Rescissions and Preemptive Lawsuits by Borrowers — 2 Things the Courts Dislike the Most.

For short-term results it is absolutely essential that discovery be pressed as hard as possible and that attorneys prep for a punishing cross examination of the corporate representative of the company claiming to be the servicer for the company that claims to be the trustee or successor for a trust that by implication claims to own the loan but won’t allege that. Layers upon layers.

I have heard dozens of judges caution the “banks” that they better show up with someone who doesn’t need to place a call or wait to get authorization. But that is exactly what they do.

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Listen to Attorneys Neil Garfield and James Randy Ackley discuss this issue:

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

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Based upon reports coming in across the country it appears that we are actually receding from the application of law again. The two things that the Courts obviously don’t like and essentially refuse to enforce are preemptive lawsuits and TILA Rescission, even where they give it lip service approval. What are now known as preemptive lawsuits in which the borrower tries to head off their title and collections problem by demanding the real data on identification of a creditor who owns the debt, note and mortgage or deed of trust are a bridge too far although California looks like it is edging toward that the fastest amongst the states. See Yvanova decision

In both cases the Courts are grasping at straws because of the fear of undermining the entire banking system causing another financial collapse. As I did in 2008-2009 I am predicting that these cases will be decided in favor of the borrower. And again it might take more years to get there. Having examined pleadings and orders from across the country there is no doubt in my mind that everything we have said is true and these are useful tools for the borrower.

But for short-term results it is absolutely essential that discovery be pressed as hard as possible and that attorneys prep for a punishing cross examination of the corporate representative of the company claiming to be the servicer for the company that claims to be the trustee or successor for a trust that by implication claims to own the loan but won’t allege that. Layers upon layers.

In 2008 I had a conversation (previously reported) with one of the architects of this scheme and he predicted that the legal presumptions attached to the notes and mortgages and assignments would overcome any factual rebuttal regardless of how persuasive the rebuttal. I thought he was wrong. He was right, but back then I could tell he wasn’t as sure as he is today. It worked. Millions of foreclosures proceeded in favor of entities who had already stolen the money from investors and now were stealing their security.

Proof of all my basic premises is abundantly clear but well hidden by confidential settlements under seal. Cash offers to settle the case seem almost always to produce a settlement that includes damages for wrongful foreclosure.

Mediations continue to proceed almost exclusively with “representatives” who lack full settlement authority and truth to be told, they lack any settlement authority. This point is getting under the skin of many judges and should be pressed. I even said to one judge who ordered mediation that I questioned when his orders “meant anything at all.” He was upset but he started entering other orders that required real action by my opposition.

Mediations by definition under Supreme Court rules require the presence of the parties with full settlement authority. Instead the alleged servicer shows up with representative that has only one duty — handover an application for modification without any discussion or authority to settle. That is the stuff of motions for sanctions. I have heard dozens of judges caution the “banks” that they better show up with someone who doesn’t need to place a call or wait to get authorization. But that is exactly what they do and frequently they get away with it. Don’t expect sanctions to be ordered until the “bank” fails to “show up” more than twice.

Usually the attorney represents the servicer and if pressed, sometimes you can get an admission that the attorney is not able to assert they represent the plaintiff. The representative also might admit that he is there on behalf of the servicer but not the Plaintiff. In those cases I think you are well on your way to getting sanctions, but not until you are ordered back into mediation multiple times.

The problem remains the same — the servicer derives its alleged authority from the Plaintiff who derives its power to enforce from legal presumptions derived from possession and its declaration that it is the “holder.” The Plaintiff rarely alleges that it owns the debt, loaned the money or anything like that and they never allege that they are holders in due course which would mean, by definition, that the trust paid for the loan. The trusts did not pay for the loan and the creditor is, at least according to some live testimony I got in court, a group of unnamed investors. By definition then in hearings for sanctions relating to mediation, you can elicit admissions that defeat the foreclosure.

Once you get to the fact that the Trust never was in operation and was never funded it goes without saying that as an inactive business with no history it could not possibly have paid for the debt or even accepted the assignment. Having cut the chain (the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone etc) the strawman figure must collapse. NO authority flows from such an entity —especially when the representative says the creditors are the investors.

My prediction is that while it may still take some time, the courts are eventually going to routinely require real proof instead of relying exclusively upon legal presumptions arising from fabricated, forged, robo-signed documents. Real proof means real transactions — something that will unwind claims by the servicer and Trustee or successor like pulling a thread from a poorly made sweater.

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Arizona Foreclosure Mediation Considered

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Editor’s Notes:  

Mediation dropped Nevada foreclosures to much lower levels. That was especially true when the lawmakers put in provisions that made clear that this wasn’t a game. In order to foreclose you had to mediate first. And in order to mediate you had to have a decision maker present. AND if you are saying that the party showing up is a decision maker, you better have proof — which just another way of saying “standing.”

In the article below, it is clear that progress is slow but the proponents of mediation in Arizona are moving forward with a small pilot. Mediation is, after all, what nearly all the distressed homeowners want — a fair chance after some correction for the excesses of inflated appriasals and unaffordable loans foisted on the American public. Most homeowners are actually willing to accept mortgages where the principal due is still higher than the value of the property just so they can stay in the property. It is an unprecedented opportunity for the lender to get out of the mess they are finding themselves with all their REO proeprty subject to title challenges.

But the REAL problem is that strangers to the loan transaction are going to lose money unless the foreclosure goes through. So they are posing as lenders (pretender lenders) and pushing hard on fraudulent foreclosures because that results in a judicial or legal event in which the property was deemed to be in the REMIC pool (even if it wasn’t) and the loss falls on the investors instead of these strangers. These strangers are well known to us — BofA, Citi, JPM, Wells Fargo etc. They are fighting mediation because it threatens to expose the farce — that none of the foreclosures before were real and that the current ones are no more valid, legal or just than the old ones.

Homeowners simply do not owe money to these people posing as foreclosers, and they never did. There is no basis for foreclosure because the money came from investor lenders with whom the borrower never had the opportunity to make a deal because the real facts were withheld from both the investor lenders and the homeowner borrowers. That leaves the banks holding the bag, legally, if the law is applied and that is exactly what should happen. The obligations arising from the funding by pension funds should be settled through mediation and modification. Foreclosures would and should end, and our national nightmare would be over.

Hat tip to DR Blog

Arizona Foreclosure Mediation – Part 1

Last week at the Arizona Bar meeting my colleague Timothy Burr  presented a progress report for the Foreclosure Mediation Unit of ASU’s Lodestar Dispute Resolution Program. The program was well attended and has generated some buzz in the legal community. In some sense this was the FMU’s coming out party as we’ve been keeping a low profile because we’re in its pilot program phase. In my mind there’s nothing worse than rolling out a new program and touting it as a big deal before actually doing anything and then watching it die a humiliatingly public death.

Before talking about the program, a little background. Arizona is a state where almost every foreclosure is a non-judicial foreclosure, although judicial foreclosure is an option it is very rarely used. Non-judicial foreclosures tend to be short and sweet (or bittersweet as the case may be) because they are purely contractual as noted in the deed to the property.  Here’s a link to the best online primer on trustee’s sales I’ve found, and here’s the shorthand version. If you fall behind in your payments and the creditor decides to go forward with a trustee’s sale, a notice is placed on the house’s door announcing a trustee’s sale will occur 90 days from the posting, and the sale occurs on that day unless there’s a serious problem (like fraud or other similarly egregious claims brought in court) or there’s a last minute agreement between the creditor and debtor(s).

In 2009 I worked with others to create an Arizona Foreclosure Mediation Task force, and after several meetings it was clear that we didn’t have the clout to get anything off the ground so we disbanded. However, in late 2010/early 2011 the state was part of a nationwide settlemen with some of the big banks related to mortgage issues, and the Attorney General’s Office set aside part of those settlement monies for grants to assist with the state’s mortgage crisis.  Through this granting source the law school was able to obtain the funds to get foreclosure mediation off the ground. And, once the funds came in we hired Tim to direct and build the program.

Our initial question was – how do we even get into the game?  In judicial foreclosure states it’s pretty easy to know how to do this.  Other non-judicial foreclosure states such as Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii have created statutory schemes requiring mediation before the trustee’s sale. Such legislation has been proposed in Arizona since 2008 or so, but it hasn’t gone anywhere. Thinking that the only sure fire mediation referral source would be a court, I spoke with the Pro-Se Clerk at the Bankruptcy Court and asked if a foreclosure mediation program might benefit the court. To my surprise he happened to be looking into ways to deal with pro-se bankruptcy filers who were filing for bankruptcy simply to hold up trustee’s sales. While bankruptcy can slow down the trustee’s sale process, the creditors typically are allowed to go forward with the sale when the court finds there’s no legal reason to keep it from going forward (again, the handy primer).  So far that’s been the vast majority of cases in the bankruptcy court. At the end of last summer we presented a foreclosure mediation proposal to the court. In this meeting the judges talked about the numerous cases where there clearly was a communication problem between the debtor and the mortgage servicers and/or holders, and they liked the idea. So, we entered into an agreement to report back after 25 referrals, at which time the court and the FMU would decide whether we should go forward with another 75 referrals.

My next post will present data about our first 25 referrals, which formed the basis of Tim’s presentation last week. And just so you know, we are going forward with the next 75 referrals.

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Az Statute on Mortgage Fraud Not Enforced (except against homeowners)

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Editor’s Comment:

With a statute like this on the books in Arizona and elsewhere, it is difficult to see why the Chief Law Enforcement of each state, the Attorney General, has not brought claims and prosecutions against all those entities and people up and down the fraudulent securitization chain that brought us the mortgage meltdown, foreclosures of more than 5 million people, suicides, evictions and claims of profits based upon the fact that the free house went to the pretender lender.

Practically every act described in this statute was committed by the investment banks and all their affiliates and partners from the seller of the bogus mortgage bond (sold forward, which means that the loans did not yet exist) all the way down to the people at the closing table with the homeowner borrower.

I’d like to see a script from attorneys who confront the free house concept head on. The San Francisco study and other studies clearly show that many if not most foreclosures resulted in a “sale” of property without any cash offered by the buyer who submitted a credit bid when they had not established themselves as creditors nor had they established the amount due. And we now know that they failed to establish themselves as creditors because they neither loaned the money nor purchased the loan in any transaction in which they parted with money. So the consideration for the sale was not present or if you want to put it in legalese that would effect those states that allow review of the adequacy of consideration at the auction.

I’d like to see a lawyer go to court and say “Judge, you already know it would be wrong for my client to get a free house. I am here to agree with you and state further that whether you rule for the borrower or this pretender lender here, you are going to give a free house to somebody.

“Because this party initiated a foreclosure proceeding without being the creditor, without spending a dime on the loan or purchase of the loan, and without any right to represent the multitude of people and entities that should be paid on this loan. This pretender, this stranger to this transaction stands in the way of a mediated settlement or HAMP modification in which the borrower is more than happy to do a traditional workout based upon the economic realities.

“And they they maintain themselves as obstacles to mediation or modification because they have too much to hide about the origination of this loan.

“All I seek is that you recognize that we deny the loan on which this party is pursuing its claims, we deny the default and we deny the balance. That puts the matter at issue in which there are relevant and material facts that are in dispute.

“I say to you that as a Judge you are here to call balls and strikes and that your ruling can only be that with issues in dispute, the case must proceed.”

“The pretender should be required to state its claim with a complaint, attach the relevant documents and the homeowner should be able to respond to the complaint and confront the witnesses and documents being used. And that means the pretender here must be subject to the requirements of the rules of civil procedure that include discovery.

“Experience shows that there have been no trials on the evidence in all the foreclosures ever brought during this period and that the moment a judge rules on discovery in favor of the borrower, the pretender offers settlement. Why do you think that is?”

“If they had a good reason to foreclose and they had the authority to allege the required the elements of foreclosure and they had the proof to back it up they would and should be more than willing to put a stop to all these motions and petitions from borrowers. But they don’t allow any case to go to trial. They are winning on procedure because of the assumption that the legitimate debt is unpaid and that the borrower owes it to the party making the claim even if there never was transaction with the pretender in which the borrower was a party, directly or indirectly.”

“Neither the non-judicial powers of sale statutes nor the rules of civil procedure based upon constitutional requirements of due process can be used to thwart a claim that has merit or raises issues that have merit. You should not allow the statute and rules to be applied in a manner in which a stranger to the transaction who could not even plead a case in good faith would win a foreclosed house at auction without court review and a hearing on the merits.”

Residential mortgage fraud; classification; definitions in Arizona

Section 1. Title 13, chapter 23, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 13-2320, to read:
13-2320.

A. A PERSON COMMITS RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE FRAUD IF, WITH THE INTENT TO DEFRAUD, THE PERSON DOES ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

  1. KNOWINGLY MAKES ANY DELIBERATE MISSTATEMENT, MISREPRESENTATION OR MATERIAL OMISSION DURING THE MORTGAGE LENDING PROCESS THAT IS RELIED ON BY A MORTGAGE LENDER, BORROWER OR OTHER PARTY TO THE MORTGAGE LENDING PROCESS.
  2. KNOWINGLY USES OR FACILITATES THE USE OF ANY DELIBERATE MISSTATEMENT, MISREPRESENTATION OR MATERIAL OMISSION DURING THE MORTGAGE LENDING PROCESS THAT IS RELIED ON BY A MORTGAGE LENDER, BORROWER OR OTHER PARTY TO THE MORTGAGE LENDING PROCESS.
  3. RECEIVES ANY PROCEEDS OR OTHER MONIES IN CONNECTION WITH A RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN THAT THE PERSON KNOWS RESULTED FROM A VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH 1 OR 2 OF THIS SUBSECTION.
  4. FILES OR CAUSES TO BE FILED WITH THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY RECORDER OF ANY COUNTY OF THIS STATE ANY RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOAN DOCUMENT THAT THE PERSON KNOWS TO CONTAIN A DELIBERATE MISSTATEMENT, MISREPRESENTATION OR MATERIAL OMISSION.

Those convicted of one count of mortgage fraud face punishment in accordance with a Class 4 felony.  Anyone convicted of engaging in a pattern of mortgage fraud could be convicted of a Class 2 felony


NEVADA S. CT.: CREDITOR MUST ESTABLISH ITSELF AT MEDIATION OR FACE SANCTIONS

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A number of juicy points here, but the main one I find interesting is that they remanded Wells to the lower court for imposition of sanctions. Why? Because they didn’t produce the documents showing they were the creditor. And they can’t go forward with foreclosure unless they attempt mediation. But they can’t mediate if they are not the creditor.

This case should be used in every state and jurisdiction where it is required that the parties seek modification or mediation. Unless the so-called creditor establishes to the court that it is in fact the creditor and has authority to mediate it is a sham. This case clearly addresses that issue on all fours.

You should note that many judges are now imposing “local rules” that require mediation or HAMP modification to be invoked before they will hear the case so just because it isn’t in the statutes doesn’t mean the rule is not there.

 

Nevada Supreme Court: You Gotta Prove Chain of Title

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Nevada Supreme Court: You Gotta Prove Chain of Title

posted by Adam Levitin

A pair of very interesting foreclosure rulings were handed down today by the Nevada Supreme Court. They provide further evidence that documentation problems are rife in the mortgage industry, including documents showing chain of title. They also provide another example of a state supreme court demanding proof of valid chain of title before permitting foreclosure.

Both cases arise from Nevada’s foreclosure mediation program. In one case, Pasillas v. HSBC Bank USA, the Nevada Supreme Court ordered sanctions against HSBC for failing to mediate in good faith. What was the failure? HSBC failed to show up at the mediation with the required loan documentation, namely two pages of the mortgage note were missing, the assignment to HSBC was incomplete, a BPO rather than an appraisal was provided.  Moreover, HSBC didn’t show up at the mediation with authority to settle because it still required “investor approval.” The foreclosure mediator refused on these ground to authorize the foreclosure. The district court ordered the foreclosure to proceed, but the Nevada Supreme Court reversed the ruling and remanded with instructions for the district court to determine appropriate sanctions.  

Three things are of note in this case.  First, it shows that the Nevada Supreme Court takes a very serious view of enforcing the requirements of the state’s foreclosure mediation program. This was a unanimous decision. Second, it’s another illustratation of the mortgage documentation SNAFU. And third, there’s a very long footnote discussing and endorsing the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling in Ibanez v US Bank:  “We agree with the rationale that valid assignments are needed when the beneficiary of a deed of trust seeks to foreclose on a property.”  That’s now two states Supreme Courts now that are making clear that there’s got to be good chain of title.  We can add to that the NC Court of Appeals and arguably New Jersey. 

All of this brings us to the second case, Levya v. National Default Servicing, Inc., another unanimous decision. Again, this case arose from a foreclosure mediation. At the mediation, Wells Fargo produced a certified original copy of the note and deed of trust naming another entity as the lender.  Wells did not produce any assignments, just a notarized statement that it was in possession of the original note and DOT and any assignments thereto. (Gosh, I wonder if that employee had personal knowledge of the fact or not… Do you really think the employee looked at the physical paper?). The mediator found that Wells Fargo hadn’t met the statutory requirements for the mediation, but didn’t make a finding of bad faith.  The homeowner petitioned the district court for review, arguing that Wells Fargo acted in bad faith and should be sanctioned.  The district court concluded that there was no bad faith. The Nevada Supreme Court reversed on appeal.

What’s interesting in this case is an extended discussion of what constitutes a valid assignment of deeds of trust and of notes. For starters, the court noted that the transfers “are distinctly separate.” Nevada, like Massachusetts, is a title theory state. That indicates that the mortgage follows the note theory just doesn’t work there. And it’s not as if the Nevada Supreme Court were unaware of UCC Article 9. The court discusses Judge Markell’s 9th Circuit BAP decision in In re Veal that includes a detailed discussion of the working of UCC Article 9. [In re Veal never addressed the issue of whether UCC 9-203(g) applies to deeds of trust (which are sale and repurchases, not liens); the language of 9-203(g) could be read not to apply, but that need not concern us here.]  Instead, Nevada’s views a deed of trust as a conveyance of land, so the state’s Statute of Frauds applies, and it requires a written assignment. Wells never produced a chain of assignments from the originator to whatever trust was involved. Maybe Wells could do so, but it didn’t.

Similarly, without being able to prove that the note had been endorsed or otherwise transferred to Wells (meaning that it was given to Wells for the purpose of enforcement), Wells “has not demonstrated authority to mediate the note.”  Put differently, Wells failed to prove standing.

Now let me emphasize that just because Wells didn’t prove standing doesn’t mean that it can’t. But this should be raising a lot of questions. Does the paper exist? Can we verify that it is in fact the original and the dating of the signatures? If so, why isn’t Wells producing it? Who is bearing the cost of these screw-ups? Is it MBS investors or is Wells eating it?

This strikes me as further evidence that the proposed BoA MBS settlement is just too hasty. There’s simply too much evidence of major problems in the system for investors to settle without knowing more. It’s a very different settlement if the documentation is fine, but the servicer’s just incompetent and can’t produce it than if the documentation was never done right in the first place and there’s nothing the servicer can do. If I were an MBS investor, I’d want to know which situation I was facing.

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In “Fair Game” Gretchen Morgenson continues to unravel the failing process of “saving homes” while the world ignores the simple truth that legally the homes are in no jeopardy but for the pranks and illusions created by the pretender lenders.

  • There is no valid foreclosure, auction, mediation, modification, short-sale, satisfaction of mortgage, release and re-conveyance, or even settlement with a party to whom the money is not owed and a party owning no rights under the security instrument (the mortgage or deed of trust).

It is all an illusion given reality by repetition not by truth. It is fraud ignored by courts who naturally find it far more likely that a deadbeat homeowner is trying to trick the court than a world class bank or someone pretending to be an agent of a world class bank. But in the end, whether title moves by foreclosure or any of the procedures mentioned above, there is no clear title. There is clouded, fatally defective title and a settlement with a party lacking any power to even be in the room.

This is why I have maintained that lawyers err when they do not aggressively (on the front end despite the rules requiring mediation etc.) insist on proof of authority to represent and proof of agency and proof that a decision-maker is in the room. If those elements are not satisfied, there can be deal — only the appearance of a deal.It is entirely possible that not even the lawyer has authority to represent and that the lawyer has conflicts of interest when you make the challenge. If a lawyer asserts he represents a party you have a right to demand proof of that. I’ve seen dozens of cases unravel at just that point.

The foreclosure mills play musical chairs but they are forgetting that this fraud on the court may come back and haunt them with liability, discipline and even criminal charges. They keep their options open until they absolutely are forced to name a pretender lender. That lawyer standing in the room has generally spoken to nobody other than a secretary in his own firm. he doesn’t know the client, or any representative of the client. He or she presumed to be authorized to represent the client because the file was given to him or her.

Think I am kidding. Try it out on Deutsch Bank or U.S. Bank or BONY-Mellon. Demand that the lawyer produce incontrovertible proof that their client knows the case even exists and that this lawyer represents them.

From what I am seeing, this interrupts the flow of plausible deniability. Nobody high up in the food chain wants to come in and say they have personal knowledge or that they have anything to do with these foreclosures. They just want their monthly fee for pretending to be Trustee over a pool that was never created, much less funded. They will try to use affidavits from people who know nothing and who are probably not even employed by the “client.” Even if they are employed a quick inquiry will reveal that the signatory lacks authority to hire legal counsel and has no personal knowledge of the case.

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September 18, 2010

When Mortgage Mediation Is a Gamble

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

NEVADA — one of the states where home prices went stratospheric during the housing mania — is now reporting some of the nation’s most horrifying foreclosure figures. Last week, RealtyTrac said that 1 in every 84 households in the state had received a foreclosure notice in August, 4.5 times the national average.

To mitigate this continuing disaster, the Nevada Assembly created a foreclosure mediation program last year. Intended to help keep families in their homes, the program brings together troubled borrowers and their lenders to negotiate resolutions.

The program began on July 1, 2009, and in its first year, 8,738 requests for mediation were received and 4,212 completed, according to the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts. Some 668 borrowers gave up their homes and 445 were foreclosed upon in the period.

“We are the only state that requires the bank to do something — they must come to the table if the homeowner elects mediation,” said Verise V. Campbell, who administers the program. “We are now touted as the No. 1 foreclosure mediation program around the country. The program is working.”

During its first year, 2,590 cases — more than 60 percent of completed mediations — resulted in agreements between borrower and lender, Ms. Campbell said. But when asked how many actually wound up assisting homeowners through permanent loan modifications, she said her office did not track that figure.

Most of these agreements, say lawyers who have worked in Nevada’s program, were probably for temporary modifications like those that have frustrated borrowers elsewhere — you know, the kind of plan that lasts only three months until the bank decides that the borrower does not qualify for a permanent modification.

Clearly, the Nevada program is superior to the White House’s Home Affordable Modification Program, where borrowers have trouble even reaching lenders by phone. Forcing banks to meet with borrowers is definitely a good step.

But some mediators who have participated in the Nevada program and some lawyers who represent borrowers in it say it has flaws that may give the banks an advantage over borrowers.

Patrick James Martin, a lawyer in Reno who is a certified public accountant and an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, was an early mediator in the program. In a recent letter to Nevada’s state court administrator, Mr. Martin expressed concern that the program favored lenders.

“I really felt the lenders didn’t have too much interest in having the program work,” Mr. Martin said in an interview. “A lawyer would show up for the lender with none of the documents required by the program. When they got into the mediation, they would call somebody in a bullpen someplace who had a computer handy and the borrower might or might not qualify for modification. No discussion, no negotiation.”

Mr. Martin said he no longer received cases to mediate.

Another experienced mediator, who declined to be identified because he feared reprisals, was removed from the system after he recommended sanctions for banks that did not meet their obligations under the program. These duties include showing up, bringing pertinent documents and having authority to negotiate with the borrower.

After this mediator made a petition for sanctions in a case this year, Ms. Campbell sent him and the other parties in the matter a letter saying that the recommendation was not a “valid Foreclosure Mediation Program document.” The letter, on Supreme Court of Nevada stationery, also stated that nothing in the law that established the mediation program “requires or permits a mediator to recommend specific sanctions.”

But the statute governing mediations in Nevada clearly specifies that if a lender does not participate in the mediation in good faith, by failing to appear, for example, “the mediator shall prepare and submit to the mediation administrator a petition and recommendation concerning the imposition of sanctions” against the lender. The court then has the power to issue sanctions, which can include forcing a loan modification.

Keith Tierney is a veteran real estate lawyer who was until recently a mediator in the program. He, too, stopped receiving mediation assignments after recommending sanctions against lenders in a number of cases. He said that a program official told him last week that he was no longer eligible because he issued a petition and recommendation for sanctions, even though that is what the law allows.

When asked why she believed that such recommendations were not allowed, Ms. Campbell said mediators who issued them were not following the program rules as interpreted by Nevada’s Supreme Court.

But Mr. Tierney said: “The statute trumps rules. Every attorney in the world knows that if a rule is in contradiction to a statute, the rule is null and void.”

Administering the program gives Ms. Campbell great power. She issues certificates allowing foreclosures to take place after mediations occur. And while she said such certificates were submitted only when mediators’ statements showed they should be, mistakes have happened.

ONE woman went through a mediation in which the lender didn’t provide necessary documents and the mediator noted it, according to legal documents. Under the rules, no certificate is supposed to be issued in such a circumstance, but shortly afterward, the borrower received notice of a trustee sale. Ms. Campbell’s office had issued a certificate allowing foreclosure; only by filing for bankruptcy could the borrower stop it.

Ms. Campbell said such problems were rare. The state doesn’t produce data that would allow her assertion to be verified.

Ms. Campbell is not a lawyer and is not a veteran of the housing or banking industries. Before overseeing the mediation program, she worked in the casino industry. She worked for a Chinese company developing a gambling property in Macau and was director of administration for the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Ms. Campbell said that her position involved administrative duties, not legal insight, and that her experience overseeing large projects amply prepared her to manage the Nevada mediation program.

But David M. Crosby, the lawyer who represented the borrower whose case resulted in an erroneous foreclosure action, said significant questions remained about the program. Among them, he said, was the role that Ms. Campbell played in the process.

“Does she just do administrative stuff or does she make decisions?” he asked. “That doesn’t seem well decided.”


Mass Extinction of Pools Becomes Clearer

Our good friend “Anonymous” has piped up with more vital information and expressed it more succinctly than I did.

“The senior tranches have largely already been paid and closed. Since the junior tranches are paid only if there is left over current payment – after the senior tranches have been paid. Thus, junior tranches are paid nothing (this is evident in investor lawsuits – damages do not deduct foreclosure recovery). If anything remains today from the toxic mortgage loan securitizations, it is the residual tranche – which has likely been resecuritized into a separate Trust – that is not a current pass-through security – but, rather, synthetically derived from a dismantled original Trust structure. “

Editor’s Note: In other words, if you have a high quality loan wherein you have a high credit score and received relatively good terms, it was in the “senior tranches.” The senior tranches were paid and closed. They were paid from the meager proceeds of the junior tranches, from insurance, credit default swaps etc. Bottom Line: If you got one of those mortgages, it has almost certainly been paid in full. So why are they still collecting your payments? Because they can.

Your obligation has most likely been satisfied long ago without any rights of subrogation. If you are in foreclosure now with one of these loans, the “Trustee” is in actuality out of the picture because the “Trust” was closed out (IF IT EVER LEGALLY EXISTED). All of this leads to the politically incorrect conclusion that people gt their houses for “nothing.” But that is not true.

ALL THE MONEY THAT WAS OWED ON THAT LOAN HAS BEEN PAID. WHY SHOULD ANYONE COLLECT ANYTHING FURTHER?

More comments from “Anonymous”

This is a very important post. I have been aware of cases where the defendant is sent to mediation without first identifying the real creditor. Some here have stated that the real party issue is not relevant because eventually the plaintiff will get his “ducks in a row” and proceed with the foreclosure under the real party name.

Not identifying the real party in court is not only fraud but also deprives the defendant of direct and timely negotiation with the real party true creditor. Thus, damages accrue to the defendant.

Although real party, in my opinion, is the single most important issue, I am not seeing courts enforce discovery to ascertain the real party. Once it can be established that the real party is not before the court, all the produced documents are also subject to question. I have seen cases where the real party is at issue – but most of the cases simply state that the plaintiff does not have standing – without attempting to demonstrate why the plaintiff is not the real party.

Since foreclosure cases most often are indicative of securitization, knowing the chain of sale/assignment in a securitization is crucial. Also, knowing what the “investors” are entitled to is important. Again, while I think this post is very important – i disagree with “there is nothing left to pay the investors who advanced money into a pool from which some mortgages were funded” 1) any investors who indirectly funded a “pool” – did not directly fund mortgages and 2) tranche “investors” – for which there a limited number of tranches – were only entitled to current income pass-through – not foreclosure recovery (which is not current and not passed on to pass-through security investors. (However, the residual tranche is not a pass-through – and is usually held by the servicer – who may -or may not be the current creditor). 3) the Trust is likely dissolved.

The fact that mediation is being conducted without identification of the current creditor – in whose name any modification must be contracted – is simply additional fraud upon the borrower defendant. This fraud is akin to “loan modification” scams that are being currently investigated by some state Department of Justices.

How and why the courts are allowing this to happen – and actually promoting it – is beyond me.

Editor’s Note: Legally this puts us at the horns of a dilemma. If we want to travel the path of “PAID IN FULL” then we are treading on the thin ice of accepting or admitting that the loan was actually legally and correctly assigned and indorsed into the pool, in addition to the usual “free house” talk.  If we travel the path of UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTED ASSIGNMENT then we get to the conclusion that the loan is still owned by the originating lender, who was PAID IN FULL at the time of the loan closing, but still is the owner of record. If we travel both paths, we are presenting a highly complex argument that most judges won’t understand. This is why the winners out there are not making big splashes with exotic legal arguments (even though they would be right), the winners are getting down to the details that any Judge would understand — SHOW ME THE TRUST DOCUMENT, SHOW ME THE NOTE, SHOW ME THE ASSIGNMENT, SHOW ME THE INDORSEMENT, SHOW ME THE ACCOUNTING, SHOW ME THE CREDITOR ETC.

MANY THANKS, ANONYMOUS!!!

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