The Devil Is In the Details: Summary of Issues

Editor’s note: in preparing a complex motion for the court in several related cases I ended up writing the following which I would like to share with my readers. As you can see, the issues that were once thought to be simple and susceptible to rocket docket determination are in fact complex civil cases involving issues that are anything but simple.

This is a guide and general information. DO NOT USE THIS IF YOU ARE NOT A LICENSED ATTORNEY. THESE ISSUES ARE BOTH PROCEDURALLY AND SUBSTANTIVELY ABOVE THE AVERAGE KNOWLEDGE OF A LAYMAN. CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY LICENSED IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA IN WHICH THE PROPERTY IS LOCATED.

If you are seeking litigation support or referrals to attorneys or representation please call 520-405-1688.

SUMMARY OF ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED

 

1)   Whether a self proclaimed or actual Trustee for a REMIC Trust is empowered to bring a foreclosure action or any action to enforce the note and mortgage contrary to the terms of the Trust document — i.e., the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA) — which New York and Delaware law declare to be actions that are VOID not VOIDABLE; specifically if the Trust document names a different trustee or empowers only the servicer to bring enforcement actions against borrowers.

2)   Whether a Trustee or Servicer may initiate actions or take legal positions that are contrary to the interests of the Trust Beneficiaries — in this case creating a liability for the Trust Beneficiaries for receipt of overpayments that are not credited to the account receivable from the Defendant Borrowers by their agents (the servicer and the alleged Trustee) and the creation of liability to LaSalle Bank or the Trust by virtue of questionable changes in Trustees.

3)   Whether US Bank is the Plaintiff or should be allowed to claim that it is the Trustee for the Plaintiff Trust. Without Amendment to the Complaint, US Bank seeks to be substituted as Plaintiff in lieu of Bank of America, as successor by merger with LaSalle Bank, trustee for the Plaintiff Trust according to the Trust Document (the Pooling and Servicing Agreement) Section 8.09.

a)    A sub-issue to this is whether Bank of America is actually is the successor by merger to LaSalle Bank or if CitiMortgage is the successor to LaSalle Bank, as Trustee of the Plaintiff Trust — there being conflicting submissions on the SEC.gov website on which it appears that CitiMortgage is the actual party with ownership of ABN AMRO and therefore LaSalle Bank its subsidiary.

b)   In addition, whether opposing counsel, who claims to represent U.S. Bank may be deemed attorney for the Trust if U.S. Bank is not the Trustee for the Trust.

i)     Whether opposing counsel’s interests are adverse to its purported client or the Trust or the Trust beneficiaries, particularly with respect to their recent push for turnover of rents despite full payment to creditors through non stop servicer advances.

4)   Whether any Trustee for the Trust can bring any enforcement action for the debt including foreclosure, assignment of rents or any other relief.

5)   Whether the documentation of a loan at the base of the tree of the assignments and transfers refers to any actual transaction in which the Payee on the note and the Mortgagee on the Mortgage.

a)    Or, as is alleged by Defendants, if the actual transaction occurred when a wire transfer was received by the closing agent at the loan closing with Defendant Borrowers from an entity that was a stranger to the documentation executed by Defendant Borrowers.

b)   Whether the debt arose by virtue of the receipt of money from a creditor or if it arose by execution of documentation, or both, resulting in double liability for a single loan and double payment.

6)   Whether the assignment of mortgage is void on its face as a fabrication because it refers to an event that occurred long after the date shown on the assignment.

7)   Whether the non-stop servicer advances in all of the cases involving these Defendants and U.S. Bank negates the default or the allegation of default by the Trust beneficiaries, the Trust or the Trustee, regardless of the identity of the Trustee.

a)    Whether a DEFAULT exists or ever existed where non stop servicer advances have been paid in full.

b)   Whether the creditor, under the debt obligation of the Defendant borrowers can be allowed to receive more than the amount due as principal , interest and expenses. In this case borrower payments, non stop servicer advances, insurance, credit default swap proceeds and other payments by co-obligors who paid without subrogation or expectation of receiving refunds from the Trust Beneficiaries.

c)    Whether a new debt arises by operation of law as a result of receipt of third party defendants in which a claim might be made by the party who advanced payment to the creditor, resulting in a decrease the account receivable and a corresponding decrease in the borrower’s account (loan) payable.

i)     Whether the new debt is secured by the recorded mortgage that the Plaintiff relies upon without the borrower executing a security instrument in which the real property is pledged as collateral for the advances by third parties.

8)   Whether turnover of rents can relate back to the original default, or default letter, effectively creating a final judgment for damages before evidence is in the court record.

9)   Whether the requirements of a demand letter to Defendants for turnover of rents can be waived by the trial Court, contrary to Florida Statutes.

a)    Whether equity demands that the turnover demand be denied in view of the fact that the actual creditors — the Trust Beneficiaries of the alleged Trust were paid in full up to and including the present time.

b)   Whether, as argued by opposing counsel, the notice of default letter sent to Defendant Borrowers is an acceptable substitute to a demand letter for turnover of the rents if the letter did not mention turnover of rents.

c)    Whether the notice of default letter and acceleration was valid or accurate in view of the servicer non-stop advances and receipt of other third party payments reducing the account receivable of the Trust beneficiaries (creditors).

i)     Whether there was a difference between the account status shown by the Servicer (chase and now SPS) and the account status actually shown by the creditor — the Trust Beneficiaries who were clearly paid in full.

10)         Whether the Plaintiff Trust waived the DUE ON SALE provision in the alleged Mortgage.

a)    Whether the Plaintiff can rely upon the due on sale provision in the mortgage to allege default without amendment to their pleadings.

11)         Whether sanctions should apply against opposing counsel for failure to disclose essential facts relating to the security of the alleged creditor.

Whether this (these cases) case should be treated off the “rocket docket” for foreclosures and transferred to general civil litigation for complex issues

The US BANK-BOA-LaSalle-CitiGroup Shell Game

‘The bottom line is that the notice of substitution of Plaintiff in judicial states, or notice of substitution of Trustee in non-judicial states should be the first line of battle. Neither one of them is valid and in both cases you have a stranger to the transaction being allowed to name itself as creditor, name its own controlled entity or subsidiary as trustee, and then ignore the realities of the money paid to the real creditor. They are claiming damages from the borrower — all for a debt that in the ordinary course of things has already been paid several times over. But it is true that it wasn’t paid to THEM because THEY were never and are not now the creditor fulfilling the definition of a creditor who could bid at the foreclosure auction. It is not that the borrower doesn’t owe money when he borrows it, it is that he doesn’t owe it to any of the people who are claiming it. And that is what gives rise to liability of law firms to borrowers.” Neil F Garfield, http://www.livinglies.me

If our information can be corroborated through discovery with a corporate representative of US BANK or Chase Bank as the servicer, it is possible that a solid cause of action can be filed against the law firm that brought the action, particularly if the law firm took its instructions from the Desktop system of LPS.

In that system law firms are instructed to file foreclosures without contact with the actual client. We saw several cases where sanctions were levied against lawyers and their alleged clients, but none so stark as the one in Florida where the lawyer for US Bank as Trustee for XXX, when faced with questions he couldn’t answer admitted that he had never spoken with anyone from U.S> Bank and didn’t know who had retained his firm.

The law firm that brought the foreclosure action and especially the law firm that is demanding an assignment of rent to protect a creditor who has already been paid through non stop servicer advances was most likely not authorized to demand the assignment of rents which might be why there was no written demand as required by statute. I am considering the possibility of an actual lawsuit against one such law firm for interference with contract on both the foreclosure and the assignment of rents issue.

The Banks are being very cagey about this system — one which they would never use for their own portfolio loans, which begs the question of why they would have two entirely different system of accounting and legal process. But the long and the short of it is that LPS in Jacksonville, Florida is used much the same way as MERS. It maintains a database service that requires a user name and password and that gives unlimited access to the client folders. Anyone can go in and authorize the foreclosure based upon a default that is invested by the person entering the data. They leave out any servicer advances or other third party payments and arrive at an amount to reinstate that is just plain wrong. So virtually all notices of default are wrong which means that the required notice is defective.

You should know that many judges appear unimpressed that there was no valid assignment of the mortgage. I think that it is clearly reversible error. The assignment frequently is clearly fabricated and back-dated because of references to events that happened a year after the assignment was executed. The assignment clearly did not exist at the time of the lawsuit and the standing issue is clear under Florida law although some courts are balking at the idea that standing cannot be cured after the lawsuit. The reasoning is quite simple — if it were otherwise, you could file suit against a grocery store for a slip and fall, and the go over to the store to have your slip and fall.

In one of my cases involving multiple properties, they have an assignment that was prepared and executed by Shapiro and Fishman supposedly dated in 2007 —- but it refers to Bank of America as successor by merger to LaSalle. it is backdated, fabricated and fictional, which is to say, fraudulent.

The assignment has two problems -– FACIALLY DEFECTIVE FABRICATION OF ASSIGNMENT:  the first problem is that the alleged BOA merger with LaSalle could not have happened before 2008 — one year after the assignment was executed. So the 2007 assignment refers to a future event that was not reported by BOA until 2008, and was not approved by the Federal Reserve until 2008. On its face, then, based upon public record, the assignment is void as a total fabrication.

The second problem is that it is unclear as to how the merger could have occurred between BOA and La Salle, to wit:. you might need to read this a few times to understand the complexity of the issues involved — issues that few judges or lawyers are interested enough to master.

LASALLE ABN AMRO ACQUISITION:
Since neither entity vanished in the deal it is an acquisition and not a merger. LaSalle and ABN AMRO did a reverse merger in 2007.

That means that while LASalle was technically the acquirer, because it “bought” ABN AMRO, and ABN AMRO became a subsidiary — the reality is that LaSalle issued so many shares for the acquisition of ABN AMRO that the ABN AMRO shareholders received the overwhelming majority of LaSalle Shares compared to the former owners of LaSalle shares.

Hence in substance LaSalle Bank was a subsidiary of ABN AMRO and the consolidated financial statements show it. But in form it appears as the parent.

So if someone, like BOA, was to say they merged with or acquired LaSalle, they would also be saying that included its subsidiary ABN AMRO — and they would have to do the deal with the shareholders of ABN AMRO because those shareholders control LaSalle Bank, which brings us to CitiGroup —-

CITIGROUP MERGER WITH ABN AMRO: Also in 2007, CitiGroup announced and continues to file sworn statements with the SEC that it had merged with ABN AMRO, which means, if you followed the above, that CitiGroup actually owned LaSalle. It looks more like an acquisition than a merger to me but the wording makes it unclear. This would mean that LaSalle still technically exists as a subsidiary of  CitiGroup.

ALLEGED BOA MERGER WITH LASALLE: In 2008 the Federal Reserve issued an order approving the merger of BOA and LaSalle, in which case LaSalle vanishes — but ABN AMRO is the one with all the assets. BUT LaSalle is named as Trustee of the asset pool. And the only other allowable trustee would be another bank that merged with LaSalle as a successor without the requirement of filing more papers to be a Trustee and BOA clearly qualifies on all counts for that. Section 8.09 of PSA.

But the Federal Reserve order states that the identities of ABN AMRO and LaSalle are the same and the acquisition of one is the acquisition of the other — thus unintentionally ratifying CitiGroup’s apparent position that it owns ABN AMRO and thus LaSalle.

Findings of fact by an administrative agency are presumptively true although subject to rebuttal.

Here is the kicker: there is no further mention in any SEC filings of a merger between BOA and LaSalle, unless I missed it. There is no reference to the fact that CitiGroup controlled LaSalle and ABN AMRO at the time of the Federal Reserve order approving the BOA merger with LaSalle Bank in 2008.

CitiGroup has not, to my knowledge ever reported the sale or loss or merger of LaSalle. Since Citi made the acquisition before BOA, and since BOA apparently did not buy LaSalle from Citi, how could BOA claim to be a successor by merger with LaSalle?

Hence there are questions of fact as to whether BOA ever consummated any transaction in which it acquired or Merged with LaSalle, which while technically possible, makes no business sense. UNLESS the OBJECTIVE was to transfer the interest of LaSalle as trustee to BOA, as a precursor to a much wider deal in which BOA then sold its position as Trustee to US Bank as a  commodity and then filed in the Kalam cases a notice of substitution of Plaintiff without amending the pleadings.

US BANK Notice of Substitution of Plaintiff without Any Motion to Amend Pleadings: The reason they filed it as a notice was that they obviously did not want to allege the purchase of “being a trustee”, which would have been a contested issue in the pleadings. But the amendment is required in my opinion and there should be a motion to strike the notice of substitution of Plaintiff without amendment. The motion to strike should state that no objection to granting the order to amend, but that the circumstances should be pled and we should be able to respond with a denial and affirmative defenses if you choose.

The CLOUD: No Name, No Docs, No Terms, No Balance Due: MBS Investors Screwed and Taking Borrowers Down With Them

Writing with the flu. Despite symptoms and medication that makes me dizzy, I feel compelled to write about something that is getting traction out there. The more you look at the false claims of securitization the more it stinks. We are dealing with a system that is based on really big lies. I’m sure our leaders of government have a very appealing rationalization why we must pretend the mortgage bonds are real, why we must pretend the mortgages are real, why we must pretend the notes are real, and why we must pretend the debts and defaults are real. But those are lies based on sham transactions. And those lies are based in public policy. And public policy is contrary to law.

My focus is on cases pending in the judicial branch of government. Our system of government was designed to insert the judicial branch into disputes so that fractures in public policy do not cheat citizens out of their basic rights. In this case, the failure of the other two branches of government to include the rights of homeowners is damaging both to the society generally and producing millions of cases of unjust enrichment and displacement of millions of people from their homes in cases, where if all facts were known two facts would be inescapably accepted: (1) mortgages filed as encumbrances against real property were fatally defective and unenforceable and (2) the balance owed on the debt is either impossible to ascertain or zero, with a liability owed to homeowners on the overpayments received in the midst of that opaque cloud we are calling “securitization.”

The trigger for the writing of this article is once again coming from BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON as the “Trustee” of vast numbers of REMIC Trusts. Bill Paatalo, a private investigator, uncovered an officer of BONY who is very frustrated with BOA and others who are telling borrowers that BONY is the owner of their loan. Indeed, suits have been brought in the name of BONY without any reference to the trust; and of course suits have been brought in the name of BONY as Trustee of a REMIC Trust, which represents but does not own the loans (the ownership interest being “conveyed” with the issuance of the mortgage bond to investors who were duped into thinking they were buying high grade investments. BONY and DEUTSCH both say such suits are brought without their authorization and have instructed servicer’s to cease and desist using the name of Deutsch of BONY MELLON in foreclosure suits.

The problem revealed is contained in an email Paatalo posted from an officer of BONY MELLON, who wants BOA to stop telling people that BONY is the owner of their loans. He says BONY doesn’t own the loans and has no right, power or obligation to modify or mitigate damages caused by the borrower failing or stopping payments on the loan they unquestionably received. He says BONY is the Trustee for the loan and denies ownership and further denies the ability or right to modify.

What he doesn’t say is what he means by “Trustee for the loan” and why the “trust” should be considered real as a legal person when there is no financial account or assets held in the name of the Trust. Like Reynaldo Reyes at Deutsch Bank, he is basically saying there are no trust assets, there never was any funding of the trust, and there never was an assignment or purchase of the loan by the trust — for the simple reason that the Trust never had a bank account much less the money to buy loans or anything else.

So Reyes and this newly revealed actor from BONY are saying the same thing. They are Trustees in name only without any duties because no money or assets are in the trust. Which brings us back to the beginning. If the loan was securitized, the Trust would have had a bank account to receive money advanced by investors who were purchasing alleged mortgage bonds that promised that the investor also was an owner of the loans — an undecided percentage interest in the loans.

That money in the Trust account would have been used to fund or purchase the loan to the borrower. And the Trust would have been the mortgagee or beneficiary on the mortgage or deed of trust. There would have been no need for MERS, or originators or any of the countless sham corporations that are now out of business and who supposedly loaned money to borrowers. If it was real, the records would show the Trust paid for the loan and the recorded documents from the loan closing would clearly show the Trust as the lender.

It is really a very simple deal, if it is real. But complexity was introduced by Wall Street, the effect of which was that the lenders didn’t get the loans they were expecting, didn’t get the collateral they thought they were getting and didn’t even get named as lenders despite the fact that it was investor money that was used to make and acquire the loans. Like the borrowers, investors were stepping into a cloud that intentionally obscured the ownership of the loan.

On the one hand, the Banks covered ownership by the issuance and execution of an Assignment and Assumption Agreement, but that was before any loan applications existed, just like the prospectus and sale of the bonds — a process known as selling forward on Wall Street. On the other hand, the bonds were issued in the name of the investment banks, a process called Street Name on Wall Street. On the third hand, the loan documents showed neither the investment banks nor the investors or even the REMIC Trusts. instead they showed some other entity as the lender even though the “lender” had advanced mooney whatsoever — a process later dubbed as “pretender lenders” by me in in my writing and seminars.

By pushing title through pretender lenders and private exchanges that registered title that was never published (like the county recorders’ offices publish recorded deeds, mortgages and liens), the Banks created a Cloud which by definition created clouded title to the property, the loan and created a mortgage document that was recorded despite naming the wrong terms and the wrong payee.

Pushing title away from the investors who advanced the money and toward themselves, the Banks were able to play with the money as if it were their own, and even purchase insurance and credit default swaps payable to the banks, who were clearly the intermediary agents of the investors. And the Banks even got the government to guarantee half the loans even though the underwriting standards were ignored — since the banks had no risk of loss on the loans (they were using investor money and they were getting the right to receive third party payments from the government and private parties). Eventually after the meltdown, the Banks became part of a program where tens of billions of dollars worth of the bogus mortgage bonds owned by the investors were sold to the Federal government (some $50 Billion per month).

Through their creation of the Cloud, the banks were able to take the money of the investors and receive it as their own, concealing the initial theft (skimming) off the top by creating sham proprietary trades. Now they are receiving judgments and deeds from foreclosure auctions based upon their submission of a credit bid that clearly violates the very specific provisions of state statutes that identify who can submit a credit bid rather than cash at the auction. Only the actual owner of the unpaid account receivable has the right to submit a credit bid.

And by the creation of the Cloud judges and lawyers missed the point completely. The result is stripping the investors of value, ownership and right to collect on the loans they advanced. At no time has any Servicer filed a foreclosure in the name of the investors whose money was used to fund the deal. In no case is there any underlying real transaction in which real money was paid and something was received in exchange. The Courts are now the vehicle of public policy and manifest injustice by enforcement of unenforceable mortgages for fabricated notes referring to non existent debts.

The net result is that public policy and government action is contrary to the rule of law.

4th DCA Florida: Trustee of Asset Pool Must Join or Ratify

 

“servicer may be considered a party in interest to commence legal action as long as the trustee joins or ratifies its action.”

ElstonLeetsdale LLC v CWCapital Asset Management LLC-1

This ought to be interesting. If Deutsch, or U.S. Bank, or Bank of New York, or any of the other “Trustees” join or ratify the action then they are asserting, under oath (if the lawyer for the homeowner knows what he or she is doing) that (1) the Asset pool is exists, (2) that the subject loan is in the asset pool (i.e., consideration paid by the Trust and assignment before cut-off date) and (3) that the trust was properly organized and (4) that the Trustee is authorized by [fill in blank here, if the lawyer of the homeowner knows what he or she is doing] to accept the assignment, join in the lawsuit and ratifies the representations and claims made on behalf of the REMIC trust and (5) signed by  a trust officer for the bank who says it is the trustee for the asset pool.

You might want to ask while you are on the subject, exactly why the Trustee wants to bind the beneficiaries of the trust to ownership of a worthless loan. This is a question raised by Judge Shack in New York 5 years ago. Nobody was listening. Now maybe some people are starting to see the wisdom of Shack’s question. If securitization was on the level, then the funding, assignment, assumption and payment would have all occurred as set forth under New York Law, the Internal Revenue Code, the provisions of the Pooling and servicing Agreement, which means underwriting according to industry standards and procuring insurance and credit default swap protection FOR THE INVESTORS, NOT THE BANKS WHO HAD NO MONEY IN THE DEAL.

So while you are on the subject, you might want to ask the trustee why they have made no claim against the insurance, credit default swaps and other payments received from co-obligors that were not disclosed to the borrower. In fact, you might want to ask whether the trustee views this as an account receivable, bond receivable or note receivable? If he or she doesn’t know, ask who would know — after all a trustee is like a receiver with special skills and experience in keeping the books for each trust and assuring customers there would be no commingling of funds. If the trustee doesn’t think the trust is owed any money other than the payments from the borrower, ask him or her, why not?

Once the trustee acknowledges that there were payments which should have been allocated to the bond receivable account or account receivable for the investors, then ask the big question, to wit: do your books and records show the same flow of money in and out of the trust as the figures used by the subservicer in declaring the default, and bringing the foreclosure action. Once you get by “I don’t know” the answer is going to be “NO” if you drill deep enough and keep asking the questions who knows, what do they know, how do they know it and is the party claiming to be the trustee really a trustee?

I ask you this: with each of these fine banking institutions maintaining separate corporations or divisions that provide trust services for even a few hundred thousand dollars, why wasn’t the same trust department used to provide trust services to the REMIC trust? Why is it managed by Reynaldo Reyes, VP, Asset management at Deutsch Bank? What fees were received by the trustee? What services did it perform?

Suddenly a new dawn is upon us. The banks knowing full well they were going to claim and get free houses started early and effectively in persuading the media, government and the public, including the borrowers themselves that to defend the foreclosure was immoral because the borrower was seeking a free house. The banks were smart enough to get out in front of that one, but it is coming back around to bite them. The homeowners are not seeking free homes, they are seeking reasonable deals based upon true facts instead of false representations, withholding of disclosures required by law and lies from the intermediaries who pretend to be the lenders or to act for the lenders when they do not.

Is there a free house? Yes, every time another Judge rubber stamps another foreclosure and allows a non-creditor to submit a “credit bid” (non-cash) and take title to a home they advanced no money to finance or purchase any loan.

 

OCC: 13 Questions to Answer Before Foreclosure and Eviction

13 Questions Before You Can Foreclose

foreclosure_standards_42013 — this one works for sure

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.

Editor’s Note: Some banks are slowing foreclosures and evictions. The reason is that the OCC issued a directive or letter of guidance that lays out in brief simplistic language what a party must do before they can foreclose. There can be little doubt that none of the banks are in compliance with this directive although Bank of America is clearly taking the position that they are in compliance or that it doesn’t matter whether they are in compliance or not.

In April the OCC, responding to pressure from virtually everyone, issued a guidance letter to financial institutions who are part of the foreclosure process. While not a rule a regulation, it is an interpretation of the Agency’s own rules and regulation and therefore, in my opinion, is both persuasive and authoritative.

These 13 questions published by OCC should be used defensively if you suspect violation and they are rightfully the subject of discovery. Use the wording from the letter rather than your own — since the attorneys for the banks will pounce on any nuance that appears to be different than this guidance issued to the banks.

The first question relates to whether there is a real default and what steps the foreclosing party has taken to assure itself and the court that the default is real. Remember that the fact that the borrower stopped paying is not a default if no payment was due. And there is no default if it is cured by payment from ANYONE after the declaration of default. Thus when the subservicer continues making payments to the “Creditor” the borrower’s default is cured although a new liability could arise (unsecured) as a result of the sub servicer making those payments without receiving payment from the borrower.

The point here is the money. Either there is a balance or there is not. Either the balance is as stated by the forecloser or it is not. Either there is money due from the borrower to the servicer and the real creditor or there is not. This takes an accounting that goes much further than merely a printout of the borrower’s payment history.

It takes an in depth accounting to determine where the money came from continue the payments when the borrower was not making payments. It takes an in depth accounting to determine if the creditor still exists or whether there is an successor. And it takes an in depth accounting to determine how much money was received from insurance and credit default swaps that should have been applied properly thus reducing both the loan receivable and loan payable.

This means getting all the information from the “trustee” of the REMIC, copies of the trust account and distribution reports, copies of canceled checks and wire transfer receipts to determine payment, risk of loss and the reality of whether there was a loss.

It also means getting the same information from the investment banker who did the underwriting of the bogus mortgage bonds, the Master Servicer, and anyone else in the securitization chain that might have disbursed or received funds in connection with the subject loan or the asset pool claiming an interest in the subject loan, or the owners of mortgage bonds issued by that asset pool.

If the OCC wants it then you should want it for your clients. Get the answers and don’t assume that because the borrower stopped making payments that any default occurred or that it wasn’t cured. Then go on to the other questions with the same careful analysis.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-05-17/wells-fargo-postpones-some-foreclosure-sales-after-occ-guidance

/http://www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/foreclosure-prevention/correcting-foreclosure-practices.html

Keystone Fraud by Banks: Business Records Exception to Hearsay Rule

Practice Note: Hearsay is not evidence and should not be used as the basis for any conclusion of facts that would support any conclusion of law. While the banks are extremely vulnerable to having all testimony and documents barred by the hearsay rule, this is ONLY true if the proper objection is made at the proper time — and objections should be made when opposing counsel makes reference to the content of those records as though they were already established. Although representations by counsel are not evidence, the attorney’s failure to object to the representation is a failure to bring to the Judge’s attention the fact that you contest those assertions. The objection could be phrased that counsel is attempting to get his own representations on record based upon facts that are in dispute and not in the record. A good record of those objections — including the use of a court reporter — is the basis for appeal. Without that record the Judge is inclined to do whatever he or she wants and while it is possible to re-establish the record in the absence of a court reporter it is very difficult and time-consuming. The reviewing court looks only to the record. If the objection does not appear, then the reviewing court has no choice but to affirm the lower court decision. An appeal is NOT an opportunity to retry the case. on substantive grounds. It is primarily a vehicle to contest the procedures and rulings in the court below as to procedure and the admissibility of evidence.

see http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/hawaii-federal-district-court-applies-rules-of-evidence-bonymellon-us-bank-jp-morgan-chase-failed-to-prove-sale-of-note/

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Analysis: Business records are ALWAYS hearsay and barred by the hearsay rule in state and Federal courts. The question is not whether the business records are hearsay but rather whether the records are deemed reliable enough to waive the requirement of testimony from those with knowledge of the facts offered to prove the case of the proponent of those records. If they are deemed reliable by the Judge then they are allowed to be admitted as evidence to prove the truth of the matters asserted in those records. The tests for reliability are in the statutes of each state and the Federal rules of evidence that allow for exceptions to hearsay in order to allow the business records into evidence, which ARE hearsay and otherwise barred as evidence, under the “business records exception.”

The general rule is that evidence consists of testimony from a knowledgeable witness competent to testify as to the matters asserted. Competency of witnesses is determined by oath, personal perception of events, memory and the ability to communicate the facts as personally experienced, viewed, or heard by the witness. The business records exception requires the custodian of records to provide the foundation for asserting the business records exception. This is the starting point.

The custodian of records must be established by foundation testimony and should not be allowed without testimony that demonstrates the witness’ scope of employment, knowledge and authority. Objection should be made when the leading question is asked “Are you the custodian of the records?” An objection is required that the question is leading and lacks foundation — showing the facts and circumstances under which the witness should be accepted by the court as the custodian of the records.

The records must be from a source that is relevant to the proceedings. If the party seeking foreclosure is an asset pool, represented by a trustee, then the business records of the trustee are the only thing that is relevant unless the foundation is laid by opposing counsel to show that the records of the servicer matches the records of the trustee.

TESTIMONY OF THE SERVICER: Without the custodian of records for the trustee, it seems impossible to establish the proper foundation showing that the trustee asserts that the records of the trustee are the same as the servicer. And if that is true, there may be no reason for the servicer to testify as to the business records since it is only the trustee who can account for all money paid out and all money received, directly or indirectly on account of the subject loan.

[NOTE: THE TRUSTEE SHOULD BE ABLE TO TESTIFY THAT IT IS THE TRUSTEE OF THE TRUST THAT OWNS THE SUBJECT LOAN AND TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS SHOWING THE SALE OF THE LOAN TO THE TRUST OR ASSET POOL. REMEMBER THAT A SALE REQUIRES CONSIDERATION AND THUS THE RECORDS SHOULD INCLUDE A RECORD OF THAT SALE, THE AMOUNT PAID, AND THE DOCUMENTS MEMORIALIZING THAT TRANSACTION.]

The witness who testifies for the proponent of the documents sought to be admitted into evidence must be competent to testify as records custodian that the trust has been and still is the owner of the loan. The banks will vigorously oppose your effort to hold their feet to the fire because all indications are that the trustee has no records and doesn’t even have a bank account for the “trust’ or asset pool, much less evidence of the amount paid for the loan, and the documents memorializing the “transaction.”

In many cases, the case for ownership or foreclosure collapses completely because in fact the trust or pool never did acquire ownership because there was no sale and the trustee never had any records showing the money paid by the homeowner or other parties who may have paid down the loan under non-subrogated obligations to payoff the debt. The creditor only being entitled to recover once on the debt, must show that there were no mitigating payments received by the trustee or anyone on its behalf as agent, servant or employee or affiliate.

In truth the relevant records are either wholly within the records of the MASTER SERVICER and neither the subservicer that the proponent wishes to offer nor the trustee has a complete record who who funded the origination or purchase of the loan. Thus while the business records of the sub-servicer might eventually be admitted over objection of the homeowner, it can and should be argued that this is only a partial picture; this accomplished on cross examination or if possible voir dire, where the witness is questioned as to what they don’t know, to wit” the details of the origination, purchase or funding of the loan together with all receipts relating to the loan account directly or indirectly.

Having started with the question of whether the witness is in fact a records custodian, the question then becomes whether the proffered witness is the only records custodian. At one trial recently conducted the witness was (a) not a custodian, (b) declared that the records came from numerous “clients” and other departments, the identity of the custodian of those records never being mentioned.

[Practice Note: When the witness is from the "loss mitigation department" or some similar division or department, they are by virtual definition not the records custodian, and cannot be a competent witness to testify as to the records. On voir dire conclusion the objection should be made that the witness is not the records custodian for any or all of the records sought to be introduced and is therefore not competent to provide the foundation for the business records exception to the hearsay rule.]

The first requirement (see Florida statutes below for example) to test the reliability of the records is that the the record entry be made at or near the time of the event.

If the servicer is testifying, then the servicer cannot testify as to the either the origination or sale of the loan, both having preceded the involvement of the servicer virtually by definition. While the impulse of the court is going to be presume that the closing was completed, this is overcome by the denial of the homeowner that the closing was in fact completed because the named payee on the note and mortgage never fulfilled their obligations — to fund the loan. It is not enough to be the party who caused the loan to be made —- that is a mortgage broker who obviously has not rights to ownership or foreclosure. This leaves the proponent with the requirement of proving up the completion of the initial transaction showing the funding by testimony of a competent witness (custodian of records of the relevant parties) to show payment and receipt of the funding of the origination or sale of the loan.

The second test relates to competency of the witness which is that the person offering the testimony or even the affidavit must show that they are a person with personal knowledge sufficient to be either the records custodian or a witness to the event.

The banks in Florida will attempt to get around this problem by offering a certification, but the certification must contain sworn statements as to the personal knowledge of the person who executes such certification. The requirements of testimony on the stand are NOT waived by virtue of submitting a certification. Without establishing the competency of the person to be admitted as a witness custodian of the records, the certification is a sham. And such certification should be determined before trial in a motion in limine before trial begins or objection to certification (see below).

The “certification” must contain the same required statements of fact that would otherwise be required on the stand as a live witness. Timeliness of objections is the key to trial practice. Failure to object and take the offensive on this issue will result in documents being admitted into evidence that establish a prima facie case when no such case exists.

If a certification is intended to be used, the homeowner must receive notice of such intent, the identity and contact information for the person signing the certification and an opportunity to challenge the veracity of the statements contained in the certification and the authenticity of the documents itself given the constant practice of robo-signing and surrogate signing.

Discovery is appropriate to require the proponent of the certification to show the employment record and other indicia that the person is indeed a custodian of all the records and that all the records sought to be introduced at trial are within the custody of the witness. A trick often used in court is that the witness will testify as to custody of one document and without an alert objection from the homeowner, the rest of the documents, which are hearsay, are then admitted into evidence without the certification or the foundation because the homeowner failed to object.

Failure to give notice of the intent to use certification in lieu of live testimony is fatal at trial — if the homeowner objects. Certification should ALWAYS be met with a well written objection — and fee free to plagiarize anything in this article. In most cases in an abundance of caution, the Judge will require live testimony in lieu of certification.

Conversely, failure to object to the certification may well leave the homeowner in the cold, because by the time the trial begins all acts necessary to the prima facie case of the proponent of foreclosure or ownership of the loan will have already been established.

Florida Statutes 90.803 et seq: in pertinent abstract is as follows:

(6)  RECORDS OF REGULARLY CONDUCTED BUSINESS ACTIVITY.–

(a)  A memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, in any form, of acts, events, conditions, opinion, or diagnosis, made at or near the time by, or from information transmitted by, a person with knowledge, if kept in the course of a regularly conducted business activity and if it was the regular practice of that business activity to make such memorandum, report, record, or data compilation, all as shown by the testimony of the custodian or other qualified witness, or as shown by a certification or declaration that complies with paragraph (c) and s. 90.902(11), unless the sources of information or other circumstances show lack of trustworthiness. The term “business” as used in this paragraph includes a business, institution, association, profession, occupation, and calling of every kind, whether or not conducted for profit.

(b)  Evidence in the form of an opinion or diagnosis is inadmissible under paragraph (a) unless such opinion or diagnosis would be admissible under ss. 90.701-90.705 if the person whose opinion is recorded were to testify to the opinion directly.

(c)  A party intending to offer evidence under paragraph (a) by means of a certification or declaration shall serve reasonable written notice of that intention upon every other party and shall make the evidence available for inspection sufficiently in advance of its offer in evidence to provide to any other party a fair opportunity to challenge the admissibility of the evidence. If the evidence is maintained in a foreign country, the party intending to offer the evidence must provide written notice of that intention at the arraignment or as soon after the arraignment as is practicable or, in a civil case, 60 days before the trial. A motion opposing the admissibility of such evidence must be made by the opposing party and determined by the court before trial. A party’s failure to file such a motion before trial constitutes a waiver of objection to the evidence, but the court for good cause shown may grant relief from the waiver.

(7)  ABSENCE OF ENTRY IN RECORDS OF REGULARLY CONDUCTED ACTIVITY.–Evidence that a matter is not included in the memoranda, reports, records, or data compilations, in any form, of a regularly conducted activity to prove the nonoccurrence or nonexistence of the matter, if the matter was of a kind of which a memorandum, report, record, or data compilation was regularly made and preserved, unless the sources of information or other circumstances show lack of trustworthiness.

(8)  PUBLIC RECORDS AND REPORTS.–Records, reports, statements reduced to writing, or data compilations, in any form, of public offices or agencies, setting forth the activities of the office or agency, or matters observed pursuant to duty imposed by law as to matters which there was a duty to report, excluding in criminal cases matters observed by a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, unless the sources of information or other circumstances show their lack of trustworthiness. The criminal case exclusion shall not apply to an affidavit otherwise admissible under s. 316.1934 or s. 327.354.

What to Do When the “Original” Note is Proferred

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.
There are two issues when the other side presents original documents. First is that they say these are originals and they do not accompany it with an affidavit from someone with actual personal knowledge of the transactions or the high bar for business records exceptions to hearsay. My experience is that 50-50, the documents are original or fabricated by use of Photoshop and a laser printer or dot matrix printer. So what you need to do is to go down to the clerk’s office and see what they filed. It would not be unusual for them to file a copy saying it was the original. Second, on that same point, the original can be examined. When the signatures are heavy there should be indentations on the back. Also a notary stamp tends to bleed through the paper to the back.

The second major point is the issue of holder v owner. The owner of the debt is entitled to the ultimate relief, not the note-holder unless the other side fails to object. So along with the proffering of the “originals” they must tell the story, using competent foundation testimony, how they came into possession of the note. In discovery this is done by asking to see proof of payment and proof of loss. Which is to say that you want to see the canceled check or wire transfer receipt that paid for the “transaction” in which the possessor of the note became a holder under UCC and is entitled to a rebuttable presumption that they are the owner. If there is no transaction for value, then the note was not negotiated under the terms of the UCC.

Since they possess the note there is a hairline allowance that they may sue for the collection on a note in which they have no financial sake but there is no ability to win if the borrower denies they received the money or that the possessor of the note obtained the note for purposes of litigation and is not the creditor — i.e., the party who could properly submit a credit bid at auction by a creditor as defined by Florida statutes, nor are they able to execute a satisfaction of mortgage because even upon the receipt of the money they have no loss, and under the terms of the note itself the overpayment is due back to the borrower.

And just as importantly, they cannot modify the mortgage so any submission to them for modification is futile without them showing proof of payment, proof of loss and/or authority to speak for and represent the interests of an identified creditor.

An identified creditor is not merely a name but is a report of the name of the owner of the debt, the contact person and their contact information. Then you can contact the owner and ask for the balance and how it was computed. So the failure to identify the actual owner is interference with the borrower’s right to seek HAMP or HARP modifications — potentially a cause of action for intentional interference in the contractual relations of another (asserting that the note and mortgage incorporated existing law) or violation of statutory duties since the Dodd-Frank act includes all participants in the securitization scheme as servicers.

The key is the money trail because that is the actual transaction where money exchanged hands and it must be shown that the money trail leads from A to B to C etc. The documents would then be examined to see if they are in fact relating to the transaction or a particular leg of the chain.

If the documents don’t conform to the actual monetary transaction, then the documents are refuted as evidence of the debt or any right to enforce the debt. What we know is that in nearly all cases the documents at origination do NOT reflect the actual monetary transaction which means they (a) do not show the actual owner of the debt but rather a straw-man nominee for an undisclosed lender contrary to several provisions of the Truth in Lending Act. The same holds true for the false securitization” chain in which documents are fabricated to refer to transactions that never occurred — where there was a transfer of the debt on paper that was worthless because no transaction took place.

One last thing on this is the issue of blank endorsements. There is widespread confusion between the requirements of the UCC and the requirements of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement. It is absolutely true that a blank endorsement on a negotiable instrument is valid and that the holder possesses all rights of a holder including the presumption (rebuttable) of ownership.

But hundreds of Judges have erred in stopping their inquiry there. Because the UCC says that the agreement of the parties is paramount to any provision of the act. So if the PSA says the endorsement and assignment must be in a particular form (recordable) made out to the trust and that no blank endorsements will be accepted, then the indorsement is an offer which cannot be accepted by the asset pool or the trustee for the asset pool because it would violate an express prohibition in the PSA.

And that leads to the last point which is that a document calling itself an assignment is not irrefutable evidence of an actual transfer of the loan. If the assignee does not agree to take it, then the transaction is void.  None of the assignments I have seen have any joinder and acceptance by the trustee or anyone on behalf of the pool because nobody on the trustee level is willing to risk jail, even though Eric Holder now says he won’t prosecute those crimes. If you take the deposition of the trustee and ask for information concerning the trust account, they will get all squirrelly because there is no trust account on which the trustee is a signatory.

If you ask them whether they accepted the assignment of a defaulted loan and if so, what was the basis for them doing so they will get even more nervous. And if you ask them specifically if they accepted the assignment which you attach to the interrogatory or which you show them at deposition, they will have to say that they did not execute any document accepting that assignment, and then they will be required to agree, when you point out the PSA provisions that no such assignment or endorsement would be valid.

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

Banks Controlled Independent Reviews

“TARP was supposed to cover losses from defaulting loans. But then it was switched to make direct capital infusions into the mega banks. Why the switch? Because everyone realized very early on that the banks had no losses from defaulting loans. It was the investors who made the loans and would take those losses. But even though the government recognized this fact, it did so in secret allowing the confusing notion of bank losses to permeate the judicial cases. All they had to do to stop foreclosures was to tell the truth and Judges would have correctly assumed that the Banks were mere intermediaries. PRACTICE HINT: Is Champerty and maintenance a cause of action for damages, a defense to a lawsuit or both?” — Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

CHECK OUT OUR DECEMBER SPECIAL!

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

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

If you are having trouble believing that the recession, the mortgages, the foreclosures, the auctions, and the health of the banks are all a big lie click here for Matt Taibbi’s Article in Rolling Stone

Editor’s Comment: The so-called independent reviews were neither independent nor reviewed. They were processed. Which is to say they went in one end and came out the other. The so-called reviews relied completely on the banks themselves to review their own criminality in the foreclosure process that was only one step in a multifaceted plan to take down the wealth of America and concentrate in the hands of people who could claim it as their own.

The reviews were not independent because all the information offered was the information that the banks wanted to reveal and half of that was completely fictitious. The lack of an administrative hearing process made it impossible for the independent review conclusions to be challenged. Talk about stacking the deck.

A random survey of foreclosures would show that the forecloser was a complete stranger to the transaction, never invested a penny in the origination or purchase of the loan, and never accounted properly for its actions to the actual lender/investors. How do we know this with certainty? Because real independent reviews like the ones conducted in counties all over the country came to exactly that conclusion after reviewing foreclosures that were “completed.”

There is no ambiguity except whether the credit bid and ensuing deed upon foreclosure is void or voidable. I maintain it is void and not voidable. Voidable means that the victim must do something to replace the job of the county recorder. Voidable means that the transaction stands and the deed is valid even though we know it is a wild deed with no place for it in the chain of title. Voidable means that in a later refi or sale if some title lawyer is actually doing his work the way it was done since the dawn of title records, he or she is going to discover the wild deed and declare the title to be clouded defective or fatally defective. And that would be because of all the documents submitted by a series of entities that had no function except layering over the festering corruption of title created in the first place.

Actual findings that somehow leaked through the controlled review process were suppressed. It all comes down to the same thing in administrative action, law enforcement action, executive action and legislative action: homeowners are deadbeats who don’t count or can be managed through the miracle of telling big lies through the media. The conclusion reached in virtually all cases was the same: while the forgeries, fabrications and perjury were bad things and the ensuing theft of the homes was allowed to proceed anyway, the net result is that these people borrowed the money, defaulted on the payments and lost the house they were supposed to lose anyway.

It is a compelling argument if it was true. In fact, the posturing and lying of the banks enhanced the lender/investor losses and stopped the homeowners from connecting up with real lenders to settle the loans and then go after the banks together for lying to everyone about appraisals, underwriting, and loan quality.

As I see it, the only way this is going to wind up is that those people who fight back with Deny and Discover will be rewarded for their efforts if they persist. But on the whole, most people will not fight back leaving the Banks with windfall several times over. Government won’t help them. If the Banks lose every case that is contested it will be less than the amount they would reserve for loan losses if their loans were real.

We all know that the Banks were using investor money 96% of the time, and yet we allowed them to get insurance, credit default swaps, and federal bailouts on investments they never made. We allow them to pretend that they own what the investors own, thus corrupting their balance sheets with fictitious assets. We allowed them to book fictitious sales of bogus mortgage bonds to investors using the investors own money to create the infrastructure that was never used to sell, assign or securitize the loans. The Bankers who control the banks also control all the profits from these false “proprietary trades”, book them as they wish partly to keep the value of the stock higher and higher, and then keep the rest in off balance sheet off-shore transactions spread around the world.

In an economy that is still driven 70% by consumer spending these policies are arrogant and stupid. The investors who were the real lenders should be paid. The balance on the books owed to those investors should be reduced. And the process of separating the false tier 2 premiums on proprietary trades and the REAL balance owed by borrowers should proceed. This can only happen, given current circumstances by denial of all elements of the cause of action for foreclosure, and pressing on through discovery against the Master Servicer, subservicer (who did they pay? how long did they day after the declaration of default?), the Trustee of the REMIC trust (where are the trust accounts?), the aggregators and other parties that were engaged in the PONZI scheme that was covered over by a false infrastructure of assignments and securitization which never took place.

Our economy is projected to grow at a mere 2% this year if we are lucky, because the banks are holding all the fuel for the engine. If we were to apply simple precepts of law on fraud and contracts, the amount clawed back to investors and homeowners would end the crisis for the economy and yes, possibly threaten the existence of the large banks, but greatly enhance the prospects for the 7,000 other banks in the U.S. alone. But that of course would only happen if we were doing things right.

OCC Foreclosure Reviewer: “Independent” Reviews Were Controlled by Banks, Which Suppressed Any Findings of Harm to Foreclosed Homeowners
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/01/occ-foreclosure-file-reviewer-independent-reviews-were-controlled-by-banks-which-suppressed-any-findings-of-harm-to-foreclosed-homeowner.html

Who’s on First?

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What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

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

Editor’s comment: In a classic Abbott and Costello routine (look it up for those who are too young) the banks are playing “who’s on First” and winning because of the dizzying pace with which they move the goalpost.

I wrote the following comments (see below) on a case I was assisting in which Quicken Loans  purportedly originated the loan but immediately informed the borrower to start paying Countrywide. Countrywide in turn disappeared into what now appears as RED OAK MERGER CORP and the borrower was told to start making the payments to BAC. BAC claimed ownership of the loan until they didn’t at which point they admitted that the loan belonged to some REMIC trust. The REMIC trust turned out not to exist and was never funded.

Then Bank of America informed the borrower that it was BofA that owned the loan despite all evidence and admissions to the contrary. Then BAC disappeared and a little drilling gave up the name Red Oak Merger Corporation which was planned to be the entity that would take over Countrywide. But apparently, like the REMICS, it was set up but never used.

Now the borrower is seeking a short-sale. BofA has performed its usual circus of “errors”in which it loses or purges files for important sounding reasons but which have not one grain of truth. During this time the borrower has lost sales because BofA tried to pawn off the loan servicing to another entity which produced conflicting notices to the borrower that the loan had been transferred for servicing and that the loan had NOT been transferred for servicing.

The borrower has property that is easily salable. BofA came back with a counter-offer for the short-sale. The HUD counselor located in Phoenix and who is extremely savvy about these loans and the legalities of the false moves by the banks finally asked “Who’s on First” by asking who was making decisions and what guidelines they were using.

BofA responded that the trustee BNY Mellon was the only one with that information. So the HUD counselor asked the same questions to BNY Mellon as trustee or the supposedly fully funded trust that included the borrower’s loan. BNY Mellon responded with the same answer Reynaldo Reyes at Deutsch Bank did — we are the trustee in name only.  All decisions regarding short-sales, modification and foreclosure are made by “the servicer.” Of course they didn’t distinguish between the subservicer and the Master Servicer.

The question asked of me was whether this was meaningless double talk and my answer is that it is very meaningful doubletalk providing admissions that the real loan is undocumented, unsecured and leaves the investors (pension funds) holding the bag, while the investment banks were rolling in a redaction of 1/3 of the world’s wealth. Borrowers don’t matter because they are deadbeats anyway and don’t deserve discussion.

Here is my response to the information we had at hand:

How could it be the responsibility of the servicer unless it was the servicer that was acting not as a bookkeeping and collection agent but as the trustee for the investors? If BNY Mellon claims to be the trustee then by definition (look it up) they ARE the investors and they would be the only ones who had the power to make the decision. If they are saying (just like DeutschBank does) that the servicer  makes the decisions then they are saying that  they have delegated(?) the trustee function to the subservicer (usually just referred to as the “servicer”). So like Reynaldo Reyes at Deutsch bank admitted, he is not a trustee for anything and the whole thing is, as he put it, very “Counter-intuitive.”

None of this makes sense until you consider the possibility that nobody ever started a trust, a trust account or gave any powers to a trustee, established beneficiaries of the trust or funded the trust. It makes perfect sense if you consider the alternative: that the investment banks sold bogus mortgage bonds to investors pretending that REMIC trusts were funded and issued the bonds. Read carefully: they are attempting avoid criminal liability and civil liability for the insurance, Federal bailouts and hedge proceeds the banks received on behalf of the investors but which they never reported much less paid the investors. The amount is in the trillions.

By telling you that the trustee has no power they are telling you that the trustee is not a trustee. By telling you that the power to make decisions is in the hands of the servicer, the correct question is which servicer? — the subservicer who dealt only with the borrower or the Master Servicer that dealt with ALL transactions directly or indirectly on behalf of the investment bank that did the selling and underwriting of the bogus mortgage bonds? Assuming either one actually has that power, the next question is how the “servicer” was appointed the manager and why, since they already had a trustee? The answer is what they are avoiding, so far successfully, but which at the end of the day will come out:

NO REMIC trust was used and none of the parties with whom we are dealing ever spent one penny of their own money, capital or deposits (if they were a depository institution) on funding or buying a loan. The true money trail generally looks like this: Investor—> Investment banker- who sold the bonds–> aggregator or intermediary affiliate of investment banker—> closing agent —> payoff seller and prior mortgage (probably paying a non-creditor in exchange for a fabricated release of lien and satisfaction of note which is never given back to borrower marked “PAID).”

The important thing is not who is in the money trail but who is not in the money trail. If you track the wire transfer receipts and wire transfer instructions and are able to track any compensation after closing that was not disclosed but nonetheless paid to undisclosed parties you will NOT find the loan originator whose name, as nominee (but they never said so) was used as the lender and the possessor of the loan receivable.

That is, you won’t find the originator as a funding source but you will find the originator as a paid servicer for the undisclosed aggregator in an illegal and predatory pattern of table-funded loans. In Discovery: PRACTICE TIP: Demand copies of the bookkeeping records that shows that the originator booked the transaction with the borrower as a loan receivable.

You will find that most of the loans were not booked at all on the balance sheet of the originator which means that their own records contain an admission against interest, to wit: that they were not the lender because they did not add the loan receivable to their assets, nor a reserve for bad debt to their liabilities, because they had not funded the loan and were not exposed to any risk of loss. The originator, especially those originators without any financial charter as a depository institution, was merely a paid nominee to ACT as though it was the lender and take the blame if there were findings in court that the closing was illegal or irregular. But there again the originator has no risk because of the corporate veil which shields the operators of the nominee pretender lender leaving the borrower with an empty shell possibly declaring bankruptcy like First Magnus or Century.

The money came from the investors through the investment banker through the aggregator in which the investors’ money was used to create the appearance of an asset consisting of only part of the investor’s money and then sold back to the investor “pool” which turns out not to exist because it was neither funded nor were the conditions of the pool ever followed.  This sale was booked by the investment banker as a “trading profit.” In other words, they took the money of the investor into one pocket and while transferring it from pocket to pocket took out their trading profit on transactions that were a complete illusion.

The documents use the nominee originator (like Quicken Loans) for the note to create “evidence” of an obligation that does not exist because Quicken Loans and its aggregator never funded the loan or the purchase of the loan — but that didn’t stop them from selling the loan several times, insuring it for the benefit of the investment banker and aggregator, and getting paid Federal bailout money and proceeds from credit default swaps all without deducting the amount promised as repayment to the investor, which is why the investors are suing.

The investors are saying there was a false closing based upon no underwriting standards and a fake bond based upon the backing of a mortgage and note that didn’t exist or was never enforceable.

When you boil it all down there was nobody at closing on the lender side. The named payee was a nominee for an undisclosed party and the named secured party was the nominee of an undisclosed party and the consideration came neither from the nominee nor the undisclosed principal. This is what leaves investors holding the bag.

The foreclosures are a grand scheme of cover-up for what was a simple PONZI scheme whose survival depended not upon borrower payments on legitimate loans but rather on the sale of more bogus mortgage bonds. There were no funded REMIC trusts, there were no active trustees, and the job of managing the flood of money fell to the Master Servicer who instructed the subservicer and all other parties what to do with their new found wealth.

The investors are saying they are left with a pile of money owed to them, documented by fake bonds, and no documentation on what was actually done with their money.

That leaves them in a position where they can NEVER claim that the loan money they advanced (and which was commingled beyond recognition) was never secured with a perfected lien or mortgage. The foreclosures that have taken place are based upon an illusion of a transaction that was never consummated — namely that the named payee on the note would loan the borrower money. They didn’t loan the money so the transaction lacks consideration.

Lacking consideration they have nonetheless fabricated, used, executed and recorded papers procured under false pretenses and they are taking the position in court that the borrower may not inquire as to the internal workings of the scheme that defrauded him  and which the investors  (Pension funds) corroborated with their lawsuits.

If you went to the originator and asked to payoff or rescind they would have had to go to the investment banker or aggregator to find out what to do instead of simply following the federal statute (TILA) and returning the documents in exchange for the money. By contract the originator agrees and the wire transfer instructions the originator agrees, just like MERS, to not take, claim or keep any money from the transaction.

PRACTICE TIP: Getting the cancelled check of the borrower to see who cashed the check in which account owned by which party might be helpful in determining the truth about the so-called closing. A good question to ask in discovery is how the”servicer” accounted for each payment it received or disbursed and what notes or notations were used. Then the next question to the subservicer, Master Servicer and investment banker is to whom did you disburse money and why?

9th Circuit Circular Logic: Medrano v Flagstar

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

Editor’s Note: If a Court wants to come to a certain conclusion, it will, regardless of how it must twist the law or facts. In this case, the Court found that a letter that challenges the terms of the loan or the current loan receivable is not a qualified written request under RESPA.

The reasoning of the court is that a challenge or question about the real balance and real creditor and real terms of the deal is not related to servicing of the loan and therefore the requirement of an answer to a QWR is not required.

The Court should reconsider its ruling. Servicing of a loan account assumes that there is a loan account that the presumed subservicer has received authorization to service. The borrower gets notice often from companies they never heard of but they assume that the servicing function is properly authorized.

The “servicer” is used too generally as a term, which is part of the problem. The fact that there is a Master Servicer with information on ALL the transactions affecting the alleged loan receivable from inception to the present is completely overlooked by most litigants, trial judges an appellate courts.

The “servicer” they refer to is actually the subservicer whose authority could only come from appointment by the Master Servicer. But the Master Servicer could only have such power to appoint the subservicer if the loan was properly “securitized” meaning the original loan was properly documented with the right payee and the lien rights alleged in the recorded mortgage existed.

If the party asserts itself as the “Servicer” it is asserting its appointment by the Master Servicer who also has other information on the money trial. It should be required to answer a QWR and based upon current law, should be required to answer on behalf of all parties including the Master Servicer and the “trustee” of the loan pool claiming rights to the loan. If there are problems with the transfer of the loan compounding problems with origination of the loan, the borrower has a right to know that and the QWR is the appropriate vehicle for that.

The servicer cannot perform its duties unless it has the or can produce the necessary information about the identity of the real creditor, the transactions by which that party became a creditor and proof of payment or funding of the original loan and proof of payment for the assignments of the loan, along with an explanation of why the “Trustee” for the pool was not named in the original transaction or in a recorded assignment immediately after the “closing” of the loan transaction.

The 9th Circuit, ignoring the realities of the industry has chosen to accept the conclusion that the “servicer” is only the subservicer and that information requested in a QWR can only be required from the subservicer without any duty to provide the data that corroborates the monthly statement of principal and interest due. The new rule from the Federal Consumer Financial Board stating that all parties are subject to the Federal lending laws underscores and codifies industry practice and common sense.

The Court is ignoring the reality that the lender is the investor (pension funds etc.) and the borrower is the homeowner, and that all others are intermediaries subject to TILA, RESPA, Reg Z etc. The servicer appointed by the Master Servicer is a subservicer who can only provide a snapshot of a small slice of the financial transactions related to the subject loan and the pool claiming to own the loan.

They are avoiding the clear premise of the single transaction doctrine. If the investors did not advance money there would have been no loan. If the borrower had not accepted a loan, there would have been no loan. That is the essence of the single transaction doctrine.

Now they are opening the door to breaking down single transactions into component parts that can change the contractual terms by which the lenders loaned money and the borrower borrowed money.

It is the same as if you wrote a check to a store for payment of a TV or groceries and the intermediary banks and the financial data processors suddenly claimed that they each were part of the transaction and there had ownership rights to the TV or groceries. It is absurd. But if the question is one of payment they are ALL required to show their records of the transaction. This includes in our case the investment banker who is the one directing all movements of money and documents.

If the Court leaves this decision in its current form it is challenging the law of unintended consequences where no transaction is safe from claims by third party intermediaries. Even if Flagstar had no authority to service the account, which is likely, they were acting with apparent authority and must be considered an intermediary servicer for purposes of RESPA and a QWR.

PRACTICE TIP: When writing a QWR be more explicit about the connections between your questions, your suspicion of error as to amount due, payments due etc. Show that the amount being used as a balance due is incorrect or might be incorrect based upon your findings of fact. Challenge the right of the “servicer” to be the servicer and ask them who appointed them to that position.

9th Circuit Medrano v Flagstar on Qualified Written Request

Deny and Discover Strategy Working

For representation in South Florida, where I am both licensed and familiar with the courts and Judges, call 520-405-1688. If you live in another state we provide direct support to attorneys. call the same number.

Having watched botched cases work their way to losing conclusions and knowing there is a better way, I have been getting more involved in individual cases — pleading, memos, motions, strategies and tactics — and we are already seeing some good results. Getting into discovery levels the playing field and forces the other side to put up or shut up. Since they can’t put up, they must shut up.

If you start with the premise that the original mortgage was defective for the primary reason that it was unfunded by the payee on the note, the party identified as “Lender” or the mortgagee or beneficiary, we are denying the transaction, denying the signature where possible (or pleading that the signature was procured by fraud), and thus denying that any “transfer” afterwards could not have conveyed any more than what the “originator” had, which is nothing.

This is not a new concept. Investors are suing the investment banks saying exactly what we have been saying on these pages — that the origination process was fatally defective, the notes and mortgages unenforceable and the predatory lending practices lowering the value of even being a “lender.”

We’ve see hostile judges turn on the banks and rule for the homeowner thus getting past motions to lift stay, motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment in the last week.

The best line we have been using is “Judge, if you were lending the money wouldn’t you want YOUR name on the note and mortgage?” Getting the wire transfer instructions often is the kiss of death for the banks because the originator of the wire transfer is not the payee and the instructions do not say that this is for benefit of the “originator.”

As far as I can tell there is no legal definition of “originator.” It is one step DOWN from mortgage broker whose name should also not be on the note or mortgage. An originator is a salesman, and if you look behind the scenes at SEC filings or other regulatory filings you will see your “lender” identified not as a lender, which is what they told you, but as an originator. That means they were a placeholder or nominee just like the MERS situation.

TILA and Regulation Z make it clear that even if there was nexus of connection between the source of funds and the originator, it would till be an improper predatory table-funded loan where the borrower was denied the disclosure and information to know and choose the source of a loan, thus enabling consumers to shop around.

In order of importance, we are demanding through subpoena duces tecum, that parties involved in the fake securitization chain come for examination of the wire transfer, check, ACH or other money transfer showing the original funding of the loan and any other money transactions in which the loan was involved INCLUDING but not limited to transactions with or for the fake pool of mortgages that seems to always be empty with no bank account, no trustee account, and no actual trustee with any powers. These transactions don’t exist. The red herring is that the money showed up at closing which led everyone to the mistaken conclusion that the originator made the loan.

Second we ask for the accounting records showing the establishment on the books and records of the originator, and any assignees, of a loan receivable together with the name and address of the bookkeeper and the auditing firm for that entity. No such entries exist because the loan receivable was converted into a bond receivable, but he bond was worthless because it was based on an empty pool.

And third we ask for the documentation, correspondence and all other communications between the originator and the closing agent and between each “assignor” and “assignee” which, as we have seen they are only too happy to fabricate and produce. But the documentation is NOT supported by underlying transactions where money exchanged hands.

The net goals are to attack the mortgage as not having been perfected because the transaction was and remains incomplete as recited in the note, mortgage and other “closing” documents. The “lender” never fulfilled their part of the bargain — loaning the money. Hence the mortgage secures an obligation that does not exist. The note is then attacked as being fatally defective partly because the names were used as nominees leaving the borrower with nobody to talk to about the loan status — there being a nominee payee, nominee lender, and nominee mortgagee or beneficiary.

The other part, just as serious is that the terms of repayment on the note do NOT match up to the terms agreed upon with the institutional investors that purchased mortgage bonds to which the borrower was NOT a party and did not issue. Hence the basic tenets of contract law — offer, acceptance and consideration are all missing.

The Deny and Discover strategy is better because it attacks the root of the transaction and enables the borrower to deny everything the forecloser is trying to put over on the Court with the appearance of reality but nothing to back it up.

The attacks on the foreclosers based upon faulty or fraudulent or even forged documentation make for interesting reading but if in the final analysis the borrower is admitting the loan, admitting the note and mortgage, admitting the default then all the other stuff leads a Judge to conclude that there is error in the ways of the banks but no harm because they were entitled to foreclose anyway.

People are getting on board with this strategy and they have the support from an unlikely source — the investors who thought they were purchasing mortgage bonds with value instead of a sham bond based upon an empty pool with no money and no assets and no loans. Their allegation of damages is based upon the fact that despite the provisions of the pooling and servicing agreement, the prospectus and their reasonable expectations, that the closings were defective, the underwriting was defective and that there is no way to legally enforce the notes and mortgages, notwithstanding the fact that so many foreclosures have been allowed to proceed.

Call 520-405-1688 for customer service and you will get guidance on how to get help.

  1. Do we agree that creditors should be paid only once?
  2. Do we agree that pretending to borrow money for mortgages sand then using it at the race track is wrong?
  3. Do we agree that if the lender and the borrower sign two different documents each containing different terms, they don’t have a deal?
  4. Can we agree that if you were lending money you would want your name on the note and mortgage and not someone else’s?
  5. Can we agree that banks who loaned nothing and bought nothing should be worth nothing when the chips are counted in mortgage assets?

 

Vacate the Substitution of Trustee

“The Bottom Line is that if the REMIC transactions were real, they would have been named on the note and mortgage. The fact that they never were named or disclosed demonstrates clearly that something else was going on besides funding mortgages with REMIC money from investors. Nobody would loan money without putting their name as payee on the note, their name as lender on the note and mortgage and their name as beneficiary. The Wall Street explanation that MERS and other obscurities were necessary to securitize the loans is in fact directly contrary to the fact that the loans were never securitized, that the mortgage bonds were bogus obligations from empty REMICs with no bank account and no active manager or trustee.” Neil F Garfield, livinglies.me

A recent case I reviewed, resulted in a full analysis, and my suggestions for strategy, tactics, pleading and oral argument. It involved Bank of America,  Recontrust and BONY/Mellon.

What is again so interesting is that we are dealing with BOA in SImi Valley, CA (supposedly) with Reconstrust in in in Richardson, TX. What is interesting is that the response to my letter which was addressed only to Recontrust came from BOA. This is evidence of the fact that Recontrust are one and the same entity. It doesn’t prove it but it is evidence of it. Thus the challenge to the substitution of trustee comes under the heading that a beneficiary cannot name itself as the trustee. The statute says the TRUSTOR names the trustee on the deed of trust not the beneficiary. And while the beneficiary may change the trustee there is nothing in the statute that even suggests that a beneficiary could name itself as the new trustee. The statute says that the trustee is to substitute for a court of law and that it is to exercise (See Hogan decision and others) a fiduciary duty toward both the Trustor and the beneficiary.

In most cases, the appearance of Bank of America as a beneficiary is via “merger with BAC” which was created to take the servicing rights from Countrywide (not the ownership of the loan). Yet the debt validation letter causes a response to show that the creditor is Bank of America while the Notice of Default shows as having a REMIC as the creditor, which would make the REMIC the beneficiary. So we have a conflict of creditors that comes from the same source.

Since the REMIC is required by law and contract to be closed out within 90 days with the loans in it, and since we know they didn’t do that, the money from the investors was beyond any reasonable doubt channeled through  conduits controlled by the investment banker and not the account of the REMIC because there was no trust account, bank account or any account through which the investor money was channeled and then sued to fund or buy loans. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that the entire scheme is a smoke screen for what really occurred.

Based upon what we know, the REMIC structure was actually ignored when it came to the movement of money. Based upon what we know, Quicken Loans and others acted as “originators”, which is a word that is not really defined legally but it would imply that it was the sales entity to reel in borrowers for a deal. While Quicken Loans was shown as payee on the note and lender on the note and mortgage (deed of trust), Quicken had neither loaned any money nor secured the loan through any legal nexus between Quicken and the investors. MERS was inserted as a placeholder for title purposes. Quicken was thus inserted as a placeholder for payment purposes — all without ad  equate disclosure of the compensation received by MERS or QUICKEN in the deal (a clear violation of TILA and RESPA).

Immediately after the closing of the loan the borrower was informed that the servicing rights had been transferred to Countrywide, and thereafter BAC emerged as the servicer. BAC was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of bank of America and then merged with Bank of America for unknown reasons, and thus the servicing of the loan was assumed to be the right of Bank of America. But what was there to service?

If Quicken did not advance the funds for the loan nor did Quicken or any of its “successors” advance money for the purchase of a perfectly performing loan, then who did? The answer comes from irrefutable logic. We know the REMIC was ignored so the money didn’t come from the REMIC. If there was an intermediary who was acting as agent for the REMIC it had to be the Trustee for the REMIC who has no trust account or bank account to show for it. Thus the money came from another source and the money taken from investors may or may not have been used to fund the borrower’s loan in this case or more likely, a larger pool of investor funds was used as the source of funding but was NOT documented with the usual promissory note and mortgage (deed of trust) signed by the borrower.

The legal conclusion I reach is that the mountain of paperwork starting with the “origination” of the loan is worthless paper unsupported by either consideration (funding the loan) and whose recitations of facts are at variance with (1) the actual trail of money and (2) the provisions of the documents upon which Bank of America now relies requiring assignment of the loan in recordable form into the REMIC within 90 days while it was still performing. But they couldn’t assign it into the trust because (1) the trust had no money or account with which to pay for the loan and (2) this would have prevented the investment bank from trading the loan and the loan portfolios as if it were the property of the investment bank.

Thus Bank of America is attempting to appear as the new beneficiary based upon a complete lack of any chain of transactions that would make it so. And they are using the cover of BONY as “trustee” as cover for their false and fraudulent representations knowing full well that neither BONY nor the REMIC ever received a dime from investors, borrowers or anyone else and that instead the flow of money was entirely outside the sham paper transactions upon which BOA now relies.

Having covered up an incomplete unexecuted contract without funding the loan, the securitization participants proceeded to act as though the loan transaction with Quicken was real. If they relied upon the original trustee, the original trustee would have required sufficient title and other information from BOA before taking any action against the Trustor borrower.

Thus Bank of America names Reconstrust as the substitute trustee, that will “play ball” with them because Recontrust is owned and controlled by Bank of America. The challenge, as we have said, should be to the substitution of trustee as not having named an objective third party and instead being the equivalent of the beneficiary naming itself as trustee. BY definition, the new trustee is neither likely nor able to exercise due diligence and act in a responsible manner with a  fiduciary duty to the trustor and beneficiary, if they can determine the  identity of the beneficiary.

Thus any TRO or other action should be directed against the substitution of trustee as being outside the intent of the statute and violative of due process since it provides the beneficiary with unfettered ability to sell property merely on a whim.  In order to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of constitutional dude process the legislature had to show that there was a different procedure in place that would allow for the claims of all stakeholders to be heard. Even if the substitution of trustee was valid, the mere denial of the claims of the beneficiary and accusations of fraud, false assignments, and a closing at which the mortgage lien was not perfected, on a note that did not  name the proper payee nor state the same terms of repayment that the investors received when they “bought” the bogus mortgage bonds.

Bottom Line: The Pile of paperwork is worthless and does not create nor provide evidence of an actual transaction that took place wherein the named payee and lender ever fulfilled its part of the bargain — lending money to the borrower. Nor does it present even the possibility of a perfected mortgage lien. Thus foreclosure is impossible. The trustee was and is under an obligation in contested cases to file an interpleader action where the stakeholders’ claims may be heard on the merits. The primary trustee on the deed of trust may have violated its fiduciary duties by allowing the practice that it, of all entities, would or should have known was both illegal and improper. For both procedural and substantive reasons, the notice of default and notice of sale should be vacated and purged from the county records.

Deutsch: Trustee in name only

TOO BIG TO GO TO JAIL?!?
For information on seminars and legal representation in Northern California please call our customer service line at 520-405-1688. Neil is now directly involved in assisting the attorneys plead an script these cases. A new seminar in Auburn, CA which focuses on the bankruptcy venue, is soon to be announced.
Editor’s Comment: Echoing the analyses presented here over the last few weeks, our senior securitization analyst wrote me this note which corroborates the basic assumption that everything is upside down. In the recorded words of Reynaldo Reyes at Deutsch — “it is all very counter-intuitive.” It is also wrong, illegal and probably criminal.
That is a euphemistic way of referring to a shell game that is covering up the largest Ponzi scheme in human history — and one which is still on-going because regulators and law enforcement either refuse to see it or simply don’t have the resources to study it.
We are left with the appearance of a REMIC — the equivalent of what I once called a holographic image of an empty paper bag. We have a paper trust that is both unfunded and in which there are no assets, that was routinely ignored by the investment bankers who directed them to be written but not used. We have beneficiaries who think they are holding asset-backed mortgage bonds when there are no assets to back up the bonds because the bonds were issued by the empty trust. Investors are paid out of their own money and the sale of new “mortgage bonds.” Classic PONZI.
Then as Dan so simply explains it, you have a paper “trustee” over the paper trust, where the paper trustee has been stripped of all powers — powers that are 100% delegated (back to the banks acting as servicers) in the documents written for the trust, unless the investors say otherwise, but there is no way for investors to identify other investors in the paper trust in order to compare notes and give instructions to the trustee.
Same as the homeowner who has kept asking “which trust owns my loan.” The answer is that none of them do. The banks don’t own the loan either. It is the investors who own the loan receivable, but the loan receivable is neither documented nor secured.
Everything else is just paper and ink that didn’t matter to the investment banks who were creating servicing entities and other exotic vehicles through which they could “trade” loans that didn’t belong to them, receive insurance on losses they didn’t have, get federal bailouts on lies about mortgage defaults when it was only the threat of NOT receiving an undeserved windfall that the banks were worried about — 100 cents on the dollar for loans and fictitious pools for each insurance or CDS contract they purchased — using the investors money.
As Dan points out, the entire scam comes back to one thing, as it always does in an illegal fraudulent scheme — control was by the banks who should have only served as intermediaries both on paper and in action. They did neither. They posed as the investor when it suited them and even changed MERS records to show that, as if it were true. They posed as owners of an obligation from homeowners when they neither funded nor purchased the loans.
AND they convinced Judges that millions of foreclosures should be allowed where the bank acting for itself and on behalf of the paper trust, submitted a credit bid from entities that never had any money or assets, much less ownership of the loan receivable.
The plain simple truth is that if you compare what should have been done if this was honest dealing, is that the money invested would have gone into the pool (REMIC, SPV, Trust) and the used to fund mortgages. Instead the money went elsewhere and no loans were assigned into the pool, the mortgage bonds were worthless, and the complexity of the fraud has so far been too daunting for law enforcement and regulators to step in.
If this was a legal transaction in which the  intent of the investment banks was honest, the instructions to the closing agent and the documents and disclosures would have the name of the pool all over them. Instead they put in the names of entities who were neither acting as brokers nor lenders. And the purpose of the banks was to “borrow” the funds from one end and “borrow” the fraudulent documents on the other end and trade for their own benefit. Obama’s advisers are just plain wrong when they tell him that the transactions were bad or wrong, but legal under existing laws and regulations.
I still believe that law enforcement and regulators are both stepping in and getting their ducks in a row. Unraveling something this complex on paper, requires a solid foundation of knowledge in which they can ignore the paperwork just like the banks did. After that it becomes clear that this is just another Ponzi scheme based upon tens of millions of fraudulent documents were produced supporting tens of millions of transactions that were never completed in which tens of millions of recorded documents lie ticking like a time bomb in the county recorders’ offices, only to surface later as a blight on a corrupted title system.
From Dan:
Here is how out of control the situation is. The Trustee (Deutsche in this case) has serious concerns over the servicing and foreclosure activity of the servicers.  Deutsche has (by contract) given control to the servicers.  Deutsche has no ability to interfere with what the servicers are doing (unless instructed by the investors). [Editor's Note: But they knew this going in meaning they were accepting "trustee" fees without acting as trustees, which is why these paper trusts were never administered from the trust department of ANY of the banks alleging they are trustees for the on-existent trusts. An unfunded trust is no trust at all. It is fictitious.]
On the other side, Deutsche is constrained and cannot exercise control over the servicers unless and until a certain percentage of the investors give written authorization and agree to indemnify Deutsche. [Editor's Note: That percentage can only be reached when the investors know who the other investors are. So far the banks have succeeded in keeping most of the information secret --- as both investors and homeowners unravel the mystery of vanishing documents and money in flight]
The scenario created by Wall Street is a sinking ship that does not allow the officers of the ship (Deutsche), to interfere with workers repairing a hole in the bottom of the ship, unless the ship owners (the investors) get together and give them (the officers) written authorization to remediate the actions of the workers.
This ship is going down and there is no stopping it. [Editor's Note: When those "assets" on the balance sheets of the mega banks turn out to be at best worthless and at worst fraudulent, the bank's financial condition will be changed from viable to impossible and they will be broken up. But as Iceland showed us clearly, the other banks pick up the pieces, the household debt is reduced forcing the banks to cooperate, and as much money as possible is returned to the investors who were the first victims in this fraudulent PONZI scheme]
This type of contractual relationship is against public policy and should be unenforceable.
Once again, the principal is not exercising any control over the agent (investors and trustee).
Once again, the principal is not exercising any control over the agent (trustee and servicers).
Once again, the principal is not exercising any control over the agent (foreclosure trustee and beneficiary).  In fact the foreclosure trustee does not even know who the beneficiary is.
Thx,
Office: 530.392.4681

U.S. Bank: Many Names, Many Creditors — the ultimate shell game

U.S. Bank, Trustee of What?

U.S. Bank shows up in many foreclosure cases and many cases that go into litigation. I believe they are allowing the use of their name for a fee and that they have little or nothing to do with most of the cases where their name is used. A little discovery might cover that and a challenge to the attorney as to proving that he represents U.S. Bank as they have portrayed themselves would be a useful tactic.

One case in Florida U.S. Bank portrayed itself as the holder of the note. In the end the attorney who appeared for U.S. Bank admitted under questioning from the Judge that U.S. Bank was not the holder, was not a trustee, and that the attorney had no idea whether he actually represented U.S. Bank because he never had any contact with them.

In bankruptcy court, which is confusing enough, you must realize that it is actually an administrative hearing with a tinge of legal. Some lawyers file adversaries to prove this or that based upon the filing of conflicting papers in the administrative part of the bankruptcy. I think that is a mistake. What are you going to say in your adversary pleading. You are taking on the burden of proof for facts that are exclusively in the possession of either the people you are dealing with, or some other third parties. The Bankruptcy is an administrative action where the forms and procedure are everything. If conflicting claims are present, it isn’t up to you to clear it up. It is up to the creditors or have their claim denied.

It looks to me like you have an OBJECTION to their claim when they change horses, especially when it happens multiple times in one case. If they have not filed a proof of claim within the 90 day time limit (check statutes and consult with attorney) you are allowed to file one for them. In your version be sure to say they are unsecured. The primary grounds for your objections would be that there are obviously multiple creditors, each seeking to collect on the same debt. Don’t say it in your pleading but ONE of them must file an adversary against the others, or at least a motion with affidavits and potentially witnesses to explain the discrepancies.

Here is another case:

“After nearly 4 years of fighting, the “lender” has finally changed their position (again) and now submitted a request for notice in my BKR as the attorneys for US BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSTEE FOR RASC SERIES 2005- EMX4.
Here are some of the names they have used previously (in violation of California Rules of Evidence 623):
  • US Bank, NA as Trustee by Residential Funding Company, LLC fka Residential Funding Corporation Attorney in Fact
    • in a letter sent in conjunction with the NOD dated 12/24/2008 (NOD did not use this name or any derivative)
    • 1st assignment 1/2009 (MERS as nominee for MLN, and MLN went into BKR 2/2007)
    • Proof of Claim circa 5/2009
    • Motion for Relief from Stay circa 9/2009
    • Response to various state lawsuits saying “everything was fine with the recorded documents” (paraphrased)
  • US Bank, NA as Trustee
    • Note endorsement allegedly on or before 11/17/2005 (numerous intervening endorsements, but endorsement to depositor is skipped)
    • 2nd Assignment 7/2009 (MERS as nominee for MLN, and MLN went into BKR 2/2007)
    • Motion for Summary Judgment filed by NDeX West 5/30/2012 in my state court case
  • RFC Trustee 04
    • MERS Servicer ID states that the “investor” is RFC Trustee 04 (not sure when record was created, presumably in November/December 2005)
  • MERS
    • Motion for Summary Judgment filed by NDeX West 5/30/2012 in my state court case
  • US Bank, National Association as Trustee for RASC Series 2005-EMX4
    • Request for Notice filed in my Chp. 11 on 7/31/2012 by Barrett Daffin Treder & Weiss
    • This is the first time EVER this name appears in this form by ANY of the parties I have sued or sent letters. They have never mentioned the trust before.
They cannot perfect their security interest because there is a TRO in the state court case (plus I have the BKR automatic stay).
Attached is this notice, my preliminary status report (read section #6 where I describe the use of different names and tell the judge that I have no idea who I will be naming in the adv. proc. because they constantly change the name of the creditor), and my objection to their request for notice.”
The last sentence is exactly right. So why file it? If for some reason you feel the court requires you to take on the burden then I would suggest conducting a 2004 examination (deposition) in which you ask pertinent questions about the “Story” of how it changed from this creditor to that creditor.
BUT FIRST challenge the competency of the witness they produce to even testify. For those of you who attended my seminars, you know the four rules of competency — Oath, Personal Knowledge, Memory and Communication — all of which are required to establish the foundation for their testimony. If you get to the point where the witness admits they have no personal knowledge of either the particulars of your case or insufficient knowledge as to the records upon which they rely, then shut up and don’t ask questions about the facts of the case. Why put what THEY want into the record?
If the above is Greek to you then you need to attend one of our seminars on the 25th of August in Emeryville outside San Francisco or Anaheim 8/29-8/30, outside L.A.
Here is another case, which is being seen all over the place: “U.S. Bank, as trustee relating to ” and then there is description of certificates, but not certificate holders nor any other reference to a PSA or trust document.
So when they lose the case at the end, and the Judge is awarding attorney fees, many judges are allowing their ridiculous explanation that the award of fees must be against some other party but not U.S. Bank who is not the trustee of a trust but was merely acting as agent or servicer for a disclosed principal. The fact that they did the foreclosure without providing the trustee with evidence of the trust, and that they obtained a deed in foreclosure with a credit bid, without providing the trustee with proof of loan status from the “disclosed principal” seems lost on many judges.
And just for good measure notice that US Bank often enters the foreclosure process AFTER a different creditor has applied for relief from stay — one which has an easier time establishing grounds for the relief. THEN U.S. Bank does the foreclosure, violating the stay order, and contrary the terms of the order lifting stay naming the OTHER creditor as the owner of the loan. Precious few judges have the tenacity of patience to wade through this whirlwind of words to ask simple questions like — who has a loan receivable on their books for this loan? That is the creditor if the entry is supported by competent evidence.
But not all Judges are hoodwinked by these absurd word games. Millions of dollars in sanctions in fines have been levied against the banks and servicers for misdirecting the court and committing perjury or suborning perjury.

ALERT: TRUSTEES SELLING LIENS NOT PROPERTY AND PROPERTY WITHOUT TITLE

Moving the Goal Posts Again

SELLING LIEN INSTEAD OF PROPERTY AT TRUSTEE SALE

When Will Judges Get It? There is NO Mortgage Lien

EDITOR’S ANALYSIS: A new instrument is surfacing masquerading as a Notice of Sale. This is going to be interesting. If you didn’t read it, as most of these were probably not read since they first surfaced earlier this year, you would think it said the same thing as any other Notice of Sale. But it doesn’t say the same thing and doesn’t conform to the statutory requirements and can’t be true since the trustee would not be the party who could sell the lien unless they owned it.

Apparently the Banks and servicers decided a few months ago that they really don’t have a valid lien on anyone’s property — like I have been saying for 6 years.

At the “origination” of the loan, the renting of a third party’s  name to act as lender made that party a pretender lender and not a creditor. Thus the mortgage secured a note to a pretender lender and not the creditor. Hence the the mortgage is naked in the wind, and yes there is case law on that all over the country. Keep in mind as well that the terms offered to the REAL creditor/LENDERs (investor pension funds etc) are far different than the terms of repayment signed by the borrower to the now non-existent pretender lender.

So the banks and servicers came up with a new bogus document that is no better than the forged, fabricated, bogus transfer documents designed to create the illusion of sale of the loan into the secondary market and the ensuing “Securitization” of that loan — all facts recited but which never occurred. Paperwork was used in lieu of actual transactions.

The new ones either expressly disclaim any warranty of title at the auction or expressly disclaim transfer of the property at all, claiming to sell the lien.

Now THIS is an auction of the lien. To say it is peculiar is an understatement. NOS selling just the LIEN not the Property

Here are my thoughts:
1. Does the trustee own the lien? Are they manufacturing yet another non-existent assignment. The trustee obviously did not buy the lien, nor would they allege they did. And discovery would show a lack of consideration and no assignment, endorsement or allonge.
2. Did the owner also get a notice of sale of the property? If so, the NOS for the lien mucks title even more than before.
3. What exactly IS this document? It appears to be in the nature of a quitclaim of the lien and expressly excludes the property. Is this an opportunity to buy the lien at cut rates with essentially a giant principal reduction. The Buyer is essentially buying a lawsuit. Where is the “lender”? Where is the “beneficiary?” What is going on here?
4. If the buyer is someone other than the borrower, are they going to set this up as a third party sale to a bona fide third party without notice?
5. If the buyer now attempts to foreclose, what are the rights, who is the trustee or substitute trustee, and what will the buyer be getting.
6. Does the transfer of this lien, even if valid, convert the deed of trust into a mortgage?
7. Is the sale of the lien a breach of the deed of trust?
8. The express disclaimer shows that not only is the buyer not buying the property, but they have no assurance that they can ever get it.
9. The express statement that the buyer might still be required to pay off senior liens indicates that this might be an attempt by a pretender lender to position itself as the holder of a second mortgage or second priority AFTER the primary deed of trust.
10. The express statement that the buyer is encouraged to investigate the existence and status of other liens before bidding is an express abdication of the responsibility of the trustee to perform that due diligence.
11. Keep in mind that Recontrust is wholly owned and controlled by BofA. As such it carries with it the taint of not being an objective disinterested third party without any stake in the property.
12. Also keep in mind the growing interest of cities and counties in exercising the power of eminent domain. This might be an attempt to rig the bidding such that a “market” exists (which is presently not the case) for these defective liens and using those market prices to force the city or county into paying more for the lien that it is actually worth.
13. Attendance by the owner is essential here and the objection should be lodged with the trustee stating that the owner Trustor never agreed to let the trustee sell the lien, and that the NOS fails to state the authority upon which it is selling the lien. If the lien is to be sold, the ONLY party that could actually sell the lien for VALUE is the party to whom the debt is owed, with a full accounting from the Master Servicer as to all money received and disbursed, and the current status of the account. What if the the loan has been paid off already?

SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN DENMARK HERE. COMMENTS INVITED.

Blomberg Celebrates New Revised Hogan

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Darrell Blomberg is a presenter at our kickoff of the national tour of seminars starting July 26, 2012 in Chandler, AZ. He is NOT a lawyer but in my opinion has a better understanding of the law, its application and the context of the fake securitized loans than practically any else I know. He is completely correct in his analysis of the Hogan decision below.

I strongly advise homeowners who are near the Chandler location, to go find a lawyer and or contact the one they already have and PAY for the lawyer to attend the seminar and maybe pay for their own attendance as well. Paralegal add-ons are available as well.

Editor’s Note:

Darrell is 100% right that this decision poses a mammoth shadow problem for those people who are working for “Trustees” and conducting sales, sending notices of default and sending notices of sale. Issuing a deed on foreclosure to a party who who was the creditor but submitted a credit bid instead of a cash bid is only one issue. The fact is that if the Trustee becomes aware of a bona fide dispute between the alleged beneficiary or creditor and the borrower the Trustee has only ONE CHOICE: They must petition the court for a ruling because the Trustee does not have the power to conduct hearings. It IS that simple.

The reason they are not doing that and the reason why there is a substitution of trustee filed in every case is that the original trustee WOULD do that and would conduct due diligence, which the banks cannot afford because they know they don’t have the goods — they are not the creditor and in many cases even the the real original creditor is no longer present because of the trading activity and recompilation of the pools with different assets, loans and even using other derivatives as assets. 

These facts will all come out when the burden is put on the supposed creditor to show the transaction in which they paid real money for the loan. No such transaction exists. So they cannot submit a credit bid and probably don’t have the authority to initiate foreclosure proceedings. The potential liability of the Trustees that were substituted and perhaps even the original trustees is staggering when applied to prior foreclosures. When it becomes clear that the new trustee is appointed by a stranger to the transaction calling itself the beneficiary when it is not the beneficiary and new trustee is owned or controlled by the new “beneficiary.”

By Darrell Blomberg, July 11, 2012:

The Supreme Court of Arizona released their amended opinion this morning.  I have attached it for you or here is the link:  http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/Supreme/2012/CV110115PR.pdf.  The essential changes were confined to section 11.

First off, I offer HUGE KUDOS and THANKS to all the extraordinary people who contributed to the effort of getting this all the way to the Supremes and then back into their court for a well-earned reconsideration.

The challenge with Hogan was that the questions were never optimally framed and Hogan didn’t make the record with sufficient allegations and assertions.  His pleadings left too many escape hatches open.  (No slight to anybody; the questions didn’t appear until long after the best-for-the-day questions were put forth.)  I’m amazed at “amount” of decision we got from the Supremes considering those challenges.

I believe the new “Moreover, the trustee owes the trustor a duty to comply with the obligations created by the statutes governing trustee sales and the trust deed.” language is very beneficial to homeowners and attorneys.  I think this is vastly better than the prior decision and gives us a lot more umph.  This is a clear statement of the court tying “duty” together with “statutes governing trustee’s sales and the trust deed.”  I can’t remember something so elemental and so important happening for us at any administrative, judicial or legislative level.  Tying duty to the statutes and contract was always sketchy but this decision does it succinctly and boldly.

This is precisely what all of my “Cancellation Demand Letters” have been geared to convey.  This decision will certainly be added to every “Cancellation Demand Letter” from now on.

Don’t forget this amended language:”A.R.S. § 33-801(10) (providing that “[t]he trustee’s obligations . . . are as specified in this chapter [and] in the trust deed”).”  It’s sure to be used against our efforts.  I think this can be well mitigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau bulletin 2012-03 which tied the servicer (beneficiary?) and the sub-servicer (trustee?) together for liability purposes.  Perhaps it doesn’t reign in the trustees so much but it sure raises the temperature on the beneficiary.  With the right amount of pressure on the beneficiary maybe they’ll heat up the trustee for us.  (See attached or this link: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201204_cfpb_bulletin_service-providers.pdf)

For the record, here is the language that was removed from the original opinion: “Moreover, the trustee owes the trustor a fiduciary duty, and may be held liable for conducting a trustee’s sale when the trustor is not in default.”

My commercial:  If you know anybody that is in need of an all-out analysis of the Arizona Trustee’s Sale process that I turn into a letter for the homeowner, please let me know.  My letters are a great way to make the record and maybe even cancel a few notices of trustee’s sales along the way.  (Contact info is below.)

For further consideration, here is Black’s 6th on “Duty.”

Duty. A human action which is exactly conformable to the laws which require us to obey them. Legal or moral obligation. An obligation that one has by law or con­tract. Obligation to conform to legal standard of reason­able conduct in light of apparent risk. Karrar v. Barry County Road Com’n, 127 Mich.App. 821, 339 N.W.2d 653, 657. Obligatory conduct or service. Mandatory obligation to perform. Huey v. King, 220 Tenn. 189, 415 S.W.2d 136. An obligation, recognized by the law, re­quiring actor to conform to certain standard of conduct for protection of others against unreasonable risks. Samson v. Saginaw Professional Bldg., Inc., 44 Mich. App. 658, 205 N.W.2d 833, 835. See also Legal duty;Obligation.

Those obligations of performance, care, or observance which rest upon a person in an official or fiduciary capacity; as the duty of an executor, trustee, manager, etc.

In negligence cases term may be defined as an obli­gation, to which law will give recognition and effect, to comport to a particular standard of conduct toward another, and the duty is invariably the same, one must conform to legal standard of reasonable conduct in light of apparent risk. Merluzzi v. Larson, 96 Nev. 409, 610 P.2d 739, 741. The word”duty” is used throughout the Restatement of Torts to denote the fact that the actor is required to conduct himself in a particular manner at the risk that if he does not do so he becomes subject to liability to another to whom the duty is owed for any injury sustained by such other, of which that actor’s conduct is a legal cause. Restatement, Second, Torts § 4. See Care; Due care.

In its use in jurisprudence, this word is the correlative of right. Thus, wherever there exists a right in any person, there also rests a corresponding duty upon some other person or upon all persons generally.

Duty to act. Obligation to take some action to prevent harm to another and for failure of which there may or may not be liability in tort depending upon the circum­stances and the relationship of the parties to each other.


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Madison v. MERS et al

Madison v MERS et al

Editor’s Comment:

The Madison decision from the Arizona Appellate Court is an example of two warnings that I have repeatedly stated on these pages, in my books and in my seminars.  First doing an appeal yourself without getting appropriate advice from competent licensed counsel is most likely to result in failure.  It is a rare layman who understands the Rules of Civil Procedure.  And it is even more rare that a layman understands the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

As a result, the Madison decision will be used as yet more ammunition against homeowners, borrowers, and lawyers to “prove” that their defenses are frivolous when in fact the court of appeals decision states the opposite – even while they rule against the borrower.  On appeal the only thing the appellate court is permitted to review are those items on the record.  This is further restricted by the items that are presented as issues on appeal.  The homeowner, appearing on her own behalf, missed two opportunities to force the pretender lenders into a contested adversary position.

Like many other states, Arizona has section 33-811[c]which mandates waiver of all defenses to a trustee’s sale if the objecting party fails to obtain an injunction before the sale date.  The problem here is that the statute is worded improperly but that issue was never raised.  Obtaining an injunction requires a lawsuit filed against the Trustee and the pretender lenders which results in the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and which the homeowner will result in the issuance of a permanent restraining order.

Virtually all non-judicial states have a similar provision.  The obvious problem with this provision which violates due process on its face is that it requires the homeowner to first prove his or her case in court before being allowed to assert and pursue defenses and counterclaims. 

This is precisely the issue addressed in the second edition Attorney’s Workbook regarding the realignment of parties.  In a judicial state all that a homeowner is required to do is deny the allegations of the pretender lender.  This puts the matter at issue and allows the homeowner/borrower to proceed with discovery and all other pre-trial motions.  The Arizona statute relied upon by the appellate court requires the homeowner to utilize a crystal ball to determine the allegations of the pretender lender and then win at a preliminary hearing on the merits of the defenses to a claim that has never been filed. 

The issuance of the TRO in non-judicial states is discretionary and not ministerial or mandatory.  Thus the burden of proof is improperly put on the defending party before the proponent seeking affirmative relief (taking the house) is required to file any pleadings or produce any evidence that could be subject to court scrutiny or challenge by the homeowner. 

As applied, Arizona Revised Statue 33-811 [c] is clearly unconstitutional and violates due process.  The homeowner should simply be permitted to deny the factual allegations contained in the Notice of Default and Notice of Sale.  The appropriate party to bring a lawsuit is not the borrower but either the Trustee or Beneficiary.  Once the borrower has denied the factual allegations, the matter should be converted to a judicial foreclosure which is provided for in Arizona Statutes.  In the absence of the beneficiary starting such a lawsuit, it is the trustee who should file an action in interpleader stating that the Trustee is an uninterested party with no stake in the outcome and alleging that there are two parties each of whom allege an interest in the subject matter of the lawsuit and which are in conflict with each other.  The Trustee, not having the power to conduct hearings (the Trustee is not a special master) has no choice but to take unresolved issues to the court and make its claim for attorney’s fees, costs and expenses to having had to file the interpleader.

Naturally Maidson failed to raise any of these issues. So the appellate court was left with a statue which is “on the books” and which operates to waive all defenses of the homeowner to the Trustee’s sale – in the event the homeowner fails to obtain an injunction before the sale date.  In the Madison case, needless to say, the homeowner failed to obtain and apparently failed to seek an injunction prior to the sale.  Therefore the appellate court was perfectly within its right to simply affirm the trial court’s decision that stated that the homeowner had no right in this instance to assert any defenses.

In such cases of such conflicts of obvious due process the ACLU and other such organizations have occasionally been successful in having an appellate court rule on an issue that was never presented in the trial court and may not even have been presented in the initial briefs of the parties on appeal. 

Hence the outcome of this case, like so many others, was a foregone conclusion simply based on the most simple application of statutory law and the rules of civil procedure as they are currently applied in Arizona. 

Failing to obtain the TRO is therefore the same as admitting all of the allegations of fact contained in the Notice of Default and Notice of Sale and all of the allegations that would have been pled in a judicial foreclosure.  The court affirmed the trial court’s decision to dismiss the homeowner’s lawsuit. 

The kicker in this case is that the appellate court went on to overrule the trial court for having declared Madison a vexatious litigant and further restricting her ability to file future lawsuits.  This was not only a violation of due process it was a demonstration of court bias and I invite attorneys who are committed to the movement to assist Madison in attacking the bias of the trail judge and getting the decision of the trial judge vacated thus rendering the appellate decision moot. 

It is plainly outrageous for any judge to declare that a litigant is vexatious or frivolous when they clearly have never been heard on the merits of any of their claims or defenses.  The retired judge who heard this case should be prevented from hearing any further cases involving foreclosures or related evictions or any other such cases. 

Without beating a dead horse the section of the opinion entitled “background” clearly shows that Madison failed to deny the essential elements of the foreclosure and therefore all of the obvious issues regarding the identity of the creditor, the status of the loan, the nature of the actual transaction, the substitution of beneficiary, the substitution of trustee, and all the other claims and defenses were deemed admitted by both the trial court and the appellate court.  If the case can be reopened on the basis of the bias of the judge and the bias can be shown to have predated the decision that was appealed and if that results in vacating the entire order the homeowner might have had an opportunity to obtain the injunction and assert the claims and defenses, and attack the statute as it is applied.

 This is the reason why I reluctantly agreed to start a national law firm to assist homeowners and borrowers and their lawyers.  I have been doing nothing but writing, educating, and consulting for 5 years only to see the work and analysis performed by me or my team to be presented improperly and after which most defenses and claims were waived.  In the GarfieldFirm.com all of the attorneys recruited will be required to follow appropriate professional standards in the research and advocacy of the positions of clients who sign up for representation. 

There is no guarantee of any result when you hire any attorney or any professional.  The only guarantee is that they will apply their best efforts on your behalf.  The GarfieldFirm.com is a operating under a business model which requires a 50-state rollout to oppose all of the foreclosure mills who currently act in concert with each other.  Their opposition will now be an organized and consistent challenge to the fraudulent proffers of false, forged and fabricated facts and evidence in and out of court.  As I have stated before, we are only halfway through this mighty contest.  Until now we have been taking all the punches.  Now it is our turn.

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Still Pretending the Servicers Are Legitimate

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Editor’s Comment:

I keep waiting for someone to notice. We all know that the foreclosures were defective. We all know that in many cases independent auditors found that strangers to the transaction submitted credit bids that were accepted by the auctioneer, and that in the non-judicial states where substitutions of trustees are always used to replace an independent trustee with one owned or controlled by the “new creditor” the “credit bid” is accepted by the creditor’s agent even if the trustee has notice from the borrower that neither the substitution of trustee nor the foreclosure are valid, that the borrower denies the debt, denies the default and denies the right of the “new creditor” to do anything.

In the old days when we followed the law, the trustee would have only one option: file an interpleader lawsuit in court claiming two stakeholders and that the trustee is not a stakeholder and should be reimbursed for fees and costs. Today instead of an interpleader, it is a foreclosure because the “creditor” is holding all the cards.

So why is anyone surprised that modifications are rejected when in the past the debtor and borrower always worked things out because foreclosure was not as good as a work-out?

Why do the deeds found to be lacking in consideration with false credit bids still remain on the books? Why hasn’t the homeowner been notified that he still owns the property and has the right to possession?

And why are we so sure that the original mortgage has any more validity than the false documents to support fraudulent foreclosures? Is it because the borrower’s signature is on it? OK. If we are going to look at the borrower’s signature then why do we not look at the rest of the document and the facts alleged to have occurred in those documents. The note says that the payee is the lender. We all know that isn’t true. The mortgage says the property is collateral for payment to the payee on the note. What first year law student would fail to spot that if the note recited a loan transaction that never occurred, then the mortgage securing the payments on the false transaction is no better than the note?

So if the original transaction was defective and the servicer derives its status or power from the origination documents, then who is the servicer and why is he standing in your living room demanding payment and declaring you in default?

If any reader of this blog somehow convinced another reader of the blog to sign a note and mortgage, would the note and mortgage be valid without any actual financial transaction. No. In fact, the attempt to collect on the note where I didn’t make the loan might be considered fraud or even grand theft. And rightfully so. I am told that in some states the Judges say it is the absence of anyone else making an effort to collect on the note that proves the standing of the party seeking to enforce it. Really?

This sounds like a business plan. A lends B money. B signs papers indicating the loan came from C and C gets the mortgage. B is delinquent by a month and having lost his job he abandons the property. D comes in and seeks to enforce the mortgage and note and nobody else is around. The title record is still clear of any foreclosure activity. D says he has an assignment and produces a false forged assignment. Nobody else shows up. THAT is because the parties in the securitization chain are using MERS instead of the public record title registry so they didn’t get any notice. D gets the foreclosure after substituting trustees in a non-judicial state or doing absolutely nothing in a judicial state. The property is auctioned and D submits a credit bid which is accepted by the auctioneer. The clerk or trustee issues D a deed upon foreclosure and D immediately transfers the property to XYZ corporation that he formed the day before. XYZ sells the property to E for $300,000. E pays D $60,000 down payment and gets a mortgage from ABC Lending Corp. for the other $240,000. ABC Lending Corp. sells the note and mortgage into the secondary market where it is sliced and diced into parcels that are allocated into one or more REMIC special purpose vehicles.

Now B comes back and finds out that he was never foreclosed on by his lender. C wakes up and says they never released the mortgage. D took the money and ran, never to be heard from again. The investors in the REMIC trusts are told they bought an invalid mortgage or one in which the mortgage has second priority instead of first priority. E, who bought the property with $60,000 of his own money is now at risk, and when he looks at his title policy and makes a claim he is directed to the schedules of exclusions and exceptions that specifically cover this event. So no title carrier is going to pay. In fact, the title company might concede that B still owns the property and that C has the first mortgage on it, but that leaves E with two mortgages instead of one. The two mortgages together total around $500,000, a price that E’s property will never reach in 20 years. Sound familiar?

Welcome to USA property law as it was summarily ignored, changed and enforced for the past 10 years? Why? Especially when it turns out that the investment broker that sold the mortgage bonds of the REMIC knew about the whole story all along. Why are we letting this happen?


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