might result in a lien against the property and it might even be foreclosed if the property is not homestead. That is how we protect creditors and property owners. To enforce the mortgage, the claim must be much stronger — it must be filed by a party who actually has the risk of loss because they paid for it.

One case just sent to me is a 2000 case 4th DCA in Florida. Ahmad v Cobb. 762 So 2d 944. The quote I lifted out of that case which was presented to me as though it contradicted my position is the most revealing:

“First, there is no doubt that Ahmad, as the assignee of the Resolution Trust Corporation, owned the rights to the Cobb Corner, Inc. note and mortgage and to the guarantees securing those obligations. He obtained a partial

[762 So.2d 947]

summary judgment which fixed the validity, priority and extent of his debt. Any questions as to the adequacy of the consideration he paid were settled in that ruling.

That is your answer. The time to contest consideration is best done before judgment when you don’t need to prove fraud by clear and convincing evidence. We are also not challenging adequacy of consideration — except that if it recites $10 and other value consideration for a $500,000 loan it casts doubt as to whether the third leg of the stool is actually present — offer, acceptance and consideration. People tend to forget that this is essentially contract law and the contract for loan is no exception to the laws of contract.

We are challenging whether there was any consideration at all because I already know there was none. There couldn’t be. The consideration flowed directly from the investors to the borrower. That is the line of sight of the debt, in most cases.

The closing agent mistakenly or intentionally applied funds from a third party who was not disclosed on the settlement documents. Without receiving any money from the “originator”, the closing agent proceeded to get the signature from the borrower promising to pay the originator when it was a third party who gave the closing agent the funds. If this was a “warehouse loan” in which the originator was borrowing the money with a risk of loss and the liability to pay it back then the originator is a proper party and any assignments from the originator would be valid — if they were supported by consideration. Some loans do fit that criteria but most do not.

I repeat that this is not an attempt to get out of the debt altogether. It is an attack on the note and mortgage because the actual terms of repayment were either never agreed between the investors and the borrowers or are as set forth in the PSA and NOT the note and mortgage.

If the third party (source of funds) is NOT in privity with the originator (which is the structure we are dealing with because the broker dealers wanted to shield themselves from liability for violating fair lending laws) then the closing agent should have obtained instructions from the source of funds as to the application of funds wired into escrow. Anyone who didn’t would be an idiot. But most of them, under that definition would qualify. The closing agent would also be wrong to have demanded the signature of the borrower on documents that (a) did not reveal the source of funds and (b) did not contain all the terms of repayment, as recited in the PSA.

The foreclosure crowd is saying the PSA is irrelevant — but only when it suits them. They are saying that the PSA gives them the authority to proceed with foreclosure but that the terms of the PSA are not relevant. That is crazy, but up until now judges have been buying it because they have not been presented with the fact pattern and legal argument that we are asserting.

In summary, we are saying there was NO CONSIDERATION. We are not attacking adequacy of consideration. I am saying there was no actual transaction between the originator and the borrower and there was no actual transaction between the assignor, indorsor, and the assignee or indorsee. Article 9 of the UCC is clear.

The terms of enforcement of a note govern a looser interpretation of when negotiable paper can be enforced. But the terms of a mortgage cannot be enforced by anyone unless they obtain it for value. Value is consideration. We are saying there wasn’t any consideration. Any decision to the contrary is wrong and can be contested with contrary decisions that are all correct and can be found not only in the public records but in treatises.

And this is absolutely necessary. In a mortgage foreclosure or even attachment, the party seeking the forfeiture must show that this forfeiture is necessary to secure repayment of a debt. It must also show that without this forfeiture, it will suffer a loss. In so doing they establish grounds not only for the foreclosure judgment but also for the foreclosure sale.

As pointed out in the above case, the creditor is the one who submits a creditor’s bid by definition. If the party bringing the action cannot satisfy the elements of a creditor in real money terms, then they are not permitted to bid anything other than cash. Allowing a party who did not acquire the mortgage rights for value would enable strangers to the transaction to acquire property for free, except the costs of litigation. Thus the “free house” argument is specious. It is a distraction from the real facts as to who is getting a free house.

Glaski Court refuses to “depublish” decision, two judges recuse themselves.

Corroborating what I have been saying for years on this blog, the Supreme Court of the state of California is reasserting its position that if entity ABC wants to collect on a debt in California, then that particular entity must own the debt. This is basic common sense and simply follows article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. If a court were to adopt the position of the banks, then a new industry would be born, to wit: spying on people to determine whether or not they are behind on any payment to anyone and then beating the real creditor to court, filing a complaint and getting a judgment without the real creditor even knowing about it. The Supreme Court of the state of California obviously understands this.

This is not really complicated although the words used are complicated. If you find out that your neighbor is behind in payments on their credit cards, it is obvious that you cannot serve your neighbor and collect. You don’t own the debt because you never loaned any money and because you never purchased the debt. If you are allowed to sue and collect on the credit card debt, you and the court would be committing a fraud on the actual creditor. This is why it is absurd for lawyers or judges to say “what difference does it make who they owe the debt to?  They stopped making payments and they are clearly in default.”  Any lawyer or judge makes that statement is wrong. It lacks the foundation of the factual determinations required to establish the existence of the debt, the current balance of the debt after deductions for all payments received from all parties on this account, and the ownership of the debt.

In the first year of law school, we learned that the note is not the debt.  The note is evidence of the debt and the terms of repayment but it is not a substitute for the actual transaction documents. Those transaction documents would have to include proof of transfer of consideration, which in this case would mean wire transfer receipts and wire transfer instructions. The banks don’t want to show the court this because it will show that the originator in most cases never made any loan at all and was merely serving as a sham nominee for an undisclosed lender. The banks are attempting to use this confusion to make themselves real parties in interest when in fact they were never more than intermediaries. And as intermediaries that misused their positions of trust to misrepresent and create fraudulent “mortgage bond” transactions with investors that led to fraudulent loans being made to borrowers.

The banks diverted or stole money from investors on several different levels through multiple channels of conduit sham entities that they called “bankruptcy remote vehicles.” The argument of “too big to fail” is now being rejected by the courts. That is a policy argument for the legislative branch of government. While the bank succeeded in scaring the executive and legislative branches into believing the risk of “too big to fail” most of the people in the legislative and executive branches of government on the federal and state level no longer subscribe to this myth.

There are dozens of other courts on the trial and appellate level across the country that are also grasping this issue. The position of the banks, which is been rejected by Congress and the state legislatures for good reason, would mean  the end of negotiable paper. The banks are desperate because they know they are not the owner of the debt, they are not the creditor, they have no authority to represent the creditor, and their actions are contrary to the interests of the creditor. They are pushing millions of homeowners into foreclosure, or luring them into an apparent default and foreclosure with false promises of modification and settlement.

The reason is simple. Without a foreclosure sale at auction, the banks are exposed to an enormous liability for all the money they collected on the alleged defaulted loans. The amount of the liability is vastly in excess of the entire principal of the loans, which is why I say that the major banks are publishing financial statements that are based on fictitious assets and fictitious income. Nobody can ignore the fact that the broker-dealers (investment banks) are getting sued by investors, insurers, counterparties on credit default swaps, government agencies who have already paid for alleged “losses”, and government agencies that have paid on guarantees for mortgages that did not conform to the required industry-standard underwriting practice.

This latest decision in which the Glaski court, at the request of the banks, revisited its prior decision and then reaffirmed it as a law of the land in the state of California, is evidence that the courts are turning the corner in favor of the real creditors and the real debtors. The recusal by two judges on the California Supreme Court is interesting but at this point there are no conclusions that can be drawn from that.

This opens the door in the state of California for people to regain title to their property or damages for the loss of title. It also serves to open the door to discovery of the actual money trail in order to trace real transactions as opposed to fictitious ones based upon fabricated documentation which often contain forgery, backdating, and are signed by people without authority or people claiming authority through a fictitious power of attorney.

Glaski Court Reaffirms Law of the Land In California: If you don’t own the debt, you cannot collect on it.

Foreclosure Defense: Notes on Practice

I went to a hearing a few days ago and discovered to my surprise a Judge, in a remote section of Florida, who was fully conversant in the rules of procedure, due process and the laws of evidence. It would be improper for me to name him as I am currently counsel of record in an active case before him. The first thing that caught my attention was that in a case before me the Judge reserved ruling on an uncontested motion for summary judgment, to give himself time to review the paperwork and make sure that the paperwork was all in order. That is old style court practice.

In the 1970’s through the 1990’s that is what judges did to make sure the lawyer for the Bank had done his job properly — and that was before routine questions relating to who made the loan, whether the loan was properly originated, whether the loan was properly sold, whether the balance due was properly stated and whether there was an actual creditor who was present in court — someone who fulfilled Florida laws on the description of a creditor who could submit on credit bid at the auction.

The Judge also mentioned that he had presided over three bench trials the day before, two of which he had given judgment to the borrower because the Plaintiff had been unable to make its case. This bespeaks an understanding, knowledge, acceptance and execution of the procedural requirement of establishing a prima facie case thus shifting the burden of proof to the Defendant. And contrary to current practice in many courts, this Judge does not view his role as rubber stamping Foreclosures.

This Judge wants to see the things we have been pointing out on this blog: that if you are the Plaintiff you must prove your case according to the rules. First you must have a witness that actually knows something instead of merely reading off of a computer or a computer report. You must establish a proper foundation rather than an illusion by merely giving the appearance of proffering testimony from an incompetent witness with no knowledge of their own whose employment description consists of testifying in court. And your chain of evidence must be complete before you can be recognized as having established a prima facie case.

In the case in which I appeared the Plaintiff had filed a foreclosure against two homeowners, husband and wife, who then pro se fended off the Plaintiff with materials mostly from this blog and from other sources. But they were at the point where being a lawyer counts, knowing the content and timing of objections, filing motions to strike, motions in limine, responding to 11 th hour motions for protective order etc.

In this case their exists a legitimate question over whether the loan was subject to securitization. Originated in 1996 the loan date goes to the beginning of the era of securitization and this one didn’t have MERS, which I argue is evidence per se of securitization because there is no reason for MERS if your intent is not securitization. But 2 days after the alleged closing the loan was transferred to a player in the world of securitization. Thus the first argument is that this was obviously a table funded loan. Hence the question of where the money came from at the alleged closing table.

Adding to the above, the notice letter to the borrowers of default, acceleration and the right to reinstate suggests that the then “holder” was, in their own words “either a Servicer or lender.” So the very first piece of evidence in the file raises the issue of securitization since the party who sent the notice was not the transferee mentioned above two days after the alleged closing.

Thus questions about the origination and transfers of the loan were appropriately asked in discovery. The Judge was on the fence. Could one slip of the pen open up a whole area of discovery even with the table funded loan allegation?

But in the halls of the foreclosure mills, they had decided to file standardized pretrial statements disclosing witnesses and exhibits. So they filed a motion for protective order as to the discovery, refusing to answer the Discovery, and filed a statement that identified the witness they would use at trial 19 days later as “a corporate representative.” That is no disclosure of a witness and is subject to a motion in limine to block the introduction of any witness. The witness disclosure also attached a list of possible witnesses —37 of them, which I argued is worse than no disclosure and the Judge agreed.

Then in their list of exhibits that they will present at trial they refer to powers of attorney, pooling and servicing agreement, investors, servicer’s, sub-servicers, and all the other parties and documents used in creating the illusion of securitization.

I argued that if they filed a pretrial statement referring to all the parts of securitization of a mortgage loan, then the issues surrounding that are properly the subject of inquiry in discovery and that the 11 th hour filing of a sweeping motion for protective order and failure to respond to any discovery was in bad faith entitling us to sanctions and granting our two motions in limine. The judge agreed but removed the problem by setting the trial for February, and setting forth a schedule of deadlines and hearings a few days after the deadlines so both sides could develop their cases. The ruling was in my opinion entirely proper, even if it denied the motions in limine since he was giving both sides more time to develop their cases.

The moment the hearing ended, opposing counsel approached and was asking about settlement. I countered with a demand that his client immediately show us the chain of actual money starting with origination. He said that wouldn’t be a problem because this was definitely not a securitized loan. I told him I actually knew the parties involved and that most probably this was amongst the first group of securitized loans. I also told him that he would most likely fail in getting the proof of payment at closing, and proof of payment in each of the alleged transfers of the loan.

We’ll see what happens next but I would guess that there will be a lot of wrestling over discovery and more motions in limine. But this time I have a Judge who no matter his personal views that are most likely very conservative, will dispassionately call balls and strikes the way a judge is supposed to do it.

Banks Won’t Take the Money: Insist on Foreclosure Even When Payment in Full is Tendered

Internet Store Notice: As requested by customer service, this is to explain the use of the COMBO, Consultation and Expert Declaration. The only reason they are separate is that too many people only wanted or could only afford one or the other — all three should be purchased. The Combo is a road map for the attorney to set up his file and start drafting the appropriate pleadings. It reveals defects in the title chain and inferentially in the money chain and provides the facts relative to making specific allegations concerning securitization issues. The consultation looks at your specific case and gives the benefit of litigation support consultation and advice that I can give to lawyers but I cannot give to pro se litigants. The expert declaration is my explanation to the Court of the findings of the forensic analysis. It is rare that I am actually called as a witness apparently because the cases are settled before a hearing at which evidence is taken.
If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services. Get advice from attorneys licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property is located. We do provide litigation support — but only for licensed attorneys.
See LivingLies Store: Reports and Analysis

We have seen a number of cases in which the bank is refusing to cooperate with a sale that would pay off the mortgage completely, as demanded, and at least one other case where the homeowner deeded the property without any agreement to the foreclosing party on the assumption that the foreclosing party had a right to foreclose, enforce the note or mortgage. There is a reason for that. They don’t want the money, they don’t even want the house — what they desperately need is a foreclosure judgment because that caps the liability on that loan to repay insurers and CDS counterparties, the Federal Reserve and many other parties who paid in full over and over again for the bonds of the REMIC trust that claimed to have ownership of the loan.

This should and does alert judges that something is amiss and some of their basic assumptions are at least questionable.

I strongly suggest we all read the Renuart article carefully as it contains many elements of what we seek to prove and could be used as an attachment to a memorandum of law. She does not go into the issue of their being actual consideration in the actual transactions because she is unfamiliar with Wall Street practices. But she does make clear that in order for the sale of a note to occur or even the creation of a note, there must be consideration flowing from the payee on the note to the maker. In the absence of that consideration, the note is non-negotiable. Thus it is relevant in discovery to ask for the the proof of the the first transaction in which the note and mortgage were created as well as the following alleged transactions in which it is “presumed” that the loan was sold because of an endorsement or assignment or allonge. To put it simply, if they didn’t pay for it, then it didn’t happen no matter what the instrument or endorsement says.

The facts are that in many if not most cases the origination of the loan, the execution of the note and mortgage and the settlement documents were all created and recorded under the presumption that the payee on the note was the source of consideration. It was easy to make that mistake. The originator was the one stated throughout the disclosure and settlement documents. And of course the money DID appear at the closing. But it did not appear because of anything that the originator did except pretend to be a lender and get paid for its acting service. Lastly, the mistake was easy to make, because even if the loan was known or suspected to be securitized, one would assume that the assignment and assumption agreement for funding would have been between the originator or aggregator (in the predatory loan practice of table funding) and the Trust for the asset pool. Instead it was between the originator and an aggregator who also contributed no consideration or value to the transaction. The REMIC trust is absent from the agreement and so is the ivnestor, the borrower, the isnurers and the counterparties to credit default swaps (CDS).

If the loan had been properly securitized, the investors’ money would have funded the REMIC trust, the Trust would have purchased the loan by giving money, and the assignment to the trust would have been timely (contemporaneous) with the creation of the trust and the sale of the the loan — or the Trust would simply have been named as the payee and secured party. Instead naked nominees and disinterested intermediaries were used in order to divert the promised debt from the investors who paid for it and to divert the promised collateral from the investors who counted on it. The servicer who brings the foreclosure action in its own name, the beneficiary who is self proclaimed and changes the trustee on deeds of trust does so without any foundation in law or fact. None of them meet the statutory standards of a creditor who could submit a credit bid. If the action is not brought by or on behalf of the creditor there is no jurisdiction.

Add to that the mistake made by the courts as to the accounting, and you have a more complete picture of the transactions. The Banks and servicers do not want to reveal the money trail because none exists. The money advanced by investors was the source of funds for the origination and acquisition of residential mortgage loans. But by substituting parties in origination and transfers, just as they substitute parties in non-judicial states without authority to do so, the intermediaries made themselves appear as principals. This presumption falls apart completely when they ordered to show consideration for the origination of the loan and consideration for each transfer of the loan on which they rely.

The objection to this analysis is that this might give the homeowner a windfall. The answer is that yes, a windfall might occur to homeowners who contest the mortgage or who defend foreclosure. But the overwhelming number of homeowners are not seeking a free house with no debt. They would be more than happy to execute new, valid documentation in place of the fatally defective old documentation. But they are only willing to do so with the actual creditor. And they are only willing to do so on the actual balance of their loan after all credits, debits and offsets. This requires discovery or disclosure of the receipt by the intermediaries of money while they were pretending to be lenders or owners of the debt on which they had contributed no value or consideration. Thus the investor’s agents received insurance, CDS and other moneys including sales to the Federal reserve of Bonds that were issued in street name to the name of the investment bankers, but which were purchased by investors and belonged to them under every theory of law one could apply.

Hence the receipt  of that money, which is still sitting with the investment banks, must be credited for purposes of determining the balance of the account receivable, because the money was paid with the express written waiver of any remedy against the borrower homeowners. Hence the payment reduces the account receivable. Those payments were made, like any insurance contract, as a result of payment of a premium. The premium was paid from the moneys held by the investment bank on behalf of the investors who advanced all the funds that were used in this scheme.

If the effect of these transactions was to satisfy the account payable to the investors several times over then the least the borrower should gain is extinguishing the debt and the most, as per the terms of the false note which really can’t be used for enforcement by either side, would be receipt of the over payment. The investor lenders are making claims based upon various theories and settling their claims against the investment banks for their misbehavior. The result is that the investors are satisfied, the investment bank is still keeping a large portion of illicit gains and the borrower is being foreclosed even though the account receivable has been closed.

As long as the intermediary banks continue to pull the wool over the eyes of most observers and act as though they are owners of the debt or that they have some mysterious right to enforce the debt on behalf of an unnamed creditor, and get judgment in the name of the intermediary bank thus robbing the investors, they will continue to interfere with investors and borrowers getting together to settle up. Perhaps the reason is that the debt on all $13 trillion of mortgages, whether in default or not, has been extinguished by payment, and that the banks will be left staring into the angry eyes of investors who finally got the whole picture.

READ CAREFULLY! UNEASY INTERSECTIONS: THE RIGHT TO FORECLOSE AND THE UCC by Elizabeth Renuart, Associate Professor of Law, Albany Law School — Google it or pick it off of Facebook

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,560 other followers

%d bloggers like this: