NJ Court: Possession of note + mortgage assignment is prerequisite to foreclosure

Pretender lenders are going to cite this case as support for the idea that the note and mortgage can be separated and that either one can be the basis of a successful foreclosure. They will rely on the “exception” implied in the court decision wherein the owner of the note has an agency relationship with the servicer who is the foreclosing party.

In this case Freddie Mac clearly possessed the note, although there was no evidence cited that Freddie Mac had actually purchased it. That was presumed in this case. The purchase of the note was not an issue on appeal.

Freddie Mac had made it clear in public announcements that foreclosures should be in the name of servicers. So the possession of one part of the paperwork by the agent and the other by the principal are joined as a single unit.

This decision was correct in ruling against the homeowner, given the issues before it. The homeowner was attempting to make a technical distinction contrary to the facts and contrary to law. The issue brought on appeal was whether Freddie Mac was the only party with standing to foreclose. I would say that shouldn’t have been the issue. Both Freddie Mac and Capital One had standing depending upon who asserted it. Either one could have foreclosed.

Any party may foreclose in its own name or through an agent with authority to do so — if they otherwise plead and prove their status as holder in due course, or holder, or non-holder with rights to enforce. The issue on appeal was a non-starter.

Despite the article, there is no exception here. This New Jersey court simply followed the law.

see Court-says-note-and-mortgage-assignment-both-prerequisites-to-foreclosure-but-makes-an-exception/

see case decision: Peck adv Capital One

The difference between this case and most other cases is that in this case there appears to be a tacit admission that Freddie Mac, as possessor of the note, was a holder or non-holder with rights to enforce because they had purchased the note. It is assumed in this case that Freddie was the actual owner of the debt.

The key differences between this case and most other cases are as follows:

  1. The “principal” in this case has been identified and assumed to be the owner of the debt.
  2. The “agent” in this case, Capital One, is a servicer whose authority to act as agent was not contested.

What is missing is whether Freddie Mac actually purchased the debt or the note and whether Freddie Mac still owned anything at all. Purchase of the note does not mean purchase of the debt if the debt is owned by someone other than the seller of the note. It is well settled law that only the owner of the debt can foreclose. But even if a purchase transaction did in fact take place, the question remains as to whether the interest of Freddie Mac was sold back to some private label REMIC Trust or some other third party such as the seller who may have given warranties as tot he performance of loans.

But if the note was purchased in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses, if any, then the purchaser of the note increases their status to holder in due course where there are no defenses even if the preceding origination or transfers had defects.

On the other hand, if the seller of the note did not own the note, then the purchase by Freddie would be nullity. This is also well settled law. A seller of an interest that is nonexistent or in which the seller has no interest, cannot create the interest by selling it. This is the basic problem with “originations” and most “transfers” by endorsement or assignment. In such circumstances the buyer would be a possessor without rights to enforce unless the owner of the debt was in privity with the buyer of the note. The buyer would have a potential claim against the seller, but not the maker of the note.

In such circumstances, the owner of the debt or the true owner of the note would be able to file a claim against the maker and the buyer of the note, explaining how the possession of the note was lost and pleading (and proving) ownership of the debt.

NOTE THAT THERE IS A DEEPER ISSUE PRESENT. But it probably won’t get you any traction despite the clear basis in law and fact. Freddie Mac may or may not have actually made a purchase of the subject loan. If they didn’t then asserting them as the owner of the note might be OK for pleading, but the case ought to fail at trial — if the homeowner denies that they are the owner of the note.  

If it paid in money, then to whom was payment sent? This is different than who claimed ownership of the note and mortgage. More often than not the money trail is NOT the same as the paper trail.

Note that many transactions occurred in which the “Mortgage Loan Schedule” was incomplete or nonexistent at the time of the purported sale. The identity of the seller in such purported transactions is also obscured by clever wording.

If they paid using RMBS certificates, then things get more interesting. Because the RMBS certificates were in all probability worthless. Hence there would a failure of consideration and Freddie Mac could not claim to be a purchaser for value. The vast majority of RMBS were sold under the false pretense that they were “backed” my residential mortgages. The issuer of the certificates is asserted to be a named trust. But if the trust never came into ownership of the alleged mortgage loans, then the RMBS certificates were backed by nothing at all.

Not to draw too fine a point here, it is still possible that Freddie could be considered a purchaser for value even if the RMBS certificates appeared to be worthless. That is because in the  shadow banking marketplace, such certificates and the synthetic derivatives deriving their purported value from the purported value of the certificates nevertheless take on a life of their own. Even if they have no fundamental value they may well have a trading value that far exceeds anything that is fundamental to the certificates (i.e.m, zero).

Punitive Damages for Violations of Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy §362

Since 2008 I have called out bankruptcy practitioners for their lack of interest in false claims of securitization. The impact on the bankruptcy estate is usually enormous. But without aggressive education of the presiding judge the case will not only go as planned by the banks, it will also lock in the homeowner to “admissions” in bankruptcy schedules and orders that lead to a false conclusion of fact.

Where a pretender lender ignores the automatic stay Bankruptcy judges are and should be very harsh in their penalty. The stay is the bulwark of consumer protection under bankruptcy proceedings which are specifically enabled by the U.S. Constitution. Hence it is as important as free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and the right to keep and bear arms.

The attached article shown in the link below gives the practitioner a running start on holding the violator responsible and in giving the homeowner a path to punitive damages, given the corrupt nature of the mortgages and foreclosures that arose during the great mortgage meltdown.

This might be the place where a hearing on evidence is conducted as to the true nature of the forecloser and a place where the petitioner/homeowner will be given far greater latitude in discovery to reveal the emptiness behind the presumptions that the foreclosing “party” exists at all or to show that it never acquired the debt but seeks instead to enforce fabricated paper.

Remember that in cases involving securitization claims or which are based upon apparent securitization patterns the named “Trustee” is not the party in interest. The party is the named “Trust.” If the Trust doesn’t exist it doesn’t matter if the Pope is named as the Trustee, there still is no existing party seeking relief from the Court.

see Eviction Can Lead to Sanctions Including Punitive Damages for Violation of Automatic Stay

The challenge here is that most bankruptcy lawyers are not well equipped for litigation. So it is advised that a litigator be introduced into the case to plead and prove the case for sanctions, if the situation arises in which a violation of stay has occurred or if there is an adversary proceeding seeking to prevent the pretender lender from acting on its false claims.

Most of the litigation in bankruptcy court has simply been directed at motions to lift the automatic stay. In such motions, the petitioner is merely saying we want to litigate this in state court. The burden of proof is as light as a puff of smoke. If the court finds any colorable interest in the alleged loan, it will ordinarily grant the motion to lift stay — as it must under the existing rules. Homeowners in bankruptcy find it a virtually impossible uphill climb to defend because they are required to have evidence only in possession of the opposing party who also might not have the information needed to prove the lack of any colorable interest.

But the lifting of the stay applies to the litigation concerning foreclosure. It does not necessarily extend to the eviction or unlawful detainer that occurs afterwards. And where the stay has not been lifted the pretender lender is out of luck because there is no excuse for ignoring the automatic stay.

So further action by the foreclosing party is probably a violation of the automatic stay. And in certain cases the court might apply punitive damages on top of consequential damages, if any. The inability to prove actual damages is relatively unimportant unless the homeowner has such damages. It is the violation of the automatic stay that is paramount.

The article below starts with a premise that the “creditor” has received notice of the BKR and ignored it — sometimes willfully and arrogantly.

Here are some notable quotes from this well-written article by Carlos J. Cuevas.

The imposition of punitive damages for egregious violations of the automatic stay is vital to the function of the consumer bankruptcy system. Most consumer debtors cannot afford to pay their attorneys to prosecute an automatic stay violation. The enforcement of the automatic stay is predicated upon major financial institutions observing the automatic stay.

If there is a doubt as to the applicability of the automatic stay, then a creditor can obtain a comfort order as to the applicability of the automatic stay, or obtain relief from the automatic stay from the Bankruptcy Court.

“Parties may not make their own private determination of the scope of the automatic stay without consequence.”

What would be sufficient to deter one creditor may not even be sufficient to gain notice from another. Punitive damages must be tailored not only based upon the egregiousness of the violation, but also based upon the particular creditor in violation.

In determining whether to impose punitive damages under Bankruptcy Code Section 362(k), several bankruptcy courts have identified five factors to guide their decision. They are the nature of the creditor’s conduct, the creditor’s ability to pay, the motives of the creditor, any provocation by the debtor, and the creditor’s level of sophistication: In re Jean-Francois, 532 B.R. 449, 459 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. 2015).

The fact that Church Avenue pursued the eviction more than a week after it learned of the debtor’s bankruptcy suggests that Church Avenue either made its own—incorrect—legal conclusion with respect to whether the eviction would be a stay violation, or decided that moving ahead to empty the building quickly and evict the occupants was worth more to it than the risk associated with defending a future § 362(k) motion.

when a creditor acts in arrogant defiance of the automatic stay it is circumventing the authority of the bankruptcy judge to exercise authority over that particular bankruptcy case. A bankruptcy judge is the only entity vested with the authority to determine whether the automatic stay should be lifted.

Egregious violations of the automatic stay can be deleterious to a consumer bankruptcy debtor. For example, a creditor who refuses to return a repossessed vehicle after the commencement of a bankruptcy case can create a significant hardship for a consumer debtor. A debtor whose vehicle has been repossessed may not be able to rent a substitute vehicle. This can create a significant hardship for a debtor who has to commute to work, who has to transport a child to school, or who is a caregiver for a sick relative.

New Jersey Court Invokes Golden Chicken of Law

Not only did this court get it wrong, it apparently knew it was getting it wrong and so ordered that the case could not be used as precedent.

Steve Mnuchin, now Secretary of our Treasury, was hand picked by the major banks to lead a brand new Federal Savings Bank, called OneWest, which was literally organized over a single weekend to pick up the pieces of IndyMac. By the time of its announced failure in the fall of 2008 IndyMac was a thinly capitalized shell  conduit converted from regular commercial banking to a conduit to support the illusion of securitization.

The important part is that in terms of loans IndyMac literally owned as close to nothing as you could get. OneWest consisted of a group of people who don’t ordinarily invest in banks. But this was irresistible. Over the shrieking objections of FDIC chairwoman who lost her job, OneWest was allowed to claim (a) that it owned the loans that IndyMac and “originated” and (b) to claim 80% of claimed losses which the FDIC paid.

see OneWest “Wins” Again

Thus OneWest claimed losses vastly exceeding the “investment” by certain members of the 1% whom I won’t name here. This enabled them to do 2 things. Claim 80% of the fictitious losses from loans that were not owned by Indymac and the foreclose to collect the entire amount.

Mnuchin was put in charge of “operations.” He ran nothing and basically did as he was told. He knew that the IndyMac residential loan portfolio was at practically zero, he knew that the 80% claim was fictitious, and he knew that neither IndyMac nor OneWest, its supposed successor owned the loans. Nonetheless the “foreclosure king” was entirely happy with foreclosing on homeowners who were caught in a world of spin.

The investors in the OneWest deal split the spoils of war. To be fair they didn’t actually know the truth of the situation. Mnuchin painted a very rosy profit picture that would happen over the short-term and he was right.

As with WAMU, Countrywide et al, the business of IndyMac was largely run through remote vehicles posing as mortgage brokers, originators or just sellers. These entities did exactly what IndyMac told them to do and in so doing IndyMac was doing exactly what it was told to do by the likes of Merrill Lynch, and indirectly Bank of America, Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Citi.

As the descriptive literature on securitization says, all vehicles are remote and special purpose so as to protect everyone else against allegations of wrongdoing. But there was nothing remote about these companies. Yet here in this decision in New Jersey the court predicated its ruling on the proposition that none of the players were liable for any of the unlawful activities of their predecessors.

It’s decisions like this that leave us with the knowledge that we have a long way to go before the courts get curious enough to apply the law as it is — not as the courts and others say it is.

How Do We Know That the Name of the Trustee was Rented?

The practice of paying a fee to a “service provider” to conceal the real nature of a transaction and the real parties in interest has been at the center of all Wall Street schemes that are at variance from conventional loan products.

Virtually all parties who appear in the chain of title or possession in securitization schemes are parties who rent their name to lend credence to the illusion of the loan transaction, loan transfers and foreclosures.

The truth is simply that the debt is never purchased and sold in such circumstances. But paper is created to create the illusion that “the loan” has been purchased and sold. It wasn’t. This illusion is created by simply using the names of the biggest banks in the world.

See Rent-A-Name popular amongst banks

So Payday lenders, the bottom feeders of an already corrupt lending industry, are renting the names of Native American tribes in order to escape rules and laws that apply to lending in general and Payday lenders in particular. They do it because the tribes might be exempt from certain Federal laws and rules. This enables them to charge higher and higher “interest rates” that are in fact gouging American consumers. So the tribal name or jurisdiction is invoked and the lenders pretend that they are not the real parties in interest. More pretender lenders.

This is what happens when we don’t enforce the existing laws and rules in the first place for fear of angering or collapsing the major banks. The prevailing view is that collapsing the TBTF banks — i.e., putting them out of business — is a bad thing no matter how badly they behave.

In the case of REMIC Trusts, big name banks have a tacit and express agreement (which should be pursued in discovery) in which they each will allow their names to be used or rented for a fee. This cross pollination of names, makes it appear that the giant banks are in fact the injured parties in foreclosures. I can say with 100% certainty this is not the case where claims of securitization are involved.

Banks have been quick to point out when faced with judgments for costs, fees or sanctions that they are NOT the foreclosing party and that their name only appears as “Trustee” of a self-proclaimed REMIC Trust. The “party” is the REMIC Trust itself, they say. But when you peek under the hood, the named Trust is just that — only a name. There is no trust and there have been no transactions in which the nonexistent trust’s name has been involved wherein loans have been purchased — or in which anything has been purchased.

Logic dictates and data confirms that the reason for this lack of transactional data is that there were no such transactions. Logic further dictates that the only possible conclusion is that the “investor money” was never entrusted to the falsely named big bank, as trustee and therefore could not have been entrusted to the REMIC Trust. Hence a key element of any valid trust is missing — the active management by a named trustee of assets that were entrusted tot he trustee on behalf of beneficiaries.

So there is no trust and there is court jurisdiction to grant relief in the name of a nonexistent trust. Reading the so-called trust instrument (Pooling and Servicing Agreement) also reveals the absence of trustor/settlor. So not only is the putative trust empty, it also lacks a trustor and trustee. Further inquiry into the PSA and the indenture for the the fake RMBS certificates reveals that the investors are not beneficiaries of a trust because even if the trust existed, the indenture disclaim such an interest in compliance with the buried description in the PSA.

So there is no trust, no trustee, no trustor, and no beneficiary. The investors’ only interest is in the form of a constructive trust, shared with other investors who may or may not be in the same “pool”. The opportunity for commingling money from thousands of investors in multiple pools is just too good for the bank to pass up.

Thus the laws and rules governing the highly complex lending marketplace require only an illusion of compliance instead of the real thing. Court administrators justified their “rocket dockets” by judicial economy and expediency, requiring the courts to hire more judges and personnel. But that is only true if the foreclosure were real. Some courts have required that the original note must be filed with the court upon suit and others require an affidavit describing possession and ownership of the so-called loan documents. Some affidavits must be executed by the lawyers seeking foreclosure on behalf of their clients.

My question is if the trust does not exist except in the minds of certain financiers and there are no trust assets and no active management of them (obviously) then how truthful is it for any lawyer  to execute documents for filing in court on behalf of a client that the lawyer knows or should know does not exist?

 

Why Zombie Houses? Local government budget deficits

The appearance of zombie homes and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of them thus destroying entire neighborhoods and subdivisions illustrates a fundamental truth about the foreclosure tidal wave that hit in 2007-2008: the banks didn’t care about the property, they just wanted the record to reflect a foreclosure sale. This alone represents probative evidence that the banks, pretending to act as intermediaries, were actually players in an illegal scheme wherein they were working against both investors and borrowers.

Local governments have been missing the mark in nearly every case. Instead of challenging the lenders as having committed multiple violations of state, county and municipal law including initiating false foreclosures forcing the burden of loss onto the restricted budget of local governments, they are following in the footsteps of pretender lenders and foreclosing on their tax liens, from which they gain nothing in most cases. Were they confront the banks with reality, their budget problems could be cured.

 

Zombie homes occur when “banks” foreclose and then walk away from the property as unsalable or too expense to maintain and insure. The entry of a Foreclosure Judgment or a certificate of sale is actually the first “legal” document in a long chain of nonexistent events. The foreclosure raises the presumption that all that previously transpired was real even when the courts and the borrowers and their attorneys were presuming facts that were simply untrue. In cases where securitization claimed it is fair to say that none of them were real and the foreclosure was initiated based upon fraudulent representations.

For a true lender or creditor the worst possible thing for them is to end up with nothing. That is exactly what happens in the current marketplace. Investors are left in a position of having an empty unenforceable promise to pay from the nonexistent trust that would be empty even if it did exist. Investors think their investment is secured but it isn’t. They have received a promise to pay from the nonexistent trust that is secured by nothing.

And the ability of the trust to pay them never existed because none of the money went through the trust. The entire plan of giving the investors a secured investment was a ruse. And that is why I have said that investors would do far better firing and terminating all relationships and illusions and forming their own servicing entities who would act in the best interests of the investors with respect to the “underlying loans” that the intermediary banks are claiming as their own.

Since the trusts were never used it is fair to say that the trust instruments are irrelevant and that volunteer payments by third parties were neither from a servicer nor were they advances. Without foreclosures the execution of workout agreements would preserve home ownership preserve neighborhoods, maintain the tax base, and most importantly preserve the value of the loan as an asset.

Before the late 1990’s the custom and practice of the industry was to do a workout, if at all possible rather than foreclose. This was true in commercial and residential lending. In commercial loans the business borrower could force the workout in Chapter 11 but homeowners rarely can get any traction in bankruptcy court.

Now, even faced with a cash payoff conditioned on revealing the creditor(s) the servicers relentlessly pursue foreclosure because that is what they are instructed to do by the TBTF banks. No servicer would “lose” the paperwork on a modification 10 times if they were really interested in working things out. Many attorneys representing the servicer and the alleged trust have actually argued that they have no obligation to take the money and that they would rather have the foreclosure.

The fundamental issue is that having committed dozens of illegal acts with respect to each alleged loan neither the servicer nor the broker dealers have the slightest interest in preserving the property or the loan. To the contrary, it is only when the house is foreclosed that the Master Servicer gets to “recover” something called “servicer advances” that neither come from the servicer nor are they an advance since they are paid from the investor’s capital.

The bigger issue is that a foreclosure sale frequently closes the door on attacks from the dozens of traders , investors, hedge funds and insurance companies who remain ambivalent about coming out and saying point blank that they were defrauded, and that there was no underlying loan for the loan documents that were executed.

The actual debt was left hanging without the knowledge of investors or borrowers. The banks created that situation and then grabbed the debts as if they were owned by the banks who held RMBS in street name as nominee for the investors. To all the world it looked like the banks owned the first layer of derivatives, whose value was intended to be derived from “underlying loans.” In truth, the debt relationship arose between the borrower and the capital sunk into a slush fund of investor capital. The source of funds were the investors. The note could only have been legally executed in favor of the investors or an authorized existing entity. That entity could have been the named trust, but it wasn’t.

Look for any indication of any kind that any transaction was ever completed using the name of the trust as a principal. You won’t find it. So in addition to Zombie houses, we have zombie investors, and zombie borrowers.

Tonight! The Neil Garfield Show with Illinois Attorney Dan Khwaja — LOPEZ Case

US Bank v Lopez

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

Or call in at (347) 850-1260, 6pm Eastern Thursdays

It is always a pleasure to speak with an attorney who is an ardent advocate for consumers. And it is good to know they are out there even though everyone is complaining about not finding an attorney. Dan wins cases and motions because he fights every step of the way — but like every good litigator he thinks about the case before he writes or says anything.

Here the note was sent for endorsement AFTER suit was filed. Truth is stronger than fiction. In the Lopez case an Illinois Appellate Court reversed the trial judge and dismissed the foreclosure. Then the same court reversed its own decision en banc and affirmed the foreclosure. Now Khwaja is taking it to the Illinois Supreme Court. He has the law and the rules on his side. You can see what he filed here: US Bank, Trustee v Lopez.

Included in the above link is what was filed with the attached appendix and relevant documents. It has the first complaint and note, second complaint and note, the affidavit of Robert Rappe Jr admitting the note was sent for endorsement after the foreclosure was filed. The first and second opinions. Everything is here that you need to look at if you want to review it.

At issue now is whether the rules mean anything or if the rules promulgated by the Illinois Supreme Court can be ignored. This of course has been the continuing cry of homeowners who were seeking workouts and modifications only to be inexorably drawn into foreclosure. In a word, the access of borrowers to their creditors has always been continually blocked during the modern era that involves false claims of securitization.

The fact pattern involves the familiar US Bank as Trustee for a presumed Trust. The parties continue to refer to the Plaintiff as “US Bank” which of course is not the case. The named Trust is the Plaintiff — if it exists. If it doesn’t exist then there is no Plaintiff notwithstanding the size of US Bank. Since the style of cases is a  shorthand “US Bank” becomes shorthand for US Bank, as trustee for the XYZ Trust.

Guest Information:

Daniel Khwaja, Esq.
Attorney at Law
ph (312)-933-4015
 

Questions to Ask About the Trust and the Trustee

In the final analysis you are looking for evidence of absence of any real events currently presumed as facts in any foreclosure case.

The trustee issue is a jurisdictional issue. If the Plaintiff Trust does not exist, then it has no standing to make or pursue any claims. If the named Trustee is not engaged in the active management of active trust affairs on behalf of the beneficiaries of a trust, then it is not a trustee imbued with the powers to administer assets that have not been conveyed and entrusted to the Trustee.
 *
If the named beneficiaries have received a promise from the named “Trust” and the beneficiaries have expressly disclaimed any interest in the “underlying” loans, notes, mortgages or debts, then they are not beneficiaries and the entity is not a trust. (That fact pattern describes individual contracts with each investor who purchased a promise to pay executed by someone allegedly on behalf of an entity self proclaimed as a trust. If the named entity does not exist then the party who executed the isntruments may have liability for the promise).
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Since the Trust has not been identified as having been organized and existing under the laws of any jurisdiction, it is entirely appropriate to ask questions about the existence of the trust and its right to do business in the state or the courts. The second jurisdictional issue is subject matter jurisdiction in which the question is whether the trust owns the indebtedness. I frequently deal with these issues in drafting the substance of documents to be filed with the court, subject to opinion of local counsel.
 *
If prior demands for discovery are clear the appropriate strategy is to force the issue through a motion to compel. Filing an “amended” request fro discovery probably starts the clock all over again. By the time you get to a demand for sanctions for contempt the case could be over. If it is denied she should consider an interlocutory appeal on the issue of whether the record contains assertions or evidence of the existence of the trust. The only prejudice that could exist would be that the trust doesn’t exist and that “they” (actually the lawyers) would be “prejudiced” because they couldn’t foreclose using the trust name.
 *
There is no doubt in my mind that one or both narratives are true: (1) the trust doesn’t exist and never did and (2) the loan (i.e., the indebtedness) was never purchased by the trust, acting through tis alleged trustee.
 *
One of the problems here is that it would be wise, although not essential, to notice the named Trustee for deposition duces tecum. That’s often a problem because most homeowners not appear to have anyone competent to conduct the deposition. In a normal deposition, one MUST ask the witness identifying questions like
  1. What’s your name?
  2. Who do you work for?
  3. What is the relationship between your bank and this trust?
  4. Besides the alleged Prospectus and the alleged PSA, what agreements exist wherein the Trustee bank is obligated to do or receive anything from the trust, directly or indirectly. [This one should be broken up into parts].
  5. Under what jurisdiction was the trust organized?
  6. Under what jurisdiction is the trust now existing?
  7. Who is the trust officer for the trust?
  8. In which department(s) are trust matters generally handled in the Trustee Bank?
  9. In which department(s) are trust matters usually handled in the Trustee Bank for this trust?
  10. Has the Trustee bank published any memos or guidelines concerning the administration of securitization trusts?
  11. Assuming that the word “loan” means the indebtedness of the homeowners here in this case, on what date did US Bank as trustee purchase this loan to hold in trust?
  12. Who was the seller of the debt in that transaction?
  13. Was payment for the loan performed through a financial account held in the name of the Trustee for the alleged trust?
  14. How did US Bank as Trustee for the alleged trust perform due diligence to confirm the existence and ownership of the debt?
  15. Who are the beneficiaries of the alleged trust?
  16. Who is the trustor or settlor of the alleged trust?
  17. What is the date and name of the instrument that purports to create the trust?
  18. Describe the current functions of US Bank as trustee of the alleged trust.
  19. Describe the current assets of the alleged trust.
  20. Describe date and content of the last financial report received by US Bank as trustee for the alleged trust.
Most likely opposing counsel will object to the question’s relevancy at the time deposition is taken. But relevancy is not even a question at deposition which is by nature a fishing expedition. Even if opposing counsel was right that the question does not directly relate to proof of a fact asserted at trial, you are still entitled to inquire because it might lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
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