Quiet Title “Packages”

The promise by some title search vendors of a cheap lawsuit that will get rid of your mortgage is generally not based in reality. You might be able to beat a foreclosure with title issues but you probably won’t get rid of the mortgage or deed of trust without pleading and proving that the mortgage or deed of trust is completely void — like it never should have existed or doesn’t exist now by operation of law.
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There are many people out there who are pursuing a business model of offering a quiet title package, sometimes using the word “Turnkey.” Most of these people are well-meaning but not lawyers and they are lacking basic legal knowledge. While the title work by people like BPInvestigations is excellent, the promise by some title search vendors of a cheap lawsuit that will get rid of your mortgage is generally not based in reality. You might be able to beat a foreclosure with title issues but you probably won’t get rid of the mortgage or deed of trust without pleading and proving that the mortgage or deed of trust is completely void — like it never should have existed or doesn’t exist now by operation of law.

Personally I think that condition is satisfied by TILA rescission, but the courts are still rebelling against the idea of giving that much power to borrowers. So while I am certain it is correct, I am equally certain that the defense shield raised by the banks is working even though it does not pass muster legally and will probably be struck down again by the US Supreme Court.

While these offers may sound attractive there are many pitfalls and trap doors that will prevent a homeowner from actually achieving anything by focusing on a strategy that is dependent upon a court issuing a declaration quieting title. The very word “quiet” should give you a hint. There must be an actual controversy or dispute involving a present situation requiring the court to decide the rights of the parties. Courts are NOT in the business of issuing advisory opinions.

The Marketing title says it all — it is a “turnkey” “quiet title” package suing for damages. There is no such thing as turnkey title — they don’t know all the possibilities of defects in title. And they won’t know it even after they produce a title report either, although they will have a pretty good list of possibilities of title defects.
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Without a title expert (usually an attorney) analyzing the title going back to the last time that a real title examiner looked carefully at title to the subject property, nobody knows what is a defect, what can be corrected by affidavit, and what prevents the grantee of an instrument from doing anything with it. This might mean going back 30 years or more.

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Quiet title is an action in equity that is a complaint for declaratory relief wherein the court says “here are the names of the stakeholders and here is the stake of each holder.” But no court is going to allow the lawsuit for that without pleading a present controversy — because that would be the Court giving legal advice.

So you would have to say “A is the owner of the property but B (or B, C and D) is/are saying it is the owner of the property (or B is saying that it has a valid encumbrance upon the land. I am trying to sell, refinance the land and I can’t complete the transaction because of B’S claim, which I think is bogus because [fill in the blank, e.g., the mortgage is a void or wild instrument because …]. So in order to complete my pending transaction I need a declaration from the court as to whether B is a stakeholder, like they say or B is not a stakeholder like I say.” If you don’t have those elements present the court will dismiss the lawsuit 99 times out of 100.

The promise of damages is bogus. That is an action at law that could be derived from any number of breaches or torts by the defendant(s). It could never derive from a turnkey quiet title package even if there was one. It would be a different lawsuit saying B had this duty, they breached it, or committed an intentional tort, and that was the proximate cause of actual damages to me that include x, y and z.

 

And as many people have found out when they sued for quiet title and had their suit dismissed or judgment entered against them there are two main reasons for that. First, they could not properly plead a present controversy or the competing “stakes” in the property. Second, they could not tie in ACTUAL damages to a breach of duty or intentional tort by the defendant. Proximately caused means legally caused.

Most judges view such lawsuits as “”B is bad. Give me title and whatever monetary damages you think will punish them.” The homeowners are skipping the part that where there are no actual damages you don’t get punitive damages. You can’t sue for JUST punitive damages. If you don’t have actual damages you don’t have standing to sue. The Latin for this is damnum absque injuria. Just because somebody was negligent or greedy doesn’t mean you can sue if you are not a party who suffered actual damages from their illegal act.

Quiet Title Claims Explained

see also https://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/hawaii-federal-district-court-applies-rules-of-evidence-bonymellon-us-bank-jp-morgan-chase-failed-to-prove-sale-of-note/
If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Analysis: If you are thinking that with all the publicity surrounding the obvious fatal defects in the millions of foreclosures already completed, quiet title should be unnecessary, you are probably right. The fact is that the real world is more complicated and as Elizabeth Warren and several dozen bloggers and journalists have pointed out the average of $300 per homeowner being paid to settle the matter is not just inadequate it is stupid. No amount of money will actually cure the current title corruption on record in all 50 states due to practice of allowing complete strangers to the transaction to self-anoint themselves as creditors, foreclose on property and submit a credit bid at auction when they were not owed any money and there was no credit relationship between the homeowner and the bidder.

Quiet Title is an effective tool but it is not a silver bullet. It is about what is contained in the county records. If someone accidentally (or on purpose) records a lien against your property and they refuse to retract it, then you are forced to file an action with the Court that says I own the property and my title is clouded by documents that were recorded as liens against my title.

Those liens are not lawful, and they should be declared null and void or at a minimum the court should issue a declaratory statement based upon facts of the case that sets forth the stakeholders in the property and the nature of their claim.

In order to claim the latter, you would need to state that while the lien is unlawful, the party named on the lien, or the party claiming to hold the right to the lien, refuses to cooperate with clearing title or to explain the nature of their claim. Thus the homeowner is left with a lien which is unlawful and a claimant who insists that it is lawful. The homeowner is in doubt as to his rights and therefore asks the Court to quiet title or declare the rights of the parties.

In filing quiet title claims the mistake most often made is that it is being used defensively instead of offensively. The complaint that fails merely attacks the right of some pretender lender to foreclose. That is not a quiet title action. That is a denial of the debt, note, mortgage, default, notice etc.

And the Courts regularly and correctly dismiss such claims as quiet title claims. You can’t quiet tile because someone does not have a right to foreclose. You can only quiet title if you can assert and prove to the Court that the items on record do not apply to you or  your property and therefore should be removed.

AND you can’t get through a motion to dismiss a declaratory action if you don’t state that you are in doubt and give cogent reasons why you are in doubt. If you state that the other side has no right to do anything and end it there, you are using quiet title defensively rather than offensively in a declaratory action.

Stating that the pretender lender has no right to foreclose is not grounds for a declaratory action either. If you make a short plain statement of FACTS (not conclusions of law) upon which the relief sought could be granted you survive a motion to dismiss. If you only state the conclusions of law, you lose the motion to dismiss.

In such a declaratory action you must state that you have doubts because the pretender lender has taken the position and issued statements, letters or demands indicating they are the owner of the lien but you have evidence from expert analyses from title and securitization experts that they are not the owner of the line and they never were.

Remember in securitized transactions you would need to name the original named payee on the note and the secured party(ies) and state that they never should have recorded the lien because they did not perform as required by the agreement (i.e., they didn’t loan you money) and/or because they received loss mitigation payments in excess of the amount due. If you want to get more elaborate, you can say that they now claim to have nothing to do with the loan and refuse to apply loss mitigation payments to the loan even though they were received.

The problem in Florida is that such claims may be interpreted by the Clerk as claims relating to land and title which requires the ungodly amount of $1900 in filing fees alone, which I personally think is an unconscionable and unconstitutional denial of access to the court to all except people with a lot of money.

So you might want to go with slander of title seeking money damages or failure to refund over-payments received from sale or mitigation payments relating to your loan. That COULD be the basis of a claim in which the property is already sold at auction, short-sale, or resale. If the pretender lender received the payoff or the property illegally and then fraudulently executed a satisfaction of mortgage even though they were never the lender nor the purchaser of the loan, then you, as the owner of the property are probably entitled to that money plus interest and probably attorney fees.

PRACTICE NOTE: Strategically it seems like it is tough going if you attack the title under correct but unpalatable causes of action (i.e. actions that the judicial system already has decided they don’t like the outcome — a free house to the homeowner). So the other way of skinning the cat is to file actions for damages and that I think is the future of mortgage litigation. The basic action is simple breach of contract (the agreement to enter into the loan transaction and/or the note).

Filing suit for damages AFTER the sale gives you playing field without moving goal posts and allows fairly simple straightforward causes of action which many attorneys will soon realize they can take strictly on contingency or mostly on contingency. The net result may well be either the tender of money and/or the tender of the property back to the homeowner or former homeowner in lieu of payment for damages.It also opens the door to the possibility of punitive, treble, or exemplary damages or some combination of those.

At my firm we are looking hard at closings where the pretender lender took the money and ran on a short-sale or resale. It is clear-cut. They either had a right to the money or they didn’t. IF they didn’t have the right to execute the satisfaction of mortgage or if they fraudulently diverted the money to their own benefit in lieu of the creditor from whom they did receive authority, then you still have a right to refund of the money that unjustly enriched the pretender lender.  The money goes to the former owner/seller and to nobody else. If there is a claimant that wishes to step forward to attack the award, then we will deal with it, but based upon my information such claims will not be made.

More News:

Error Claims Cast Doubt on Bank of America Foreclosures in Bay Area
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/series/mortgage-mess/Error-Claims-Cast-Doubt-on-Bank-of-America-Foreclosures-in-Bay-Area-204764581.html

Number of homes entering foreclosure plunges in California
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-foreclosure-report-20130424,0,6017958.story

Politics: While Wronged Homeowners Got $300 Apiece in Foreclosure Settlement, Consultants Who Helped Protect Banks Got $2 Billion
http://m.rollingstone.com/?seenSplash=1&redirurl=/politics/blogs/taibblog/while-wronged-homeowners-got-300-apiece-in-foreclosure-settlement-consultants-who-helped-protect-banks-got-2-billion-20130426

Minnesota Supreme Court Affirms That Foreclosing Parties Must Record Mortgage Assignments Prior To Initiating Foreclosure By Advertisement
http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/minnesota-supreme-court-affirms-that-for-50369/

Presenting: The Housing Bubble 2.0
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-29/presenting-housing-bubble-20

 

Chase Reliance on Bogus Affidavit and “operation of law”

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For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

Chase clearly has a problem, as set forth in the recent Michigan Supreme Court decision. There is no “operation of law” by which the loan could have been transferred. The purchase and assumption agreement do not transfer the loans —- especially and obviously the loans that WAMU had already sold. The FDIC receiver has stated that no document exists assigning the loans. And no document exists that gives Chase the right to service the loans, but that would probably not be a strong point. If they assert agency for servicing and everyone accepted the assertion by conduct, it would be hard to achieve anything attacking their status as a servicer. But that doesn’t mean they are a creditor.

Without an assignment, the loan, even if the loan documents are valid (highly questionable), would still be in the estate of WAMU, which technically doesn’t exist unless something is reopened — the receivership, the bankruptcy etc. What is required here is clarity on who the principal is since Chase cannot claim subrogation without showing proof of payment, which they don’t have.

Perhaps there should be some discussion as to a declaratory action seeking injunctive and supplemental relief.  The homeowner is in doubt as to who is on first: Chase asserts ownership but has produced neither an assignment nor proof of payment. WAMU doesn’t exist any more but we don’t have any evidence that the loan was transferred. The FDIC receiver has stated that  more than 2/3 of all loans originated by WAMU were sold into the secondary market where they were subject to claims of securitization.

The documents for securitization, if they exist, may well follow the standard operating procedure of the securitization participants of attempting to assign a loan in default in violation of the prospectus and PSA. And the attempted transfer is generally far outside the 90 day window allowed by the PSA and the REMIC statute, both of which prohibit acquisition of new mortgages.

Hence the probabilities, as per the FDIC receiver is that the loan was packaged for sale and “Securitization” but neither the sale nor the securitization occurred, thus leaving the loan within the WAMU estate, which has been closed.

Nonetheless the REMIC trust that could be asserted to own the loan has not been disclosed, leaving three potential claimants — Chase, which has neither assignment nor proof of payment, the WAMU estate which has been closed, and the REMIC trust that was in all probability used to assert claims of sale, transfer and securitization of the loan.

A fourth category of claimant, the investors who advanced money to purchase fractional shares in the REMIC trust would emerge if the securitization claims were unsupported.

Arguments of standing apply for jurisdictional purposes because there is no proof or evidence (or even an allegation) on record that the owner of the loan receivable (one of the possibilities mentioned above) was not paid by a party waiving subrogation (a standard provision in all insurance contracts and credit default swaps) protecting the value of the bond.

Standing aside, the identity of the principal owning the loan receivable as evidenced by origination, assignment and proof of payment must be established before any party can  submit a “credit bid.” in lieu of cash at auction. Further, a complete accounting from WAMU, Chase and any parties involved in securitization or sale into the secondary market especially including the Master Servicer who would know the actual balance of the receivable after deduction for insurance and credit default swaps receipts.

This would have an effect on the redemption rights of the borrower, the ability of the borrower to modify, and whether a default actually existed at the time of the notice of default and notice of sale which in all likelihood contained a demand for an amount far in excess of the loan receivable after proper allocation of deductions are made.

The review process, as farcical as it is turning out to be is thus corrupted from the start. Although Chase is communicating with the borrower on the review process, there is no evidence that they have any right to do so. A letter should be sent back to Chase saying that based upon the information available thus far, there is a question as to whether they are the authorized servicer, and if so, how that happened. Secondly, there is a question as to the party for whom they are performing the review process as the creditor. They should be asked in the letter, for the identity of the creditor — i.e., the party who can show assignment and proof of payment.

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