1sT Appellate District US Bank v Naifeh: “… we conclude that a borrower may rescind the loan transaction under TILA without filing a lawsuit, but when the rescission is challenged in litigation, the court has authority to decide whether the rescission notice is timely and whether the the procedure set forth in the TILA (sic) should be modified in light of the facts and circumstances of the case.”
The jig was up when the Jesinoski decision was rendered — courts cannot re-write the statute, although they can consider minor changes in procedure whose purpose is to comply with the statute, not ignore. it.
HE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
In a carefully worded opinion at least one appellate court seems to be moving closer to the view I have expressed here on these pages. But they still left some simple propositions unclear.
It remains my opinion that a recorded rescission forces those who would challenge it to file suit to remove the rescission from the title record. In that suit they would need to plead and prove standing — without using the note or mortgage to do it because rescission renders them void at the moment the letter of rescission is mailed..
- The decision clearly says that for the rescission to be effective (deriving its authority from 15 USC §1635 and the unanimous SCOTUS decision in Jesinoski v Countrywide), the borrower need NOT file suit. That means it is effective when mailed (NOT FILED) just as the statute says and just as the late Justice Scalia penned in the Jesinoski case.
- The decision anticipates a challenge to rescission — which in and of itself is recognition that the rescission IS effective and that something must be done about it.
- But the court does not clarify what is meant when it said “when the rescission is challenged in litigation.” Clearly the decision stands for the proposition that the rescission stands as effective unless challenged in litigation. The unanswered question is ‘what form of litigation?’
- If we apply ordinary rules of procedure, then the decision dovetails with my opinions, the statute and the US Supreme Court decision. The rescission is effective when mailed. So the “challenge” must be “in litigation.” But whether that means a lawsuit to vacate or a motion challenging the rescission is unclear. A “motion challenging the rescission” is problematic if it does not set forth the standing of the party making the challenge and if it does not set forth the plain facts that the rescission, under law, is already effective but should be vacated, then it is trying to get the court to arrive at the position that the rescission can be ignored even if it is recorded (a condition not addressed in the opinion).
- The claimant challenging the rescission must state a cause of action, if the rescission is recorded, that is in essence a quiet title claim that needs to be framed as an original complaint in a lawsuit. So far the banks have been successful in getting trial judges to IGNORE the rescission rather than remove it as an effective instrument, whether recorded or not. This only compounds title problems already present.
- The procedural oddity here is that in foreclosure litigation the court might conclude (erroneously in my opinion) that the beneficiary under the deed of trust had standing to substitute trustee, standing to to have the trustee record a notice of default, and standing to record a notice of sale.
- BUT once the rescission is effective, there is absolutely no foundation for a claim of standing based upon the void note, the void mortgage and the consequential void assignments, which even if they were not otherwise void, are void now because the assignment is purporting to transfer something that no longer exists.
- Standing vanishes if it is dependent upon presumptions applied from the assignment, endorsement and other attributes wherein false statements are made concerning purchase and sale of the note or mortgage. The note and mortgage are void the moment the rescission is mailed. No reliance on the mortgage, note or any transfer of same can constitute standing, since those documents, as a matter of law, no longer exist.
- Hence STANDING TO CHALLENGE RESCISSION must logically be dependent upon the ability of the challenger to affirmatively plead that they own the debt or obligation and to prove it at a hearing in which evidence is produced. This is the holy grail of foreclosure defense. We know that 99% of the foreclosers do NOT qualify as owners of the actual debt or obligation. They are traveling on legal presumptions as alleged “holders” etc. under the UCC. If the note and mortgage don’t exist then the status of holder is nonexistent and irrelevant.
- This court further leaves us in a gray area when it correctly reads that portion of the statute giving the court authority to consider the options, procedurally, but incorrectly states that one of those options is that a Federal Statute that preempts state law could be “modified in light of the facts and circumstances. This is NOT contained in either the statute or the Jesinoski decision. This court is putting far too much weight on the provision of the statute that allows for a petition to the court at which the court could change some of the procedural steps in complying with rescission, and possibly by implication allowing for a challenge to the rescission in order to vacate the legal effectiveness of the rescission.
- ANY DECISION ON “PROCEDURE” THAT NULLIFIES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE RESCISSION WHEN MAILED IS ERRONEOUS. Any such decision would effectively be eviscerating the entire statute and the opinion of the US Supreme Court. The simple rule of thumb here (heuristic reasoning) is that the rescission is and always will have been effective when mailed. The parts of the statute that deal with procedure can only be related to a party who claims to be the creditor (owner of the debt or obligation) who intends to comply.
- Since tender is expressly excluded in the statute and the Jesinoski decision, the change can not require the borrower to tender money — especially when the statute says that no such demand need be considered by the borrower until there is full compliance with the rescission — return of canceled note, release of encumbrance and payment to the borrower of all money ever paid by the borrower for principal, interest, insurance, taxes, and fees.
- Hence the changes are limited perhaps granting additional time, or maybe even to credits against what might be due from the homeowner but even that looks like a stretch. The committee notes and subsequent decisions clearly state that the intent of Congress was to prevent any bank from stonewalling the effectiveness of a rescission, which is what judges have been doing despite the Jesinoski decision and the clear wording of the statute.
- And this is how we know that the challenge, if brought, must be within the 20 days available for the creditor, “lender” etc to comply with the rescission. Any other interpretation would mean that the rescission was NOT effective upon mailing and would also mean that the owner of the property cannot get a substitute mortgage to pay off any legitimate claim from a true creditor. Such interpretations, while apparently attractive to bank lawyers and judges, are directly contrary to the express wording of the statute and directly contrary tot he express wording of the Jesinoski decision, decided unanimously by SCOTUS. Hence ANY CHALLENGE outside the 20 days is barred by the statute. Just like any action to enforce the TILA duties against the “lender” must be brought within one year of the mailing and receipt of the rescission.
- The failure of either the “lender” to comply or the borrower to enforce simply means that after one year, the rescission is still effective (meaning the note and mortgage are void) the claim for enforcement of the duties of the lender is extinguished, and the financial claim of the lender is extinguished. Hence, the infamous free house — not caused by sneaky borrowers but caused instead of malfeasant banks who continue to use their influence to get judges to re-write the law.
- But regardless of how one looks at this decision, the Jesinoski decision or the statute one thing is perfectly clear — vacating the rescission is strictly dependent upon timely filing of a challenge in litigation and a hearing on evidence, because the legal presumptions used in determining standing are no longer available in the absence of the the note or mortgage, which were irretrievably rendered void upon mailing of the rescission.
The banks and servicers have so far been successful in pulling the wool over judges eyes, perhaps because judges have long disliked TILA and especially TILA rescission. The jig was up when the Jesinoski decision was rendered — courts cannot re-write the statute, although they can consider minor changes in procedure whose purpose is to comply with the statute, not ignore. it.
Filed under: foreclosure | Tagged: 15 USC §1635, borrower, California 4th DCA, disclosure, foreclosure defense, foreclosure offense, fraud, identity of the creditor, jesinoski, Naifah, procedure, rescission, securitization, US BANK, void mortgage, void note |