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This case allows the jury to hear claims against OneWest for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, concealment, promissory estoppel, negligence, wrongful foreclosure, and violation of CA Business and Professional Code.
Here is an example of the obvious: a Judge takes no risk in denying a motion for summary judgment. It is only when the Judge grants summary judgment that there is a risk of reversal. With the current judicial climate changing in favor of borrowers, [including findings that the mortgage was absolutely void (invalid, non-perfected) where a sham nominee like MERS was used], Judges should take note that they are better off getting in front of the new trend and allow borrowers’ claims to be heard in a fair manner, observing the requirements of due process.
If the Banks collapse because they created 100 million invalid mortgages, that is not a problem for the Judge. And, as I have said many times here, there are 7,000 banks and credit unions that can take up whatever falls out of the mega banks as a result of investors and regulators realizing that the mortgages are void, the assets on bank balance sheets don’t exist or are far overvalued, and the liability section of the bank balance sheet is far understated as a result of damage claims like the one featured in this article.
As noted earlier on these pages, the threshold legal question has been reversed. The question now is what difference does it make if the borrower is in default if the foreclosing party had no right to foreclose? The previous question that I heard hundreds of times from the Judges themselves was incorrect from the beginning. Their question was what difference does it make if the loan was securitized, as long as the borrower is in default? And that is where the dissenting justice in this case also got it wrong. He is still assuming that these loan transactions were in fact consummated as reflected in the alleged loan documents. The underlying assumption of the dissenting judge is obvious: that the loan contracts were fundamentally valid and whatever defects existed could be corrected before or even during foreclosure. NOT TRUE!
Here in this case is an example of how judges are now perceiving the entire loan transaction instead of just the claim of a default. And the result is that this California appellate court decided to let the case go to trial and allow a jury to hear the claims against OneWest, whose behavior was predatory from the start of when they acquired IndyMac business in 2008-2009.
The appellate court reversed the trial judge who had granted Summary Judgment for OneWest — a little plaything organized over a weekend by some of the richest people in the country. On a net basis they paid nothing and made a ton of money off of loss sharing and guarantee payments from the FDIC and and the GSE’s respectively. They also foreclosed on thousands of homes in cases where they had no interest in the loan and no right to foreclose, collect or do anything else with respect to the loan.
The hidden issue here is whether the Judge, having been reversed, will now allow the homeowner’s attorney to probe deep into the dealings of OneWest during discovery. I suspect that the trial judge will allow more liberal discovery after being reversed. And if that happens you might not never hear about this case again — as it joins the tens of thousands of cases that have been settled under seal of confidentiality. Essentially the strategy of the banks is that if they lose, they can always pay off the homeowner to keep the case from being publicized.