Attorney Patricia Rodriguez: California Foreclosure Overview

Attorney Patricia Rodriguez has been defending homeowners from wrongful foreclosure for over a decade.  Located in Los Angeles, California, Ms. Rodriguez has been appointed to serve as a legal expert and provider of expert testimony on unlawful detainers and foreclosures in Los Angeles Superior Court.  She has been on the foreclosure forefront since the housing market crashed, and recognizes the legal strategies most-likely to gain traction, while avoiding arguments that have been proven ineffective.
Ms. Rodriguez provided the following overview of California foreclosure law.  Click here to contact the Rodriguez Law firm, or set up a free consultation.
what-does-california-law-mean-foreclosure

California Foreclosure Law Overview

By Attorney Patricia Rodriquez

 

The Process of Non-Judicial Foreclosure In California begins with the Notice of Default (NOD): The Bank is giving the Homeowner notice that according to the Bank Homeowner owes the bank and hasn’t paid. This can be recorded after 90 days straight of non payment.
The Notice of Trustee Sale (NoTS): This is notice to the Homeowner that the bank is electing to sale the property under the allege authority of the Deed of Trust using the power of sale clause. This can be recorded 90 days after the NOD. The bank must set the sale out at least 21 days from the date of the NofTS.
The Trustee Sale Date: This is the actual date of the sale. The Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale is what is recorded after the sale is conducted. It can be sold to a third party or revert back to the alleged beneficiary (who claims the right to sell it under the Deed of Trust power of sale clause).
Delaying Trustee Sale Dates can be done through filing a bankruptcy (although it is not appropriate if this is the sole purpose of the bankruptcy and not restructuring or liquidating the debt)., litigation and recording a lis pendens, a restraining order, and informal negotiations with the bank directly.
Advertisements of Trustee Sale Delays – lots of companies advertise through the mail they can postpone sales. Be cautious as these can be companies that will deed of a percentage of your deed of trust to others and then file bankruptcy for that other individual(s) and then include your property in that bankruptcy. This is bankruptcy fraud and can cause you significant harm ultimately.

THE TRANSFERRING OF SERVICING RIGHTS TO AVOID REVIEWING COMPLETE MODIFICATION APPLICATION

 

bankcrak

To listen to Patricia Rodriguez discuss the latest foreclosure defense issues please visit the Neil Garfield Show here and here.

By Patricia Rodriguez, Esq.

Nothing in this article is meant to be construed as legal advice; there is no attorney-client relationship that is being created. This is for general education purposes only. 

After years of litigating against alleged lenders, investors, servicers, and foreclosure trustee’s we are starting to see a clear trend of the servicing rights being transferred upon receiving a complete loan modification application. What is an alleged lender – this is usually the party that claims to have funded the original loan or the originator.

The alleged investors are those who claim to have received an ownership interest in the loan through an assignment and endorsements or multiple assignments and endorsements. The foreclosure trustee in non-judicial foreclosure states such as California are entrusted with overseeing the foreclosure process. The servicers are entities that claim a right to collect payments, modify the loan, etc. as agents of the principals (lender or investor). The servicer’s, through an agreement with these other entities, claim to have the right to enforce the note on behalf of the principal (lender or investor).

The servicer can start as one entity in the Deed of Trust and be changed by a simple letter from the original servicer to the borrower advising them that there is a new servicer. The borrower typically has agreed to such in the Deed of Trust. It is generally this servicer that the borrower or the borrower’s representative is negotiating with in order to conduct a short sale, short pay, cash for keys settlement, reinstatement, forbearance, and/or modification. The servicer could stay the same the life of the loan or switch anywhere from 1 to 10 times.

Each time the servicer changes the new servicer is obligated to credit the borrower’s account with all prior payments, honor any pending offers (for a short sale, short pay, settlement, reinstatement, forbearance, and/or modification), and continue to review any pending complete applications for a short sale, short pay, etc. However, many times this is why servicer changes are made so that the new servicer can claim they will not honor an offer to short sale, short pay, etc. or to state that the new servicer never received the complete package.

The above scenario will at most times be actionable; meaning this is something that is a cause of action. There is an obligation on the part of the new servicer to honor offers and pending complete applications, otherwise, it is a breach of contract- among other claims. In addition, to there being an obligation on the part of the servicer to honor offers and pending complete applications, the homeowner needs to make sure that the servicer’s failure to do such caused you or the party you are representing harm (damages).

MAKING HOMES AFFORDABLE – HAMP & HARP ARE GONE

Making homes affordable is an official program of the United States Department of Treasury and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  HAMP and HARP were government funded programs in existence until December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, the programs no longer exist as there was a sunset statute. These two programs were designed to help struggling borrower’s who could no longer afford their mortgages to modify their loan under specific government guidelines. Now that these government programs have ended that does not mean modifications will end.

“As far as the consumer financial protection bureau (CFPB) and Mark Mc Ardle, deputy secretary for the Office of Financial Stability is concerned ‘the economy is still not back on track and may take much more time while many homeowners are struggling, they still are having a difficult time making  their mortgage payments. The CFPB has issued non-binding guidelines based on proven principles and protocols. Based on NPV (net present value); with this foundation the CFPB has stated principle goals for financial institutions to follow when dealing with at- risk homeowners including affordability, accessibility, sustainability and transparency.  The overall goal is to prevent “avoidable foreclosures” and offer a win-win situation for investors and homeowners.'” David Smith

There are still government sponsored programs to help struggling homeowners such as the hardest hit funds that reaches eighteen states. It is Keeping Your Home California for the state of California and offers funds to help with a portion of the arrears for reinstatement or modification. Additionally, the Making Homes Affordable website still has a vast amount of information contained on it; especially, if you are already in a HAMP trial or permanent modification.

Contact Attorney Patricia Rodriguez:

Patricia Rodriguez, Esq.

Lead Attorney/Chief Executive Officer

http://attorneyprod.com

Rodriguez Law Group, Inc.

 

1492 West Colorado Boulevard Suite 120

Pasadena, CA 91105

phone: (626) 888-5206

fax: (626) 282-0522

FASB on Sham Transactions

See AU Section 332 Auditing Derivative Instruments, hedging Activities and Investment in Securities.
 *
Every written instrument is by definition the memorialization of an event. Absent the event in the real world, the instrument is worthless at best and at worst fraudulent. This is derived from the my knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as enunciated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) supported by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
 *
In any audit of bookkeeping and/or accounting records written instruments are the starting point for inquiry as to whether the documents represents a true and fair representation of an actual transaction. While the auditor may be aware of certain legal presumptions concerning the validity of a facially valid instrument, the auditor is tasked with testing all transactions including those that appear to possess the attributes of facial validity.
 *
Specifically the audit process for alleged transactions relating to derivative securities (mortgage backed bonds, for example) goes further than standard auditing confirmation under the rules recognized as nationwide and binding. In large part because of the admissions or quasi admissions in settlements with government regulators, attorneys general and investors, it has become obvious that transactions that are related to activity in the derivative marketplace are subject to special scrutiny. Auditors are required to test the following, among other things:
 *
  1. Occurrence. Transactions and events that have been recorded have occurred and pertain to the entity.
  2. Completeness. All transactions and events that should have been recorded have been recorded.
*
In the definition of the confirmation process required by auditors, it is clearly stated that a plan of confirmation is to be used. Facially valid documents are not excluded from the confirmation process. And as seen above, transactions relating to alleged securitization are subject to specific testing. The courts are out of their element in assessing the risk of fraudulent representation because the Courts’ inquiry generally starts and ends with the written instrument.
 *
The Auditor wants to know if the transaction memorialized in that instrument actually took place and wants to see evidence to that effect — i.e., the money trail as represented by cash flow, balance sheet and income statements as well as the general ledger (and supporting documents, bank statements and receipts) of the entity that claims to have been a party to a transaction and now claims an asset as a result.
 *
These sections are the beginning point for discovery and the foundation for objections when “business records” are proffered at trial as exceptions to the hearsay rule.
 *
The big question is whether the transactions that are represented in court as loans or assignments or endorsement are actually reflected on the general ledger, bookkeeping records and accounting records of the party who was supposedly involved in any of those transactions is proffering false testimony or fabricated documents into evidence.
 *
The answer is simple: based upon reliable sources the facts are that the big banks have produced a convoluted set records of loosely connected entities. One fact is clear: the acquisition of loans is generally not found in their records nor supported by any entry reflecting a financial transaction. The little originators and banks are generally buried after having gone out of business, but the ones that are left will show that most originated “loans” did not result in the flow of cash from the originator to the alleged borrower.
 *
My recommendation is that foreclosure defense attorneys employ the use of CPA’s who have specific auditing experience and knowledge. The testimony of these experts might be invaluable to the discovery process and lead the opposing side to soften their approach.

Freddie Mac Selling Toxic Loans: Do they really own those loans?

The resulting case law is opening up Pandora’s box as the law of these foreclosure cases spills over into hundreds of other situations.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

see http://4closurefraud.org/2016/10/05/freddie-mac-sells-1-billion-of-seriously-delinquent-loans/

So I have two questions that should be sufficiently annoying to the banksters: (1) what makes Freddie think it owns the loans? and (2) if the loans are in default doesn’t that make the notes non-negotiable paper?

As to the first, my guess is that Freddie paid somebody something. What they used as currency was MBS issued by private label trusts. The MBS were worthless because they were issued by an unfunded paper trust. Freddie paid somebody using those bonds. But that somebody didn’t own the loans because the money had already been advanced by ANOTHER party (the investors) under a false deposit scheme with the investment/commercial banks.

*

So the debt was at all times owned by an unidentified and perhaps unidentifiable  group of investors/victims who to this day may not know that their money was hijacked to make toxic loans. That makes any sale or assignment to anyone void, including Freddie Mac. And whoever is getting paper executed by Freddie Mac is getting exactly what Freddie owns: NOTHING.

*

As to the second, if the loans in default are not negotiable paper, then the presumptions attendant to negotiable paper under Article 3 of the UCC do not apply. And if THAT is the case, the party in possession is not a holder, not a holder in due course and possibly not a possessor with rights to enforce. They would need to prove that they paid for the “loan” and they would need to show that there was a loan [not just from anyone. It must be an actual loan of money from the party identified as Payee on the note]. They would need to show that they not only bought the note but they also bought the debt.

As it turns out the note and the debt are owned by two different parties. The debt normally merges into the note so that when someone signs it they don’t have two liabilities. But what if the debt was owned by a third party at the time the maker signed the note? Assuming the maker did not know that a third party was involved, the maker is back in the position of two debts — the very problem that the merger rule was intended to prevent.

*

So far the courts have endeavored to deal with this tricky problem by pretending it does not exist. The resulting case law is opening up Pandora’s box as the law of these foreclosure cases spills over into hundreds of other situations.

 

The First Step in Foreclosure Defense: Title Issues

The same judges that consistently ignore defenses with respect to the endorsements, assignments, or other issues instantly recognize that where there is an error or break in the chain of title, the “bank” must step back, dismiss the foreclosure and start over again.

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

Last Thursday night I had North Carolina Attorney James Surane as a guest on my radio show. As I suspected it was technical but VERY interesting. He gave many examples where title issues had either resulted in an outright win or much greater leverage over the party claiming to be authorized to foreclose on property. In his state of North Carolina, the judicial climate is very frosty when it comes to a homeowner challenging foreclosures. But the same judges that consistently ignore defenses with respect to the endorsements, assignments, or other issues instantly recognize that where there is an error or break in the chain of title, the “bank” must step back, dismiss the foreclosure and start over again.

Although most people have stopped ordering title searches and title analysis by a lawyer, they are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. As I have previously discussed on this blog, the problem with the title reports is not that they are useless, it is that they don’t go back far enough. In the run-up to the mortgage meltdown some closing agents were processing loan closings at the rate of 100 per day. These agents and lawyers were overwhelmed by the volume. They made mistakes.

Here is a summary of what Jim said last Thursday night:

FIRST STEP IN FORECLOSURE DEFENSE CASE:

A thorough title search of the property being subject to foreclosure is an absolute necessity. This includes researching back to the plat in the case of a home in a subdivision, and back 30 years in a case in which the property is not in a subdivision. We have won many cases based upon errors in the chain of title. It must be remembered that a large majority of the mortgages that we deal with today were closed between the years of 1992 – 2007. During these years, closing attorneys and lenders were overwhelmed with business, and as a result many errors in preparing documents that compromised the lenders lien rights. In our title search, we are looking for:

  • Plat was recorded prior to conveyance of lot
  • Errors in the legal descriptions
  • The legal description was attached at the time the deed of trust was signed
  • Errors in the timing of the recordation of documents in the chain of title
  • Errors in the spelling of the grantor or grantee names
  • Both Grantors names in the body of the Deed of Trust and not just signed
  • Failure to include all necessary signatures on deeds
  • Recordings in the wrong county
  • The grantor owned the property at the time of the conveyance
  • The date on the note matches the date of the deed of trust
  • The names on the note match the names on the deed of trust
  • The grantors signed the Deed of Trust in the proper place (not under notary)
  • Check the Secretary of State on all corporate grantors
  • The date the substitute trustee was appointed relative to the Notice of Hearing
  • The proper substitute trustee filed the Notice of Hearing

Surane has won at least one case for each and every issue listed above. Some of the issues listed above have resulted in our winning several cases. Clerks and Judges are not reserved about recognizing errors in the chain of title, and will readily dismiss a case if the errors are properly presented to the Court. It is very important to thoroughly examine the chain of title before proceeding to identity errors with the lenders standing and endorsements to the promissory note.  As many people are aware, the standing and endorsement issues often lead to fertile ground for many additional defenses to a foreclosure action.

North Carolina is more or less a non-judicial state. But instead of the “trustee” recording a notice of default and notice of sale, the trustee in North Carolina files a Notice of Hearing. The Clerk actually has some power to either dismiss or require the filer to dismiss if the chain of title is clearly wrong. This makes North Carolina a somewhat safer place for homeowners than other non-judicial states because there is at least some minimum oversight over the process.

Not all errors in title result in an outright win in Court. But they do create a time interval that could be as long as years in which the homeowner can properly address other issues and seek modification.

At livinglies we provide a title report and an analysis, but most people don’t want to pay the extra cost of going back 3-4 owners. And they don’t want to spend time on a lawyer analyzing title issues. It’s boring stuff to most people. Most vendors providing title information CAN produce a report going back 30 years but they don’t because they have not been paid the extra money to do so — often requiring an actual trip to the building where the public records are kept in the county in which the property is located.

Some vendors, like TitleTracs, will point out potential areas of inquiry that assist a lawyer in analyzing title, but most lawyers don’t want to do the work even if they could get paid for it. It is a laborious task but people are missing “low hanging fruit” when they fail to raise a proper challenge to the substitution of trustee and other defenses.

The bad news is that Surane agrees with my current opinion — it is highly unlikely that any judge anywhere will enter an order quieting title where the mortgage or deed of trust is removed as an encumbrance to the property. Unless the mortgage or deed of trust is void, in our opinion it is not proper to bring the quiet title action. BUT, that said, as Surane pointed out on the show, he has made extensive use of declaratory actions that undermine the enforceability of the mortgage or deed of trust and potentially undermine the note as well. The catch is that courts don’t issue advisory opinions so you need a present controversy in order to get the court to rule.

If this article prompts you to order our COMBO Title and Securitization Report and you want the kind of in-depth title report that is described above the cost of the report is $1995.

Get a consult or order services! 202-838-6345

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

 

 

 

California Suspends Dealings with Wells Fargo

The real question is when government agencies and regulators PLUS law enforcement get the real message: Wells Fargo’s behavior in the account scandal is the tip of the iceberg and important corroboration of what most of the country has been saying for years — their business model is based upon fraud.

Wells Fargo has devolved into a PR machine designed to raise the price of the stock at the expense of trust, which in the long term will most likely result in most customers abandoning such banks for fear they will be the next target.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

see http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article104739911.html

John Chiang, California Treasurer, has stopped doing business with Wells Fargo because of the scheme involving fraud, identity theft and customer gouging for services they never ordered on accounts they never opened. It is once again time for Government to scrutinize the overall business plan and business map of Wells Fargo and indeed all of the top (TBTF) banks.

Wells Fargo is attempting to do crisis management, to wit: making sure that nobody looks at other schemes inside the bank.

It is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that was conceived by Senator Elizabeth Warren who has revealed the latest example of big bank fraud.

The simple fact is that in this case, Wells Fargo management made an absurd demand on their employees. Instead of the national average of 3 accounts per person they instructed managers and employees to produce 8 accounts per customer. Top management of Wells Fargo have been bankers for decades. They knew that most customers would not want, need or accept 5 more accounts. Yet they pressed hard on employees to meet this “goal.” Their objective was to defraud the investing public who held or would buy Wells Fargo stock.

In short, Wells Fargo is now the poster child for an essential defect in business structure of public companies. They conceive their “product” to be their stock. That is how management makes its money and that is how investors holding their stock like it until they realize that the entire platform known as Wells Fargo has devolved into a PR machine designed to raise the price of the stock at the expense of trust, which in the long term will most likely result in most customers abandoning such banks for fear they will be the next target. Such companies are eating their young and producing a bubble in asset values that, like the residential mortgage market, cannot be sustained by fundamental facts — i.e., real earnings on a real trajectory of growth.

So the PR piece about how they didn’t know what was going on is absurd along with their practices. Such policies don’t start with middle management or employees. They come from the top. And the goal was to create the illusion of a rapidly growing bank so that more people would buy their stock at ever increasing prices. That is what happens when you don’t make the individual members of management liable under criminal and civil laws for engaging in such behavior.

There was only one way that the Bank could achieve its goal of 8 accounts per customer — it had to be done without the knowledge or consent of the customers. Now Wells Fargo is trying to throw 5,000 employees under the bus. But this isn’t the first time that Wells Fargo has arrogantly thrown its customers and employees under the bus.

The creation of financial accounts in the name of a person without that person’s knowledge or consent is identity theft, assuming there was a profit motive. The result is that the person is subjected to false claims of high fees, their credit rating has a negative impact, and they are stuck dealing with as bank so large that most customers feel that they don’t have the resources to do anything once the fraud was discovered by the Consumer Financial protection Board (CFPB).

Creating a loan account for a loan that doesn’t exist is the same thing. In most cases the “loan closings” were shams — a show put on so that the customer would sign documents in which the actual party who loaned the money was left out of the documentation.

This was double fraud because the pension funds and other investors who deposited money with Wells Fargo and the other banks did so under the false understanding that their money would be used to buy Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) issued by a trust with assets consisting of a loan pool.

The truth has emerged — there were no loan pols in the trusts. The entire derivative market for residential “loans” is built on a giant lie.  But the consequences are so large that Government is afraid to do anything about it. Wells Fargo took money from pension funds and other “investors,” but did not give the proceeds of sale of the alleged MBS to the proprietary vehicle they created in the form of a trust.

Hence the trust was never funded and never acquired any property or loans. That means the “mortgage backed securities” were not mortgage backed BUT they were “Securities” under the standard definition such that the SEC should take action against the underwriters who disguised themselves as “master Servicers.”

In order to cover their tracks, Wells Fargo carefully coached their employees to take calls and state that there could be no settlement or modification or any loss mitigation unless the “borrower” was at least 90 days behind in their payments. So people stopped paying an entity that had no right to receive payment — with grave consequences.

The 90 day statement was probably legal advice and certainly a lie. There was no 90 day requirement and there was no legal reason for a borrower to go into a position where the pretender lender could declare a default. The banks were steering as many people, like cattle, into defaults because of coercion by the bank who later deny that they had instructed the borrower to stop making payments.

So Wells Fargo and other investment banks were opening depository accounts for institutional customers under false pretenses, while they opened up loan accounts under false pretenses, and then  used the identity of BOTH “investors” and “borrowers” as a vehicle to steal all the money put up for investments and to make money on the illusion of loans between the payee on the note and the homeowner.

In the end the only document that was legal in thee entire chain was a forced sale and/or judgment of foreclosure. When the deed issues in a forced sale, that creates virtually insurmountable presumptions that everything that preceded the sale was valid, thus changing history.

The residential mortgage loan market was considerably more complex than what Wells Fargo did with the opening of the unwanted commercial accounts but the objective was the same — to make money on their stock and siphon off vast sums of money into off-shore accounts. And the methods, when you boil it all down, were the same. And the arrogant violation of law and trust was the same.

 

Who is the Creditor? NY Appellate Decision Might Provide the Knife to Cut Through the Bogus Claim of Privilege

The crux of this fight is that if the foreclosing parties are forced to identify the creditors they will only have two options, in my opinion: (a) commit perjury or (b) admit that they have no knowledge or access to the identity of the creditor

Get a consult! 202-838-6345

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

see http://4closurefraud.org/2016/06/10/opinion-here-ny-court-says-bank-of-america-must-disclose-communications-with-countrywide-in-ambac-suit/

We have all seen it a million times — the “Trustees”, the “servicers” and their agents and attorneys all beg the question of identifying the names and contact information of the creditors in foreclosure actions. The reason is simple — in order to answer that question truthfully they would be required to admit that there is no party that could properly be defined as a creditor in relation to the homeowner.

They have successfully pushed the point beyond the point of return — they are alleging that the homeowner is a debtor but they refuse to identify a creditor; this means they are being allowed to treat the homeowner as a debtor while at the same time leaving the identity of the creditor unknown. The reason for this ambiguity is that the banks, from the beginning, were running a scheme that converted the money paid by investors for alleged “mortgage backed securities”; the conversion was simple — “let’s make their money our money.”

When inquiry is made to determine the identity of the creditor the only thing anyone gets is some gibberish about the documents PLUS the assertion that the information is private, proprietary and privileged.  The case in the above link is from an court of appeals in New York. But it could have profound persuasive effect on all foreclosure litigation.

Reciting the tension between liberal discovery and privilege, the court tackles the confusion in the lower courts. The court concludes that privilege is a very narrow shield in specific situations. It concludes that even the attorney-client privilege is a shield only between the client and the attorney and that adding a third party generally waives that privilege. The third party privilege is only extended in narrow circumstances where the parties are seeking a common goal. So in order to prevent the homeowner from getting the information on his alleged creditor, the foreclosing parties would need to show that there is a common goal between the creditor(s) and the debtor.

Their problem is that they can’t do that without showing, at least in camera, that the identity of the creditor is known and that somehow the beneficiaries of an empty trust have a common goal (hard to prove since the trust is empty contrary to the terms of the “investment”). Or, they might try to identify a creditor who is neither the trust nor the investors, which brings us back to perjury.

%d bloggers like this: