If you don’t challenge the smoke and mirrors the smoke becomes law and the mirrors become an inescapable nightmare.

Bottom Line: Failure to attack the facial validity of the documents is virtually hanging the homeowner letting him/her twist in the wind. Without such a relentless attack based upon scrutiny of the exact wording on documents revealing that nobody is actually identified as a real party in interest, you will be trapped by an endless cascade of legal presumptions against the homeowner.

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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. Order a PDR BASIC to have us review and comment on your notice of TILA Rescission or similar document.
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.
==========================

In response to an email from a fellow attorney asking me about bankruptcy (BKR), the statute of limitations (SOL) adn renewing the debt after BKR discharge or renewing the payment by acknowledging it after BKR, I wrote the following.

  1. If the loan was scheduled as secured in favor of a particular creditor it is probably incorrect. If the loan was subject to a valid encumbrance at all, it almost certainly was not in favor of the current claimant, who has not purchased the debt and therefore no debt was transferred in fact despite paperwork appearing to state the contrary. Nor has the current claimant obtained authorization from the real owner of the debt as agent or representative.
  2. SOL: You are right but courts got tricky with this and they rule, like in Florida, that the statute ran out only on payments that were due and that there is a presumption of deceleration at some point. Check NY law. Florida is changing back to the old rule slowly which supports your view.
  3. Any payment on a debt can restart the statute running. Check Federal BKR law and NY Law. Payment while in BKR presents problems if not done with court approval.
  4. Under “modification” there are several problems. First every such modification is in actuality the transfer of the debt from an old pretender to a new pretender (servicer). In most respects it is a new loan agreement entirely, probably subject to TILA disclosure requirements because the old chain of title is being abandoned and a new one is being started — all without any reference to or formal grant of authority from the actual owner of the debt.  Payments under such a “modification” agreements are not really payments on the debt because the payment is neither going to the owner of the debt nor anyone formally authorized by the owner of the debt. Such payments could be construed as a new and probably unenforceable obligation.
  5. Acknowledgment by borrower of the debt owed to Pretender A directed to Pretender B is not acknowledgment of the debt if neither of them was the owner of the debt or an authorized representative or agent of the owner of the debt. But unless you attack the facial validity of the instruments, the law of the case will slide toward treating both pretenders as real. Once final that becomes irreversible.
  6. BKR discharge operates by law and not individual action. See BKR law and procedure. A promise to pay AFTER discharge might subject both the pretender creditor and the borrower to sanctions.
  7. An unconditional promise is just that and it is enforceable if supported by consideration. But there is no consideration.
  8. At a minimum there should be disclosure to the court and possibly seek court approval for agreements signed. But if you do that you are again creating law of the case that essentially requires treatment of the pretenders as real parties.

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.

==============================
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.
===========================
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.
*
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.
*
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. 
*
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).
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.  
*
This also means that there can be no foreclosure because the loan contract has been replaced by a statutory “contract.”
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.
*
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.

Does the Debt Need to Transfer with the Mortgage?

The answer is yes but the movement of the debt is often, all too often, presumed to have occurred. After more than a decade of research and analysis I find no support for the informal “doctrine” that the debt, note and mortgage can be used interchangeably. But the human inclination is to treat them the same. In foreclosure defense it is the job of the advocate to establish the separate nature of each of them.

The debt is what arises, regardless of whether it is in writing or not, by virtue of money being paid to the recipient or paid on his/her/their behalf. The only way the debt is extinguished is by payment or a court order (e.g. bankruptcy) declaring that the debt no longer exists. The recipient of the money is the obligor. The party who paid the money is the obligee under the debt. The transaction itself gives rise to the duty to repay the loan. A writing (e.g. note or mortgage or deed of trust) that purports to relate to or memorialize the debt, is separate from the debt.

If the written instrument (note) is made payable to the obligee under the debt, then they both are saying the same thing. That causes the debt and the written instrument (note) to merge. That way the obligor does not subject himself to an additional liability (double liability) when he executes the note. The note is incident to the debt but not the debt itself. The mortgage is incident to the debt and is neither the note nor the debt itself.

The debt is a demand loan if there is no written instrument. The note, where merger has occurred, sets forth the plan of repayment. The mortgage (if merger occurred on the note) sets forth the plan for enforcement of the debt. The mortgage does not set forth the terms of enforcement of the note since the note already contains its own enforcement provisions.

If the debt and the note don’t say the same thing (i.e., if the obligee and the payee are different), the doctrine of merger does not apply. The obligation to repay still exists but not under the terms and conditions of any note nor is it subject to enforcement of the mortgage. The debt (obligation to repay), the note and the mortgage (or deed of trust) can each be transferred; but the transfer of one does not mean the transfer of all three. Transfer of a note or mortgage does not move the debt unless merger has occurred. And transfer of a mortgage without the debt is a nullity.

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.

I provide advice and consent 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.

===========================

NY Case Citation

see NY Court: Transfer of a mortgage without transfer of the debt

Common sense is not necessarily the law or policy. Any number of people can enforce a note even if they don’t own the debt and even if they don’t actually have physical possession of the note (although there is a lot of explaining to do).

BUT nobody can enforce a mortgage unless they are the owner of the debt and the owner of the mortgage or the owner of the beneficial interest under a deed of trust. The assignment of a mortgage or DOT cannot, under any circumstances CREATE an interest in the debt by either party. The assignor must own the debt for the assignment to transfer the debt. All states agree that an assignment means nothing if the assignor had nothing to assign. Such an assignment confers no rights on the assignor and the assignee gets nothing even though the “assignment” document physically exists.

BUT a facially valid note is given many presumptions as to enforcement of the note and those presumptions have led courts to erroneously conclude and presume that the enforcer of the note is the owner of the debt.

The only party who is entitled to claim ownership of the debt (obligation) is the one who paid for it. Any party claiming to represent the owner of the debt must show the agency connection between themselves and the owner of the debt. All other “transfer” documents are fabrications.

The only way the “agent” can prove the “agency” is by disclosing the identity of the owner of the debt, who can corroborate the claim of agency — if the party identified can prove ownership of the debt. Self serving statements are not without some value but if the party proffering self serving statements is unable or unwilling to proffer corroborating evidence at trial or in response to discovery, their self serving statements must be given scant weight.

So in the above link the Court summarized the law in the same way that the courts in all states — when pushed — understand the law. Note the huge difference between alleging standing and proving standing. The allegation makes it through a motion to dismiss. Failure of proof of standing results in denial of summary judgment or any judgment.

“A plaintiff in a mortgage foreclosure action establishes its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by producing the mortgage, the unpaid note, and evidence of the defendant’s default (see Loancare v Firshing, 130 AD3d 787, 788 [2015]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Erobobo, 127 AD3d 1176, 1177 [2015]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v DeSouza, 126 AD3d 965 [2015]; Citimortgage, Inc. v Chow Ming Tung, 126 AD3d 841, 842 [2015]; US Bank N.A. v Weinman, 123 AD3d 1108, 1109 [2014]). Where, as here, a defendant challenges the plaintiff’s standing to maintain the action, the plaintiff must also prove its standing as part of its prima facie showing (e.s.)(see HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Roumiantseva, 130 AD3d 983 [2015]; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Baptiste, 128 AD3d 773, 774 [2015]; Plaza Equities, LLC v Lamberti, 118 AD3d 688, 689 [2014]).” LNV Corp. v Francois, 134 AD3d 1071, 1071—72 [2d Dept 2015].

“[A] plaintiff has standing where it is both the holder or assignee of the subject mortgage and the holder or assignee of the underlying note at the time the action is commenced. (Bank of NY v. Silverberg, 86 AD3d 274, 279 [2nd Dept. 2011], U.S. Bank N.A. v. Cange, 96 AD3d 825, [*3]826[2d Dept. 2012]; U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Collymore, 68 AD3d 752-754 [2d 2009]; Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v. Gress, 68 AD3d 709[2d Dpt. 2009].) Either a written assignment of the underlying note or the physical delivery of the note prior to the commencement of the foreclosure action is sufficient to transfer the obligation, and the mortgage passes with the debt as an inseparable incident (citations omitted). However, a transfer or assignment of only the mortgage without the debt is a nullity and no interest is acquired by it, since a mortgage is merely security for a debt and cannot exist independently of it (citations omitted). Where…the issue of standing is raised by a defendant, a plaintiff must prove its standing in order to be entitled to relief (citations omitted).” (e.s.)Homecomings Fin., LLC v Guldi, 108 AD3d 506-508[2d Dept. 2013].

Vulture Firms: The Last Step in a Chain of Illegal Paper, with the Debt Long Gone

The key element of the paper strategy has been to create the illusion of transfers of assets, thus supporting the erroneous narrative that with all those parties purchasing the loans, a lot of due diligence MUST have been done and therefore the screaming defense of homeowners (attacking ownership) is nothing but a dilatory stall tactic.

What is consistently missed, even by people who are completely fed up with the banks and regulatory agencies that have given a wink and nod at plainly fraudulent practices, is that the only “asset” is the paper, and that the debt itself has never moved. In a true securitization the debt would indeed be transferred. But all claims of securitization of debt that are based upon CLAIMS of ownership rather than the ownership itself are groundless. Thus neither Vulture Firms nor any of their predecessors ever owned the debt.

This is why we have lawyers go to law schools. Such convoluted schemes are not easily deciphered without experts and lawyers. Lawyers understand the distinction between the debt, the note and the mortgage. But lawyers forget and lay people never knew about the distinction. It isn’t technical. It is all about keeping transactions on paper honest.

And right now nearly all of the hundreds of millions of documents are being used around the world to foreclose, or support the sale of the paper note and mortgage and derivatives based upon the value of those millions of documents containing false recitations and inferences of fact.

So borrowers, whether their payments (to the wrong party) are “current” or not, like the one in the story found in the link below are stuck in the very place that legislators and regulators have said could never happen in a legal mortgage lending situation: no knowledge about the identity of the obligee of the debt. Foreclosure defense lawyers who win cases punch holes in the foreclosure case simply by knowing they are not dealing with anyone who owns the debt nor anyone who is representing the obligee in the underlying debt (i.e., the real world).

Let us help you plan your discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.
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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).
https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

Hat tip Eric Mains and Bill Paatalo

see Vulture Firms Must Clean Up the Mess

So people ask me the obvious question, to wit: “If the paper didn’t transfer the debt because the seller, assignor or endorser never owned the debt, where is the debt now?”

The answer is simpler than you might imagine. The only two parties are the obligor (the person who took the money) and the obligee (the person who gave the money). The current obligee (owner of the debt) in most instances is a group of investors who are beneficiaries of multiple paper trusts that have never existed nor been active. THAT is why you never see any assertion that the debt has been purchased.

No money has exchanged hands in any of the transfers except in the case of vulture firms who pay fractions of a cent on the dollar for the paper. They don’t buy the debt because the seller of the paper doesn’t own the debt.

The one simple law school issue taught repeatedly in several classes — Contracts, Bills and Notes etc. — is that the debt arises no from paper but from action. There is no debt if there is no money exchanged between the parties claiming to be part of the transaction.

The debt arises by operation of law without  and even despite the existence or nonexistence of any written instruments — virtually all of which are subject to hearsay objections and lacking in factual foundation, to wit: an actual transaction in the real world in which reciprocal consideration was exchanged between the obligor and the obligee.

If the written instrument recites or assumes that the parties to the instrument are in fact identical to the parties to the real world transaction, then the parties to the debt would be identical to the parties on the written instrument. So keep this in your bonnet while you are planning defense strategy: at some point, usually at origination, a debt was created, separate and distinct from the recitals on the note and mortgage.

If the written instrument recites or assumes that the parties to the instrument are in fact identical to the parties to the debt, but the recital or assumption is untrue. Assumptions and presumptions are based upon one singular doctrine — they are used for judicial economy only where the the presumption clearly is true and where no contest to the presumption is introduced by the defense.

If the defense asserts and gives some argument or evidence that is inconsistent with the presumed “fact,” then the burden shifts back to the party who claimed the benefit of the presumption — i.e. they must prove the real world transaction that was being presumed. There is no prejudice to forcing such a party to prove the fact that they wished to be presumed — unless they were lying to begin with.

 

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

CASE DISMISSED,WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. US BANK DECLINED TO AMEND. CASE DISMISSED.

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

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

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

Let us draft your motions and do the research necessary to draw the attention of the court to the fraud taking place under their noses. 202-838-6345
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).
https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

Hat tip Bill Paatalo

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

See Judgment – USB Trust for LSF9 v Monroe –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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—————-

Hat Tip to Bill Paatalo

Keybank – maine supreme court

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Stupid Law

Hat tip to Bill Paatalo who wrote the main article. See link below.

I would like to say that this could have happened only in Arkansas, but that isn’t true. Watch how the Court twisted itself into a pretzel in its determines effort to make Wells Fargo win despite admitting to unlawfully altering the note by a forged endorsement.

I note also how the court steadfastly avoids the subject of ownership of the debt and clings to the notion that ownership of the note — i.e., the piece of paper that is EVIDENCE OF THE LOAN — is as deep as the court is willing to go.

see https://bpinvestigativeagency.com/wells-fargo-admits-to-executing-wamu-note-endorsement-in-2013-and-gets-away-with-it/

Register Now- 2 CLEs: Death of a Salesman — when the party who “originated” an apparent loan transaction is dead or bankrupt.

 

 

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