FLA S Ct Reverses Course on Homeowner’s Award of Attorney Fees and Raises Other Issues for Defense of Foreclosures

For those of us that have access to the data, we know that homeowners are winning foreclosure cases all the time. Nobody else knows because as soon as a homeowner wins or gets into a winning position they are offered money for their silence. The situation worsened when Florida and courts in other states turned down the homeowner’s demand for attorney fees after the homeowner had flat out won the case — especially where the case was dismissed for lack of standing.

Here the homeowner once again wins, having advanced several defense narratives. The homeowner applies for recovery of attorney fees and the demand is rejected because the loan contract no longer exists or because the party seeking to use it was shown not to be party to it, at least when suit was commenced. The Florida Supreme Court reversed that decision and rejected others like it.

Recognizing the danger of the erroneous rulings from the trial court and the district courts of appeal, the Court rejected arguments that a dismissal, voluntary or otherwise, based upon lack of standing meant that the loan contract no longer existed. While not completely abandoning the lower courts the Florida Supreme Court has narrowed the issues such that it is again almost always arguable and even inevitable that if the homeowner wins the foreclosure case an award of fees will follow.

fla s ct attny fees 1-4-19 sc17-1387 Glass v Nationwide

see also Follow Up Article to this Article

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Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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This case opens a can of worms for the banks and servicers and corroborates much of what I have been writing for 12 years.

At issue was the homeowner’s right to prevail on an attorney fees award after winning the case in the trial court. This has previously been denied on the basis that cases dismissed for lack of standing meant that there was not contract. But the Florida Supreme Court says that the fact that just because the party involved had no right to enforce the contract doesn’t mean there was no contract.

The clear implication here is that the court did not want the erroneous rulings of trial courts and appellate district courts to be construed as completely canceling the loan contract. Any other ruling would be inherently ruling on the rights of unidentified third parties who DID have a right to collection of payment from the borrower’s debt and who did have a right to enforcement — without any notice to them because they are undisclosed and unknown.

The Supreme Court ruled that failure to allege or prove standing does not negate the fact that the homeowner is the prevailing party and entitled to fees under F.S. 57.105(7).

Citing its own decision in 1989, Katz v Van Der Noord 546 So 2d 1047, the Supreme Court held that even if the contract is rescinded or held to be unenforceable the prevailing party is still entitled to fees under the reciprocity provisions of F.S. 57.105(7).

This upends a basic strategy of the banks and servicers. Up until this decision they were virtually guaranteed an award of fees and costs if they won and immunity to fees if they lost. This reopens the fees issue and may give attorneys a reason to accept foreclosure defense cases — even on contingency or partial contingency.

But the court, perhaps in dicta, also mentions whether the note is negotiable, quoting from the homeowner’s arguments and pleadings.

Up until now the mere existence of the original note and in many cases a copy of the note, was sufficient to regard the note as a negotiable instrument. But the Florida Supreme Court is hinting at something here that the banks and servicers really don’t want to hear, to wit: it takes more that announcing the existence of a note to make it negotiable. This is not so.

Which brings me to my final point: read carefully the day the claimant is introduced and you will probably find that the note and assignment are not facially valid because they require reference to parole or extrinsic evidence. This bars legal presumptions, at least in the absence of a specific reference to the documents supporting the execution of the instrument as a substitution of trustee, an assignment or an endorsement.

The court was more than hinting at the idea that subsequent treatment of the note, which may have been a negotiable instrument at the time of execution (if the “lender” was in fact the lender). The question is whether the note is facially valid, to wit: whether the note specifically names a maker, payee and an unconditional promise to pay. If the originator was not the lender then extrinsic evidence would be required to prove the loan and the debt and the party who would have been appropriately named as payee on the note.

If subsequent indorsements or assignments for a note that WAS negotiable remove certainty from one or more of the elements of a facially valid instruments, then it is no longer a negotiable instrument. And THAT means that the all “reasonable” assumptions and legal preemptions are taken off the table.

The reason is simple. In order to be a negotiable instrument the assignee or successor must have certainty as to the parties and terms of the note. If extrinsic or parole evidence is required to provide that certainty the instrument is not negotiable and thus not entitled to any assumptions or presumptions.

So for example (taken from another case) when a Substitution of Trustee occurs in a nonjudicial state and it is executed by “U.S. Bank National Association, as trustee, in trust for registered Holders of First Franklin Mortgage Loan Trust, Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2007-FF I, by Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., as attorney-in-fact” then there are several points that require extrinsic or parole evidence, making the note non negotiable or at least arguably so.

In this scenario for an assignee to take a note from a party claiming rights to enforce in this instance one must know

  1. The name of the Trust, and the jurisdiction in which it was organized and is now existing.
  2. The instrument by which US Bank claims to be trustee
  3. Identification of “registered holders”
  4. The identification and content of the certificates
  5. The instrument by which SPS claims to be “attorney in fact”
  6. If you look closely you will also see that there is a question as to whom it is claimed that SPS is representing as attorney in fact. In any event “attorney in fact” means that a power of attorney exists but without specific reference to that power of attorney by date and parties, extrinsic or parole evidence is required meaning that no assumptions or legal presumptions may be made.

In other words the note cannot be accepted by anyone without extrinsic evidence. The fact that documents are apparently accepted by the assignees doesn’t change anything as to the facial validity of the document. Without facial validity there can be no negotiability under Article 3 of the UCC. Without negotiability there can be no assumptions or legal presumptions and thus the claimant must prove every element of its claim without presumptions.

And of course when the homeowner wins an award of attorney fees is now once again probable in addition to court costs.

Remember always: the point is not who can get away with enforcement. The point of the law is assuring that the owner of the debt is the one enforcing the debt and collecting the proceeds of enforcement. Before false claims of securitization this premise was almost universally true. Now it is rarely true that the true owner of the debt is represented.

And the apparent absence of such a party due to manipulation of the debt by intermediaries, does not legally create a vacuum into which anyone with knowledge and access to data may step in and claim rights of enforcement. As stated in California Ivanova decision the law does not allow the borrower’s debt to be owed to anyone whose premise is simply that they claim it.

Using TILA Rescission as Jurisdictional Issue

I think TILA Rescission should be approached as a jurisdictional issue since it focuses on the procedural aspects of the TILA Rescission statute. In other words it should always be front and center.

I think a problem with TILA Rescission is that not even borrowers understand that the rescission issue is over. By asking a court to  make rescission effective you underline the correct premise that rescission has already occurred. All your pleadings after that should be based upon that premise or you undermine yourself.

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Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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The plain wording of the statute says that rescission is effective, as a matter of law, when delivered (or sent via USPS). SCOTUS says no lawsuit is required to make rescission effective. The fact that the banks treat it as ineffective is something they do at their own peril. The statute explicitly says otherwise along with REG Z procedures based on the statute 15 USC §1635 and the Jesinoski decision.
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Under the statute and Reg Z the loan contract is eliminated and replaced with a new relationship under the statute — a set of procedures creating a statutory claim for the debt. It follows that ONLY a party who is an actual creditor or owner of the debt can even appear much less claim or defend anything about rescission. If they claim standing from the loan contract, they have no standing.
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Hence if the formers holders of the now nonexistent note and mortgage are also creditors they have no problem. They can plead anything they want, including defenses to or motions (or lawsuits) to vacate TILA Rescission. 
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BUT usually the former holders of the loan contract (note and mortgage) were using the loan CONTRACT as the sole basis of their standing — desiring to raise legal presumptions from the existence of those contracts (note and mortgage).
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What happens next is incontrovertible by logic or legal reasoning. Although they might be named parties to an action pending in court such ex-holders have lost their standing in that court action or they never had it to begin with. By operation of law the note and mortgage from which all their claims derive do not exist. That is a jurisdictional issue and it MUST be decided against the banks — by operation of law. Failure to present this has resulted in a number of escape hatches for judges who don’t like TILA Rescission. Your job is to close those hatches.
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The whole point of the rescission strategy is to remove any possibility of an arguable claim for standing to foreclose on the now nonexistent mortgage or deed of trust. Unless the claim for standing is based upon ownership of the debt subject matter jurisdiction is absent.
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This means that no claim or defense against the effectiveness of the rescission can be raised by anyone other than the owner of the debt.  
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This also means that there can be no foreclosure because the loan contract has been replaced by a statutory “contract.”
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Borrowers undermine this premise by filing lawsuits asking the court to declare that the rescission is effective. The TILA Rescission statute 15 USC §1635 has already answered that and THAT is what should be pled. SCOTUS has also already answered that in the Jesinoski case. Asking the court to declare it so means that you take the position that the statute has not already answered that question, that SCOTUS has not already ruled and that therefore it is now up to the trial court to make a ruling.
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You are opening the door for argument when there is no such argument intended by the statute or the US Supreme Court. Upon being invited to do so a judge who doesn’t like the statute will come with reasons not to declare the rescission effective — usually based upon objections from parties who could not possibly have standing to raise such objections.
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If that is true (and it is true by definition in our legal system once the highest court has ruled) then a party seeking relief from rescission would need to allege that they are the owners of the debt and then  prove it without reference to the note or mortgage. In other words they would need to prove they funded the debt or they purchased it with actual money.
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We all know that the fake securitization scheme was entirely dependent upon illegally funding the origination and purchase of the loans in the fictitious name of the trust for the account of the underwriter and that the investors were cut off contractually from having any right, title, interest or even opportunity to review or audit the portfolio of loans claimed to be in a fictitious pool that was being managed by a trust that did not exist, which in turn was managed by a trustee that had no powers of administration for the benefit of nonexistent beneficiaries.
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Hence the problem of the banks is clearly that they can’t prove funding or purchase because doing so would expose their illegal activities. Whether this would actually lead to a free house is debatable, depending upon the exercise of equitable jurisdiction in the courts.
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What is clear is that the banks were told by their own lawyers not to ignore rescission or they would lose everything. They ignored it anyway believing they could steamroll through the courts, which was in fact an accurate measurement of their own power.
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BUT as the banks persist along this strategy they continually build the inventory of homes that by operation of law are still owned by the borrowers, all other actions being void ab initio, not voidable by any stretch of the imagination.
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AND the banks are by their own actions and inaction causing the debt to slip away from them as well. Under TILA Rescission the old loan contract is replaced with a new statutory contract. Actions for enforcement under that contract must be based on violation of TILA. TILA has a statute of limitations. Thus claims beyond the statute of limitations are barred. And THAT means that claims for the debt are barred after the statute of limitations (on claims arising from TILA) has run — as result of plain arrogance of the banks — and no fault of any borrower.

Foreclosure Defense Discovery Timeline

In answer to a number of very similar questions about the paid services we provide on www.lendinglies.com regarding the subject of Discovery, I submit the following:

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The TERA will definitely give you narrative from which you can cut and paste questions or at least ideas on what questions you could ask in discovery. But it is far from a complete analysis for discovery. It is a part of the analysis required to come up with a complete defense narrative that you can use to guide you through litigation and educate the judge on what is wrong with the false case against you and your property (if that is the case).
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The Case Analysis goes much deeper and completes the defense narrative as well as providing you with more in depth insight that can be used for cut and paste into discovery and the narrative for defending your discovery requests which most certainly come under attack.
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Discovery is a multi faceted approach.
  • First you have the QWR and DVL.
  • Then you have the complaints to the State AG and the CFPB.
  • Response to statutory letters often provide the basis for the next step, because your opposition will evade, lie, and provide inconsistent answers. 
  • It is not uncommon to see them back off of a sale or dismiss a foreclosure case entirely when confronted with questions and accusations from the homeowner. 
  • The next step in the discovery process is the filing in court and service of discovery requests (usually limited to a specified number — i.e., you might need to submit more than one set) in the form of one or more of the following:
    • Interrogatories
    • Request to Produce (only aimed at party who is named in litigation)
    • Subpoena for documents
    • Subpoena for deposition duces decum
    • Request for Admissions
    • Request to enter or inspect
  • Following the filing and service of any discovery request you will almost definitely be met with objections and motions to strike and so forth. You must use the defense narrative to justify your questions and to answer how your request might lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. This part requires an aggressive stance — one that is often missed by pro se litigants and foreclosure defense lawyers.
  • Once you have received an order commanding compliance with your discovery request you will probably need to consider filing a motion for sanctions for non compliance. (We know that they will never admit that there is no trust or that the claimant has no interest in the loan or that the claimant won’t receive the proceeds of liquidation of the property.)
  • And lastly you will need to preserve objections before trial and possibly file a motion in limine to restrict the evidence your opposition can introduce at trial to the extent that includes discovery items they refused to give you.
While the questions will generally follow the same theme from case to case your discovery will be shot down if it is not specific according to your  defense narrative for this case alone.
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We provide all these services either through www.lendinglies.com or by direct retainer of Neil Garfield (neilfgarfield@hotmail.com) as an expert consultant or for legal consulting and analysis that can be used in conjunction with and in support of a local attorney.
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In order to put all these elements into an actual plan for your case alone, you must submit the REGISTRATION FORM to us before even beginning. Put as much information on then form as you can do. The less information you give the more work we must do and must charge you for us to do the work.
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Finally that leads to the Consult. Usually a thirty minute CONSULT is sufficient. In that conversation we decide on the path that you wish us to take in preparing pre litigation and litigation documents. Later Consults are for strategic assistance in confronting the efforts of the lawyers for often nonexistent clients to obfuscate, wear you down and thus defeat you.
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Generally speaking we require consults to be ordered with the PDR (Preliminary Document Review). This pays us to review some of your documents and the most recent reports and correspondence in preparation for the Consult with me, Neil Garfield.
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But all of this work is virtually identical to the background work needed to defend against a motion for summary judgment. However, if you want us to write the opposing motion and brief you need to hire us to do that by direct retainer of Neil Garfield (neilfgarfield@hotmail.com) as an expert consultant or for legal consulting and analysis that can be used in conjunction with and in support of a local attorney.

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.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

TONIGHT! Aggregation and Assignments on the Neil Garfield Show

Are Assignments Based Upon Aggregated Pools Real?

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

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

East-West: Charles Marshall California Attorney co-hosts the discussion

 

The bottom line is that the courts are not accepting denials of assertions or allegations by the foreclosing party. The courts are requiring the homeowner to file an affirmative defense rather than simply denying everything in the complaint. This forces the burden of proof and burden of persuasion onto the homeowner to come up with facts supporting their denial. These facts are within the sole care, custody and control of the party initiating foreclosure.

Through the magic of writing things down on paper anyone can make anything seem like it might be real. Of course in the legal system it goes further than that. If it is written there are many assumptions and presumptions that arise simply because a piece of paper was produced with some writing on it. But nobody ever intended such writing to be used in lieu of facts that are contrary to the truth.

The first place you see this scheme in operation is in the supposed aggregation of loans. The truth is that the DATA for the loans was aggregated, which only means that information ABOUT the supposed loans was taken from several spreadsheets and combined into one.

This is done all the time when a PROPOSED deal is in the works. The aggregation of the data is known as a pro forma presentation — with all parties knowing that it isn’t real, but here is what it might look like if we really did it.

The banks have elevated pro forma spreadsheets into the illusion of actual deals. The reason nobody has ever come up with a money trail showing that the aggregation took place and was sold to a trust is that no such money trail exists.

The truth is that no actual aggregation took place and there was no sale to the trust. In fact probing the trusts, there is never a time that the trust is actually created by entrusting money or property to the named Trustee. Without that there is no Trust because nothing is held “in trust.”

The money from investors is never held by the Trustee. The loan debt is never owned by the Trustee or the Trust. There is no sale. And that is because the Broker Dealers funded the loans in the first place using the money of investors.

So there was nobody to pay for purchase of the underlying debt except the investors and the banks certainly were not going to pay for the underlying debt by handing the investors a check or wire transfer.

How did they do it? Through the illusion of Assignments and endorsements by entities and people who have no ownership interests or other rights to the underlying debt. Even servicing relies upon authority from a trust that does not exist and which neither owns the paper nor the underlying debt.

Let’s go back to the beginning. For ANY deal to be legally binding you need the following elements:

  1. An offer of terms by A to B.
  2. Acceptance of those exact terms by B.
  3. Now you have an agreement but not a contract (yet).
  4. Memorialization of the contract in writing.
  5. The contract is not enforceable until the parties sign
  6. The Closing: Reciprocal consideration is exchanged.
  7. Now you have an enforceable contract.

The only thing we get with assignments and endorsements on supposed “allonges” is #4 — Memorialization in Writing. There is no evidence or even assertion that any of the other things happened. Hence the foreclosing party is using an unenforceable false memorialization of a transaction (transfer of loan paper and no transfer of the underlying debt) that never occurred in order to create the illusion of a foreclosure by a real party in interest.

This is all basic Black Letter law. Yet the courts have routinely ignored several very specific laws governing loans, notes, mortgages and assignments and endorsements. Judges have routinely assumed and even presumed that the paper memorialization was all they needed. The door to moral decay and hazard was opened wide. And we all experienced the shock of seeing our economy nearly turn on its belly.

Now Congress is in the process of rolling back the safeguards so that the investment banks can return to business as usual — transforming the role of banks from being financial intermediaries into some multi-headed hybrid creature that can steal money and homes. The banks can do this by using ordinary deposits by its customers, or by soliciting new deposits with the false promise that the money is actually going into a Trust where a big name bank like US Bank will watch over it.

How do you stop it? By litigating on the strategy and narrative that there is no meat in the sandwich, no deal that ever occurred in real life and no authorized intermediary whose claim is solely based upon the existence of a nonexistent trust and nonexistent transactions in which the underlying debt was bought and sold.

 

Homeowners Sue SPS in Class Action Over Failure to Mitigate

Thousands of cases like this one have pointed out that SPS and other servicers like Ocwen do not consult with any investor, do not evaluate the case for settlement, modification or mitigation. The answer to questions arising from the unwillingness of those companies to comply with law stems from the fact that the  vast majority of their income comes from undisclosed third parties (the TBTF Banks).

TBTF Banks (BofA, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, etc.) do not want settlements or modifications or anything that will make the loan start performing. Subservicers like SPS and Ocwen are used as conduits to other conduits that provides window dressing for claims of compliance or efforts to comply.

Contrary to common sense nobody wants a settlement or modification. The players would rather have the value of the alleged loan reduced to zero or less in the case of foreclosures requiring the bank to maintain the property without any hope of selling it. Common sense says that faced with a value of ZERO versus a value of $200,000, for example, any normal business would select the obvious —- $200,000.

The most extreme cases are where the modification is deemed approved and a new servicer comes in to dishonor it and forecloses, even though the homeowner made the trial payments. Yet Petitions to Enforce the modification agreement are rare; but when they are filed they are usually successful. And in many of those cases the modification is modified for a greater principal reduction than was originally offered.

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Whether or not the class gets certified or settled the suit brings up certain salient points which again give rise to the most common question of all, to wit: “Why is that?”

The answer is hiding in plain sight: None of these parties represent a creditor or owner of the debt . All of them represent undisclosed third parties who are making money hand over fist in the shadow banking market. A completed foreclosure represents the first and only valid legal document in their long train of lies promulgated by piles of fabricated, forged, robo-signed paper. The justice system isn’t always right but it is always final. That is the game the banks are playing.

If SPS or Ocwen actually was set up to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and preserve the value of the loan receivable they would lose virtually all their business. A performing loan would change the makeup of the pools that the players claim to have created. All the re-sales of the same loan would be based upon a loan, even if it existed at one time, that doesn’t exist presently.

So the players NEED that foreclosure not for investors or a trust that doesn’t exist, but for themselves because most of the proceeds of the re-sales of the same loan went the TBTF Banks. They want to preserve their ill-gotten gains rather than do anything that could possibly benefit investors. And the best way they can do that is with an Order or Judgment signed by a duly authorized judge in a court of competent jurisdiction — not with a modification.

Practice Hint: If you see a case that has been ongoing for 8-10 years that is a strong indicator that the investors have received a settlement and no loner have any claim for payment and/or that the “Master Servicer” is continuing to allow payments to investors out of a pool of investor money — i.e., a Ponzi scheme. Those continuing payments have been inappropriately named “servicer advances.” They are not “advances” because it is merely return of investor capital. And since the payments come from an investor pool of cash the payments are not from the servicer since the money came from the same or other investors.

They are called servicer advances because using that name fictitiously allows the “Master Servicer’ (actually the underwriter of the certificates) to claim a “recovery” of “servicer advances.” The recovery is ONLY allowed after sale of the property after a foreclosure where the buyer is a BFP.

So for example if payments to investors attributed to the subject loan are $2,000 per month, 10 years worth of “servicer advances” results in a “recovery claim” of $240,000. Generally that is enough to wipe out any equity. The investors get nothing. The foreclosure was actually for the sole interest and benefit of the banks, not the investors. And the homeowner again finds himself used as a pawn for others to make money over the rotting carcass of what was once his home.

Hence the trial strategy suggested would be drilling down on whether the trust is receiving payment from a “third party,” whether that party has rights of subrogation or is satisfied by some other fee or revenue. If you get anywhere near this issue the bank will fold up like a used tent. They will pay for confidentiality.

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