Bartram: The Missing Links

Why did the Plaintiff lose in its “standard foreclosure”?

The decision on acceleration is essentially this: If the banks do it, it doesn’t count.

While Bartram didn’t turn out the way we want, there are two paths that nobody is talking about — logistics and res judicata.

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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The Florida Supreme Court decision in Bartram reinforces the absurd — that after losing in trial court, the pretender lender can sue over and over again for “new defaults.” The court has re-written the alleged “loan contract” to mean that a loss in court means that their acceleration of the entire loan becomes de-accelerated, meaning that acceleration is merely an option hanging in the wind that doesn’t really mean anything. The decision might have consequences when the same logic is applied to other actions taken pursuant to contract. The decision on acceleration is essentially this: If the banks do it, it doesn’t count.
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But two things remain outstanding, one of which the court mentioned in its opinion. Why did the Plaintiff lose in its “standard foreclosure”? The issues that were litigated as to the money and/or documentary trail have been litigated and are subject to res judicata. The Plaintiff, if it is the same Plaintiff, is barred from relitigating them.
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If Plaintiff failed to prove ownership of the loan and was using fabricated void assignments and endorsements, the lifting of the statute of limitations should not help them in attempting to bring future litigation. Many other such issues were undoubtedly raised in the original case. The Plaintiff would be forced to argue that while the issues were raised, they were not actually litigated and a judgment was not entered based upon those issues.
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The Florida Supremes took away the Statute of Limitations, up to a point (see below) but gave us the right remedy — res judicata. Even if a new Plaintiff appears, the questions remain as to how the alleged loan papers got to them remain open, as well as whether the paper represented any actual loan contract absent an actual lender.
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And then there are the logistics that I don’t think were considered in its decision. According to the Bartram decision the act of acceleration vanishes if the Plaintiff loses. The statute of limitations does apply for past due payments that are more than 5 years old. That means, starting with the date of the lawsuit (not the demand), you count back 5 years and all payments due before that are barred by the SOL.
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So if a Plaintiff loses the foreclosure, it can bring the action again based upon missed payments that were due within the SOL period. Of course if the Defendant won because the Plaintiff had no right or authority to collect on the DEBT, the action should be barred by res judicata. But putting that issue aside, there are other problems.
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“Servicing” of a designated “loan account” is actually done by multiple IT platforms. The one used for foreclosure comes out of LPS/Black Knight in Jacksonville, Florida. This is the entity that  fabricates documents and business records for foreclosure. It is not the the actual system used for servicing that deals in reality with the alleged borrower and accepts payments and posts them. It is incomplete. This system intentionally does not have all the documents and all the “business records” relating to the loan. For example there is no document or report that shows who was and probably still is receiving payments as though the loan were performing perfectly.
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The decision on when and if to foreclose is always performed by LPS/Black Knight in order to prevent multiple servicers, trustees, banks and “lenders” from suing on the same loan, which has happened in the past. LPS assigns the loan to a specific party who is then named by Plaintiff. And LPS creates all the fabricated paperwork to make it look like that party is the right Plaintiff and that the business records produced by LPS can be presented as the business records of the party whose name was rented for the purpose of foreclosure. It is LPS documents that are produced in court, not the records of the named Plaintiff.
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So here is a sample simple scenario that will illustrate the logistical problem created by the Florida Supremes: LPS issues a notice of default letter naming the claimant as XYZ, as trustee for XYZ series 2006-19B Pass Through Trust Certificates. Previously XYZ lost the foreclosure action by failing to prove that it had any relationship with the loan. The Notice of Default and right to reinstate issued by LPS on behalf of XYZ must be for payment that was within the SOL. This action of course waives the payments, fees etc that are barred by the SOL. It also assumes that the date of the letter AND THE LAWSUIT will be within the SOL period. So for example, if the last payment was on December 1, 2006 and the letter refers to a missed payment starting with January 1, 2012, the letter is proper. But if suit is not commenced until January 2, 2017, the letter is defective and the lawsuit is barred by the SOL. Further the doctrine of res judicata bars any cause of action that was litigated previously.
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All of this leads to a court determination of what issues were previously raised, when they were raised and whether the Final Judgment in favor of the homeowner means anything.

One Response

  1. For Neil,
    Restatement(Third) of Property(Mortgages) 8.1

    8.1 Accrual of the Right to Foreclose – Acceleration
    Who has the right to foreclose ? The Lender, not an Assignee.
    Acceleration is a condition precedent.

    In N.J.: “30 New Jersey Practice Series 23.8,” Grounds for
    acceleration; who may accelerate.
    2015-2016 Supplement, Pages 59-60 ***

    All states have(?) have their “Law of Mortgages.”

    Like the “Notice of Intent to Foreclose,” a Notice of Acceleration by the Lender, not the Assignee(if accelerated).

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