Modifications: Interest reduction, Principal reduction, Payment reduction, and Term increase

In the financial world we don’t measure just the amount of principal. For example if I increased your mortgage principal by $100,000 and gave you 100 years to pay without interest it would be nearly equivalent to zero principal too (especially factoring in inflation). A reduction in the interest rate has an effect on the overall amount of money due from the borrower if (and this is an important if) the borrower is given 40 years to pay AND they intend to live in the house for that period of time. To the borrower the reduction in interest rate and the extension of the period in which it is due lowers the monthly payment which is all that he or she normally cares about.

Nonetheless you are generally correct. And THAT is because the average time anyone lives in a house is 5-7 years, during which an interest reduction would not equate to much of a principal reduction even with inflation factored in. Unsophisticated borrowers get caught in exactly that trap when they do a modification where the monthly payments decline. But when they want to refinance or sell the home they find themselves in a new bind — having to come to the table with cash to sell their home because the mortgage is upside down.

So the question that must be answered is what are the intentions of the homeowner. The only heuristic guide (rule of thumb) that seems to hold true is that if the house has been in the family for generations, it is indeed likely that they will continue to own the property. In that event calculations of interest and inflation, present value etc. make a big difference. But for most people, the only thing that cures their position of being upside down (ignoring the fact that they probably don’t owe the full amount demanded anyway) is by a direct principal reduction.

THAT is the reason why I push so hard on getting credit for receipt of insurance and other loss sharing arrangements, including FDIC, servicer advances etc. Get credit for those and you have a principal CORRECTION (i.e., you get to the truth) instead of a principal REDUCTION, which presumes the old balance was actually due. It isn’t due and it is probable that there is nothing due on the debt, in addition to the fact that it is not secured by the property because the mortgage and note do NOT describe any actual transaction that took place between the parties to the note and the mortgage.

Damages Rising: Wrongful Foreclosure Costs Wells Fargo $3.2 Million

Damage awards for wrongful foreclosure are rising across the country. In New Mexico a judge issued a $3.2 million judgment (including $2.7 million in punitive damages) against Wells Fargo for foreclosing on a man’s home after his death even though he had an insurance policy through the bank that paid the remaining balance on his mortgage. The balance “owed” on the mortgage was $125,000. Despite the fact that the bank knew about the insurance (because it was purchased through the bank) Wells Fargo continued to pursue foreclosure, ignoring the claim for insurance. It is because of cases like this that people are asking “why would they do that?”

The answer is what I’ve been saying for years.  Where a loan is subject to claims of securitization, and the investment banks lied to insurers, investors, guarantors and other co-obligors, they most likely have been paid many times for the same loan and never gave credit to the investors. By not crediting the investors they created the illusion of a higher balance that was due on the loan. They also created the illusion of a default that probably never occurred. But by pursuing foreclosure and foreclosure sale, they compounded the illusion and avoided claims for refund and repayment received from third parties and created claims for recovery of servicer advances. In many foreclosures that I have  reviewed, payments received from the FDIC under loss-sharing were never taken into account. Thus the bank collects money repeatedly for a loss it never incurred.

This case is another example of why I insist on following the money. By following the money trail you will discover that the documents upon which the foreclosure relies referred to  fictitious transactions. The documents are worthless, but nevertheless accepted in court unless a proper objection is made based upon preserving issues for trial and appeal by proper pleading and discovery.

Lawyers should take note of this profit opportunity. Most homeowners are looking for attorneys to take cases on contingency. Typical contingency fee is 40%. If these lawyers were on a typical contingency fee arrangement, their payday would have been around $1.2 million.

I should add that for every one of these judgments that are reported, I hear about dozens of confidential settlements that are of similar nature, to wit: clear title on the house, damages and attorneys fees.

Wells Fargo Ordered to Pay $3.2 Million for “Shocking” Foreclosure

Who Has the Power to Execute a Satisfaction and Release of Mortgage?

 The answer to that question is that probably nobody has the right to execute a satisfaction of mortgage. That is why the mortgage deed needs to be nullified. In the typical situation the money was taken from investors and instead of using it to fund the REMIC trust, the broker-dealer used it as their own money and funded the origination or acquisition of loans that did not qualify under the terms proposed in the prospectus given to investors. Since the money came from investors either way (regardless of whether their money was put into the trust) the creditor is that group of investors. Instead, neither the investors or even the originator received the original note at the “closing” because neither one had any legal interest in the note. Thus neither one had any interest in the mortgage despite the fact that the nominee at closing was named as “lender.”

This is why so many cases get settled after the borrower aggressively seeks discovery.

The name of the lender on the note and the mortgage was often some other entity used as a bankruptcy remote vehicle for the broker-dealer, who for purposes of trading and insurance represented themselves to be the owner of the loans and mortgage bonds that purportedly derive their value from the loans. Neither representation was true. And the execution of fabricated, forged and unauthorized assignments or endorsements does not mean that there is any underlying business transaction with offer, acceptance and consideration. Hence, when a Court order is entered requiring that the parties claiming rights under the note and mortgage prove their claim by showing the money trail, the case is dropped or settled under seal of confidentiality.

The essential problem for enforcement of a note and mortgage in this scenario is that there are two deals, not one. In the first deal the investors agreed to lend money based upon a promise to pay from a trust that was never funded, has no assets and has no income. In the second deal the borrower promises to pay an entity that never loaned any money, which means that they were not the lender and should not have been put on the mortgage or note.

Since the originator is an agent of the broker-dealer who was not acting within the course and scope of their relationship with the investors, it cannot be said that the originator was a nominee for the investors. It isn’t legal either. TILA requires disclosure of all parties to the deal and all compensation. The two deals were never combined at either level. The investor/lenders were never made privy to the real terms of the mortgages that violated the terms of the prospectus and the borrower was not privy to the terms of repayment from the Trust to the investors and all the fees that went with the creation of multiple co-obligors where there had only been one in the borrower’s “closing.”.

The identity of the lender was intentionally obfuscated. The identity of the borrower was also intentionally obfuscated. Neither party would have completed the deal in most cases if they had actually known what was going on. The lender would have objected not only to the underwriting standards but also because their interest was not protected by a note and mortgage. The borrower  would have been alerted to the fact that huge fees were being taken along the false securitization trail. The purpose of TILA is to avoid that scenario, to wit: borrower should have a choice as to the parties with whom he does business. Those high feelings would have alerted the borrower to seek an alternative loan elsewhere with less interest and greater security of title —  or not do the deal at all because the loan should never have been underwritten or approved.

Arizona Appeals Court Reverses Direction: Dismissal of Borrower’s Claims Reversed

JOIN US TONIGHT AT 6PM Eastern time on The Neil Garfield Show. We will discuss this decision and other important developments affecting consumers, borrowers and banks.

Congratulations to Attorney Barbara J. Forde!!

HIGHLIGHTS: Steinberger v Hon. McVey/OneWest

Discharge of Debt — money that OneWest received from FDIC to pay off loss on loan discharges the debt. If it is true that the FDIC has already reimbursed OneWest for all or part of [the borrower's] default, OneWest may not be entitled to recover that amount from [the borrower}. This corroborates what we have been writing in this blog regarding third-party payments and the existence of co-obligors. To the extent that third party payments have been received by the creditor this court is saying that nobody can collect those same payments (on the same debt) from the borrower.

Unconscionability: Procedural and Substantive: Unfair surprise and fairness, respectively, are the main elements. This opinion raises the possibility of bringing claims that might have been barred by the TILA Statute of Limitations. Pleading requirements are strict. But if you read the decision you can tell that there is room for borrowers to oppose enforcement of contracts that produced sticker shock and other unfair surprises.

Quiet title: This Court concluded that you can’t quiet title based upon the weakness of someone else’s claim. You must allege your right to title and that the parties served have no claim.

Negligence Per Se: Opening a whole new area for litigation this Court concluded that negligence and negligence per se, were valid causes of action for damages and other relief in connection with the handling of modification and other requests.

Negligent Performance of an Undertaking:  This court concluded that the borrower has a cause of action is the lender or the lenders agents or representatives Lord her into defaulting on her loan with the prospect of a loan modification and then negligently administered her application for the modification, causing her to fall so far behind on her payments that it was no longer possible to reinstate her original loan. Borrower must allege that she never obtained a loan modification and that the bank’s conduct ultimately led to the foreclosure on her home.

Good Samaritan Doctrine:  Lender may be held liable under the Good Samaritan Doctrine when a lender or its agent or representative induces a borrower to default on his or her loan by promising a loan modification if he or she defaults. If the borrower in reliance on the promise to modify the loan subsequently defaults on the loan and the lender fails to process the loan modification or due to the lender or agent or representative’s negligence the borrower is not granted a loan modification and the lender subsequently forecloses on the borrower’s property. Note: this is in Arizona decision and is subject to review by the Arizona Supreme Court. It is not dispositive as to all actions in Arizona and can only be used as persuasive authority in other states or federal court.

 Cause of action to avoid a trustee’s sale: The Hogan decision was considered governing but as we pointed out when the decision was made, the Arizona Supreme Court went out of its way to say that  the borrower never alleged that the trustee lacked the authority to conduct a trustee sale and therefore its decision did not address this issue. This court points that out and upheld the borrowers cause of action to avoid a trustee sale based upon the claim that the trustee did not have the authority to conduct a sale of the property. The reasoning behind this decision may well apply in judicial states as well.

 This decision needs to be analyzed carefully. I have only just received it. In the coming days I will provide additional analysis.

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Explains Wells Fargo Servicer Advances

In order to obtain forensic reports including servicer advances please go to http://www.livingliesstore.com or call 520-405-1688. for litigation support to attorneys call 850-765-1236.

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Mortgage Lenders Network v Wells Fargo, Chapter 11, Case 07-10146(PJW), Adv. Proc., Case 07-51683(PJW)

In an adversary proceeding in which evidence was presented, Judge Walsh dissected the confusing complex agreements involving the real set of co-obligors’ liability to the Creditor REMIC trust. Many thanks to our legal intern, Sara Mangan, currently a law student at FSU.

I had no idea the case existed. It apparently got buried because of all the ancillary issues presented. If you really want to understand the complexity of repayments to the creditor, this is one case that deserves your full attention.

As usual the best decisions are found when the adversaries are both institutions. We are looking for more such cases. This certainly applies to any Wells Fargo case and explains the nervousness of the witness during trial when I asked him about whether the records he brought were complete.

The LPS Desktop system (formerly Fidelity) INCLUDES servicer advances and computations made based upon that. The unavoidable conclusion, drawn by this Judge, is that everything we have been saying about servicer advances is true. Everything in our forensic report is true as to all properties. The servicer makes those payments based upon a payment of enlarged fees for taking the risk on itself, according to the agreements. Whether there is an actual right to recover from anyone is actually not specifically stated except that the net proceeds of liquidation of REO properties after the auction are subject to servicer claims. This might include other insurance or guarantees.

There is no default experienced by the creditor. There is a new potential for a new party (not mentioned in note or mortgage) for recovery outside the terms of the note and mortgage. The expectation is that there will be a foreclosure and there will be a sale. If there is no foreclosure and there is no sale, then the amounts are not recoverable — unless the servicer too is insured. But all of those insurance contracts seem to have been purchased and procured by the broker-dealer (investment bank) that sold the bogus mortgage bonds. The conclusion to be drawn is that the default notice to the homeowner-borrower might be valid (probably not, because servicer advances have already begun) but it is cured immediately after it is sent by payments, often from the same party who sent the default notice.

Remember the language in US Bank and Chase et al. The servicer SHALL make the advances unless it believes the advances are not recoverable. If the servicer was merely making a loan to the trust beneficiaries there would be little doubt that the advances were recoverable. They can argue that the advances are recoverable in substance from the borrower, but that is only AFTER the foreclosure Judgement and AFTER the sale and AFTER the liquidation of the property after the auction sale.

In this case, the following issues are addressed:

1. Servicer advances — in 4 categories. Why they are advanced and when and how they might be recoverable — when the properties are liquidated. There is some confusing language in there about the trusts, so you need to read it carefully. But the main point is that this is a case of prior servicer and new servicer, both of whom take on the obligation of making servicer advances whether the borrower pays or not. If there is a short fall, the servicer pays — or an insurer. In reality, and not addressed by the Court is the fact that in all probability the actual money advanced by the servicer most likely comes from a slush fund created by language buried deep inside the Prospectus or Pooling and Servicing Agreement that allows the investment banker to pay the trust beneficiaries using their own money advanced by them when they became trust beneficiaries.
2. Recovery is clearly stated as whatever money is left after the REO property has been liquidated or from the borrower. [Note there is ONE reference by the Judge to recovering from the Trust but he doesn't explain it nor does he cite to anything in the agreements]. Since this provision is not referenced in the mortgage, they cannot be traveling under the mortgage and there is no mention of the mortgage provisions in this decision. Since those proceeds frequently are far less than the amount advanced, there is ono direct right of action by the servicer against the borrower, although I postulate that they could potentially bring an unsecured claim for restitution or unjust enrichment.
3. In the end one previous servicer owes the other new servicer the advances, not the trust and not the borrower.
4. There is insurance that makes sure that if the servicer doesn’t make the payments, then the insurer will make-up the shortfall. The insurers do not appear to have any recourse against anyone.

5. There can be no doubt that there are two types of default — one where the borrower stops paying on a note and mortgage (assuming the note and mortgage are valid) and the other, where the REMIC trust beneficiaries fail to get the required distribution as set forth by the Prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement.

6. The conclusion I draw is that the recovery of advances “by the servicer” takes place after the mortgage has been foreclosed, by which time the initial homeowner borrower is out of the picture. Hence, it seems that while there are “proceeds” that can be claimed by the servicer, it is under a separate transaction with the REMIC Trust and under a potential right to claim money from the borrower for contribution or unjust enrichment — with unjust enrichment being a center-point of this case.

This case also explains many other transactions that occur between the servicer and other entities. It isn’t the encyclopaedia of servicer advances, but it explains a lot of what I have been talking about. When the borrower stops making payments for any reason (and perhaps legal reasons for withholding payment, or being prevented from making payments by a servicer who proclaims the loan to be in default), the creditor keep getting paid. So even if the allegation is that the cessation of payments was a default under the note and mortgage, the fact remains that the creditor is not experiencing any default because payments are being made in full by various parties to the creditor. Hence, my question to corporate representatives, about whether they are showing the full record, and whether the books of the creditor show a default. They don’t, if servicer advances were made. I have personally seen a Wells Fargo witness get quite agitated as I approached this subject.

Servicers have kept this information away from borrowers and have withheld it from the courts when they do their accounting.  I would add that if the  argument from opposing counsel is that the servicer advances are secured by the mortgage because of language that includes the word “advances” then they are admitting at this point that the entire structure of the loan as presented to the homeowner borrower was a lie. Under the federal truth in lending act such disclosure was entirely necessary to complete the transaction.

It will also be inevitably argued that this gives the homeowner borrower a free ride. Of course we all know that there is no free ride in this. The homeowner has usually made a substantial down payment and has made monthly payments for years. The homeowner had spent a lot of money on furnishing and completing the house. There is no free ride. But the best argument against the “free ride” allegation is that this is asserted by the party with unclean hands (and often intentionally withheld information from the court or even committed perjury).

read all about it: case on servicer advances and unjust enrichment

ALERT: COMMUNITY BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS AT GRAVE RISK HOLDING $1.5 TRILLION IN MBS

I’ve talked about this before. It is why we offer a Risk Analysis Report to Community Banks and Credit Unions. The report analyzes the potential risk of holding MBS instruments in lieu of Treasury Bonds. And it provides guidance to the bank on making new loans on property where there is a history of assignments, transfers and other indicia of claims of securitization.

The risks include but are not limited to

  1. MBS Instrument issued by New York common law trust that was never funded, and has no assets or expectation of same.
  2. MBS Instrument was issued by NY common law trust on a tranche that appeared safe but was tied by CDS to the most toxic tranche.
  3. Insurance paid to investment bank instead of investors
  4. Credit default swap proceeds paid to investment banks instead of investors
  5. Guarantees paid to investment banks after they have drained all value through excessive fees charged against the investor and the borrowers on loans.
  6. Tier 2 Yield Spread Premiums of as much as 50% of the investment amount.
  7. Intentional low underwriting standards to produce high nominal interest to justify the Tier 2 yield spread premium.
  8. Funding direct from investor funds while creating notes and mortgages that named other parties than the investors or the “trust.”
  9. Forcing foreclosure as the only option on people who could pay far more than the proceeds of foreclosure.
  10. Turning down modifications or settlements on the basis that the investor rejected it when in fact the investor knew nothing about it. This could result in actions against an investor that is charged with violations of federal law.
  11. Making loans on property with a history of “securitization” and realizing later that the intended mortgage lien was junior to other off record transactions in which previous satisfactions of mortgage or even foreclosure sales could be invalidated.

The problem, as these small financial institutions are just beginning to realize, is that the MBS instruments that were supposedly so safe, are not safe and may not be worth anything at all — especially if the trust that issued them was never funded by the investment bank who did the underwriting and sales of the MBS to relatively unsophisticated community banks and credit unions. In a word, these small institutions were sitting ducks and probably, knowing Wall Street the way I do, were lured into the most toxic of the “bonds.”

Unless these small banks get ahead of the curve they face intervention by the FDIC or other regulatory agencies because some part of their assets and required reserves might vanish. These small institutions, unlike the big ones that caused the problem, don’t have agreements with the Federal government to prop them up regardless of whether the bonds were real or worthless.

Most of the small banks and credit unions are carrying these assets at cost, which is to say 100 cents on the dollar when in fact it is doubtful they are worth even half that amount. The question is whether the bank or credit union is at risk and what they can do about it. There are several claims mechanisms that can employed for the bank that finds itself facing a write-off of catastrophic or damaging proportions.

The plain fact is that nearly everyone in government and law enforcement considers what happens to small banks to be “collateral damage,” unworthy of any effort to assist these institutions even though the government was complicit in the fraud that has resulted in jury verdicts, settlements, fines and sanctions totaling into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

This is a ticking time bomb for many institutions that put their money into higher yielding MBS instruments believing they were about as safe as US Treasury bonds. They were wrong but not because of any fault of anyone at the bank. They were lied to by experts who covered their lies with false promises of ratings, insurance, hedges and guarantees.

Those small institutions who have opted to take the bank public, may face even worse problems with the SEC and shareholders if they don’t report properly on the balance sheet as it is effected by the downgrade of MBS securities. The problem is that most auditing firms are not familiar with the actual facts behind these securities and are likely a this point to disclaim any responsibility for the accounting that produces the financial statements of the bank.

I have seen this play out before. The big investment banks are going to throw the small institutions under the bus and call it unavoidable damage that isn’t their problem. despite the hard-headed insistence on autonomy and devotion to customer service at each bank, considerable thought should be given to banding together into associations that are not controlled by regional banks are are part of the problem and will most likely block any solution. Traditional community bank associations and traditional credit unions might not be the best place to go if you are looking to a real solution.

Community Banks and Credit Unions MUST protect themselves and make claims as fast as possible to stay ahead of the curve. They must be proactive in getting a credible report that will stand up in court, if necessary, and make claims for the balance. Current suits by investors are producing large returns for the lawyers and poor returns to the investors. Our entire team stands ready to assist small institutions achieve parity and restitution.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN NEIL GARFIELD AND THE BANK OFFICERS (WITH THE BANK’S LAWYER) ON THE LINE, EXECUTIVES FOR SMALL COMMUNITY BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS SHOULD CALL OUR TALLAHASSEE NUMBER 850-765-1236 or OUR WEST COAST NUMBER AT 520-405-1688.

BLK | Thu, Nov 14

BlackRock with ETF push to smaller banks • The roughly 7K regional and community banks in the U.S. have securities portfolios totaling $1.5T, the majority of which is in MBS, putting them at a particularly high interest rate risk, and on the screens of regulators who would like to see banks diversify their holdings. • “This is going to be a multiple-year trend and dialogue,” says BlackRock’s (BLK) Jared Murphy who is overseeing the iSharesBonds ETFs campaign. • The funds come with an expense ratio of 0.1% and the holdings are designed to limit interest rate risk. BlackRock scored its first big sale in Q3 when a west coast regional invested $100M in one of the funds. • At issue are years of bank habits – when they want to reduce mortgage exposure, they typically turn to Treasurys. For more credit exposure, they habitually turn to municipal bonds. “Community bankers feel like they’re going to be the last in the food chain to know if there are any problems with a corporate issuer,” says a community bank consultant.

Full Story: http://seekingalpha.com/currents/post/1412712?source=ipadportfolioapp

Insurance and Hedge Proceeds Applied to Loan Balances

One of the more controversial statements I have made is that certain types of payments from third party sources should be applied, pro rata, against loan balances. Some have stated that the collateral source rule bars using third party payments as offset to the debt. But that rule is used in tort cases and contract cases are different. There are certain types of payments, like guarantees from Fannie and Freddie that might not be susceptible to use as offset because they are caused by the default of the debtor and because they are not paid until the foreclosure is complete.

But the insurance, credit default swaps and other hedge products that caused the banks to receive payment are a different story. Those are not paid because of a default by any particular borrower but rather are caused by a unilateral declaration of a “credit event” declared by the Master Servicer and are paid to the holder of the mortgage bonds. The mortgage bonds are issued by a trust based upon the advance of money by investors who wish to pool their money into an asset pool and receive income with what was thought to be a minimum of risk.

Since the broker-dealers (investment banks) were acting as agents for the trust and the bond holders, any money received by them should have first been allocated to the trust, then pro rata to the bond holders. Whether or not this money was actually forwarded to the bond holders is irrelevant if the investment banks were the agents of the investment vehicle and thus owed a duty to the investors to whom they sold the mortgage bonds.

Logic dictates that if the money was paid to the banks as “holders” of the bond (because they were issued in street name as nominee securities) that the balance owed by the trust to the investors was correspondingly reduced — reflecting the devaluation of the bonds declared by the master servicer based upon such criteria as the lack of liquidity of the bonds that had been trading freely on a weekly basis, or because of the severe drop in real estate prices down to their actual values, or because of other factors.

It should be noted that the declaration of the banks is unilateral and in their sole discretion and not subject to challenge by anyone because the declaration creates an irrefutable presumption that the content of the declaration is true. Thus the insurance company must pay, the credit default swap counterparty must pay and other hedge partners must pay as a result of an act by the bank, not the investor nor the borrower.

All the loans contained in the asset pool subject to the declared credit event are affected. And since the reason for the declaration has little relationship to defaults, and plenty of other more important reasons, the amount owed to investors is reduced by the receipt of the payments by their agent, the bank. That means the account receivable of the lender is reduced, regardless of which bank account the money happens to be deposited.

If the account receivable is reduced before, during or after a delinquency of the borrower (assuming the loan is actually in existence) then the borrowers’ balances should be reduced, pro rata for each loan in the asset pool that was the subject of the declaration of a credit event. It is therefore my opinion that the homeowner could and probably should file an affirmative defense for offset for the pro rata share of insurance, credit default swaps etc.

There is one more source that should be considered for offset. Several investors have made claims against the banks claiming that their money was misused and that the terms of the loan were not followed including, bad underwriting and unenforceable documents created at closing. Many of them have already settled those claims and received payment, thus reducing their account receivable from the trust (and by pure logic reducing, dollar for dollar the account payable from the trust). Since the sole source of payment on the bond is the payment of the mortgages, it follows that by utilizing the most simple of accounting standards, the balance owed by the homeowner would be correspondingly be reduced, pro rata, dollar for dollar.

The fact that the underwriting was bad, the loans were not viable or enforceable and based upon inflated appraisals and lies about the income of the borrower, is not something caused by the borrower. The fact that the money was paid to all of the investors in that particular asset pool means that each investor should get a share equal to the amount of money they invested compared to all the money that was invested in that pool.

As to figuring out how much of the offset goes to the borrower’s account payable, it should be calculated in the same way. The amount of the borrower’s debt should be compared with the total amount of loans in the asset pool. This percentage should be applied against all third party payments that did not arise out of the default by the borrowers. In fact, it should be applied against all borrowers whose loans were claimed by that asset pool, whether they were in default or not. This would be grounds for a claim by people who are “current” in their payments for a credit or refund of the amount received from insurance, credit default swaps, or payments by the banks in settlement of investors’ claims of fraud.

This approach should be brought up very early in litigation so that there is plenty of time to pursue the discovery required to determine the amount received and the proper calculation of pro rata shares. If you do it at trial, the best you can hope for is that the judge will take notice of the fact that the foreclosing party only brought part of the documents relating to the loan instead of all of them, which should be the subject of a subpoena for the designated witness of the bank to bring with her or him all of the documents relating to the subject loan or any instrument deriving its value in whole or in part from the subject loan’s existence.

Thus at trial you can have a two pronged attack, getting them coming and going. The first is of course the fact that the originator did not fund the loan and that the break between the money trail (actual transactions) and the paper trail (fictitious transactions) occurred at the closing table. In most cases that is true, but it can be replaced or buttressed by the fact that the same argument holds true for acquired loans that were previously originated. The endorsement of the note or assignment of mortgage is a fictitious instrument if there was no sale of the loan. The important thing is to talk about the money first and then use that to show that the documents are fabricated relating to no real transaction.

Then you also have the argument of offset which hopefully by then you will have set up by discovery.

Practice Note: Many lawyers are accepting fee retainers far below the level that would support properly litigating these cases. Now that the marketplace has matured, lawyers should reconsider their pricing and their prosecution of the defenses, affirmative defenses and counterclaims. Even clients who announce a goal of just staying as long as possible without paying rent or mortgage are probably saying that because they think they owe more money than is actually the case.

Glaski Decision in California Appellate Court Turns the Corner on “Getting It”

8/8/13 NOTE: This decision was approved for publication and therefore applies to all cases within the district of the appellate court.

On the other hand we should not assume that they have arrived nor that this decision will have pervasive effects throughout California or elsewhere in the United States or other countries.

J.P. Morgan did suffer a crushing defeat in this decision. And the borrower definitely receive the benefits of a judicial decision that will allow the borrower to sue for wrongful foreclosure including equitable and legal relief which in plain language means reversing the foreclosure and getting damages. Probably one of the most damaging conclusions by the appellate court is that an examination of whether the loan ever made it into the asset pool is proper in determining the proper party to initiate a foreclosure or to offer a credit bid at a foreclosure auction.  The court said that alleged transfers into the trust after the cutoff date are void under New York State law which is the law that governs the common-law trusts created by the banks as part of the fraudulent securitization scheme.

Before you give them a standing ovation remember that it is possible for additional documentation to be created, fabricated and forged showing that despite the apparent violation of the cutoff date, the trustee has accepted the loan into the trust. This will most likely be a lie. I don’t think there is any entity acting as trustee of a trust that doesn’t know that it is under intense scrutiny and doesn’t want to be subject to liability that could amount to trillions of dollars advanced by investors with the purchase of bogus mortgage-backed bonds that were presumably managed by the trustee but in reality not managed at all  because the bonds were worthless. This gave the banks the opportunity to claim that they owned the bonds and therefore had an insurable interest which gave rise to the whole problem with AIG and AMBAC and other insurers or parties who had guaranteed the bond, the loan or any loss (credit default swaps).

The fact that the loan in this case was definitely securitized is also interesting. Of course Washington Mutual was stating to everyone that it was not involved in the securitization of mortgage loans when in fact nearly all of the loans originated became subject to claims of securitization. This case explains why I never say that the loan was securitized or that the loan was in any particular trust, to wit: I don’t believe that a funded trust exists with the ability to purchase loans and therefore I don’t believe the loans are in any of the asset pools. So when people ask me how they can prove which trust their loan is actually in, I reply that they are asking the wrong question.

What is being played out here in this case and hundreds of thousands of other cases is a representation by the foreclosing entity that the trust owns the loan when in fact it never owned the loan nor could it because the money that was advanced by investors was never deposited into the trust. We have the same banks representing to regulatory authorities and insurers that it is the bank and not the trust that owns the loan even though the bank merely made the loan using money advanced by investors who believed that they were buying mortgage-backed bonds. The truth is they were merely making a deposit into an account maintained by the investment bank. The resulting transactions do not qualify for exemption as securities or insurance under the 1998 law. Nor do they qualify for REMIC treatment under the Internal Revenue Code.

In other words if you take a close look and actually follow the path of the money and the path of the paper you will find that despite the pronouncements from the Department of Justice and other agencies, this is a simple fraud case using a Ponzi model. The hallmark of a Ponzi model is that it collapses as soon as the investors stop buying the bogus securities. If the government cares to do so it can freely prosecute the individuals and companies involved without any air of exemption under the 1998 law because none of the parties followed the securitization path presumed by the 1998 law. So we are back to this, to wit: a security is a security and subject to SEC regulations and insurance is an insurance contract subject to insurance regulators, and fraud is fraud subject to recovery of restitution, compensatory damages, punitive damages, treble damages etc.

You should remember when reading this decision that the appellate court was not ruling in favor of the borrower granting the substantive relief the borrower  was seeking. The appellate court merely reversed the trial court decision to dismiss the borrower’s claims. That only means that the borrower now as an opportunity to prove the elements of quiet title, wrongful foreclosure, slander of title, cancellation of instruments and relief under California’s version of unfair business practices. But the devil is in the details and proving the case requires aggressive discovery and aggressive preparation for trial. It is highly probable that the case will settle. The bank will probably be willing to pay almost any amount of money to avoid a judgment setting forth the elements of a wrongful foreclosure and how the bank violated the law.

The Bank will attempt to avoid any final order that undermines the value of loans that are subject to claims of securitization, because those loans supposedly support the value of the bogus mortgage-backed bonds sold to investors.  Any such final order would also undermine the balance sheet of J.P. Morgan and any other major bank carrying the mortgage bonds as assets on their balance sheet. If those assets are diminished, then the bank is not as well funded as it has been reporting. In fact, those assets might well vanish completely from the balance sheet of those banks, causing the banks to be seized by the FDIC and broken up into smaller pieces for regional and community banks to pick up. Hence this decision represents a risk factor that could eliminate the legal fiction created by smoke and mirrors from Wall Street banks, to wit: it is not the borrowers who are deadbeats, it is the banks who are broke and whose management has run off with billions and perhaps trillions of dollars that should be in the United States economy. The absence of that money lies at the root of our unemployment and low economic activity.

This Glaski case has many of the elements that we have been discussing for years. Fabricated documents, forgeries, perjury, false affidavits and no money trail to backup the story painted by the fabricated documents. And of course it has our old friend Washington Mutual Bank And the supposed take over by Chase Bank that never actually happened.

And it involves the issue of assignments and the fact that the assignment is not the transaction itself but only a report of a transaction. If the borrower proves that the transaction reported in the assignment or other instrument of conveyance never occurred, or if the borrower is successful in shifting the burden of proof to the bank to show that it did occur, the assignment will have no value whatsoever unless the transaction is present, to wit: that someone actually purchased the loan through the payment of money or other valuable consideration that was received by a party who actually owned the loan.

Thus even if Chase Bank were able to show that it entered into a transaction in which the loans were transferred (something we can find no evidence of which the FDIC receiver says never occurred) that would only be the equivalent of a quit claim deed, to wit: whoever received the consideration for the transfer of the loans was merely conveying any interest they had even if they had no interest at all. Hence the transactions by which Washington Mutual allegedly came to be the owner of the loan must be examined in the same way as the transaction between the Washington Mutual bankruptcy estate and chase bank.

You should also take note that the decision was published with the admonition that it is  “not to be published in the official reports.”  this is further indication that the court is concerned about the far-reaching effects of the decision and essentially tells trial judges that they do not have to follow it. So for those who wish to point to this decision and say “game over” we are not there yet. But I do think that we passed the halfway point and we are probably in the fifth or sixth inning of a nine inning game. Translating that to time, I would estimate that it’s going to take another three or four years to clean up this mess and that it might take several decades to clean up the title corruption that was created by the banks.

http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/2013/08/01/glaski-v-bank-of-america-ca5-5th-appellate-district-securitization-failed-ny-trust-law-applied-ruling-to-protect-remic-status-non-judicial-foreclosure-statutes-irrelevant-because-sa/

BOA Seeks to Seal Damaging Testimony from Urban Lending

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

WHY ARE THE BANKS FIGHTING TO GET AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE FROM EACH “FAILED” LOAN?

A drama is playing out in the state of Massachusetts. Bank of America is pretending to be the lender or the authorized servicer or both. But it outsourced the task of dealing with borrowers seeking modification. The company that was used is Urban Lending Solutions (ULS).  A deposition was taken from a knowledgeable source from within ULS.  The attorney  taking the deposition was merely looking for evidence of a script prepared by Bank of America that ULS employees were to follow. Not only was the script uncovered but considerable other evidence suggested institutional policies at Bank of America that were in direct conflict with the requirements of law, and in direct violation of the settlements with the Department of Justice and the banking regulators.

The transcript of the deposition was sealed at the request of Bank of America, which the borrower did not interpose any objection. Now there are a lot of people who want to see that deposition and who want to take the deposition of the same witness and other witnesses at ULS who might reveal the real intent of Bank of America. The question which is sought to be answered is why the mega banks are fighting so hard to take less money in a foreclosure sale then they would get in a modification or even a short sale. The policy is obvious. Borrowers are lured into a hole that gets deeper and deeper so that foreclosure seems inevitable and indefensible. Even after a successful trial modification the banks are turning down the permanent modification, as though they had the power to do so.

Now a number of attorneys are preparing motions to the trial court in Massachusetts to unseal the transcript of the ULS employee. Bank of America is opposing these efforts on the grounds of “confidentiality” which from my perspective makes absolutely no sense. Why would Bank of America share confidential information or trade secrets with a vendor whose only purpose was to interfere with the modification process? My opinion is that the only information that Bank of America wishes to keep secret is that the instructions they gave to ULS clearly show that Bank of America was not interested in anything other than achieving a foreclosure sale in as many cases as possible.

In nearly all cases the modification of the loan more than doubles the prospect of proceeds from the loan and in some cases approaches 100%. Thus the full-court press from the megabanks to go to foreclosure is a mystery that will be solved. My sources from inside the industry together with my own analysis indicates that the reason is very simple. The banks took in money from investors, insurers, counterparties in credit default swaps, the Federal Reserve, the Department of the Treasury and other parties based on the representation of the banks that (A) the banks owned the mortgage bonds and therefore on the loans and (B) there was a loss resulting from widespread defaults on mortgages. Under the terms of the various contracts within the false chain of securitization and the Master servicer had sole discretion as to whether or not the value of the mortgage bonds and the asset pools had declined and had sole discretion as to the amount of the loss caused by the defaults. Both representations were false — the Banks did not own the bonds or the loans and the loss was not even close to what was represented to insurers and other third parties.

As a general rule of thumb, the banks computed value of the collateral at around 25% and therefore received payment to compensate the banks for a 75% loss. They received the payment several times over and then sold the mortgage bonds to the Federal Reserve for 100% of the face value of the bonds. It can be fairly estimated that they received no less than 250% of the principal amount due on each of the loans contained within the asset pool that had issued each mortgage bond. While they had to create the appearance of objectivity by showing a number of the loans as performing, they intentionally overestimated the number of loans that were in default or were in the process of going into default.

Let us not forget that while nobody was looking the Federal Reserve has been “purchasing” the worthless mortgage bonds at the rate of $85 billion per month for a long time and doesn’t appear to have any intention of stopping that flow of money to banks that have already received more than 100% of the principal due on the notes. And lest you be confused, the money the banks received should have gone to the investors and should never have been kept by the banks. The purchases by the Federal Reserve at 100% of face value despite a market value of zero is merely a way for the Federal Reserve to keep the mega banks floating on an illusion.

Since the banks received 250% of the principal amount due on the loan, an actual recovery from the borrower of 100% (for example) on the loan would leave the banks with a liability to all of the third parties that paid the banks. The refund liability would obviously be 150% of the principal amount due on the loan and the banks would be required to turn over the hundred percent recovery from the borrower to the investors adding to their liability. THIS IS WHY I SAY CALL THEIR BLUFF AND OFFER THEM ALL THE MONEY DEMANDED ON CONDITION THAT THEY PROVE OWNERSHIP AND PROVE THE LOSS IS ACTUALLY THE LOSS OF THE BANK AND NOT OF THE INVESTORS.

But if the case goes through a foreclosure sale, the banks can take a comfortable position that the number of defaults and the depth of the loss was as great as they represented when they took payment from insurers and other third parties. The liability of 250% is completely eliminated. Thus while it might appear to be in the bank’s interest to take a 60% recovery from the borrower instead of a 25% recovery from a foreclosure sale, the liability that would be created each time alone was modified or settled would dwarf the apparent savings to the pretender lender or actual creditor.

The net result is that on a $100,000 loan, the investor takes an extra $35,000 loss over and above what would normally apply in a workout and the bank avoids $250,000 in liabilities to third parties who paid based upon false representations of losses.

The mere fact that they went to great lengths to seal the transcript indicates how vulnerable they feel.

PRACTICE MEMO TO FORECLOSURE DEFENSE LAWYERS

As a condition precedent I would suggest that in all cases where we feel the deposition transcript would be helpful I think it would create more credibility if you issued a subpoena duces tecum directed at Urban to produce the witness whose deposition was sealed in the existing case and to bring those records that were requested or demanded at that deposition. One of the questions that needs to be answered is whether the witness witness is still working for Urban, whether the witness has “disappeared”, and whether his testimony has changed — thus we would need the other deposition to test credibility and perhaps get exhibits that BANA either didn’t object to, which means they waived confidentiality. If they do not move to quash the subpoena then they might also be arguably waiving the confidentiality objection.
If they do object, you have two bites of the apple — if they move to quash they must state the grounds other than than it will damage their chances in litigation. The trial court would then hear the objections and of course each if the cases that could benefit from unsealing the deposition results in a hearing, then several judges would hear the same objection. The likelihood is that the objection would attempt to bootstrap the order sealing the deposition as reason enough to quash the subpoena. That in turn puts pressure on the Massachusetts judge to release the transcript.
The more Motions filed the better. So I would suggest that we reach out through media to get as many people as possible with separate motions saying that sealing the deposition is causing a disruption in due process. Since Urban reached out on behalf of BANA — an allegation that should be made in opposition test the motion to quash the subpoena in each case — exactly what confidential information needs to be protected? Has the Massachusetts court heard a motion in liming preventing the use of the deposition at trial? If not, then the objection is waived since the Plaintiff will clearly use the deposition at trial, if there is one.
The other issue is that BOA can’t simply allege confidentiality rather than strategy in litigation. They must state with particularity what could be possibly confidential. There is no attorney-client privilege, there is no attorney work product privilege.  At first Bank of America disclaimed any knowledge or relationship with ULS.  When it became obvious that the relationship existed and that ULS was using Bank of America letterhead to communicate with borrowers they finally admitted that the relationship existed and then went one step further by alleging confidentiality and trade secrets so that the contract and instructions between Bank of America and ULS would never see the light of day., For a company that BOA disclaimed any knowledge but who used BOA stationery they were clearly an agent of BANA. What exactly could Urban have other than information about modification and foreclosure? I would also notice or subpoena BANA to produce the person who signed the contract with Urban and to bring the contract with him or her. Who received instructions from BOA? Where are those instructions? Were they produced at the sealed deposition.
 If the Massachusetts court does not unseal the transcript, doesn’t this give BOA an opportunity for a do-over where they fabricate documents that are different from those produced in the sealed deposition?
What were the instructions to Urban? What was the goal of the relationship between BOA and URban? Where are the scripts now that we’re produced in the sealed deposition?
Were the instructions to Urban the same as the instructions to all vendors assisting in the foreclosure process? Why did BOA even need Urban if it had proof of payment, proof of loss,  proof of ownership of the loan? We want to know what scripts were used by Urban and whether the same scripts were distributed to other vendors whose behavior could be plausibly denied. Discovery is a process by which the party seeking it must only show that it might lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. THE POINT MUST BE MADE THAT THE DEFENSE FOR WHICH WE ARE LOOKING FOR SUPPORT AND CORROBORATION IS THAT THE DELIBERATE POLICY AND PRACTICE OF BOA WAS TO MOVE PEOPLE INTO DEFAULT BY TELLING THEM TO STOP MAKING PAYMENTS. WE WANT TO SHOW THAT THEIR GOAL WAS FORECLOSURE NOT MODIFICATION CONTRARY TO THE REQUIREMENTS UNDER HAMP AND HARP AND THAT RATHER THAN PROCESS MODIFICATION OR SETTLEMENTS THE POLICY WAS TO DERAIL AS MANY AS POSSIBLE TO GET THE FORECLOSURE EVEN IF IT MEANT THAT THE INVESTORS WOULD GET LESS MONEY? Why?
The instruction was to use the promise or carrot of modification to trick the homeowner into (a) acknowledging BOA as the right party (b) stop making payments causing an apparent default and causing an escrow shortage (c) thus assuring the foreclosure sale despite the fact that BOA never acquired and (d) thus assuring that claims against them from investors (see dozens of law suits against BOA) and from insurers and counter parties on credit default swaps and payments from co-obligors based on the “default” that BOA fabricated — payments that involved more than the loan itself in multiples of the supposed loan balance.

This is an important battle. Let’s win it. There is strength in numbers. We might find the scripts were prepared by someone who used scripts from other banks and that the banks were in agreement that despite the obligations under HAMP and HARP and despite their ,rinses in the AG and OCC settlement, their goal is to foreclose at all costs because if the general pattern of conduct is to settle these loans and make them “performing” loans again it is highly probable that for each dollar of principal that gets taken of the table there is a liability or claim for $10. This would establish that the requirements of HAMP and HARP has resulted in negotiating with the fox while the fox is in the henhouse getting fat.

Monday Livinglies Magazine: Crime and Punishment

Steal this Massachusetts Town’s Toughest New Foreclosure Prevention Ideas
http://www.keystonepolitics.com/2013/06/steal-this-massachusetts-towns-toughest-new-foreclosure-prevention-ideas/

Florida leads nation in vacated foreclosures — and it’s not even close http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=33330748

Editor’s Note:  it is only common sense. There are several things that are known with complete certainty in connection with the mortgage mess.

  • We know that the banks found it necessary to forge, fabricate and alter legal documents illegally in order to create the illusion that foreclosure was proper.
  • We know that the banks manipulated the published rates on which adjustable mortgages changed their payments.
  • We know that the banks typically abandon any property that the bank has deemed to be undesirable (then why did they foreclose, when they had a perfectly good homeowner who was willing to pay something including the maintenance and insurance of the house?).
  • And we can conclude that it is far more important to the banks that they be able to foreclose and have the deed issued then to actually take possession of the property for sale or rental.
  • And so we know that the mortgage and foreclosure markets have been turned on their heads. Lynn, Massachusetts has adopted a series of regulations which appeared to be constitutional and which make it very difficult for the banks to turn neighborhoods that were thriving into blight.  The actions of this city and others who are taking similar actions will continue to reveal the true nature of the mortgage encumbrances (the lanes were never perfected because the loan was never made by the party that is claiming to be secured) and the true nature of foreclosures (the cover-up to a Ponzi scheme and an illegal securities scam that does not and never did fall within the exemptions of the 1998 law claimed by the banks).

The Bank Of International Settlements Warns The Monetary Kool-Aid Party Is Over
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-23/bank-international-settlements-warns-monetary-kool-aid-party-over

Wells Fargo Sells Woman’s House In Foreclosure After She Reinstates Loan for $141,441.81
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/06/20/wells-fargo-sells-womans-house-in-foreclosure-after-she-reinstates-loan-for-141441-81/

Editor’s Note: In all of these cases you need to start with the premise that the bank has a gargantuan liability in the event that it took insurance, credit default swap proceeds, federal bailouts, or the proceeds of sales of mortgage bonds to the Federal Reserve. Most experts in finance and economics agree that if the Federal Reserve stops making payments on the “purchase” of mortgage bonds the entire housing market will collapse. I don’t agree.

It is the banks that will collapse in the housing market will finally recover bringing the economy back up with it. The problem for the Federal Reserve and the economy is that most likely they are buying worthless paper issued by a trust that was never funded and that therefore could never have purchased any loan. Thus the income and the collateral of the mortgage bond is nonexistent.

Many people in the financial world completely understand this and are terrified at the prospect of the largest banks being required to mark down their reserve capital;  if this happens, and it should, these banks will lack the capital to continue functioning as a mega-bank.

So why would a bank foreclose on house on which there was no mortgage and/or no default? The answer lies in the fact that they have accepted money from third parties on the premise that they lost money on these mortgages. If that turns out not to be true (which it isn’t) then they most probably owe a lot of money back to those third parties.

My estimate is that in the average case they owe anywhere from 7 to 40 times the amount of the mortgage loan.  It is simply cheaper to settle with the aggrieved homeowner even if they pay damages for emotional distress (which is permitted in California and perhaps some other states); it is even cheaper and far more effective for the bank to give the house back without any encumbrance to the homeowner. Without the foreclosure becoming final or worse yet, as the recent revelations from Bank of America clearly show, if the loan is modified and becomes a performing loan all of that money is due back to all of those third parties.

“Deed-In-Lieu” of Foreclosure and Other Things
http://www.fxstreet.com/education/related-markets/lessons-from-the-pros-real-estate/2013/06/20/

Editor’s Note: This has come up many times in  questions and discussions regarding dealing with the Wall Street banks. It seems that the banks have borrowers thinking that in order to file a deed in lieu of foreclosure they need the permission of the bank. I know of no such provision in the law of any state preventing the owner of the property from deeding the property to anyone.  Several lawyers are seeing an opportunity, to wit: once the homeowner deeds the properties to the party pretending to foreclose on the property, the foreclosure action against the homeowner must be dismissed. That leaves the question of a deficiency judgment.

The advantages to the homeowner appears to be that any lawsuit seeking to recover a deficiency judgment would be strictly about money and would require the allegation of a monetary loss and proof of the monetary loss which would enable the homeowner, for the first time, to pursue discovery on the money trail because there is no other issue in dispute.

In the course of that litigation the discovery may reveal the fact that the party who filed the foreclosure and misrepresented their right to the collateral would be subject to various causes of action for damages as a counterclaim; but the counterclaim would not be filed until after discovery revealed the problem for the “lender.” Therefore several lawyers are advising their clients to simply file the deed in favor of the party seeking foreclosure based upon the representation that they are in fact the right party to obtain a sale of the property.

The lawyers who are using this tactic obviously caution their clients against using it unless they are already out of the house or are planning to move. Homeowners who are looking to employ this tactic should check with a licensed attorney in the jurisdiction in which their property is located.

Must See Video: Arizona Homeowners Losing their Homes to Foreclosure Through Forged Documents
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/06/21/must-see-video-arizona-homeowners-losing-their-homes-to-foreclosure-through-forged-documents/

Monitor Finds Mortgage Lenders Still Falling Short of Settlement’s Terms

By SHAILA DEWAN

The biggest mortgage lenders in the United States have not met all of the terms of the $25 billion settlement over abuses, an independent monitor found.

British Commission Calls for New Laws to Prosecute Bankers for Fraud

By MARK SCOTT

As part of a 600-page report, the British parliamentary commission on banking standards is urging new laws that would make it a criminal offense to recklessly mismanage local financial institutions.

A Fit of Pique on Wall Street

By PETER EAVIS

Perhaps more than at any time since the financial crisis, Wall Street knows it must prepare for a world without the Federal Reserve’s largess.

S.E.C. Has a Message for Firms Not Used to Admitting Guilt

By JAMES B. STEWART

By requiring an admission of guilt in some cases, the S.E.C.’s new chairwoman is pressing for more accountability at financial firms.

Bank of America’s Foreclosure Frenzy
http://ml-implode.com/staticnews/2013-06-24_BankofAmericasForeclosureFrenzy.html

SEC Corroborates Livinglies Position on Third Party Payment While Texas BKR Judge Disallows Assignments After Cut-Off Date

Maybe this should have been divided into three articles:

  1. Saldivar: Texas BKR Judge finds Assignment Void not voidable. It never happened.
  2. Erobobo: NY Judge rules ownership of note is burden of the banks. Not standing but rather capacity to sue without injury.
  3. 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.

Sitting on a Powder Keg: Riots and Demonstrations Worldwide

With the addition of Sweden to those countries rocked by and surprised by rioting over economic conditions and inequality, the day of reckoning for the banks and the governments controlled by the banks is nearing. As we saw in the Arab Spring and other social phenomena when passions reach critical mass, things change — and not always for the best, at least not at first.

History shows us that when inequality and social welfare are at their worst, as perceived by the public, a significant minority rises up, changes government and takes their revenge on the wicked and innocent alike. Our own revolution was a minority movement that achieved critical mass with very few people leading to the charge or even attending meetings.

Sweden, a country that prides itself on social justice, was hit yesterday by the fury of rioting citizens. And the Occupy Movement demonstration yesterday resulted in 17 arrests and Taser of at least one demonstrator. Anyone who believes that this will blow over without consequences is mistaken. The underlying problems of inequality were not the result of a business cycle: they were the result of criminal behavior of bankers colluding to take wealth, property and income away from virtually everyone.

The manipulation of LIBOR and the indexes that feed into LIBOR is an example of the arrogance of bankers who seem to know they won’t go to jail and probably will suffer no penalty whatsoever. Meanwhile the loans tied to changes in LIBOR as published by the Wall Street Journal had changes in interest rates dictated not by market forces by by the brute force of arrogant bankers whose religion is money.

The mortgage situation all over the world is what is causing the economies around the world to bleed. It was caused by bankers who cornered the market on money thus acting against free market forces which they pretend to like so much. They created an unprecedented storm by raising asset prices artificially, betting that the prices would come down to normal levels and defrauding pension funds and other investors plus defrauding homeowners, consumers, and tax-paying citizens. In the end they have the money and property and everyone else suffers. This fact is not lost on the public.

If we want to avoid the same fate as dozens of other countries around the world in turmoil we must return to being a nation of laws. It is in the public domain now that the banks have illegally foreclosed on millions of homeowners. Not only have they not gone to jail for mortgage fraud, wire fraud, RICO and other criminal actions, they have been rewarded with both more money and weakening of regulations that might prevent them from doing it again — if we ever get out of this mess.

The right thing to do when the wrong thing was done, is to make it right. If someone was foreclosed upon illegally they should get their house back or bargain for a dollar settlement that takes into account economic loss and the indignities of damage to lifestyle and reputation. As things stand now, this remedy is slipping away — and yet it is the only right thing to do. Millions of people in this country and Europe are falling into poverty, which means they don’t have the resources to put food on the table or a roof over their heads. To add insult to injury when tragedy strikes in places like Moore, Oklahoma the insurance companies are paying the banks that have no loss whatsoever.

I counsel people to avoid violence and to never disobey a direct instruction from anyone in law enforcement. It will only make matters worse. But I can tell from people who contact me and the mainstream news stories that people have no respect left for a legal system that does not respect the right of people and favors corporations and institutions even if they have obviously committed crimes against humanity, the state and millions of individual citizens. We have seen violence before and nobody liked it. I think it might be coming to our shores with a vengeance.

We can save ourselves the trouble if we break up the mega banks, break their hold on government and reduce them to the status of utilities regulated carefully so that they don’t run away with transactions conducted by their customers — which is exactly what happened in the continuing mortgage  meltdown. Occupy is right, Elizabeth Warren is right, and even the rioters are right (even if we disagree with their methods).

Sweden’s capital hit by worst riots in years
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/22/uk-sweden-riots-idUKBRE94L0C720130522

Millions falling into poverty in recession-racked Italy: report
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/22/us-italy-economy-poverty-idUSBRE94L0AX20130522

Peaceful Foreclosure Protester Tased At Department of Justice
http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/peaceful-foreclosure-protester-tased-

How Foreclosure Undermined Black and Brown Wealth
http://www.theroot.com/buzz/how-foreclosure-undermined-black-and-brown-wealth

Warren asks feds: Why no cases against bankers?
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57584642/warren-asks-feds-why-no-cases-against-bankers/

Elizabeth Warren Asks New Treasury Secretary If He’ll Be As Bad On Big Banks As The Old One (VIDEO)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/elizabeth-warren-jack-lew_n_3315005.html

Banks Win Big as Regulators Refuse to Rein in $700 Trillion Derivatives Market
http://www.truth-out.org/video/item/16500-banks-win-big-as-regulators-refuse-to-rein-in-700-trillion-derivatives-market

The PR of Modifications: Banks Want Foreclosure Not Reinstatement of Loan

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. 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.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Comment: There has been a spike of questions about modifications, short sales and settlements with the banks. My unvarnished opinion is that all this activity is Public Relations and a substantive policy intended to increase rather than avert foreclosures. Quite the contrary, offers of modifications are excuses to drag more money out of borrowers, give them a “trial run” and then deny the modification. I will admit that there have been more modifications of late but they are few in comparison to the number of loans that should be modified, naming the creditor, the balance due, the terms of repayment and perfecting what is now an empty unperfected lien.

In the law we look to the intent to determine the intent. If a reasonable person would understand the consequences of their actions, it is deemed intentional despite all protestations to the contrary.

The result we see from bank policies and conduct is that people go into a declared “default” on a false loan because the bank representative who has no money in the game told them that the only way they can apply for relief is by being behind in their payments at least 90 days. Translation: We are advising you to breach your loan documents and go into debt on past due payments such that you won’t be able to reinstate.

People go into trial modifications on a false loan with a bank or entity with no authority to offer it during which they deplete their savings and retirement, go totally broke from paying the “offer of trial modification” thinking they are saving their home. Then they are told that the permanent modification was denied because of some obscure reason and they have a few days to reinstate the loan with money they don’t have and with a credit score that took a major hit because of the reporting by the same non-creditor who threatened them with foreclosure.

The objective is to wear people down financially, emotionally and physically. Turmoil in the household caused by the stress of impending foreclosure causes divorce, physical ailments and even suicides. The result is that the house goes into foreclosure despite the fact that the borrower made a perfectly valid offer of modification whose proceeds far exceed the proceeds from foreclosure.

The banks are like any other business searching for profit. So at first blush one might assume that anything they can do to mitigate their loss they would jump at, which is the way it always was until the whole “securitization” thing came along. What changed was that instead of having a risk of loss if the loan failed, the banks made tons of money betting on the failure. So as soon as mortgages were declared in default, they collected 100 cents on the dollar, insurance and the proceeds of hedges like credit default swaps. The irony here is that the banks collected the mitigation payments from insurance and credit default swaps while it was investors who were actually losing the money.

The payment from insurance and credit default swaps was triggered by a declaration from the Master Servicer that the value of the portfolio had decreased. This was not subject to challenge by the insurance company or the counterparty of the credit default swap contract. So in effect the loans were being sold multiple times. In the case of Bear Stearns, they were leveraged as much as 42 times. That means they were in a double bind position of taking fees for insuring portfolios that were sure to fail or at least sure to be declared as having failed, and they were getting money on their own insurance and credit default swap protections.

Translation: a loan that comes out of delinquency or declared default represents a huge liability for a bank that has already collected millions of dollars on a $200,000 loan. If everyone paid off their loan, the banks would owe back the money they received from insurance and credit default swaps. It isn’t the difference between the foreclosure proceeds and the offer of modification that motivates them, it is the difference between the millions they already received from insurers and counterparties and the nominal principal of the loan. And the only way they can be sure that they never have that liability to pay back millions of dollars on a loan they declared in default is by forcing it into foreclosure.

But the government and public are expecting the banks to act reasonably in the context of the old mortgages where the lenders had a risk of loss if the borrower didn’t pay. Now they have a risk of loss of the borrower does pay. Confusion over this had led the government, courts and borrowers to expect that the modification process would bring a stop to the tsunami of foreclosures, but as we have seen in recent weeks, the wave of foreclosures is coming again and millions of people are going to lose their homes to non-creditors who have already been paid multiple times for the “value” of the loan.

The only way out of this which has received some traction in the courts is to allege that contrary to the requirements of HAMP and HARP and other programs, the servicer and creditor did NOT “Consider” the modification proposal, which of course is an accurate portrayal of the the real world of loans that are subject to claims of securitization —  even though those claims are probably false.

People who have made this challenge and who do so with professional help point out the obvious: that the proceeds from the modification are far better than the proceeds of a foreclosure. But the question is better for whom? If we take the real creditors, the investor lenders, the analysis is simple. They want the most money they can get. Since they were not included in the payment of insurance and credit de fault swaps, their only hope to mitigate their real loss is by real money from the homeowner which the homeowner is offering, based upon real documentation which is enforceable unlike the current fabricated, forged documents done without authority, right justification or excuse.

So the banks have an interest that is entirely adverse to that of the investors who were their clients. The banks want foreclosure so they can keep the insurance money and the investors want the loans reinstated so they can get their money back. This conflict of interest is so severe that the country is barely grinding through a recession that is entirely caused by the behavior of these banks who sucked the money out of the economy and are now holding it all over the world in tens of thousands of  shell companies around the world.

The moral of the story is that if you are serious about modification or short-sale be prepared for a long journey where in the end your petition is denied and you must still litigate. For those who get the modification they want arising from the cover-up PR campaign of the banks, congratulations you are one in thousands who should have received the same benefit.

Banks Could Owe Trillions on Fake Rigged Credit Bids

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. 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.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Analysis of Auctions of Foreclosed Properties: Nobody thinks about it because it basically never happened. The laws of each state whose statutes I have looked at including the provisions of most promissory notes are clear — if the creditor receives a payment in excess of the amount due, the excess must be paid to the borrower.

We all know how keen I am on applying that that precept to the receipt of insurance, credit default swaps, guarantees and Federal bailouts, but there is a much simpler aspect to this that can be pled in the alternative when one is attacking the foreclosure sale. Remember that in most states alternative pleading is allowed and even encouraged. So your alternative pleading in this case would be that the foreclosure was wrongful OR, if it wasn’t wrongful then the borrower is entitled to money. How? Why?

If the Judge won’t let you come in through the front door, you find another door or point of entry. In this case, the strategy I am proposing puts the issue  right on the table and could even be limited to this one cause of action. It would be breach o contract and perhaps a second count for breach of statutory duty, nullification of instrument (the deed in foreclosure). What you are looking for is damages.

The allegations supporting the cause of action for damages would be that the creditor never alleged pr proved the amount they lost or misrepresented the amount they lost. We are talking money here, not notes, mortgages, assignments and indorsements. Money is the key to the evil that was perpetrated and money is what will bring the perpetrators into a perp walk even if the government is reluctant to do so.

If the non-creditor bids $350,000 for the property based upon the  Foreclosure Judgment or the papers filed with the “substitute trustee” (why is there ALWAYS a substitute trustee?), then the amount due on the bid is $350,000.

If your allegation is that the “creditor” never had a loss, never showed proof of payment , proof of loss or any actual transaction in which money exchanged hands from the “creditor” to any other party to acquire or fund the origination of the loan, then there is no loss. Yet the non-creditor paid nothing because it submitted a credit bid which if you look at your state statutes you will see is near impossible for them to offer and certainly should not be accepted in lieu of cash. The statutes say the bidder must pay for the bid, especially if they have already received the deed on foreclosure (which you have pled alternatively should be nullified). Paying the bid means payment in cash.

So the court is faced with a conundrum. On the one hand it ignored your prior arguments of lack of standing, lack of injured party, but on the other hand the Judge has before him or her a perfectly valid complaint that cannot be dismissed on its face on the basis of res judicata or collateral estoppel because the cause of action arose AFTER final judgment. If the Judge does the right thing, then he wil deny any motion to dismiss from the other side and then allow discovery.

Once you get into discovery the only issue is whether the “creditor” was indeed a creditor and if so how much they actually “lost” by the alleged breach of the promissory note by the borrower. They can only prove their side of the case by showing that money exchanged hands and that the money came from their pocket, not someone else’s pocket.

This discovery will also lead to the question of what was reported to investors, how the proceeds of insurance and credit default swaps were applied, all of which reduce the amount due from the borrower because they reduce the amount payable to the “creditor.”

Assuming the “creditor” is unable to account for the application of proceeds of insurance and credit default swaps, and assuming that they are unable to show a canceled check or wire transfer receipt and wire transfer instructions, then the amount of their injury is zero or perhaps even less than zero if they received fees and compensation from the yield spread premium, the insurance, and the guarantees and hedges like credit default swaps.

The auctioneer has a duty to collect the money and distribute it according to statute. If the “Creditor” submitted any bid, you have just proved that they were owed nothing and therefore their bid should have been paid in cash. The Court must them either nullify the sale or, if enough time has gone by, the probabilities rise that the “creditor” will be forced to pay for the bid. The amount paid is an “overpayment” for the actual loss. Under statute and the note, such overpayment are due back to the borrower.

This is an easy case, like personal injury only less paperwork, for lawyers to take on contingency and make a ton of money for themselves and their clients. With standard contingency if the bidder is forced to make a payment in the amount of the bid, then your fee in the above example would be over $100,000.

If the Court nullifies the foreclosure, the next step is quieting title perhaps in the same order, and you get paid by a note from the client with collateral — namely the house upon which there are no longer any encumbrances. That note can be negotiated into the secondary market the way the banks should have done in the first place.

The next step would obviously be the abuse of process, wrongful foreclosure and slander of title just to name a few causes of action that can be prosecuted against the “creditor” and its successors or assigns, seeking damages, treble damages, punitive damages and exemplary damages.

The moral of the story is that the banks can fake the story about the money in the loan documents, the assignments and indorsements. But they can’t fake the money transaction for which their are footprints at the banks, account processors for the banks, Federal reserve and network exchanges where the money is routed when paid. They will argue that they already proved their case with the note. But the note proves the DEBT not the LOSS.

Insurance, Credit Default Swaps, Guarantees: Third Party Payments Mitigate Damages to “Lender”

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. 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.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Analysis: The topic of conversation (argument) in court is changing to an inquiry of what is the real transaction, who were the parties and did they pay anything that gives them the right to claim they suffered financial damages as a result of the “breach” by the borrower. And the corollary to that is what constitutes mitigation of those damages.

If the mortgage bond derives its value solely from underlying mortgage loans, then the risk of loss derives solely from those same underlying mortgages. And if those losses are mitigated through third party payments, then the benefit should flow to both the investors who were the source of funds and the borrowers balance must be correspondingly and proportionately adjusted. Otherwise the creditor ends up in a position better than if the debtor had paid off the debt.

If your Aunt Sally pays off your mortgage loan and the bank sues you anyway  claiming they didn’t get any payment from YOU, the case will be a loser for the bank and a clear winner for you because of the defense of PAYMENT. The rules regarding damages and mitigation of damages boil down to this — the alleged injured party should not be placed in a position where he/she/it is better off than if the contract (promissory) note had been fully performed.

If the “creditor” is the investor lender, and the only way the borrower received the money was through intermediaries, then those intermediaries are not entitled to claim part of the money that the investor advanced, nor part of the money that was intended for the “creditor” to offset a financial loss. Those intermediaries are agents. And the transaction,  while involving numerous intermediaries and their affiliates, is a single contemporaneous transaction between the investor lender and the homeowner borrower.

This is the essence of the “Single transaction doctrine” and the “step transaction doctrine.” What the banks have been successful at doing, thus far, is to focus the court’s attention on the individual steps of the transaction in which a borrower eventually received money or value in exchange for his promise to pay (promissory note) and the collateral he used to guarantee payment (mortgage or deed of trust). This is evasive logic. As soon as you have penetrated the fog with the single transaction rule where the investor lenders are identified as the creditor and the homeowner borrower is identified as the debtor, the argument of the would-be forecloser collapses under its own weight.

Having established a straight line between the investor lenders and the homeowner borrowers, and identified all the other parties as intermediary agents of the the real parties in interest, the case for  damages become much clearer. The intermediary agents cannot foreclose or enforce the debt except for the benefit of an identified creditor which we know is the group of investor lenders whose money was used to fund the tier 2 yield spread premium, other dubious fees and profits, and then applied to funding loans by wire transfer to closing agents.

The intermediaries cannot claim the house because they are not part of that transaction as a real party in interest. They may have duties to each other as it relates to handling of the money as it passes through various conduits, but their principal duty is to make sure the transaction between the creditor and debtor is completed.

The intermediaries who supported the sale of fake mortgage bonds from an empty REMIC trust cannot claim the benefits of insurance, guarantees or the proceeds of hedge contracts like credit default swaps. For the first time since the mess began, judges are starting to ask whether the payments from the third parties has relevance to the debt of the borrower. To use the example above, are the third parties who made the payments the equivalent of Aunt Sally or are they somehow going to be allowed to claim those proceeds themselves?

The difference is huge. If the third parties who made those payments are the equivalent of Aunt Sally, then the mortgage is paid off to the extent that actual cash payments were received by the intermediary agents. Aunt Sally might have a claim against the borrower or it might have been a gift, but in all events the original basis for the transaction has been reduced or eliminated by the receipt of those payments.

If Aunt Sally sues the borrower, it would  be for contribution or restitution, unsecured, unless Aunt sally actually bought the loan and received an assignment along with a receipt for her funds. If there was another basis on which Aunt Sally made the payment besides a gift, then the money should still be credited to the benefit of the investor lenders who have received what they thought was a bond payable but in reality was still the note payable.

In no event are the intermediary agents to receive those loss mitigation payments when they had no loss. And to the extent that payments were received, they should be used to reduce the receivable of the investor lender and of course that would reduce the payable owed from the homeowner borrower to the investor lender. To do otherwise would be to allow the “creditor” to end up in a much better position than if the homeowner had simply paid off the loan as per the promissory note or faked mortgage bond.

None of this takes away from the fact that the REMIC trust was not source the funds used to pay for the mortgage origination or transfer. That goes to the issue of the perfection of the mortgage lien and not to the issue of how much is owed.

Now Judges are starting to ask the right question: what authority exists for application of the third party payments to mitigate damages? If such authority exists and the would-be foreclosures used a false formula to determine the principal balance due, and the interest payable on that false balance then the notice of delinquency, notice of default, and foreclosure proceedings, including the sale and redemption period would all be incorrect and probably void because they demanded too much from the borrower after having received the third party payments.

If such authority does not exist, then the windfall to the banks will continue unabated — they get the fees and tier 2 yield spread premium profits upfront, they get the payment servicing fees, they get to sell the loan multiple times without any credit to the investor lender, but most of all they get the loss mitigation payments from insurance, hedge, guarantee and bailouts for a third party loss — the investor lenders. This is highly inequitable. The party with the loss gets nothing while a party who already has made a profit on the transaction, makes more profit.

If we start with the proposition that the creditor should not be better off than if the contract had been performed, and we recognize that the intermediary investment bank, master servicer, trustee of the empty REMIC trust, subservicer, aggregator, and others did in fact receive money to mitigate the loss on those certificates and thus on the loans supposedly backing the mortgage bonds, then the only equitable and sensible conclusion would be to credit or allocate those payments to the investor lender up to the amount they advanced.

With the creditor satisfied or partially satisfied the mortgage loan, regardless of whether it is secured or not, is also satisfied or partially satisfied.

So the question is whether mitigation payments are part of the transaction between the investor lender and the homeowners borrower. While this specific application of insurance payments etc has never been addressed we find plenty of support in the case law, statutes and even the notes and bonds themselves that show that such third party mitigation payments are part of the transaction and the expectancy of the investor lender and therefore will affect the borrower’s balance owed on the debt, regardless of whether it is secured or unsecured.

Starting with the DUTY TO MITIGATE DAMAGES, we can assume that if there is such a duty, and there is, then successfully doing so must be applicable to the loan or contract and is so treated in awarding damages without abridgement. Keep in mind that the third party contract for mitigation payments actually refer to the borrowers. Those contracts expressly waive any right of the payor of the mitigation loss coverage to go after the homeowner borrower.

To allow all these undisclosed parties to receive compensation arising out of the initial loan transaction and not owe it to someone is absurd. TILA says they owe all the money they made to the borrower. Contract law says the payments should first be applied to the investor lender and then as a natural consequence, the amount owed to the lender is reduced and so is the amount due from the homeowner borrower.

See the following:

Pricing and Mitigation of Counterparty Credit Exposures, Agostino Capponi. Purdue University – School of Industrial Engineering. January 31, 2013. Handbook of Systemic Risk, edited by J.-P. Fouque and J.Langsam. Cambridge University Press, 2012

  • “We analyze the market price of counterparty risk and develop an arbitrage-free pricing valuation framework, inclusive of collateral mitigation. We show that the adjustment is given by the sum of option payoff terms, depending on the netted exposure, i.e. the difference between the on-default exposure and the pre-default collateral account. We specialize our analysis to Interest Rates Swaps (IRS) and Credit Default Swaps (CDS) as underlying portfolio, and perform a numerical study to illustrate the impact of default correlation, collateral margining frequency, and collateral re-hypothecation on the resulting adjustment. We also discuss problems of current research interest in the counterparty risk community.” pdf4article631

Whether this language  makes sense to you or not, it is English and it does say something clearly — it is all about risk. And the risk of the investor lender was to have protected by Triple A rating, insurance, and credit default swaps, as well as guarantees and provisions of the pooling and servicing agreement, for the REMIC trust. Now here is the tricky part — the banks must not be allowed to say on the one hand that the securitization documents are real even if there was no money trail or consideration to support them on the one hand then say that they are not real for purposes of receiving loss mitigation payments, which they want to keep even if it leaves the real creditor with a net loss.

To put it simply — either the parties to the underwriting of the bond to investors and the loan to homeowners were part of the the transaction (loan from investor to homeowner) or they were not. I fail to see any logic or support that they were not.

And the simple rule of measure of how these parties fit together is found under the single transaction doctrine. If the step transaction under scrutiny would not have occurred but for the principal transaction alleged, then it is a single transaction.

The banks would argue they were trading in credit default swaps and other exotic securities regardless of what lender fit with which borrower. But that is defeated by the fact that it was the banks who sold to mortgage bonds, it was the banks who set up the Master Servicer, it was the banks who purchased the insurance and credit default swaps and it was the underwriting investment bank that promised that insurance and credit default swaps would be used to counter the risk. And it is inescapable that the only risk applicable to the principal transaction between investor lender and homeowner borrower was the risk of non payment by the borrower. These third party payments represent the proceeds of protection from that risk.

Would the insurers have entered into the contract without the underlying loans? No. Would the counterparties have entered into the contract without the underlying loans? No.

So the answer, Judge is that it is an inescapable conclusion that third party loss mitigation payments must be applied, by definition, to the loss. The loss was suffered not by the banks but by the investors whose money they took. The loss mitigation payments must then be applied against the risk of loss on the money advanced by those investors. And the benefit of that payment or allocation is that the real creditor is satisfied and the real borrower receives some benefit from those payments in the way of a reduction of the his payable to the investor.

It is either as I have outlined above or the money — all of it — goes to the borrower, to the exclusion of the investor under the requirements of TILA and RESPA. While the shadow banking system is said to be over $1.2 quadrillion,  we must apply the same standards to ourselves and our cases as we do to the opposing side. Only actual payments received by the participants in the overall obscured investor lender transaction with the homeowner borrower.

Hence discovery must include those third parties and review of their contracts for the court to determine the applicability of third party payments that were actually received in relation to either the subject loan, the subject mortgage bond, or the subject REMIC pool claiming ownership of the subject loan.

The inequality between the rich and not-so-rich comes not from policy but bad arithmetic.

As the subprime mortgage market fell apart in late 2007 and early 2008, many financial products, particularly mortgage-backed securities, were downgraded.  The price of credit default swaps on these products increased.  Pursuant to their collateral agreements, many protection buyers were able to insist on additional collateral protection.  In some cases, the collateral demanded represented a significant portion of the counterparty’s assets.  Unsurprisingly, counterparties have carefully evaluated, and in some cases challenged, protection buyers’ right to such additional collateral amounts.  This tension has generated several recent lawsuits:

• CDO Plus Master Fund Ltd. v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 07-11078 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 7, 2007) (dispute over demand     for collateral on $10,000,000 protection on collateralized debt obligations).

• VCG Special Opportunities Master Fund Ltd. v. Citibank, N.A., 08 1563 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 14, 2008) (same).

• UBS AG v. Paramax Capital Int’l, No. 07604233 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Dec. 26, 2007) (dispute over demand for $33 million additional capital from hedge fund for protection on collateralized debt obligations).

Given that the collateral disputes erupting in the courts so far likely represent only a small fraction of the stressed counterparties, and given recent developments, an increase in counterparty bankruptcy appears probable.

http://www.capdale.com/credit-default-swaps-the-bankrupt-counterparty-entering-the-undiscovered-country

Follow the Money Trail: It’s the blueprint for your case

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. 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.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.
Editor’s Analysis and Comment: If you want to know where all the money went during the mortgage madness of the last decade and the probable duplication of that behavior with all forms of consumer debt, the first clues have been emerging. First and foremost I would suggest the so-called bull market reflecting an economic resurgence that appears to have no basis in reality. Putting hundred of billions of dollars into the stock market is an obvious place to store ill-gotten gains.
But there is also the question of liquidity which means the Wall Street bankers had to “park” their money somewhere into depository accounts. Some analysts have suggested that the bankers deposited money in places where the sheer volume of money deposited would give bankers strategic control over finance in those countries.
The consequences to American finance is fairly well known here. But most Americans have been somewhat aloof to the extreme problems suffered by Spain, Greece, Italy and Cyprus. Italy and Cyprus have turned to confiscating savings on a progressive basis.  This could be a “fee” imposed by those countries for giving aid and comfort to the pirates of Wall Street.
So far the only country to stick with the rule of law is Iceland where some of the worst problems emerged early — before bankers could solidify political support in that country, like they have done around the world. Iceland didn’t bailout bankers, they jailed them. Iceland didn’t adopt austerity to make the problems worse, it used all its resources to stimulate the economy.
And Iceland looked at the reality of a the need for a thriving middle class. So they reduced household debt and forced banks to take the hit — some 25% or more being sliced off of mortgages and other consumer debt. Iceland was not acting out of ideology, but rather practicality.
The result is that Iceland is the shining light on the hill that we thought was ours. Iceland has real growth in gross domestic product, decreasing unemployment to acceptable levels, and banks that despite the hit they took, are also prospering.
From my perspective, I look at the situation from the perspective of a former investment banker who was in on conversations decades ago where Wall Street titans played the idea of cornering the market on money. They succeeded. But Iceland has shown that the controls emanating from Wall Street in directing legislation, executive action and judicial decisions can be broken.
It is my opinion that part or all of trillions dollars in off balance sheet transactions that were allowed over the last 15 years represents money that was literally stolen from investors who bought what they thought were bonds issued by a legitimate entity that owned loans to consumers some of which secured in the form of residential mortgage loans.
Actual evidence from the ground shows that the money from investors was skimmed by Wall Street to the tune of around $2.6 trillion, which served as the baseline for a PONZI scheme in which Wall Street bankers claimed ownership of debt in which they were neither creditor nor lender in any sense of the word. While it is difficult to actually pin down the amount stolen from the fake securitization chain (in addition to the tier 2 yield spread premium) that brought down investors and borrowers alike, it is obvious that many of these banks also used invested money from managed funds as gambling money that paid off handsomely as they received 100 cents on the dollar on losses suffered by others.
The difference between the scheme used by Wall Street this time is that bankers not only used “other people’s money” —this time they had the hubris to steal or “borrow” the losses they caused — long enough to get the benefit of federal bailout, insurance and hedge products like credit default swaps. Only after the bankers received bailouts and insurance did they push the losses onto investors who were forced to accept non-performing loans long after the 90 day window allowed under the REMIC statutes.
And that is why attorneys defending Foreclosures and other claims for consumer debt, including student loan debt, must first focus on the actual footprints in the sand. The footprints are the actual monetary transactions where real money flowed from one party to another. Leading with the money trail in your allegations, discovery and proof keeps the focus on simple reality. By identifying the real transactions, parties, timing and subject moment lawyers can use the emerging story as the blueprint to measure against the fabricated origination and transfer documents that refer to non-existent transactions.
The problem I hear all too often from clients of practitioners is that the lawyer accepts the production of the note as absolute proof of the debt. Not so. (see below). If you will remember your first year in law school an enforceable contract must have offer, acceptance and consideration and it must not violate public policy. So a contract to kill someone is not enforceable.
Debt arises only if some transaction in which real money or value is exchanged. Without that, no amount of paperwork can make it real. The note is not the debt ( it is evidence of the debt which can be rebutted). The mortgage is not the note (it is a contract to enforce the note, if the note is valid). And the TILA disclosures required make sure that consumers know who they are dealing with. In fact TILA says that any pattern of conduct in which the real lender is hidden is “predatory per se”) and it has a name — table funded loan. This leads to treble damages, attorneys fees and costs recoverable by the borrower and counsel for the borrower.
And a contract to “repay” money is not enforceable if the money was never loaned. That is where “consideration” comes in. And a an alleged contract in the lender agreed to one set of terms (the mortgage bond) and the borrower agreed to another set of terms (the promissory note) is no contract at all because there was no offer an acceptance of the same terms.
And a contract or policy that is sure to fail and result in the borrower losing his life savings and all the money put in as payments, furniture is legally unconscionable and therefore against public policy. Thus most of the consumer debt over the last 20 years has fallen into these categories of unenforceable debt.
The problem has been the inability of consumers and their lawyers to present a clear picture of what happened. That picture starts with footprints in the sand — the actual events in which money actually exchanged hands, the answer to the identity of the parties to each of those transactions and the reason they did it, which would be the terms agreed on by both parties.
If you ask me for a $100 loan and I say sure just sign this note, what happens if I don’t give you the loan? And suppose you went somewhere else to get your loan since I reneged on the deal. Could I sue you on the note? Yes. Could I win the suit? Not if you denied you ever got the money from me. Can I use the real loan as evidence that you did get the money? Yes. Can I win the case relying on the loan from another party? No because the fact that you received a loan from someone else does not support the claim on the note, for which there was no consideration.
It is the latter point that the Courts are starting to grapple with. The assumption that the underlying transaction described in the note and mortgage was real, is rightfully coming under attack. The real transactions, unsupported by note or mortgage or disclosures required under the Truth in Lending Act, cannot be the square peg jammed into the round hole. The transaction described in the note, mortgage, transfers, and disclosures was never supported by any transaction in which money exchanged hands. And it was not properly disclosed or documented so that there could be a meeting of the minds for a binding contract.
KEEP THIS IN MIND: (DISCOVERY HINTS) The simple blueprint against which you cast your fact pattern, is that if the securitization scheme was real and not a PONZI scheme, the investors’ money would have gone into a trust account for the REMIC trust. The REMIC trust would have a record of the transaction wherein a deduction of money from that account funded your loan. And the payee on the note (and the secured party on the mortgage) would be the REMIC trust. There is no reason to have it any other way unless you are a thief trying to skim or steal money. If Wall Street had played it straight underwriting standards would have been maintained and when the day came that investors didn’t want to buy any more mortgage bonds, the financial world would not have been on the verge of extinction. Much of the losses to investors would have covered by the insurance and credit default swaps that the banks took even though they never had any loss or risk of loss. There never would have been any reason to use nominees like MERS or originators.
The entire scheme boils down to this: can you borrow the realities of a transaction in which you were not a party and treat it, legally in court, as your own? So far the courts have missed this question and the result has been an unequivocal and misguided “yes.” Relentless of pursuit of the truth and insistence on following the rule of law, will produce a very different result. And maybe America will use the shining example of Iceland as a model rather than letting bankers control our governmental processes.

Banking Chief Calls For 15% Looting of Italians’ Savings
http://www.infowars.com/banking-chief-calls-for-15-looting-of-italians-savings/

California Trial Court INserts Reason Into Chaotic World of Foreclosure

Editor’s Comment: There is no question that the primary tactic of all pretender lenders in the false claims of securitization is that they should not have to prove the transactions. According to the banks they only have to bring a storybook to class that talks about the transaction. The story book consists of the original promissory note, deed of trust (mortgage) and alleged sales or transfers of the note or loan. These documents talk ABOUT the transaction in which money exchanged hands but here are no pictures showing the transaction itself — like a picture of me handing you $100 on a note you signed saying you owe me $100.

But what if you signed the note to get the loan and then I didn’t give you the loan? No money exchanged hands. The answer appears to be that I can still sue you as the holder of the note but the presumption that I am the owner of the note or that the note is evidence of the debt is rebutted by your testimony and denial of ever having received the money. So I can sue but I can’t win.

Suppose you got the real loan from someone else the same day. I could point to that transaction to show that you DID receive the money and if you didn’t know  how to handle that argument, you would end up paying off a loan you never received. Or you would point out to the Judge that the cancelled check is made out from someone else than me and that I failed to show privity or agency between me and the third party.

The problem is that in most cases, the storybook is a fairy tale. The payee never loaned the money and was a naked nominee along with MERs who was also a naked nominee, leaving no party in interest on either the note or the mortgage (deed of trust). Neither the designated “lender” nor the designated nominee holder of the security (MERS) handled, funded or accepted any money from the borrower.

The reason why the banks have gotten this far is that the illusion was complete when the money arrived at the closing table. It was assumed that the money came from the payee or secured party. It was further assumed that assignments and transfers of the loan would not have taken place unless there was proof of payment exhibited by the assignor. It never occurred to anyone that the money had not come from the originators but from an undisclosed third party whose name should have been on the note and mortgage. It never occurred to anyone, despite the clear provisions of TILA, that there was a duty to disclose to the borrower with whom he or she was dealing and how much they were making in profit or fees or other compensation out of this little loan. In some cases the profit exceeded the loan itself.

In Discovery, the principal thing you want to see is the proof of payment and proof of loss. The proof of loss is a showing that the holder actually paid money for the loan. In nearly all cases, no such transaction exists. Proof of payment is the same thing but together they require an answer to whether the trust still exists and whether the mortgage bond has since been renegotiated or sold or reconstituted into a different asset pool.

This is why most cases end in discovery. The bankers are the ones with unique access to the information you need, without which they submit a credible explanation of where the documents went, where they were last seen and to whom they were being sent. At some point, the bankers are forced to fess up that they don’t have the original note, they didn’t pay for the loan, they don’t own the loan, and thus have no right to submit a credit bid at auction. They will be forced to admit that the funding for the loan came from a third party undisclosed to Borrower and whose compensation was undisclosed to borrower, and that this was intentionally hidden from both the investor/lenders and the borrowers — for the sole purpose of collecting insurance and credit default swap money diverting it from the investors.

If the investors prove that they are entitled to the insurance and credit default swap money, then their loan balances will be correspondingly reduced with each dollar received (which they should have received in the first place). The investors’ receivable account would be correspondingly reduced which means that the receivable from borrowers would be correspondingly reduced since the creditor is not entitled to more than one payment. This in turn would have substantially reduced the principal due by borrowers, the number of “defaults”, the number of underwater borrowers and increased the number of settlements and modifications.

Further, the terms agreed to by the borrower were changed and contradicted by the conversion of the loan receivable to a bond receivable based upon indentures of a bond wherein a trust or REMIC was supposedly buying the loans.

But if you look for the actual monetary transaction between the trust and the party supposedly endorsing the note or selling the loan to the trust, the transaction in which money exchanged hands is entirely missing. No cancelled check, no wire transfer receipt, no wire transfer instructions, no ACH confirmation, no check 21 confirmation. It simply isn’t there which means that the investor money never funded the trust, and thus the trust lacked the funds to purchase the loans.

The bankers do a perfect two-step at this point. First they they ARE agents of the trust or REMIC and that is what made the transaction legal and enforceable, then they say they were NOT agents of the investors when it came to receiving insurance, credit default swaps proceeds or federal bailouts. I can find no support in the law of principal and agent that supports their position and I doubt if there is any such support.

In the case below, the bankers are essentially saying that for purposes of the discovery the claims of the borrower should be treated as a story book with no likelihood of success whereas the stories in the bankers’ comic book (i.e., the note and mortgage) should be taken seriously. The trial Court disagrees and lands squarely on its feet simply following common sense, precedent and existing rules. Discovery granted.

250068 – Taylor v. JP Morgan Chase
On 4 Dec.2012, Plaintiff served deposition notices for Deborah Brignac (hereafter “Brignac”) and Colleen Irby (hereafter “Irby”), officers of Defendant California Reconveyance Co. (hereafter “CRC”), along with a deposition notice for another person not involved in this motion, Luis Alvarado (hereafter “Alvarado”).  (Naicker Dec., ¶2, Ex.A).   Plaintiff set the depositions for 10 Jan.2013.  (Ibid.)  Defendants served objections on January 4, 2013, asking P to withdraw the deposition notices.  (Id., ¶4, Ex.B).  Defendants asserted that the depositions would cause unnecessary burden, expense, and intrusion which would outweigh the benefits of the discovery, arguing that certain of Plaintiff’s claims lacked merit, thus rendering the discovery unwarranted.  (Ibid.)  Defendants also objected on the ground that Plaintiffs had “unilaterally” served the deposition notices with a chosen date without first meeting and conferring with Defendants about acceptable dates.  (Ibid.)  Defendants move to quash the deposition notices of Brignac and Irby, or, in the alternative, to issue a protective order. Defendants argue that Brignac and Irby can have no information likely to lead to discovery of admissible evidence because Brignac only signed an assignment (the 1st Assignment) of the deed of trust (Deed) which was rescinded and Irby’s sole alleged role was to sign the subsequent assignment  (2nd Assignment), and Plaintiff’s claims regarding the conduct in which they may have been involved, are invalid.
Plaintiff opposes this motion, arguing that the deponents both possess likely relevant information because they are officers of CRC, they both signed assignments of the Deed involved in this case, so were personally involved in Plaintiff’s transactions at some point, and Plaintiff needs information on the murky transactions amongst the Defendants, about which he is otherwise unable to obtain information.
A party may serve written objections or risk waiving any problems with a deposition notice.  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2025.410(a)).  A party may also file a motion for an order staying the deposition and quashing the deposition notice.  Code of Civ. Proc. § 2025.410.  A “deposition is stayed pending determination of motion.”  (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2025.410(c)).
A party may “promptly” seek a protective order before, during, or after a deposition.  (CCP section 2025.420).
On a motion for a protective order, the court, “for good cause shown, may make any order that justice requires to protect any party… from unwarranted annoyance, embarrassment, or oppression, or undue burden and expense.”   (Code of Civ. Proc. § 2025.420).   The burden of proof is on the party seeking the protective order to demonstrate “good cause.”  (Emerson Elec. Co. v. Sup.Ct. (1997) 16 Cal.4th 1101, 1110).
Defendants’ arguments appear to be entirely groundless.  Defendant’s argue, essentially, that P’s claims are invalid on the merits so any deposition of these witnesses would be a waste of time and thus the burdens would outweigh the benefits.  That argument is completely invalid since there is no basis for a party to argue that another party has no right to obtain evidence supporting a claim simply because the claim may fail.  The appropriate methods for raising such arguments are demurrer, which has failed, or judgment on the pleadings, or summary judgment or adjudication and Defendants present no authority indicating that this is a valid basis for avoiding deposition.   Defendants also argue that the deponents will not likely provide relevant information because Plaintiff has been able to allege nothing more than the fact that they signed two assignments of his Deed.  This is unpersuasive since, as Plaintiff argues, he is not likely to have any information of the inner workings of the Defendant corporations absent discovery.  What Plaintiff has shown, and Defendants admit, indicates that these two witnesses clearly have at least some personal involvement beyond simply beyond being potentially knowledgeable officers, and thus are to some degree percipient witnesses to some of the events at issue in this action.  Defendants also argue that the notices are improper because Plaintiff served them without first warning Defendants that he was going to notice the depositions or without first obtaining an agreed deposition date.  These arguments are not supported by authority.
Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to quash and for a protective order is denied.
 
Sanctions
Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.420(d) states that on a motion for a protective order the court “shall” impose monetary sanctions on the losing party unless that party acted with substantial justification or other circumstances make sanctions unjust.
Both parties seek monetary sanctions.  In this case, the motion lacks merit and Plaintiff’s opposition was warranted.  Plaintiff seeks sanctions of $875 for about 2.5 hours spent at $350 an hour; Defendants seek sanctions of $3,460. The court awards sanctions to Plaintiff in the amount of $875.  Defendant’s request for sanctions is denied.

The Truth Keeps Coming: When Will Courts Become Believers?

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 (East Coast) and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. 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.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Comments and Practice Suggestions: On the heels of AG Eric Holder’s shocking admission that he withheld prosecution of the banks and their executives because of the perceived risk to the economy, we have confirmation and new data showing the incredible arrogance of the investment banks in breaking the law, deceiving clients and everyone around them, and covering it up with fabricated, forged paperwork. And they continue to do so because they perceive themselves as untouchable.

Practitioners should be wary of leading with defenses fueled by deceptions in the paperwork and instead rely first on the money trail. Once the money trail is established, each part of it can be described as part of a single transaction between the investors and the homeowners in which all other parties are intermediaries. Then and only then do you go to the documentation proffered by the opposition and show the obvious discrepancies between the named parties on the documents of record and the actual parties to the transaction, between the express repayment provisions of the promissory note and the express repayment provisions of the bond sold to investors.

Practitioners should make sure they are up to speed on the latest news in the public domain and the latest developments in lawsuits between the investment banks, investors and guarantors like the FHA who have rejected loans as not conforming to the requirements of the securitization documents and are demanding payment from Chase and others for lying about the loans in order to receive 100 cents on the dollar while the actual loss was incurred by the investors and the government sponsored guarantors.

Another case of the banks getting the money to cover losses they never had because at all times they were mostly dealing with third party money in funding or purchasing mortgages. It was never their own money at risk.

Three “deals” are now under close scrutiny by the government and by knowledgeable foreclosure defense lawyers. For years, Chase, OneWest and BofA have taken the position that they somehow became the owner of mortgage loans because they acquired a combo of WAMU and Bear Stearns (Chase), IndyMac (OneWest), and a combo of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch (BofA).

None of it was ever true. The deals are wrapped in secrecy and even sealed documents but the truth is coming out anyway and is plain to see on some records in the public domain as can be easily seen on the FDIC site under the Freedom of Information Act “library.”

The naked truth is that the “acquiring” firms have very complex deals on those mortgage loans that the acquiring firm chooses to assert ownership or authority. It is  a pick and choose type of scenario which is neither backed up by documentation nor consideration.

We have previously reported that the actual person who served as FDIC receiver in the WAMU case reported to me that there was no assignment of loans from WAMU, from the WAMU bankruptcy estate, or the FDIC. “if you are looking for an assignment of those loans, you are not going to find it because there was no assignment.” The same person had “accidentally” signed an affidavit that Chase used widely across the country stating that Chase was the owner of the loans by operation of law, which is the position that Chase took in litigation over wrongful foreclosures. Chase and the receiver now take the position that their prior position was unsupportable. So what happens to all those foreclosures where the assertions of Chase were presumed true?

Now Chase wants to disavow their assumption of all liabilities regarding WAMU and Bear Stearns because it sees what I see — huge liabilities emerging from those “portfolios” of foreclosed properties that were foreclosed and sold at auction to non-creditors who submitted credit bids.

You might also remember that we reported that in the Purchase and Assumption Agreement with the FDIC, wherein Chase was acquiring certain operations of WAMU, not including the loans, the consideration was expressly stated as zero and that the bid price from Chase happened to be a little lower than their share of the tax refund to WAMU, making the deal a “negative consideration” deal — i.e., Chase was being paid to acquire the depository assets of WAMU. Residential loans were not the only receivables on the books of WAMU and the FDIC receiver said that no accounting was ever done to figure out what was being sold to Chase.

Each of the deals above was complicated by the creation of entities (Maiden Lane LLCs) to create an “off balance sheet” liability for the toxic loans and bonds that had been traded around as if they were real.

Nobody ever thought to check whether the notes and mortgages recorded the correct facts in their content as to the cash transaction between the borrower and the originator. They didn’t, which is why the investors and the FDIC both now assert that not only were the loans not subject to underwriting rules compatible with industry standards, but that the documents themselves were not capable of enforcement because the wrong payee is named with different terms of repayment to the investors than what those lenders thought they were buying.

In other words, the investors and the the government sponsored guarantee organizations are both asserting the same theory, cause of action and facts that borrowers are asserting when they defend the foreclosure. This has been misinterpreted as an attempt by borrowers to get a free house. In point of fact, most borrowers simply don’t want to lose their homes and most of them are willing to enter into modifications and settlements with proceeds far superior to what the investor gets on foreclosure.

Borrowers admit receiving money, but not from the originator or any of the participants in what turned out to be a false chain of securitization which existed only on paper. The Borrowers had no knowledge nor even access to the knowledge that they were actually entering into a loan transaction with a stranger to the documents presented at the loan “closing.” This pattern of table funded loans is branded by the Truth in Lending Act and Reg Z as “predatory per se.” The coincidence of the money being received by the closing date was a reasonable basis for assuming that the originator was not play-acting, but rather actually acting as lender and underwriter of the loan, which they were certainly not.

The deals cut by Chase, OneWest and BofA are models of confusion and shared losses with the FDIC and other investors who participated in the Maiden Lane excursion. The actual creditor is definitely not Chase, OneWest nor BofA. Bank of America formed two corporations that merely served as distractions — Red Oak Merger Corp and BAC Home Loans and abandoned both after several foreclosures were successfully concluded by BAC, which owned nothing.

As we have previously shown, if the mortgage securitization scheme had been a real financial tool to reduce risk and increase lending, the REMIC trust would have ended up on the note and mortgage, on record in the office of the County Recorder. There would have been no need to establish MERS or any other private database in which trades were made and “trading profits” were booked in order to siphon off a large chunk of the money advanced by investors.

The transferring of paper does not create a transaction wherein a loan is proven or established in law or in fact. There must be an actual transaction in which money exchanged hands. In most cases (nearly all) the actual transaction in which money exchanged hands was between the borrower and an undisclosed third party entity.

This third party entity was inserted by the investment bankers so that the investment bank could claim ownership (when legally the loans already were owned by the investors) and an insurable interest in the loans and bonds that were supposedly backed by the loans. This way the banks could assert their right to proceeds of sale, insurance, and credit default swaps leaving their investor clients out in the cold and denying the borrowers the right to claim a reduction in the liability for their loan.

In litigation, every effort should be made to force the opposition to prove that the investor money was deposited into the a trust account for the REMIC trust and that the REMIC trust actually paid for the loans. Actually what you will be doing is forcing an accounting that shows that the REMIC was never funded and was never the buyer of the loans. Hence nobody in the false securitization chain had any ownership of the debt leading to the inevitable conclusion that for them the note was unenforceable and the mortgage was a nullity for lack of consideration and a lack of a meeting of the minds.

Once you get to the accounting from the Trustee of the Trust, the Master Servicer and the subservicer, you will uncover trades that involve representations of the investment bank that they owned the loans and in fact the mortgage bonds which were clearly pre-sold to investors before the first application for loan was ever received.

Thus persistent borrowers who litigate for the actual truth will track the money and then show that the cash transactions differ from the documented transactions and that the documented transactions lacked consideration. The only way out for the banks is to claim that they embraced this convoluted route as agents for the investors, but then that still means that money received in federal bailouts, insurance and credit default swaps would reduce the receivable of the actual creditors (investors) and thus reduce the amount payable by the actual borrowers (homeowners).

The unwillingness of the Department of Justice to enforce long standing laws regarding fraud and deceit, identity theft and other crimes, tends to create an atmosphere of impunity a round the banks and a presumption that the borrowers are merely technical objections of a certain number of documents not having all their T’s crossed and I’s dotted.

From a public policy perspective, one would have to concede that protecting the banks did nothing for liquidity in the marketplace and nothing for the credit markets in particular. Holder’s position, which I guess is also Obama’s position, is that it is better to allow average Americans to sink into poverty than to hold the banks and bankers accountable for their white collar crimes.

Legally, if the prosecutions ensued and the cases were proven, restitution would be ordered based not on some back-room deal but on approval of the Court. Restitution would clawback much of the capital of the mega banks who are holding that money by virtue of illegal transactions. And restitution would provide the only stimulus to the economy that would be fundamentally sound. Investors and borrowers would both share in the recovery of at least part of the wealth lost to the banks during the mortgage maelstrom.

I have no doubt that the same defects will appear in auto loans, student loans and other forms of consumer loans especially including credit card loans. The real objection of the banks is that after all this effort of stealing the money and the homes they might be forced to give it all back. The banks perceive that as a “loss.” I perceive it as simple justice applied every day in the courtrooms of America.

JPM: The Washington Mutual Story
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/03/jpm-wamu/

Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase, and Maiden Lane LLC
http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/reform_bearstearns.htm

Mistakenly Released Documents Reveal Goldman Sachs Screwed IPO Clients
http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/03/12/mistakenly-released-documents-reveal-goldman-sachs-screwed-ipo-clients/

Bond Buyers Beware: Student Loans Mirror Mortgage Meltdown

CHECK OUT OUR EXTENDED DECEMBER SPECIAL!

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

Editor’s Comments: Close your eyes. Imagine an upside down world in which the borrowers are having the most trouble keeping their loans current are the very same loans that investors can’t get enough of. Sound like the mortgage meltdown? That is because Wall Street is using the same business model. “Demand for the riskiest bunch—those that will lose money first if the loans go bad—was 15 times greater than the supply, people familiar with the deal said.”

So why would fund managers intentionally invest money in which they are most likely to lose money and their jobs? Answer: they wouldn’t. Somehow wall Street has again convinced or coerced fund managers to buy bogus bonds backed by student loans that are spiraling down the toilet even as we speak.

The “experts” attribute the surge to investor demand. I would scratch the surface and see why investor demand was so high, besides the obvious need to increase yield at a time when yields have never been lower.

The problem is that there is still no accountability for these loans or bonds. A young student asks for a loan and the bank showers him with “extra” amounts beyond what he requested. The payment is zero, so it is like free money and the novice financial victim doesn’t have the knowledge or skills to understand the flaws in what is being proposed to him or her.

Before you know it, the $25,000 loan he asked for is now $50,000 to take care of incidentals and living expenses, and the real amount borrowed will go up by anywhere from 6%-15% as interest accumulates is added to the principal. Once out of school, the interest rates shoots up and the next he or she knows, she now has around a $60,000 loan (despite asking for $25,000) with an interest rate of 8%, which means that interest alone is $4800 per year or $400 per month — the payment for a small car and insurance.

The mystery of why demand is so high when on the last round there was such a disaster can only be explained by reference to the sales talk given to fund managers and perhaps some overlapping or conflicting areas of interest.

This is not rocket science. The number of student loans failing is spiking and getting worse every day. Any asset backed security using student loans is depreciated worse than a new car driving off the show room floor. And listening to the bankers selling this stuff is like getting medical advice from a crack dealer.

So why are they putting pension fund money into an obviously failing investment? That is my quest. When I have the answer i will probably be able to further unravel the mortgage backed bonds a little further as well.

I keep  wondering if the bankers are actually doing the same thing they did with the mortgage backed bonds — tell the investor the investment is triple A rated, insured and hedged with credit default swaps. And I wonder if the fund managers understand that the triple A rating is subject to revision down to unrated, and that the insurance and hedges are payable not to the investors but to the investment bankers.

I also wonder if the notes will again disappear because of misrepresentations as to their content, and if the intermediary banks will again retain control over the collection process, create fabricated forged documents and offer of perjured testimony and affidavits from incompetent witnesses?

And I wonder if once again we have a stream of money coming from an unidentified funding source whose name is not included in the closing documents, and who agreed to repayment terms different than those set forth on the promissory note signed by the borrower.

This is why I am including Student Loans as an area of concentration on this blog and I will include other subjects as well that inform and assist those “in trouble” due to the greed and predatory lending tactics used by private bankers. It is worth mentioning that the private banking loans are in the process of being phased out for precisely the reasons stated above.

Now SOMEBODY must be making money on these bad loans and the good loans far in excess of the basis points usually applicable to lending. Where is that profit coming from? It can only come from the investors since they are the only ones who are putting their money at risk.

So to recap, after the mortgage meltdown we have what appears to be a repeat situation going on with student loans. The investment bankers are skimming deeply into investor money before they lend out anything. The loans were mostly bad loans that will eventually fail. The  bankers will collect insurance, credit default swaps and potentially another federal bailout. Nobody ends up with what they wanted except the investment bankers, of course.

Student-Loan Securities Stay Hot
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323293704578334542910674174.html

What’s Really Behind the Student Debt Boom
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/03/05/whats-really-behind-the-student-debt-boom.aspx

Deny and Discover — Where the Rubber Meets the Road

CHECK OUT OUR DECEMBER SPECIAL!

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

Editor’s Analysis: The banks are broke and this rule properly applied will reveal exactly how badly they fall short of capital requirements. It can be found at Volume 77, No. 169 of the Federal Register dated, Thursday, August 30, 2012 2012-16759 Capital Risk Disclosure Requirements Under Dodd Frank.

Admittedly this is not for the feint of heart or those with limited literacy in economics, accounting and finance; but if you find yourself in the position of not understanding, then go to any economist or banker or finance specialist or accountant  and they will explain it to you.

Lewtan which produces ABSnet is offering a service to banks that will give the banks and plausible deniability when the figures come up all rosy for the banks. Lewtan should be careful in view of the action being taken against the ratings companies, which is the start of an assault on the citadel of evil intent on Wall Street.

The fundamental aspect of these new rules are that the bank must report on the degree of risk it has taken on in any activity or holding. They must also  show how they arrived at that assessment and under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) you might be able to get copies of their filing whether they do it themselves (doubtful) or hire someone like Lewtan which is obviously going to do the bidding of its paying clients.

The main problem for the banks is that they are holding overvalued assets and some non-existent assets on their balance sheet. A review to assess risk if properly conducted, will definitely turn up both kinds of assets reported on the balance sheet of the banks, which in turn will reduce their reported capital reserves, which in turn will result in changing the ratio between capital and risk.

This might sound like gumbo to you. But here is the bottom line: the banks were using investor money. We all know that. In baby language, the question is if they were using someone else’s money how did the banks lose any money?

They did receive the money from investors like pension funds, and other managed funds for retirement or contingencies. But they diverted the money and the documents to make it appear that the bank owned the assets that were intended to be purchased for the REMIC trusts. The Banks then purchased and claimed to be an insured or a party who had sustained a loss when in fact the loss was incurred by the investors and the mortgage bonds and loans were owned collectively by the investors.

By doing that the insurance proceeds were paid to the banks creating an instant liability to the investors to whom they owed a common law and contractual duty to provide an accounting and distribution based upon the insurance recovery. At no time did the banks ever have a risk of loss nor an insurable interest in their own name. And at not time were they bound by the REMIC documents because they ignored the REMICs and conducted transactions through an entirely different superstructure.

As agents of the investors they should have followed the REMIC documents and purchased the insurance and CDS protection for the benefit of the investors. But they didn’t do that. They kept the money for the bank who never had any proof of loss, proof of payment and was a mere intermediary claiming the rights of the principal. The same thing happened with Credit Default Swaps and Federal bailouts.

That is why the definition of toxic assets changed over a weekend when TARP was started. It was thought that the mortgages had gone bad for the banks.

Then they realized that the mortgages weren’t going bad to the extent reported and that the bank was suffering no loss because they were using investor money to create the funding of loans and the funding of proprietary trading in which they masked the theft of trillions from investors.

So the government quietly changed the definition of toxic assets to mortgage bonds — but that ran into the same problem, to wit: the mortgage bonds were underwritten by the banks but purchased by the investors (pension funds etc.).

Now the rubber meets the road. The claim that somehow the banks got stuck with mortgage bonds is patently absurd. If they have mortgage bonds it is not because they bought them, it is because they created them but were unable to sell them because the market collapsed and the PONZI scheme fails whenever the suckers stop buying.

The actual proceeds from theft from the investors and the borrowers is parked off shore around the world. The Banks having been feeding the money back in very slowly because they want to create the appearance of an increasingly profitable bank, when in fact, their revenues sand earnings are slipping away quickly — except for the bolstering they get from repatriating stolen money from investors and borrowers and calling them “proprietary trades.”

Nobody on Wall Street is making that kind of money on trades, proprietary or otherwise, but the banks are claiming ever increasing profits, raising their stock price, defrauding their stockholders. So against each overvalued and non-existent asset claimed by the mega banks on their balance sheet is a liability of far exceeding the assets or even the combined assets of the banks. Treasury knows, this, the Fed knows this and central bankers around the world know it. But they have been drinking the Kool-Aid believing that if they call out the mega banks on this fake accounting, the entire financial system will collapse.

So yes there is a consensus between those who pull the levers of power that they will allow the banks to pretend to have assets, that their liabilities are fairly low, and that the risks associated with their business activities, assets and liabilities are minimal even while knowing the converse is true. The system’s foundation is a loose amalgamation of lies that will eventually collapse anyway but everyone likes to kick the can down the road.

You are getting in this article a sneak peek into why the banks all rushed to foreclose rather than modify or settle on better terms. What is important from the practice point of view is that (1) the “Consideration” mandated by HAMP is not happening and you can prove it with the right allegations and discovery and (2) the reports tendered to OCC and the Fed under this rule will reveal that the issue of proof of loss, risk of loss, proof of payment and ownership is completely muddled — unless you follow the money trail (see yesterday’s article). You can subpoena the reports given by the banks from both the bank itself or the agency. My opinion is that you fill find a treasure trove of information very damaging to the banks and the Treasury Department.

There will be caveats in the notes that express the risk of inaccuracy and which reveal the possibility that the banks neither own nor control the mortgages except as agents for the investors, that the liability to the investors is equal to the money received from insurance, CDS, and bailouts, and that the borrower’s loan payable balance was corresponding reduced as to the investor and increased to entities that are not or cannot press any claims against the borrowers. Educate yourself and persist — the tide is turning.

Excerpt from attached section of Federal Register:

The bank’s primary federal supervisor may rescind its approval, in whole or in part, of the use of any internal model and determine an appropriate regulatory capital requirement for the covered positions to which the model would apply, if it determines that the model no longer

complies with the market risk capital rule or fails to reflect accurately the risks of the bank’s covered positions. For example, if adverse market events or other developments reveal that a material assumption in an approved model is flawed, the bank’s primary federal supervisor may require the bank to revise its model assumptions and resubmit the model specifications for review. In the final rule, the agencies made minor modifications to this provision in section 3(c)(3) to improve clarity and correct a cross-reference.

Financial markets evolve rapidly, and internal models that were state-of-the- art at the time they were approved for use in risk-based capital calculations can become less effective as the risks of covered positions evolve and as the industry develops more sophisticated modeling techniques that better capture material risks. Therefore, under the final rule, as under the January 2011 proposal, a bank must review its internal models periodically, but no less frequently than annually, in light of developments in financial markets and modeling technologies, and to enhance those models as appropriate to ensure that they continue to meet the agencies’ standards for model approval and employ risk measurement methodologies that are, in the bank’s judgment, most appropriate for the bank’s covered positions. It is essential that a bank continually review, and as appropriate, make adjustments to its models to help ensure that its market risk capital requirement reflects the risk of the bank’s covered positions. A bank’s primary federal supervisor will closely review the bank’s model review practices as a matter of safety and soundness. The agencies are adopting these requirements in the final rule.

Risks Reflected in Models. The final rule requires a bank to incorporate its internal models into its risk management process and integrate the internal models used for calculating its VaR-based measure into its daily risk management process. The level of sophistication of a bank’s models must be commensurate with the complexity and amount of its covered positions.

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