Foreclosures on Nonexistent Mortgages

I have frequently commented that one of the first things I learned on Wall Street was the maxim that the more complicated the “product” the more the buyer is forced to rely on the seller for information. Michael Lewis, in his new book, focuses on high frequency trading — a term that is not understood by most people, even if they work on Wall Street. The way it works is that the computers are able to sort out buy or sell orders, aggregate them and very accurately predict an uptick or down-tick in a stock or bond.

Then the same investment bank that is taking your order to buy or sell submits its own order ahead of yours. They are virtually guaranteed a profit, at your expense, although the impact on individual investors is small. Aggregating those profits amounts to a private tax on large and small investors amounting to billions of dollars, according to Lewis and I agree.

As Lewis points out, the trader knows nothing about what happens after they place an order. And it is the complexity of technology and practices that makes Wall Street behavior so opaque — clouded in a veil of secrecy that is virtually impenetrable to even the regulators. That opacity first showed up decades ago as Wall Street started promoting increasing complex investments. Eventually they evolved to collateralized debt obligations (CDO’s) and those evolved into what became known as the mortgage crisis.

in the case of mortgage CDO’s, once again the investors knew nothing about what happened after they placed their order and paid for it. Once again, the Wall Street firms were one step ahead of them, claiming ownership of (1) the money that investors paid, (2) the mortgage bonds the investors thought they were buying and (3) the loans the investors thought were being financed through REMIC trusts that issued the mortgage bonds.

Like high frequency trading, the investor receives a report that is devoid of any of the details of what the investment bank actually did with their money, when they bought or originated a mortgage, through what entity,  for how much and what terms. The blending of millions of mortgages enabled the investment banks to create reports that looked good but completely hid the vulnerability of the investors, who were continuing to buy mortgage bonds based upon those reports.

The truth is that in most cases the investment banks took the investors money and didn’t follow any of the rules set forth in the CDO documents — but used those documents when it suited them to make even more money, creating the illusion that loans had been securitized when in fact the securitization vehicle (REMIC Trust) had been completely ignored.

There were several scenarios under which property and homeowners were made vulnerable to foreclosure even if they had no mortgage on their property. A recent story about an elderly couple coming “home” to find their door padlocked, possessions removed and then the devastating news that their home had been sold at foreclosure auction is an example of the extreme risk of this system to ALL homeowners, whether they have or had a mortgage or not. This particular couple had paid off their mortgage 15 years ago. The bank who foreclosed on the nonexistent mortgage and the recovery company that invaded their home said it was a mistake. Their will be a confidential settlement where once again the veil of secrecy will be raised.

That type of “mistake” was a once in a million possibility before Wall Street directly entered the mortgage loan business. So why have we read so many stories about foreclosures where there was no mortgage, or was no default, or where the mortgage loan was with someone other than the party who foreclosed?

The answer lies in how these properties enter the system. When a bank sells its portfolio of loans into the system of aggregation of loans, they might accidentally or intentionally include loans for which they had already received full payment. Maybe they issued a satisfaction maybe they didn’t. It might also include loans where life insurance or PMI paid off the loan.

Or, as is frequently the case, the “loan” was sold after the homeowner was merely investigating the possibility of a mortgage or reverse mortgage. As soon as they made application, since approval was certain, the “originator” entered the data into a platform maintained by the aggregator, like Countrywide, where it was included in some “securitization package.

If the loan closed then it was frequently sold again with the new dates and data, so it would like like a different loan. Then the investment banks, posing as the lenders, obtained insurance, TARP, guarantee proceeds and other payments from “co-obligors” on each version of the loan that was sold, thus essentially creating the equivalent of new sales on loans that were guaranteed to be foreclosed either because there was no mortgage or because the terms were impossible for the borrower to satisfy.

The LPS roulette wheel in Jacksonville is the hub where it is decided WHO will be the foreclosing party and for HOW MUCH they will claim is owed, without any allowance for the multiple sales, proceeds of insurance, FDIC loss sharing, actual ownership of the loans or anything else. Despite numerous studies by those in charge of property records and academic studies, the beat goes on, foreclosing by entities who are “strangers to the transaction” (San Francisco study), on documents that were intentionally destroyed (Catherine Ann Porter study at University of Iowa), against homeowners who had no idea what was going on, using the money of investors who had no idea what was going on, and all based upon a triple tiered documentary system where the contractual meeting of the minds could never occur.

The first tier was the Prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement that was used to obtain money from investors under false pretenses.

The second tier consisted of a whole subset of agreements, contracts, insurance, guarantees all payable to the investment banks instead of the investors.

And the third tier was the “closing documents” in which the borrower, contrary to Federal (TILA), state and common law was as clueless as the investors as to what was really happening, the compensation to intermediaries and the claims of ownership that would later be revealed despite the borrower’s receipt of “disclosure” of the identity of his lender and the terms of compensation by all people associated with the origination of the loan.

The beauty of this plan for Wall Street is that nobody from any of the tiers could make direct claims to the benefits of any of the contracts. It has also enabled then to foreclose more than once on the same home in the name of different creditors, making double claims for guarantee from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FDIC loss sharing, insurance and credit default swaps.

The ugly side of the plan is still veiled, for the most part in secrecy. even when the homeowner gets close in court, there is a confidential settlement, sometimes for millions of dollars to keep the lawyer and the homeowner from disclosing the terms or the reasons why millions of dollars was paid to a homeowner to keep his mouth shut on a loan that was only $200,000 at origination.

This is exactly why I tell people that most of the time their case will be settled either in discovery where a Judge agrees you are entitled to peak behind the curtain, or at trial where it becomes apparent that the witness who is “familiar” with the corporate records really knows nothing and ahs nothing about the the real history of the loan transaction.

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.

World Savings Bank Loans Were Securitized Before Wachovia Merger

World Savings Bank  was acquired by Wachovia Bank  which in turn was acquired by Wells Fargo.  We have previously reported here that we had no information regarding the actual securitization of loans had been originated by World Savings Bank.  Now we have that information. And in a case of the right hand not aware of the left hand it turns out the source is our very own senior securitization analyst — Dan Edstrom, who operates DTC Systems (shown as watermark on documents shown below).

The original opinion that I had written about was that virtually all of the loans originated by world savings bank were eventually securitized either by World Savings Bank directly,  or by Wachovia Bank after it acquired WSB, or by Wells Fargo bank after it acquired Wachovia Bank.  I am now more sure than ever that this is correct. Despite the public assurances during the mortgage meltdown WSB was in fact acting solely as an originator and not as a lender in many transactions. Many other transactions in which they were technically the lender were actually closed in anticipation of sale into the secondary market for securitization.

If you look at the link below, you will be able to see part of the information that has been sent to me. Apparently Foreclosure Hamlet has been ahead of me on this issue since some of the screenshots show that they are from that blog site. This opens the door to a whole set of cases in which Wells Fargo is insisting that it is the current creditor when in fact the loan was securitized and sold into what appeared to be a REMIC trust. of course it still remains an issue as to whether or not the money taken from investors for the purchase of mortgage bonds ever made it into the trust; so it remains an issue as to whether or not the trust is the creditor or the investors are the creditor.

Thus it remains an issue as to whether or not any of the alleged securitization participants can claim authority to act on behalf of the “trust beneficiaries” when the actual status of the entity (the trust) was ignored by those parties. It might be that they can only claim apparent authority as opposed to legal authority since the documents that were given to the investors show a structure that is very different from what was done in  the real world.

World Savings Bank REMICs

Comment from Dan Edstrom:

These docs are mostly from DTC Systems.  We have been reporting on this since at least October 2010.  DTC Systems does Securitization Reverse Engineering and Failure Analysis for attempted World Savings securitizations and they are also included in the LivingLies combo’s where your client had a World Savings loan.  We have the names of all (or most) of the REMICs.  In a judicial foreclosure case in the mid-west a Wells Fargo expert (a former World Savings Bank employee) testified that the loan was pledged to a World Savings REMIC, but was “unpledged” when the homeowner was behind on the loan.  This is why we see several World Savings promissory notes with an endorsement to The Bank of New York on the back but they are stamped “Cancelled”.

Which is very interesting because the PSA states that the loans will be endorsed to the trustee (without recourse and showing an unbroken chain of endorsements (and/or certificates of corporate succession) from the originator thereof to the Person endorsing ti to the Trustee AND an original assignment to Trustee or a copy of such assignment.
So they seem to have the FORM of without recourse but the SUBSTANCE of the transaction is recourse?  What is the purpose of such ambiguity?  Or is it only ambiguous now in light of the mortgage meltdown and the related handling, such as that discussed (unsafe and unsound handling) in the OCC Cease and Desist Consent Order against Wells Fargo and others?
Also note this law from CA which I have yet to see brought up in a case like this (it seems that it is highly probable this same law exists in most states):
CA Civ. Code 1058
Redelivering a grant of real property to the grantor, or canceling it, does not operate to retransfer the title.
The expert testified that it was a pledge and that World Savings (and thus Wells Fargo) owned both the loan and the REMIC.

 

BeforeYou Open Your Mouth Or Write Anything Down, Know What You Are Talking About

EDITOR’S NOTE: By popular demand I am writing a new workbook that is up to date on the theories and practices of real estate loans, documentation, securitizations and effective enforcement and foreclosure of the collateral (real property — i.e., the house). The book will be finished around the end of January. If you want to purchase an advance subscription to an advance copy we can give you a discount off the price of $599. You will receive the final edit drafts of each section as completed. And your comments might be included in the final text with attribution. This is an excerpt from what I have done so far ( the references to “boxes” is a reference to artwork that has not yet been completed but the meaning is clear enough from the words):

[Note: I did borrow some phrases and cites from Judge Jennifer Bailey's Bench Book for Judges in Dade County. But things have changed substantially since she wrote that guide and my book is intended to update the various treatises, books and articles on the subject of mortgage related litigation in the era of securitization]

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The massive volume of foreclosures and real estate closings have resulted in a failure of the judicial system — both Judges and Attorneys to scrutinize the transactions and foreclosures and other enforcement actions for compliance with basic contract law. This starts with whether there is an actual loan at the base of the tree of assignments, endorsements, powers of attorney etc. If the party at the base of the tree did not in fact make any loan and was not possessed of any actual or apparent authority to represent the party who DID make the loan, then the instruments executed in favor of the originator are void, not voidable. This is simply because the loan contract like any contract requires offer, acceptance and consideration. Lacking any meeting of the minds and/or consideration, there was no contract regardless of what one of the parties signed.

 

The interesting issue at the start of our investigation is how to define the loan contract. Is it a contract that arises by operation of statutory or common law? Is it a contract that arises by execution of instruments? What if the borrower executes an instruments that acknowledges receipt of money he never received from the party he thought was giving him the money? Is it possible for the written instruments to create a conflict between the presumptions at law arising from written, properly executed instruments and the real facts that gave rise to a contract that was created by operation of law?

 

These questions come up because there is no actual written loan contract. The borrower and lender do not come together and sign a contract for loan. The contract is implied from the documents and actions contemporaneously occurring at or around the time of the loan “closing.” It appears to be a case of first impression that the borrower is induced to sign documents in favor of someone who, at the end of the day, does NOT give him the loan. This never was a defect before the era of claims of securitization. Now it is central to the issue of establishing the identity and rights of a creditor and debtor and whether the debt is secured or unsecured.

 

Even where the loan contract is solid, the same legal and factual problems arise at the time of the alleged acquisition of the loan where assignments lack consideration because, like the above origination, an undisclosed third party was the actual source of funds.

 

 

 

Definitions:

 

 

 

1)   Debt: in the context of loans, the amount of money due from the borrower to the lender. This may include successors to the lender. In a simple mortgage loan the amount of money due, the identity of the borrower and the identity of the lender are clear. In cases where the mortgage loan is subject to claims of assignments, transfers, sales or securitization by either the borrower or the party claiming to be the lender or the successor to the lender, there are questions of fact and law that must be determined by the court based on the method by which the money advanced to or on behalf of the borrower that leads to a finding by the court of the identity of the party who advanced the money for the origination of the debt or for the acquisition of the debt.

 

a)    In all cases the debt arises by operation of law at the moment that the borrower receives the advance of money from a lender regardless of the method utilized and regardless of the validity of any instruments that were executed by either the borrower or the lender.

 

i)     The acceptance of the money by the borrower raises a strong presumption that the advance of money in the context of the situation was not a gift.

 

ii)    In simple loans the legal instruments that were executed by the borrower at the loan closing are presumptively supported by consideration as expressed in the note or mortgage and a valid contract presumptively exists such that the court can enforce the note and the mortgage.

 

b)   The factual circumstances and any written instruments that were executed by the parties as part of a loan contract govern terms of repayment of the debt.

 

c)    Enforcement of the repayment obligation of the borrower requires either a lawsuit on the loan of money or a lawsuit on a promissory note.

 

i)     If the lawsuit is on the loan of money plaintiff must state the ultimate facts upon which relief could be granted including the factual circumstances of the loan and the fact that the loan was made. In Florida — F.R.C.P. 1.110 (b), Form 1.936

 

ii)    The lawsuit is on a note plaintiff must state the ultimate facts upon which relief could be granted including that the plaintiff owns and holds the note, that Defendant owes the Plaintiff money, and state the amount of money that is owed. In Florida — F.R.C.P. 1.110 (b), Form 1.934

 

(1)Where the Plaintiff alleges it is a party by virtue of a sale, assignment, transfer or endorsement of the note, Plaintiffs frequently fail to allege the required elements in which case the Court should dismiss the complaint — unless the Defendant has already admitted the debt, the note, the mortgage, and the default.

 

(2)The burden of pleading and proving the required elements is on the Plaintiff and cannot be shifted to the defendant without violating the constitutional requirements of due process.

 

(3)Requiring the Defendant to raise a required but missing element of a defective complaint filed by a Plaintiff would require the Defendant to raise the missing element and then deny it as an attempt at stating an affirmative defense that raises no issue other than an element that was required to be in the complaint of the Plaintiff. This is reversible error in that it improperly shifts the burden of pleading onto the Defendant and requires the Defendant to prove facts mostly in the sole control of the Defendant and which would establish standing to bring the action.

 

d)   In those cases where the loan is subject to claims of assignments, transfers, sales or securitization by either party the court must decide on a case-by-case basis whether the legal consideration for the loan (i.e., the advance of money from lender to borrower or for the benefit of the borrower) supports the debt described in the legal instruments that were executed by the borrower at the loan closing.

 

i)     If the Court finds that the legal instruments that were executed by the borrower at the loan closing are not supported by consideration, then the debt simply exists by operation of law and is not secured.

 

(1)Such a finding could only be based on the court determining that the lender described in the legal instruments is a different party than the party who actually loaned the money.

 

(2)Warehouse lending arrangements may be sufficient for the court to determine that the named payee on the note or the identified lender supplied consideration. The court must determine whether the warehouse lender was an actual lender or a strawman, nominee or conduit.

 

ii)    If the court finds that the legal instruments that were executed by the borrower at the loan closing are supported by consideration, then a valid contract may be found to exist that the court can enforce.

 

2)   Mortgage: a contract in which a borrower agrees that the lender may sell the real property (as described in the mortgage) for the purposes of satisfying a debt described in a promissory note that is described in the mortgage contract. It must be a written instrument securing the payment of money or advances made to or on behalf of the borrower. A lien to secure payment of assessments for condominiums, cooperatives and homeowner association is treated as a mortgage contract, pursuant to the enabling documents. See state statutes. For example, F.S. 702.09, Fla. Stat. (2010)

 

a)    a mortgage, if properly perfected, creates a specific lien against the property and is not a conveyance of legal title or of the right of possession to the real property described in the mortgage contract. See state statutes. For example section 697.02, Fla. Stat. (2010), Fla. Nat’l Bank v brown, 47 So 2d 748 (1949).

 

b)   Mortgagee: the party to home the real property is pledged as collateral against the debt described in the note. Mortgagee is presumptively the party named in the mortgage contract. With the advent of MERS and other situations where there is an assignment of the mortgage (expressly or by operation of law) the named mortgagee might be a strawman or nominee for a party described as the lender. In such cases there is an issue of fact as to perfection of the mortgage contract and therefore the mortgage encumbrance resulting from the recording of the mortgage contract. See state statutes. For example F.S. 721.82(6), Fla. Stat. (2010).

 

i)     In Florida the term mortgagee refers to the lender, the secured party or the holder of the mortgage lien. There are several questions of fact and law that the court must determine in order to define and apply these terms.

 

c)    Mortgagor

 

d)   Lender: the party who loaned money to the borrower. If the lender was identified in the mortgage contract by name then the mortgage contract is most likely enforceable.

 

i)     If the lender described in the mortgage contract is a strawman, nominee or conduit then there is an issue of fact as to whether any party could claim to be a secured party under the mortgage contract. Under such circumstances the mortgage contract must be treated as naming no identified secured party. Whether this results in a finding that the mortgage contract is not complete, not perfected or not enforceable is a question of fact that is decided on a case-by-case basis.

 

e)    No right to jury trial exists for enforcement of provisions of the mortgage. However, a right to jury trial exists if timely demanded provided that the foreclosing party seeks judgment on the note or the loan, to wit: financial damages for financial injury suffered by the Plaintiff.

 

i)     Bifurcation of the trial for damages and trial for enforcement of the mortgage contract may be necessary if the basis for the enforcement of the mortgage is non-payment of the note. Any properly raised affirmative defenses relating to setoff or enforceability of the note would be raised in the case for damages.

 

ii)    In that case the trial on the breach of the note would first be needed to render a verdict on the default and then a trial on enforcement of the mortgage would be held before the court without a jury.  Any properly raised defense relating to fees and other costs assessed in enforcement of the mortgage contract.

 

iii)  A question of fact and law must be decided by the court in actions in which the plaintiff merely seeks to enforce the mortgage by virtue of an alleged default by the plaintiff but does not seek monetary damages. Florida Form 1.944 (Foreclosure Complaint) is not specific as to whether it is allowing for a single trial without jury.

 

(1)Since foreclosures are actions in equity, no jury trial is required, but it can be allowed. Since actions for damages require jury trial if properly demanded, it would appear that this issue was not considered when the Florida Form was created.

 

iv)  The requirement that the Plaintiff must own the loan is a requirement that the Plaintiff is not acting in a representative capacity unless it brings the action on behalf of a principal that is disclosed and alleges and attaches to the complaint an instrument that confers upon Plaintiff its authority to do so.

 

v)    Owning the loan means, as set forth in Article 9 of the UCC that the Plaintiff paid for it in money or other consideration that was equivalent to money. The same thing holds true under Article 3 of the UCC for enforcement of the note if the Plaintiff seeks the exalted status of Holder in Due Course which requires payment PLUS no knowledge of defenses all of which must be alleged and proven by the Plaintiff. [1]

 

3)   Note: a written instrument describing the terms of repayment or terms of payment to the payee or a legal successor in interest. In mortgage loans the payor is often described as the borrower. This instrument is usually described in the mortgage contract as the basis for the forced sale of the property. The note is part of a contract for loan of money. It is often considered the total contract. The loan contract is not complete without the loan of money from the payee on the note. If the lender was identified in the note by name then the note is most likely enforceable.

 


[1] In non-judicial states where the power of sale is recognized as a contractual right, the issue is less clear as to the alignment of parties, claims and defenses. In actions to contest substitution of trustees, notices of sale, notices of default etc. it is the borrower who must bring the lawsuit and in some states they must do so within a very short time frame. Check applicable state statutes. The confusion stems from the fact that the Borrower is actually denying the allegations that would have been made if the alleged beneficiary under the deed of trust had filed a judicial complaint. The trustee on the deed of trust probably should file an action in interpleader if a proper objection is raised but this does not appear to be occurring in practice. This leaves the borrower as the Plaintiff and requiring allegations that would, in judicial states, be either denials or affirmative defenses. Temporary restraining orders are granted but usually only on a showing that the Plaintiff has a likelihood of  prevailing — a requirement not imposed on Plaintiffs in judicial states where the lender or “owner” must file the complaint.

 

New Bank Strategy: There was no securitization — IRS AMNESTY FOR REMICs

Reported figures on the financial statements of the “13 banks” that Simon Johnson talks about, make it clear that around 96% of all loans originated between 1999 and 2009 are subject to claims of securitization because that is what the investment banks told the investors who advanced money for the purchase of what turned out to bogus mortgage bonds. So the odds are that no matter what the appearance is, the loan went through the hands of an investment banker who sold “bonds” to investors in order to originate or acquire mortgages. This includes Fannie, Freddie, Ginny, and VA.

The problem the investment banks have is that they never funded the trusts and never lived up to the bargain — they gave title to the loan to someone other than the investors and then they insured their false claims of ownership with AIG, AMBAC, using credit default swaps and even guarantees from government or quasi government agencies. Besides writing extensively in prior posts, I have now heard that the IRS has granted AMNESTY on the REMIC trusts because none of them actually performed as required by law. So we can assume that the money from the lender-investors went through the investment banks acting as conduits instead of through the trusts acting as Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits.

This leads to some odd results. If you foreclose in the name of the servicer, then the authority of the servicer is derived from the PSA. But if the trust was not used, then the PSA is irrelevant. If you foreclose in the name of the trustee, using a fabricated, robo-signed, forged assignment backdated or non dated as is the endorsement, you get dangerously close to exposing the fact that the investment banks took a chunk out of the money the investors gave them and booked it as trading profit. One of the big problems here is basic contract law — the lenders and the borrowers were not presented with and therefore could not have agreed to the same terms. Obviously the borrower was agreeing to pay the actual amount of the loan and was not agreeing to pay the overage taken by the investment bank. The lender was not agreeing to let the investment bank short change the investment and increase the risk in order to make up the difference with loans paying higher rates of interest.

When we started this whole process 7 years ago, the narrative from the foreclosing entities and their lawyers was that there was no securitization. Their case was based upon them being the holder of the note. Toward that end they then tried lawsuits and non-judicial foreclosures using MERS, the servicer, the originator, and even foreclosure servicer entities. They encountered problem because none of those entities had an interest in the loan, and there was no consideration for the transfer of the loan. Since they were filing in their own name and not in a representative capacity there were effectively defrauding the actual creditor and having themselves designated as the creditor who could buy the property at foreclosure auction without money using a “credit bid.”

Then we saw the banks change strategy and start filing by “Trustee” for the beneficiaries of an asset backed (securitized) trust. But there they had a problem because the Pooling and Servicing Agreement only gives the servicer the right to enforce, foreclose, or collect for the “investor” which is the trust or the beneficiaries of the asset-backed trust. And now we see that the trust was in fact never used which is why the investment banks were sued by nearly everyone for fraud. They diverted the money and the ownership of the loans to their own use before “returning” it to the investors after defaults.

Now we are seeing a return to the original strategy coupled with a denial that the loan was securitized. One such case I am litigating CURRENTLY shows CitiMortgage as the Plaintiff in a judicial foreclosure action in Florida. The odd thing is that my client went to the trouble of printing out the docket periodically as the case progressed before I got involved. The first Docket printed out showed CPCA Trust 1 as the Plaintiff clearly indicating that securitization was involved. Then about a year later, the client printed out the docket again and this time it showed ABN AMRO as trustee for CPCA Trust-1. Now the docket simply shows CitiMortgage which opposing counsel says is right. We are checking the Court file now, but the idea advanced by opposing counsel that this was a clerical error does not seem likely in view of that the fact that it happened twice in the same file and we never saw anything like it before — but maybe some of you out there have seen this, and could write to us at neilfgarfield@hotmail.com.

Our title and securitization research shows that ACCESS Mortgage was the originator but that it assigned the loan to First National which then merged with CitiCorp., whom opposing counsel says owns the loan. The argument is that CitiMortgage has the status of holder and therefore is not suing in a representative capacity despite the admission that CitiMortgage doesn’t have a nickel in the deal, and that there has been no financial transaction underlying the paperwork purportedly transferring the loan.

Our research identifies Access as a securitization player, whose loan bundles were probably underwritten by CitiCorp’s investment banking subsidiary. The same holds true for First National and CPCA Trust-1 and ABN AMRO. Further we show that ABN AMRO acquired LaSalle Bank in a reverse merger, as I have previously mentioned in other posts. Citi has reported in sworn documents with the SEC that it merged with ABN AMRO. So the docket entries would be corroborated as to ABN AMRO being the trustee for CPCA Trust 1. But Citi says ABN AMRO has nothing to do with the subject loan. And the fight now is what will be allowed in discovery. CitiMortgage says that their answer of “NO” to questions about securitization should end the inquiry. I obviously take the position that in discovery, I should be able to inquire about the circumstances under which CitiMortgage makes its claim as holder besides the fact that they physically possess the note, if indeed they do.

Some of this might be revealed when the actual court file is reviewed and when the clerk’s office is asked why the docket entries were different from the current lawsuit. Was there an initial filing, summons or complaint or cover sheet identifying CPCA Trust 1? What caused the clerk to change it to ABN AMRO? How did it get changed to CitiMortgage?

Those VA Loans and Ginny Mae Loans Were ALso Securitized

Probably the most misunderstood aspect of the securitization process is that the banks are able to claim there was no securitization when in fact there was. This is especially true in GSE’s like Fannie, Freddie, Ginny and the VA. When you are researching loans you hit a brick wall when you get to the GSE. And there are terms thrown around like smoke and mirrors that this was or this is a Fannie loan and that therefore the loan was not securitized. This is wrong.

None of the GSE’s are lenders. They don’t loan money to anyone. So if the allegation is made that this was a Fannie or Freddie or VA loan from the start, then the originator was not the lender and neither was Fannie or Freddie or any other GSE. These are strictly guarantee agencies who don’t part with a nickle until the loan is foreclosed and the home is sold. THEN they guarantee up a certain amount and pay it out, drawing from the US Treasury as necessary.

All the loans that were considered GSE loans from the start constitute an admission that the loan was securitized or subjected to claims of securitization. Fannie and Freddie for example have a Master Trustee agreement in which they do nothing but they serve as the Master Trustee for asset-backed pools that have a regular trustee (who also does nothing). These pools are REMIC trusts.

As you can see from the attached files,if you will read them carefully, you will see that the custom and practice of the GSE was, if it guaranteed the loan, to serve as either the conduit or the Master trustee for an asset backed pool where the trust beneficiaries funded the origination or acquisition of the loan. This is a factor that did not get adequately covered in Shack’s excellent opinion recently in New York where he chastised Chase and others for playing with the ownership of the loan to suit the need for foreclosure instead of presenting facts that would protect the people who are actually taking a loss.

see Pooled_Loans_and_Securitizations_032309 and VA-FinancialPolicyVolumeVIChapter06

 

Foreclosure Defense: Notes on Practice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zombie Properties: Banks Don’t Want the Money, Don’t Want the Property: They Just Want Foreclosure Sale and Deed

The borrowers are for the most part willing to straighten this mess out if approached with fair terms that reinstate their credit and reinstate or create loans that are free from the myriad of defects in the falsely claimed securitization chains. The intermediate banks don’t want that because they would be facing liability for trillions of dollars they collected through fraud, deceit and identity theft. So if things keep going the way they are going, the ultimate effect is indeed going to be that the “free house” is going to switch from the intermediate banks who have no just or legal claim to the property to the homeowner whose signature was used in ways he never agreed and would never have agreed. — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

With 6.6 foreclosures and an equal amount to come, given 2.5 residents per household, more than 33 million people will be displaced— paying the price for the misbehavior of the bank and having been used as innocent, ignorant pawns in a PONZI scheme that has nearly perfected the technique of PONZI schemes. — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

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

 

Zombie Properties got their name from being in a state of limbo. Broadly characterized, they include first homes abandoned my misinformed homeowners who believed their home was subject to a legitimate foreclosure. Second they include properties subject to foreclosures but where the bank has put off getting the final judgment or put off the sale. And third they include properties in which the foreclosure sale has occurred but the property was abandoned by the Banks.

Not surprisingly many schemes have evolved in which the renting of these properties has been accomplished by strangers to the transaction. Knowing that the property is temporarily or permanently abandoned, people are offering “deals” to renters, collecting rents on property they don’t own. In other cases the neighborhoods have become so blighted that nobody would move in there if you gave the house to them. So Detroit, Cleveland and other cities are bull dozing tens of  thousands of homes creating farm land and park land where businesses and residential housing had been.

It seems obvious now that the Banks want that foreclosure sale and that is the end of the story. They don’t want the money (we are trying to give them the money in several cases (1000 cents on the dollar) and they are resisting, they don’t want the house (we are actually deeding the house to them without prejudice and without an agreement to avoid a deficiency judgment), They don’t want reinstatement, they don’t want redemption, and they don’t want any modification or mediation except just enough to give the public relations impression that they are trying to work things out. In most modifications, even where the modification is approved and the homeowner complied with all terms including the payments, the Bank goes ahead and forecloses anyway.

In a real mortgage situation, Banks will do almost anything to avoid foreclosure. If you review the literature on foreclosures prior to 2007 it is all based upon workouts in commercial and residential real estate. In fact “workouts” are an area of concentration for most law firms that engage in mortgage litigation whether they are on the lender side or the borrower’s side. Now now. The Bank wants the foreclosure sale and the borrower, investor who put up the funds and insurers who “covered” a “loss” and the counterparts who were covering announced losses, let them be damned.

Why do we have a pandemic of zombies and foreclosures when so many homeowners are actually eager to sign new document that would clear up the title problems caused by MERS, improper disclosure at closing as to who the lender was, claims of fraud, predatory lending deceptive lending etc.?

In the law we say look to the result to determine the intention. There is no doubt that the policies and procedures pursued by the banks, on loans they never owned based upon mortgage bonds that were issued by unfunded trusts, MINIMIZES the eventual monetary recovery and justifies the payment of insurance, payment of hedge contracts (CDS), and the reports to investors that there investment was lost because of foreclosures and expenses of foreclosure, leaving the Banks with the money and frequently the house too because they brought the foreclosure as a servicer without stating they were acting for a principal that had advanced the actual money for the loan.

Since the Banks are evading payment in full, evading receipt of the deed to the home, and evading workouts and modifications, the intent is clear no matter how logical the other alternatives appear to the advantage of all concerned. The intent is to get a foreclosure sale and deed on foreclosure which in most states starts a short statute of limitations ticking in which the deed on foreclosure cannot be challenged.

Of course there are possible remedies involving fraud on the court or the borrower that MIGHT change that but the foreclosure sale basically closes the book on the matter. What does this do for the banks? It ends the possibility of having to account for and pay back money received from investors, insurers, CDS counterparties, guarantors (Fannie and Freddie) and the Federal Reserve who has been buying the worthless mortgage bonds (that supposedly represent a claim of ownership over the loans) at the rate of $85 Billion per month apparently for years.

By getting a deed from a foreclosure sale, they put another layer of deniability between them, the Banks, and the parties from whom they took money on the announced failure of the loans, the bonds or the asset pools. The essential defect of the loans, that the payee and named mortgagee never loaned a dime to the borrower (unknown to the borrower) destroys the claim that the note and mortgage lien were ever perfected. This defect results in a finding of no valid mortgage, nullification of the instrument, and thus no security for the lending party — something that obviously smart Wall Street lawyers knew about but thought they could finesse — and they were right.

By having the information at hand in a title and securitization analysis, getting it explained in an Expert declaration from a credible source, and consulting with those who actually understand what happened here, the lawyer can feel confident that he is pleading and can prove that the entire transaction was a sham. Ask any professor of law who knows bills, notes, negotiable instruments, etc. If there was o underlying transaction in which value was exchanged both ways, no enforceable rights arise. There simply isn’t a transaction at all, and all the paperwork in the world isn’t going to fix that without getting a signature from the borrower — which most borrowers are willing to do if they get a fair modification based upon real values, instead of the artificially inflated values that were used for the loans.

The fact remains that virtually all loans were paid off in their entirety whether they ever went into “default” (which could not exist because the loan no longer existed), or whether they are performing loans in which hapless homeowners are paying monthly payments to a bank who does not own the loan, on a loan that either no longer exists or which has been paid down by actual payment from parties who waived subrogation, waived contribution and waived any right of action against the homeowner. If the account receivable is paid off, the banks’ claim for recovery one more time (after being paid several times over 100 cents on the dollar) in the form of a foreclosure is nothing more than looking for an official governmental action that cuts off the players who advanced the money on the same loan assets repeatedly.

Looking again to the result to determine the intent, it cannot be argued that the Banks pretended to issue mortgage bonds issued from a REMIC trust that was never funded and then did whatever they wanted to do with the trillions of dollars deposited with those investment bank for purchase of the bonds. The investors weren’t buying bonds. They were buying problems. They were, contrary to agreement with the investment bank, directly lending money to homeowners without a note or mortgage.

The actual closing procedure was a sham. The closing agent applied the money received from investors through one of the investment banks or an affiliate of the investment bank as though it was a loan from the named payee on the note and the named mortgagee on the mortgage or the named beneficiary on the deed of trust.

Thus the title, to which the investors were expecting and entitled was diverted from the investors to puppet companies who were already under contract to do what they were told — as in the Assignment and Assumption Agreement executed between the loan “originator” and the “aggregator” neither of whom advanced a dime, nor did they need to do so — the money from the investors being at hand in a commingled account at the investment bank who never followed through giving money or loans to the Trustee of the New York “Trust” thus creating a legal entity that had neither money nor assets.

The illusion is ONLY completed with an apparently legal “foreclosure sale” which creates a presumption of validity on the 6.6 million foreclosures completed thus far, and the additional latest estimate of 7 million more foreclosures). By fabricating foreclosure documents after the “trades” had been completed (i.e., the banks had received payment for the bonds and loans several times over that they never reported to the investors – but which still must be accounted for as payment to the investor because the investment banks were at all times acting as the agents of the investors).

Confused? Here is the easy way of looking at it. The Banks stole the identity of the investors and the REMIC trust by issuing the bonds into street name” but showing on end of month statements to the investors that they owned the bonds and loans. After selling the loans several times or receiving mitigating payments that were intended to reduce the loss, the loans were worthless to the Banks and now represented a liability to give all that money back because the underlying loans were fraudulent and defective and the trading profits declared by the banks was really the proceeds of theft. All the participants squeeze the last ounce of fees and profit from this PONZI scheme which was completely reliant on the continued purchase of the bogus mortgage bonds. When it was all over, they pitched the loan over the fence and said the Trust owned it but there had never been a transaction between the trust and anyone else in which the trust paid for and was delivered the loan according to the terms of the Prospectus and the Polling and Servicing Agreement.

Want it shown differently? The Banks stole the identity of the borrowers and traded on it knowing they would do anything possible to make the loan go into default and thus collect, in addition to the original money advanced by investors, insurance and other funds that paid off the loan several times over. Some enterprising Class Action lawyer who really knows what they are doing can lay claim to the vast pool of money that emerged from this scheme with the real parties in interest — the investor lenders and the homeowner borrowers taking the loss. The payment extinguishes the loan and the over payment collected by the banks is due back to the homeowner unless the investors intervene and assert claims to the pool of money that ultimately was held by firms that were at best only intermediaries and at worst (and usually) complete strangers tot he transactions with investors and complete strangers to transactions with the borrowers.

The borrowers are for the most part willing to straighten this mess out if approached with fair terms that reinstate their credit and reinstate or create loans that are free from the myriad of defects in the falsely claimed securitization chains. The intermediate banks don’t want that because they would be facing liability for trillions of dollars they collected through fraud, deceit and identity theft. So if things keep going the way they are going, the ultimate effect is indeed going to be that the “free house” is going to switch from the intermediate banks who have no just or legal claim to the property to the homeowner whose signature was used in ways he never agreed and would never have agreed.

When owners walk, ‘zombie’ homes become nuisance
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/09/01/foreclosed-homes-zombie-titles/2753385/

Zombie properties run rampant across Florida
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/26579-zombie-properties-run-rampant-across-florida

Jacksonville-Based EverBank to Pay $43.3 Million for Foreclosure Crimes
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/08/27/jacksonville-based-everbank-to-pay-43-3-million-for-foreclosure-crimes/

Southwest Florida riddled with underwater homeowners
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/26650-one-third-of-homeowners-in-southwest-florida-underwater

The Cautious Approach to Buying Foreclosures
http://www.realtytrac.com/content/news-and-opinion/the-cautious-approach-to-buying-foreclosures-7849

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Real Deal and How to Get There

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

The Real Deal and How to Get There

If you read the Glaski case any of the hundreds of other decisions that have been rendered you will see one glaring error — failure to raise an issue or objection in a timely manner. This results from ignorance of the facts of securitization. So here is my contribution to all lawyers, wherever you are, to prosecute your case. I would also suggest that you use every tool available to disabuse the Judge of the notion that your goal is delay — so push the case even when the other side is backpedaling, ask for expedited discovery. Act like you have a winning case on your hands, because, in my opinion, you do.

The key is to attack the Judge’s presumption whether stated or not, that a real transaction took place, whether at origination or transfer. Once you let the Court know that is what you are attacking the Judge must either rule against you as a matter of law which would be overturned easily on appeal and they know it, or they must allow penetrating discovery that will reveal the real money trail. The error made by nearly everyone is that the presumption that the paperwork tells THE story. The truth is that the paperwork tells a story but it is false.

Nevertheless the burden is on the proponent of that argument to properly plead it with facts and as we know the facts are largely in the hands of the investment banker and not even the servicer has it. My law firm represents clients directly in Florida and provides litigation support to any attorney wherever they are located. We now send out a preservation letter (Google it) as soon as we are retained. We send it to everyone we know or think might have some connection to the file. If they can’t find something, the presumption arises they destroyed it if we show that in the ordinary course of business they would keep records like that. We also have a computer forensic analyst who is a lawyer that can go into the computers and the data and see when they were created, by whom and reveal the input that was done to create certain files and instruments.

Once the facts are properly proposed, then the proponent still has the burden of proving the allegations through discovery. That is because the paperwork raises a rebuttable presumption of validity. The Glaski case gives lots of hints as to how and when to do this. Neither judicial notice of an instrument nor the rebuttable presumption arising out of an instrument of commerce gives the bank immunity. And the requests for discovery should attack the root of their position — that the foreclosing party is true beneficiary or mortgagee.

With the Glaski Case in California and we have one just like it in Florida, the allegation must be made that the transaction is void as to the transfer to the Trust. You have a related proof challenge when they insist that the loan was not securitized. You say it was subject to claims of securitization. That puts you in a he said she said situation — which puts you in the position of the Judge ruling against you because you have not passed the threshold of moving the burden back to the Bank. What penetrates that void is the allegation and proof of the absence of any actual transaction — i.e., one in which there was an offer, acceptance of the offer and consideration. The UCC says an instrument is negotiated when sold for value. You say there was no value. Proving the loan is subject to claims of securitization may require discovery into the accounting records of the parties in the securitization chain. What you are looking for is a loan receivable account or account receivable that is owned by the party to whom the money is owed. At the servicer this does not exist, which is why the error in court is to go with the servicer’s records, which are incomplete because they do not reveal the payments OUT to third party creditors or others, nor other payments IN like from the investment bank who funds continued payment to the creditors to keep them ignorant that their portfolio is collapsing.

The transaction is void if there was an attempt to assign the loan into the trust. First, it violated the instrument of the trust (PSA) because of the cutoff rule. The court in Glaski correctly pointed out that under the circumstances this challenge was valid because of the prejudice to the beneficiaries of the trust. They use discretion to assert that there is prejudice to the beneficiaries because of the economic impact of losing their preferential tax status. They did not add (because nobody raised it), that the additional prejudice to the beneficiaries is that it is usually a loan that is already declared in default that is being assigned. Judge Shack in New York has frequently commented on this.

Hence the proposed transfer violates the cutoff date, the tax status and the requirement that the loan be in good standing. Sales of the bonds issued by the trust were based upon the premise that the bonds were extremely low risk. Taking defaulted loans into the trust certainly  violates that and under federal and state regulations the pension funds, as “Stable managed funds” can ONLY invest in extremely low risk securities.

Hence the possibility of ratification is out of the question. First, it is isn’t allowed  under the IRC and the PSA and second, it isn’t allowed under the PSA because the investors are being handed an immediate loss — a purchase with their funds (which you will show never happened anyway) of a defaulted loan. But to close the loop on the argument of possible ratification, you must take the deposition of the trustee of the trust.

Without the possibility of ratification, the transaction is definitely void. In that depo it will be revealed that they had no access or signature authority to any trust account and performed no duties. But they are still the party entrusted with the fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries. So when you ask whether they would allow the purchase of a bad loan or any loan that would cause the REMIC to lose its tax status they must answer either “no” or I don’t know. The latter answer would make appear foolish.

A note in the Glaski case is also very revealing. It is stated there that BOTH sides conceded that the real owner of the debt is probably unknown and can never be known. So tread softly on the proposition that the real owner of the loan NOW is the investor. But there is a deeper question suggested by this startling admission by the Court and both sides of the litigation. If the facts are alleged that a given set of investors somehow pooled their money and it was used to fund the loan origination or to fund the loan acquisition, what exactly do the investors have NOW? It would appear to be a total loss on that loan. They paid for it but they don’t own it because it never made it into the trust.

The alternative, proposed by me, is that this conclusion is prejudicial to the beneficiary, violates basic fairness, and is contrary to the intent of the real parties in interest — the investors as lenders and the homeowners as borrowers. The proper conclusion should be, regardless of the form of transaction and content of instruments that were all patently false, that the investors are lenders and the homeowner is a borrower. The principal is the amount borrowed. The terms are uncertain because the investors were buying a bond with repayment terms vastly different than the repayment terms of the note that the homeowner signed. Where this occurs the note or obligation is generally converted into a demand obligation, which like tender of money in a loan dispute, is enforced unless it produces an inequitable result, which is patently obvious in this case since it would result in a judgment and judgment lien that might be foreclosed against the homeowner.

With the assignment to the trust being void, and the money of the investor being used to fund the loan, and there being no privity between the investor and the homeowner, the only logical conclusion is to establish that the debt exists, but that it is unsecured and subject to the court’s determination to fashion the terms of repayment — or mediation in which the unsecured loan becomes legitimately secured through negotiations with the investors.

Since the loan was not legally assigned into the trust and the trust did not fund the origination of the loan, the PSA no longer governs the transaction; thus the authority of the servicer is absent, but the servicer should still be subpoenaed to produce ALL the records, which is to say the transactions between the servicer and the borrower AND the transactions between the servicer and any third parties to whom it forwarded the payment, or with whom it engaged in other receipts or disbursements related to this loan.

Since the loan was not legally assigned into the trust, the trustee has no responsibility for that loan, but the investment bank who used the investors money to fund the the loan is also a proper target of discovery as is the Maser Servicer and aggregators, all of whom engaged in various transactions that were based upon the ownership of the loan being in the trust. Now we know it isn’t in the trust. The Banks have used this void to jump in and claim that they own the loan, which is obviously inequitable (if not criminal). But the equitable and proper result would be to establish that the investors own an account receivable from borrowers in this type of situation since they were the ones who advanced the money, not the banks.

Since the loan was not legally assigned into the trust, the servicer has no  actual authority or contract with the investors who are now free to enter into direct negotiations with the borrowers and avoid the servicers who are clearly serving the interest of the parties in the securitization chain (which failed) and not the investors. Thus any instrument executed using the securitization or history of “assignments” (without consideration) as the foundation for executing such an instrument is void. That includes substitutions of trustees, assignments, notices of default, notices of sale, lawsuits to foreclose or any effort at collection.

Note that without authority and based upon intentionally false representations, the servicers might be subject to a cause of action for interference with contractual rights, especially where a modification proposal was “turned down by the investor. “ If the investor was not the Trust and it was the Trust allegedly who turned it down (I am nearly certain that the investors are NEVER contacted), then the servicer’s push into foreclosure not only produces a wrongful foreclose but also interference with the rights and obligations of the true lenders and borrowers who are both probably willing to enter into negotiations to settle this mess.

The second inquiry is about the balance of the account receivable and the obvious connection between the account receivable owned by the investors and the account payable owed by the homeowners. I don’t think there is any reasonable question about the initial balance due, because that can easily be established and should be established by reference to a canceled check or wire transfer receipt. But the balance now is affected by sales to the Federal Reserve, insurance, bailouts and credit default swaps (CDS).

Since the loan was not assigned to the trust then the bond issued by the trust that purports to own the loan is wrong. The insurance, CDS, guarantees, purchases and bailouts were all premised on the assumption that the false securitization trail was true, then it follows that the money received by anyone represents proceeds that does not in any way belong to them. They clearly owe that money to the investor to the extent of the investors’ advance of actual money, with the balance due to the homeowner, as per the agreement of the parties at the closing with the homeowner. But the payors of those moneys also have a claim for refund, buy back, or unjust enrichment, fraud, etc.

Those payors have one obvious problem: they executed agreements that waived any right to collect from the borrower. Thus they are stuck with the bond which is worthless through no fault of the beneficiaries. So their claim, I would argue, is against the investment bank. The guarantors (Fannie, Freddie et al) have buyback rights against the parties who sold them the loans they didn’t own or the bonds representing ownership that was non-existent. Here a fair way of looking at it is that the investors are credited with the third party mitigation payments, the account payable of the borrower is reduced proportionately with the reduction of the account receivable (by virtue of cash payment to their agents which reduces the account receivable because the money should be paid to and credited to the investor) and the balance of the money received should then go to the guarantor to the extent of their loss, and then any further balance left divided equally amongst the investors, borrowers and guarantors.

To do it any other way would either leave the banks with their ill-gotten gains and unjust enrichment, or over payment to the investors, over payment to the borrowers who are entitled to such proceeds as per most statutes governing the subject, or over payment to the guarantors. The argument would be made that the investors, borrowers and guarantors are getting a windfall. Yes that might be the case if the over payments resulting from multiple sales of the same loan exceeded all money advanced on the actual loan. But to leave it with the Banks who were never at risk and who are still getting preferential treatment because of their shaky status would be to reward those who intended to be the risk takers, but who masked the absence of risk to them through false statements to the parties who all collectively advanced money and property to this scheme without knowing that they were all doing so.

 

The question is on what basis should the banks be rewarded with the windfall. I can find no support for that proposition. But based upon public policy or other considerations regarding the nature of the hedge transactions used to sell the same loan over and over again, it might be argued that the investment bank is entitled to retain SOME money if the total exceeds the full balances owed to the investors (thereby extinguishing the payable from the borrower), and the full balances owed to the guarantors.

Theory vs Fact and What to do About It in Court

NOTICE: The information contained on this blog is based upon fact when stated as fact and theory when stated as theory. We are well aware that the facts presented on this blog are contrary to the facts as presented by mainstream media,  the executive branch of government and even the judicial branch of government.  We do not consider anything to be fact unless it is corroborated in at least three ways.  Some of the information is based upon extensive interviews with industry insiders who have shared information based upon a promise of anonymity. Some of the information is based upon intensive research into specific companies and specific people including the hiring of investigative services. Some of the information is based upon personal knowledge of Neil Garfield during his tenure on Wall Street and in his investment banking activities related to the trading of commercial and residential real estate. All fact patterns presented as true in this blog are additionally subjected to the test of logic and the presence or absence of a contrary explanation.

THE TRUE NARRATIVE OF SECURITIZATION

Think about it. When the bond sells or is repurchased, what happens to the loans. The bond “derives” its value from the loans (hence “derivative”). So if you sell the bond you have sold a share of the underlying loans, right? Wrong — but only wrong if you believe the spin from Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve cover for quantitative easing (expansion of the money supply not required by demand caused by increased economic activity). Otherwise you would be entirely correct.

If you buy a share of General Motors you can’t claim direct ownership over the cars and equipment. That is because GM is a corporation. A corporation is a valid “legal fiction”. When you create a corporation you are creating a legal person. Now let’s suppose you give your broker the money to buy a share of General Motors, does that give the broker to claim ownership over your investment? Of course not — with one major glaring exception. The exception is that securities are often held in”street name” rather than titled to you as the buyer. You can always demand that the stock certificate be issued in your name, but if you don’t then it will be held in the name of the brokerage house that executed the transaction for you. So on paper it looks like the share of GM is titled to the brokerage house and not you. It is standard practice and there is nothing wrong with it in theory until you take away accountability for malfeasance.

Before brokers were allowed to incorporate, the owners or partners were individually liable for everything that happened in the brokerage company. So they were not likely to claim your security held in street name as their own. In fact, the paper crash in the late 19060′s was directly related to the fact that the securities held in street name did not match up with the statements of investors who had accounts with the brokerage houses who screwed up the paperwork so badly, that some firms crashed and to this day there are unresolved certificates in which the identity of the actual owner is unknown.

And if they sold your share of GM, the proceeds were supposed to be yours. In the yesteryear of Wall Street rules they would only execute a sell of your share of GM if you ordered it. It can be fairly stated that the reason why the financial system broke down is that brokers had nothing stopping them from claiming ownership over the investors money (thus stealing both the money and the identity of the investor) and nothing stopping them from claiming ownership over a loan that was issued by a borrower and used by the broker to sell, trade and profit from exotic securities using the investors’ money without accounting to either the investor or the borrower (or the regulators) of the details of such trades.

Today it is still supposed to be true that the brokers are “honest” intermediaries just like your commercial bank that handles your checking account, but as it turns out neither the investment banks nor the commercial bank have a culture of caring for or about their customers or depositors. The system has broken down.

And so the moral hazard of having corporations managed by officers who are not likely to go to jail or go bankrupt when the system of gambling with customer money goes bad, they suffer nothing. They get paid bonuses for any upside event but they never feel the pain when things go bad. Back “in the day” there were three things stopping bankers from defrauding the public: personal responsibility, agency regulation and industry pressure from peers who feared the public would stop doing business with them if it became known that their deposits were being “managed” in ways most people could not be true.

Now we can return to the question of what is the legal result of a transfer of a mortgage backed bond. You have given the brokerage house the money to buy the bond (let’s say you are a pension fund). The brokerage house should have given your money to the “legal person” that issues or owns the bond. So if you are the first buyer of the bond, then the money should go to the trustee of the New York common law trust (REMIC) that issues the bond to you — except that it is in reality issued in “street name” — I.e., in the name of the brokerage house. This is contrary to the intent of the prospectus and PSA given to investors but it is left intentionally vague as to  whether this path is legally mandated. The courts are all caught up in the paperwork instead of looking at the actual transactions and matching those transactions with common law principles that have been presumptively true for centuries.

The 1998 law exempts mortgage back bonds from being called securities so it could be argued that they should not be issued in street name, a process applicable to securities trading. Without the devices of “Selling Forward” (selling what you don’t have — yet) and issuing ownership in “Street name” it would have been very difficult for any of this mayhem to have grown to such pornographic proportions.

NOW HERE IS WHERE THE CRIME STARTED: No trust agreement was ever created, so this gave the bankers wiggle room in case they wanted to avoid trust law. The creation of the trust is said to be in the PSA and prospectus and one could be implied from the wording, but it is difficult in plain language to confirm the intent to create a trust. Nonetheless it became part of Wall Street parlance to refer tot he special purpose vehicles qualifying for special tax treatment under REMIC statutes as “trusts.”

No bond was issued in most cases. The bond issued by the “trust” in reality was merely notated on the books of the investment banking brokerage. Nearly all bonds therefore have no paper certificate even available (called non certificated). The “private label” bonds are so full of legal holes that they could not hold air, much less water.

No money was given to the trustee or the trust. No assets were deposited into the trust. The trust never acquired or originated any loans because it didn’t pay for them. It didn’t pay for them because it had no money to pay for them. The money you gave to purchase a bond never went to the trustee or the trust. In fact the trustee failed to start a file on your “trust” and therefore never assigned it to their trust department. The trustee also never started a depository account for the trust. It would have been named “XYZ Bank in trust for ABC trust”. That never happened except when they were piloting the scheme that become the largest Economic crime in human history.

Banks diverted your money from the trust into their own pockets. Without telling you, they put the money into a commingled undifferentiated account. The notation was made that the investor was credited with the purchase of one bond but the bond was never issued and the trust didn’t get the money so there was no deal or transaction between you and the trust. You gave the brokerage firm your money for the bond but you never got the bond. The issuance of the bond from the trust was a fiction perpetrated by the brokerage house. Since neither the trustee nor the trust had any records nor an account where your money could be deposited, it never came into legal existence, but more importantly it lacked the funds to buy or originate residential mortgage loans.

Money was controlled by the investment banks, not the trusts or the trustees. That money was sitting in the the brokerage account along with thousands of investors who thought they were buying millions of bonds in thousands of trusts. Having voluntarily ignored the existence of the allegedly existing trust, it doesn’t matter whether the trust did or did not exist because it was never funded and therefore was a nullity. In reality, the investors were not owners of a trust or beneficiaries of a trust, they were common law general partners in a scheme that rocked the world.

From the start the money chain never matched the paperwork. The brokerage house wired money to the depository account (checking account) of the closing agent (usually a title agent) “on the ground” who also received closing papers from Great Loans, Inc. (not a real name, but represents the “originators” as they came to be called whose name showed up on all the settlement papers and disclosures required for a real estate closing with a “lender). The payee on the note and the mortgagee on the mortgage was named “lender” even though they had never made a loan.

Donald Duck was your lender. The entire lender side of the closing was fictitious. The originators were not just naked nominees, they were fictitious nominees for a fictitious lender who was never disclosed. Under Reg Z and TILA this is a “table funded loan” and it is illegal because the borrower, by law, is required to be given information about the identity of his lender and all the fees, commissions and other compensation paid to various parties.

The investment bank owes the borrower all of its compensation, plus treble damages, attorney fees and costs. A table funded loan is one in which the borrower is deprived of the choice guaranteed by the Federal Truth in Lending Act. It is defined as “predatory per se” which means that all you need to show is that the closing parties, including the closing agent, engaged in a pattern of conduct in which the identity of the real lender was withheld.

Terms of payment and repayment were never disclosed to the lenders and never disclosed to the borrowers. The borrower is also supposed to know, as part of the disclosures of compensation, the terms of repayment. In this case the prospectus and PSA disclose a repayment scheme that makes you, the investor, a co-obligor on repaying your own investment. This is because the terms of the “bond” clearly state that the brokerage house can pay the interest or principal on your investment out of your own funds. That provision is used by the FBI in thousands of PONZI scheme investigations as a red flag for the presence of fraud.

The Terms of the loan were never disclosed to the investor or the buyer. The behavior of the banks can only be considered as legal or excusable if the enabling language existed to allow trading using your money as an investor/depositor/lender. The behavior of the banks does not match up with either the paper trail or the money trail of actual transactions.

AND HERE IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING. The closing agent knows they got money not from the originator and not even from the party that later claims to have made the loan. But they go ahead anyway, issue worthless title insurance, and they close the loan, distributing money as stated in the closing settlement papers; but what is not disclosed in the closing settlement papers is that the terms of repayment for the bond are different from the terms of repayment on the note. And another thing not disclosed is what happened to your money that was supposedly invested in the purchase of a bond payable by a “trust” that didn’t have the money to originate or acquire loans because the brokerage house never tendered it to the trust. The trustee knew it was playing a part in a fictional play and the only thing they were interested in was getting their paycheck for pretending to be the trustee, when in fact there was no trust account, no trust assets, and no bond actually issued by the trust.

The Secret Yield Spread Premium in which the banks stole part of your money when you gave them money to buy into mortgage bundles immediately reduced the amount invested to a level that guaranteed that you would never be repaid. Many different types of loans were made this way. In fact, 96% of all loans made during the mortgage meltdown period were initiated this way. The brokerage house had an affiliated company that was called an aggregator. The aggregator would collect up all the loans that were REPORTEDLY closed, whether they really closed or not. This information came from the loan originator who in effect was billing for services rendered: pretending to be a lender at a closing I which it had no interest. The collection of loans included as many toxic loans as could be found because on average, the collection of loans would have a higher expected interest rate than without the toxic loans. Toxic loans (loans that are known will die in default) carry a very high rate of interest even if the first payment is a teaser payment of one-tenth the amount of the actual augment of principal and interest that would ordinarily apply, and which was applied later when the loans were foreclosed.

The undisclosed yield spread premium is certainly due back to the borrower with treble damages under current law. An investment carrying a higher rate of return usually is worth more on the open market than one with a lower rate of return — assuming the risk on both is comparable. The brokerage house managed to use its influence and money to get the rating agencies to say that these collections of mortgages (bundles) were “investment grade” securities (forgetting that the 1998 law exempted these bonds as “securities”). So for example, let’s take your investment and see what happened. The brokerage house pretended to report that your money had gone into the trust which we already know did not happen. The interest rate of return you were expecting from the highest grade “investment securities” was lower than the average rate of return on investments on average. After all you knew the risk was zero, so the return is lower.

PLAIN LANGUAGE: Brokers took a part of your investment money and created a fictitious transaction in which they always made a large profit (15%-30%). The brokerage house took the bundle of loans created by the aggregator with an inflated rate of return caused by including toxic mortgages with 15% interest rates, and SOLD those loans to itself in “street name” for fair market value which was inflated because of the toxic loans being part of the package. Yes, that is right. The brokerage house created a fictional transaction in which it pretended the bonds were issued and then sold the bundle of mortgages at a fictions profit. They sold the mortgages to themselves and then booked the transaction as a “proprietary trading” profit which is one of many pieces of compensation that was never disclosed to the borrower.

Under law that compensation is due back to the borrower along with treble damages, interest, and all other payments plus attorney fees and costs. The proprietary trading profit reported by the banks was fictional just as all the other elements of the transaction were fictional. It is called a yield spread premium which is the difference in the fair market value of the same loan at two different interest rates. YSPs are common at ground level with the borrower and his mortgage broker etc., but never before present in any large scale operation up at the lender level, where you are, since you have given the brokerage house money to execute a transaction, to wit: purchase mortgage backed bond from a particular trust.

WHAT HAPPENED TO TITLE? It was defective from the start. Neither the originator nor MERS or anyone else had an actual interest in the proceeds of payments on that mortgage. They were just play-acting. But here in the real world they got away with playing with real money (so far). If your money had gone into the trust with the trustee managing the trust assets (because there were trust assets), then the name of the trust should have been placed on the note as payee because the trust made the loan. And the name of the trust should have been on the mortgage as mortgagee or beneficiary under a deed of trust because the trust made the loan. Instead, the brokerage firms set up an elaborate maze of companies under cover or sponsorship from the big banks all pretending to be trading a loan for which both the note and mortgage were known to be defective.

And then the banks claimed to have taken a loss on the bonds (never issued to begin with) for which they were richly rewarded by receiving payments of insurance and credit default swaps, bailout and of course the Federal Reserve program of buying $85 billion PER MONTH in bonds that the Board of Governors knows were never issued from a trust that never existed. And instead of giving you your money back with interest they said “see, there is the huge loss on these bonds and the underlying loans” and they to,d you to eat the loss. But you responded with “Hey. I gave you money to buy those bonds. You were my agent. I don’t care how complex the exotic maze, if you were the agent who took my money then you were the agent who diverted my money and then said it is all the same thing. You brokers owe me my money back.

Meanwhile the aggregators who are really the same brokerage companies are being sued by Fannie, Freddie, investors and other state and federal agencies for selling worthless paper whose value dropped to pennies on the dollar despite the value of the underlying mortgages. And the aggregators are being forced to buy back the crap they sold. So we have the trust, the trustee and you, the investor who never had any investment of value, and the instrument you were supposed to get (mortgage backed bonds) paid off in a dozen different ways.

Which leaves you with the question of every investor in these bogus bonds. What is the value or even the utility of a worthless bond which even if it had been real, has already been aid off? How can the note provisions survive to be enforced on a debt that has been paid off several times over? Why are courts allowing lawsuits, including Foreclosures, on bogus claims where the creditor, the alleged lender, and the alleged trustee of the issuer have no interest in the outcome of litigation and have given warning to all Servicers NOT to use their names in the foreclosure suits — because they have no trust account, they have no account receivable, they have no bond receivable and they have no note receivable?

And why are the courts ignoring the fact that even if the bonds were real, the Federal Reserve now owns most of them. The short answer is that nothing happens to the bond or the loan because they were never connected the way they were supposed to be. The signature of the borrower did not give rise to any debt. The loan from the brokerage house did not give rise to any debt because the broker got paid. And if the principal debt was extinguished at the loan closing (most cases) or after the loan closing, there is no amount due. And even if the insurance and other payments were not enough to any off the loans, the receipt of even one nickel should have reduced the amount due to you the investor and you would have expected a nickel less from the borrower.

HBC,FNMA.OB,FMCC.OB,BAC,JPM,

RBS | Tue, Aug 6

HSBC faces $1.6B payout over mortgage bonds    • HSBC (HBC) faces having to pay $1.6B in a lawsuit from the Federal Housing Finance Agency over soured mortgage bonds that the bank sold to Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB). The bank made the disclosure yesterday.    • The figure is well above the $900M that analysts at Credit Suisse had estimated.    • In total the FHFA has sued 18 banks over mortgage bonds; should HSBC’s calculations for its liabilities be applied to some of the defendants with the largest exposure, including Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan (JPM) and RBS (RBS), they would have to pay over $7B each. Should these banks make payments in proportion with a recent UBS deal, the bill would above $4B.

Full Story: http://seekingalpha.com/currents/post/1194872?source=ipadportfolioapp

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/

“Conversion” of the Note to a Bond Leaves Confusion in the Courts

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our South Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. In Northern Florida and the Panhandle call 850-765-1236. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.

SEE ALSO: http://WWW.LIVINGLIES-STORE.COM

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.

Brent Bentrim, a regular contributor to the dialogue, posed a question.

I am having some trouble following this.  The note cannot be converted any more than when a stock is purchased by a mutual fund (trust) it becomes a mutual fund share.

You’re close and I understand where you seem to be going…ie, the loans were serviced not based on the note and closing documents, but on the PSA.  What I do not understand is the assumption that the note was converted.  From a security standpoint, it cannot.

You are right. When I say it was “converted” I mean in the lay sense rather a legal one. Of course it cannot be converted without the borrower signing. That is the point. But the treatment of the debt was as if it had been converted and that is where the problem lies for the Courts — hence the diametrically opposed appellate decisions in GA and MA. Once you have pinned down the opposing side to say they are relying on the PSA for their authority to bring the foreclosure action, and relying on the “assignment” without value, the issue shifts —- because the PSA and prospectus have vastly different terms for repayment of interest and principal than the note signed by the borrower.There are also different parties. The investor gets a bond from a special purpose vehicle under the assumption that the money deposited with the investment bank goes to the SPV and the SPV then buys the mortgage or funds the origination. In that scenario the payee on the note would either be the SPV or the originator. But it can’t be the originator if the originator did not fulfill its part of the bargain by funding the loan. And there is no disclosure as to the presence of other parties in the securitization chain much less the compensation they received contrary to Federal Law. (TILA).

Under the terms of the PSA and prospectus the expectation of the investor was that the investment was insured and hedged. That is one of the places where there is a break in the chain — the insurance is not made payable to either the SPV or the investors. Instead it is paid to the investment bank that merely created the entities and served as a depository institution or intermediary for the funds. The investment bank takes the position that such money is payable to them as profit in proprietary trading, which is ridiculous. They cannot take the position that they are agents of the creditor for purposes of foreclosure and then take the position that they were not agents of the investors when the money came in from insurance and credit default swaps.

Even under the actual money trail scenario the same holds true — they were acting as agents of the principal, albeit violating the terms of the “lender” agreement with the investors. Here is where another break occurred. Instead of funding the SPV, the investment bank held all investor money in a commingled undifferentiated mega account and the SPV never even had any account or signatory on any account in which money was placed.

Hence the SPV cannot be said to have purchased the loan because it lacked the funding to do it. The banks want to say that when they funded the origination or acquisition of the loan they were doing so under the PSA and prospectus. But that would only be true if they were following the provisions and terms of those instruments, which they were not. The banks funded the acquisition of loans directly with investor money instead of through the SPV, hence the tax exempt claims of the SPV’s are false and the tax effects on the investors could be far different — especially when you consider the fact that the mega suspense account in the investment bank had funds from many other investors who also thought they were investing in many different SPVs.

The reality of the money trail scenario is that the SPV can’t be the owner of the note or the owner of the mortgage because there simply was no transaction in which money or other consideration changed hands between the SPV and any other party. The same holds true for all the parties is the false securitization trail — no money was involved in the assignments. Thus it was not a commercial transaction creating a negotiable instrument.

In both scenarios the debt was created merely by the receipt of money that is presumed not to be gift. The question is whether the note, the bond or both should be used to re-structure the loan and determine the amount of interest, principal, if any that is left to pay.

The further question is if the originator did not loan any money, how can the recording of a mortgage have been proper to secure a debt that did not exist in favor of the secured party named on the mortgage or deed of trust?
And if the lender is determined by the actual money trail then the lenders consist of a group of investors, all of whom had money deposited in the account from which the acquisition of the loan was funded. And despite investment bank claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that there was any attempt to actually segregate funds based upon the PSA and prospectus. So the pool of investors consists of all investors in all SPVs rather just one — a factor that changes the income and tax status of each investor because now they are in a common law general partnership.

Thus the “conversion” language I have used, is merely shorthand to describe a far more complex process in which the written instruments were ignored, more written instruments were fabricated based upon nonexistent transactions, and no documentation was provided to the investors who were the real lenders. That leaves a common law debt that is undocumented by any promissory note or any secured interest in the property because the recorded mortgage or deed of trust was filed under false pretenses and hence was never perfected.

The conversion factor comes back in when you think about what a Judge might be able to do with this. Having none of the documentation naming and protecting the investors to document or secure the loan, the Judge must enter judgment either for the whole amount due, if any (after deductions for insurance and credit default swap proceeds) or in some payment plan.

If the Judge refers to the flawed documentation, he or she must consider the interests and expectation s of both the lender (investors) and the borrower, which means by definition that he must refer back to the prospectus and PSA as well as the promissory note.
The interesting thing about all this is that homeowners are of course willing to sign new mortgages that reflect the economic reality of the value of their homes, and the principal balance due, as well as money that continued to be paid to the creditor by the same same servicer that declared the default (and was therefore curing the default with each payment to the creditor).
The only question left is where did the money come from that was paid to the creditor after the homeowner stopped making payments and does that further complicate the matter by adding parties who might have an unsecured right of contribution against the borrower for money  advanced advanced by an intermediary sub servicer thereby converting the debt (or that part that was paid by the subservicer from funds other than the borrower) from any claim to being secured to a potential unsecured right of contribution from the borrower.
To that extent the servicer should admit that it is suing on its behalf for the unsecured portion of the loan on which it advanced payments, and for the secured portion they claim is due to other parties. They obviously don’t want to do that because it would focus attention on the actual accounting, posting and bookkeeping for actual transfers or payments of money. The focus on reality could be devastating to the banks and reveal liabilities and reduction of claimed assets on their balance sheets that would cause them to be broken up. They are counting on the fact that not too many people will understand enough of what is contained in this post. So far it seems to be working for them.Remember that as to the insurance and credit default swaps there are express waivers of subrogation or any right to seek collection from the borrowers in the mortgages. The issue arises because the bonds were insured and thus the underlying mortgage payments were insured — a fact that played out in the real world where payments continued being made to creditors who were advancing money for “investment” in bogus mortgage bonds. This leaves only the equitable powers of the court to fashion a remedy, perhaps by agreement between the parties by which the lenders are made parties to the action and the borrowers are of course parties to the action but he servicers are left out of the mix because they have an interest in continuing the farce rather than seeing it settled, because they are receiving fees and picking up property for free (credit bids from non-creditors).

This is precisely the point that the courts are missing. By looking at the paperwork first and disregarding the actual money trail they are going down a rabbit hole neatly prepared for them by the banks. If there was no commercial transaction then the UCC doesn’t apply and neither do any presumptions of ownership, right to enforce etc.

The question of “ownership” of the note and mortgage are a distraction from the fact that neither the note or the mortgage tells the whole story of the transaction. The actions of the participants and the real movement of money governs every transaction.

Whether the courts will recognize the conversion factor or something similar remains to be seen. But it is obvious that the confusion in the courts relates directly to their ignorance of the the fact that the actual money transaction is not brought to their attention or they are ignoring it out of pure confusion as to what law to apply.

Now UCC Me, Now You Don’t: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Ignores the UCC in Requiring Unity of Note and Mortgage for Foreclosure in Eaton v. Fannie Mae
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/05/20/now-ucc-me-now-you-dont-the-massachusetts-supreme-judicial-court-ignores-the-ucc-in-requiring-unity-of-note-and-mortgage-for-foreclosure-in-eaton-v-fannie-mae/

High court rules in favor of bank in Suwanee foreclosure case
http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2013/may/20/high-court-rules-in-favor-of-bank-in-suwanee/

Wells Fargo slows foreclosure sales, BofA not so much
http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/morning_call/2013/05/wells-fargo-slows-foreclosure-sales.html

LAWYER BONANZA!: Wells Fargo Foreclosing on Homeowner Who Made all Payments and Paid Extra

WELLS FARGO MAKES HUGE ERROR ADMITTING LACK OF POWER TO BIND CREDITOR TO MODIFICATIONS OR SETTLEMENTS

The simple truth is that the banks are not nearly as interested in the property as they are in the foreclosure. It is the foreclosure sale that creates the illusion of a stamp of approval from the state government that the entire securitization scheme was valid and it creates the reality of a presumption of the validity of the deed issued at the so-called auction of the property upon submission of  false credit bid from a non-creditor who is a stranger (not in privity) to the transaction alleged. — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

see also http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/estoppel-when-the-bank-tells-you-to-stop-making-payments/

Editor’s Comment and Analysis: Wells Fargo is foreclosing on a man who has made his payments early and made extra payments to pay down the principal allegedly due on his mortgage. In response to media questions as to their authority to foreclose, the response was curious and very revealing. Wells Fargo said that the reason was that the securitization documents contain restrictions and prohibitions that prevent modifications of mortgage.

The fact that Wells Fargo offered a particular payment plan and the homeowner accepted it together with the fact that the homeowner made the required payments and even added extra payments, all of which was accepted by Wells Fargo and cashed  doesn’t seem to bother Wells Fargo but it probably will bother a judge who sees both the doctrine of estoppel and a simple contract in which Wells Fargo had the apparent authority to make the offer, accept the payments, and bind the actual creditors (whoever they might be).

It also corroborates our continuing opinion that when Wells Fargo and similar banks received insurance and creditable swap payments, they should have been applied to the receivable account of the investors which in turn would have resulted by definition in a reduction of the amount owed. The reduction in the amount owed would obviously decrease the amount payable by the borrower. If we follow the terms of the only contract that was signed by the borrower then any overpayments to the creditor beyond account receivable held by the creditor would be due and payable to the borrower. It is a violation of the spirit and content of the federal bailout to allow the banks to keep the money that is so desperately needed by the investors who supplied the money and the homeowners whose loans were paid in whole or in part by insurance and credit default swaps.

The reason I am interested in this particular case and the reason why I think it is of ultimate importance to understand the significance of the Wells Fargo response to the media is that it corroborates the facts and theories presented here and elsewhere that the original promissory note vanished and was replaced by a mortgage bond, the terms of which were vastly different than the terms of the promissory note signed by the homeowner.

Wells Fargo seeks to impose the terms, provisions, conditions and restrictions of the securitization documents onto the buyer without realizing that they have admitted that the original promissory note signed by the homeowner and therefore the original mortgage lien or deed of trust were never presented to the actual lenders for acceptance or approval of the loan.

CONVERSION OF PROMISSORY NOTE TO MORTGAGE BOND WITHOUT NOTICE

In fact, Wells Fargo has now admitted that the terms of the loan are governed strictly by the securitization documents. How they intend to enforce securitization documents whose existence was actively hidden from the borrower is going to be an interesting question.  If the position of the banks were to be accepted, then any creditor could change the essential terms of the debt or the essential terms of repayment without notice or consent from the borrower despite the absence of any reference to such power in the documents presented to the borrower for the borrower’s signature.

 But one thing is certain, to wit: the closing documents presented to the borrower  were incomplete and failed to disclose both the real parties in table funded loans (making the loans predatory per se as per TILA and Reg Z) and the existence and compensation of intermediaries, the disclosure of which is absolutely mandatory under federal law. Each borrower who was deprived of knowledge of multiple other parties and intermediaries and their compensation has a clear right of action for recovery of all undisclosed fees, interest, payments, attorney fees and probably treble damages.

This case also clearly shows that despite the representations by counsel and “witnesses” Wells Fargo has now admitted the basic fact behind its pattern of conduct wherein they claim to be the authorized sub servicer fully empowered by the real creditors and then claim to have no responsibility or powers with respect to the loan or the real creditors (which appears to include the Federal Reserve if their purchase of mortgage bonds had any substance).

Wells Fargo, US Bank, Bank of New York and of course Bank of America have all been sanctioned with substantial fines of up to seven figures so far in individual cases where they clearly took inconsistent positions and the judge found them to be in contempt of court because of the lies they told and levied those sanctions on both the attorneys and the banks.

It was only a matter of time before this entire false foreclosure mess blew up in the face of the banks. You can be sure that Wells Fargo will attempt to bury this case by paying off the homeowner and any other people that have been involved who could blow the whistle on their illegal, fraudulent and probably criminal behavior.

This is not the end of the game for Wells Fargo or any other bank, but it is one more concrete step toward revealing basic truth behind the mortgage mess, to it: the Wall Street banks stole the money from the investors, stole the ownership of the loans from the “trusts” and have been stealing houses despite the absence of any monetary or other consideration in the origination or acquisition of any loan. This absence of consideration removes the paperwork offered by the banks from the category of a negotiable instrument. None of the presumptions applicable to negotiable instruments apply.

Once again I emphasize that in practice lawyers should immediately take control of the narrative and the case by showing that the party seeking foreclosure possesses no records of any actual or real transaction in which money exchanged hands. This means, in my opinion, that the allegations of investors in lawsuits against the investment banks on Wall Street are true, to wit: they were entitled to an forcible notes and enforceable mortgages but they didn’t get it. That is an admission in the public record by the real parties in interest that the notes and mortgages are fabricated because they referred to commercial transactions that never occurred.

Going back to my original articles when I started this blog in 2007, the solution to the current mortgage mess which includes the corruption of title records across the country is that the intermediaries should be cut out of the process of modification and settlement. A different agency should be given the power to match up investors and borrowers and facilitate the execution of new promissory notes new mortgages or deeds of trust that are in fact enforceable but based in reality as to both the value of the property and the viability of the loan. It is the intermediaries including the Wall Street banks, sub servicers, Master servicers, and so-called trustees that are abusing the court process and clogging the court calendars with false claims. Get rid of them and you get rid of the problem.

http://4closurefraud.org/2013/05/16/wells-fargo-forecloses-on-florida-man-who-paid-on-time-early/

SMOKE AND MIRRORS: HOW TO FOCUS ON MORTGAGE AND FORECLOSURE DEFECTS

It is obvious that I feel it is important to understand securitization and more particularly, how it was faked in the mortgage meltdown and used to cover-up a Ponzi scheme. That is why I publish this blog and that is why I have written books and manuals and of course that is why I issue expert declarations. The issue, in court, is how do you educate the Judge in 5 minutes. The actual answer is that you don’t but your knowledge gained from these pages and other sources should guide you to your goals and guide your voir dire and cross examination of the witnesses for the other side.

Theoretically, most of what I have been suggesting for tactics and strategy ought to be the burden of the party seeking affirmative relief. DENY and DISCOVER arose out of the realization that Judges were placing the burden on the borrower instead and hanging their legal hat on the fact that the borrower was raising affirmative defenses and therefore required to prove them.

Most borrowers, even through counsel, compounded the problem by admitting all required elements of a judicial foreclosure as they emerged from the starting gate making it even easier for the Judge to place the burden of persuasion on the borrower — to prove facts that are exclusively within the possession, care, custody and control of the other side. And that is why discovery is so important.

Even borrowers who commence the litigation in both judicial and non-judicial states commence their complaints with the allegation that they had a financial transaction with the named lender on the note and mortgage — when in fact the borrower has no evidence to support that allegation other than the appearance or illusion of a transaction supported by the fact that the money for the loan showed up at the same time as the “closing.”

In general, a  careful examination of any loan now subject to a claim of securitization will reveal a fun house series of smoke and mirrors. Factually, you need to subpoena the trust officer or manager in charge of REMIC trusts including the subject REMIC for the subject loan. They should bring proof of filing with the IRS and/or any state in which they are doing business as trustee for the REMIC and proof that the money from investors was deposited into an account bearing the name of the alleged Trustee for the benefit of the named trust that is claiming ownership of the loan. Your goal here is to establish that the money was not deposited into any account held or controlled by the trustee and that withdrawals for funding or purchasing loans came from somewhere else. But that only gets you half way home.

The next thing you have to do is subpoena the records of the entity to whom the Trustee will testify was the party to whom the trustee delegated the trustee’s duties. Here again you are looking for an account in the name of the REMIC trust claiming ownership of the loan into which the investor funds were deposited and from which the funding for origination or purchase of the loan took place. You will most likely find again that no such account exists but that there is agreement that the party receiving the investor money was the investment banker and that the account was a commingled account in which the investment bank made decisions as to how much it would take for itself under the  rubric of “proprietary trading.” The balance of the money was used for fees, costs and other expenses and then finally the balance after deductions was used for funding origination or purchase of mortgages.

The trustee should be encouraged to admit that if the loan is not performing or if the loan purchase or assignment, the trustee is prohibited from accepting such loans inasmuch as it would have an immediate negative economic and tax consequence to the investor. The trustee should also be encouraged to admit that the parties to whom duties were delegated were acting within the scope and course of their agency, with the Trustee (or the investors) as the principals and ultimate beneficiaries.

A subpoena to the CDO manager should expose the transactions entered into by the investment bank or an affiliate with respect to the value of the bonds or loans in the alleged investment pool. But under proper questioning, if the money for the loan didn’t come from the investment pool entity, then it came directly from the investors, not the REMIC trust. The point to be made is that the REMIC trust was ignored in all actual financial transactions in which money exchanged hands but principal-agent relationship still existed with the investors as principals and the investment bank et al as agents.

In all cases you wish to establish that no loan receivable account was established on the balance sheet of the REMIC trust claiming ownership of the loan, and probably that no such balance sheet or income statement exists. The investors were not given the note signed by the borrower. They were given a bond issued by the REMIC trust which was worthless because the proceeds of their investment never reached the REMIC trust.

Thus, oversimplifying a bit, you have established that the REMIC trust is not the payee, holder or owner of the debt because (1) it wasn’t the source of funds and (2) the transactions did not comply with the PSA and Prospectus, requiring strict adherence to the REMIC provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

All of this is done not as an exercise in training the Judge on securitization but under the rubric of tracing the money to the real creditor who had a real loss that would entitle them, if they are secured, to enter a credit bid at the time of auction of a foreclosed property. This would be the same party(ies) that could faithfully execute a satisfaction of mortgage and deliver the note back in its original form with “Paid in Full” Stamped across the front of it. This latter point leads to more complications when you realize that the subject loan was a refinancing of another loan that was also subject to claims of securitization, potentially leaving the homeowner with multiple unsatisfied mortgages, notes or debts.

Your inquiry should focus on the actual receipts and statements showing deposits and withdrawals and transfer of money rather than an assignment which merely tells a story about the transaction. Just as the mortgage is not the note and the note is not the debt, the assignment is no substitute for the actual exchange of money in the sale of the loan. You will find that no such exchange of money took place and then be faced with the question that if the note terms differed from the bond terms, if the payee on the note and mortgage were different than the actual source of funds, and there was no consideration passed (for value received), is there any legally existing transaction? The answer, I think, is NO.

This leaves the situation in murky waters: the transaction about which the origination and transfer documents tell “the story” never took place. So you have documentation without the underlying debt. The actual transaction was with the investors not merely of the REMIC claiming ownership (and by this time has been proven not to own the loan), but all investors whose money was in the source account from which money was taken to fund the origination or purchase of the loan. This commingled account therefore creates under common law a general partnership of the investors that has nothing to do with the REMIC trust which has been ignored by all parties. Thus the partnership consists of all investors who had money in the commingled account. Those investors thought they were advancing money for the purchase of bonds issued by a worthless REMIC trust but found that the Trust had been ignored by their agents. Thus investors from multiple REMIC bond sales find themselves all in the same pot.

This accounts for the allegation from investors in suits against investment bankers that they have been subjected to illegal transactions with borrowers against whom they could enforce neither the note nor the mortgage — because although they did indeed loan money to the borrowers, the documents signed by the borrowers say otherwise. [You should have a couple of those lawsuits under your arm when arguing these points with the Judge]. This leaves the true transaction trail without any documentation other than a wire transfer receipt and perhaps wire transfer instructions. And what was intended to be a secured transaction turns out to be an unsecured transaction even though both sides intended it to be a secured transaction — but subject to different terms (the terms of the repayment on the mortgage bond issued by the empty REMIC trust and the terms of repayment on the promissory note signed by borrower).

The end of this is unclear except to say that settlements will become more frequent. But the negotiations start on a level playing field with the investors rather than the servicers. In most cases it is apparent that borrowers will consent to a new mortgage document directly with the investors thus securing the debt, after reducing it for payments received by the investors or their agents.

 

Shocking Bubble in Student Loans Adds to Economic Woes

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 Comments: First let me say in the interest of transparency that I favor all education to be paid by the government from pre-k through graduate school. My reason is simple — a well informed well educated populace will be more productive, more competitive and less easily fooled by politicians issuing sound bites instead of facts. Information is king. If you want to progress toward the American dream it is no longer evident that working with your hands will get you there. You have to know things that employers need you to know and you have to process things cognitively that only a good education can instill.

Back to reality. The game has been on for at least three decades, perhaps four depending upon how you look at it. Unions were busted  wages declined or stagnated, while corporate profits and bonuses went to dizzying heights, leaving the rest of the country at or near the poverty level.

In lieu of wages, we made credit available that was spent like wages except that you had to spend it twice to be out of debt — once at the point of purchase with your credit card and again in installments at usurious rates when the bill came in. Homeowners were using the homes as ATM machines taking out equity loans just to maintain their standard of living. It doesn’t take an economist to know that one day that bubble had to break when the low wages paid to consumers would be insufficient to cover basic living expenses and certainly insufficient to pay the interest and principal on loans.

Conservatives can blame consumers all they want, but the fact remains that in order to create the illusion of a healthy economy, credit and debt was forced onto 99% of the population while wealth was transferred to the top 1%. To live within your means during this period meant you would live with in the most dangerous run-down neighborhoods with the worst schools. The peer pressure and pressure from life virtually forced the vast majority of Americans to accept debt in lieu of the wages they should have been paid.

Now we have the start of suicide and murders that have littered the landscape during the mortgage meltdown and which continue to this day. I know because I get calls from people who threaten suicide and then do it. It’s like the war in Afghanistan: how many people are aware that there were more suicides than those killed in action in 2012? We are numb to the results and our belief in our institutions is at an all-time low for good reason. This was a gradual process with plenty of people who know a lot about finance and economics screaming “STOP!” but were ignored.

In both the mortgage crisis and the student loan crisis, where defaults are skyrocketing, there is an opportunity for a fiscal stimulus to the country that won’t cost the government a dime. Trillions of dollars of stimulus money is locked up in the banks who have sequestered the money overseas along with Corporate America’s $3 trillion that they are holding and afraid to invest because they see what I see — at best an uncertain future for America and a profound distrust of American institutions to cope with the issues because the government is controlled by big business and big banks. It’s called an oligopoly when a group of companies control the marketplace.

Simple logic: why is it that while unemployment remains high and wages remain too low to survive, that Wall Street and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are reaching historic highs? Somebody is paying for those results. Since we cannot support those results through spending discretionary income because we don’t have any, and since we can’t spend our way out using credit because there isn’t any, Big Banks and Big Business are now burying their heads in the public trough taking corporate welfare and dodging liabilities with the full support of all three branches of government.

Doesn’t it bother anyone that during the last three decades the amount of GDP measured by standard means includes financial services which went from 16% of GDP to nearly 50% of GDP. That means that the loss of real productive businesses has been replaced by trading paper on the same deals over and over again so we maintain the illusion that the United States is an economic superpower. And eventually the euphoria in the stock market will be replaced with something less than that when the correction turns into a crash.

If we really want to save our economy, our world status (aside from military power) and the prospects for future generations we need real jobs with real services and real products to be produced here and to stop treating trading paper as somehow adding to GDP.

The solution is right in front of us. In the mortgage markets, the appraisals were untrue and unsustainable and the responsible party, according to existing law, is the lending entity. The loans were unworkable and bound to fail in both the real estate loans and student loans. And the risk was transferred from the loan originator, which is supposed to be the gatekeeper to undisclosed third parties who funded the loan without any disclosure or documentation provided to the borrower.

In short, predatory loan practices and outright fraud, proven by the robo-signing scandal in which fabrication of entire loan files cost only $95 according to its price sheet, convinced millions of people to borrow sums of money they could never repay on terms that were guaranteed to fail at he borrower level. In the meanwhile, the lenders (investors) were sold a different set of terms. The intermediaries tricked the lender, tricked the borrower and then set out to claim the loans as their own, getting the insurance proceeds and proceeds from credit default swaps and federal bailout.

Look under any rock in the private student loan landscape and you’ll find lost documents, robo-signed documents, fabrications, forgery and perjury. It’s the same tune as the mortgage mess.

In any normal situation where bankers go wild, hundreds of people go to jail and receivers are appointed with the express purpose of clawing back as much as possible to provide restitution and reparation to the victims. Following the existing rule of law, that is exactly what should happen here with real estate loans and student loans. It won’t fix everything, but it will fix a lot more than current policy and give a boost to an ailing economy whose foundation is rotting and cracking under the weight of  shadow banking.

Lawyer’s Student Loans May Driven Him To Murder, Police Say
http://www.businessinsider.com/john-conrad-wagner-murder-motive-2013-3

http://gawker.com/5988302/its-eerie-how-perfectly-student-debt-is-following-the-financial-meltdown-script

http://www.businessinsider.com/one-law-school-finally-lets-students-know-how-poor-theyll-be-after-graduation-2013-3

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

Rating Agencies Finally Drawing Fire They Richly Deserve — But Will They be Prosecuted?

“The Justice Department claims that the faulty projections were not simply naïveté, but rather a deliberate effort to produce inflated, fraudulent ratings. “The complaint asserts that S.& P. staff chose not to update computer programs because the changes would have led to harsher ratings, and a potential loss of business,” (e.s.)

“I was there. It is not possible that companies like S&P, Fitch and other rating agencies didn’t know how to do securities analysis — they invented it. The S&P Book was widely used as a shorthand method of evaluating a stock or bond for decades before I arrived on Wall Street. They were known and trusted for their data and their crunching of data. It isn’t possible that they wouldn’t know that the ratings were artificially inflated. They were only concerned with collecting fees and covering their behinds with “plausible deniability.”What they gave up was the their reputation for truth and clarity. Now they can’t be trusted.

And the same goes triple for the investment banks who brought those bogus mortgage bonds to market. Wall Street is a small place. Everyone but the customers and borrowers knew what was going on and everyone knew a huge bust was coming. If they knew and the regulators knew, why did they allow it play out when the warning signs were already clear in the early 2000′s.” Neil F Garfield, http://www.livinglies.me

CHECK OUT OUR EXTENDED DECEMBER SPECIAL!

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure or to challenge whoever is taking your money every month, 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 Analysis: When you see movies like Too Big to Fail and read any of the hundreds of books published on the great recession, you must be left with a sense of outrage  and/or disappointment that our government and our major banks tacitly approved of the illegal activities undertaken by all the participants in what turned out to be a PONZI scheme covered over by a fraudulent scheme they called “Securitization.”

Despite some people raising the concern that the homeowners were hit hardest by the criminal enterprise, any concern for them vanished in the face of an invalid assumption by Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke that the economy would fail and society would fall apart if they didn’t bail out the banks. If anything, the behavior of the banks was the equivalent of NOT bailing them out because they never honored their part of the bargain — increasing the flow of capital into the economy through loans and investments. While that understanding should have been reduced to writing, it was obvious that the banks would lend out money with extra capital infused into their balance sheet. Except they didn’t.

And the world didn’t end, but there was chaos all over the world because the banks were and continue sitting on a bounty that has not been subject to any audit or accounting.

As I expected, the rating agencies are now being sued not for negligence but for intentionally skewing the ratings knowing that stable managed funds were restricted from investing in anything but the safest securities (meaning the highest rating from a qualified rating agency). It is the same story as the appraisers of real property who were pressured into inflating and then re-inflating the prices of property whose value was left far behind. Both the rating agencies and the appraisers who participated in this illicit scheme caved in to threats from Wall Street that they would never see any business again if they didn’t “play ball.”

The very structure and the actual movement of money and documents would tip off an amateur securities analyst. Starting with the premise of securitization and an understanding of how it works (easily obtained from numerous sources) any analysis would have revealed that something was wrong. Securities analysis is not just sitting at a desk crunching numbers. It is investigation.

Any investigation at random picking apart the loan deals, the diversion of title from the REMIC trusts, the diversion of money from the investors to a mega-account in which the investors’ money was indiscriminately commingled, thus avoiding the REMICs entirely, would lead to the inevitable conclusion that even the highest rated tranches and the highest rated bonds, were a complete sham. Indeed internal memos at S&P shows that it was well understood by all — they even made up a song about it.

The analysis by the people at S&P omitted key steps so they wouldn’t be accused of knowing what was going on. It is the same as the underwriting of the loans themselves where the underwriting process was reduced to a computer platform in which the aggregator approved the loan — not he originator — and the investment banker wired the funds for the loan on behalf of the Investors, but the documents showed that it was the originator, who was not allowed to touch any of the money funded for loans, whose name was placed on the note and mortgage. Why?

Any good analyst would have and several did ask why this was done. They got back a double-speak answer that would have resulted in an unrated or low-rated mortgage bond, with a footnote that the REMICs may never have been funded and that therefore without other sources of capital they could not possibly have purchased the loans. Which means of course that the REMICs named in foreclosures over the past 5-6 years.

Some of the best analysts on Wall Street saw at a glance that this was a PONZI scheme and a fraudulent play on the word “Securitization.” Simply tracing the parties to their real function would and still will reveal that all of them were acting in nominee capacities and not as true agents of the investors or participants in the securitization scheme.

And the nominees include but are not limited to the REMIC itself, the Trustee for the REMIC, the subservicer, the Master Servicer, the Depositor, the aggregator, the originator, and the law firms, foreclosure mills and companies like LPS and DOCX who sprung up with published price sheets on fabrication of documents and forgeries of of those documents to convince a court that the foreclosure was real and valid. The whole thing was a sham.

If I saw it at a glance after being out of Wall STreet for many years, you can bet that the new financial and securities analysts at the rating agencies also saw it. Instead they buried their true analysis behind a mountain of fabricated data that in itself was a nominee for the real data and then crunched the numbers in the way that the Wall Street firms dictated.

The fact that there were algorithms that took the world’s fastest computers a full weekend to process without the ability to audit the results should have and did in fact alert many people that the bogus mortgage bonds were unratable because there was no way to confirm their assumptions or their outcome.

The government is very close, now that it is moving in on the ratings companies. They are close to revealing that this was not excessive risk taking it was excessive taking — theft — and that the rating companies should lose their status as rating companies, the officers and analysts who signed off should be prosecuted, and the receiver appointed over the assets should claw back the excessive fees paid to the ratings companies from officers of the ratings companies and, following the yellow brick road, the CEO’s of the investment banks.

We have found out, thanks to the greed and deception practiced by the banks on officers at the highest level of your government what will happen if the credit markets free up without the TARP money being used to free up those markets. It isn’t pretty but it isn’t apocalypse either. The proof is in. The mega banks should be taken down piece by piece and their function should be spread out over a wide swath of more than 7,000 community banks, credit unions and savings and loan associations — all of whom have access to the utilities at SWIFT, VISA, MasterCard, check 21, and other forms of interbank electronic funds transfer.

If the administration really wants a correction and really wants to increase confidence in the marketplaces around the world and the financial system supporting those markets, then it MUST take the harshest action possible against the people and companies who engineered this world-wide crisis. Eventually the truth will all be out for everyone to see. Which side of history do we mean to be aligned — the bank oligopoly or a capitalist, free, democratic society.

BY WILLIAM ALDEN, DealBook NY TIMES

DOCUMENTS IN S.&P. CASE SHOW ALARM Documents included in the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s provide a glimpse at the company’s inner working in the run-up to the financial crisis. “Tensions appeared to be escalating inside the firm’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan as it publicly professed that its ratings were valid, even as the home loans bundled into mortgage-backed securities, or M.B.S., were failing at accelerating rates,” Mary Williams Walsh and Ron Nixon write in DealBook. “Together, the documents show a portrait of some executives pushing to water down the firm’s rating models in the hope of preserving market share and profits, while others expressed deep concerns about the poor performance of the securities and what they saw as a lowering of standards.”

Some of the documents also showed some of the snark among the rank-and-file over the impending crisis. One analyst in March 2007 borrowed from the Talking Heads, creating new lyrics to “Burning Down the House,” according to the complaint: “Subprime is boi-ling o-ver. Bringing down the house.” In a confidential memo reproduced in the complaint, one executive said: “This market is a wildly spinning top which is going to end badly.”

At the heart of the civil case are the computer models S.&P. used to rate complex mortgage securities. The Justice Department claims that the faulty projections were not simply naïveté, but rather a deliberate effort to produce inflated, fraudulent ratings. “The complaint asserts that S.& P. staff chose not to update computer programs because the changes would have led to harsher ratings, and a potential loss of business,” Peter Eavis writes. But S.&P., which says the lawsuit is without merit, disagrees with the government’s characterization of the models. Catherine J. Mathis, an S.& P. spokeswoman, said the Justice Department had not “shown actual adjustment to the models or other changes that were not analytically justified.”

Indeed, the government faces an uphill battle in making its case that S.&P. intentionally inflated ratings. “The government will have to prove that ratings were in fact faulty, and published intentionally so as to deceive investors in the securities. In response, S.& P. could simply argue that the company was just as blinded by the financial crisis as anyone else, and that questionable e-mails are simply the work of lower-level employees who were not involved in the decision-making,” Peter J. Henning and Steven M. Davidoff write. “Even if the Justice Department can prove the agency acted to deceive investors, it still has to deal with something lawyers call reliance. In other words, did investors rely on these ratings to make their decisions?”

R.B.S APPROACHES SETTLEMENT OVER RATE-RIGGING The Royal Bank of Scotland said on Wednesday that it was in advanced discussions with authorities on both side of the Atlantic over settling accusations that it manipulated Libor. “Although the settlements remain to be agreed, R.B.S. expects they will include the payment of significant penalties as well as certain other sanctions,” the bank said.

A settlement, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday, is expected to include a penalty of about 400 million pounds, or $626 million, according to several news reports. “As part of the anticipated deal, R.B.S.’s Japanese unit is expected to plead guilty to a crime in the U.S., although the Justice Department isn’t expected to charge any individuals, according to one of the people briefed on the talks,” The Wall Street Journal writes. John Hourican, the head of R.B.S.’s investment bank, is also expected to resign, the reports said.

S&P Analyst Joked of ‘Bringing Down the House’ Ahead of Collapse
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-05/s-p-analyst-joked-of-bringing-down-the-house-ahead-of-collapse.html

Case Details Internal Tension at S.&P. Amid Subprime Problems
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/case-details-internal-tension-at-s-p-amid-subprime-problems/

Justice Sues S&P, But What Purpose are Ratings Agencies Serving Anyway?
http://business.time.com/2013/02/06/justice-sues-sp-but-what-purpose-are-ratings-agencies-serving-anyway/

S&P charged with fraud in mortgage ratings
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/02/06/rate-f06.html

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