Ocwen Admission Confounds Judges and Experts

This is a blatant attempt at deception  — a deceit without which none of the Trusts would be recognized as legal entities much less the owner of loans. Ocwen is admitting that there is no single owner of the loan it is allegedly “servicing.” “There is no single owner of the account, but rather the account is one of many in a securitized investment trust.”

For the uninitiated, this statement might suffice or at least be threatening enough as a challenge to their experience and intelligence to direct them away from the central false assertion that the trusts own any loan. They don’t.

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see Ocwen Responsive Letter – CFPB – 11-03-2017

In this real live case, Ocwen is fulfilling its job that includes obfuscation as one of its paramount duties. After first “answering” the CFPB requests with obfuscation it then states “The ownership status of the account is based upon our review of our records as of the date of this letter.” It doesn’t say that the information is correct or even believed to be correct. It doesn’t say they performed due diligence to determine whether a true chain of ownership exists, combing the various records of “predecessors.”

Nor is there a statement that Ocwen is authorized to service the account. It simply says that it IS servicing the account. And of course then they do not assert the basis of their authority since they never asserted their authority. It is implied. It is assumed. In court, it might well be presumed by the court, the foreclosure mill attorney and even by the borrower and the borrower’s attorney. This is one of the errors that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. An attack on what is missing instead of trying to dodge what is there would result in far more victories for homeowners.

The attorney’s client is Ocwen. Ocwen is impliedly asserting authority to service but can’t show it. In one recent case of mine, they came in with a Power of Attorney signed by someone who purportedly executed the instrument on behalf of Chase. The problem was that Chase was never mentioned before in any pleading, documents or testimony. The POA was false.

Back to ownership: “there is no single owner” implies that there are many owners. There are several problems with that assertion or implication that involve outright lying. Ocwen is saying that the loan is in a securitized investment trust which certainly would imply that the loan is not in transit nor is it owned by more than one trust.

Further if the reference (omitted) is to investors, that too is a lie in most cases. The certificate indenture usually contains the express statement that the holder of the certificate receives no right, title or interest to the debt, note or mortgage in “underlying” loans (which have never been acquired by the trust anyway).

So what are we left with? No single owner which means that the securitized investment trust doesn’t own it because that is one single entity. Multiple owners does not refer to investors because the express provisions on their certificates say they have no ownership of the debt, note or mortgage in the alleged loan.

The counterintuitive answer is that the bank’s are saying there is no owner. But there is an owner. It is a group of investors whose money was used to fund or acquire the loan. This was not done through any trust, as they intended and as was required by the “securitization” documents. If that was the case then the trust would have been named as lender or as holder in due course. That never happened.

But the holders of worthless securities can claim an equitable interest in the loan and perhaps even the collateral. In order to establish that interest the investors must go to a court of competent jurisdiction. But in order to do that the investors must know about the specific loan transaction(s), which they don’t. The fact that they don’t know about it and can’t exercise their rights does not mean that legally, anyone can intervene and assert ownership rights.

Ten years ago I said get rid of the current servicers and stick a government agency in as intermediary so that investors, as real parties in interest and borrowers as real parties in interest could do what the lending industry normally does best — work this out so that nobody loses everything and nobody gets a windfall. This could have all been over years ago and the impact on the economy would have been a powerful stimulus leaving no inherent weakness in our economy or our currency.

Unfortunately the courts strayed from making legal decisions and instead made a political decision to save the banking industry at the expense of homeowners.




Wells Fargo, Ocwen and Fake REMIC Trust Crash on Standing

What is surprising about this case is that there was any appeal. The trial court had no choice but to dismiss the foreclosure claim.

  1. A copy of the note without an indorsement was attached to the complaint. This leads to the presumption that the indorsement was attached after the complaint was filed. Standing must be proven to ex isa at the time the suit was filed.
  2. The robo-witness could have testified as to the date the indorsement was affixed but he said he didn’t know.
  3. The robo-witness was unable to testify that the default letter had been sent.
  4. It didn’t help that the foreclosure case had been brought before by two different parties and then dismissed.
  5. Attorneys attempted to admit into evidence an unsigned Pooling and Servicing Agreement that could not be authenticated and was merely “a copy of a printout obtained from the SEC website”. This is an example of how court’s are rejecting the SEC website as a government document subject to judicial notice or even introduction into evidence without competent testimony providing the foundation for introducing the PSA for a fake trust.
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see Wells Fargo, as trustee v Madl

Note that the style of the case shows that Wells Fargo was never the Plaintiff. The purported or implied trust was the named Plaintiff. But as Wells Fargo explained in its own article, the Trust is not the Plaintiff and neither are the certificate holders the Plaintiff because their certificates most often expressly state that the holder of the certificate does NOT have any right, title or interest in the “underlying” loans.

In fact if you read it carefully you will see that no trust is actually named or mentioned. AND the failure of the “trust instrument” (the PSA) shows that the trust was never created and never existed. An unsigned, incomplete document downloaded from a site (SEC.gov) that anyone can access to upload documents is not evidence.

Financial Industry Caught with Its Hand in the Cookie Jar

Like the infamous NINJA loans, the REMICs ought to be dubbed NEITs — nonexistent inactive trusts.

The idea of switching lenders without permission of the borrower has been accepted for centuries. But the idea of switching borrowers without permission of the “lender” had never been accepted until the era of false claims of securitization.

This is just one example of how securitization, in practice, has gone far off the rails. It is significant to students of securitization because it demonstrates how the debt, note and mortgage have been separated with each being a commodity to sell to multiple buyers.

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see https://asreport.americanbanker.com/news/new-risk-for-loan-investors-lending-to-a-different-company

Leveraged loan investors are now concerned about whether they are funding a loan to one entity and then “by succession” ending up with another borrower with a different credit profile, reputation, etc. You can’t make this stuff up. This is only possible because the debt has been separated from the promissory note — the same way the debt, note and mortgage were treated as entirely separate commodities in the “securitization” of residential mortgage debt. The lack of connection between the paper and the debt has allowed borrowers to sell or transfer their position as borrower to another borrower leaving the “lender” holding a debt from a new borrower. This sounds crazy but it is nevertheless true. [I am NOT suggesting that individual homeowners try this. It won’t work]

Keep in mind that most certificates issued by investment bankers purportedly from nonexistent inactive trusts (call them NEITs instead of REMICs) contain an express provision that states in clear unequivocal language that the holder of the certificate has no right, title or interest to the underlying notes and mortgages. This in effect creates a category of defrauded investors using much the same logic as the use of MERS in which MERS expressly disclaims and right, title or interest in the money (i.e., the debt), or the mortgages that reregistered by third party “members.”

Of course those of us who understand this cloud of smoke and mirrors know that the securitization was never real. The single transaction rule used in tax cases establishes conclusively that the only real parties in interest are the investors and the borrowers. Everyone else is simply an intermediary with no more interest in any transaction than your depository bank has when you write a check on your account. The bank can’t assert ownership of the TV you just paid for. But if you separate the maker of the check from the seller of the goods so that neither knows of the existence of the other then the intermediary is free to make whatever false claims it seeks to make.

In the world of fake securitization or as Adam Levitin has coined it, “Securitization Fail”, the successors did not pay for the debt but did get the paper (note and mortgage or deed of trust). All the real monetary transactions took place outside the orbit of the falsely identified REMIC “Trust.” The debt, by law and custom, has always been considered to arise between Party A and Party B where one of them is the borrower and the other is the one who put the money into the hands of the borrower acting for its own account — or for a disclosed third party lender. In most cases the creditor in that transaction is not named as the lender on the promissory note. Hence the age-old “merger doctrine” does not apply.

This practice allows the sale and resale of the same loan multiple times to multiple parties. This practice is also designed to allow the underwriter to issue investors a promise to pay (the “certificate” from a nonexistent inactive trust entity) that conveys no interest in the underlying mortgages and notes that supposedly are being acquired.

It’s true that equitable and perhaps legal rights to the paper (i.e., ownership) have attached to the paper. But the paper has been severed from the debt. Courts have inappropriately ignored this fact and stuck with the presumption that the paper is the same as the debt. But that would only be true if the named payee or mortgagee (or beneficiary on a Deed of Trust) were one and the same. In the real world, they are not the same. Thus we parties who don’t own the debt foreclosing on houses because the real parties in interest have no idea how to identify the real parties in interest.

While the UCC addresses situations like this Courts have routinely ignored statutory law and simply applied their own “common sense” to a nearly incomprehensible situation. The result is that the courts apply legal presumptions of facts that are wrong.

PRACTICE NOTE: In order to be able to litigate properly one must understand the basics of fake securitization. Without understanding the difference between real world transactions and paper instruments discovery and trial narrative become corrupted and the homeowner loses. But if you keep searching for things that ought to exist but don’t — thus undercutting the foundation for testimony at deposition or trial — then your chances of winning rise geometrically. The fact is, as I said in many interviews and on this blog as far back as 2007, they don’t have the goods — all they have is an illusion — a holographic image of an empty paper bag.

DEUTSCH BANK Memo Reveals Documents and Policies Ripe for Discovery

This completely corroborates what I have been saying for years along with a chorus of lawyers and pro se litigants across the county. It simply is not true that the attorney represents the trust or the trustee. 

This “Advisory” shows that there are documents that are rarely in the limelight and that clarify claims of securitization in practice. Note that the memorandum cited below comes from Deutsch Bank National Trust Company, as trustee and Deutsch Bank Trust Company Americas, as trustee.

These names are often NOT used when foreclosure actions are initiated where the name of the alleged REMIC Trustee is Deutsch Bank. It is important to note that neither of the two trust entities actually have been entrusted with any loans on behalf of any trust. Their name is used, for a fee, as windows dressing.

In this memo, Deutsch is attempting to limit its liability beyond the absence of any duties or trustee powers whose absence is revealed by reading the Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA) which is the alleged Trust instrument.

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See Deutsche Bank Memorandum – July 2008

I have previously published and commented on parts of this memorandum. This is an expansion on my comments. This “advisory” obviously intends to bring alleged servicers back in line because it states in the introductory paragraph that the Trustee respectfully requests that all servicers review the First Servicing Memorandum and adhere to the practices it describes.”

None of this would have been necessary if the servicers were conforming to the directions and restrictions contained in the First Servicing Memorandum. We all know now that they were not conforming to anything or accepting instruction from anyone other than the alleged “Master Servicers” for NEITs (nonexistent  inactive trusts).

In discovery, one should ask for any servicer memoranda that exist including but not limited to the Memorandum to Securitization Loan Servicers dated August 30, 2007 a/k/a the First Servicer Memorandum, and all subsequent correspondence or written directions to servicers including but not limited to this “Advisory Concerning Servicing Issues Affecting Securitized Housing Assets.

Note also the oblique reference to the fact that the cut-off date actually means something.  It states that “typically” the REMICs (actually NEITs) take ownership of loans at the time the securitization trusts are formed. Thus discovery would include questions as to whether or not that occurred and if not, when did transfer of ownership occur and with what parties. Also one would ask for correspondence and agreements attendant to the alleged “transaction” in which the Trust allegedly purchased the loans with trust money that came from the proceeds of sales of certificates to investors. If the Trust did not pay value for the loans then it did not acquire the debt. It only acquired the paper instruments that are used as evidence of the debt.

Perhaps most importantly, the memo comes down hard on the use of powers of attorney, which are a favorite medium through which lawyers for the foreclosing parties typically try to patch obvious gaps in the chain of ownership or custody of the loan documents.

Then the memo provides foreclosure defense attorneys with the opportunity to attack the foundation laid for testimony and exhibits from robo-witnesses. It states that all parties must “Understand the mechanics of of relevant securitization transactions and related custodial practices in sufficient details to address such questions in a timely and accurate manner.” As any foreclosure defense lawyer will tell you, the robo-witness knows nothing about “the mechanics of of relevant securitization transactions and related custodial practices.” [The problem is that most borrowers and foreclosure defense lawyers don’t know either].

The inability of the robo-witness to describe the specific securitization practices in real life as it pertains to the subject loan gives rise to a cogent attack on the foundation for the rest of his testimony. With proper objections, perhaps motions in limine, and cross examination, this could lead to a defensive motion to strike the witnesses testimony and exhibits for lack of foundation. The following quote takes this out of the realm of theory and argument and into simple fact:

Servicers must ensure that loss mitigation personnel and professionals engaged by servicers, including legal counsel retained by servicers, understand the mechanics of relevant securitization transactions and related custodial practices in sufficient details to address such questions in a timely and accurate manner. In particular, servicing professionals [including “loss mitigation”] must become sufficiently familiar with the terms of the relevant securitization documents for each Trust for which they act to explain, and where necessary, prove those terms and resulting ownership interests to courts and government agencies.”

Note the assumption that lawyers are hired by servicers and not the Trustee or the Trust. Thus the servicers hire counsel and then order that foreclosure be brought in the name of the alleged trust. But if there is no trust or no acquisition of the debt, or authorization (remember powers of attorneys are not sufficient), the servicer is without legal authority to do anything, much less collect money from homeowners or bring foreclosure actions.

Paragraph (2) of the this “advisory” also gives guidance and foundation for what various people, especially attorneys, can say about who they represent and how.

“The Trustee believes that all persons retained by the servicer should specifically role or capacity in which they are acting. … One would be less accurate… if he or she claimed to be … attorney for the Trustee. A more accurate statement [attorney for servicer] acting for [Deutsch] as trustee of the Trust.”

This completely corroborates what I have been saying for years along with a chorus of lawyers and pro se litigants across the county. It simply is not true that the attorney represents the trust or the trustee.


Fact Check: Robo-witness knows nothing

Information is admitted in evidence only after a proper foundation has been laid. If the witness knows nothing about the foundation the evidence should not be admitted as evidence. Appellate courts will usually reverse a trial court’s error in ruling on evidence UNLESS the appellate panel decides that the error would not have made any difference in the outcome. The fundamental fact at the root of all foreclosures is that the homeowner owes a debt to the foreclosing party and has not paid.

In the passage below a witness supposedly employed by US Bank displays a lack of personal knowledge on anything that would contribute to foundation for establishing the standing of the foreclosing party. I have inserted in brackets the significance of each answer of an actual witness in a court proceeding.

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Videoconference deposition of JOHN G. RICHARDS,II

Would you please provide your official title for
11 the record.
12 A Yes, I’m the vice president at U.S. Bank within
13 the global corporate trust services group. [The problem that was overlooked here is that his title is not foundation for establishing the existence of a trust that is managed by US Bank as Trustee. Additional questions regarding the existence of any account that is under trust management by US Bank would have revealed lack of knowledge because the witnesses are not given any information that could be used by the homeowner or counsel for the homeowner. In truths I have repeatedly pointed out, if you proceed under the assumption that there is no “account” in existence under which Trust assets are managed for the benefit of beneficiaries, all the pieces fall into place. There is no Trustee because there is nothing that has been entrusted to the trustee for the benefit of beneficiaries. Thus parties claiming authority “from the Trust” to serve as services or master servicers lack any foundation to support the assertion of that authority. This is why no modification is signed by anyone other than the servicer acting as attorney in fact for the purported Trust or other foreclosing party.]


Q I see. Do you know who the beneficiaries are of

10 the WaMu trust?

11 A I do not know the specific beneficiaries — or I

12 would call them certificate holders. I don’t know the

13 identity of those investors or certificate holders. [Here is US Bank whom the attorneys have named as the foreclosing party. The witness is supposedly someone who knows about the USB trust arrangement for a REMIC Trust. Yet on the most basic questions about the existence of a trust — the existence of beneficiaries, he is unable to answer the question regarding their identity. A trust without beneficiaries is not a trust   — i.e., it is not an legal entity. In fact he is saying that there are no beneficiaries but that there are certificate holders. He can’t identify either the beneficiaries or the certificate holders. Note also that he knows nothing about the “certificates, which in most cases expressly state that the holder is NOT entitled to an interest in the loan, debt, note or mortgage. What they have is a promise to pay them money coming from a nonexistent trust.]

14 Q That’s fine. And because you don’t know, do you

15 know who would know or is there a list?

16 A I do not know specifically if there is a list

17 that would have the names of actual individuals or

18 entities who are certificate holders. [This further erodes the foundation for proving that the trust exists, the beneficiaries exist or the certificate holders exist. More importantly it is an admission that even a list of the certificate holders might not exist — thus corroborating a central point on this blog — that the money never went into the trust and that instead it was commingled with the money of other investors in a different entity altogether. I have referred to this scenario as a dark pool or slush fund in which the underwriting banks (who appoint themselves as Master Servicers) take charge of the investor funds instead of the money being administered by a Trust. Remember that in 2008-2009, the banks and servicers were asserting that such Trusts did not exist. That was probably a true statement in that the Trust was never an active trust and the trustee was never an active trustee.] 

19 It is common for many of these certificates to

20 be held. I’m not sure the exact way to hold it, but

21 something that is significant amount to brokerage or some

22 other place for the general holding of investment

23 securities. [He is referring to the practice of holding securities in street name — i.e., in the name of the brokerage house that allegedly completed the transaction on behalf of the investor. This enables the investment banking entity to assert ownership of the certificates for title purposes while supposedly holding the certificates for investors, the only evidence of which would be the end of month brokerage statement telling the investors that they own the rights to certificates even though the certificates are not in their name. Of course the rub here is that most certificates are uncertificated — merely computer entries. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a master certificate in electronic or paper form. The witness is saying he doesn’t know where such certificates are held, by whom or for what purpose] It’s a company called DTC that serves that

24 function just generally in the industry. But I don’t

25 have information about the identity of the specific certificate holders.

2 Q So you’re saying that this entity, DTC, holds

3 that information who would know?

4 MS. DARNELL: Objection. Calls for speculation.

5 THE WITNESS: I don’t know. I think I’m using

6 that as an example of sort of how these certificates are

7 commonly held and the entity that might be positioned to

8 communicate with actual certificate holders.

Q So does the trust actually communicate directly

11 with the certificate holders?

12 A I am not familiar with the — with any direct

13 communication between U.S. Bank as trustee for this trust

14 and certificate holders on an individual basis. I’m not

15 familiar with that at all. [This is as close as you will get to the admission that there is no active Trustee and there is no active Trust. If there is no communication or no knowledge of communication between the Trustee and the certificate holders then it is an inescapable conclusion that there is no activity in the alleged REMIC Trust. If there was such activity within the Trust it would need to be disclosed to the “beneficiaries” or “certificate holders.” There isn’t. The master servicer sends out a distribution report with the disclaimer that none of the information on the distribution report has been verified and could be entirely wrong.]


23 Q So with respect to it being vague and

24 ambiguous — and I just want to clarify. Do you manage

25 Chase as the servicer of the trust?

A I would not describe that there is any kind of

2 management or oversight role by the trustee of a servicer

3 in this trust or any other. [So the party claimed to be the servicer is not managed by and need not report to the party named as the Trustee — thus further establishing that the Trustee is inactive and the “trust” is a sham. If there is no “kind of management or oversight role by the trustee of a servicer” then who directs the “servicer” on the distribution of the money collected from homeowners? Some document must exist that is not being produced in court. It would be a document that establishes the duties and responsibilities of the subservicer. It would be executed by the “Servicer” and the Master Servicer but kept secret because the document would establish, once and for all, that for all purposes other than foreclosure the parties conduct business as though the trust did not exist.]

Given the above testimony and commentary, the testimony of the witness should not be admitted into evidence at trial. The reason is lack of foundation. Proper objections on foundation, leading, and hearsay must be repeatedly raised or else the testimony, however riddled with untruth, will be admitted because the objection was” waived” by failing to raise it timely. If the objections are sustained and the witness has managed to spew out an answer as you were objecting then a motion to strike is absolutely required lest the objectionable testimony remain in the record. As Plan B, bring these things out in cross examination and then move to strike the testimony.



Trustee v Active Trustee US Bank Fails to show or even attempt to show it is an active trustee


Even where there is a clerk’s default “The burden is on the plaintiff to establish its entitlement to recovery.” Bravado Int’l, 655 F. Supp. 2d at 189.

Here is an example of how lawyers purport to represent US Bank when in fact they are creating the illusion that they represent a trust and in reality they are representing a subservicer who is receiving orders from a master servicer of a nonexistent trust. As Trustee of the nonexistent trust USB had no active role in the nonexistent trust. As the inactive Trustee for a nonexistent Trust, no right, title or interest in the debts of homeowners were within any scope of authority of any servicer, subservicer or master servicer. Each foreclosure is a farce based upon assumptions and presumptions that are exactly opposite to the truth.

Given the opportunity to amend the complaint, lawyers for USB chose not to amend — because they could not plead nor prove the required elements of an active trustee. Because of that USB lacked standing to bring the action except as agent for an active trust or on behalf of the trust beneficiaries. But where the certificates show that the certificate holders do NOT have any interest in a mortgage or note (true in about 70% of all cases), then they too lack of standing. And if the Trust is not an active Trust owning the debt, note or mortgage then it too lacks standing.

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see Memorandum and Order – USBank Trust NA as Trustee for LSF9 MPT v Monroe

See Judgment – USB Trust for LSF9 v Monroe –

While this case discusses diversity and other issues concerning US Bank “as trustee” the reasoning and ruling clearly expose the truth about pleading irregularities by attorneys who purport to represent US Bank or a REMIC Trust.

A debt is an asset to anyone who owns it. Industry practice requires that for transfer of ownership, there must be an agreement or other document providing warranty of title, confirmation of the existence and ownership of the debt and proof of authority of the person executing the document. Go into any bank and try to borrow money using a note as collateral. The bank will require, at a minimum, that the debt be confirmed (usually by the purported debtor) and that each party in the chain show proof of purchase.

Without consideration, the assignment of mortgage or endorsement of the note is just a piece of paper.

When there is an assertion of ownership of the loan, what the banks and so-called servicers are actually saying is that they own the paper (note and mortgage) not the debt. In the past this was a distinction without a difference. In the era of patently f false claims of securitization, the debt was split off from the paper. The owner of the debt were without knowledge that their money was not under Trust management nor that their money was being used to originate or acquire loans without their knowledge.

The securitization sting is accomplished because the owners of the debt (the investors who sourced the funds) are unaware of the fact that the certificate they are holding is merely a promise to pay from a nonexistent trust that never was utilized to acquire the debts and whose ownership of the paper is strictly temporary in order to foreclose.

The failure to make that distinction between the real debt and the fake paper is the principal reason why so many people lose their homes to interlopers who have no interest in the loan but who profit from the sale of the home because a judgment was entered in favor of them allowing them to conduct a foreclosure sale. 

This case also sets forth universally accepted legal doctrine even where there is a clerk’s default entered against the homeowner. The Judge cannot enter a judgment for an alleged debt without proving the debt — even if the homeowner doesn’t show up.

“When a default is entered, the defendant is deemed to have admitted all of the well- pleaded factual allegations in the complaint pertaining to liability.” Bravado Int’l Grp. Merch. Servs., Inc. v. Ninna, Inc., 655 F. Supp. 2d 177, 188 (E.D.N.Y. 2009) (citing Greyhound Exhibitgroup, Inc. v. E.L.U.L. Realty Corp., 973 F.2d 155, 158 (2d Cir. 1992)). “While a default judgment constitutes an admission of liability, the quantum of damages remains to be established by proof unless the amount is liquidated or susceptible of mathematical computation.” Flaks v. Koegel, 504 F.2d 702, 707 (2d Cir. 1974); accord, e.g., Bravado Int’l, 655 F. Supp. 2d at 190. “[E]ven upon default, a court may not rubber-stamp the non-defaulting party’s damages calculation, but rather must ensure that there is a basis for the damages that are sought.” United States v. Hill, No. 12-CV-1413, 2013 WL 474535, at *1 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2013)

“The burden is on the plaintiff to establish its entitlement to recovery.” Bravado Int’l, 655 F. Supp. 2d at 189.


Maine Case Affirms Judgment for Homeowner — even with admission that she signed note and mortgage and stopped paying

While this case turned upon an  inadequate foundation for introduction of “business records” into evidence, I think the real problem here for Keystone National Association was that they did not and never did own the loan — something revealed by the usual game of musical chairs that the banks use to confuse and obscure the identity of the real creditor.

When you read the case it demonstrates that the Maine Supreme Judicial Court was not at all sympathetic with Keystone’s “plight.” Without saying so directly the court’s opinion clearly reveals its doubt as to whether Keystone had any plight or injury.

Refer to this case and others like it where the banks treated the alleged note and mortgage as being the object of a parlor game. The attention paid to the paperwork is designed by the banks to distract from the real issue — the debt and who owns it. Without that knowledge you don’t know the principal and therefore you can’t establish authority by a “servicer.”

The error in courts across the country has been that the testimony and records of the servicer are admissible into evidence even if the authority to act as servicer did not emanate from the real party in interest — the debt holder (the party to whom the MONEY is due.

Note that this ended in judgment for the homeowner and not an involuntary dismissal without prejudice.

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Keybank – maine supreme court

Here are some meaningful quotes from the Court’s opinion:

KeyBank did not lay a proper foundation for admitting the loan servicing records pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule. See M.R. Evid. 803(6).

KeyBank’s only other witness was a “complex liaison” from PHH Mortgage Services, which, he testified, is the current loan servicer for KeyBank and handles the day-to-day operations of managing and servicing loan accounts.

The complex liaison testified that he has training on and personal knowledge of the “boarding process” for loans being transferred from prior loan servicers to PHH and of PHH’s procedures for integrating those records. He explained that transferred loans are put through a series of tests to check the accuracy of any amounts due on the loan, such as the principal balance, interest, escrow advances, property tax, hazard insurance, and mortgage insurance premiums. He further explained that if an error appears on the test report for a loan, that loan will receive “special attention” to identify the issue, and, “[i]f it ultimately is something that is not working properly, then that loan will not . . . transfer.” Loans that survive the testing process are transferred to PHH’s system and are used in PHH’s daily operations.

The court admitted in evidence, without objection, KeyBank’s exhibits one through six, which included a copy of the original promissory note dated April 29, 2002;3 a copy of the recorded mortgage; the purported assignment of the mortgage by Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., from KeyBank to Bank of America recorded on January9, 2012; the ratification of the January 2012 assignment recorded on March 6, 2015; the recorded assignment of the mortgage from Bank of America to KeyBank dated October 10, 2012; and the notice of default and right to cure issued to Kilton and Quint by KeyBank in August 2015. The complex liaison testified that an allonge affixed to the promissory note transferred the note to “Bank of America, N.A. as Successor by Merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP fka Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP,” but was later voided.

Pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule, M.R. Evid. 803(6), KeyBank moved to admit exhibit seven, which consisted of screenshots from PHH’s computer system purporting to show the amounts owed, the costs incurred, and the outstanding principal balance on Kilton and Quint’s loan. Kilton objected, arguing that PHH’s records were based on the records of prior servicers and that KeyBank had not established that the witness had knowledge of the record-keeping practices of either Bank of America or Countrywide. The court determined that the complex liaison’s testimony was insufficient to admit exhibit seven pursuant to the business records exception.

KeyBank conceded that, without exhibit seven, it would not be able to prove the amount owed on the loan, which KeyBank correctly acknowledged was an essential element of its foreclosure action. [e.s.] [Editor’s Note: This admission that they could not prove the debt any other way means that their witness had no personal knowledge of the amount due. If the debt was in fact due to Keystone, they could have easily produced a  witness and a copy of the canceled check or wire transfer receipt wherein Keystone could have proven the debt. Keystone could have also produced a witness as to the amount due if any such debt was in fact due to Keystone. But Keystone never showed up. It was the servicer who showed up — the very party that could have information and exhibits to show that the amount due is correctly proffered because they confirmed the record keeping of “Countrywide” (whose presence indicates that the loan was subject to claims of securitization). But they didn’t because they could not. The debt never was owned by Keystone and neither Countrywide nor PHH ever had authority to “service” the loan on behalf of the party who owns the debt.]

the business records will be admissible “if the foundational evidence from the receiving entity’s employee is adequate to demonstrate that the employee had sufficient knowledge of both businesses’ regular practices to demonstrate the reliability and trustworthiness of the information.” Id. (emphasis added).


With business records there are three essential points of reference when several entities are involved as “lenders,” “successors”, or “servicers”, to wit:

  1. The records and record keeping practices of the initial “lender.” [If there are none then that would point to the fact that the “lender” was not the lender.] Here you are looking for the first entries on a valid set of business records in which the loan and fees and costs were posted. Generally speaking this does not exist in most loans because the money came a third party source who knows nothing of the transaction.
  2. The records and record keeping practices of any “successors.” Note that this is a second point where the debt is separated from the paper. If a successor is involved there would correspondence and agreements for the purchase and sale of the debt. What you fill find, though, is that there is only a naked endorsement, assignment or both without any correspondence or agreements. This indicates that the paper transfer of any rights to the “loan” was strictly for the purpose of foreclosing and bore new relationship to reality — i.e., ownership of the debt.
  3. The records and record keeping practices of any “servicers.” In order for the servicer to be authorized, the party owning the debt must have directly or indirectly given authorization and come to an agreement on fees, as well as given instructions as to what functions the servicer was to perform. What you will find is that there is no valid document from an owner of the debt appointing the servicer or giving any instructions, like what to do with the money after it is collected from homeowners. Instead you find tenuous documentation, with no correspondence or agreements, that make assertions for foreclosure. The game of musical chairs has bothered judges for a decade: “Why do the servicers keep changing” is a question I have heard from many judges. The typical claims of authorization are derived from Powers of Attorney or a Pooling and Servicing agreement for an entity that neither e exists nor does it have any operating history.
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