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).
“Victims can receive up to $125,000 in cash or, in some cases, get their homes back. But the review has already been marred by evidence that the banks themselves play a major role in identifying the victims of their own abuses, raising the question of whether the review is compromised by a central conflict of interest.”
Editor’s Comment and Analysis: There have been so many questions and misconceptions about TILA that I thought it would be a good thing to summarize some aspects of it, how it is used in forensic examination and the limitations of TILA. Note that the absence of a prohibition in TILA or the apparent expiration of TILA does not block common law actions based upon the same facts and some states have more liberal statutes of limitations. TILA is a federal law called the Truth in Lending Act. It’s principal purpose according to all accounts and seminars given on the subject is to provide the borrower with a clear choice of lenders with whom he/she wants to do business and clear terms for comparison of terms offered by each lender. It is also designed to smoke out undisclosed parties who are receiving compensation and it has real teeth in clawing back such undisclosed compensation.
Undisclosed compensation is very broadly defined in TILA so it is fairly easy to apply to anyone who made money resulting from the purported loan transaction, and the clawback might include treble damages, attorneys fees and other relief. Note that rescission does NOT mean you must offer up the house (“give it back”) to the lender. The lender, if there was one, gave you money not a house. rescission is a reversal of that transaction which means you must tender (according to the 9th Circuit) money in exchange for cancellation of the transaction. If you follow the rules, a TILA rescission eliminates the note and mortgage by operation of law, so while you have the right to demand and sue for return of the note as paid and satisfaction of the mortgage (release and reconveyance in some states). Unless the “lender” files a Declaratory action (lawsuit) within 20 days of your demand for rescission, the security is gone and can be eliminated in bankruptcy.
Use of the rescission remedy can be employed in bankruptcy actions as well where the Judge has wide discretion as to what constitutes “tender” (including a payment plan). Some Judges have interpreted the statute as it si written which does not require tender. The 9th Circuit disagrees.
As to the statute of limitations, it simply does not apply if the “lender” has intentionally mislead the borrower, committed fraud or otherwise withheld information that is deemed fundamental to the disclosures required by TILA. This is the most common error committed by borrowers and their attorneys. In most cases the table funded loan is “predatory per se” and gives you a leg up on the allegation of fraud or misrepresentation at closing.
Fraud may be fraud in the inducement (they told you that even though your payments would reset to an amount higher than your household income has ever been, you would be refinanced, get even more money and be able to fund the payments through additional equity in the house).
Fraud may be in the execution where you signed papers that you didn’t realize was not the deal you were offered or which contained provisions that were just plain wrong. If you thought that you were getting a loan from BNC and the loan was in fact funded by another entity unrelated and undisclosed, then your legal obligation to repay the money naturally goes back to the the third party. But the presence of the third party indicates a table funded loan, which is predatory per se; and the terms of repayment are different from what was offered or what was agreed to by the lender acting through the investment banker that was creating (but not necessarily using) REMICs or trusts. In plain words the mortgage bond and the prospectus, PSA and other securitization are at substantial variance from what was put on the note, including the name of the payee on the note and the name put on the security instrument (Mortgage or deed of trust).
The office of the controller has published a series of papers describing the meaning and intent of TILA and to whom it applies, even pre Dodd-Frank.
For example, it describes “Conditions Under Which Loan Originators Are Regulated as Loan Underwriters.” Thus the use of a strawman is expressly referred to in the OCC papers (see below) and there are specific indicia of whether an entity is in fact a loan underwriter, which is the basis for my continual statement that a loan originator is not a lender (pretender lender) and the very presence of a loan originator on the paperwork is a violation of TILA tolling any state of limitations.
If the loan originator is not a bank or savings and loan or credit union, then the highest probability is that the name on the note and the name on the mortgage is wrong. They didn’t loan the money. Your signature was procured by both fraud in the inducement and fraud in the execution, because it was predicated upon that payee giving a loan of money. “Arranging” the loan from a third party doesn’t count as being a lender. It counts as being a licensed broker or the more vague term of loan “originator.” The arguments of the banks and servicers to the contrary are completely wrong and bogus.If they were right, for purposes of collection and foreclosure that the origination documents were enforceable then that would mean that there would be a window immediately following closing where you could not actually rescind or even pay off the obligation because the originator has no right, justification,, power or excuse to execute a release and reconveyance. The loan already belonged to someone else and the paperwork was defective, which is why investors are suing the investment bankers alleging principally that they were victims of fraud: they were lied to about what was in the REMIC, lied to about what was going into the REMIC, and then even the claimed paperwork on defaulted and other loans were not properly assigned because they never started with the actual owner of the obligation.
Thus the theory put forward by banks and servicers and other parties in the foreclosure scheme that the origination documents are enforceable falls flat on its face. Those documents, taken on their face were never supported by actual consideration from the named parties. If the investment banks weren’t playing around with investment money deposited with them by managed investment funds, the name of the REMIC or group of investors would be on the origination documents.
In the case where the originator is a bank, one must look more closely at the transaction to see if they ever booked the loan as a loan receivable or if they booked the transaction as a fee for services to the investment bank. This is true even where mega banks appear to be the originators but were not the underwriters of the loan.
If you are looking for the characteristics of a loan underwriter, versus a loan originator the OCC paper provides a list. In the case of banks the presence of some of these characteristics may be irrelevant in the subject transaction if they treated the “securitized” loan differently through different departments than their normal underwriting process. There such a bank would appear to be a loan underwriter, but when you scratch the surface, you can easily see how the bank was merely posing as the lender and was no better than the small-cap originators that sprung up across the country who were used to provide the mega banks with cover and claims to plausible deniability as to the existence of malfeasance at the so-called closing:
- Risk Management Officers in Senior Management: In the case of small cap originators it would be rare to find anyone that even had the title much less acted like a risk management officer. In the case of banks, the presence in the bank of such an officer does not mean that he or she was involved in the transaction. They probably were not.
- Verification of employment: There are resources on the internet that enable the bank to check the likelihood of employment, as well as the usual checking for pay stubs and calling the employer. In a matter of moments they can tell you if a person who cleans homes for a living is likely to have an income of $15,000 per month. Common sense plays a part in this as well. This was entirely omitted in most loans as shown by operation “hustle” and other similar named projects emphasized that to retain employment and get out-sized bonuses far above previous salaries the originator employee must close the loan, no matter what — which led to changing the applications to say whatever they needed to say, often without the borrower even knowing about the changes or told “not to worry about it” even though the information was wrong.
- Employment conforms to income stated. See above. I have seen cases where a massage therapist making $500 per month was given a seven figure loan based upon projected income from speculative investment that turned out to be a scam. She lost two fully paid for homes in that scam. If normal underwriting standards had been employed she would not have been approved for the loan, the scam would never have damaged her and she would still be a wealthy woman.
- Verification of value of collateral. Note that this is a responsibility of the lender, not the borrower. Quite the reverse, the borrower is relying reasonably that the appraisal was right because the bank verified it. In fact, the appraiser was paid extra and given explicit instructions to arrive at an appraised value above the amount required, usually by $20,000. By enlarging the apparent value of the collateral, the originators were able to satisfy the insatiable demand from Wall Street for either more loans or more money loaned on property. In 1996 when they ran out of borrowers, they simply took the existing population of borrowers and over-appraised their homes in refinancing that took place sometimes within 3 months of the last loan at 20% or more increase in the appraisal. That was plainly against industry standards for appraisals and obvious to anyone with common sense that the value could never have been verified. If you look at companies like Quicken Loans you will see on some settlements that they were not content to get overpaid for originating bad loans, they even took a piece of the appraisal fee.
- Verification of LTV ratios. Once the appraisals were falsified it was easy to make the loan look good. LTV often showed as 20% equity when in fact the value, as could be seen in some cases weeks after the closing was 20% or more lower than the the amount loaned. Many buyers immediately lost their down payment as soon as they thought the deal was complete (it wasn’t really complete as explained above). Because of the false appraisal, at the moment of closing their down payment was devalued to zero and they owed more money than the home was actually worth in real fair market value terms. Normal industry practice is to have a committee that goes through each loan verifying LTV because it is the only real protection in the event of default. In most cases involving loans later subject to claims of securitization, the committee did not exist or did not review the loan, the verification never happened and the only thing the originator was interested in was closing the loan because the compensation of the originator and their own salary and bonuses were based purely on the number or amount of “closed” loans.
- Verification of credit-worthiness of buyers. This is an area where many games were played. Besides the verification process described above, the originator was able to receive a yield spread premium that was not disclosed to the borrower and the investment bank that “sold” the loan was able to obtain an even larger yield spread premium that was not disclosed to the borrower. It is these fees that I believe are subject to clawback under TILA and RESPA. In the Deny and Discover strategy that I have been pushing, once the order is entered requiring the forecloser to produce the entire accounting from all parties associated with the loan, the foreclosure collapses and a settlement is reached. This can often be accomplished in a less adversarial action in Chapter 11.
- Verification of income and/or viability of loan for the life of the loan. This has a huge impact on the GFE (Good faith estimate) especially in adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and negative amortization mortgage loans (teaser rates). Plainly stated the question is whether the borrower would qualify for the loan based upon current income for when the loan resets. If the answer is no, which it usually is, then the life of the loan is a fabricated figure. Instead of it being a 30 year loan, the loan becomes much shorter reduced to the moment of reset of the payments, and all the costs and points charged for the loan must be amortized over the REAL LIFE of the loan. In such cases the “lender” is required to return all the interest, principal and other payments and other compensation received from all parties, possibly with treble damages and attorney fees. It’s pretty easy to prove as well. Most people think they can’t use this provision because of misstatements on the application. The obligation to verify the statements on the application is on the underwriter not the customer. And the law was written that way to cover just such a situation as this. If you paid 3 points to close and it was added to your loan or you paid in cash those points would substantially raise your effective APR or even stated interest rate if the loan life was reduced to two years. In many cases it would rise the level of usury, where state law provides for that.
- Vendor management: This is where even before Dodd-Frank you could catch them in the basket of allegations. The true management of the vendors lay not with the originator but with the investment banker who was selling mortgage bonds. This alone verified that the party on the note and named on the mortgage was an originator (strawman) and not an underwriter. And the accounting that everyone asks for should include a demand for an accounting from the investment banker and its affiliates who acted as Master Servicer, Trustee of a “pool,” etc.
- Compliance programs and audits: Nonexistent in originators and the presence of such procedures and employees is not proof that they were part of the process. Discovery will reveal that they were taken out of the loop on loans that were later claimed to be subject to claims of securitization.
- Effective Communication Systems and Controls: The only communication used was email or uploading of flat files to a server operated or controlled by the investment banker, containing bare bones facts about he loan, absent copies of any of the loan closing documents. This is how the investment bankers were able to claim ownership of the loans for purposes of foreclosure, bailouts, insurance, and credit default swaps when the real loss was incurred by the investors and the homeowners.
- Document Management: I need not elaborate, after the robo-signing, surrogate-signing, fabrication and forgeries that are well documented and even institutionalized as custom and practice in the industry. The documents were lost, destroyed, altered, fabricated and re-fabricated, forged in vain attempts to make them conform to the transaction that is alleged in foreclosures, but which never occurred. The borrowers and their lawyers are often fooled by this trick. They know the money was received, so their assumption was that the originator gave them the loan. This was not the case, In nearly all cases the loan was table funded — i.e., funded by an undisclosed principal access to whom was prohibited and withheld by the servicer, the originator and everyone else. AND remember that under Dodd-Frank the time limits for response to a RESPA 6 (QWR) inquiry have been reduced to 5 days and 30 days from 20 days and 60 days respectively.
- Submission of periodic information to appropriate regulatory agencies that regulate Banks or lenders: If the originator did not report to a regulatory agency, then it wasn’t a lender. If it did report to regulatory agencies the question is whether they ever included in any of their reports information about your loan. In most cases, the information about your loan was either omitted or falsified.
- Compliance with anti-fraud provisions on Federal and State levels: This characteristic would be laughable if wasn’t for the horrible toll taken upon millions of homeowners and tens of millions of people who suffered unemployment, reduced employment and loss of their retirement funds.
- In house audits to assess exposure for financial loss through litigation, fraud, theft, loss business and wasted capital from failed strategic initiatives: The simple answer is that such audits were and remain virtually non-existent. Even the so-called foreclosure review process is breaking all the rules. But it wouldn’t hurt to ask, in discovery, for a copy of the plan of the audit and the results. The fact is that most banks involved in the PONZI scheme that was called “Securitization” are still not reporting accurately, still reporting non-existing or overvalued assets and still not reporting liabilities in litigation that are even close to reality.
See the rest of the OCC Paper:
Filed under: bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, Eviction, foreclosure, GTC | Honor, Investor, Mortgage, securities fraud Tagged: | Deny and Discover, GFE, good faith estimate, OCC White Paper, RESPA, Tenant Protection, TILA, TILA Summary, truth in lending