Old Habits Die Hard: Rescission Confusion Continues Despite Supreme Court Clarity

You know something stupid is going on when you see tens of millions of dollars spent on ads enticing consumers to get a loan at 2.99%. There is no profit at that rate so something else is going on — leading to the conclusion that disclosure from the start has been misleading — unknown to the borrower.


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

This is not a legal opinion on your case. Consult a qualified, knowledgeable licensed attorney in the jurisdiction in which your property is located.


Let me put it this way: even the borrower lacks the authority to undo the rescission which is effective by operation of law. The loan, the note and mortgage are canceled. If the borrower wants to reinstate them, the borrower would need to get together with the creditor and sign new documents for a new loan transaction.

see Hiding-in-Plain-Sight_-Jesinoski-and-the-Consumer_s-Right-of-Rescind

A recent law review article from the law school at Duke University gets a lot of things right. But it still gets some key points wrong. You will see highlighted portions that raise questions if you click on the link above. But overall it does provide excellent background on the Truth in Lending Act and rescission.

Some of the errors I found —-

The twenty days applies to the duties of the “lender” or “creditor” not to the borrower and the writer completely misses the point in that sentence when he says that the lender must “return the property.” The creditor does not have the property. It might be that this is just poor wording. But as it is written, it is wrong.

There is no procedural bar to asserting the rescission. It is effective by operation of law. That means it is a fact — not a claim yet to be determined. Whether he meant to say that he agreed with what the court was doing or he just got it wrong, I don’t know. Once again we see some very intelligent people who have done a lot of study but still can’t get their heads around a very simple proposition — the statute says the rescission is effective by operation of law. There is nothing left to be done. That means the note and mortgage are void (REG Z and Jesinoski). This is substantive law and not subject to change by any procedural rules.

Footnote 102 is also poorly worded indicating that rescission under common law can be effected without suit. It is ONLY TILA rescission that can cancel the loan without suit.

His conclusion is also poorly worded adding to the confusion out there. He should have said that the rescission is effective by operation of law and that from that point forward the loan contract, the note and the mortgage have been nullified and are void, as stated under Reg Z.

Without this point of clarity the simple TILA rescission “procedure” is lost. The big mistake is that people, judges and lawyers continue to view rescission as a pending claim — despite the US Supreme Court stating that courts cannot interpret a statute without finding ambiguity (and being right about that) they don’t have power to change, add, amend or modify the the express wording of the statute. After rescission is sent there is no pending claim. After rescission is sent there is only the fact that the note and mortgage are gone.

My attempt at clarification would be said as follows: if you are in a court or in a transaction after a notice of rescission has been sent, then the previous note and mortgage no longer exist. No court action may be undertaken on an instrument that does not exist. No transaction can ignore the fact that the note and mortgage were canceled and under Reg Z are void.

Lawyers and some scholars continue to miss the point — despite the Jesinoski decision, unanimously in the US Supreme Court (a place where all arguments cease because it is the court of last resort). Old habits die hard. Sanctity of contract seems to be causing a kind of mental pollution causing many people to continue to assert positions based upon the premise that in order for the loan, mortgage and note to be canceled and rendered void upon mailing the notice of rescission, some court action is required or permitted. Let me put it this way: even the borrower lacks the authority to undo the rescission which is effective by operation of law. The loan, the note and mortgage are canceled. If the borrower wants to reinstate them, the borrower would need to get together with the creditor and sign new documents for a new loan transaction.

Pretender Mender: Foreclosure Crisis Continues to Rise Despite Obama Team Reports

Despite various “reports” from the Obama Administration and writers in the fields of real estate, mortgages and finance, the crisis is still looming as the main drag on the economy. Besides the fact that complete strangers are “getting the house” after multiple payments were received negating any claim of default, it is difficult to obtain financing for a new purchase for the millions of families who have been victims of the mortgage PONZI scheme. In addition, people are finding out that these intermediaries who received an improper stamp of approval from the courts are now pursuing deficiency judgments against people who cooperated or lost the foreclosure litigation. And now we have delinquency rates rising on mortgages that in all probability should never be enforced. And servicers are still pursuing strategies to lure or push homeowners into foreclosure.

For more information on foreclosure offense, expert witness consultations and foreclosure defense please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. We offer litigation support in all 50 states to attorneys. We refer new clients without a referral fee or co-counsel fee unless we are retained for litigation support. Bankruptcy lawyers take note: Don’t be too quick admit the loan exists nor that a default occurred and especially don’t admit the loan is secured. FREE INFORMATION, ARTICLES AND FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG. Consultations available by appointment in person, by Skype and by phone.


Most people simply allowed the foreclosure to happen. Many even cleaned the home before leaving the keys on the kitchen counter. They never lifted a finger in defense. As predicted many times on this blog and in my appearances, it isn’t over. We are in the fifth inning of a nine inning game.

Losing homes that have sometimes been in the family for many generations results in a sharp decline in household wealth leaving the homeowner with virtually no offset to the household debt. Even if the family has recovered in terms of producing at least a meager income that would support a down-sized home, they cannot get a mortgage because of a policy of not allowing mortgage financing to anyone who has a foreclosure on their record within the past three years.

To add insult to injury, the banks posing as lenders in the 6 million+ foreclosures are now filing deficiency judgments to continue the illusion that the title is clear and the judgment of foreclosure was valid. People faced with these suits are now in the position of having failed to litigate the validity of the mortgage or foreclosure. But all is not lost. A deficiency judgment is presumptively valid, but in the litigation the former homeowners can send out discovery requests to determine ownership and balance of the alleged debt. Whether judges will allow that discovery is something yet to be seen. But the risk to those companies filing deficiency judgments is that the aggressive litigators defending the deficiency actions might well be able to peak under the hood of the steam roller that produced the foreclosure in the first instance.

What they will find is that there is an absence of actual transactions supporting the loans, assignments, endorsements etc. that were used to get the Court to presume that the documents were valid — i.e., that absent proof from the borrower, the rebuttable assumption of validity of the documents that refer to such transactions forces the homeowner to assume a burden of proof based upon facts that are in the sole care, custody and control of the pretender lender. If the former homeowner can do what they should have done in the first place, they will open up Pandora’s box. The loan on paper was not backed by a transaction where the “lender” loaned any money. The assignment was not backed by a purchase transaction of the loan. And even where there was a transfer for value, the “assignment turns out to be merely an offer that neither trust nor trustee of the REMIC trust was allowed to accept.

All evidence, despite narratives to the contrary, shows that not only have foreclosures not abated, they are rising. Delinquencies are rising, indicating a whole new wave of foreclosures on their way — probably after the November elections.




Another Short Treatise on Securitization

Patrick Giunta brought this article to my attention. He practices in South Florida and I co-counsel cases with him. Although there are some errors in facts and I have some differences of opinion with the writer, I think the article is a MUST-READ for anyone effected by “securitization” — especially foreclosure defense attorneys. If nothing else there is corroboration of what I have said all along. The entire thing is the emperor’s new clothes — see article I wrote about 7 years ago. If you don’t understand that, then you don’t know how to cross examine the “corporate representative” at trial.

The following is an excerpt from the article, and the link to the entire article is below:

“A serious problem with modern securitization is that it destroys “privity.” Privity of contract is the traditional notion that there are two parties to a contract and that only a party to the contract can enforce or renegotiate that contract. Put simply, if A and B have a contract, C cannot enforce B’s rights against A (unless A expressly agrees or C otherwise shows a lawful agency relationship with B). The frustration for Joe is that he cannot find the other party to his transaction. When Joe talks to his “bank” (really his Servicer) and tries to renegotiate his loan, his bank tells him that a mysterious “investor” will not approve. He can’t do this because they don’t exist, have been paid or don’t have the authority to negotiate Joe’s loan.

“Joe’s ultimate “investor” is the Fed, as evidenced by the trillion of MBSs on its balance sheet. Although Fannie/Freddie purportedly now “own” 80 percent of all U.S. “mortgage loans,” Fannie/Freddie are really just the Fed’s repo agents. Joe has no privity relationship with Fannie/Freddie. Fannie, Freddie and the Fed know this. So they are using the Bailout Banks to frontrun the process – the Bailout Bank (who also have no cognizable connection to the note and therefore no privity relationship with Joe) conducts a fraudulent foreclosure by creating a “record title” right to foreclose and, when the fraudulent process is over, hands the bag of stolen loot (Joe’s home) to Fannie and Freddie.”


Why They Sue as Holder and Not as Holder in Due Course

Parties claiming a right to foreclose allege they are the “Holder” and do not allege they are the holder in due course (HDC) because they are ducking the issue of consideration required by both Article 3 and Article 9 of the UCC. So far their strategy of confusion is working. They are directly or impliedly claiming they are the holder of the NOTE. They cannot claim they are the holder of the MORTGAGE, because no such status exists — they either own the mortgage encumbrance because they paid for it or they didn’t. If they didn’t pay for it, they cannot enforce it even if they still can enforce the note.

The framers of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) had a plan they executed in Article 3 and Article 9 of the UCC, as adopted by 49 states (Louisiana, excepted). They had four (4) problems to solve.

Consider two possible fact patterns, to wit: first the payee (“lender”) did in fact fund the loan putting cash in the hands of the borrower or paying debts on the borrower’s behalf; second, the payee (“originator”) gets the borrower to sign the note but fails or refuses or never intended to fund the loan of money to the borrower. In the first instance the note is evidence of a real debt whereas in the second instance the note is not evidence of a real debt.

This issue has been obscured by the fact that SOMEONE (“investors”) did fund a loan. The questions posed here is whether the investors received the protection of a note and mortgage and if they didn’t, what is the effect of advancing funds for a loan without getting the required evidence of the loan (Promissory Note) and without getting the collateral (Mortgage) that would ordinarily apply.

The Four Goals

First, the UCC framers wanted to encourage the free flow of commerce by making certain instruments the equivalent of cash. The Payee should be able to use such instruments in trading for goods, services, or credit. This is the promissory note — a written instrument containing an unconditional promise to pay a certain amount. The timing of the payments, the amount, the terms, the method of payment must all be obvious from the face of the note without reference to any outside evidence (parol evidence) that could reduce or eliminate the value of the note. If there are questions or conditions apparent from the face of the instrument, it fails the test of a negotiable instrument or cash equivalent. That means that Article 3, UCC doesn’t apply.

Second they wanted to protect the issuer of the note (the payor) from the effects of fraud, improper lending practices and other deprive lending policies and practices from any false claims for payment on the note. If the Payor (homeowner, borrower) received no benefit from the Payee but was somehow induced to sign the note in anticipation of receiving the benefit, then the Payee should not be able to collect from the Payor. This goal conflicts with the first goal only when the note is sold to an innocent third party for value who had no notice of the defective nature of the origins of the note (Holder in Due Course -HDC).

Thus third, in order to maintain the status of cash equivalent paper, they had to provide a mechanism in which an innocent third party was protected when they advanced money for the purchase of the note without having any notice of the borrower’s defenses. This would allow the buyer to sue the payor (borrower, debtor) and collect free of any potential defenses. The burden of the borrower’s claims would then fall on the borrower to collect damages against the original payee for wrongful acts. (Article 3, UCC, Holder in Due Course -HDC).

And in order to allow all such notes to be enforceable regardless of the circumstances of their origin, any party holding the note (“Holder”) can enforce the note if they have physical possession of the note, even if they paid nothing for it, as long as it is endorsed to them. But if they are a HOLDER and not a HOLDER IN DUE COURSE then they sue subject to all of the borrower’s defenses. The central issue is whether the Holder has paid for the note, in which case they would be in HDC status or if they did not pay for the note, in which case they enforce subject to all borrower’s defenses — including the allegation that the original payee never made the loan.

Fourth was the issue of forfeiture of collateral. This is considered the most extreme remedy under commercial law, analogous to the death penalty in criminal cases. (Article 9, UCC — secured transactions). It is one thing to preserve liquidity in the marketplace by protecting the investment of innocent third parties who purchase negotiable instruments from defenses — and quite another to cause forfeiture of home or property. Here again, the language of Article 3 is used for an HDC — i.e., an assignment of the mortgage is enforceable ONLY if the Assignor paid for it and had no notice of borrower’s defenses.

So they devised a structure in which a bona fide purchaser of the paper without notice of the borrower’s defenses would be called a holder in due course. They could sue the borrower despite wrongful behavior by the original payee on the unconditional promise to pay (the note). In the event of fraud in the sale of the note, the new owner of the note could sue both the seller (Assignor, endorser or indorser).

Then they considered the possibility of wrongful behavior: the issuance of such commercial paper would be a claim, but not negotiable paper — but if it was sold anyway it would be subject to the borrower’s defenses. This allows outside evidence (parol evidence) — which is to say that in this fact pattern, the promise to pay was conditional on the value and effect of the borrower’s defenses. The HOLDER of this instrument need not pay for the sale of the note and need not be ignorant of the borrower’s defenses. This holder could sue both the payor (borrower, debtor) and the party who transferred the note — depending upon the agreement that accompanied the transfer of the note by delivery and indorsement.

The party who accepts indorsement without paying for the note or even knowing of potential borrower defenses can still enforce the note, but unlike the the HOLDER IN DUE COURSE, the Payor (Borrower) could raise all defenses to the original transaction. The UCC Article 3 calls this a holder. A holder need not purchase the note and may have actual knowledge of the borrower’s defenses but can still sue the payor (borrower) for the principal amount due on the unconditional promise to pay.

I have noticed that most judicial foreclosures are either in rem (foreclosures only) or the claim on the note is that the Plaintiff is a “holder.” If they have possession and it is indorsed, they are probably a holder entitled to enforce the note. But the Defendant can raise all available defenses just as he or she would do if the fight was with the originator of the note execution. And nothing is a better defense than the distinction between being the originator of the note execution and the originator of the loan. The confusion over the term “originator” has allowed millions of foreclosures to be completed despite the fact that the “holder” neither paid for the note nor could they claim they were ignorant of the borrower’s defenses.

This confusion has led most courts to look at Article 3, UCC, instead of Article 9, UCC. Neither allow the claimant to sue on either the note or the mortgage without having paid for the assignment of the mortgage or delivery of the note, if the holder has actual notice of borrower’s defenses. In most cases the claimant either has the knowledge of the fraud and predatory practices at closing or is a made to order controlled company of a real party who has such knowledge.

In conclusion, borrowers should prevail in foreclosure litigation in situations where the claimant is unable to prove the identity of the actual lender who advanced funds, or where the claimant has failed to purchase the mortgage.

Based upon vast quantities of information in the public domain including investor lawsuits, insurer lawsuits and government agency lawsuits (all alleging FRAUD and mismanagement of funds) against broker dealers who sold mortgage bonds, it seems highly likely that in the 96% of all loans between 2001-2009 that are subject to claims of securitization three things are true:

(1) the securitization plan was never followed in most cases thus making the investors direct lenders without benefit of a note or mortgage and

(2) none of the parties “holding” paper possess any of the qualities of a party who could have standing to foreclose and

(3) claims still exist on the notes, even though they were not supported by consideration but those claims are unsecured and subject to all defenses that could have been raised against the originator.

Neil F Garfield, Esq.

For further information call 520-405-1688, or 954-495-9867. Do not use the above information without consulting an attorney licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property is located and who knows all the facts of your case. The above article is a general description and may not apply to your case.

How Does Insurance Payee Match Up with Claims of Ownership of the Loan?

There have been many admissions by government officials and even parties to the litigation over mortgage Foreclosures to the effect that at this point the ownership of most loans is in doubt. Even President Obama said it, reflecting the views and advice of the senior advisors at the White House. On appeal, recently in California, BOTH sides admitted they had no way of identifying the true creditor — and that is why we have all this litigation, why we have gridlock on modifications and settlements. So what do we do?

One insurance expert I interviewed suggested that his industry might solve the problem, but I think his points raise more questions than answers. Nonetheless, to prove the question, and overcome certain presumptions that are legally applied, examining the insurance policies and the changes that occur in forced placed insurance might reveal the issues and even illuminate the potential solution.

Bank of America is an example of a bank that rushes to take any excuse to place insurance from their own carrier BalBOA, naming BOA as the loss payee on liability policies. The usual previous loss payee was someone else — perhaps the originator or some alleged assignee. The procedure of forced placed insurance creates both additional income to the bank and skips over the question of who owns the loan. When the insurance is reinstated or shown to have never lapsed in the the first place, it often names BOA thus lending support to the bank’s position that it is the owner of the loan.

Looking at the title insurance, who is the loss payee? Besides the owner’s policy there is a rider for the mortgagee named in the mortgage. Of course that party may not be a mortgagee when the mortgage is examined carefully. But changes in loss payees under title insurance usually requires notice and consent of the owner of the property.

Thus the question could be asked in Discovery about who was responsible for tracking title insurance, liability insurance and PMI, why does the policy name a loss payee other than the bank claiming ownership and what efforts were made by the bank to correct the identity of the creditor?

The same thing applies to PMI. If the payee is somebody different than the Forecloser you will notice that none of the banks allege that this is a breach of the mortgage contract. Why not? I think it is because the insurer would demand more proof than what is offered in court as to ownership and that the bank would not be able to satisfy the insurer that it had an insurable interest in the property.

Why Do Subservicers Continue to Pay Investors After Borrower Stops Paying?

It is now common knowledge that subservicers are continuing to pay investors and reporting the loan as “performing” after they have sent a default and right to reinstate notice as required by the mortgage (usually paragraph 22) and by the uniform debt collection laws. The first problem about this is that the actual creditor does not show a default whereas the bookkeeper Servicer is declaring the default. With the investor receiving his regular payments, how can a default exist? This appears to apply to securitized student loans as well.

Bottom line is that the subservicer is reporting to the borrower that the loan is in default but reporting to the investor (the creditor) that it isn’t in default. These payments have gone on for as long as 18 months that I have seen. Which brings us back to the first articles ever written on this blog.

The borrower is only required to make payments that are DUE. The payment isn’t due if it is already been made and there is nothing to reinstate if the creditor has already received his expected payment. The payments are NOT DUE TO THE SERVICER. They are due to the creditor. If the creditor received the payment on that loan as shown in the distribution report to the creditor, then the conditions necessary to declare that the loan is in default are not present. Remember that the presence of a table funded loan, an aggregator, the securitization, the trust was withheld from the borrower. The banks could have covered themselves by adding to the mortgage and note that third party payments to the creditor will not reduce the payments, principal or interest. But if they had done that, they would have required to answer so e uncomfortable questions.

The second issue is the constant question “Why would they continue making payments to the ‘creditor’ when they are not receiving payments from the borrower?” And “Where are they getting the money to pay the creditor?”

After talking with sources from deep inside the industry the answer to why they are paying is primarily to sell more bonds and hide the default issues. The secondary reason is to make the investor complacent about the accounting for what was really received on account of the loans and from whom. That inquiry could lead to a demand from the investor for payment in full and if the REMIC doesn’t pay, then the investors sue the investment banker who was the one playing with OPM (other people’s money).

The answer to the second question is that the money comes from the investment banker. Whether the investment banker is merely using the investor’s money (allowed under prospectus) or using insurance proceeds or payments on CDS (credit default swaps) or even sale proceeds to the Federal Reserve varies. Either way it is an effort to keep money that should go to the investor and reduce the amount payable to the investor and which would reduce or eliminate the debt owed by the homeowner to the investor. It is fraud, theft and probably a bunch of other things.

How to Win the Case

There many ways to win a case, so what I am saying in this article should be taken in the context of a larger reality where lawyers are winning hearings and winning the entire case using their own style, strategies and tactics. And it is equally true that any case management plan, regardless of the brilliance behind it, can still result in a loss. So this article should not be taken as my way or the highway, but rather just my way.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the argument that many lawyers are using at the beginning of the case should really be reserved until the end if the case — closing argument at trial, or argument at motions in limine, motions for summary judgment etc.

The narrative at the end of the case must be based upon evidence that you have built, brick by brick, and which has been admitted in evidence or at least is presumed correct by the time you make your arguments. The error of pro se litigants and many lawyers is that in the absence of knowledge and experience in trial law, they attempt to insert the final narrative at the beginning of the case, when it is neither credible on its face nor supported by anything in the record. Evidence, for the most part, consists of facts that are admitted into evidence or presumed true. In early motion practice and discovery requests and motions there is no evidence except that the Plaintiff’s complaint is usually presumed or deemed to be true for purposes of the motion and argument.

If you wish to challenge the foreclosure complaint or the notice of sale in non-judicial states it is necessary for you to know the facts and know the defects of the case presented by your opposition. Announcing your narrative at the beginning merely telegraphs your case plan and locks you into an argument about why you are saying what you are saying.

For that reason I question the wisdom of filing counterclaims against the foreclosing party since your claim probably does not arise until it is determined that the foreclosure action was wrongful. This is a matter some considerable debate amongst lawyers who believe that the borrower’s claims are compulsory counterclaims that are waived unless filed in the first action that litigates the validity of the foreclosure. So it is a tricky call and only a licensed practicing attorney can give you an opinion upon which you could rely in your strategy. My belief is that most of the issues presented by the planned counterclaim should fit nicely into affirmative defenses and set up the claim for wrongful foreclosure, Slander of title etc.

So knowing your theory of the case is important as a guidepost for your early discovery and motion practice. But what you need to do is attack the basic facts and presumptions alleged by your opposition. Where do you start? In judicial states there are frequently rules requiring the verification of the complaint. Taking the deposition of the person who verified the complaint is a good idea.

Making them bring the documents and media upon which they relied might require the place of deposition to be their place of work and for lawyers to arrange for video deposition. The interesting reaction of your opposition is likely to be a motion for protective order. At this hearing you can probably get an order requiring that the person show up, perhaps permitting access to the workplace for your forensic ediscovery expert, and to bring documents “upon which she or he relied.”

My experience is that the presumptions in favor of the banks start cracking during the fight about deposing the verifier and the designated representative (the next deposition duces Tecum). The Bank will want to block access to the person who signed the verification. They will want to limit the inquiry to the designated corporate representative. Keep in mind that you also want to depose the witness who will testify at trial find out why that witness is different from the one they produced as the corporate representative with the “most” knowledge at deposition and why both if them are different than the person who verified the complaint.

By demonstrating the stonewalling and delays imposed by the bank who supposedly has an interest in getting to foreclosure sale, judges recognize that there is something odd about the case. Asking for and offering an expedited discovery schedule in a motion for status conference will also help set the stage for your accusation that the delaying party is the plaintiff or the foreclosing party. Being the aggressor can convey the impression that the borrower is not the perpetrator, but rather the victim of wrongful behavior.

Early subpoenas and motions will remove the impression that are just buying time. Strategies for buying time even if allowed by the court, basically show that you are admitting the debt, note, mortgage, foreclosure sale and credit bid but want your client to get a few months of free rent. You are digging the wrong hole if your case strategy encourages the judge to believe that the debt, note and mortgage, and the assignments are all valid and that the borrower is looking for a break.

Early proactive litigation can highlight the fact that the bank is backing up and only wants to fight uncontested cases. It is a way to take control of the narrative gradually, so that when it comes to the motions for summary judgment (including your own cross motion), you have an opening for victory as Mark Stopa has done in Florida at least make it clear that there are material issues of fact in dispute.

The absence of early proactive discovery and motions speaks loudly that the homeowner really has no defense because otherwise they would have pursued the proof.

Getting experienced trial attorneys who understand this article is not easy. Most cases settle, and most people are at least initially happy to remove the stressor imminent foreclosure and eviction. But without presenting a credible threat to the opposition, the settlement, if it happens at all is not going to offer much in terms of relief. And the cost of just getting free rent is not retaining your house and not having offset and complaints for damages for wrongful foreclosure. When you sit and do nothing you are conforming to the playbook of the bank. In the end they get the foreclosure, they evict the homeowner and the homeowner gets nothing except a black mark on their credit history.

We offer a forms library that will help reduce the work and cost of an attorney if he or she uses them as templates. Write to neilfgarfield@hotmail.com to inquire. But there are also dozens of free forms and templates you can get from foreclosure defense forms n the left side of this blog. THEY SHOULD NOT BE USED WITHOUT CONSULTING AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN THE JURISDICTION IN WHICH THEN PROPERTY IS LOCATED.


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