How to Choose a Forensic Report

If you stick to an objective statement of facts without presumptions, anyone can report and testify with credibility if they have backup. Once you cross the line into opinions the report is undermined as to bias, credibility and lack of foundation. Even if it is admitted into evidence the report will be given zero weight in deciding the case.

You undermine your defense if you are relying upon presumptions instead of actual facts or the absence of actual facts. Most presumptions used by homeowners are not persuasive.

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

About Neil F Garfield, M.B.A., J.D.

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Starting with the tidal wave of foreclosures that hit our shores in 2007-present, a cottage industry emerged to help homeowners contest or negotiate with the pretender lender. Some were better than others. Many were at best a good faith failed attempt at understanding the claimed process of securitization, whose hallmark is complexity and obscurity.  In the words of an executive VP at Deutsch Bank, “it is all very counterintuitive.”

The job of the forensic reporter is to break down the facts so that the defense narrative is understandable and believable. Note that in most cases the defense narrative is going to rely on the absence of facts that should be present if the claims for foreclosure were based in fact. The object should be the production of a report that actually provides traction to the defense and not merely justification for the fee received.

  • RULE #1: If the report sticks to the facts and has an adequate presentation it can serve two purposes, to wit: (a) it provides a checklist of issues for an attorney or pro se litigant to know “what is on the menu” of potential defenses and (b) it might serve as evidence or corroboration of narratives pursued in court in creating and compelling discovery, filing and arguing motions and raising well timed objections at trial. If the preparer did fact checking and investigation, it is permissible to describe inconsistencies in the available evidence that need to be reconciled.
  • RULE #2: Anyone can write a report but few people can satisfy the burden of persuasion in court. Just because something is accepted into evidence or even admitted does not mean that it will be given any weight in the final decision. So if you are going to hire someone to review, investigate and report, that person should have a credible level of knowledge and access to data. Someone who has been through a foreclosure is neither credible nor lacking in credibility, but the other side will no doubt argue that the person had a bias against the banks. Certifications are not a substitute for experience. The greater the credentials the higher the credibility.
  • RULE #3: You are starting with bias against the homeowner. So you must focus on what will persuade the trier of fact (a judge in most cases) to rule in favor of the homeowner. To be persuasive means that the facts are presented without hypotheticals or conclusions that should be made by the judge. The presentation must gradually educate the judge as to how specifically in this case, the foreclosing party should not be allowed to continue. You don’t win by pointing out inconsistencies. You win by showing that the inconsistencies cannot be resolved even with the “help” of the robo-witness at trial.
  • RULE #4: “Everybody knows” is not a defense. If there is information available that might assist in showing that the documents are self-serving, then that might be the the jump-off point for undermining the credibility of the witness and the exhibit, but it needs to be much stronger to exclude the evidence altogether. If the foreclosing party has been the target of investigations, charges and settlement agreements based upon fabrication of documents, forgery and robosigning, that could be the jump-off point to argue that the foreclosing party must present its evidence without benefit of a legal presumption.
  • RULE #5: Wording is critically important. Describing the transaction as a loan or as an assignment basically admits that the description fits. At that point you might just as well pack up and go home. The forensic report should describe documents that have a title, and and then describe the contents and any inconsistencies or disparities. But calling the document an assignment or admitting that the loan was transferred, at least implies that there was a sale of the debt. If you check the documentation you will never see anything that refers to the sale of debt, because there was no sale of the debt.
  • RULE #6: Identify the salient points of the report in a memorandum in support of discovery or motions specifically citing to the page and position of the facts revealed in the report. If the report is for internal use only, attorney work-product etc., the use of bullet points in the report is preferable. Anything that takes less time of the attorney will save time and money. Thus if you want to assert forgery of a document the examiner would state that the signature on Document A appears to be inconsistent with the same person’s signature on Document B. THEN bring in a forensic document examiner who can give an opinion as to whether it is a forgery, back it up with demonstrative exhibits. AND remember, just because there isa  forged document doesn’t mean you win and they lose. You must persuasively argue that the forgery defeats their action.
  • RULE #7: CITATION TO CASE LAW IS LEGAL ARGUMENT — not a forensic report. But the presentation could report that as part of the instructions to the examiner, it has been assumed that X v Y case and Statute § ABC has been used as a reference point.

Here at livinglies and LENDINGLIES we are on our 12th iteration of a forensic report  for homeowners or their counsel. We call it the TERA for Title and Encumbrance Report and Analysis. It is the result of review and research by paralegals who are given instruction by me usually after I get together with the client in a short or long CONSULT.

I have long said that homeowners should stick with people who have or held licenses in professions that might affect the case. And while some people may have a professional license in a relevant field you should not make the mistake, based upon this article, of limiting the scope of work performed by them, just as you should not over-broaden the scope.

After many years of doing unrelenting research and investigation there are many people who have valuable insights that should be shared with the client. So if the forensic examiner says he notices a certain pattern of facts and that this same pattern was used in another case where the homeowner won, you should be listening even though the conclusion might be outside of his report and outside of his/her area of expertise. Note that the same fact pattern is often treated differently by different courts or even the same court.

In the TERA that we currently produce, our mission is to set forth the following elements:

  1. Sufficient information to assist the homeowner (or homeowner’s counsel) in deciding whether to fight, and if so, the toward what end.
  2. Identify the factual discrepancies.
  3. Identify areas for further investigation for discovery.
  4. Identify elements that support demands for discovery.
  5. Answer specifically worded questions posed by existing counsel or me.*
  6. Provide copies of all relevant documents as exhibits to the report.
  7. Identify subject for which a Case Analysis might be of assistance as in developing the specific narrative, strategies or tactics to pursue in the case and what to avoid.

In all cases we defer to local counsel. But with the right support and and guidance most attorneys develop specific knowledge and skills to win these cases. You don’t hear about all the cases won by homeowners because the banks pay for silence in the form of confidentiality agreements.

* EXAMPLE: It is wrong to phrase the question “Does US Bank have standing?” That calls for a legal conclusion that only the court can do. The question is better phrased “What factual evidence has been produced to support the assertion that US Bank has an interest in the subject loan?”

 

 

 

OK, We Fabricated and Forged the Documentation. So What?

As Bill Paatalo (who brought this to my attention) says: “You can’t make this s–t up.” Reality is much stranger than fiction. This marks the point where we have entered the Twilight Zone in law where the rule of law is just a guidepost not to be confused with the real rule of men.

Sheila Bair  was forced out of the Chairmanship of the FDIC by Geithner when it became obvious that this was a game she was unwilling to play. Even worse she was making her opposition public, essentially saying that the government was becoming complicit in a criminal conspiracy (not her exact words, publicly but evidence suggests she said exactly that to Geithner and probably Obama).

Let us help you plan your discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.
Purchase now Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense webinar including 3.5 hours of lecture, questions and answers, plus course materials that include PowerPoint Presentations. Presenters: Attorney and Expert Neil Garfield, Forensic Auditor Dan Edstrom, Attorney Charles Marshall and and Private Investigator Bill Paatalo. The webinar and materials are all downloadable.
Get a Consult and TEAR (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345. The TEAR replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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seeFOIA Request Reveals Servicer’s “Justification” for Fraud In Fabricating Limited Power of Attorney from FDIC

FACTS as admitted by the Servicer: They fabricated and forged documents to create a chain of title. They justified it on grounds that it would be cost prohibitive to get a title report and then request or demand execution of affidavits and other documents that would clear up the presently fatally defective chain of title. The present title shows that they have no legal ownership or other interest in the loan. The fabrication and forgery is just an efficient way to change title, such that it reflects the self proclaimed interests of parties who wish to enter the foreclosure arena.

If you don’t see what is wrong with that, I don’t know why you are reading this article.

By the same logic Homeowners could do the same thing — fabricate and forge satisfactions of mortgage, with one minor exception, to wit: Homeowners go to jail for such activities whereas banks continue to suck the lifeblood out of the American and indeed the world economy.

And THIS is why, according to all legal doctrine until the securitization era began, no party to litigation was entitled to a legal presumption of facts when they had engaged in patterns of conduct in which they had forged, fabricated or otherwise attempted to use self-serving documents that were neither official documents nor otherwise credible. The fact that presumptions continue to be used shows just how much the courts have thrown themselves behind a political decision rather than coming to legal decisions.

Presumptions are simply procedural gimmicks to assume in evidence that which is obvious and credible. Up until now they were not used, nor was their use affirmed on appeal, when the facts assumed were not obvious and subject to doubt as to credibility.

There is no workaround on that — it is in every book, treatise, article and case decision on evidence — until now. Where there was any doubt about whether the “presumption” depended upon a self serving document prepared for trial, the simple fall back position, never reversed on appeal, was that the party seeking to apply legal presumptions in proving their case, had to prove the facts without the presumptions.

So this “explanation” of bad behavior made right might be reframed like this: “It’s not economical for us to try you for murder so we are just going to presume you did it.” There is a simple fix to this obvious breach of due process: force the state to actually prove each fact instead of relying on presumptions or assumptions. That is all we ask — make the foreclosing party prove each element and each fact of their case.

Try a due process pilot program as if due process was just a suggestion. Force the foreclosers to prove each element and each fact of their case. If any of them win based upon actual facts that prove the convergence of the money trail and the paper trail then fine, keep presuming that the foreclosers are entitled to a presumption. But if they can’t prove that the way everyone had to before the mortgage meltdown, then they should lose the right to prove liability by legal presumption and lose the right to prove damages by legal presumption.

Remember even in a default situation they still must prove actual damages. Spoiler alert, they can’t. They have no person or entity that they can point to and say “Yes, they are the obligee of the debt and we represent them.”

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Definition of Obligee:

The individual to whom a particular duty or obligation is owed.

The obligation might be to pay a debt or involve the performance or nonperformance of a particular act.

The term obligee is often used synonymously with creditor.

Definition of Obligor:

The individual who owes another person a certain debt or duty.

The term obligor is often used interchangeably with debtor.

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.

For a description of our services  click here: https://wordpress.com/post/livinglies.wordpress.com/32498

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?

 

The Logic of Wall Street “Securitization:” The transaction that never existed

For more information on foreclosure offense and defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.

The logic of Wall Street schemes is simple: Create the trusts but don’t use them. Lie to everyone and assure everyone that Trusts were used to “securitize” loans. The strategy is so successful and the lie is so big and has been going on for so long, that most people believe it.

You see it in the decisions of the appellate courts who render opinions like the recent 3rd district in California which expresses the premise that the borrower was loaned money by the originator. Once you start with THAT premise, the outcome is no surprise. But start with reverse premise — that the borrower was NOT loaned money BY THE ORIGINATOR and you end up with a very different result.

We could assume that Wall Street is reckless in lending money. They can afford to be reckless because they are using investor money. And, so the story goes, the boys on Wall Street got a little wild with loans that they would never have approved for themselves.

Without risk of any loss, Wall Street investment banks make money regardless of whether the loan succeeds or goes into default.

But Wall Street is not content with earning fees. The basic credo is a question: “How can we make YOUR money OUR money.” And they have successfully devised and followed that goal for many years. As one insider told me in an interview that must remain anonymous, “It is like a magic trick. You create a trust and everyone is looking at the trust and everyone is looking at transactions affecting the trust, when in fact all the action is occurring off record, off the books and away from scrutiny by investors, trustees, rating agencies, insurers, borrowers, and of course, the courts.” 

So the question becomes “what happens to investor money after it is received by the investment bank?” If the money passes from the bank account of the managed fund (pension) fund to the bank account of the investment bank that sold bonds issued by a Trust then the Trust would receive the money. It didn’t.

The Trust would then issue funds for the origination or acquisition of loans. In return it would get the loan documents and they would be placed with the Depositor or Depository — pretty much the way ordinary loans are done. It didn’t. Instead we had millions of loan documents lost or destroyed and then re-created for litigation purposes. Why would an entire industry have engaged in that behavior? Was it really a “volume” problem where there was too much paper or was it something more sinister?

The problem is that the investment bank that acts as broker in selling the bonds is in control of the loans and investments of the Trusts. Since the fees of the investment bank are based on the existence of transactions in which the Trust issues money in exchange for investment certificates, the Wall Street bank is incentivized to make that Trust money move regardless of the quality of the investment. And since the Trust has no say in the actual underwriting decision to originate or acquire the loan, the investment bank is the only one in charge. That leaves the fox guarding the hen house.

But that doesn’t satisfy Wall Street either. They realized that they can create “proprietary profits” for the investment banks by creating a yield spread premium. A yield spread premium is the difference in value between two different loans to the same party for the same transaction — one is the honest one and the other is fictitious.

At closing the borrower is steered into the fictitious one which is far more risky and expensive than the one the borrower is actually qualified to receive.

At the investor level the “trust” is ordered to take loans that are far less valuable than they appear. This means that the Trust buys the investment bonds or shares that the investment bank has created with nobody checking the quality or ownership of the investment. The Pooling and Servicing Agreement contains provisions that effectively bars the Trustee or the investors from knowing or even inquiring about these transactions. Look at any PSA and you will see it.

The bottom line is that the worse the loan terms for the borrower and the more likely it is that the loan will fail, the lower the value of the loan. But if it is sold as though it was an ordinary conventional loan at 5%, then the price, charged for a crappy loan is much higher than its true value. Same scenario as the inflated appraisals of real property and homes. 

So the investment bank inserts itself as the Seller of the loan to the trust. At their proprietary trading desk the investment bank sells its ownership interest in the loan to the trust for the higher “value” because the investment bank is making the decisions on what loans the trust will buy. Meanwhile they have created loans that are worth far less and even have principal due on the “notes” that is far less than what the trust is forced to “pay.”

Checking with informed sources, it is evident that those proprietary transactions were fictitious and allowed the investment banks to report huge “profits” while everyone else was losing their shirts trading bonds, equities and anything else. The transaction at the proprietary trading desk of the investment bank was fictitious because the trust did not issue any payment to the investment bank, who never formally owned the loan in the first place.

You don’t see investment banks anywhere in the chain of title whether you review public records or even MERS. So you have the investment bank selling a loan they don’t own to a trust that never paid for it. The entire transaction is recorded but does not exist.

In the case of a 15% $300,000 loan to a “borrower”, it is “SOLD” as a 5% conventional loan giving the investment bank a reason to declare that it made a profit on a “proprietary trade.” How much profit? Figure it out — on the back of a napkin you can see how the investment banks “sold” the $300,000 loan but “received” $900,000 from the Trust leaving the investors with an instant $600,000 loss and the probability of losing the rest of the $300,000 as well. This is exactly opposite to the provisions of the Prospectus and PSA.

Upon examination, my sources tell me, the money to cover that declared “trading” profit does exist at the investment bank. That is because the investment bank took the money from investors, never funded the trust, and pocketed the $600,000 in advance of the “proprietary trade, which they could cause to be recorded and reported at any time, since the investment bank was in total control.

Enter moral hazard.

The only incentive that the investment bank to stay honest is to report good results so the managed funds buy more bonds. But that does not protect investors. The investment bank creates a classic PONZI scheme in which it uses investor money to make the monthly payments on the bonds or shares and reports that “all is well.” The report disclaims reliability, credibility and authenticity. Wells Fargo has an especially strong disclaimer on the distribution report to investors. The disclaimers were ignored as “boiler plate” by fund managers who made the investment on behalf of the their pensioners or mutual fund shareholders.

All the fund managers needed to know was that they were getting paid — but they did not realize that a significant part of the payment came from their own investment dollars advanced to the investment bank, as broker for the purchase of trust bonds or shares.

So the investment bank makes much less money on good investments for the trust than on really bad investments. In fact they have the  incentive to make certain the loan fails. Not only do they get the yield spread premium described above, the investment bank, is trading on inside information in which only the investment bank knows the truth. It places bets against the viability of the loan and bets further against the value of the mortgage bonds, and buys contracts for insurance, betting that the value of the bond will fall in a “credit event” without the necessity of an actual default.

SO IF THE INVESTMENT BANK DID NOT GIVE THE TRUST THE MONEY FROM INVESTORS, WHERE DID THE INVESTORS’ MONEY GO?

That is the trillion dollar question. And THIS is where the Courts have it completely wrong. Either we are a nation of laws or a nation governed by the financial industry. The banks bet on themselves, and so far, they were right to do so.

The money given to the investment banks was spread out over a long list of intermediaries owned or controlled by the investment bank. AND then SOME of it was spread out funding loans to borrowers. But the investment bank obviously could not name itself on the note and mortgage. That would have revealed that the tax advantages of a REMIC trust were nonexistent because the trust was not involved in the transaction.

So an elaborate, complicated, circuitous route was chosen for the “approval” of loans for origination or acquisition. First you have a nominee, which is often MERS plus a “lender” who was also a nominee even though they were called lender. The “lender” was subject to an assignment and assumption agreement that prohibited the “lender” from exercising any control over the closing on the loan that was being “originated.” In short, they were being paid to pretend to be a lender — hence the term pretender lender. 

The closing agent, whose fee depends upon actually closing, and the mortgage broker, whose fee depends upon actually closing, and the title company, whose fee depends upon the actual closing, have no interest in protecting the borrower from what is about to transpire.

The closing agent gets money from any one of a variety of sources OTHER THAN THE “LENDER.” The closing agent applies those funds to the closing as though the “Lender” made the loan. As stated by one mortgage document specialist for a large “originator”, “We knew that table funded loans were predatory and illegal, but we didn’t take that seriously. And the borrowers didn’t know who the lender was — that was the point. We used table funded loans to conceal the actual lender.”

Those funds came from the investors, although the money did not come through the trust. It came from the investment bank which was acting in the capacity, as they tell it, as a depository bank — which is why the Federal government allowed them to become commercial banks able to act as depositories. And every effort was made to prevent any evidence as to whose money was actually involved in the loan. Since it was the investor money that was used to originate or acquire the loan, it should have been the investors who were named as owner of the loan and recorded as such in the public records.

If you look at the PSA, it requires funding of the trust, of course. But it also requires that its acquisition of loans contain all the elements of a holder in due course, thus barring any claims from borrowers about irregularities at the closing, violations of state and federal law, etc. In summary the only defenses a borrower could raise against a holder in due course is that they paid or that they never signed the note. So a person who pays money in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses is pretty well protected. In litigation with borrowers, borrowers would be told they must sue the intermediaries that caused the problems with their loans.

The fact that no foreclosure of a loan subject to “claims of securitization” alleges HDC (holder in due course) status is very substantial corroboration that the Trust did not pay for the loan in good faith without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses.

The banks have been betting on a lot of things and winning every bet. In court they are betting that they will be treated as holders in due course and not as simply holders either with or without any right to enforce where they might be required to prove the actual loan of money from the originator, or the payment of money for an assignment and endorsement. And THAT is why the appellate court is assuming that the loan actually occurred — you, know, the loan that is underlying the execution of the note and mortgage, because the borrower didn’t know the truth.

The factual problem is that the presumptions and assumptions relied upon by the courts are in direct conflict with the real facts. The legal problem is that starting with the original loan, many cases, and always with the assignment of loan, is that somewhere in the chain (and probably at more than one point in the “chain”) there is no underlying transaction for the paper upon which the bankers rely in foreclosure.

Some OTHER transaction occurred, which is why the note is evidence of a loan that does not exist between the “lender” and the “borrower” and why the assignment is evidence of a transaction that does not exist between the assignor and assignee. The mistake being made is basic law: the courts are confusing “evidence” of a transaction with the transaction itself. In so doing they are escalating the status of the forecloser from a mere holder to a holder in due course without any actual claim or allegation of HDC status. Once that is done, the borrower is doomed.

The doom should fall on the investment bank and all the intermediaries that participated in this scheme. They left the investors with no coverage — the investors money was used in ways that were expressly prohibited by the offering, the PSA, and even the rules governing investments by stable managed funds whose risk is required to be extremely low in any investment. The investors are the involuntary lenders with no note and no mortgage.

The good news is that nearly all borrowers would be happy to execute a note and mortgage to investors who actually funded their loan or even a trust that was identified by the investors to represent them. The terms would be based upon current economic reality and would thus mitigate the damages to both the investor lenders and the borrowers. The balance, as we have already seen, lies in lawsuits for damages against the investment banks and their intermediaries demanding refunds, damages and even punitive damages. Those lawsuits are being brought by investors, borrowers, insurers, and guarantors and in some cases by counterparties to credit default swaps.

Without the execution of a real note and real mortgage, the foreclosures are fatally defective. So the bad news is that as long as the courts assume and then presume and then enter judgment for the foreclosing party, the Judge is inadvertently sealing a greater loss applied against the investor lender, removing the tax advantages of a REMIC trust, and creating another bar to liability and accountability of the investment bank who effectively has been lying and cheating its way through the system — using legal “presumptions” that are directly contrary to the facts.

Fighting Foreclosure: Where to Start

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

Darrell Blomberg is a pro se litigant who hasn’t made a monthly payment in over 4 years.  He’s not in foreclosure, but it has not come easily.  As he says, he has, “studied his eyeballs out”.  Additionally he works very closely with many homeowners, attorneys and other skilled professionals.  We are fortunate to have him here in Phoenix Arizona and have often wished we could clone him so every city could have at least one of him.  He hosts weekly strategy meetings that we recommend highly to everyone.  (For details see the end of his article below).  

In the article below, Darrell succinctly, directly, and with humor outlines where to start should you decide to fight your foreclosure.  

So you want to fight your foreclosure?  Where should you start?

Start with what you already have available to you.  What’s that?

Personally Archived Documents:

…..Real Property Purchase Contracts

…..Loan Application

Contracts Archived by Title Companies:

……….(Contact them and request the documents)

…..Real Property Purchase Contracts

…..Note

…..Mortgage or Deed of Trust

…..Complete Escrow / Closing package

Recorded Documents: (Recorded, Mailed, Posted, Advertised)

…..Deeds

…..Default Notices

…..Assignments

…..Substitutions of Trustee

…..Court Complaint or Notices of Trustee’s Sale

…..Sheriff’s Deed or Trustee’s Deeds upon sale

Prior Servicer Communication:

……….(You saved that didn’t you?)

…..Monthly statements

…..Missed-payment related documents

…..Responses from any attempted communications

…..Loan modification documents

If you choose to work with an attorney this should be the information you bring to her when you ask her to start a case for you.  If you were just getting behind in your payments and you had this much information for an attorney on your first visit… you’d probably have earned yourself a kiss!  (But don’t forget your checkbook just in case.)

The unfortunate reality is that most people show up at an attorney’s office empty-handed a few days before the foreclosure sale is scheduled to take place.  DON’T be that person.  The attorney is justified in saying she isn’t in a position to help you at that late stage of the sale process.

If you’re going to wait that far into the foreclosure process, at least show up with ALL of the above listed documents and improve your chances of showing the attorney you are worthy of her time.

Don’t want to use the services of an attorney to fight your foreclosure?  If you don’t want to hire an attorney you better have every one of the above documents!  Further, you’ll need to start cracking the books because you’re not going to be playing T-Ball in this ballpark.  You’ve made a choice to join the big league of study.  Here’s the continuing list of what you’ll not only need to learn but what you’ll need to know how to use.  And I freely add that you’ll need to use what you learned under extreme pressure!

Statutes:

…..State & Federal Statutes

…..Civil & Criminal

Case Law:

…..State & Federal

…..Search the highest applicable court first!

Rules:

…..Rules of Evidence

…..Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure

……….(Local, State, Appellate & Supreme Court, Eviction Actions)……….

…..Rules of Court

…..Oh yes, there’s State & Federal for these too!

…..

Resources:

…..Many Dictionaries & Thesauri (An Antonym resource is helpful too)

……….Old and New

……………(Definitions change and you’ll want to use the right definition)

…..Law Dictionaries

……….Black’s (9 editions, get a couple different ones)

……….Bouvier’s

…..Law Library

……….Many are publicly available

……….Call the state & local courts

……….Check the local Universities

…..Internet

……….Law Schools websites

……….Google Scholar

……….State & Local governmental bodies

……………Administrative Agencies

……………Legislatures

……………Courts

……….Specialty Blogs

……….Specialty websites

…..Other helpful resources

……….American Jurisprudence

……….American Law Reports

……….Corpus Juris Secundum

……….Scholarly Articles

Now that we’ve got that figured out, where do you start?  The best place to start is with an in depth forensic review of your documents?  You’re up to that aren’t you?  What are you looking for?  The big three are: Errors! Contractual Violations! Statutory Violations!

Documents need to be checked thoroughly for authenticity, chronology, timeliness, correct contents, information consistency, method of delivery, chain of parties, authorization and proper notarization.  (Robo-signing hasn’t been established as a game-changer yet.)

The nice thing about reviewing your own documents is that you have all of the evidence.  It’s either in your possession or it is publicly available!  You can even get the recorded docs in “self-authenticating” form on line for just a few dollars.

BIG PROBLEM!

So you’re taking on an adversary with essentially unlimited assets, unlimited time and NO ACCOUNTABILITY.  That’s a monstrous task.  You need allies.  You’re not going to do this alone.  You’ve got to work with other like-minded individuals who are as committed as you.  I suggest you either find such a group or you start one.  I’ve started one and I’ll follow up with a post about that in the near future.

A strong group should amicably pool their talents and efforts.  In 10 months of running weekly meetings I’ve learned a lot.

The number one thing I have learned is that all defenders MUST start sharing ALL of their positive and negative experiences.  This includes; documents, pleadings, court results and bank, servicer and trustee communications.  Why?  Because everybody could have learned something from your share and perhaps helped you too.  But, if you didn’t share, we all missed out on the observation or discovery someone else might have made about your efforts if you had shared your experience.

If we keep up the diligent effort, the Banks, Servicers and Trustees will not prevail!  Attorneys and homeowners who educate themselves and rally together will prevail!

May your opportunities be bountiful and your possibilities be unlimited.

“Emissary of Observation”

Darrell Blomberg

Darrell@ForeclosureStrategists.com

The meetings I host are every Tuesday.

Here’s the details:

FORECLOSURE STRATEGISTS’ weekly meetings

7:00pm to 9:00pm. Come early for dinner and socialization. (Food service is also available during meeting.)

Macayo’s Restaurant, 602-264-6141, 4001 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012. (east side of Central Ave just south of Indian School Rd.)

COST: $10 per couple… and whatever you want to spend on yourself for dinner, helpings are generous so bring an appetite.

Please Bring a Guest!

(NOTE: There is a $2.49 charge for the Happy Hour Buffet unless you at least order a soft drink.)

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Don’t be so fast to leave your home just because you are “behind”. Those payments might not be due at all or if they are, they are probably not owed to the people you are paying.

We are very pleased with the responses from our devoted readers, many of whom are direct contributors to this site. The insights, forms and analysis from the many soldiers — lawyers and laymen alike has made this site the premier resource for assisting distressed homeowners in gaining relief — sometimes total relief — from Mortgages based upon false appraisals, using predatory lending practices and withholding vital information from borrowers at the closing table.

How many borrowers would have signed on the dotted line if they had known that they were signing a ticket for unprecedented and unjustified fees and profits earned by unknown parties — sometimes as much as the mortgage itself?

How many investors would have put up the money if they had known that only some of it was being used to fund mortgage transactions and that the rest was being kept as fees, profits and reserves to pay them out of their own money? EDUCATE YOURSELF! DOWNLOAD THE ATTORNEY WORKBOOK WITH FORMS, DISCUSSION, PRESENTATION SLIDES, GRAPHS, GLOSSARY AND STATUTES OR BUY THE LAWYER\’S DVD CLE FULL-DAY SEMINAR SET

The victims here are all homeowners and all consumers and all investors and all  taxpayers. The companies seeking to foreclose never owned the mortgage, note or obligation. They have no right to your property or the proceeds of sale to your property. Use this blogsite as your resource to educate yourself. Consult with local counsel. AT LEAST START WITH A LOAN SPECIFIC TITLE SEARCH WITHOUT COMMENTARY AND SEE FOR YOURSELF WHERE THE BREAKS ARE IN THE CHAIN OF TITLE. SUBSCRIBE AS A MEMBER TO GET MULTIPLE BENEFITS AND DISCOUNTS Get a forensic review NOT just a “TILA loan audit” and challenge EVERYTHING!

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The MERS Mortgage Twilight Zone- Judges Not Afraid to Do What’s Right

GREAT POST BY MATT WEIDNER

even if the instant motion was timely, the explanations offered by plaintiff’s counsel,
in his affirmation in support of the instant motion and various documents attached to exhibit F of
the instant motion, attempting to cure the four defects explained by the Court in the prior May 2,
2008 decision and order, are so incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous that they
should have been authored by the late Rod Serling, creator of the famous science-fiction
televison series, The Twilight Zone. Plaintiff’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C., appears to be
operating in a parallel mortgage universe, unrelated to the real universe.

plaintiff’s counsel claims that the assignment is valid because Ms. Gazzo is an officer of MERS, not an agent of MERS. Putting aside Ms. Gazzo’s conflicted status as both assignor attorney and employee of assignee’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C., how would the Court have known from the plain language of the September 10, 2007 assignment that the assignor, Ms. Gazzo, is an officer of MERS? She does not state in the assignment that she is an officer of MERS and the corporate resolution is not attached.

The MERS Mortgage Twilight Zone- Judges Not Afraid to Do What’s Right
Posted on July 17, 2010 by Foreclosureblues
Editor’s Note…This discusses the newly famous “Twilight Zone” decision by a judge in favor of a NY homeowner. What it would be like to be the first attorney or homeowner on your block to enter….”The Twilight Zone.”

http://foreclosureblues.wordpress.com

The MERS Mortgage Twilight Zone- Judges Not Afraid to Do What’s Right
Today, July 17, 2010, 2 hours ago | Matthew D. Weidner, Esq.

http://www.4closureFraud.org
Discussion
“The instant renewed motion is dismissed for untimeliness. Plaintiff made its renewed motion for
an order of reference 204 days late, in violation of the Court’s May 2, 2008 decision and order.
Moreover, even if the instant motion was timely, the explanations offered by plaintiff’s counsel,
in his affirmation in support of the instant motion and various documents attached to exhibit F of
the instant motion, attempting to cure the four defects explained by the Court in the prior May 2,
2008 decision and order, are so incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous that they
should have been authored by the late Rod Serling, creator of the famous science-fiction
televison series, The Twilight Zone. Plaintiff’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C., appears to be
operating in a parallel mortgage universe, unrelated to the real universe.
Rod Serling’s opening
narration, to episodes in the 1961 – 1962 season of The Twilight Zone (found at
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt005250/quotes), could have been an introduction to the arguments
presented in support of the instant motion by plaintiff’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C. – “You are
[*7]traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A
journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone.”
With respect to the first issue for the renewed motion for an order of reference, the validity of the
September 10, 2007 assignment of the subject mortgage and note by MERS, as nominee for
CAMBRIDGE, to plaintiff HSBC by “Nicole Gazzo, Esq., on behalf of MERS, by Corporate
Resolution dated 7/19/07,” plaintiff’s counsel claims that the assignment is valid because Ms.
Gazzo is an officer of MERS, not an agent of MERS. Putting aside Ms. Gazzo’s conflicted status
as both assignor attorney and employee of assignee’s counsel, Steven J. Baum, P.C., how would
the Court have known from the plain language of the September 10, 2007 assignment that the
assignor, Ms. Gazzo, is an officer of MERS? She does not state in the assignment that she is an
officer of MERS and the corporate resolution is not attached.
Thus, counsel’s claim of a valid
assignment takes the Court into “another dimension” with a “journey into a wondrous land of
imagination,” the mortgage twilight zone.”

New York trial court judges Arthur Schack and Jeffrey Spinner have received international attention for their “courageous” opinions denying foreclosure to banks when the banks present absurd foreclosure cases in front of them and demand judgment.

The really absurd thing about all the attention these judges have gotten is that there isn’t anything courageous about the opinions at all. Not to diminish at all the good work of these judges and the other judges that are actually challenging the absurd standards of the foreclosure mills–because they really are acting courageously–the point is that opinions like the ones they get attention for could be written by every single circuit court judge in this state if the judges would take a deep breath, step back from their courtrooms and really think about what they are doing.

Sometimes we all need to take a step back and view our world and our work from a different perspective. I implore each of you to read the attached MERS Mortgage Twilight Zone opinion. Print this opinion out and share it with every judge you come in front of. Share the opinion with the new senior judges.

They may scoff and disregard you at first, but you’re not seeking a “kill” right there. You may not convince that judge to change his or her perspective on the spot, but I am convinced that if the judges take this opinion home and read it not in the pressured environment of their courtrooms, but in the quiet space of their homes, they will start to see absurdity playing out in their courtrooms. I’ve learned how important it is to share my work with my significant other and with folks who are not immersed in this world. Recognition is the first step. Solutions come next. Read the opinion in its entirety and think about how it applies directly to each of the cases you find yourself involved in…

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