The Facts Behind Smoke and Mirrors

Nearly everyone is confused as to the identity of the real holder in due course, or the “creditor,” or the owner of the debt. Nearly everyone thinks that ultimate it is investors who purchased certificates.

In fact there is no holder in due course and there never will be in most instances. There was never any possibility for a holder in course claim because in most cases the origination of the loan took place in what is called a table funded loan, which is against public policy as a matter of law (as expressed in the Truth in Lending Act).

The creditor or owner of the debt is actually a party who was never disclosed in any of the dealings with borrowers and is not adequately disclosed in the secondary market or pretend underwritings and sales of certificates.

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Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult or check us out on www.lendinglies.com. Order a PDR BASIC to have us review and comment on your notice of TILA Rescission or similar document.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM.
A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.
PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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A Client just asked me if we should consider all the disclosed players as a single entity. Here is what I replied:

You could take that position but in reality they are all taking orders from a single entity that does not appear anywhere in the paper trail.

But it’s not like they are receiving orders on specific cases or events. They have standing orders to which they have agreed.

The party from whom they are receiving instructions is an investment bank who posed as an underwriter for the issuance and sale of bogus certificates from a nonexistent trust. The investment bank used money obtained under false pretenses from investors.

The investment bank might, under law, be considered a creditor — but it can’t assert that without opening itself up to a myriad of liabilities. In fact the investment will move heaven and Earth to avoid the revelation that the only financial transaction that means anything as a basis for foreclosure involves the investment bank and NOT any of the other disclosed parties with whom you are in litigation.

So in the end, the bottom line is that there is party who is willing to step up and claim status as creditor or owner of the debt — ever.

If you push this to the extreme in litigation you get some interesting results. Instead of being afraid that they will pop out a real creditor or owner of the debt, you should know that that in the end they will refuse to produce any such party.

And you will know that when they do assert or imply that this is the creditor you should look carefully at their wording and realize they are using a sham entity to cover up the fact that the investment bank who started it all is the real party in interest.

It is the investment banks’ unwillingness (for good reason) to be revealed as having anything to do with the loan, foreclosure or any other transactions that can be used as leverage if you push hard enough.

Foreclosures: The Lie We Are Living

Most people, including homeowners, believe that the homeowners do owe the money and that the entities that are attempting to foreclose should win. That is why the free house myth is so pervasive.

The result is that foreclosures are being granted to entities that (a) do not exist or (b) have nothing to do with the loan, debt, note or mortgage or both. The benefits of foreclosure all run in favor of the megabanks and against the real parties in interest, the investors. These banks have managed to separate the debt from the paperwork in a highly effective way that can be, but usually isn’t, challenged on cross examination and well-founded objections.

The truth is that the homeowners do not owe any money to the people who are collecting or enforcing the loan. End of story. The rest is a lie.

Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

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

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see tps-third-party-strangers-in-mortgage-cases/

One of my favorite lawyers is getting discouraged. He says that it is virtually impossible for a homeowner to successfully defend a foreclosure action especially if it involves a blank endorsement (bearer paper). Foreclosure defense is indeed an uphill battle but it is one in which the homeowner can — and should — prevail.

I don’t agree with the premise that homeowners will and should lose foreclosure cases. I think most of the foreclosures are built on an illusion created and fabricated by the megabanks. I think we would have won the cases we won even without the standing issue, with or without blank or special indorsements.

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The compounding error that keeps recurring is the difference between enforcement of the note and enforcement of the mortgage. You can enforce the note without owning the debt but you can’t enforce the mortgage without owning the debt. But in court they are conflated because few people draw the distinction.
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Possession of bearer paper (the note) raises a presumption that the debt was transferred. But that is a rebuttable presumption and proof at trial should be required as to the transfer (purchase) of the debt for value. But if the debt was actually transferred that would mean it was purchased for value. And if it was purchased for value then any transferee with half a brain would assert status of a holder in due course. They don’t assert HDC status because they didn’t pay value for the debt because the debt was never transferred and the fictitious delivery of the original note was intended to deceive the homeowner, his/her lawyer and the court.
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If a trust is involved, the existence of the trust should be pled and proven. Nobody is raising that issue even though it is a winner.
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It is an uphill battle and many judges will disregard the appropriate arguments because they don’t see or don’t want to see the consequences of their assumptions and bias.
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As a result we have a name being used as a DBA by multiple layers of conduits that don’t lead back to the actual owner of the debt. Homeowners did not create this problem nor should they suffer the consequences of bank chicanery. Banks did it because the big lie was extremely overwhelmingly and pornographically profitable. Banks have already made windfall profits on the loan whether the borrower pays or not. They then get an extra windfall by foreclosing because they can. At the same time the foreclosure sale raises yet another false presumption that everything that went before the sale was valid and authorized.
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This all happens under the cover of why should homeowners get a windfall free house? Most people don’t believe that the banks are getting a windfall for an investment that has been paid off multiple times. They believe the lie that the homeowner’s debt is still out there and belongs to someone who ultimately is connected to the entities that seek foreclosure or collection. It is a lie. Windfall results are more common than most people realize. It frequently happens that one litigant, because of a decision or the wording some legislation will get a windfall. In many cases the question is which party should get the windfall?
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The real question is who should get the windfall that has been created by the banks? Should it be the banks who have already profited in multiples of the loan amount or the homeowner whose signature and credit reputation was used as the foundation for the multiple sales of his loan? On a level playing field, the courts ought to tilt toward the homeowners who have mostly been lured into loans based upon wildly false appraisals on terms that they could not afford — and remember that under law the affordability of the loan is the responsibility of the lender, not the borrower.
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Finding excuses to rule in favor of a foreclosing party that usually doesn’t even exist much less own the debt, note and mortgage is simply the wrong way to go. This is not a matter of policy for the legislature although the legislatures could intervene. It is a matter of equity and foreclosures are in a court of equity not at law. The party who caused the mess and who brought the country to its knees should not be the party who is rewarded with a foreclosure to cover a nonexisting loss.
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If the investors were included I could see why both investors and homeowners would be considered victims and how the court could rule in favor of the investors. But the investors are decidedly NOT involved. They are unaffected by foreclosure of the loans because in reality they have only received a promise to pay from one of the megabanks doing business as “XYZ Trust”. They are completely uninformed about the debt or its enforcement and do not get the proceeds of a foreclosure sale.
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The underwriting is done by the megabank but the loan comes from investors who believe they are investing in a trust when in fact they are merely making a deposit with the underwriting investment bank.
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The whole reason why these banks were converted from investment banks to commercial banks over a weekend was not just to gain access to the Fed window to sell worthless mortgage bonds. It was because they had already been acting as though they were commercial banks by taking money from investors and merely starting an “account” for each of the investors wherein the only party who could draw money out of it was the “bank.”
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So after our experience in the courts, it is unfair to homeowners and unfair to us as the attorneys who made it happen, to say that it is impossible for homeowners to win foreclosure cases. Good cross examination, and trial practice including the use of well-founded objections still wins the day more often than not. 

TONIGHT! How to distinguish between legal presumptions of facts and the facts themselves

A client of our internet services store asked a simple question. He had asked the opposing side if they were a holder in due course. What he received was evasive and misleading and essentially never answered the question. Now what? Below is my answer to his question and what we will be discussing tonight on the The Neil Garfield Show

How the banks confuse judges, foreclosure defense lawyers and homeowners by wrongfully inoking legal presumptions.

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

Or call in at (347) 850-1260, 6pm Eastern Thursdays

 

You have already achieved the intermediate goal. At this point you can argue that you asked for the identity of the holder in due course and they were unable or unwilling to provide the information. The confusion emanates from the fact that a holder can sue on the note if it has the right to enforce the note, which right must come from the creditor.
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But the apparent rebuttable legal presumptions run against you. In every case the success of the foreclosure is entirely dependent upon the success of the foreclosure mill attorneys in invoking legal presumptions of fact because the actual facts differ from what is presumed by the Judge.
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But the one legal presumption that would wipe out virtually all borrower defenses is NEVER invoked — the status of holder in due course. Because that would mean proving that a purchase of the debt, note and mortgage occurred in which the foreclosing party is or was the purchaser in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. Instead the crafty lawyers get judges to presume that the foreclosing party should be treated as a holder in due course, thereby evading their true burden of proof.
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It’s no mystery why they don’t use the holder in due course allegation. But the absence of such an allegation simply and logically leads to a conclusion. One or more of the elements is missing. Which part? Is it the purchase, the good faith or knowledge?

Tonight! How to Defend Against a Claim of “Holder” Status to Discredit Standing

“Holder” vs “Agency”

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

Or call in at (347) 850-1260, 6pm Eastern Thursdays

Tonight I will discuss the central point of of false claims of authority to enforce the note, and inferentially the authority to enforce the mortgage.

In 2008, I called to confront a lawyer about the false claim of being authorized to enforce the note and mortgage, his reply to all my questions was “We’re a holder.”

No matter what I said or asked, that was his answer. He was relying upon a carefully thought out strategy of taking the term “holder” and stretching it to unimaginable lengths. And in that conversation it became clear that he — and the rest of the investment banking industry — were essentially “banking” on a single fact, to wit: that Judges are lawyers who went to law school and for the most part slept through classes on negotiable instruments. He was right.

NJ Court: Possession of note + mortgage assignment is prerequisite to foreclosure

Pretender lenders are going to cite this case as support for the idea that the note and mortgage can be separated and that either one can be the basis of a successful foreclosure. They will rely on the “exception” implied in the court decision wherein the owner of the note has an agency relationship with the servicer who is the foreclosing party.

In this case Freddie Mac clearly possessed the note, although there was no evidence cited that Freddie Mac had actually purchased it. That was presumed in this case. The purchase of the note was not an issue on appeal.

Freddie Mac had made it clear in public announcements that foreclosures should be in the name of servicers. So the possession of one part of the paperwork by the agent and the other by the principal are joined as a single unit.

This decision was correct in ruling against the homeowner, given the issues before it. The homeowner was attempting to make a technical distinction contrary to the facts and contrary to law. The issue brought on appeal was whether Freddie Mac was the only party with standing to foreclose. I would say that shouldn’t have been the issue. Both Freddie Mac and Capital One had standing depending upon who asserted it. Either one could have foreclosed.

Any party may foreclose in its own name or through an agent with authority to do so — if they otherwise plead and prove their status as holder in due course, or holder, or non-holder with rights to enforce. The issue on appeal was a non-starter.

Despite the article, there is no exception here. This New Jersey court simply followed the law.

see Court-says-note-and-mortgage-assignment-both-prerequisites-to-foreclosure-but-makes-an-exception/

see case decision: Peck adv Capital One

The difference between this case and most other cases is that in this case there appears to be a tacit admission that Freddie Mac, as possessor of the note, was a holder or non-holder with rights to enforce because they had purchased the note. It is assumed in this case that Freddie was the actual owner of the debt.

The key differences between this case and most other cases are as follows:

  1. The “principal” in this case has been identified and assumed to be the owner of the debt.
  2. The “agent” in this case, Capital One, is a servicer whose authority to act as agent was not contested.

What is missing is whether Freddie Mac actually purchased the debt or the note and whether Freddie Mac still owned anything at all. Purchase of the note does not mean purchase of the debt if the debt is owned by someone other than the seller of the note. It is well settled law that only the owner of the debt can foreclose. But even if a purchase transaction did in fact take place, the question remains as to whether the interest of Freddie Mac was sold back to some private label REMIC Trust or some other third party such as the seller who may have given warranties as tot he performance of loans.

But if the note was purchased in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses, if any, then the purchaser of the note increases their status to holder in due course where there are no defenses even if the preceding origination or transfers had defects.

On the other hand, if the seller of the note did not own the note, then the purchase by Freddie would be nullity. This is also well settled law. A seller of an interest that is nonexistent or in which the seller has no interest, cannot create the interest by selling it. This is the basic problem with “originations” and most “transfers” by endorsement or assignment. In such circumstances the buyer would be a possessor without rights to enforce unless the owner of the debt was in privity with the buyer of the note. The buyer would have a potential claim against the seller, but not the maker of the note.

In such circumstances, the owner of the debt or the true owner of the note would be able to file a claim against the maker and the buyer of the note, explaining how the possession of the note was lost and pleading (and proving) ownership of the debt.

NOTE THAT THERE IS A DEEPER ISSUE PRESENT. But it probably won’t get you any traction despite the clear basis in law and fact. Freddie Mac may or may not have actually made a purchase of the subject loan. If they didn’t then asserting them as the owner of the note might be OK for pleading, but the case ought to fail at trial — if the homeowner denies that they are the owner of the note.  

If it paid in money, then to whom was payment sent? This is different than who claimed ownership of the note and mortgage. More often than not the money trail is NOT the same as the paper trail.

Note that many transactions occurred in which the “Mortgage Loan Schedule” was incomplete or nonexistent at the time of the purported sale. The identity of the seller in such purported transactions is also obscured by clever wording.

If they paid using RMBS certificates, then things get more interesting. Because the RMBS certificates were in all probability worthless. Hence there would a failure of consideration and Freddie Mac could not claim to be a purchaser for value. The vast majority of RMBS were sold under the false pretense that they were “backed” my residential mortgages. The issuer of the certificates is asserted to be a named trust. But if the trust never came into ownership of the alleged mortgage loans, then the RMBS certificates were backed by nothing at all.

Not to draw too fine a point here, it is still possible that Freddie could be considered a purchaser for value even if the RMBS certificates appeared to be worthless. That is because in the  shadow banking marketplace, such certificates and the synthetic derivatives deriving their purported value from the purported value of the certificates nevertheless take on a life of their own. Even if they have no fundamental value they may well have a trading value that far exceeds anything that is fundamental to the certificates (i.e.m, zero).

Expert Testimony and Expert Reports

Homeowners are dismayed and even claim court bias when the report of a self-proclaimed expert is barred from evidence. Or they become equally incensed when the court allows the report into evidence but gives it zero weight in rendering a decision. But the court is, to that extent, merely following the rules that govern what Judges should or should not do.

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.
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It goes without saying that any report that has not been read and any testimony that has not been heard will be disregarded as a practical matter and in many cases as a legal matter. The Internet has been awash in offers of “magic bullet” analyses and reports that either directly or indirectly make the false promise of relief from foreclosure. Nearly all of the forensic analysts are self-proclaimed, unlicensed in any field requiring a license, inexperienced and untrained. What they are seem to share in common is the hope or belief that once a Judge lays eyes on the report, the decision will be rendered swiftly in favor of the homeowner.
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Forensic analysis can theoretically be performed by anyone, which of course means that they are predominantly worthless even in their inception. Most analysts are looking for the wrong things and/or looking for things that are irrelevant and/or looking for things that will not be admitted into court record as evidence. Even an unopposed expert declaration or affidavit will either not be admitted into evidence by written report or oral testimony if it is delivered by such analysts. Homeowners are dismayed and even claim court bias when the report of a self-proclaimed expert is barred from evidence. Or they become equally incensed when the court allows the report into evidence but gives it zero weight in rendering a decision. But the court is, to that extent, merely following the rules that govern what Judges should or should not do.
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The one thing in which most “successful” forensic analysts excel is selling. They tell homeowners what they want to hear when they need to hear it. It’s akin to imbibing a libation or drug to take the edge off for the moment but it doesn’t change a thing.
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So let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. Does it matter if the analyst is unlicensed? NO. But if the analyst is unlicensed he or she will need to spend a lot more time giving testimony about how they acquired their expertise and how their work is based upon established frameworks of prior work in teases and other sources — and not merely a theory in their own head.
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But the interesting thing is that when such experts do survive the challenges under Daubert or Frye (see below) the seemingly less qualified analyst frequently is able to explain to the court how he or she arrived at an opinion and then explains both the opinion and the basis of the opinion in clearer language than most “qualified” experts with far superior credentials.
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Further the Banks’ Ostrich Strategy appears to have been working for the last 10 years. After tens of thousands of reports and expert declarations have been filed or served on behalf of homeowners, there are no reported instances in which an expert from the banks or servicers ever filed an affidavit or declaration in opposition to the experts who execute expert declarations for the homeowners. In fact, there are few instances in which the “expert” is even deposed, which thus removes the ability of the banks to challenge the expert. The end result has been that expert testimony is nearly always discounted or completely ignored. If the banks ignore it in litigation then so does the court.
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But the unwillingness to make an issue of the expert declarations filed by homeowners may well have a downside, especially as more and more Motions for Summary Judgment are filed. As the courts are gradually changing course to consider the possibility that homeowners should win and that banks should lose, the time has come to file a motion for partial summary judgment on issues specifically raised and supported in a properly drafted expert declaration.
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In the absence of an opposing affidavit, the court has little choice but to take the assertions as true as stated in the expert declaration for the homeowner. That leaves only the legal argument of whether the homeowner is entitled to the entry of summary judgment on the issues raised, inasmuch as the homeowner has effectively eliminated the issue or issues to be heard at trial.
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For example suppose the expert’s opinion is that the trust was never funded, that the trust has no legal authority to administer the alleged loan because the loan was not in the trust, and that the trust therefore could never have purchased the debt or the note or the mortgage, and that the “servicer” appointed as servicer in the trust instrument (PSA) has no authority because the property (i.e., the loan) was never transferred into the trust and that the Trustee named in the trust instrument (PSA) also has no power over the subject loan because the trust never purchased the loan, the debt, the note or the mortgage, and perhaps also that the foreclosure is a grand illusion in which the banks and servicers are completing a scheme of civil theft of the investors’ money, and perhaps that the debtor-creditor relationship consists of the homeowner and the investors whose identities have been withheld by the banks.
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In order to take those conclusions seriously, the court must hear that those conclusions are supported by understandable evidence that is based upon widespread axioms; since the conclusion is counterintuitive, it is important that the declaration be credible.
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Hence the expert must bring in corroboration as part of the explanation of the reasoning in the expert declaration. Corroboration could be direct evidence (by the way, hearsay is allowed in expert testimony) or clear deductive reasoning that eliminates anything else as an alternative explanation; (e.g., if the trust had actually entered into a transaction in which it purchased the alleged loan or some part of it, then it would not assert that it was a holder but rather, as is custom and practice in the industry the trust would declare itself to be a holder in due course or the actual owner of the debt (not just the note and mortgage) and would gleefully have proven the purchase by offering a canceled check or wire transfer receipt into evidence).
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By elimination of the elements of “good faith” and lack of knowledge of the borrower’s defenses (e.g. lack of consideration, non-merger of debt and note etc.) the only missing element would be that the Trust was not a successor to the original creditor regardless of whether the original creditor(s) was or were victims of theft or the actual payee on the note. Thus the conclusion that the Trust is not a holder in due course and should not be treated as one. And if it was the agent for an actual creditor, the Trust had failed to identify the creditors fro whom it was acting as agent. Note that such an admission would crash the entire trust and its beneficiaries under the weight of several violations of the Internal revenue Code turning all money handled by the “REMIC” into ordinary revenue and income.
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One trick often used to bar such expert testimony is the 11th hour challenge either the day before or during trial. One New Jersey appellate court correctly assessed the situation has revealed in the following article:
Appeals Court Reverses Grant of “11th Hour” Motion to Strike Expert

Parties will frequently seek to strike the opinions offered by their adversaries’ experts as legally insufficient. While there are a variety of bases for such motions—including that the report does not set forth the “whys and wherefores” of the expert’s opinion, or that it does not satisfy other evidentiary rules for its admissibility—the strategic purpose is clearly to weaken or even destroy the opposing party’s case by barring key testimony. These limiting, or in limine, motions typically will be brought just before trial after the expert’s opinions have been discovered and often after the expert has given deposition testimony about the support for the opinion. A recent New Jersey Appellate Division case now seems to suggest that due process requires that (1) such a limiting motion must be made with enough time for the opponent to respond adequately, and (2) the trial judge must conduct a hearing prior to deciding to exclude the challenged expert’s opinions.

The issues arose in a lawsuit over a failed real estate deal, Berman, Sauter, Record & Jardim, P.C. v. Robinson, Dkt. No. A-5650-11T3 (App. Div., Nov. 17, 2016). The plaintiff law firm sued a seller claiming that it wrongfully breached a purchase agreement and caused the law firm’s loss of fees from the deal. The defendant seller then counterclaimed and filed a third-party claim alleging that the plaintiff and third-party defendant law firms had committed legal malpractice by failing to include an express termination clause in the purchase agreement, a claim supported by the opinion of a legal malpractice expert. The plaintiff law firm filed a pre-trial motion to strike the expert’s testimony because the expert did not explain the bases for his legal malpractice conclusion and his testimony was therefore an inadmissible “net opinion.” One week before trial, the pre-trial judge denied that motion “so that the trial judge can hear the testimony and determine whether the expert’s opinions—which seem to set forth the whys and wherefores at least in their reports—were [legally] sufficient[ ] . . .” Because the pretrial judge was not going to be available for the entire trial, a different judge presided over the trial. After jury selection, the trial judge decided to revisit the court’s prior in limine ruling on the expert. Without taking testimony, he concluded the expert had rendered a net opinion and thus excluded the testimony. Because the defendant was left without an expert to support its case, the trial judge also entered an order dismissing the legal malpractice claim and the remainder of the lawsuit quickly settled.

The Appellate Division reversed. The appeals court first noted that the motion to strike the expert was “nothing more than a thinly veiled summary judgment motion” because it essentially was dispositive of the defendant’s claims. The court recognized that the notice provisions for summary judgment motions were meant to satisfy due process by giving parties an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful matter. In addition to failing to provide the 28-day notice required for summary judgment motions, the motion did not give the “one week in advance of trial” notice required for an in limine motion, leaving the defendant with no opportunity to present written opposition. And, because the trial judge had not ruled on the earlier summary judgment motions in the case, he did not have the defendants’ opposition to that motion.

The appeals court held that the trial court should not have granted a motion that was dispositive of the plaintiff’s claim without holding a hearing under Rule 104 of the New Jersey Rules of Evidence. The trial court had decided the motion in a way that was “fundamentally unfair” to the defendant. Fairness required the trial court have conducted a hearing before “barring an expert’s testimony based upon a report, particularly if doing so will be dispositive of a case, when the expert has not had the opportunity to explain his opinions through testimony.” Slip op. at 10. The court left it to the trial court’s discretion whether to conduct the hearing before or during the trial.

The importance of the Berman, Sauter decision is that trial counsel can no longer leave to the last minute in limine motions that seek to exclude expert testimony or any other evidence that could be dispositive of the lawsuit. If trial counsel believes that expert’s opinions are inadmissible, it must give sufficient notice to the court and its adversary—and the Appellate Division suggested that it might not be enough just to comply with the one week notice provision if the in limine motion would have the same effect as a summary judgment motion. Berman, Sauter will make trial judges more likely to order pre-trial hearings when an in limine motion seeks to preclude the expert’s opinions and virtually a certainty if such a motion is made without the expert having given deposition testimony explaining his or her opinions.

The difference between paper instruments and real money

There is a difference between the note contract and the mortgage contract. They each have different terms. And there is a difference between those two contracts and the “loan contract,” which is made up of the note, mortgage and required disclosures.Yet both lawyers and judges overlook those differences and come up with bad decisions or arguments that are not quite clever.

There is a difference between what a paper document says and the truth. To bridge that difference federal and state statutes simply define terms to be used in the resolution of any controversy in which a paper instrument is involved. These statutes, which are quite clear, specifically define various terms as they must be used in a court of law.

The history of the law of “Bills and Notes” or “Negotiable Instruments” is rather easy to follow as centuries of common law experience developed an understanding of the problems and solutions.

The terms have been defined and they are the law not only statewide, but throughout the country, with the governing elements clearly set forth in each state’s adoption of the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) as the template for laws passed in their state.

The problem now is that most judges and lawyers are using those terms that have their own legal meaning without differentiating them; thus the meaning of those “terms of art” are being used interchangeably. This reverses centuries of common law and statutory laws designed to prevent conflicting results. Those laws constrain a judge to follow them, not re-write them. Ignoring the true meaning of those terms results in an effective policy of straying further and further from the truth.

Listen to the Last Neil Garfield Show at http://tobtr.com/s/9673161

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.
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So an interesting case came up in which it is obvious that neither the judge nor the bank attorneys are paying any attention to the law and instead devoting their attention to making sure the bank wins — even at the cost of overturning hundreds of years of precedent.
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The case involves a husband who “signed the note,” and a wife who didn’t sign the note. However the wife signed the mortgage. The Husband died and a probate estate was opened and closed, in which the Wife received full title to the property from the estate of her Husband in addition to her own title on the deed as Husband and Wife (tenancy by the entireties).
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Under state law claims against the estate are barred when the probate case ends; however state law also provides that the lien (from a mortgage or otherwise) survives the probate. That means there is no claim to receive money in existence. Neither the debt nor the note can be enforced. The aim of being a nation of laws is to create a path toward finality, whether the result be just or unjust.
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There is an interesting point here. Husband owed the money and Wife did not and still doesn’t. If foreclosure of the mortgage lien is triggered by nonpayment on the note, it would appear that the mortgage lien is presently unenforceable by foreclosure except as to OTHER duties to maintain, pay taxes, insurance etc. (as stated in the mortgage).

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The “bank” could have entered the probate action as a claimant or it could have opened up the estate on their own and preserved their right to claim damages on the debt or the note (assuming they could allege AND prove legal standing). Notice my use of the terms “Debt” (which arises without any documentation) and “note,” which is a document that makes several statements that may or may not be true. The debt is one thing. The note is quite a different animal.
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It does not seem logical to sue the Wife for a default on an obligation she never had (i.e., the debt or the note). This is the quintessential circumstance where the Plaintiff has no standing because the Plaintiff has no claim against the Wife. She has no obligation on the promissory note because she never signed it.
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She might have a liability for the debt (not the obligation stated on the promissory note which is now barred by (a) she never signed it and (b) the closing of probate. The relief, if available, would probably come from causes of action lying in equity rather than “at law.” In any event she did not get the “loan” money and she was already vested with title ownership to the house, which is why demand was made for her signature on the mortgage.
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She should neither be sued for a nonexistent default on a nonexistent obligation nor should she logically be subject to losing money or property based upon such a suit. But the lien survives. What does that mean? The lien is one thing whereas the right to foreclose is another. The right to foreclose for nonpayment of the debt or the note has vanished.

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Since title is now entirely vested in the Wife by the deed and by operation of law in Probate it would seem logical that the “bank” should have either sued the Husband’s estate on the note or brought claims within the Probate action. If they wanted to sue for foreclosure then they should have done so when the estate was open and claims were not barred, which leads me to the next thought.

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The law and concurrent rules plainly state that claims are barred but perfected liens survive the Probate action. In this case they left off the legal description which means they never perfected their lien. The probate action does not eliminate the lien. But the claims for enforcement of the lien are effected, if the enforcement is based upon default in payment alone. The action on the note became barred with the closing of probate, but that left the lien intact, by operation of law.

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Hence when the house is sold and someone wants clear title for the sale or refinance of the home the “creditor” can demand payment of anything they want — probably up to the amount of the “loan ” plus contractual or statutory interest plus fees and costs (if there was an actual loan contract). The only catch is that whoever is making the claim must actually be either the “person” entitled to enforce the mortgage, to wit: the creditor who could prove payment for either the origination or purchase of the loan.
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The “free house” mythology has polluted judicial thinking. The mortgage remains as a valid encumbrance upon the land.

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This is akin to an IRS income tax lien on property that is protected by homestead. They can’t foreclose on the lien because it is homestead, BUT they do have a valid lien.

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In this case the mortgage remains a valid lien BUT the Wife cannot be sued for a default UNLESS she defaults in one or more of the terms of the mortgage (not the note and not the debt). She did not become a co-borrower when she signed the mortgage. But she did sign the mortgage and so SOME of the terms of the mortgage contract, other than payment of the loan contract, are enforceable by foreclosure.

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So if she fails to comply with zoning, or fails to maintain the property, or fails to comply with the provisions requiring her to pay property taxes and insurance, THEN they could foreclose on the mortgage against her. The promissory note contained no such provisions for those extra duties. The only obligation under the note was a clear statement as to the amounts due and when they were due.  There are no duties imposed by the Note other than payment of the debt. And THAT duty does not apply to the Wife.

The thing that most judges and most lawyers screw up is that there is a difference between each legal term, and those differences are important or they would not be used. Looking back at AMJUR (I still have the book award on Bills and Notes) the following rules are true in every state:

  1. The debt arises from the circumstances — e.g., a loan of money from A to B.
  2. The liability to pay the debt arises as a matter of law. So the debt becomes, by operation of law, a demand obligation. No documentation is necessary.
  3. The note is not the debt. Execution of the note creates an independent obligation. Thus a borrower may have two liabilities based upon (a) the loan of money in real life and (b) the execution of ANY promissory note.
  4. MERGER DOCTRINE: Under state law, if the borrower executes a promissory note to the party who gave him the loan then the debt becomes merged into the note and the note is evidence of the obligation. This shuts off the possibility that a borrower could be successfully attacked both for payment of the loan of money in real life AND for the independent obligation under the promissory note.
  5. Two liabilities, both of which can be enforced for the same loan. If the borrower executes a note to a third person who was not the party who loaned him/her money, then it is possible for the same borrower to be required, under law, to pay twice. First on the original obligation arising from the loan, (which can be defended with a valid defense such as that the obligation was paid) and second in the event that a third party purchased the note while it was not in default, in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. The borrower cannot defend against the latter because the state statute says that a holder in due course can enforce the note even if the borrower has valid defenses against the original parties who arranged the loan. In the first case (obligation arising from an actual loan of money) a failure to defend will result in a judgment and in the second case the defenses cannot be raised and a judgment will issue. Bottom Line: Signing a promissory note does not mean the maker actual received value or a loan of money, but if that note gets into the hands of a holder in due course, the maker is liable even if there was no actual transaction in real life.
  6. The obligor under the note (i.e., the maker) is not necessarily the same as the debtor. It depends upon who signed the note as the “maker” of the instrument. An obligor would include a guarantor who merely signed either the note or a separate instrument guaranteeing payment.
  7. The obligee under the note (i.e., the payee) is not necessarily the lender. It depends upon who made the loan.
  8. The note is evidence of the debt  — but that doesn’t “foreclose” the issue of whether someone might also sue on the debt — if the Payee on the note is different from the party who loaned the money, if any.
  9. In most instances with nearly all loans over the past 20 years, the payee on the note is not the same as the lender who originated the actual loan.

In no foreclosure case ever reviewed (2004-present era) by my office has anyone ever claimed that they were a holder in due course — thus corroborating the suspicion that they neither paid for the loan origination nor did they pay for the purchase of the loan.

If they had paid for it they would have asserted they were either the “lender” (i.e., the party who loaned money to the party from whom they are seeking collection) or the holder in due course i.e., a  third party who purchased the original note and mortgage for good value, in good faith and without any knowledge of the maker’s defenses). Notice I didn’t use the word “borrower” for that. The maker is liable to a party with HDC status regardless fo whether or not the maker was or was not a borrower.

“Banks” don’t claim to be the lender because that would entitle the “borrower” to raise defenses. They don’t claim HDC status because they would need to prove payment for the purchase of the paper instrument (i.e., the note). But the banks have succeeded in getting most courts to ERRONEOUSLY treat the “banks” as having HDC status, thus blocking the borrower’s defenses entirely. Thus the maker is left liable to non-creditors even if the same person as borrower also remains liable to whoever actually gave him/her the loan of money. And in the course of those actions most homeowners lose their home to imposters.

All of this is true, as I said, in every state including Florida. It is true not because I say it is true or even that it is entirely logical. It is true because of current state statutes in which the UCC was used as a template. And it is true because of centuries of common law in which the current law was refined and molded for an efficient marketplace. But what is also true is that law judges are the product of law school, in which they either skipped or slept through the class on Bills and Notes.

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