Problems with Lehman and Aurora

Lehman had nothing to do with the loan even at the beginning when the loan was funded, it acted as a conduit for investor funds that were being misappropriated, the loan was “sold” or “transferred” to a REMIC Trust, and the assets of Lehman were put into a bankruptcy estate as a matter of law.

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

—————-
I keep receiving the same question from multiple sources about the loans “originated” by Lehman, MERS involvement, and Aurora. Here is my short answer:
 *

Yes it means that technically the mortgage and note went in two different directions. BUT in nearly all courts of law the Judge overlooks this problem despite clear law to the contrary in Florida Statutes adopting the UCC.

The stamped endorsement at closing indicates that the loan was pre-sold to Lehman in an Assignment and Assumption Agreement (AAA)— which is basically a contract that violates public policy. It violates public policy because it withholds the name of the lender — a basic disclosure contained in the Truth in Lending Act in order to make certain that the borrower knows with whom he is expected to do business.

 *
Choice of lender is one of the fundamental requirements of TILA. For the past 20 years virtually everyone in the “lending chain” violated this basic principal of public policy and law. That includes originators, MERS, mortgage brokers, closing agents (to the extent they were actually aware of the switch), Trusts, Trustees, Master Servicers (were in most cases the underwriter of the nonexistent “Trust”) et al.
 *
The AAA also requires withholding the name of the conduit (Lehman). This means it was a table funded loan on steroids. That is ruled as a matter of law to be “predatory per se” by Reg Z.  It allows Lehman, as a conduit, to immediately receive “ownership” of the note and mortgage (or its designated nominee/agent MERS).
 *

Lehman was using funds from investors to fund the loan — a direct violation of (a) what they told investors, who thought their money was going into a trust for management and (b) what they told the court, was that they were the lender. In other words the funding of the loan is the point in time when Lehman converted (stole) the funds of the investors.

Knowing Lehman practices at the time, it is virtually certain that the loan was immediately subject to CLAIMS of securitization. The hidden problem is that the claims from the REMIC Trust were not true. The trust having never been funded, never purchased the loan.

*

The second hidden problem is that the Lehman bankruptcy would have put the loan into the bankruptcy estate. So regardless of whether the loan was already “sold” into the secondary market for securitization or “transferred” to a REMIC trust or it was in fact owned by Lehman after the bankruptcy, there can be no valid document or instrument executed by Lehman after that time (either the date of “closing” or the date of bankruptcy, 2008).

*

The reason is simple — Lehman had nothing to do with the loan even at the beginning when the loan was funded, it acted as a conduit for investor funds that were being misappropriated, the loan was “sold” or “transferred” to a REMIC Trust, and the assets of Lehman were put into a bankruptcy estate as a matter of law.

*

The problems are further compounded by the fact that the “servicer” (Aurora) now claims alternatively that it is either the owner or servicer of the loan or both. Aurora was basically a controlled entity of Lehman.

It is impossible to fund a trust that claims the loan because that “reporting” process was controlled by Lehman and then Aurora.

*

So they could say whatever they wanted to MERS and to the world. At one time there probably was a trust named as owner of the loan but that data has long since been erased unless it can be recovered from the MERS archives.

*

Now we have an emerging further complicating issue. Fannie claims it owns the loan, also a claim that is untrue like all the other claims. Fannie is not a lender. Fannie acts a guarantor or Master trustee of REMIC Trusts. It generally uses the mortgage bonds issued by the REMIC trust to “purchase” the loans. But those bonds were worthless because the Trust never received the proceeds of sale of the mortgage bonds to investors. Thus it had no ability to purchase loan because it had no money, business or other assets.

But in 2008-2009 the government funded the cash purchase of the loans by Fannie and Freddie while the Federal Reserve outright paid cash for the mortgage bonds, which they purchased from the banks.

The problem with that scenario is that the banks did not own the loans and did not own the bonds. Yet the banks were the “sellers.” So my conclusion is that the emergence of Fannie is just one more layer of confusion being added to an already convoluted scheme and the Judge will be looking for a way to “simplify” it thus raising the danger that the Judge will ignore the parts of the chain that are clearly broken.

Bottom Line: it was the investors funds that were used to fund loans — but only part of the investors funds went to loans. The rest went into the pocket of the underwriter (investment bank) as was recorded either as fees or “trading profits” from a trading desk that was performing nonexistent sales to nonexistent trusts of nonexistent loan contracts.

The essential legal problem is this: the investors involuntarily made loans without representation at closing. Hence no loan contract was ever formed to protect them. The parties in between were all acting as though the loan contract existed and reflected the intent of both the borrower and the “lender” investors.

The solution is for investors to fire the intermediaries and create their own and then approach the borrowers who in most cases would be happy to execute a real mortgage and note. This would fix the amount of damages to be recovered from the investment bankers. And it would stop the hemorrhaging of value from what should be (but isn’t) a secured asset. And of course it would end the foreclosure nightmare where those intermediaries are stealing both the debt and the property of others with whom thye have no contract.

GET A CONSULT!

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, MAKE A DONATION, leave message or make payments.

 

FDCPA and FCCPA: Temperatures rising

FDCPA and FCCPA (or similar state legislation) claims are getting traction across the country. Bank of America violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and the related Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”). (Doc. 26). The Goodin case is a fair representation of the experience of hundreds of thousands of homeowners who have tried to reconcile the numbers given to them by Bank of America and others.

In a carefully worded opinion from Federal District Court Judge Corrigan in Jacksonville, the Court laid out the right to damages under the FDCPA and FCCPA. The Court found that BOA acted with gross negligence because they continued their behavior long after being put on notice of a mistake on their part and awarded the 2 homeowners:

  • Statutory damages of $2,000
  • Actual damages for emotional distress of $100,000 ($50,000 per person)
  • Punitive damages of $100,000
  • Attorneys fees and costs

 

See http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020150623E16/GOODIN%20v.%20BANK%20OF%20AMERICA,%20N.A.

The story is the same as I have heard from thousands of other homeowners. The “servicer” or “bank” misapplies payments, negligently posts payments to the wrong place and refuses to make any correction despite multiple attempts by the homeowners to get their account straightened out. Then the bank refuses to take any more payments because the homeowners are “late, ” “delinquent”, or in “default”, following which they send a default notice, intent to accelerate and then file suit in foreclosure.

The subtext here is that there is no “default” if the “borrower” tenders payment timely with good funds. The fact that the servicer/bank does not accept them or post them to the right ledger does not create a default on the part of the borrower, who has obviously done nothing wrong. There is no default and there is no delinquency. The wrongful act was clearly committed by the servicer/bank. Hence there is no default by the borrower in any sense by any standard. It might be said that if there is a default, it is a default by Bank of America or whoever the servicer/bank is in another case.

Using the logic and law of yesteryear, we frequently make the mistake of assuming that if there is no posting of a payment, no cashing of a check or no acceptance of the tender of payment, that the borrower is in default but it is refutable or excusable — putting the burden on the borrower to show that he/she/they tendered payment. In fact, it is none of those things. When you parse out the “default” none of the elements are present as to the borrower.

This case stands out as a good discussion of damages for emotional distress — including cases, like this one, where there is no evidence from medical experts nor medical bills resulting from the anguish of trying to sleep for years knowing that the bank or servicer is out to get your house. The feeling of being powerless is a huge factor. If an institution like BOA fails to act fairly and refuses to correct its own “errors,” it is not hard to see how the distress is real.

I of course believe that BOA had no procedures in place to deal with calls, visits, letters and emails from the homeowner because they want the foreclosure in all events — or at least as many as possible. The reason is simple: the foreclosure judgment is the first legally valid instrument in a long chain of misdeeds. It creates the presumption that all the events, documents, letters and claims were valid before the judgment was entered and makes all those misdeeds enforceable.

The Judge also details the requirements for punitive damages — i.e., aggravating circumstances involving gross negligence and intentional acts. The Judge doesn’t quite say that the acts of BOA were intentional. But he describes BOA’s actions as so grossly negligent that it must approach an intentional, malicious act for the sole benefit of the actor.

 

PRACTICE NOTE ON MERGER DOCTRINE AND EXISTENCE OF DEFAULT:

It has always been a basic rule of negotiable instruments law that once a promissory note is given for an underlying obligation (like the mortgage contract), the underlying obligation is merged into the note and is suspended while the note is still outstanding. Discharge on the note would (due to the rule that the two are merged) result in discharge discharge of the underlying obligation. Thus paying the note would also pay the obligation. Because of the merger rule, the underlying obligation is not available as a separate course of action until the note is dishonored.

 

The problem here is that most lawyers and most judges are not very familiar with the UCC even though it constitutes state law in whatever state they are in. They see the UCC as a problem when in fact it is a solution. it answers the hairy details without requiring any interpretation. It just needs to be applied. But just then the banks make their “free house” argument and the judge “interprets a statute that is only vaguely understood.

The banks know that judges are not accustomed to using the UCC and they come in with a presumed default simply because they show the judge that on their own books no payment was posted. And of course they have no record of tender and refusal by the bank. The court then usually erroneously shifts the burden of proof, as to whether tender of the payment was made, onto the homeowner who of course does not  have millions of dollars of computer equipment, IT platforms and access to the computer generated “accounts” on multiple platforms.

This merger rule, with its suspension of the underlying obligation until this honor of the note cut is codified in §3-310 of the UCC:

(b) unless otherwise agreed and except as provided in subsection (a), if a note or an uncertified check is taken for an obligation, the obligation is suspended to the same extent the obligation would be discharged if an amount of money equal to the amount of the instruments were taken, and the following rules apply:

(2) in the case of a note, suspension of the obligation continues until dishonor of the note or until it is paid. Payment of the note results in the discharge of the obligation to the extent of the payment.

thus until the note is dishonored there can be no default on the underlying obligation (the mortgage contract). All foreclosure statutes, whether permitting self-help or requiring the involvement of court, forbid foreclosure unless the underlying debt is in”Default.” That means that the maker of the promissory note must have failed to make the payments required by the note itself, and thus the node has been dishonored. Under UCC §3-502(a)(3) a hello promissory note is dishonored when the maker does not pay it when the footnote first becomes payable.

About Those PSA Signatures

What is apparent is that the trusts never came into legal existence both because they were never funded and because they were in many cases never signed. Failure to execute and failure to fund the trust reduces the “trust” to a pile of ashes.

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

—————-
From one case in which I am consulting, this is my response to the inquiring lawyer:

I can find no evidence that there is a Trust ever created or operational by the name of “RMAC REMIC Trust Series 2009-9”. In my honest opinion I don’t think there ever was such a trust. I think that papers were drawn up for the trust but never executed. Since the trusts are phantoms anyway, this was consistent with the facts. The use of the trust as a Plaintiff in a court action is a fraud upon the court and the Defendants. The fact that the trust does not exist deprives the court of any jurisdiction. We’ll see when you get the alleged PSA, which even if physically hand-signed probably represents another example of robo-signing, fabrication, back-dating and forgery.

I think it will not show signatures — and remember digital or electronic signatures are not acceptable unless they meet the terms of legislative approval. Keep in mind that the Mortgage Loan Schedule (MLS) was BY DEFINITION  created long after the cutoff date. I say it is by definition because every Prospectus I have ever read states that the MLS attached to the PSA at the time of investment is NOT the real MLS, and that it is there by way of example only. The disclosure is that the actual loan schedule will be filled in “later.”

 

see https://livinglies.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/standing-is-not-a-multiple-choice-question/

also see DigitalSignatures

References are from Wikipedia, but verified

DIGITAL AND ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES

On digital signatures, they are supposed to be from a provable source that cannot be disavowed. And they are supposed to have electronic characteristics making the digital signature provable such that one would have confidence at least as high as a handwritten signature.

Merely typing a name does nothing. it is neither a digital nor electronic signature. Lawyers frequently make the mistake of looking at a document with /s/ John  Smith and assuming that it qualifies as digital or electronic signature. It does not.

We lawyers think that because we do it all the time. What we are forgetting is that our signature is coming through a trusted source and already has been vetted when we signed up for digital filing and further is backed up by court rules and Bar rules that would reign terror on a lawyer who attempted to disavow the signature.

A digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message or documents. A valid digital signature gives a recipient reason to believe that the message was created by a known sender, that the sender cannot deny having sent the message (authentication and non-repudiation), and that the message was not altered in transit (integrity).

Digital signatures are a standard element of most cryptographic protocol suites, and are commonly used for software distribution, financial transactions, contract management software, and in other cases where it is important to detect forgery or tampering.

Electronic signatures are different but only by degree and focus:

An electronic signature is intended to provide a secure and accurate identification method for the signatory to provide a seamless transaction. Definitions of electronic signatures vary depending on the applicable jurisdiction. A common denominator in most countries is the level of an advanced electronic signature requiring that:

  1. The signatory can be uniquely identified and linked to the signature
  2. The signatory must have sole control of the private key that was used to create the electronic signature
  3. The signature must be capable of identifying if its accompanying data has been tampered with after the message was signed
  4. In the event that the accompanying data has been changed, the signature must be invalidated[6]

Electronic signatures may be created with increasing levels of security, with each having its own set of requirements and means of creation on various levels that prove the validity of the signature. To provide an even stronger probative value than the above described advanced electronic signature, some countries like the European Union or Switzerland introduced the qualified electronic signature. It is difficult to challenge the authorship of a statement signed with a qualified electronic signature – the statement is non-reputable.[7] Technically, a qualified electronic signature is implemented through an advanced electronic signature that utilizes a digital certificate, which has been encrypted through a security signature-creating device [8] and which has been authenticated by a qualified trust service provider.[9]

PLEADING:

Comes Now Defendants and Move to Dismiss the instant action for lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction and as grounds therefor say as follows:

  1. The named plaintiff in this action does not exist.
  2. After extensive investigation and inquiry, neither Defendants nor undersigned counsel nor forensic experts can find any evidence that the alleged trust ever existed, much less conducted business.
  3. There is no evidence that the alleged trustee ever ACTUALLY conducted any business in the name of the trust, much less a purchase of loans, much less the purchase of the subject loan.
  4. There is no evidence that the Trust exists nor any evidence that the Trust’s name has ever been used except in the context of (1) “foreclosure” which has, in the opinion, of forensic experts, merely a cloak for the continuing theft of investor money and assets to the detriment of both the real parties in interest and the Defendants and (2) the sale of bonds to investors falsely presented as having been issued by the “trust”, the proceeds of which “sale” was never received by the trust.
  5. Upon due diligence before filing such a lawsuit causing the forfeiture of homestead property, counsel knew or should have known that the Trust never existed nor has any business ever been conducted in the name of the Trust except the sale of bonds allegedly issued by the Trust and the use of the name of the trust to sue in foreclosure.
  6. As for the sale of the bonds allegedly issued by the Trust there is no evidence that the Trust ever issued said bonds and there is (a) no evidence the Trust received any funds ever from the sale of bonds or any other source and (b) having no assets, money or bank account, there is no possible evidence that the Trust acquired any assets, business or even incurred any liabilities.
  7. Wells Fargo, individually and not as Trustee, has engaged in a widespread pattern of behavior of presenting itself as Trustee of non existent Trusts and should be sanctioned to prevent it or anyone else in the banking industry from engaging in such conduct.

WHEREFORE Defendants pray this Honorable Court will dismiss the instant complaint with prejudice, award attorneys fees, costs and sanctions against opposing counsel and Wells Fargo individually and not as Trustee of a nonexistent Trust for falsely presenting itself as the Trustee of a Trust it knew or should have known had no existence.

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

SCHEDULE CONSULT!

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule, leave message or make payments.

Jesinoski Update: Homeowner, Bank and Court All Get it Wrong

We get it. Judges don’t like statutory rescission under TILA. They are not required to like TILA rescission but they are required to follow it. This decision openly defies the SCOTUS ruling and refuses to apply it.

Despite clear legislative intent to prevent banks from stonewalling rescission they are succeeding in doing so nonetheless as they play upon the bias of courts against TILA Rescission.

This Federal Judge attempts to grapple with the issue of damages claimed by Jesinoski’s rescission. It is stunning that these are the same people who argued the case before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The plain truth is that nobody in that courtroom seemed to understand rescission or how to apply it. The singular overriding point is that the only substantive part of the rescission statute is that when mailed, rescission is effective and the loan contract is canceled, the mortgage and note are void.  There is no maybe in that statement. Nor is there a sentence that starts with “well, not if….”.

It appears in this case that this Jesinoski proceeding clouded the issues when plaintiff sued for damages under rescission. In so doing they apparently were trying to prove the basis of their rescission which was sent, as per SCOTUS, within the 3 years. Pleading the basis of rescission was a mistake because it raised the very issue that the statute and the SCOTUS decision said was unnecessary. The factual issue for Plaintiff was whether the rescission had been sent. PERIOD. Whether it was proper when sent was an issue the Defendant was required to raise, not the Plaintiff.

The next move within 20 days of receipt of the rescission would be for a creditor to plead a case to vacate the rescission. The danger here is that this decision could be affirmed because it was Jesinoski who raised the issue of whether or not the rescission was properly sent. Jesinoski might have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. By raising the issue of whether the rescission was proper, Jesinoski might have waived their objection that would be based upon the fact that no creditor had filed any lawsuit at any time, much less within the 20 day window.

But the court probably erred when it ignored the fact that the rescission was effective, plain and simple. It compounded the error by effectively ruling that rescission was only effective if a Court said it was effective and only if the borrower showed the ability to tender the full amount allegedly owed. In short this federal Judge was effectively overruling SCOTUS — a legal impossibility.

The statute and the SCOTUS decision on Jesinoski both clearly state that neither a lawsuit nor tender nor anything else is required of the borrower in the unique statutory scheme of rescission. The court is once again re-introducing common law rescission in direct contravention of the unanimous SCOTUS decision. Justice Scalia made it clear that NOTHING is required from the borrower after sending that notice.

Once the rescission is effective, the Court can only vacate it upon timely proper pleading from a party claiming injury. All the rest of the rescission statute is procedural. The failure of the creditor to actually bring an action to vacate the rescission within 20 days was fatal. Any other reading would require us to overrule SCOTUS and re-write the statute. It would mean that the rescission is NOT effective when mailed despite the clear wording of the statute that says it IS effective when mailed.

We get it. Judges don’t like statutory rescission under TILA. They are not required to like TILA rescission but they are required to follow it. This decision openly defies the SCOTUS ruling and refuses to apply it.

But the Plaintiff seems to have contributed to the problem. The damages sought are not based upon whether the rescission was proper. It was based upon the statute that says only if all three conditions are satisfied may the creditor demand any money. One of those conditions is the payment of all money ever paid to the “lender”. Those are the damages.

The issue is only the factual determination of the amount of those damages — not whether they are due at all. All three parties seem to have missed that point — Plaintiff, Defendant and Judge.

By inserting the tender requirement the Judge was not only ruling opposite to the content of the statute and opposite to the SCOTUS decision; it was expressly opposite the reasoning behind the “no-tender” component of TILA rescission, to wit: that payment could only be requested after the cancellation of the note, the release of the mortgage encumbrance, and the return of all money paid by the borrower since inception.

The clear reasoning behind this was that legislators in Congress expressly did not want to provide any method of stonewalling rescission. By requiring the disgorgement of money and the release of the encumbrance, the borrower was given the means to pay through application of the money received from the bank and the ability to get a new mortgage without damage to his/her/their credit. It was presumed by Congress that virtually no homeowner would have the means to tender without being able to cancel the old mortgage, release the encumbrance and get back their money FIRST.

Judges seem not to like the punitive nature of the statute. It is intended to be punitive, covering a wide array of possible lending violations and failures — instead of establishing a huge Federal agency that would review every mortgage loan.

The idea was to make the consequences of such behavior so gothic that the banks would police themselves. There is no Judge in the country who has the power or authority to re-write this very clear statute to match their own perceptions and belief that this statute is too draconian in its results. Public policy is for the legislative branch to decide. By resisting TILA rescission courts are encouraging more of the same bank behavior that still threatens all of the world’s economies and societies. By refusing to apply TILA rescission the courts are making themselves complicit in the greatest economic crime in human history.

——————————

Larry D. Jesinoski and Cheryle Jesinoski, individuals, Plaintiffs,
v.
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., d/b/a America’s Wholesale Lender, subsidiary of Bank of America N.A.; BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, a subsidiary of Bank of America, N.A., a Texas Limited Partnership f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP; Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., a Delaware Corporation; and John and Jane Does 1-10, Defendants.

Civil No. 11-474 (DWF/FLN).United States District Court, D. Minnesota.

July 21, 2016.Larry D. Jesinoski, Plaintiff, represented by Bryan R. Battina, Trepanier MacGillis Battina, P.A. & Daniel P. H. Reiff, Reiff Law Office, PLLC.

Cheryle Jesinoski, Plaintiff, represented by Bryan R. Battina, Trepanier MacGillis Battina, P.A. & Daniel P. H. Reiff, Reiff Law Office, PLLC.

Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Defendant, represented by Andre T. Hanson, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Joseph Mrkonich, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Ronn B. Kreps, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP & Sparrowleaf Dilts McGregor, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, Defendant, represented by Andre T. Hanson, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Joseph Mrkonich, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Ronn B. Kreps, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP & Sparrowleaf Dilts McGregor, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., Defendant, represented by Andre T. Hanson, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Joseph Mrkonich, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Ronn B. Kreps, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP & Sparrowleaf Dilts McGregor, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment brought by Defendants Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“Countrywide”), Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”) and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) (together, “Defendants”) (Doc. No. 51).[1] For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Defendants’ motion.

BACKGROUND

I. Factual Background

This “Factual Background” section reiterates, in large part, the “Background” section included in the Court’s April 19, 2012 Memorandum Opinion and Order. (Doc. No. 23.)

On February 23, 2007, Plaintiffs Larry Jesinoski and Cheryle Jesinoski (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) refinanced their home in Eagan, Minnesota, by borrowing $611,000 from Countrywide, a predecessor-in-interest of BANA. (Doc. No. 7 (“Am. Compl.”) ¶¶ 7, 15, 16, 17; Doc. No. 55 (“Hanson Decl.”) ¶ 5, Ex. D (“L. Jesinoski Dep.”) at 125.) MERS also gained a mortgage interest in the property. (Am. Compl. ¶ 25.) Plaintiffs used the loan to pay off existing loan obligations on the property and other consumer debts. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 114-15; Hanson Decl. ¶ 6, Ex. E (“C. Jesinoski Dep.”) at 49-50; Am. Compl. ¶ 22.)[2] The refinancing included an interest-only, adjustable-rate note. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 137.) Plaintiffs wanted these terms because they intended to sell the property. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 125-26, 137; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 38, 46-7.)

At the closing on February 23, 2007, Plaintiffs received and executed a Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) Disclosure Statement and the Notice of Right to Cancel. (Doc. No. 56 (Jenkins Decl.) ¶¶ 5, 6, Exs. C & D; L. Jesinoski Dep. at 61, 67, 159; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 30-33; Hanson Decl. ¶¶ 2-3, Exs. A & B.) By signing the Notice of Right to Cancel, each Plaintiff acknowledged the “receipt of two copies of NOTICE of RIGHT TO CANCEL and one copy of the Federal Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement.” (Jenkins Decl. ¶¶ 5, 6, Exs. C & D.) Per the Notice of Right to Cancel, Plaintiffs had until midnight on February 27, 2007, to rescind. (Id.) Plaintiffs did not exercise their right to cancel, and the loan funded.

In February 2010, Plaintiffs paid $3,000 to a company named Modify My Loan USA to help them modify the loan. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 79-81; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 94-95.) The company turned out to be a scam, and Plaintiffs lost $3,000. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 79-81.) Plaintiffs then sought modification assistance from Mark Heinzman of Financial Integrity, who originally referred Plaintiffs to Modify My Loan USA. (Id. at 86.) Plaintiffs contend that Heinzman reviewed their loan file and told them that certain disclosure statements were missing from the closing documents, which entitled Plaintiffs to rescind the loan. (Id. at 88-91.)[3] Since then, and in connection with this litigation, Heinzman submitted a declaration stating that he has no documents relating to Plaintiffs and does not recall Plaintiffs’ file. (Hanson Decl. ¶ 4, Ex. C (“Heinzman Decl.”) ¶ 4.)[4]

On February 23, 2010, Plaintiffs purported to rescind the loan by mailing a letter to “all known parties in interest.” (Am. Compl. ¶ 30; L. Jesinoski Dep., Ex. 8.) On March 16, 2010, BANA denied Plaintiffs’ request to rescind because Plaintiffs had been provided the required disclosures, as evidenced by the acknowledgments Plaintiffs signed. (Am. Compl. ¶ 32; L. Jesinoski Dep., Ex. 9.)

II. Procedural Background

On February 24, 2011, Plaintiffs filed the present action. (Doc. No. 1.) By agreement of the parties, Plaintiffs filed their Amended Complaint, in which Plaintiffs assert four causes of action: Count 1—Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq.; Count 2—Rescission of Security Interest; Count 3—Servicing a Mortgage Loan in Violation of Standards of Conduct, Minn. Stat. § 58.13; and Count 4—Plaintiffs’ Cause of Action under Minn. Stat. § 8.31. At the heart of all of Plaintiffs’ claims is their request that the Court declare the mortgage transaction rescinded and order statutory damages related to Defendants’ purported failure to rescind.

Plaintiffs do not dispute that they had an opportunity to review the loan documents before closing. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 152-58; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 56.) Although Plaintiffs each admit to signing the acknowledgement of receipt of two copies of the Notice of Right to Cancel, they now contend that they did not each receive the correct number of copies as required by TILA’s implementing regulation, Regulation Z. (Am. Compl. ¶ 47 (citing C.F.R. §§ 226.17(b) & (d), 226.23(b)).)

Earlier in this litigation, Defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings based on TILA’s three-year statute of repose. In April 2012, the Court issued an order granting Defendants’ motion, finding that TILA required a plaintiff to file a lawsuit within the 3-year repose period, and that Plaintiffs had filed this lawsuit outside of that period. (Doc. No. 23 at 6.) The Eighth Circuit affirmed. Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 729 F.3d 1092 (8th Cir. 2013). The United States Supreme Court reversed, holding that a borrower exercising a right to TILA rescission need only provide his lender written notice, rather than file suit, within the 3-year period. Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 790, 792 (2015). The Eighth Circuit then reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings. (Doc. No. 38.) After engaging in discovery, Defendants now move for summary judgment.

DISCUSSION

I. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate if the “movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Courts must view the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Weitz Co. v. Lloyd’s of London, 574 F.3d 885, 892 (8th Cir. 2009). However, “[s]ummary judgment procedure is properly regarded not as a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather as an integral part of the Federal Rules as a whole, which are designed `to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action.'” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 1).

The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Enter. Bank v. Magna Bank of Mo., 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996). A party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment “must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986); see also Krenik v. Cty. of Le Sueur, 47 F.3d 953, 957 (8th Cir. 1995).

II. TILA

Defendants move for summary judgment with respect to Plaintiffs’ claims, all of which stem from Defendants’ alleged violation of TILA—namely, failing to give Plaintiffs the required number of disclosures and rescission notices at the closing.

The purpose of TILA is “to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to him and avoid the uninformed use of credit . . .” 15 U.S.C. § 1601(a). In transactions, like the one here, secured by a principal dwelling, TILA gives borrowers an unconditional three-day right to rescind. 15 U.S.C. § 1635(a); see also id. § 1641(c) (extending rescission to assignees). The three-day rescission period begins upon the consummation of the transaction or the delivery of the required rescission notices and disclosures, whichever occurs later. Id. § 1635(a). Required disclosures must be made to “each consumer whose ownership interest is or will be subject to the security interest” and must include two copies of a notice of the right to rescind. 12 C.F.R. § 226.23(a)-(b)(1). If the creditor fails to make the required disclosures or rescission notices, the borrower’s “right of rescission shall expire three years after the date of consummation of the transaction.” 15 U.S.C. § 1635(f); see 12 C.F.R. § 226.23(a)(3).

If a consumer acknowledges in writing that he or she received a required disclosure or notice, a rebuttable presumption of delivery is created:

Notwithstanding any rule of evidence, written acknowledgment of receipt of any disclosures required under this subchapter by a person to whom information, forms, and a statement is required to be given pursuant to this section does no more than create a rebuttable presumption of delivery thereof.

15 U.S.C. §1635(c).

A. Number of Disclosure Statements

Plaintiffs claim that Defendants violated TILA by failing to provide them with a sufficient number of copies of the right to rescind and the disclosure statement at the closing of the loan. (Am. Compl. ¶ 47.) Defendants assert that Plaintiffs’ claims (both TILA and derivative state-law claims) fail as a matter of law because Plaintiffs signed an express acknowledgement that they received all required disclosures at closing, and they cannot rebut the legally controlling presumption of proper delivery of those disclosures.

It is undisputed that at the closing, each Plaintiff signed an acknowledgement that each received two copies of the Notice of Right to Cancel. Plaintiffs argue, however, that no presumption of proper delivery is created here because Plaintiffs acknowledged the receipt of two copies total, not the required four (two for each of the Plaintiffs). In particular, both Larry Jesinoski and Cheryle Jesinoski assert that they “read the acknowledgment . . . to mean that both” Larry and Cheryle “acknowledge receiving two notices total, not four.” (Doc. No. 60 (“L. Jesinoski Decl.”) ¶ 3; Doc. No. 61 (“C. Jesinoski Decl.”) ¶ 3.) Thus, Plaintiffs argue that they read the word “each” to mean “together,” and therefore that they collectively acknowledged the receipt of only two copies.

The Court finds this argument unavailing. The language in the Notice is unambiguous and clearly states that “[t]he undersigned each acknowledge receipt of two copies of NOTICE of RIGHT TO CANCEL and one copy of the Federal Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement.” (Jenkins Decl. ¶¶ 5, 6, Exs. C & D (italics added).) Plaintiffs’ asserted interpretation is inconsistent with the language of the acknowledgment. The Court instead finds that this acknowledgement gives rise to a rebuttable presumption of proper delivery of two copies of the notice to each Plaintiff. See, e.g., Kieran v. Home Cap., Inc., Civ. No. 10-4418, 2015 WL 5123258, at *1, 3 (D. Minn. Sept. 1, 2015) (finding the creation of a rebuttable presumption of proper delivery where each borrower signed an acknowledgment stating that they each received a copy of the disclosure statement—”each of [t]he undersigned acknowledge receipt of a complete copy of this disclosure”).[5]

The only evidence provided by Plaintiffs to rebut the presumption of receipt is their testimony that they did not receive the correct number of documents. As noted in Kieran, this Court has consistently held that statements merely contradicting a prior signature are insufficient to overcome the presumption. Kieran, 2015 WL 5123258, at *3-4 (citing Gomez v. Market Home Mortg., LLC, Civ. No. 12-153, 2012 WL 1517260, at *3 (D. Minn. April 30, 2012) (agreeing with “the majority of courts that mere testimony to the contrary is insufficient to rebut the statutory presumption of proper delivery”)); see also Lee, 692 F.3d at 451 (explaining that a notice signed by both borrowers stating “[t]he undersigned each acknowledge receipt of two copies of [notice]” creates “a presumption of delivery that cannot be overcome without specific evidence demonstrating that the borrower did not receive the appropriate number of copies”); Golden v. Town & Country Credit, Civ. No. 02-3627, 2004 WL 229078, at *2 (D. Minn. Feb. 3, 2004) (finding deposition testimony insufficient to overcome presumption); Gaona v. Town & Country Credit, Civ. No. 01-44, 2001 WL 1640100, at *3 (D. Minn. Nov. 20, 2001)) (“[A]n allegation that the notices are now not contained in the closing folder is insufficient to rebut the presumption.”), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 324 F.3d 1050 (8th Cir. 2003).

Plaintiffs, however, contend that their testimony is sufficient to rebut the presumption and create a factual issue for trial. Plaintiffs rely primarily on the Eighth Circuit’s decision in Bank of North America v. Peterson, 746 F.3d 357, 361 (8th Cir. 2014), cert. granted, judgment vacated, 135 S. Ct. 1153 (2015), and opinion vacated in part, reinstated in part, 782 F.3d 1049 (8th Cir. 2015). In Peterson, the plaintiffs acknowledged that they signed the TILA disclosure and rescission notice at their loan closing, but later submitted affidavit testimony that they had not received their TILA disclosure statements at closing. Peterson, 764 F.3d at 361. The Eighth Circuit determined that this testimony was sufficient to overcome the presumption of proper delivery. Id. The facts of this case, however, are distinguishable from those in Peterson. In particular, the plaintiffs in Peterson testified that at the closing, the agent took the documents after they had signed them and did not give them any copies. Id. Here, it is undisputed that Plaintiffs left with copies of their closing documents. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 94-95.) In addition, Plaintiffs did not testify unequivocally that they did not each receive two copies of the rescission notice. Instead, they have testified that they do not know what they received. (See, e.g., id. at 161.) Moreover, Cheryle Jesinoski testified that she did not look through the closing documents at the time of closing, and therefore cannot attest to whether the required notices were included. (C. Jesinoski Dep. at 85.)[6]

Based on the evidence in the record, the Court determines that the facts of this case are more line with cases that have found that self-serving assertions of non-delivery do not defeat the presumption. Indeed, the Court agrees with the reasoning in Kieran, which granted summary judgment in favor of defendants under similar facts, and which was decided after the Eighth Circuit issued its decision in Peterson. Accordingly, Plaintiffs have not overcome the rebuttable presumption of proper delivery of TILA notices, and Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted as to the Plaintiffs’ TILA claims.

B. Ability to Tender

Defendants also argue that Plaintiffs’ claims fails as a matter of law on a second independent basis—Plaintiffs’ admission that they do not have the present ability to tender the amount of the loan proceeds. Rescission under TILA is conditioned on repayment of the amounts advanced by the lender. See Yamamoto v. Bank of N.Y., 329 F.3d 1167, 1170 (9th Cir. 2003). This Court has concluded that it is appropriate to dismiss rescission claims under TILA at the pleading stage based on a plaintiff’s failure to allege an ability to tender loan proceeds. See, e.g., Franz v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, Civ. No. 10-2025, 2011 WL 846835, at *3 (D. Minn. Mar. 8, 2011); Hintz v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, Civ. No. 10-119, 2010 WL 4220486, at *4 (D. Minn. Oct. 20, 2010). In addition, courts have granted summary judgment in favor of defendants where the evidence shows that a TILA plaintiff cannot demonstrate an ability to tender the amount borrowed. See, e.g., Am. Mortg. Network, Inc. v. Shelton, 486 F.3d 815, 822 (4th Cir. 2007) (affirming grant of summary judgment for defendants on TILA rescission claim “given the appellants’ inability to tender payment of the loan amount”); Taylor v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co., Civ. No. 10-149, 2010 WL 4103305, at *5 (E.D. Va. Oct. 18, 2010) (granting summary judgment on TILA rescission claim where plaintiff could not show ability to tender funds aside from selling the house “as a last resort”).

Plaintiffs argue that the Supreme Court in Jesinoski eliminated tender as a requirement for rescission under TILA. The Court disagrees. In Jesinoski, the Supreme Court reached the narrow issue of whether Plaintiffs had to file a lawsuit to enforce a rescission under 15 U.S.C. § 1635, or merely deliver a rescission notice, within three years of the loan transaction. Jesinoski, 135 S. Ct. at 792-93. The Supreme Court determined that a borrower need only provide written notice to a lender in order to exercise a right to rescind. Id. The Court discerns nothing in the Supreme Court’s opinion that would override TILA’s tender requirement. Specifically, under 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b), a borrower must at some point tender the loan proceeds to the lender.[7] Plaintiffs testified that they do not presently have the ability to tender back the loan proceeds. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 54, 202; C. Jesinoski Dep. at 118-119.) Because Plaintiffs have failed to point to evidence creating a genuine issue of fact that they could tender the unpaid balance of the loan in the event the Court granted them rescission, their TILA rescission claim fails as a matter of law on this additional ground.[8]

Plaintiffs argue that if the Court conditions rescission on Plaintiffs’ tender, the amount of tender would be exceeded, and therefore eliminated, by Plaintiffs’ damages. In particular, Plaintiffs claim over $800,000 in damages (namely, attorney fees), and contend that this amount would negate any amount tendered. Plaintiffs, however, have not cited to any legal authority that would allow Plaintiffs to rely on the potential recovery of fees to satisfy their tender obligation. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ argument presumes that they will prevail on their TILA claims, a presumption that this Order forecloses.

C. Damages

Next, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs are not entitled to TILA statutory damages allegedly flowing from Defendants’ decision not to rescind because there was no TILA violation in the first instance. Plaintiffs argue that their damages claim is separate and distinct from their TILA rescission claim.

For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiffs’ TILA claim fails as a matter of law. Without a TILA violation, Plaintiffs cannot recover statutory damages based Defendants refusal to rescind the loan.

D. State-law Claims

Plaintiffs’ state-law claims under Minn. Stat. § 58.13 and Minnesota’s Private Attorney General statute, Minn. Stat. § 8.31, are derivative of Plaintiffs’ TILA rescission claim. Thus, because Plaintiffs’ TILA claim fails as a matter law, so do their state-law claims.

ORDER

Based upon the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. [51]) is GRANTED.

2. Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint (Doc. No. [7]) is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.

[1] According to Defendants, Countrywide was acquired by BANA in 2008, and became BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP (“BACHLS”), and in July 2011, BACHLS merged with BANA. (Doc. No. 15 at 1 n.1.) Thus, the only two defendants in this case are BANA and MERS.

[2] Larry Jesinoski testified that he had been involved in about a half a dozen mortgage loan closings, at least three of which were refinancing loans, and that he is familiar with the loan closing process. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 150-51.)

[3] Plaintiffs claim that upon leaving the loan closing they were given a copy of the closing documents, and then brought the documents straight home and placed them in L. Jesinoski’s unlocked file drawer, where they remained until they brought the documents to Heinzman.

[4] At oral argument, counsel for Plaintiffs requested leave to depose Heinzman in the event that the Court views his testimony as determinative. The Court denies the request for two reasons. First, it appears that Plaintiffs had ample opportunity to notice Heinzman’s deposition during the discovery period, but did not do so. Second, Heinzman’s testimony will not affect the outcome of the pending motion, and therefore, the request is moot.

[5] See also, e.g., Lee v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 692 F.3d 442, 451 (6th Cir. 2012) (rebuttable presumption arose where each party signed an acknowledgement of receipt of two copies); Hendricksen v. Countrywide Home Loans, Civ. No. 09-82, 2010 WL 2553589, at *4 (W.D. Va. June 24, 2010) (rebuttable presumption of delivery of two copies of TILA disclosure arose where plaintiffs each signed disclosure stating “[t]he undersigned further acknowledge receipt of a copy of this Disclosure for keeping prior to consummation”).

[6] This case is also distinguishable from Stutzka v. McCarville, 420 F.3d 757, 762 (8th Cir. 2005), a case in which a borrower’s assertion of non-delivery was sufficient to overcome the statutory presumption. In Stutzka, the plaintiffs signed acknowledgements that they received required disclosures but left the closing without any documents. Stutzka, 420 F.3d at 776.

[7] TILA follows a statutorily prescribed sequence of events for rescission that specifically discusses the lender performing before the borrower. See § 1635(b). However, TILA also states that “[t]he procedures prescribed by this subsection shall apply except when otherwise ordered by a court.” Id. Considering the facts of this case, it is entirely appropriate to require Plaintiffs to tender the loan proceeds to Defendants before requiring Defendants to surrender their security interest in the loan.

[8] The Court acknowledges that there is disagreement in the District over whether a borrower asserting a rescission claim must tender, or allege an ability to tender, before seeking rescission. See, e.g. Tacheny v. M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank, Civ. No. 10-2067, 2011 WL 1657877, at *4 (D. Minn. Apr. 29, 2011) (respectfully disagreeing with courts that have held that, in order to state a claim for rescission under TILA, a borrower must allege a present ability to tender). However, there is no dispute that to effect rescission under § 1635(b), a borrower must tender the loan proceeds. Here, the record demonstrates that Plaintiffs are unable to tender. Therefore, their rescission claim fails on summary judgment.

 

FDCPA Claims Upheld in 9th Circuit Class Action

The court held that the FDCPA unambiguously requires any debt collector – first or subsequent – to send a section 1692g(a) validation notice within five days of its first communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt.

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

—————-
If anyone remembers the Grishom book “The Firm”, also in movies, you know that in the end the crooks were brought down by something they were never thinking about — mail fraud — a federal law that has teeth, even if it sounds dull. Mail fraud might actually apply to the millions of foreclosures that have taken place — even if key documents are sent through private mail delivery services. The end of month statements and other correspondence are definitely sent through US Mail. And as we are seeing, virtually everything they were sending consisted of multiple layers of misrepresentations that led to the detriment of the receiving homeowner. That’s mail fraud.
Like Mail Fraud, claims based on the FDCPA seem boring. But as many lawyers throughout the country are finding out, those claims have teeth. And I have seen multiple cases where FDCPA claims resulted in the settlement of the case on terms very favorable to the homeowner — provided the claim is properly brought and there are some favorable rulings on the initial motions.
Normally the banks settle any claim that looks like it would be upheld. That is why you don’t see many verdicts or judgments announcing fraudulent conduct by banks, servicers and “trustees.”And you don’t see the settlement either because they are all under seal of confidentiality. So for the casual observer, you might see a ruling here and there that favors the borrower, but you don’t see any judgments normally. Here the banks thought they had this one in the bag — because it was a class action and normally class actions are difficult if not impossible to prosecute.
It turns out that FDCPA is both a good cause of action for damages and a great discovery tool — to force the banks, servicers or anyone else that is a debt collector to respond within 5 days giving the basic information about the loan — like who is the actual creditor. Discovery is also much easier in FDCPA actions because it is forthrightly tied to the complaint.
This decision is more important than it might first appear. It removes any benefit of playing musical chairs with servicers, and other debt collectors. This is a core of bank strategy — to layer over all defects. This Federal Court of Appeals holds that it doesn’t matter how many layers you add — all debt collectors in the chain had the duty to respond.
.

Justia Opinion Summary

Hernandez v Williams, Zinman and Parham, PC No 14-15672 (9th Cir, 2016)

Plaintiff filed a putative class action, alleging that WZP violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692(g)(a), by sending a debt collection letter that lacked the disclosures required by section 1692(g)(a) of the FDCPA. Applying well-established tools of statutory interpretation and construing the language in section 1692g(a) in light of the context and purpose of the FDCPA, the court held that the phrase “the initial communication” refers to the first communication sent by any debt collector, including collectors that contact the debtor after another collector already did. The court held that the FDCPA unambiguously requires any debt collector – first or subsequent – to send a section 1692g(a) validation notice within five days of its first communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt. In this case, the district court erred in concluding that, because WZP was not the first debt collector to communicate with plaintiff about her debt, it had no obligation to comply with the statutory validation notice requirement. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded.

Schedule A Consult Now!

RESCISSION Revalidated in CA Decision

1sT Appellate District US Bank v Naifeh: “… we conclude that a borrower may rescind the loan transaction under TILA without filing a lawsuit, but when the rescission is challenged in litigation, the court has authority to decide whether the rescission notice is timely and whether the the procedure set forth in the TILA (sic) should be modified in light of the facts and circumstances of the case.”

The jig was up when the Jesinoski decision was rendered — courts cannot re-write the statute, although they can consider minor changes in procedure whose purpose is to comply with the statute, not ignore. it.

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

—————-

see US BANK VS NAIFEH

In a carefully worded opinion at least one appellate court seems to be moving closer to the view I have expressed here on these pages. But they still left some simple propositions unclear.

It remains my opinion that a recorded rescission forces those who would challenge it to file suit to remove the rescission from the title record. In that suit they would need to plead and prove standing — without using the note or mortgage to do it because rescission renders them void at the moment the letter of rescission is mailed..

  1. The decision clearly says that for the rescission to be effective (deriving its authority from 15 USC §1635 and the unanimous SCOTUS decision in Jesinoski v Countrywide), the borrower need NOT file suit. That means it is effective when mailed (NOT FILED) just as the statute says and just as the late Justice Scalia penned in the Jesinoski case.
  2. The decision anticipates a challenge to rescission — which in and of itself is recognition that the rescission IS effective and that something must be done about it.
  3. But the court does not clarify what is meant when it said “when the rescission is challenged in litigation.” Clearly the decision stands for the proposition that the rescission stands as effective unless challenged in litigation. The unanswered question is ‘what form of litigation?’
  4. If we apply ordinary rules of procedure, then the decision dovetails with my opinions, the statute and the US Supreme Court decision. The rescission is effective when mailed. So the “challenge” must be “in litigation.” But whether that means a lawsuit to vacate or a motion challenging the rescission is unclear. A “motion challenging the rescission” is problematic if it does not set forth the standing of the party making the challenge and if it does not set forth the plain facts that the rescission, under law, is already effective but should be vacated, then it is trying to get the court to arrive at the position that the rescission can be ignored even if it is recorded (a condition not addressed in the opinion).
  5. The claimant challenging the rescission must state a cause of action, if the rescission is recorded, that is in essence a quiet title claim that needs to be framed as an original complaint in a lawsuit. So far the banks have been successful in getting trial judges to IGNORE the rescission rather than remove it as an effective instrument, whether recorded or not. This only compounds title problems already present.
  6. The procedural oddity here is that in foreclosure litigation the court might conclude (erroneously in my opinion) that the beneficiary under the deed of trust had standing to substitute trustee, standing to to have the trustee record a notice of default, and standing to record a notice of sale.
  7. BUT once the rescission is effective, there is absolutely no foundation for a claim of standing based upon the void note, the void mortgage and the consequential void assignments, which even if they were not otherwise void, are void now because the assignment is purporting to transfer something that no longer exists.
  8. Standing vanishes if it is dependent upon presumptions applied from the assignment, endorsement and other attributes wherein false statements are made concerning purchase and sale of the note or mortgage. The note and mortgage are void the moment the rescission is mailed. No reliance on the mortgage, note or any transfer of same can constitute standing, since those documents, as a matter of law, no longer exist.
  9. Hence STANDING TO CHALLENGE RESCISSION must logically be dependent upon the ability of the challenger to affirmatively plead that they own the debt or obligation and to prove it at a hearing in which evidence is produced. This is the holy grail of foreclosure defense. We know that 99% of the foreclosers do NOT qualify as owners of the actual debt or obligation. They are traveling on legal presumptions as alleged “holders” etc. under the UCC. If the note and mortgage don’t exist then the status of holder is nonexistent and irrelevant.
  10. This court further leaves us in a gray area when it correctly reads that portion of the statute giving the court authority to consider the options, procedurally, but incorrectly states that one of those options is that a Federal Statute that preempts state law could be “modified in light of the facts and circumstances. This is NOT contained in either the statute or the Jesinoski decision. This court is putting far too much weight on the provision of the statute that allows for a petition to the court at which the court could change some of the procedural steps in complying with rescission, and possibly by implication allowing for a challenge to the rescission in order to vacate the legal effectiveness of the rescission.
  11. ANY DECISION ON “PROCEDURE” THAT NULLIFIES THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE RESCISSION WHEN MAILED IS ERRONEOUS.  Any such decision would effectively be eviscerating the entire statute and the opinion of the US Supreme Court. The simple rule of thumb here (heuristic reasoning) is that the rescission is and always will have been effective when mailed. The parts of the statute that deal with procedure can only be related to a party who claims to be the creditor (owner of the debt or obligation) who intends to comply.
  12. Since tender is expressly excluded in the statute and the Jesinoski decision, the change can not require the borrower to tender money — especially when the statute says that no such demand need be considered by the borrower until there is full compliance with the rescission — return of canceled note, release of encumbrance and payment to the borrower of all money ever paid by the borrower for principal, interest, insurance, taxes, and fees.
  13. Hence the changes are limited perhaps granting additional time, or maybe even to credits against what might be due from the homeowner but even that looks like a stretch. The committee notes and subsequent decisions clearly state that the intent of Congress was to prevent any bank from stonewalling the effectiveness of a rescission, which is what judges have been doing despite the Jesinoski decision and the clear wording of the statute.
  14. And this is how we know that the challenge, if brought, must be within the 20 days available for the creditor, “lender” etc to comply with the rescission. Any other interpretation would mean that the rescission was NOT effective upon mailing and would also mean that the owner of the property cannot get a substitute mortgage to pay off any legitimate claim from a true creditor. Such interpretations, while apparently attractive to bank lawyers and judges, are directly contrary to the express wording of the statute and directly contrary tot he express wording of the Jesinoski decision, decided unanimously by SCOTUS. Hence ANY CHALLENGE outside the 20 days is barred by the statute. Just like any action to enforce the TILA duties against the “lender” must be brought within one year of the mailing and receipt of the rescission.
  15. The failure of either the “lender” to comply or the borrower to enforce simply means that after one year, the rescission is still effective (meaning the note and mortgage are void) the claim for enforcement of the duties of the lender is extinguished, and the financial claim of the lender is extinguished. Hence, the infamous free house — not caused by sneaky borrowers but caused instead of malfeasant banks who continue to use their influence to get judges to re-write the law.
  16. But regardless of how one looks at this decision, the Jesinoski decision or the statute one thing is perfectly clear — vacating the rescission is strictly dependent upon timely filing of a challenge in litigation and a hearing on evidence, because the legal presumptions used in determining standing are no longer available in the absence of the the note or mortgage, which were irretrievably rendered void upon mailing of the rescission.

The banks and servicers have so far been successful in pulling the wool over judges eyes, perhaps because judges have long disliked TILA and especially TILA rescission. The jig was up when the Jesinoski decision was rendered — courts cannot re-write the statute, although they can consider minor changes in procedure whose purpose is to comply with the statute, not ignore. it.

Schedule A Consult Now!

Was There a Loan Contract?

In addition to defrauding the borrower whose signature will be copied and fabricated for dozens of “sales” of loans and securities deriving their value from a nonexistent loan contract, this distorted practice does two things: (a) it cheats investors out of their assumed and expected interest in nonexistent mortgage loan contracts and  (b) it leaves “borrowers” in a parallel universe where they can never know the identity of their actual creditor — a phenomenon created when the proceeds of sales of MBS were never paid into trust for a defined set of investors.  The absence of the defined set of investors is the reason why bank lawyers fight so hard to make such disclosures “irrelevant” in courts of law.

The important fact that is often missed is that the “warehouse” lender was neither a warehouse nor a lender. Like the originator it is a layer of anonymity in the lending process that is used as a conduit for the funding received by the “borrower.”

None of the real parties who funded the transaction had any knowledge about the transaction to which their funds were committed. The nexus between the investors and/or REMIC Trust and the original loan SHOULD have been accomplished by the Trust purchasing the loan — an event that never occurred. And this is why fabricated, forged documents are used in foreclosures — to cover over the fact that there was no purchase and sale of the loan by the Trust and to cover up the fact that investors’ money was used in ways directly contrary to their interests and their agreement with the bogus REMIC Trusts whose bogus securities were purchased by investors.

In the end the investors were left to rely on the unscrupulous investment bank that issued the bogus MBS to somehow create a nexus between the investors and the alleged loans that were funded, if at all, by the direct infusion of investors’ capital and NOT by the REMIC Trust.

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

—————-
also see comments below from Dan Edstrom, senior securitization analyst for LivingLies
——————-

David Belanger recently sent out an email explaining in his words the failed securitization process that sent our economy into a toxic spiral that continues, unabated, to weaken our ability to recover from the removal of capital from the most important source of spending and purchasing in our economy. This was an epic redistribution of wealth from the regular guy to a handful of “bankers” who were not really acting as bankers.

His email article is excellent and well worth reading a few times. He nails the use of remote conduits that have nothing to do with any loan transaction, much less a loan contract. The only thing I would add is the legal issue of the relationship between this information and the ability to rescind.

Rescission is available ONLY if there is something to rescind — and that has traditionally been regarded as a loan contract. If there is no loan contract, as Belanger asserts (and I agree) then there is nothing to rescind. But if the “transaction” can be rescinded because it is an implied contract between the source of funds and the alleged borrower, then rescission presumably applies.

Second, there is the question of what constitutes a “warehouse” lender. By definition if there is a warehouse lending contract in which the originator has liabilities or risk exposure to losses on the loans originated, then the transaction would appear to be properly represented by the loan documents executed by the borrower, although the absence of a signature from the originator presents a problem for “consummation” of the loan contract.

But, as suggested by the article if the “warehouse lender” was merely a conduit for funds from an undisclosed third party, then it is merely a sham entity in the chain. And if the originator has no exposure to risk of loss then it merely acted as sham conduit also, or paid originator or broker. This scenario is described in detail in Belanger’s article (see below) and we can see that in practice, securitization was distorted at several points — one of which was the presumption that an unauthroized party (contrary to disclosure and representations during the loan “approval” and loan  “closing”) was inserted as “lender” when it loaned no money. Yet the originator’s name was inserted as payee on the note or mortgagee on the mortgage.

All of this brings us to the question of whether judges are right — that the contract is consummated at the time that the borrower affixes his or her signature. It is my opinion that this view is erroneous and presents moral hazard and roadblock to enforcing the rights of disclosure of the parties, terms and compensation of the people and entities arising out of the “origination” of the loan.

If judges are right, then the borrower can only claim breach of contract for failure to loan money in accordance with the disclosures required by TILA. And the “borrower’s” ability to rescind within 3 days has been virtually eliminated as many of the loans were at least treated as though they had been “sold” to third parties who posed as warehouse lenders who in turn “sold” the loan to even more remote parties, none of which were the purported REMIC Trusts. Those alleged REMIC Trusts were a smokescreen — sham entities that didn’t even serve as conduits — left without any capital, contrary to the terms of the Trust agreement and the representations of the seller of mortgage backed securities by these Trusts who had no business, assets, liabilities, income, expenses or even a bank account.

If judges are right that the contract is consummated even without a loan from from the party identified as “lender” then they are ruling contrary to the  Federal requirements of lending disclosures and in many states in violation of fair lending laws.

There is an outcome of erroneous rulings from the bench in which the basic elements of contract are ignored in order to give banks a favorable result, to wit: the marketplace for business is now functioning under a rule of people instead of the rule of law. It is now an apparently legal business plan where the object is to capture the signature of a consumer and use that signature for profit is dozens of ways contrary to every representation and disclosure made at the time of application and “closing” of the transaction.

As Belanger points out, without consideration it is black letter law backed by centuries of common law that for a contract to be formed and therefore enforceable it must fit the four legs of a stool — offer, acceptance of the terms offered, consideration from the first party to the alleged loan transaction and consideration from the second party. The consideration from the “lender”can ONLY be payment to fund the loan. If the originator does it with their own funds or credit, then they have probably satisfied the requirement of consideration.

But if a third party supplied the consideration for the “loan” AND that third party has no contractual nexus with the “originator” or alleged “warehouse lender”then the requirement of consideration from the “originator” is not and cannot be met. In addition to defrauding the borrower whose signature will be copied and fabricated for dozens of “sales” of loans and securities deriving their value from a nonexistent loan contract, this distorted practice does two things: (a) it cheats investors out of their assumed and expected interest in nonexistent mortgage loan contracts and  (b) it leaves “borrowers” in a parallel universe where they can never know the identity of their actual creditor — a phenomenon created when the proceeds of sales of MBS were never paid into trust for a defined set of investors.

David Belanger’s Email article follows, unabridged:

AND AS I SAID, WITH NO CONSUMMATION AT CLOSING, BELANGER NEVER CONSUMMATED ANY MORTGAGE CONTRACT/ NOTE.

BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONLY PARTY TO THE FAKE CONTRACT THAT FOLLOWED THROUGH WITH THERE CONSIDERATION, WITH SIGNING THE MORTGAGE AND NOTE,

AS REQUIRED, TO PERFORM. BUT GMAC MORTGAGE CORP. DID NOT PERFORM , I.E. LEND ANY MONEY AT CLOSING, AS WE HAVE THE WIRE TRANSFER SHOWING THEY DID NOT FUND THE MORTGAGE AND NOTE AT CLOSING. CANT HAVE A LEGAL CONTRACT IF ONLY ONE OF THE PARTY’S. PERFORMS HIS OBLIGATIONS.

THIS MAKE , AS I SAID. RESCISSION IS VALID. AND THEY HAVE NOT FOLLOWED THRU, THERE PART.

AND IT DOES GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO

RESCIND THE CONTRACT BASED ON ALL NEWLY DISCOVERED EVIDENCE, THAT THE PARTY TO THE MORTGAGE /NOTE CONTRACT, DID NOT

FULFILL THERE DUTY AND DID NOT PREFORM IN ANY WAY AS REQUIRED TO HAVE A VALID BINDING CONTRACT.

Tonight we have a rebroadcast of a segment from Episode 15 with a guest who is a recent ex-patriot from 17 years in the mortgage banking industry… Scot started out as a escrow agent doing closings, then advanced to mortgage loan officer, processor, underwriter, branch manager, mortgage broker and loss mitigator for the banks. Interestingly, he says,

“Looking back on my career I don’t believe any mortgage closing that I was involved in was ever consummated.”
Tonight Scot will be covering areas relating to:

1 lack of disclosure and consideration
2 substitution of true mortgage contracting partner
3 unfunded loan agreements
4 non-existent trusts
5 securitization of your note and bifurcation of the security interest and
6 how to identify and prove the non-existence of the so-called trust named in an assignment which may be coming after you to foreclose

: http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-139335/TS-1093904.mp3

so lets look at what happen a the closing of the mortgage CONTRACT SHELL WE.

1/ MORTGAGE AND NOTES, SAYS A ( SPECIFIC LENDER) GAVE YOU MONEY, ( AS WE KNOW THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN. )

2/ HOME OWNER WAS TOLD AT CLOSING AND BEFORE CLOSING THAT THE NAMED LENDER WOULD SUPPLY THE FUNDS AT CLOSING, AND WAS ALSO TOLD BY THE CLOSING AGENT , THE SAME LIE.

3/ THERE ARE 2 PARTIES TO A CLOSING OF A MORTGAGE AND NOTE, 1/ HOMEOWNER, 2/ LENDER.

3/ Offer and acceptance , Consideration,= SO HOMEOWNERS SIGN A MORTGAGE AND NOTE, IN CONSIDERATION of the said lender’s promises to pay the homeowner for said signing of the mortgage and note.

4/ but the lender does not, follow thru with his CONSIDERATION. I.E TO FUND THE CONTRACT. AND THE LENDER NAMED ON THE CONTRACT, KNEW ALL ALONG THAT HE WOULD NOT BE THE FUNDING SOURCE. FRAUD AT CONCEPTION. KNOWINGLY OUT RIGHT FRAUD ON THE HOMEOWNERS.

5/ THERE ARE NO STATUES OF LIMITATIONS ON FRAUD IN THE INDUCEMENT, OR ANY OTHER FRAUD.

6/ SO AS NEIL AND AND LENDING TEAM, AND OTHERS HAVE POINTED OUT, SO SO MANY TIMES HERE AND OTHER PLACES,

THERE COULD NOT BE ANY CONSUMMATION OF THE CONTRACT AT CLOSING,BY THE TWO PARTY’S TO THE CONTRACT, IF ONLY ONE PERSON TO THE CONTRACT ACTED IN GOOD FAITH,

AND THE OTHER PARTY DID NOT ACT IN GOOD FAITH OR EVEN SUPPLIED ANY ( CONSIDERATION WHAT SO EVER AT CLOSING OF THE CONTRACT.) A MORTGAGE AND NOTE IS A CONTRACT PEOPLE.

7/ SO THIS WOULD GIVE RISE TO THE LAW OF ( RESCISSION).

. A finding of misrepresentation allows for a remedy of rescission and sometimes damages depending on the type of misrepresentation.

AND THE BANKS CAN SCREAM ALL THEY WANT, IF THE PRETENDER LENDER THAT IS ON YOUR MORTGAGE AND NOTE, DID NOT SUPPLY THE FUNDS AT CLOSING, AS WE ALL KNOW DID HAPPEN, THEN THE MORTGAGE CONTRACT IS VOID. AND THERE WAS NO CONSUMMATION AT THE CLOSING TABLE, BY THE PARTY THAT SAID IT WAS FUNDING THE CONTRACT.

CANT GET MORE SIMPLE THAT THAT. and this supports all of the above. that the fake lender did not PERFORM AT CLOSING, DID NOT FUND ANY MONEY OR LOAN ANY MONEY AT CLOSING WITH ANY BORROWER, SO ONLY ONE ( THE BORROWER ) DID PERFORM AT CLOSING. BOTH PARTY’S MUST PERFORM TO HAVE A LEGAL BINDING CONTRACT.

SEE RODGERS V U.S.BANK HOME MORTGAGE ET, AL

THE WAREHOUSE LENDER NATIONAL CITY BANK OF KENTUCKY HELD THE NOTE THEN DELIVERED TO THIRD PARTY INVESTORS UNKNOWN

SECURITY NATIONAL FINANCIAL CORPORATION

5300 South 360 West, Suite 250

Salt Lake City, Utah 84123

Telephone (801) 264-1060

February 20, 2009

VIA EDGAR

U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Division of Corporation Finance

100 F Street, N. E., Mail Stop 4561

Washington, D. C. 20549

Attn: Sharon M. Blume

Assistant Chief Accountant

Re: Security National Financial Corporation

Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2007

Form 10-Q for Fiscal Quarter Ended June 30, 2008

File No. 0-9341

Dear Ms. Blume:

Security National Financial Corporation (the “Company”) hereby supplements its responses to its previous response letters dated January 15, 2009, November 6, 2008 and October 9, 2008. These supplemental responses are provided as additional information concerning the Company’s mortgage loan operations and the appropriate accounting that the Company follows in connection with such operations.

The Company operates its mortgage loan operations through its wholly owned subsidiary, Security National Mortgage Company (“SNMC”). SNMC currently has 29 branch offices across

the continental United States and Hawaii. Each office has personnel who are qualified to solicit and underwrite loans that are submitted to SNMC by a network of mortgage brokers. Loan files submitted to SNMC are underwritten pursuant to third-party investor guidelines and are approved to fund after all documentation and other investor-established requirements are determined to meet the criteria for a saleable loans. (e.s.) Loan documents are prepared in the name of SNMC and then sent to the title company handling the loan transactions for signatures from the borrowers. Upon signing the documents, requests are then sent to the warehouse bank involved in the transaction to submit funds to the title company to pay for the settlement. All loans funded by warehouse banks are committed to be purchased (settled) by third-party investors under pre-established loan purchase commitments. The initial recordings of the deeds of trust (the mortgages) are made in the name of SNMC. (e.s.)

Soon after the loan funding, the deeds of trust are assigned, using the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”), which is the standard in the industry for recording subsequent transfers in title, and the promissory notes are endorsed in blank to the warehouse bank that funded the loan. The promissory notes and the deeds of trust are then forwarded to the warehouse bank. The warehouse bank funds approximately 96% of the mortgage loans to the title company and the remainder (known in the industry as the “haircut”) is funded by the Company. The Company records a receivable from the third-party investor for the portion of the mortgage loans the Company has funded and for mortgage fee income earned by SNMC. The receivable from the third-party investor is unsecured inasmuch as neither the Company nor its subsidiaries retain any interest in the mortgage loans. (e.s.)

Conditions for Revenue Recognition

Pursuant to paragraph 9 of SFAS 140, a transfer of financial assets (or a portion of a financial asset) in which the transferor surrenders control over those financial assets shall be accounted as a sale to the extent that consideration other than beneficial interests in the transferred assets is received in exchange. The transferor has surrendered control over transferred assets if and only if all of the following conditions are met:

1

(a) The transferred assets have been isolated from the transferor―placed presumptively beyond the reach of the transferor and its creditors, even in bankruptcy or other receivership.

SNMC endorses the promissory notes in blank, assigns the deeds of trust through MERS and forwards these documents to the warehouse bank that funded the loan. Therefore, the transferred mortgage loans are isolated from the Company. The Company’s management is confident that the transferred mortgage loans are beyond the reach of the Company and its creditors. (e.s.)

(b) Each transferee (or, if the transferee is a qualified SPE, each holder of its beneficial interests) has the right to pledge or exchange the assets (or beneficial interests) it received, and no

condition restricts the transferee (or holder) from taking advantage of its right to pledge or exchange and provides more than a trivial benefit to the transferor.

The Company does not have any interest in the promissory notes or the underlying deeds of trust because of the steps taken in item (a) above. The Master Purchase and Repurchase Agreements (the “Purchase Agreements”) with the warehouse banks allow them to pledge the promissory notes as collateral for borrowings by them and their entities. Under the Purchase Agreements, the warehouse banks have agreed to sell the loans to the third-party investors; however, the warehouse banks hold title to the mortgage notes and can sell, exchange or pledge the mortgage loans as they choose. The Purchase Agreements clearly indicate that the purchaser, the warehouse bank, and seller confirm that the transactions contemplated herein are intended to be sales of the mortgage loans by seller to purchaser rather than borrowings secured by the mortgage loans. In the event that the third-party investors do not purchase or settle the loans from the warehouse banks, the warehouse banks have the right to sell or exchange the mortgage loans to the Company or to any other entity. Accordingly, the Company believes this requirement is met.

(c) The transferor does not maintain effective control over the transferred asset through either an agreement that entitles both entities and obligates the transferor to repurchase or redeem them before their maturity or the ability to unilaterally cause the holder to return the specific assets, other than through a cleanup call.

The Company maintains no control over the mortgage loans sold to the warehouse banks, and, as stated in the Purchase Agreements, the Company is not entitled to repurchase the mortgage loans. In addition, the Company cannot unilaterally cause a warehouse bank to return a specific loan. The warehouse bank can require the Company to repurchase mortgage loans not settled by the third-party investors, but this conditional obligation does not provide effective control over the mortgage loans sold. Should the Company want a warehouse bank to sell a mortgage loan to a different third-party investor, the warehouse bank would impose its own conditions prior to agreeing to the change, including, for instance, that the original intended third-party investor return the promissory note to the warehouse bank. Accordingly, the Company believes that it does not maintain effective control over the transferred mortgage loans and that it meets this transfer of control criteria.

The warehouse bank and not the Company transfers the loan to the third-party investor at the date it is settled. The Company does not have an unconditional obligation to repurchase the loan from the warehouse bank nor does the Company have any rights to purchase the loan. Only in the situation where the third-party investor does not settle and purchase the loan from the warehouse bank does the Company have a conditional obligation to repurchase the loan. Accordingly, the Company believes that it meets the criteria for recognition of mortgage fee income under SFAS 140 when the loan is funded by the warehouse bank and, at that date, the Company records an unsecured receivable from the investor for the portion of the loan funded by the Company, which is typically 4% of the face amount of the loan, together with the broker and origination fee income.

2

Loans Repurchased from Warehouse Banks

Historically, 99% of all mortgage loans are settled with investors. In the process of settling a loan, the Company may take up to six months to pursue remediation of an unsettled loan. There are situations when the Company determines that it is unable to enforce the settlement of a loan by the third-party investor and that it is in the Company’s best interest to repurchase the loan from the warehouse bank. Any previously recorded mortgage fee income is reversed in the period the loan was repurchased.

When the Company repurchases a loan, it is recorded at the lower of cost or market. Cost is equal to the amount paid to the warehouse bank and the amount originally funded by the Company. Market value is often difficult to determine for this type of loan and is estimated by the Company. The Company never estimates market value to exceed the unpaid principal balance on the loan. The market value is also supported by the initial loan underwriting documentation and collateral. The Company does not hold the loan as available for sale but as held to maturity and carries the loan at amortized cost. Any loan that subsequently becomes delinquent is evaluated by the Company at that time and any allowances for impairment are adjusted accordingly.

This will supplement our earlier responses to clarify that the Company repurchased the $36,291,000 of loans during 2007 and 2008 from the warehouse banks and not from third-party investors. The amounts paid to the warehouse banks and the amounts originally funded by the Company, exclusive of the mortgage fee income that was reversed, were classified as the cost of the investment in the mortgage loans held for investment.

The Company uses two allowance accounts to offset the reversal of mortgage fee income and for the impairment of loans. The allowance for reversal of mortgage fee income is carried on the balance sheet as a liability and the allowance for impairment of loans is carried as a contra account net of our investment in mortgage loans. Management believes the allowance for reversal of mortgage fee income is sufficient to absorb any losses of income from loans that are not settled by third-party investors. The Company is currently accruing 17.5 basis points of the principal amount of mortgage loans sold, which increased by 5.0 basis points during the latter part of 2007 and remained at that level during 2008.

The Company reviewed its estimates of collectability of receivables from broker and origination fee income during the fourth quarter of 2007, in view of the market turmoil discussed in the following paragraph and the fact that several third-party investors were attempting to back out of their commitments to buy (settle) loans, and the Company determined that it could still reasonably estimate the collectability of the mortgage fee income. However, the Company determined that it needed to increase its allowance for reversal of mortgage fee income as stated in the preceding paragraph.

Effect of Market Turmoil on Sales and Settlement of Mortgage Loans

As explained in previous response letters, the Company and the warehouse banks typically settle mortgage loans with third-party investors within 16 days of the closing and funding of the loans. However, beginning in the first quarter of 2007, there was a lot of market turmoil for mortgage backed securities. Initially, the market turmoil was primarily isolated to sub-prime mortgage loan originations. The Company originated less than 0.5% of its mortgage loans using this product during 2006 and the associated market turmoil did not have a material effect on the Company.

As 2007 progressed, however, the market turmoil began to expand into mortgage loans that were classified by the industry as Alt A and Expanded Criteria. The Company’s third-party investors, including Lehman Brothers (Aurora Loan Services) and Bear Stearns (EMC Mortgage Corp.), began to have difficulty marketing Alt A and Expanded Criteria loans to the secondary markets. Without notice, these investors changed their criteria for loan products and refused to settle loans underwritten by the Company that met these investor’s previous specifications. As stipulated in the agreements with the warehouse banks, the Company was conditionally required to repurchase loans from the warehouse banks that were not settled by the third-party investors.

3

Beginning in early 2007, without prior notice, these investors discontinued purchasing Alt A and Expanded Criteria loans. Over the period from April 2007 through May 2008, the warehouse banks had purchased approximately $36.2 million of loans that had met the investor’s previous criteria but were rejected by the investor in complete disregard of their contractual commitments. Although the Company pursued its rights under the investor contracts, the Company was unsuccessful due to the investors’ financial problems and could not enforce the loan purchase contracts. As a result of its conditional repurchase obligation, the Company repurchased these loans from the warehouse banks and reversed the mortgage fee income associated with the loans on the date of repurchase from the warehouse banks. The loans were classified to the long-term mortgage loan portfolio beginning in the second quarter of 2008.

Relationship with Warehouse Banks

As previously stated, the Company is not unconditionally obligated to repurchase mortgage loans from the warehouse banks. The warehouse banks purchase the loans with the commitment from the third-party investors to settle the loans from the warehouse banks. Accordingly, the Company does not make an entry to reflect the amount paid by the warehouse bank when the mortgage loans are funded. Upon sale of the loans to the warehouse bank, the Company only records the receivables for the brokerage and origination fees and the amount the Company paid at the time of funding.

Interest in Repurchased Loans

Once a mortgage loan is repurchased, it is immediately transferred to mortgage loans held for investment (or should have been) as the Company makes no attempts to sell these loans

to other investors at this time. Any efforts to find a replacement investor are made prior to repurchasing the loan from the warehouse bank. The Company makes no effort to remarket the loan after it is repurchased.

Acknowledgements

In connection with the Company’s responses to the comments, the Company hereby acknowledges as follows:

· The Company is responsible for the adequacy and accuracy of the disclosure in the filing;

· The staff comments or changes to disclosure in response to staff comments do not foreclose the Commission from taking any action with respect to the filing; and

· The Company may not assert staff comments as defense in any proceeding initiated by the Commission or any person under the Federal Securities Laws of the United States.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at (801) 264-1060 or (801) 287-8171.

Very truly yours,

/s/ Stephen M. Sill

Stephen M. Sill, CPA

Vice President, Treasurer and

Chief Financial Officer

Contract law

Part of the common law series

Contract formation

Offer and acceptance Posting rule Mirror image rule Invitation to treat Firm offer Consideration Implication-in-fact

Defenses against formation

Lack of capacity Duress Undue influence Illusory promise Statute of frauds Non est factum

Contract interpretation

Parol evidence rule Contract of adhesion Integration clause Contra proferentem

Excuses for non-performance

Mistake Misrepresentation Frustration of purpose Impossibility Impracticability Illegality Unclean hands Unconscionability Accord and satisfaction

Rights of third parties

Privity of contract Assignment Delegation Novation Third-party beneficiary

Breach of contract

Anticipatory repudiation Cover Exclusion clause Efficient breach Deviation Fundamental breach

Remedies

Specific performance Liquidated damages Penal damages Rescission

Quasi-contractual obligations

Promissory estoppel Quantum meruit

Related areas of law

Conflict of laws Commercial law

Other common law areas

Tort law Property law Wills, trusts, and estates Criminal law Evidence

Such defenses operate to determine whether a purported contract is either (1) void or (2) voidable. Void contracts cannot be ratified by either party. Voidable contracts can be ratified.

Misrepresentation[edit]

Main article: Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation means a false statement of fact made by one party to another party and has the effect of inducing that party into the contract. For example, under certain circumstances, false statements or promises made by a seller of goods regarding the quality or nature of the product that the seller has may constitute misrepresentation. A finding of misrepresentation allows for a remedy of rescission and sometimes damages depending on the type of misrepresentation.

There are two types of misrepresentation: fraud in the factum and fraud in inducement. Fraud in the factum focuses on whether the party alleging misrepresentation knew they were creating a contract. If the party did not know that they were entering into a contract, there is no meeting of the minds, and the contract is void. Fraud in inducement focuses on misrepresentation attempting to get the party to enter into the contract. Misrepresentation of a material fact (if the party knew the truth, that party would not have entered into the contract) makes a contract voidable.

According to Gordon v Selico [1986] it is possible to misrepresent either by words or conduct. Generally, statements of opinion or intention are not statements of fact in the context of misrepresentation.[68] If one party claims specialist knowledge on the topic discussed, then it is more likely for the courts to hold a statement of opinion by that party as a statement of fact.[69]

Such defenses operate to determine whether a purported contract is either (1) void or (2) voidable. Void contracts cannot be ratified by either party. Voidable contracts can be ratified.

Misrepresentation[edit]

Main article: Misrepresentation
Misrepresentation means a false statement of fact made by one party to another party and has the effect of inducing that party into the contract. For example, under certain circumstances, false statements or promises made by a seller of goods regarding the quality or nature of the product that the seller has may constitute misrepresentation. A finding of misrepresentation allows for a remedy of rescission and sometimes damages depending on the type of misrepresentation.

There are two types of misrepresentation: fraud in the factum and fraud in inducement. Fraud in the factum focuses on whether the party alleging misrepresentation knew they were creating a contract. If the party did not know that they were entering into a contract, there is no meeting of the minds, and the contract is void. Fraud in inducement focuses on misrepresentation attempting to get the party to enter into the contract. Misrepresentation of a material fact (if the party knew the truth, that party would not have entered into the contract) makes a contract voidable.
According to Gordon v Selico [1986] it is possible to misrepresent either by words or conduct. Generally, statements of opinion or intention are not statements of fact in the context of misrepresentation.[68] If one party claims specialist knowledge on the topic discussed, then it is more likely for the courts to hold a statement of opinion by that party as a statement of fact.[69]

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

Comments from Dan Edstrom:

My understanding in California (and probably most other states) is the signature(s) were put on the note and security instrument and passed to the (escrow) agent for delivery only upon the performance of the specific instructions included in the closing instructions. The homeowner(s) did not manifest a present intent to transfer the documents or title….   Delivery was not possible until the agent followed instructions 100% (specific performance).  Their appears to be a presumption of delivery that should be rebutted. In California the test for an effective delivery is the writing passed with the deed (but only if delivery is put at issue).
Here is a quote from an appeal in CA:
We first examine the legal effectiveness of the Greggs deed. Legal delivery of a deed revolves around the intent of the grantor. (Osborn v. Osborn (1954) 42 Cal.2d 358, 363-364.) Where the grantor’s only instructions concerning the transaction are in writing, “`the effect of the transaction depends upon the true construction of the writing. It is in other words a pure question of law whether there was an absolute delivery or not.’ [Citation.]” (Id. at p. at p. 364.) As explained by the Supreme Court, “Where a deed is placed in the hands of a third person, as an escrow, with an agreement between the grantor and grantee that it shall not be delivered to the grantee until he has complied with certain conditions, the grantee does not acquire any title to the land, nor is he entitled to a delivery of the deed until he has strictly complied with the conditions. If he does not comply with the conditions when required, or refuses to comply, the escrow-holder cannot make a valid delivery of the deed to him. [Citations.]” (Promis v. Duke (1929) 208 Cal. 420, 425.) Thus, if the escrow holder does deliver the deed before the buyer complies with the seller’s instructions to the escrow, such purported delivery conveys no title to the buyer. (Montgomery v. Bank of America (1948) 85 Cal.App.2d 559, 563; see also Borgonovo v. Henderson (1960) 182 Cal.App.2d 220, 226-228 [purported assignment of note deposited into escrow held invalid, where maker instructed escrow holder to release note only upon deposit of certain sum of money by payee].)
LAOLAGI v. FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY, H032523 (Cal. Ct. App. July 31, 2009).
In most cases I have seen the closing instructions state there can be no encumbrances except the new note and security instrument in favor of {the payee of the note}…
Some of the issues with this (encumbrances) would be who provided the actual escrow funding, topre-existing agreements, the step transaction and single transaction doctrines, MERS, payoffs of previous mortgages (to a lender of record), reconveyance (to a lender of record), etc…
Thx,
Dan Edstrom

Schedule A Consult Now!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,589 other followers

%d bloggers like this: