Counsel’s Authority to Represent

The stakes couldn’t be higher. If counsel has been directed by a third party to use the name of a specific entity, acting as Trustee for an alleged trust, and has no  contact or information from the Trust or the Trustee, then on what authority does counsel represent the Trust? Remember there must be some document FROM THE TRUST through the only party with the right to administer the Trust (i.e., the supposed Trustee).
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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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In the absence of any real authority to represent a Trust and in the absence of the “Trust” paying for the representation then the ultimate question, described on the pages of my blog for 10 years is whether the Trust exists in the real world, whether it has any assets or business, and whether the attorneys who have propelled millions of foreclosures through the courts have simply been doing the bidding of some third party who will benefit from the foreclosure. The evidence abounds that neither the Trust nor the “investors” in the trust receive one cent of benefit from foreclosure.
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Under such circumstances I have been advising lawyers to file a motion requiring Counsel to show authority to represent. It is particularly indicated when the lawyers say they filed on behalf of one “Trustee” and then later seek to substitute the name of the Plaintiff “Trustee.”
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It’s not just a matter of whether they have a document or letter indicating the attorney or law firm was retained; as we have seen with other U.S. Bank cases that I have written about, there is the question of (a) whether there has been any contact between the law office and the so-called client (b) whether there is a live person who can answer questions about US Bank’s involvement and (c) whether the actual plaintiff is the Master Servicer and not the so-called Trustee, who has no duties, no obligations and merely receives a fee for use of its name for a nonexistent trust that is NOT being administered by the alleged “Trustee’s” trust department.
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Your opposition will keep the focus on U.S. Bank as long as it suits them. But US Bank (or whoever is playing the role of the Trustee) is NOT appearing in its individual capacity. In effect, US Bank is absent. The question is whether the Trust exists and is represented by counsel.
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This is a tough battle with few victories resulting in sanctions against US Bank and their lawyers. But it is worth fighting. It could break the back of the banks and servicers.
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Bar Associations that enforce rules against lawyers have been lax in their inquiries abut foreclosure mill lawyers while piling onto lawyers who do foreclosure defense by tainting them with the appearance of impropriety and even illegal acts that should apply not to lawyers but to non-lawyers offering unlicensed services. The MARS rule is being used by Bar associations against lawyers who have been merely practicing law while the Bar is accusing them of offering a foreclosure rescue scam.
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The trail of broker chains and promises makes it nearly impossible but not actually impossible to pin down the authority of counsel to bring a foreclosure in the name of “beneficiary” or successor mortgagee or successor trustee on deeds of trust.
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Remember the actual LaSalle Bank model. LaSalle is named as trustee in the “trust documents” that specifically describe how a new trustee could succeed LaSalle. Christiania Bank is also usually named with vague descriptions of why there are two trustees. Then LaSalle is “acquired” in a “reverse merger” with ABN AMRO.
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Thus LaSalle is not owned by ABN AMRO but ABN AMRO owns most of the stock of LaSalle. A reverse merger is a transaction where it looks like an acquisition by LASalle but LaSalle is issuing so much of LaSalle Stock to the owners of ABN AMRO that the owners of ABN AMRO end up owning ABN AMRO and a controlling interest in LaSalle.
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Then there are two interesting and conflicting “mergers” or “acquisitions.”
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Following the chain above, CitiMortgage acquires ABN AMRO, presumably buying the shares of ABN AMRO from the controlling investors in ABN AMRO. While a lay person would assume that CitiMortgage acquired LaSalle in this merger or acquisition, it is far from clear what Citi bought and what was sold in that transaction.
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But you also have a merger between Bank of America and LaSalle Bank, thus completely obscuring the proverbial “who’s on first”.
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And finally you have the “sale” of the Trustee position (contrary to the terms of the so-called “Trust instrument” (usually the Pooling and servicing Agreement) from BOA to US Bank. I remain highly doubtful that such a sale is legally possible. I don’t think the position of “Trustee” is a salable commodity any more than the position parent can be bought and sold on exchanges. The Trustor’s restrictions cannot be altered, changed, amended or modified without, at a minimum, notice to the beneficiaries and their consent. I doubt if any investors was given notice of the changes in the structure of the orbital nature of the administration of the Trust.

10 Responses

  1. I had this situation as a renter, when Wells Fargo illegally foreclosed on my home with a 5 year lease which under Federal law then and CA state law they must honor. They tried for 3 years to kick me out illegally. We asked for the PMK to prove it was Wells Fargo, and all they have ever given us was OCWEN.

    They changed firms when Les Zieve agreed to allow me to depose their PMK, under threat of sanctions. I asked ‘Who signed the substitute of atrorney”. They could not tell my attorney and we had to get it in Discovery. The Wells Fargo (supposedly) attorney represented verbally the man who signed the substitute worked for Wells Fargo–but I found him easily at OCWEN with Google.

    When they finally deposed me, I brought up my previous winning case vs US Bank (Ragland V US Bank), the chain of broken title including LINDA GREEN (who OCWEN denied knowing about… yeah right), and we asked how OCWEN had authority to represent Wells Fargo. They claim a Power of Attorney so we did Discovery on the original.

    But then we went further — we requested via Discovery:
    1) The tax return for the named supposed trust showing it is still reporting income
    2) Proof the house was actually placed into the supposed trust

    With the tax return you can find out if there is really a client or not.

    And it gets better. If the assignment did not take place within 90 days, under the IRS rules they FORFEIT 100% of the income!! Therefore if they are reporting income you can report that to the IRS.

    Just sayin… after fighting banks for 10 years I am tired of that crap.

    BTW as a now renter I was perfectly happy to expose their fraud in my UD (eviction) case. They made a lame settlement offer which I did not accept — and withdrew my case anyway.

    But — I also learned in their depo they have no process in CA to follow the law in 60% of foreclosures. This is not sealed.

    Anyway – some ideas.

  2. Reblogged this on California freelance paralegal and commented:
    I know from my own personal experience that this is an important issue as I have also encountered the issue of whether a particular attorney or law firm has the authority to represent the opposing party in everyday civil litigation cases that I have worked on as well as foreclosure defense cases.

  3. lets tell the congress and president trump about the corrupt courts and judges. We have nothing to lose . I been fighting 11 years still in my house , papers stack to ceilings 3 appeals judge told lawyers to lie on final decree of foreclose and did . They sold my house nobody ,they gave it away for free to deutchse bank . the judge has never seen a title , note, mortgage , witness, and there has been no hearing in six years , they issued a new deed to bank, I have not seen who signed it . I will file a federal complaint. the mortgage was 80,000.00 Ocwen sent me a pay off letter of 236, 000.00 the house tax value is now only 60,000.00 it is unbelieveable 8 different law firms 12 different lawyers the worse criminals I have ever seen in my life is a judge.

  4. I have been trying to figure out the correct way to request (demand) proof of representation in exactly this situation. We are close to completing the discovery process and all documents, answers to interrogatories and apparently admissions have come from the sub-servicer and / or attorneys themselves. I was told that there is no way a law firm would provide any proof of representation. Is rule 11 the appropriate rule to file a motion under (also, does this motion require me to confer or send prior to filing?)

  5. I have an ongoing litigation against Wells Fargo and Bank of America,in California thanks for sharing this information. I informed my counsel also I will file an inquire with the Bar. Only an employee from Wells Fargo responding the Complaint for Wells Fargo and Bank of America in top of it both banks are representing by the same counsel, to me it creates conflict of interest plain and simple.

  6. Neil,

    Do you have any attorneys that you can recommend in Louisiana? There is a law firm here that represents itself to be the ONLY firm in the state that aggressively pursues mortgage fraud/foreclosure fraud claims….after meeting with a bunch of others, I met with that firm. That firm actually stated to me that I had sufficient evidence that the court in my case had done me wrong, violating the code of judicial conduct and code of civil procedure, and so on. But here’s the kicker–then they told me that they WILL NOT fight that out for me, that even though they did me wrong and broke laws, that it was best for me not to pursue it. When I pushed as to why, I was told that they do not want to pursue it because they will presumably have to appear in that same judge’s court, and possibly have to work with/against the same opposing counsel, somewhere in the future, and they were not interested in fighting this out because they did not want to make their future work harder. Really? Shame on me, I was under the impression that when an attorney wants my money to represent ME, their job was to represent ME and not their own interests in that process.

    I had a hearing last week. The judge allowed me to state objections, but ignored 100% of what was said. When I brought up multiple evidences showing that the “plaintiff” had zero standing and was not even before the court, the judge literally just overruled me. I brought copies of documents for all parties and the judge…..those documents came back home with me because I was not permitted to provide them to anyone. I had evidence on the plaintiff’s own letterhead of several different “owners”. I was under the impression that standing can be challenged at any point in the litigation, even for the first time on appeal…..but when I challenged standing, the court did not even ask the plaintiff’s attorney to comment on my statements…it was just “overruled”. I suspect that this judge is pissed because I got the previous judge recused….I know she is, because she attempted to undo that recusal, commenting at the last hearing date in open court that she was going to speak to that judge because she believed that there were no valid grounds for recusal. Had already planned on the appeals process, but this is beyond disgusting.

  7. Here in California, so-called “judges” routinely ignore any requests by motion or otherwise, to require proof of representation for these phony entities (no legal services agreements at all) who are engaged by the criminal “servicers” burning the candle from both ends. We have not had a case yet, otherwise. Attorneys claim to represent entities that do not exist; never appear; and were never sued and the judges just pass any claims over as meaningless. Lawyers never lie, do they…

    I’ve been pressing this issue in my own Fed. case now before the 9th Circus after the trial court judge just accepts the lying lawyers’ BS that the non-existent entity they claim to represent is the “proper party” even though not named as a defendant; and the second law firm that claimed to represent another entity that did not exist or was never sued never defaulted either until this lying lawyer 10-months into the litigation suddenly contacted the entity we did sue and now claims to represent them and all the papers filed should be renamed to reflect same. A clear Rule 11 violation once again ignored by the “court.” This is SOP.

  8. You continue to prove that academia gets it, but lawyers – will not take care of the bad business out there . Evident by this crisis, and the fact that in my case – again you hit it on the head. but my zombie debt collector the 9th zombie in over 12 y has lost pllc … which means doent exist and has no debt bond yet … lawyers gotta eat too, just not me. Im Still here . Can you imagine how much money i would have had to spend to even show up to these terrorists for 12 y. There is no consumer law. No help. legal aid is way infantile here – and too busy and. no one cares to put together the dots that have ripped our nation apart again, and ruined my life these last 12 yrs. It consumes me but they wont.

  9. Dear Nadia,
    The attorneys we refer to in California include:
    1. Charles Marshall in San Diego at cmarshall@marshallestatelaw.com
    Phone 619.807.2628
    2. Patricia Rodriguez in Los Angeles at http://www.attorneyprod.com/
    3. Stephen Lopez in San Diego at http://sflopesq.com/contact-us.html
    Thank you and we wish you the best!
    The Lending Lies Team
    info@lendinglies.com

  10. how can I donate by phone, cause it did not go thru other way! can you find me decent lawyer for my wrongful foreclosure for the house, in 2801 Hawthorne Ave., Bakersfield CA93305

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