How to Undermine the Credibility of Deutsch, Wells Fargo et al.

The entire securitization strategy is thus predicated upon the ability to convince a judge to presume facts, even if they are untrue.

The pattern of misconduct revealed in the track record of the major banks could be used to undermine the legal presumptions and force the proof of the loan, purchase etc.

BUT the major banks don’t often appear as the claimant in foreclosure cases even though it is they who are pulling the strings and who will receive the proceeds of foreclosure and it is they who receive the proceeds of mortgage payments. Neither the investors nor the nonexistent trusts see one penny.

So the challenge is to tie in the major bank who is the underwriter of the certificates sold in the name of the fake trust and who also names itself as “Master Servicer” of the fake trust with essentially no duties.

This requires a sea change in how foreclosure defense is conducted. And it is a rough road.

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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.
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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[IN RESPONSE TO SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE, I AM NOT DOING A 180. IN ITS SIMPLEST FORM WE ARE TALKING ABOUT TWO (2) BANKS — ONE WHO RENTS ITS NAME OUT TO BE USED “AS TRUSTEE” TO THE OTHER BANK WHO IS THE UNDERWRITER OR SUCCESSOR TO THE UNDERWRITER AND ALSO WHO SERVES AS “MASTER SERVICER” OF A NONEXISTENT TRUST. — THE UNDERWRITER IS NOT REALLY ACTING AS UNDERWRITER NOR AS MASTER SERVICER. IT IS STILL AN INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN INVESTORS AND BORROWERS BUT ASSUMES THE ROLE OF PRINCIPAL.]

Clients keep asking the same question: they point to the most recent news article detailing the corruption and malfeasance of the banks and ask how knowledge of such behavior could help their foreclosure defense. Remember that the news articles are not convictions proving they did what is alleged. So you would have to prove that the alleged acts in other cases were (a) actual and (b) relevant to your specific case in foreclosure.

People who go to court sounding off about the reportedly bad acts by their opponent gain nothing. In fact, it weakens their case because they sound like conspiracy theorists.

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However, I am working on a strategy of bringing in a pattern of bad acts to use as a prospective tool to defeat the legal presumptions on which the entire foreclosure claim rests. This requires a knowledge of the burden of proof. So in order to defeat the presumptions you only need to show that a reasonable inference can be made that the documents or testimony might be fabricated or misleading and that therefore the court should use no presumptions of fact or law and require actual proof from the claimant. This is possible.
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Such a ruling by the court will most certainly end the case because there are no facts in real life on which the claimants in most foreclosure can win the case. Their success rests solely on presumptions of validity, authenticity and conclusions.
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Legal presumptions can be applied as a convenience if the source of the document or act is credible. The challenge here is to show that the supposed evidence from which the legal presumptions are then applied is self-serving, not produced by a party who is neutral as to the outcome and having a pattern of malfeasance and negligence etc., such that there is a reasonable inference that documents produced by them in a foreclosure case are suspect, and therefore they are not entitled to the presumption. This is not a high bar.
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Hence they must actually prove the loan, the purchase of the loan the ownership, the right to service etc. And they must prove the actual existence of the foreclosing party — remembering that when a trust is implied as the foreclosing party it most likely does not exist and therefore could not possibly own anything much less your loan.
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Your opposition will fight tooth and nail to avoid such a ruling. They know that there is no case they can prove without employing the use of legal presumptions that results in implied findings of fact that are opposite to the true facts. The entire securitization strategy is thus predicated upon the ability to convince a judge to presume facts, even if they are untrue.
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Your strategy should be limited to undercutting those presumptions and raising reasonable inferences and questions about the self-serving documents that are being used by attorneys to lead the court into applying legal presumptions that should not be applied.
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Note to foreclosure defense lawyers: Deep down inside most of you believe that foreclosure defense consists of the use of technicalities to make mountains out of mole hills. You still believe that the debt is valid, your client owes it, your client defaulted and that the foreclosure is a valid exercise of collateral protection. So you don’t want to be associated with game-playing and delays because you think that it will negatively impact your standing in the legal community. What you are doing is erroneously applying the legal presumptions before you enter the courtroom. Take away those legal presumptions and look at the case from a real world prospective, not from what you think must be true. And think about your standing in the your legal community when you start winning these cases.

TONIGHT! How to confront legal presumptions and get to the real facts.

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the EAST COAST Neil Garfield Show

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

 

Foreclosure defense essentially boils down to three major categories. Procedural errors, lack of standing and absence of an actual creditor.
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Procedural errors involve improper notice, improper accounting, and inconsistent documents.
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As for no creditor and no party with standing, it all depends upon the burden of proof decided by the judge. If he/she says the forecloser must prove their case with facts and not presumptions, then you probably will win. If he/she says you must prove lack of standing and/or the absence of a creditor then you must file for discovery and hope that the judge won’t sustain objections.
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But there is a middle ground that I have been writing about. It’s all about legal presumptions regarding facially valid documents and self-authenticating signatures. The New York case I wrote about yesterday explains it better than I do.
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The bottom line is that in our system any party who makes an assertion must prove it and the party against whom such assertion is made must have an opportunity to challenge it. If it is not challenged by pleadings or objections then the “fact” is true for purposes of the case at hand.
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In certain circumstances certain facts are legally presumed to exist unless they are challenged with at least some credible evidence that shows the presumed facts may not be true.
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Tonight we talk about how to deal with those presumptions and how much proof you need to undermine the presumptions and thus force the foreclosing party (if it exists at all) to prove its case with real evidence, testimony and documents that are valid and authenticated.
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Based upon 12 years of experience with this issue I have concluded with complete certainty that the named foreclosers are pretenders and that they have no right, title or interest in the loans. More importantly I have concluded that the lawyers for the named foreclosers do not have witnesses nor documents that can be corroborated or authenticated.
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This leaves ownership of the debt in the winds. The fact that the court is not given the information necessary to conclude that the party who initiated foreclosure is not the creditor and that as far as the case is concerned  no creditor stepped forward is not a problem for homeowners. It is a problem for the banks who want the courts to grant foreclosure to whoever claims it.

Hawaii Supreme Court: Yes to wrongful foreclosure counterclaim BEFORE foreclosure is completed and no to”plausible” pleading

Now that the courts are no longer in fear of precipitating an economic meltdown, it’s time to return to legal decisions instead of political decisions. The Hawaii Supreme Court has done just that in a common sense decision that sweeps aside most of the Wall Street arguments against allowing homeowners to raise the fraudulent foreclosure issue. The decision goes back decades in reaffirming the law and the intent of the rules of civil procedure.

The bottom line is that homeowners must be allowed an opportunity to prove their claim at the same time they are defending a foreclosure action. This levels the playing field and hopefully is a harbinger of future decisions from the high court in each of the states.

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 Landmark Hawaii Supreme Court Case

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO BAC HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP FKA COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING LP, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. GRISEL REYES-TOLEDO, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant,

Remember that while this decision could be used as persuasive authority, it is not binding authority over the courts of any state other than Hawaii.

There are several parts to this decision each consistent with the others.

  1. On a motion to dismiss, plausibility of the allegations are now irrelevant. The homeowner must be given the opportunity to prove the allegations of the complaint. As the Court correctly points out, the plausibility test requires some consideration of some facts that have not been proven or disproven. Hence the plausibility test conflicts directly with the presumption, on a motion to dismiss, that all allegations are true. “Notice pleading” is the law in Hawaii and purportedly is so in many other states where plausibility tests are nonetheless applied. This opinion may go a long way to reversing that erroneous trend.
  2. Notice pleading requires only a short plain statement of ultimate facts upon which the relief sought could be granted. But I would add that the rules about fraud and deceit are still in play, i.e., I don’t believe that any state, including Hawaii would allow a count sounding in fraud without giving some examples in the pleading of the misleading and/or deceitful way that the defendant(s) acted. This decision basically addresses violation of statute and similar kinds of actions.
  3. The implication of this decision is that the pleading should be short and that the homeowner must be given a fair chance to prove his/her allegations.
    1. I am quite certain that this Court would insist on allowing discovery to penetrate far more deeply that is currently generally allowed.
    2. The arguments that the actual transactions and the actual creditor’s identities are private, proprietary and remote was silly to begin with.
    3. This decision will be used by practitioners in Hawaii to demand access to records and to get it through court orders. This alone will result in a landslide of settled cases under seal of confidentiality — if lawyers for homeowners insist on such discovery.
  4. Further moving the ball forward, this Court decided emphatically that claims of wrongful foreclosure can be filed in a counterclaim against the parties involved with the  initiation of wrongful or illegal foreclosure proceedings. That means that contrary to California law and other states, the homeowner does not need to wait to file the claim.
    1. This is a two edged sword. It virtually mandates the filing of the wrongful foreclosure claim because the clock is probably ticking on the statute of limitations the moment the foreclosure is initiated by either judicial or nonjudicial means.
    2. The California doctrine has always been ridiculous and anti-consumer. By denying access to the courts for what is already known to be a wrongful foreclosure based upon false documentation they tie both hands behind the backs of attorneys representing homeowners in foreclosure cases.
    3. Knowing this, most lawyers are now declining representation of homeowners despite clear defects, lies and fabrication of documents relied upon by the lawyers supposedly representing a foreclosing party that many times does not even exist.
    4. Hence the doctrine that wrongful foreclosure claims ONLY arise after the foreclosure is complete produces an absurd result. Once the homeowner proves his/her claims they shouldn’t have lost their home, their life-style and their credit reputation, all based upon illegal acts that were known at the outset, the only remedy under that doctrine is money damages.
  5. The decision also addresses the very important issue of standing. Simply stated, if some party is designated as the foreclosing party, it is the duty of that party and the attorney representing that party to perform sufficient due diligence as to
    1. whether the entity exists,
    2. whether it has possession of the note,
    3. whether the note is endorsed to them by a party who owned the debt,
    4. whether the mortgage or deed of trust was assigned to them by a party that owned the mortgage and the debt, and
    5. whether the debt was in fact transferred from a party who owned the debt to the party claiming the right to foreclose.
  6. If they fail or refuse to perform that due diligence they are violating the law in Hawaii and most likely in dozens of other states. In Hawaii that alone gives rise to a cause of action for damages if damages can be proven, which in most cases is fairly easy. So they are liable for damages if they didn’t perform due diligence.
  7. If they did perform the due diligence and filed knowing that the threshold markers of legal standing are absent, it is malicious abuse of process, it is breach of statutory duties, and it is fraud because the filing of the the lawsuit is a representation that the due  diligence was completed and showed legal standing. And it is probably RICO.

Summary: While it is difficult to predict how and when other states will react to this opinion, it seems likely that this decision in the State of Hawaii will make jurists in other states very uncomfortable. The bias to rule for the alleged foreclosing party just received a blow to any rationality supporting that bias.

Sheila Bair Had a Plan to Make Banks Pay for Dishonest Dealing Causing the 2008 Crash

Sheila Bair (ex FDIC Chairwoman) has always understood. She was fired for understanding. It’s hard to understand that the TBTF banks were NOT speculating and never lost any money. Harder still to understand how they stole trillions of dollars from the US economy. And finally harder still to understand how “lenders” could cause a crash.

It’s really quite simple. Usually prices and values are within the same range. Fair market value has always been closely related to the ability of people to pay for housing — i.e., household income. Prices rise when demand becomes high OR, and this is the big one, when the big banks flood the market with money.

Like the 2008 crisis if you look at the Case Schiller Index, you will see that prices went through the roof by unprecedented increases while fair market value was flatlined. The crash was thoroughly predictable and was predicted on these pages and by many other economists and financial analysts.

For more than two decades, maybe three, the housing market has been floating on a sea of unsustainable debt because the investment banks became the “source” of funds in a marketplace where their principal objective was movement of money instead of management of risk. That is because investment banks do that while commercial banks and other lenders don’t — unless they are paid to act as though they are the lender in a transaction where they have no risk. Then they will advertise to people with low FICO scores and anyone else whose loan is likely to fail. They bet on the failure of the loan and the collapse of certificates issued as derivatives.

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

I provide advice and consent to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key elements of a scam. 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. The TEAR 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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Hat tip Greg da Goose

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-does-wells-fargo-still-exist_us_5b80148ee4b0729515126185

From Huffington Post:

“Wells Fargo may not even be the worst big bank out there. Citigroup, another merger monstrosity, is so poorly pieced together that today, Wall Street investors don’t even believe the bank is worth its liquidation price. JPMorgan Chase has notched 52 fines and settlements since the crash. Goldman Sachs has 16, three of them this year.

In a revealing interview with New York Magazine earlier this month, former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair said she wished regulators had broken up a bank after the crisis, probably Citigroup. [Editor’s note: Obama initially gave that order but Tim Geithner refused]. Forcing at least one institution to pay the ultimate corporate price would have put pressure on other major firms to clean up their acts.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations rejected Bair’s plan. And so today, the American banking system ― rescued by taxpayers a decade ago to protect the economy ― has transformed into a very large, very profitable criminal syndicate.”

So I ask the question again: “Why are foreclosure defense lawyers not more aggressive about challenging legal presumptions upon which the banks and judges rely?”
Legal presumptions are ONLY supposed to be used in cases where (1) the source of the document or testimony is credible and has no interest in the outcome of the litigation and (2) it serves “judicial economy.”
The banks have been publicly humiliated for acting like thieves, liars, fabricators, and the source of sophisticated mechanical forgeries. Neither they nor their puppet “servicers” are entitled to a presumption of anything. If they want to proffer a fact, make them prove it. These people are so not credible that we regularly talk about robosigners, robowitnesses and other people who are hired to say or write something about which they have no knowledge or understanding. Where is the credibility in that?
And equally where is the judicial economy? In all cases where the presumptions are used and the homeowner contests the foreclosure it would take FAR LESS time for the so-called lender to prove its case with actual facts (not presumed facts) than to spend years changing servicers, changing recorded documents, changing Power of Attorney, etc.
Where is the prejudice?  If the Defense raises issues as to the standing and facts alleged in the complaint or initiation of foreclosure proceedings, then the obvious answer is to have the “lender” prove their case with real facts in the real world that do not rely upon jsut testimony from robowitnesses or documents that have been robosigned.

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! DISAPPEARING LEGAL PRESUMPTIONS on the Neil Garfield Show 6PM EDT With Charles Marshall, Esq. and Bill Paatalo

Just the Facts, Ma’am!

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

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

Charles Marshall, California attorney and Bill Paatalo, private investigator, discuss the implications of two Hawaii cases that are mirroring other decisions across the country.

Hawaii Schranz Case

Hawaii St. John Case

The above links go to two recent Hawaii cases dealing with legal standing. The fundamental fact of law is that standing must be ACTUAL NOT PRESUMED.

Specifically the issue is whether the foreclosing party actually had the original note at the time the foreclosure was commenced. Reasserting that standing is jurisdictional and therefore must be proven (with actual facts) present before a party takes any action, the courts here reversed (not for publication) Summary Judgments in favor of U.S. Bank and BONY Melon respectively.

The basis of the ruling is really that summary judgment could not have been granted based upon the submissions of so-called trustees of the probably nonexistent trust that never owned the debts. These decisions can be read as brushing aside presumptions and requiring actual proof of the facts that were heretofore assumed or presumed. The reason is simple. Standing is jurisdictional. Since any case that proceeds without jurisdictional is void and subject to being vacated, the proof must be actual and not presumed.

The interesting reasoning in these decisions is that many courts, including these decisions in Hawaii are starting to rethink their formal and informal presumptions. At the height of the tidal wave of foreclosures the courts took to the notion that the foreclosing party would not have filed if they were not the creditor or at least the possessor of the note with rights to enforce. The giant leap that came thereafter was a ruling that presumed the foreclosing party had possession of the note and the right to enforce it.

These decisions show that there is more movement toward requiring proof rather than the sue of legal presumptions. In plain language the courts are beginning to distrust the banks who bring these actions on behalf of alleged trusts.

Since there was question of fact, the summary judgment could not be granted. Thus the court decisions lay out the procedure, requiring actual proof of contested facts rather than resolving them strictly on the basis of applying legal presumptions which we all know leads to erroneous factual and legal conclusions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Hat Tip to Bill Paatalo

Keybank – maine supreme court

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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