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RECOMMENDED READING:

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Goldman Sachs Fined $5 Billion for Violations Dating Back to 2008

…should anyone who owns a home that is subject to claims of securitization of their mortgage be at risk of losing their property?

…the government should stop the arrogant policy of letting most of the burden fall onto middle class property owners.

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So we have another “settlement” with one of the major players in the greatest economic crime in human history. But the cover-up of the actual transgressions  emanating from corruption on Wall Street continues. Government investigators should have had a press conference in which they clearly stated the nature of the violations — all of them. People deserve to hear the truth; and the government should stop the arrogant policy of letting most of the burden fall onto the middle class property owners.

The defects in government intervention give rise the illusion that these settlements only have effect on the investors and other financial institutions who were defrauded. Both the charges and the settlements seem far away from the ground level loans and foreclosures. But that is only because of deals in which the government’s continued complicity in “protecting the banking system — a policy that has rewarded trillion dollar banks and given them unfair advantage over the 7,000 other banks and credit unions.

Government now knows the truth about what Wall Street did. But they are restricting their comments in the fear that maybe notes and mortgages would be obviously void, making the MBS bonds worthless causing some world-wide panic and even aggression against the United States for allowing these enormous crimes to occur and continue.

For example, if the government investigators actually said that the REMIC Trusts were never funded, then the cases pending in which the REMIC Trust is named as the initiator of the foreclosure would dissolve into nothing. There would be no Plaintiff in judicial states and there would be no beneficiary in non-judicial states. Thus the filing of a substitution of trustee on a deed of trust would be void. It would raise jurisdictional issues in addition to the absence of any foundation for the assertion of the right to foreclose.

If government investigators identified patterns of conduct in the fabrication, forgery and utterance of false instruments, recording false instruments, then presumptions of validity might not apply to documents presented in court as evidence. Instead of the note being all the evidence needed from a “holder”, the actual underlying transactions would need to be proven by parties seeking foreclosure. If those transactions don’t actually exist, then it follows that the note, mortgage and claim are worthless.

And a borrower could point to the finding by administrative agencies and law enforcement agencies that these practices constitute customary and usual practices in the industry — a statement that would go a long way to convincing a judge that he or she should not assume or presume anything without proof of payment (consideration) in the origination of the loan with whoever ended up as Payee on the note. The same analysis would apply for the alleged acquisition of the “loan.”

If the party on the note or the party claiming they acquired the loan was NOT a party to an actual transaction in which they made the loan or paid to acquire it, then the note is evidence of a transaction that does not exist. Instead government is continuing to cover-up the fact that a policy decision has been made in which borrowers can fend for themselves against perpetrators of financial violence.

The view from the bench still presumes that they would not have a case to decide if there wasn’t a valid loan transaction and a valid acquisition of the loan. They see defects in documentation as splitting hairs. And to make matters worse I have personally seen judges strike virtually all discovery requests that address the issue of whether real transactions took place. And I have seen lawyers retreat over the one issue that would mean success or failure for their client. The task of defending illegal foreclosures would be far easier if the consensus view from the bench was that all the loans are suspect and need to be proven as to ownership, balance and authority.

These issues are almost impossible to prove at trial because the parties with the actual information and proof are not even at the trial. But they can be reached in discovery where on a motion to compel answers and a hearing on the objections from the “bank” or “servicer” the homeowner presses his demand for data and documents that show the actual existence or nonexistence of these transactions.

It would seem that the U.S. Department of Justice is coming out of the shadows on this. They are looking back to 10 years ago when the violations were at their most extreme. We may yet see criminal prosecutions. But putting people in jail does not address the essential issue, to wit: should anyone who owns a home that is subject to claims of securitization of their mortgage be at risk of losing their property?

 

Getting Your Goals Set on the Right Conclusions

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This for general information only and NOT an opinion on your case.
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I was responding to a client about the goals in opposing the wrongful foreclosures. These are hard to write or say. It might seem to be a contradiction in terms to walk away with a waiver of deficiency or some other “Settlement” or “Modification” with a party whom you know (but may not be able to prove) is false party with fake papers.

You might believe there might be as much as $50,000 in equity if and when repairs are made. My concern is that we don’t get pulled into reverse logic here. If the house is barely break-even without the repairs, then it could be wise to pursue short-sale or modification.  The real question is how much will it really cost to make the required repairs and where would you get the money from?

This is where most lay people put the cart before the horse. Equity in the home is not a matter for speculation, nor should it be calculated from a starting point of “after repairs.”

If you are looking for the pretenders to pay you damages sufficient to pay for the repairs and for them to give up on the foreclosure, it would be a mistake to assume that is going to happen without full scale litigation for wrongful foreclosure seeking money damages. That would require a lot of money in fees, costs and other expenses. You should determine whether  you have any appetite for that.

If you did have the money for repairs, then it would seem that you would have made the repairs and then sold the house, taking your equity and paying off whoever is claiming to own the loan, even if they don’t. If you don’t have the repair money, that leaves the only source of money to fix the house as the parties who wish to foreclose on it.

I have never seen them  agree to anything like that for one simple reason: They are not interested in either the house or the money. They want a foreclosure judgment and sale — that is the only path that will give them some protection against accusations of stolen money and stolen homes.

 

Since the goal of your opposition is NOT to break-even or minimize damages on the loan itself, and since their real goal is more closely related to off-record transactions in which your loan was sold multiple times, they obviously are not going to make it easier for you to save the home, save the equity, and especially [not] save the loan. They want the loan to fail not succeed. They want the foreclosure sale.

 

Now the anger and frustration nationwide with all forms of institutions flows in large part from the simple fact that we all know that the banks committed serious fraud and other illegal acts in creating these loans. We all know that there was nothing but pretense and presumption in transferring these loans and steering loans to foreclosure — rather than a workout where the original loan investments were protected, and of course foreclosure with fabricated, forged, back-dated documentation that included notes and sometimes mortgages — even if they were rescinded.

“We all know” is insufficient to prove a case or a defense. The courts have added to the problem by restricting discovery, restricting evidence on the basis that the off-record transactions (even in discovery) are irrelevant, that the money trail for the subject loan is irrelevant, and then entering orders and judgments consistent with the conclusion that might be stated as follows: “Judgment is entered in favor of the one with the most paper even if the paper does not speak the truth.”

 

My tentative conclusion, if all of my presumptions are correct, is that in situations where this analysis is relevant, on an individual basis, as a life decision, the only real goal might be to walk away without a deficiency judgment and leave it at that. Any other course of action in litigation will lead to a judgment in the trial court that statistically speaking is going to be against the homeowner, leaving the issues to be decided on appeal. That is process that will likely take at least one year and probably 2 years to complete.
From my perch of course I want all notes and mortgages to be contested if there are any claims of securitization or sale. And the proof of concept is already established — those who truly litigate all the way down to trial, have a much better chance to see a much better result than those who simply walk away. But that costs money, time and energy. And that is why I often tell lawyers and homeowners that the only right decision is what the homeowner decides to do and is willing to pay for.

BAP Panel Raises the Stakes Against Deutsch et al — Secured Status May be Challenged

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ALERT FOR BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS — SECURED STATUS OF ALLEGED CREDITOR IS NOT TO BE ASSUMED

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I have long held and advocated three points:

  1. The filing of false claims in the nonjudicial process of a majority of states should not result in success where the same false claims could never be proven in judicial process. Nonjudicial process was meant as an administrative remedy to foreclosures that were NOT in dispute. Any application of nonjudicial schemes that allows false claims to succeed where they would fail in a judicial action is unconstitutional.
  2. The filing of a bankruptcy petition that shows property to be encumbered by virtue of a deed of trust is admitting a false representation made by a stranger to the transaction. The petition for bankruptcy relief should be filed showing that the property is not encumbered and the adversary or collateral proceeding to nullify the mortgage and the note should accompany each filing where the note and mortgage are subject to claims of securitization or a “new” beneficiary.
  3. The vast majority of decisions against borrowers result from voluntary or involuntary waiver, ignorance and failure to plead or object on the basis of false claims based on false documentation. The issue is not the signature (although that probably is false too); rather it is (a) the actual transaction which is missing and the (b) false documentation of a (i) fictitious transaction and (ii) fictitious transfers of fictitious (and non-fictitious) transactions. The result is often that the homeowner has admitted to the false assertion of being a borrower in relation to the party making the claim, admitting the secured status of the “creditor”, admitting that they are a creditor, admitting that they received a loan from within the chain claimed by the “creditor”, admitting the default, admitting the validity of the note and admitting the validity of the mortgage or deed of trust — thus leaving both the trial and appellate courts with no choice but to rule against the homeowner. Thus procedurally a false claim becomes “true” for purposes of that case.

see 11/24/14 Decision: MEMORANDUM-_-ANTON-ANDREW-RIVERA-DENISE-ANN-RIVERA-Appellants-v.-DEUTSCHE-BANK-NATIONAL-TRUST-COMPANY-Trustee-of-Certificate-Holders-of-the-WAMU-Mortgage-Pass-Through-Certificate-Series-2005-AR6

This decision is breath-taking. What the Panel has done here is fire a warning shot over the bow of the California Supreme Court with respect to the APPLICATION of the non-judicial process. AND it takes dead aim at those who make false claims on false debts in both nonjudicial and judicial process. Amongst the insiders it is well known that your chances on appeal to the BAP are less than 15% whereas an appeal to the District Judge, often ignored as an option, has at least a 50% prospect for success.

So the fact that this decision comes from the BAP Panel which normally rubber stamps decisions of bankruptcy judges is all the more compelling. One word of caution that is not discussed here is the the matter of jurisdiction. I am not so sure the bankruptcy judge had jurisdiction to consider the matters raised in the adversary proceeding. I think there is a possibility that jurisdiction would be present before the District Court Judge, but not the Bankruptcy Judge.

From one of my anonymous sources within a significant government agency I received the following:

This case is going to be a cornucopia of decision material for BK courts nationwide (and others), it directly tackles all the issues regarding standing and assignment (But based on Non-J foreclosure, and this is California of course……) it tackles Glaski and Glaski loses, BUT notes dichotomy on secured creditor status….this case could have been even more , but leave to amend was forfeited by borrower inaction—– it is part huge win, part huge loss as it relates to Glaski, BUT IT IS DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO CHASE/WAMU CASES……….Note in full case how court refers to transfer of “some of WAMU’s assets”, tacitly inferring that the court WILL NOT second guess what was and was not transferred………… i.e, foreclosing party needs to prove this!!

AFFIRMED- NO SECURED PARTY STATUS FOR BK PROVEN 

Even though Siliga, Jenkins and Debrunner may preclude the

Riveras from attacking DBNTC’s foreclosure proceedings by arguing

that Chase’s assignment of the deed of trust was a nullity in

light of the absence of a valid transfer of the underlying debt,

we know of no law precluding the Riveras from challenging DBNTC’s assertion of secured status for purposes of the Riveras’ bankruptcy case. Nor did the bankruptcy court cite to any such law.

We acknowledge that our analysis promotes the existence of two different sets of legal standards – one applicable in nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings and a markedly different one for use in ascertaining creditors’ rights in bankruptcy cases.

But we did not create these divergent standards. The California legislature and the California courts did. We are not the first to point out the divergence of these standards. See CAL. REAL EST., at § 10:41 (noting that the requirements under California law for an effective assignment of a real-estate-secured obligation may differ depending on whether or not the dispute over the assignment arises in a challenge to nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings).
We must accept the truth of the Riveras’ well-pled
allegations indicating that the Hutchinson endorsement on the
note was a sham and, more generally, that neither DBNTC nor Chase
ever obtained any valid interest in the Riveras’ note or the loan
repayment rights evidenced by that note. We also must
acknowledge that at least part of the Riveras’ adversary
proceeding was devoted to challenging DBNTC’s standing to file
its proof of claim and to challenging DBNTC’s assertion of
secured status for purposes of the Riveras’ bankruptcy case. As
a result of these allegations and acknowledgments, we cannot
reconcile our legal analysis, set forth above, with the
bankruptcy court’s rulings on the Riveras’ second amended
complaint. The bankruptcy court did not distinguish between the
Riveras’ claims for relief that at least in part implicated the
parties’ respective rights in the Riveras’ bankruptcy case from
those claims for relief that only implicated the parties’
respective rights in DBNTC’s nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings.

THEY REJECT GLASKI-

Here, we note that the California Supreme Court recently

granted review from an intermediate appellate court decision
following Jenkins and rejecting Glaski. Yvanova v. New Century
Mortg. Corp., 226 Cal.App.4th 495 (2014), review granted &
opinion de-published, 331 P.3d 1275 (Cal. Aug 27, 2014). Thus,
we eventually will learn how the California Supreme Court views
this issue. Even so, we are tasked with deciding the case before
us, and Ninth Circuit precedent suggests that we should decide
the case now, based on our prediction, rather than wait for the
California Supreme Court to rule. See Hemmings, 285 F.3d at
1203; Lewis v. Telephone Employees Credit Union, 87 F.3d 1537,
1545 (9th Cir. 1996). Because we have no convincing reason to
doubt that the California Supreme Court will follow the weight of
authority among California’s intermediate appellate courts, we
will follow them as well and hold that the Riveras lack standing
to challenge the assignment of their deed of trust based on an
alleged violation of a pooling and servicing agreement to which
they were not a party.

BUT……… THEY DO SUCCEED ON SECURED STATUS

Even though the Riveras’ first claim for relief principally

relies on their allegations regarding the assignment’s violation
of the pooling and servicing agreement, their first claim for
relief also explicitly incorporates their allegations challenging
DBNTC’s proof of claim and disputing the validity of the
Hutchinson endorsement. Those allegations, when combined with
what is set forth in the first claim for relief, are sufficient
on their face to state a claim that DBNTC does not hold a valid
lien against the Riveras’ property because the underlying debt
never was validly transferred to DBNTC. See In re Leisure Time
Sports, Inc., 194 B.R. at 861 (citing Kelly v. Upshaw, 39 Cal.2d
179 (1952) and stating that “a purported assignment of a mortgage
without an assignment of the debt which it secured was a legal
nullity.”).
While the Riveras cannot pursue their first claim for relief
for purposes of directly challenging DBNTC’s pending nonjudicial
foreclosure proceedings, Debrunner, 204 Cal.App.4th at 440-42,
the first claim for relief states a cognizable legal theory to
the extent it is aimed at determining DBNTC’s rights, if any, as
a creditor who has filed a proof of secured claim in the Riveras’
bankruptcy case.

TILA CLAIM UPHELD!—–

Fifth Claim for Relief – for violation of the Federal Truth In Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)

The Riveras’ TILA Claim alleged, quite simply, that they did
not receive from DBNTC, at the time of Chase’s assignment of the
deed of trust to DBNTC, the notice of change of ownership
required by 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)(1). That section provides:
In addition to other disclosures required by this
subchapter, not later than 30 days after the date on
which a mortgage loan is sold or otherwise transferred
or assigned to a third party, the creditor that is the
new owner or assignee of the debt shall notify the
borrower in writing of such transfer, including–

(A) the identity, address, telephone number of the new

creditor;

(B) the date of transfer;

 

(C) how to reach an agent or party having authority to

act on behalf of the new creditor;

(D) the location of the place where transfer of

ownership of the debt is recorded; and

(E) any other relevant information regarding the new

creditor.

The bankruptcy court did not explain why it considered this claim as lacking in merit. It refers to the fact that the
Riveras had actual knowledge of the change in ownership within
months of the recordation of the trust deed assignment. But the
bankruptcy court did not explain how or why this actual knowledge
would excuse noncompliance with the requirements of the statute.
Generally, the consumer protections contained in the statute
are liberally interpreted, and creditors must strictly comply
with TILA’s requirements. See McDonald v. Checks–N–Advance, Inc.
(In re Ferrell), 539 F.3d 1186, 1189 (9th Cir. 2008). On its
face, 15 U.S.C. § 1640(a)(2)(A)(iv) imposes upon the assignee of
a deed of trust who violates 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g)(1) statutory
damages of “not less than $400 or greater than $4,000.”
While the Riveras’ TILA claim did not state a plausible
claim for actual damages, it did state a plausible claim for
statutory damages. Consequently, the bankruptcy court erred when
it dismissed the Riveras’ TILA claim.

LAST, THEY GOT REAR ENDED FOR NOT SEEKING LEAVE TO AMEND

Here, however, the Riveras did not argue in either the bankruptcy court or in their opening appeal brief that the court should have granted them leave to amend. Having not raised the issue in either place, we may consider it forfeited. See Golden v. Chicago Title Ins. Co. (In re Choo), 273 B.R. 608, 613 (9th Cir. BAP 2002).

Even if we were to consider the issue, we note that the

bankruptcy court gave the Riveras two chances to amend their
complaint to state viable claims for relief, examined the claims
they presented on three occasions and found them legally
deficient each time. Moreover, the Riveras have not provided us
with all of the record materials that would have permitted us a
full view of the analyses and explanations the bankruptcy court
offered them when it reviewed the Riveras’ original complaint and
their first amended complaint. Under these circumstances, we
will not second-guess the bankruptcy court’s decision to deny
leave to amend. See generally In re Nordeen, 495 B.R. at 489-90
(examining multiple opportunities given to the plaintiffs to
amend their complaint and the bankruptcy court’s efforts to
explain to them the deficiencies in their claims, and ultimately
determining that the court did not abuse its discretion in
denying the plaintiffs leave to amend their second amended
complaint).

SPS and the Chase Servicer Shell Game

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Many Judges have expressed their concern about the constant movement of servicers and trustees. They are asking why the servicer keeps changing and why the trustees are changing. And now they are asking for legal argument why the substitution of the only named Plaintiff is not an amendment to the Complaint which must specifically allege facts in support of the claim of the “new Plaintiff.” This is a result of the multifaceted fraudulent scheme where claims of securitization are unfounded and claims of debt are fictitious — in derogation of the rights of both investors on Wall Street and borrowers on main Street.

Taking an example from one case being litigated now, we have a fact pattern where WAMU was the “lender” in the purchase money mortgage. Chase steps in and refinances the loan. Long after these events and long after the “default” was declared by Chase, SPS is said to be the servicer, not Chase. This successor entity is thus the party whose corporate representative is brought to trial to testify. The witness admits to having no direct personal knowledge and has no job other than testifying. The witness has no knowledge nor employment history with Chase, WAMU or the Trust or Trustee (usually US BANK where Chase is involved). The borrower, despite encouragement to take more money on refinancing, elected only to get enough money to make repairs due to storm damage. They received $45,000 in this example.

This is an issue which is slowly dawning on me that could shake things up considerably. Whether we use it or not is a different story.

It might mean that the real loan was only $45k — in total. That would affect the collections on the loan, which could have paid off the actual loan in its entirety, as well as the validity of the declaration of default and the truth of the matters asserted in the judicial complaint or the notice of non-judicial default and notice of sale. Specifically the “reinstatement” figure or “redemption” figure might actually be a negative figure — money due from the parties stating that they are the creditors, which claim they can hardly deny since they are pursuing foreclosure.

LOAN #1 was with WAMU. WAMU according to the FDIC receiver had sold the loans into the secondary market for securitization. This was the purchase money mortgage. So at some point before the refinancing in LOAN#2 the purchase money loan was sold into the secondary market. Thus WAMU only had servicing rights — if the “purchaser” entered into an agreement for WAMU to service the loan. In the case where the loan is subject to securitization, the “purchaser” is a REMIC Trust. But it appears as though few, if any, of the REMIC Trusts ever achieved the status of the owner of the debt, holder in due course, or owner of the mortgage or note. While it is possible to start a lawsuit to collect on the note, that lawsuit can never be resolved in favor of the Plaintiff unless the maker of the note defaults.

LOAN#2 was with Chase. This was supposedly a refinancing. The loan closing documents show that WAMU was paid and WAMU issued the satisfaction of mortgage and did not return the old note cancelled.

WAMU usually retained servicing rights so it would be claimed that WAMU had every right to collect the money and issue the satisfaction. But the servicing rights only existed if LOAN#1 actually made it into a Trust. If not, the loan was NOT subject to the Pooling and Servicing Agreement. If WAMU — or Chase as successor or SPS as successor are actually the servicers, it MUST therefore be by virtue of some other document. That is why we are seeing some rather strange Powers of Attorney and other “enabling” documents appear out of nowhere in which the issues are further confused.

The borrowers received $45k which was for roof repairs from storm damage. So the borrowers did receive  $45k presumably from Chase, but not necessarily as we have already seen, where the originator, even if it was a big bank was using money from an illegally formed pool outside of the REMIC Trust that the investors thought was getting the money from the proceeds of sale of mortgage backed securities.

So the witness probably has absolutely no access to information and therefore no testimony about whether LOAN#1 got paid off. And in fact it is most likely that WAMU was either paid or not depending upon internal agreements with Chase. And the witness can only testify using hearsay about the preceding records of Chase, US Bank and WAMU. Several trial judges have refused to accept such testimony saying directly that the witness and the company represented by the witness are too far removed from the actual transactions to have any credibility as to the authenticity or accuracy of the business records of other entities and that the SPS records are simply an attempt to get around the hearsay rules without exposing the predecessors to direct discovery and questioning where the answers would either be embarrassing or perjury.

If WAMU was paid in the refinancing (proceeds from LOAN#2) the wrong party was paid and the debt still exists unless Chase can show that the real creditor was paid off. It is unlikely they can show that because it probably is not true. Chase was hiding the default status of loans, as we have seen in Matt Taibbi’s story in Rolling Stone. The reason was simple — the more it  looked like these Mortgage backed Securities were performing as expected, the more the investors were inclined to buy more mortgage bonds — and that is where the bulk of the money is for Chase.

By selling loans at 100 cents on the dollar (Par Value) when the true value might only have been 1/10th that amount, the profit was enormous and it all went to Chase (not the investors whose money was used to start the string of transactions in the first place).

The witness will not be able to say that WAMU was definitely paid, and if it was paid, whether the money was paid to the real creditor. This is probably a primary reason why SPS was inserted between Chase and the foreclosure proceedings. It is also why they are attempting to rely on the business records of SPS instead of the business records of Chase.

SPS is usually inserted AFTER all events have occurred relating to the debt, note, mortgage, “default,” and foreclosure. Using a witness from SPS is, on its face, allowing a witness with zero personal knowledge about anything to verify records of other companies whose records the witness has never seen.

This is done to camouflage the actual events — wherein the money from investors was stolen or diverted from its intended target (REMIC Trust) and then used to fund loans in the name of a naked nominee whose interest in the loan was only that of a vendor whose name was being rented to withhold disclosure of the real creditor, the compensation received, and the identity of all the real parties who were getting paid as a result of the “loan origination.”

This is a direct conflict with TILA, requiring that disclosure and Reg Z which states that such a loan is “predatory per se.” If the loan is predatory per se it might be “unclean hands” per se which would mean that the mortgage could never enforced even if the consideration was present.

Foreclosure News in Review

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PRETENDER MENDERS: GOVERNMENT IGNORES THE ELEPHANT IN THE LIVING ROOM — DOW HEADED FOR 8,000?

Starting with the Clinton and Bush administration and continued by the Obama administration (see below), the public, the media, the financial analysts, economists and regulators are uniformly ignoring the obvious pointed out originally by Roubini, myself and many others (Simon Johnson, Yves Smith et al). We are pretending the fix the economy, not actually doing it. The fundamental weakness of world economies is that the banks caused a drastic reduction in household wealth through credit cards and mortgages. Credit was used to replace a living wage. That is a going out of business strategy. The economies in Europe are stalling already and our own stock market has started down a slippery path. The prediction in the above-linked article seems more likely than the blitzkrieg of planted articles from pundits for Bank of America, and other banks pushing their common stock as a great investment. The purpose of that blitzkrieg of news is simple — the more people with a vested interest in those banks, the more pressure against real regulation, real enforcement and real correct.

As the facts emerge, there were no actual financial transactions within the chain of documents relied upon by foreclosing parties. That cannot change. So the foreclosures are simply part of a larger fraudulent scheme. If the government regulators and the Federal reserve would tell the truth that they definitely know is the truth, the the mortgages would all be recognized as completely void and the notes would not only be void but subject to civil and potentially criminal charges of fraud. Most importantly it would eliminate foreclosures, for the most part, and allow borrowers to get together with their real (even if reluctant) lenders and settle up with new mortgages., This would restore at least some of house hold wealth and end the policy of making the little guy bear the burden of this gross error in regulation and this gross fraudulent scheme of non-securitization of mortgage debt, student debt, auto loan debt, credit card debt and other consumer debt.

It is ONLY be restoration of a vibrant middle class that our economy and the world economic marketplace can avoid the coming and recurring disaster. This is a matter of justice, not relief. See also Complete absence of mortgage and foreclosures are the largest component of our problems

What happens to restitution and why is the government ignoring the obvious benefits from restitution? NY Times

So a trader no longer needs to be subject to a requirement of restitution because he has already entered into civil agreement to restore creditors who bought bogus mortgage bonds that were issued by REMIC Trusts that were never funded by any cash or any assets. Since the “securitization fail” originated as a fraudulent scheme by the world’s major banks, and restitution is the primary remedy to defrauded victims, it follows that restitution should be the principal focus of enforcement actions, civil suits and criminal prosecutions. Meanwhile some restitution is occurring, just like this case.

The question is, assuming the investors who were in fact the creditors, how are the proceeds of settlement posted in accounting for the recovery of potential losses? If, as is obviously the case, the payments reduce the losses of the investors, then why are those settlements not credited to the books of account of those creditors and why isn’t that a matter subject to discovery of what the “Trust” or “Trust beneficiaries” are showing as “balance due” and what effect does that have on the existence of a default — especially where servicer advances are involved, which appears to be most cases.

The courts are wrong. Those judges that rule that the accounting and posting on the actual creditors’ books and records are irrelevant are succumbing to political and economic pressure (Follow Tom Ice on this issue) instead of calling balls and strikes like they are supposed to do. If third party payments are at least includable in discovery and probably admissible at trial, then the amount that the creditor is allowed to expect would be reduced. In accounting there is nothing more black letter that a reduction in the debt affects both the debtor and the creditor. So a principal reduction would occur by simple application of justice and arithmetic — not some bleeding heart prayer for “relief.”

Why the economy can;t budge — consumers are not participating in greater productivity caused by consumers as workers

Simple facts: our economy is driven by, or was driven by 70% consumer spending. Like it or not that is the case and it is a resilient element of U.S. Economics. Since 1964 workers wages have been essentially stagnant — despite huge gains in productivity that was given ONLY to management and shareholders. I know this is an unpopular position and I have some misgivings about it myself. But the fact remains that when unions were strong EVERYONE was getting paid better and single income households were successful with even some padding in savings account.

By substituting credit for a proper wage commensurate with merit (productivity), the country has moved most of the population in the direction of poverty, burdened by debt that should have been wages and savings.

But the big shock that is not over is the sudden elimination of household wealth and the sudden dominance of the banks in the economy, world politics and our national politics. Proper and appropriate sharing of the losses imposed solely on borrowers in a mean spirited “rocket docket” is not the answer. (see above) The expediting of foreclosures is founded on a completely wrong premise — that the debts, notes and mortgages are, for the most part, valid. They are not valid as to the parties who seek to enforce them for their own benefit at the expense and detriment to both the creditors (investors) and borrowers.

GDP of the United States is now composed of a virtually dead heat between financial “services” and all the rest of real economic activity (making things and doing services). This means that trading paper based upon the other 50% of real economic activity has tripled from 16% to nearly 48%. That means our real economic activity is composed, comparing apples to apples, of about 1/3 false paper. A revision of GDP to 2/3 of current reports would cause a lot of trouble. But it is the truth and it opens the door to making real corrections.

The Basic Premise of the Bailout, TARP, Bond Purchases was Wrong

Now that Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson and others are being forced to testify, it is apparent that they had no idea what they were really doing because they were proceeding on false information (from the banks) and false premises (from the banks). Most revealing is that both Paulson and Bernanke were relying upon Geithner while he was President of the NY Fed. Everyone was essentially asleep at the wheel. Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, admits he was mistaken in believing that while his staff of 100 PhD’s didn’t understand the securitization scheme, market forces would mysteriously cause a correction. Perhaps that would have been painfully true if market forces had been allowed to continue — resulting in the failure of most of the major banks.

The wrong premise was the TBTF assumption — the fall of AIG or the banks would have plunged into a worldwide depression. That would only have been true if government didn’t simply step in, seize bank assets around the world, and provide restitution to the victims — pension funds, homeowners, insurers, guarantors, et al. We already know that size is no guarantee of safety (Lehman, AIG, Bear Stearns et al). There are over 7,000 community banks and credit unions, some with more than $10 billion on deposit, that could easily pick up where bank of America left off before its own crash. Banking is marketing and electronic data processing. All  banks, right down to the smallest bank in America, have access to the exact same IT backbone for transfer of funds, deposits and loans. Iceland showed us the way and we ignored it. They sent the bad bankers to jail and reduced household debt by more than 25%. They quickly recovered from the “failed” banks and things are running quire smoothly.

JDSUPRA.COM: What good is the statute of limitations if it never ends?

A word of caution. In the context of a quiet title action my conclusion is that it should not be available just because the statute of limitations has run on enforcement of the note. But it remains on the public records as a lien. The idea proposed by me, initially, and others later that a quiet title action was the right path is probably wrong. documents in the public records may not be eliminated without showing that they never should have been recorded in the first place. Thus the mortgage or assignment of record remains unless we prove that those documents were void and therefore should not have been recorded.

That said, I hope the Supreme Court of Florida makes the distinction between the context of quiet title, where I agree that it should not easy to eliminate matters in the public record, and the statute of limitations, where parties should not be permitted to bring repeated actions on the same debt, note and mortgage after they have lost. Both positions cause uncertainty in the marketplace — if quiet title becomes easy to allege due to statute of limitations and statute of limitations becomes  harder to raise because despite choosing the acceleration option, and despite existing Florida law and precedent, the court decides that the the foreclosing party is estopped by res judicata, collateral estoppel and the statute of limitations.

JDSUPRA.COM: Association Lien Superior to 1st Mortgage

As I predicted years ago and have repeated from time to time, one strategy that is absent is collaboration between the homeowner and the association whose lien is superior to the 1st Mortgage which can be foreclosed out of existence. This was another area of concentration in my prior practice of law. We provide litigation support to attorneys. We will not make any attempt nor accept direct engagement of associations. But I can show you how to use this to advantage of our law firm, your client’s interests and avoid an empty abandoned dwelling unit.

What a surprise?!? Servicers are steering unsophisticated and emotionally challenged borrowers into foreclosure

by string them along in modifications. This is something many judges are upset about. They don’t like it. More motions to compel mediation (with a real decider) or to enforce a settlement that has already been approved (and then the NEXT servicer says they are not bound by the prior agreement.

Who Are the Creditors?

For litigation support (to attorneys only) and expert witness consultation, referrals to attorneys please call 954-495-9867 or 520 405-1688.

Since the distributions are made to the alleged trust beneficiaries by the alleged servicers, it is clear that both the conduct and the documents establish the investors as the creditors. The payments are not made into a trust account and the Trustee is neither the payor of the distributions nor is the Trustee in any way authorized or accountable for the distributions. The trust is merely a temporary conduit with no business purpose other than the purchase or origination of loans. In order to prevent the distributions of principal from being treated as ordinary income to the Trust, the REMIC statute allows the Trust to do its business for a period of 90 days after which business operations are effectively closed.

The business is supposed to be financed through the “IPO” sale of mortgage bonds that also convey an undivided interest in the “business” which is the trust. The business consists of purchasing or originating loans within the 90 day window. 90 days is not a lot of time to acquire $2 billion in loans. So it needs to be set up before the start date which is the filing of the required papers with the IRS and SEC and regulatory authorities. This business is not a licensed bank or lender. It has no source of funds other than the IPO issuance of the bonds. Thus the business consists simply of using the proceeds of the IPO for buying or originating loans. Since the Trust and the investors are protected from poor or illegal lending practices, the Trust never directly originates loans. Otherwise the Trust would appear on the original note and mortgage and disclosure documents.

Yet as I have discussed in recent weeks, the money from the “trust beneficiaries” (actually just investors) WAS used to originate loans despite documents and agreements to the contrary. In those documents the investor money was contractually intended to be used to buy mortgage bonds issued by the REMIC Trust. Since the Trusts are NOT claiming to be holders in due course or the owners of the debt, it may be presumed that the Trusts did NOT purchase the loans. And the only reason for them doing that would be that the Trusts did not have the money to buy loans which in turn means that the broker dealers who “sold” mortgage bonds misdirected the money from investors from the Trust to origination and acquisition of loans that ultimately ended up under the control of the broker dealer (investment bank) instead of the Trust.

The problem is that the banks that were originating or buying loans for the Trust didn’t want the risk of the loans and frankly didn’t have the money to fund the purchase or origination of what turned out to be more than 80 million loans. So they used the investor money directly instead of waiting for it to be processed through the trust.

The distribution payments came from the Servicer directly to the investors and not through the Trust, which is not allowed to conduct business after the 90 day cutoff. It was only a small leap to ignore the trust at the beginning — I.e. During the business period (90 days). On paper they pretended that the Trust was involved in the origination and acquisition of loans. But in fact the Trust entities were completely ignored. This is what Adam Levitin called “securitization fail.” Others call it fraud, pure and simple, and that any further action enforcing the documents that refer to fictitious transactions is an attempt at making the courts an instrument for furthering the fraud and protecting the perpetrator from liability, civil and criminal.

And that brings us to the subject of servicer advances. Several people  have commented that the “servicer” who advanced the funds has a right to recover the amounts advanced. If that is true, they ask, then isn’t the “recovery” of those advances a debit to the creditors (investors)? And doesn’t that mean that the claimed default exists? Why should the borrower get the benefit of those advances when the borrower stops paying?

These are great questions. Here is my explanation for why I keep insisting that the default does not exist.

First let’s look at the actual facts and logistics. The servicer is making distribution payments to the investors despite the fact that the borrower has stopped paying on the alleged loan. So on its face, the investors are not experiencing a default and they are not agreeing to pay back the servicer.

The servicer is empowered by vague wording in the Pooling and Servicing Agreement to stop paying the advances when in its sole discretion it determines that the amounts are not recoverable. But it doesn’t say recoverable from whom. It is clear they have no right of action against the creditor/investors. And they have no right to foreclosure proceeds unless there is a foreclosure sale and liquidation of the property to a third party purchaser for value. This means that in the absence of a foreclosure the creditors are happy because they have been paid and the borrower is happy because he isn’t making payments, but the servicer is “loaning” the payments to the borrower without any contracts, agreements or any documents bearing the signature of the borrower. The upshot is that the foreclosure is then in substance an action by the servicer against the borrower claiming to be secured by a mortgage but which in fact is SUPPOSEDLY owned by the Trust or Trust beneficiaries (depending upon which appellate decision or trial court decision you look at).

But these questions are academic because the investors are not the owners of the loan documents. They are the owners of the debt because their money was used directly, not through the Trust, to acquire the debt, without benefit of acquiring the note and mortgage. This can be seen in the stone wall we all hit when we ask for the documents in discovery that would show that the transaction occurred as stated on the note and mortgage or assignment or endorsement.

Thus the amount received by the investors from the “servicers” was in fact not received under contract, because the parties all ignored the existence of the trust entity. It was a voluntary payment received from an inter-meddler who lacked any power or authorization to service or process the loan, the loan payments, or the distributions to investors except by conduct. Ignoring the Trust entity has its consequences. You cannot pick up one end of the stick without picking up the other.

So the claim of the “servicer” is in actuality an action in equity or at law for recovery AGAINST THE BORROWER WITHOUT DOCUMENTATION OF ANY KIND BEARING THE BORROWER’S SIGNATURE. That is because the loans were originated as table funded loans which are “predatory per se” according to Reg Z. Speaking with any mortgage originator they will eventually either refuse to answer or tell you outright that the purpose of the table funded loan was to conceal from the borrower the parties with whom the borrower was actually doing business.

The only reason the “servicer” is claiming and getting the proceeds from foreclosure sales is that the real creditors and the Trust that issued Bonds (but didn’t get paid for them) is that the investors and the Trust are not informed. And according to the contract (PSA, Prospectus etc.) that they don’t know has been ignored, neither the investors nor the Trust or Trustee is allowed to make inquiry. They basically must take what they get and shut up. But they didn’t shut up when they got an inkling of what happened. They sued for FRAUD, not just breach of contract. And they received huge payoffs in settlements (at least some of them did) which were NOT allocated against the amount due to those investors and therefore did not reduce the amount due from the borrower.

Thus the argument about recovery is wrong because there really is no such claim against the investors. There is the possibility of a claim against the borrower for unjust enrichment or similar action, but that is a separate action that arose when the payment was made and was not subject to any agreement that was signed by the borrower. It is a different claim that is not secured by the mortgage or note, even if the  loan documents were valid.

Lastly I should state why I have put the “servicer”in quotes. They are not the servicer if they derive their “authority” from the PSA. They could only be the “servicer” if the Trust acquired the loans. In that case they PSA would affect the servicing of the actual loan. But if the money did not come from the Trust in any manner, shape or form, then the Trust entity has been ignored. Accordingly they are neither the servicer nor do they have any powers, rights, claims or obligations under the PSA.

But the other reason comes from my sources on Wall Street. The service did not and could not have made the “servicer advances.” Another bit of smoke and mirrors from this whole false securitization scheme. The “servicer advances” were advances made by the broker dealer who “sold” (in a false sale) mortgage bonds. The brokers advanced money to an account in which the servicer had access to make distributions along with a distribution report. The distribution reports clearly disclaim any authenticity of the figures used, the status of the loans, the trust or the portfolio of loans (non-existent) as a whole. More smoke and mirrors. So contrary to popular belief the servicer advances were not made by the servicers except as a conduit.

Think about it. Why would you offer to keep the books on a thousand loans and agree to make payments even if the borrowers didn’t pay? There is no reasonable fee for loan processing or payment processing that would compensate the servicer for making those advances. There is no rational business reason for the advance. The reason they agreed to issue the distribution report along with money that was actually under the control of the broker dealer is that they were being given an opportunity, like sharks in a feeding frenzy, to participate in the liquidation proceeds after foreclosure — but only if the loan actually went into foreclosure, which is why most loan modifications are ignored or fail.

Who had a reason to advance money to the creditors even if there was no payment by the borrower? The broker dealer, who wanted to pacify the investors who thought they owned bonds issued by a REMIC Trust that they thought had paid for and owned the loans as holder in due course on their behalf. But it wasn’t just pacification. It was marketing and sales. As long as investors thought the investments were paying off as expected, they would buy more bonds. In the end that is what all this was about — selling more and more bonds, skimming a chunk out of the money advanced by investors — and then setting up loans that had to fail, and if by some reason they didn’t they made sure that the tranche that reportedly owned the loan also was liable for defaults in toxic waste mortgages “approved” for consumers who had no idea what they were signing.

So how do you prove this happened in one particular loan and one particular trust and one particular servicer etc.? You don’t. You announce your theory of the case and demand discovery in which you have wide latitude in what questions you can ask and what documents you can demand — much wider than what will be allowed as areas of inquiry in trial. It is obvious and compelling that asked for proof of the underlying authority, underlying transaction or anything else that is real, your opposition can’t come up with it. Their case falls apart because they don’t own or control the debt, the loan or any of the loan documents.

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