Problems with Lehman and Aurora

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Appeals Court Challenges Cal. Supreme Court Ruling in Yvanova/Keshtgar

The Court, possibly because of the pleadings and briefs refers to the Trust as “US Bank” — a complete misnomer that reveals a completely incorrect premise. Despite the clear allegation of the existence of the Trust — proffered by the Trust itself — the Courts are seeing these cases as “Bank v Homeowner” rather than “Trust v Homeowner.” The record in this case and most other cases clearly shows that such a premise is destructive to the rights of the homeowner and assumes the corollary, to wit: that the “Bank” loaned money or purchased the loan from a party who owned the loan — a narrative that is completely defeated by the Court rulings in this case.



see B246193A-Kehstgar

It is stunning how lower courts are issuing rulings and decisions that ignore or even defy higher court rulings that give them no choice but to follow the law. These courts are acting ultra vires in open defiance of the senior authority of a higher court. It is happening in rescission cases and it is happening in void assignment cases, like this one.
This case focuses on a void assignment or the absence of an assignment. Keshtgar alleged that “the bank” had no authority to initiate foreclosure because the assignment was void or absent. THAT was the first mistake committed by the California appeals court, to wit: the initiating party was a trust, not a bank. This appeals court completely missed the point when they started out from an incorrect premise. US Bank is only the Trustee of a Trust. And upon further examination the Trust never operated in any fashion, never purchased any loans and never had any books of record because it never did any business.
The absence of an assignment is alleged because the assignment was void, fabricated, backdated and forged purportedly naming the Trust as an assignee means that the Trust neither purchased nor received the alleged loan. Courts continually ignore the obvious consequences of this defect: that the initiator of the foreclosure is claiming rights as a beneficiary when it had no rights as a beneficiary under the deed of trust.
The Court, possibly because of the pleadings and briefs refers to the Trust as “US Bank” — a complete misnomer that reveals a completely incorrect premise. Despite the clear allegation of the existence of the Trust — proffered by the Trust itself — the Courts are seeing these cases as “Bank v Homeowner.” The record in this case and most other cases clearly shows that such a premise is destructive to the rights of the homeowner and assumes the corollary, to wit: that the “Bank” loaned money or purchased the loan from a party who owned the loan — a narrative that is completely defeated by the Courts in this case.
There really appears to be no question that the assignment was void or absent. The inescapable conclusion is that (a) the assignor still retains the rights (whatever they might be) to collect or enforce the alleged “loan documents” or (b) the assignor had no rights to convey. In the context of an admission that the ink on the paper proclaiming itself to be an assignment is “nothing” (void) there is no conclusion, legal or otherwise, but that US Bank had nothing to do with this loan and neither did the Trust.
Bucking the California Supreme Court, this appellate court states that Yvanova has “no bearing on this case.” In essence they are ruling that the Cal. Supreme Court was committing error when it said that Yvanova DID have a bearing on this case when it remanded the case to the lower court of appeal with instructions to reconsider in light of the Yvanova decision.
One mistake committed by Keshtgar was asking for quiet title. The fact that the MORTGAGE is voidable or unenforceable is generally insufficient grounds for declaring it void and removing it from the chain of title. I unfortunately contributed to the misconception regarding quiet title, but after years of research and analysis I have concluded that (a) quiet title is not an available remedy against the mortgage unless you have grounds to declare it void and (b) my survey of hundreds of cases indicates that judges are resistant to that remedy. BUT a similar action for cancellation of instrument could be directed against the an assignment, substitution of trustee on deed of trust, notice of default and notice of sale.
Because there was an admission by Keshtgar that the loan was “non-performing” and because the court assumed that US Bank was a lender or proper successor to the lender, the question of what role the Trust plays was not explored at all. The courts are making the erroneous assumption that (a) there was a real loan contract between the parties who appear on the note and mortgage, (b) that the loan was funded by the originator and that the homeowner is in default of the obligations set forth on the note and mortgage. They completely discount any examination of whether the note is a valid instrument when it names not the actual lender but a third party who is also serving as a conduit. In an effort to prevent homeowners from getting windfalls, they are delivering the true windfalls to the servicers who are behind the initiation of virtually every foreclosure.
The problem is both legal and perceptual. By failing to see that each case is “Trust v Homeowner” the Courts are failing to consider that the case is between a private entity and a private person. By seeing the cases as “institution v private person” they are giving far too much credence to what the Banks, up until now, are selling in the courts. to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.

Deutsch Bank on Verge of Collapse?

there is no such thing as a soft landing in a cornered marketplace

Despite claiming $52 TRILLION “notional” value in derivatives (nearly all the money in the world) DB has posted a shattering loss and according to the IMF poses the most serious systemic loss to the financial system. Reports indicate that 29 DB employees were at the root of manipulating the LIBOR index which is used as the primary index for variable rate loans. Nobody has addressed the issue of whether adjusted payments should be scrutinized even while knowing that the index was rigged.



Nothing equals nothing. The fact is that DeutschBank allowed itself to be window dressing on bogus REMIC Trusts as though the DB trust department was managing the money for investors. Other than ink on paper, the trusts did not exist and neither did any assets of the purported trusts. DB led the way as a principal party in creating the illusion of “something” when in fact there was nothing at all.

Then DB executives took highly leveraged risks in betting on the bogus mortgage bonds (and other “asset-backed” securities) issued by those bogus REMIC Trusts. Then they papered it over with all kinds of complex derivative products — all of which were based upon the nonexistent ownership of the primary asset — loans. DB claims over $52 Trillion in “value” for those derivatives as a tier 3 asset (i.e., it is worth what management says it is worth). The current leverage ratio for DB is reported at 40x, which is just 2 points lower than Bear Stearns before it toppled over. The leverage is disguised as “sales” for which DB has subsequent liability. All of this was predicted and described by Abraham Briloff  in Unaccountable Accounting published by Harper and Rowe in 1972. Nearly all of these “trades” are merely devices to kick the can down the road, covering over losses that DB would rather not admit.

This situation reminds me of a scene long ago when I was working on Wall Street as a Trainee security analyst in the research department of a medium sized brokerage firm. One of the family partners came into our research department and told us confidently that despite all rumors to the contrary there would be no layoffs in our department. I think I had another job before he returned to his office just ahead of the layoff of the entire department 2 weeks later. My intuition told me that he was lying. On Wall Street it’s not the lying that is frowned upon, it is getting caught. My experience has taught me that the bigger the entity the bigger the lies and the more serious the systemic risk to the whole of society. That was in 1968-9.

At that time the crisis was the “paper crash” — meaning that Wall Street firms had “lost track” of the location and ownership of stock and bond certificates. Now they are filing “lost note” complaints like confetti. When you send a Qualified Written Request or Debt Validation Request, you get nothing unless you are already in litigation where suddenly “original” documentation pops up.

This time it is far more serious as the fortunes of many investors, banks and other institutions rely on the value of DB stock and promises to pay. The problem in 1968-1969 was addressed by “best guesses” and converting from a system where investors received actual certificates to a system where trades were recorded privately on the books and records of the brokerage houses and investors had to rely on the statements from their broker as evidence of their asset holdings.

But the systemic problem is the same. Today it is the notes and loan documents that are lost. The conversion to using a private record of transactions sounds like MERS today. And the claim to $52 Trillion in “notional value” is pure obfuscation. The total of all real money in the world is probably under $70 Trillion. So does DB own most or all of it? I don’t think so and neither does anyone else, which is why DB is in trouble. They got caught.

The report in the link above says that DB is in full crisis mode as DB tries to escape the death spiral that took down Lehman, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and others.

The importance of these events goes far beyond the significance of DB itself. DB, whose stock is selling at 8% of what it was selling at in 2007, is unfortunately only a symbol of an epic disaster that is slowly unfolding. The fundamentals have changed. Nearly all “debt” that was created over the past 15 years is fatally defective — leaving enforcement only to the good graces of judges who are willing to overlook centuries of law governing the purchase and sale of negotiable paper.

The reason for the continuing weakness in economic systems around the world is that most of the money was sucked out of those systems. The method of the banks in achieving this non-heroic status is responsible for the continuing recession that is creating so much disturbance around the world. Leaders of those countries have been sucking it up in order to create a soft landing.

But here is what we know from history — there is no such thing as a soft landing in a cornered marketplace. The banks converted our economies from 85% reliance on manufacturing and services to an economy where half of the economic activity consists of trading securities back and forth — i.e., trading the same securities over and over again. That means that actual economic activity in the production and delivery of goods and services has declined from 85% to 50% and it is still dropping. The rest is smoke and mirrors. It is the belief or entanglements with the banks that keeps us from moving on, clawing back, and restoring household wealth to the only place that will actually generate real economic activity — the middle class and lower economic tiers.

Henry Ford proved the point spectacularly about 100 years ago when he doubled the wages of his workers — to the astonishment and dismay of his competitors. It was clear to everyone but Ford that he had obviously lost his mind. Despite that clarity that everyone agreed was the true way of looking at things, Ford’s move created the middle class and thus created a stable demographic who continue to buy what he was selling. In a short time, Ford was the dominant player in the marketplace selling automobiles and the “realists” were gone.

Until the middle class is restored (i.e., it gets back the money that was distributed away from them into the hands of a handful of men who had used their positions of influence to corner the market on money), the “recovery” will continue to be smoke and mirrors, the society will be disrupted and eventually companies that do rely on people to purchase their goods and services won’t have anyone to sell them to. And creating debt to cover the shortfall doesn’t work anymore. The middle class must have a pathway to financial security, not to financial ruin.

US Bank, America’s Wholesale Lender, MERS Go Down in Flames

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“This is a huge win for homeowner’s attorney Kelley A. Bosecker” in St. Petersburg, Florida

see us-bank-v-dimant_2013-ca-001130

See also

This case is similar to another case won by Patrick Giunta and myself in Broward County. The gravamen of the case is that AWL is a fictional entity with no standing. it is a nullity. MERS was not proven to have a nexus to the loan or anything else relevant to the case. Unlike some other cases around the country, the court did NOT order the return of all money paid by borrower to parties who had no right to collect or enforce the alleged debt. That might be the subject of a cross appeal if there is an appeal by the Banks.

The underlying issue remains obscured however. The emphasis remains on the paperwork rather than the absence of any real transactions in which the debt was originated or acquired by anyone in the chain relied upon by US Bank as Plaintiff in this action.

The other issue that I have already commented upon is the continued view by many that Quiet title, in and of itself, is a proper strategy to attack the banks. I don’t think it is unless and until the mortgage encumbrance is and has been declared void or has been rendered void by operation of law (rescission under TILA). Decisions in the 11th Circuit in Bankruptcy court along with a number of other decisions around the country make it clear that the lien survives even if it isn’t or can’t be enforced. See this Month’s Florida Bar Journal article on junior lien holders in foreclosure cases.

And my final comment on this is that it isn’t just AWL that is a fictional character. As I stated in sworn testimony when 16 banks took my deposition for 6 straight days, MERS is a fictional character that does not answer to the definition of a beneficiary in non-judicial states and does not answer to the definition of a creditor or holder in judicial states.Some fo you might remember when I said you might just as well have inserted the name of “Donald Duck” in place of MERS or any of the other players who were pretending to have engaged in transactions that either originated or acquired mortgage loans. My observation remains: none of it is true.

In addition the alleged trusts simply do not exist in real life. Since they were never funded and the Trustee is not managing the money in any account where the Trustee has power over it, the proceeds of the alleged sale of mortgage backed securities went elsewhere. The Trust is not even a shell because it has no business and never had any financial statements. The reason for that is that the Trust was simply a ruse by Investment Banks to take money from Pension Funds and other investors. Hence it is impossible for the assignment, regardless of whenever it was created or fabricated, dated or backdated, to be real, to wit: it implies the existence of a transaction in which the Trust bought the loan. If that were true, the banks would say so and would allege the ultimate status under the UCC — Holder in Due Course. And THAT would have eliminated any borrower defenses.

The assumption that somehow the loan IS in the Trust but that it got there in violation of the PSA is, in my view, simply wrong. But paradoxically it seems easier to get judgment for the homeowner by making that false assumption and attacking the paperwork. If any of the transactions were real, the banks would long ago have come to court with proof of payment and transactions that were clearly supportive of their paperwork — and nobody would have lost or destroyed cash equivalent promissory notes.

Significantly, the ruling found that:

  1. On May 13, 2005, there was a Mortgage recorded in the St. Lucie County, Florida land records in favor of “America’s Wholesale Lender” (“AWL”) which is stated to be a New York Corporation.
  2. The Note alleges that the Lender is “America’s Wholesale Lender”, which the Court determined did not file this action, did not appear at trial and it didn’t assign any of the interest in the mortgage (how could it, as it is a “fiction”?).
  3. There was enough evidence on the table to show that AWL was NOT a New York Corporation at the time the Mortgage was recorded and that this entity did NOT have authority to conduct business in the State of Florida.
  4. MERS again was used to facilitate (as a “cover” for the misdeeds of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.).  This was deemed by the Court NOT to be in statutory compliance with the state’s Uniform Commercial Code!
  5. As in the Nash case (coming out of Seminole County, Florida), there was no evidence provided by the Plaintiff trust (who we know didn’t get the note and mortgage by the cut-off date) that there was any nexus between AWL, Countrywide d/b/a AWL, Countrywide Bank or Bank of America, N.A.
  6. The ruling also made mention of Paragraph 22 as to conditions precedent (which is really NOT the whole point of this ruling); however, the Court appears to have gotten it right when it came to the REMIC trust NOT having standing to foreclose.
  7. The more obvious concern here, is MERS being used to assign a note and mortgage from a “fiction” to a REMIC trust “outside of the parameters and dictates of the PSA”.


MERS 2.0: CSP Another MERS for Securitization of Debt

For More information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688

This article is not a substitute for a legal opinion on your case obtained from an attorney licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property or transaction is located. Get a lawyer.


see GMAC Exec Appointed CEO of CSS

see Common Securitization Platform

see Common Securitization Platform — Freddie First

We all know that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has been pretty thoroughly discredited although there are still many judges whose attitude is “so what”, and the foreclosure goes forward anyway. MERS does not meet the statutory requirements to be a beneficiary under a deed of trust nor a mortgagee under a mortgage deed. It is a naked nominee, wearing none of the clothes required to be a lender, holder of the note or owner of the mortgage. And it even says so on its website, disclaiming any interest in any loan, debt, note or mortgage. It has been used extensively (an estimated 80 millions loans have been registered in the MERS system). Its purpose was to hide—-

(1) the real lender,  making virtually every loan a table  funded loan and therefore predatory per se (something which people have still not caught onto — until the Supreme Court says AGAIN, predatory per se means that it is against public policy, negating the right to obtain equitable relief [foreclosure]

(2) the real transactions of real money in the origination of loans and the acquisition of loan documents

(3) the real players in the lending process

(4) the real players in the collection process

(5) the real players in the foreclosure process

(6) theft from the investors

(7) theft from the borrowers

(8) fraud on the courts

Many knowledgeable judges, county recorders, legal analysts and title agents around the country have all come to the same conclusion: the use of MERS forever corrupted the public records systems for recording title and interests in real property. And yet those defective encumbrances remain in the public records as though MERS was real and the facts from the MERS platform were true. Clearing the title problems and compensating victims of foreclosure fraud enabled by MERS remains among the great challenges to all branches of government.

The problem for the banks is that if they fess up to the truth, the banks, their stockholders and anyone who relies upon them (i.e., the Federal government) will see their benefits go up in smoke. So they have been quietly seeking a way to cover the whole thing up and sweep it under the rug. Statutory changes were discarded because that would amount to admitting that something was wrong. So they hit upon the idea of institutionalizing the whole concept all over again — which will lead to yet another and bigger catastrophe than the one called the “Great Recession.”

It was obvious that if any of the largest banks were involved, alarm bells would have gone off all over the place. So they are using Fannie and Freddie, with a GMAC exec at the helm to start a “Common Securitization Platform” (CSP) that will not only enhance the illusion that prior fake securitizations were real, but also provide a quasi-governmental entity whose “business records” will seem more real than even the property records of any given county. It is a blatant usurpation of state powers with no more viability or validity than MERS. This is MERS 2.0. They will probably treat it as an administrative function of a quasi governmental agency entitled to the presumption of truth. Sounds like MERS, looks like MERS, smells like MERS, Walks like MERS …. must be a duck. [I said in 2008 in a 6 day marathon deposition of me as expert witness that they might just as well have put the name “Donald Duck” on the note and mortgage — since they were already using fictional characters.]

Bottom Line: They are institutionalizing prior acts of fraud against the taxpayers, the government (Federal, state and city), investors and borrowers and clearing the way for it continue unabated. The reason is clear: our political leaders from all political spectrums don’t have a clue about the real world of finance and they are scared to death by threats from bankers that if they go down, they will take the country down with them.

Where is Teddy Roosevelt (“Trust buster”) when you really need him?

Wells Fargo Skewered by Federal Judge For Forgery as a Pattern of Conduct

For further information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688



What I like about the Federal Judge decisions is that they express the reasons for their orders and judgments with much greater specificity than State Court judges tend to do — probably because they have a lighter case load and when they get promoted it can go pretty high (like the US Supreme Court). So it should come as no surprise that a New York Federal Bankruptcy Judge issued a 30 page opinion that essentially said what people have been saying since 2007 — the entire foreclosure process is an exercise in illegal patterns of conduct to the detriment of the homeowners. Since he also made clear that the debt remains, we have yet to get a definitive opinion from a Judge that questions whether the original closing was valid and enforceable. for that we still need to wait.

But by ruling on the specifics of how to rebut presumptions that are used in cases involving negotiable instruments, this Court has definitely opened the door to requiring the banks to do something that he suspects and I know the banks cannot do — prove the loan transaction, and the loan transfers with actual transactions in which a purchase and sale occurred and money exchanged hands after which there was delivery of the paper. Once THAT cat is out of the bag, the banks are doomed. People are going to start asking the question they have been asking for years — except this time it won’t be a rhetorical question: “If the originator didn’t loan the money then who did? And if there was no consideration for the transfer of the loan documents then whose money was used to originate or acquire the loan?” The answers will surprise even veterans of this war.

see franklin-opinion


The debtor herein (the “Debtor”) has objected to a claim filed in this case by Wells Fargo Bank,

NA (“Wells Fargo”), Claim No. 1‐2, dated September 29, 2010 (amending Claim No. 1‐1), on the basis that Wells Fargo is not the holder or owner of the note and beneficiary of the deed of trust upon which the claim is based and therefore lacks standing to assert the claim.1 This Memorandum of Decision states the Court’s reasons, based on the record of the trial held on December 3, 2013 and the parties’ pre‐ and post‐trial submissions, for granting the Claim Objection….

(i) how could Wells Fargo or Freddie Mac assert a claim under the Note when the Note was neither specifically indorsed to either of them nor indorsed in blank (and was specifically indorsed to ABN Amro, although ABN Amro had subsequently assigned its interest therein to MERS as nominee for Washington Mutual Bank, FA), and (ii) how could Wells Fargo properly assert any rights under the July 12, 2010 Assignment of Mortgage when the person who signed the Assignment of Mortgage from MERS in its capacity “as nominee for Washington Mutual Bank, FA” to Wells Fargo was an employee of Wells Fargo (as well as of MERS),3 and there was no evidence that Washington Mutual Bank, FA authorized MERS to assign…….

if Freddie Mac was the owner of the loan, as both Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac contended, why was Claim No. 1‐1 filed by Wells Fargo not as Freddie Mac’s agent or servicer, but, rather, in its own name? (The ownership/agency issue had practical as well as possible legal consequences because counsel for Wells Fargo contended that Freddie Mac guidelines precluded Wells Fargo from considering loan modification proposals for the Debtor.)….

the parties engaged in discovery disputes that resulted in an order compelling the deposition of John Kennerty, who by then no longer worked for Wells Fargo, see Kennerty v. Carrsow‐Franklin (In re Carrsow‐Franklin), 456 B.R. 753 (Bankr. D. S.C. 2011), and Wells Fargo’s production of a woefully unqualified initial Rule 30(b)(6) witness…..

Wells Fargo responded that it did not need to be the owner of the loan in order to enforce the Note and a secured claim for amounts owing under it. Instead, Wells Fargo relied, under Texas’ version of Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code (the “U.C.C.”), solely on being the “holder” of the Note indorsed in blank by ABN Amro that appeared for the first time as an attachment to Claim No. 1‐2.7…

In a bench ruling on March 1, 2012, memorialized by an order dated May 21, 2012, the Court agreed with Wells Fargo, concluding that, under Texas law, if Wells Fargo were indeed the holder of the Note properly indorsed in blank by ABN Amro, Wells Fargo could enforce the Note and the Deed of Trust even if it was not the owner or investor on the Note or properly assigned of Deed of Trust,8 citing SMS Fin., Ltd. Liab. Co. v. ABCO Homes, Inc., 167 F.3d 235, 238 (5th Cir. 1999) (under Texas law, “[t]o recover on a promissory note, the plaintiff must prove: (1) the existence of the note in question; (2) that the party sued signed the note; (3) that the plaintiff is the owner or holder of the note; and (4) that a certain balance is due and owing on the note”) (emphasis added), and In re Pastran, 2010 Bankr. LEXIS 2237, ….

Perhaps wary of relying on an assignment by the assignee to itself without authorization by the purported assignor, Wells Fargo has waived reliance on the July 12, 2010 Assignment of Mortgage to establish its right to assert Claim No. 1‐2, looking only to its status as a holder of the Note. It indeed appears that Mr. Kennerty’s signature on the Assignment of Mortgage was improper in either of his capacities, as an officer of Wells Fargo or as an officer of MERS, without further authorization from Washington Mutual Bank, FA, because ABN Amro assigned MERS the Deed of Trust solely in MERS’ capacity as nominee for Washington Mutual Bank, FA, without the power of foreclosure and sale in its own right and not for its own successors and assigns as well as Washington Mutual Bank, FA’s; and MERS (through Mr. Kennerty) executed the Assignment of Mortgage solely as nominee for Washington Mutual Bank, FA. Compare Kramer v. Fannie Mae, 540 Fed. Appx. 319, 320 (5th Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 1310, 188 L. Ed. 2d 305 (2014) (MERS could assign deed of trust made out to it that specifically granted MERS the power to foreclose and assign its rights); Silver Gryphon, L.L.C. v. Bank of Am. NA, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168950, at *11‐12 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 7, 2013) (same); Richardson v. CitiMortgage, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123445, at *3, *13‐14 (E.D. Tex. Nov. 22, 2010) (same), and Nueces County v. MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93424, at *20 (S.D. Tex. July 3, 2013); In re Fontes, 2011 Bankr. LEXIS 1792, at *11‐13 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Apr. 22, 2011); and In re Weisband, 427 B.R. 13, 20 (Bankr. D. Az. 2010) (MERS as mere “nominee” of mortgage holder lacks power to transfer enforceable mortgage)…..

Because it is undisputed that (a) the Debtor signed the Note (and received the loan proceeds)11 and (b) a properly recorded lien on the Property secures the Debtor’s obligation under the Note (albeit that Wells Fargo does not rely independently on the Deed of Trust assigned to ABN AMRO and then

10 See Supplement to Emergency Motion to Reopen and for Leave to Propound Additional Discovery to Defendant for Additional Evidence Withheld Prior to Trial, dated March 11, 2014.

11 See Trial Tr. at 95‐6 (testimony of the Debtor).


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assigned to MERS as nominee for Washington Mutual Bank, FA (none of which has filed a proof of claim) or the Assignment of Mortgage to sustain its claim), the only issue addressed by the parties is whether Wells Fargo has standing to enforce the Note, and, thus, assert Claim No. 1‐2.12 This is because, as stated above, Texas follows the majority rule that “[w]hen a mortgage note is transferred, the mortgage or deed of trust is also automatically transferred to the note holder by virtue of the common‐law rule that ‘the mortgage follows the note.’” Campbell v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 4030, at *11‐12 (Tex. App. Austin May 18, 2012), quoting J.W.D., Inc. v. Fed. Ins. Co., 806 S.W.2d 327, 329‐30 (Tex. App. Austin 1991). See also Kiggundu v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 469 Fed. Appx. 330, 332; Richardson v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177471, at *13 n.4 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 21, 2014); Nguyen v. Fannie Mae., 958 F. Supp. 2d 781, 790 n.11 (S.D. Tex. 2013); Trimm v. U.S. Bank., N.A., 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 7880, at *14 (Tex. App. Fort Worth July 17, 2014)…..

Wells Fargo’s right to enforce the Note, and thus its standing to assert Claim No. 1‐2, derives from the Note’s status as a negotiable instrument under Texas’ version of the U.C.C. See Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 3.104(a). The Debtor has not disputed that the Note is negotiable, and the Note in any event satisfies the requirements of a negotiable instrument under Texas law, as it is “an unconditional promise . . . to pay a fixed amount of money . . . payable to . . . order at the time it [was] issued; . . . payable . . . at a definite time; and does not state any other undertaking or instruction by the person promising or ordering payment to do any act in addition to the payment of money” except as permitted by the statute. Id. See also Farkas v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190194, at *6‐7 (W.D. Tex. June 22, 2012), aff’d, 544 Fed. Appx. 324 (5th Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 628, 187 L. Ed. 411

12 One might argue, although Wells Fargo has not, that the parties’ pre‐bankruptcy course of dealing, including the Loan Modification Agreement signed by the Debtor on February 12, 2008 and attached to Claim No 1‐2 (See also Trial Tr. at 96‐104), would independently support Wells Fargo’s right to assert Claim No. 1‐2; however, if the blank ABN Amro indorsement were forged, the Loan Modification Agreement and course of dealing would ultimately improperly derive from Wells Fargo’s fraudulent assertion of the right to enforce the Note and Deed of Trust.


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(2013); Steinberg v. Bank. of Am., N.A., 2013 Bankr. LEXIS 2230, at *12‐14 (B.A.P. 10th Cir. May 30, 2013)…..

“The presumption rests upon the fact that in ordinary experience forged or unauthorized signatures are very uncommon, and normally any evidence is within the control of, or more accessible to, the defendant.”15 Official Comment to Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 3.308 (“Off. Cmt.”). The presumption is effectively incorporated into Fed. R. Evid. 902(9), which provides that no extrinsic evidence of authenticity is required to admit “[c]ommercial paper, a signature on it, and related documents, to the extent allowed by general commercial law,” and it is loosely analogous to the rebuttable presumption of the prima facie validity of a properly filed proof of claim under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 3001(f).

While Tex. Bus. & Com. Code §§ 3.308(a) and 1.206(a) provide that the presumption of an authentic signature applies “unless and until evidence is introduced that supports a finding of nonexistence,” they do not state the quantum of evidence to overcome the presumption. The Official Comment to § 3.308, however, refers to “some evidence” and to “some sufficient showing of the grounds for the denial before the plaintiff is required to introduce evidence,” and then states, “[t]he defendant’s evidence need not be sufficient to require a directed verdict, but it must be enough to support the denial by permitting a finding in the defendant’s favor.” Off. Cmt. 1 to § 3.308.16 This suggests that the required evidentiary showing to overcome the presumption is similar to that needed to defeat a summary judgment motion: the introduction of sufficient evidence so that a reasonable trier of fact in the context of the dispute could find in the defendant’s favor. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587‐88 (1986); 11 Moore’s Fed. Prac. 3d § 56.22[2] (2014). Because of the general factual context described in the Official Comment, which recognizes that “in ordinary experience forged or unauthorized signatures are very uncommon,” Off. Cmt. 1 to § 3.308, courts have nevertheless required a significant amount of evidence to overcome the presumption. See In re Phillips, 491 B.R. 255, 273 n. 37 (Bankr. D. Nev. 2013) (“This evidence was inconclusive at best. Against this background, the court is prepared to believe that it is more likely that [the claimant] negligently failed to copy the Note and First Allonge when it filed its [first] Proof of Claim rather than it forged the First Allonge later on. In short, when both are equally likely, the court picks sloth over venality.”); see also Congress v. U.S. Bank. N.A., 98 So. 3d 1165, 1169 (Civ. App. Ala. 2012) (referring to requirement of substantial, though not clear and convincing, evidence to rebut the presumption under U.C.C. §§ 3‐308(a) and 1‐206(a), although directing trial court on remand to apply preponderance‐of‐ the‐evidence standard to whether the presumption was overcome)….

See People v. Richetti, 302 N.Y. 290, 298 (1951) (“A presumption of regularity exists only until contrary substantial evidence appears. . . . It forces the opposing party (defendant here) to go forward with proof but, once he does go forward, the presumption is out of the case.”). Thus, in In re Phillips, 491 B.R. at 273 n. 37, quoted above, if the presumption had been overcome by a preponderance of the evidence and the burden shifted and forgery and negligence were found to be equally likely, the holder of the note should lose.

Because Wells Fargo does not rely on the Assignment of Mortgage to prove its claim, the foregoing evidence is helpful to the Debtor only indirectly, insofar as it goes to show that the blank indorsement, upon which Wells Fargo is relying, was forged. Nevertheless it does show a general willingness and practice on Wells Fargo’s part to create documentary evidence, after‐the‐fact, when enforcing its claims, WHICH IS EXTRAORDINARY…..

Wells Fargo has not carried that burden. To do so, it offered only Mr. Campbell’s testimony and, through him, certain exhibits copied from Wells Fargo’s loan file. That testimony was not helpful to it. Mr. Campbell was not involved in the administration of the Debtor’s loan until he became a potential witness in 2013. Trial Tr. at 37. He was not involved in the preparation of Claim No 1‐2. Id. at 37. He had nothing to say about the circumstances under which the blank ABN Amro indorsement appeared on the Note attached to Claim No. 1‐2, with the exception that he located the earliest entry in the electronic loan file where that version of the Note was recorded, pulled up its image and compared it to the original shown him by Wells Fargo’s counsel. Id. at 33, 36, 49‐50. He was offered, therefore, only to qualify Wells Fargo’s proposed exhibits, copied from Wells Fargo’s loan file, as falling within Fed. R. Evid. 803(6)’s business records exception to a hearsay objection under Fed. R. Evid. 802 and to testify that a copy of the Note with the blank ABN Amro indorsement appears in Wells Fargo’s electronic records before the preparation of Wells Fargo’s initial proof of claim in this case….

In large measure, Mr. Campbell was not up to that task (and Wells Fargo offered no other evidence to meet that standard, were the Court to impose it). Mr. Campbell did not know whether there was any person overseeing the accuracy of how the records in the system were stored and maintained. Id. at 32, 40, 42‐3. He did not know who controlled access to the system or the procedure for limiting access, except to say “[A]ccess is granted as needed.” Id. at 40‐1. He did not know of any procedures for backing up or auditing the system. Id. at 42. He stated, “I am not a technology person” and was not able to answer what technology ensures the accuracy of the date and time stamping of the entry of documents into the imaging system. Trial Tr. at 22. In his deposition, he testified that he did not know whether the dates and times of the entry of documents in the system could be changed, but at trial he stated that, after his deposition, “I attempted to look into this, and, to my knowledge, I am not aware of any way to change or remove attachments into the imaging system,” id. at 43, which, given his general lack of knowledge about how the system works and failure to explain the basis for his assertion, did not inspire confidence….

Moreover, in addition to the fact that the specially indorsed version of the Note appears on its own in the file on March 27, 2007, and not as part of an “origination file,” Wells Fargo has offered no explanation, let alone evidence, of who else, if not Wells Fargo, held the original of the Note with the blank ABN Amro indorsement before December 28, 2009, if, in fact, such a version then existed. The file provided by the transferor should have included it, if it did exist during that period, because Washington Mutual Bank, FA would not have been able to enforce the Note, either, without the blank indorsement, and the Assignment of Deed of Trust attached to the proofs of claim states that both the Note and Deed of Trust were transferred to MERS as nominee for Washington Mutual Bank, FA on June 20, 2002, effective November 16, 2001. In other words, why would only an outdated and unenforceable version of the Note have been logged in by Wells Fargo when it took over the file in February 2007 if the only enforceable version of the Note had in fact existed at that time (and should have existed since 2002)? The far more likely inference, instead, is that when the loan was transferred to Wells Fargo, the Note with the blank ABN Amro indorsement did not exist.

Why would the Note with the blank ABN Amro indorsement have appeared in Wells Fargo’s file only on December 28, 2009, twenty‐two months later? Wells Fargo has not provided an explanation, supported by evidence, replying only that the question is irrelevant. All that matters, Wells Fargo contends, is that the enforceable document was imaged into its records before the Debtor’s counsel started raising questions about Claim No 1‐1.


MERS Assignments VOID

For further information please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688


While there are a number of cases that discuss the role of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), this tells the story in the shortest amount of time. MERS was only a nominee to track the off-record claims from multiple parties participating in what we call the securitization of loans. It now appears that the securitization in most cases never took place but the banks and their affiliates are foreclosing in the name of REMIC trusts anyway, relying on “presumptions” to “prove” that the Trust actually purchased and took possession of the alleged loan. In every case I know of  where the homeowner was allowed to probe deeply into the issues of whether the Trust actually received the loan, it has either been determined that the Trust didn’t own the loan, or the case was settled before the court could announce that ruling.

Decided in April of last year, this case slams Aurora, who was and remains one of the worst offenders in the category of fraudulent foreclosures. The Court decided that since the basis of the claim was an assignment from MERS who had no interest int he debt, note or mortgage, there were no “successors.” This logic is irrefutable. And as regular readers know from reading this blog I believe the same logic applies to any other party who has no interest in the debt, note or mortgage — like an unfunded “originator” whose name appears on not only the Mortgage, like MERS, but also on the note.

Judges have trouble with that analysis because in their minds they think the homeowner is trying to get a free house. Even if that were true, it doesn’t change the correct application of law. But the opposite is true. The homeowner is trying to stop the foreclosing party from getting a free house and the homeowner is trying  to find his creditor. I actually had a judge yesterday rule that the source of funds, ownership and balance was essentially irrelevant. Discovery on nearly all issues was blocked by his ruling, leaving the trial to be a very short affair since the defenses have been eliminated by that Judge by express ruling.

The attorney representing the bank basically argued that the case was simple and that anything that happened prior to the alleged default was also irrelevant. The Judge agreed. So when a trial judge makes such rulings, he or she is basically narrowing the issue down to when we were just starting out in 2007 in what I call the dark ages. The trial becomes mostly clerical in which the only relevant issues are whether the homeowner received a loan and whether the homeowner stopped paying. All other issues are treated as irrelevant defenses, including the behavior of the “servicer” whose authority cannot be questioned (because of the presumption raised by an apparently facially valid instrument of virtually ANY sort).

The moral of the story is persistence and appeal. I believe that such rulings are reversible potentially even as interlocutory appeals as to affirmative defenses and discovery. If anyone files a lawsuit they should be required to answer all potential questions about that that lawsuit in good faith. That is what discovery is for. The strategy of moving to strike affirmative defenses is meant to cut off discovery to the point where no defenses can be raised or proven. And cutting off discovery is what the foreclosers need to do or they will face sanctions, charges of fraud, perjury and worse when the real facts are revealed.

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