Why Everyone (except SCOTUS) is Wrong About TILA Rescission

All contrary arguments are erroneous since they would insert a contingency where the statute contains no room for any contingency. The language of the statute bars any such contingency when it says that the TILA Rescission is effective upon delivery, by operation of law. If anyone wants the statute to say or mean anything different they must get their remedy from the legislature, not the courts, who have no authority whatsoever to interpret the statute otherwise. The status of any case involving foreclosure is that it does not exist. Hence the court is left ONLY with the power to perform the ministerial act of dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction.

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

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

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So in answer to questions about putative “modifications”, eviction or unlawful detainer, bankruptcy, and TILA Rescission this is what I have written in response to some inquiries.

Should the rescission be recorded? Not necessarily but

YES. I would like to see it recorded. You need to check with the clerk in the recording office or an attorney who understands recording procedure. Generally recording a document with an old date must be attached to an affidavit that is recorded with the notice of rescission attached. The affidavit explains that the attachment was inadvertently not recorded at the time it was created.

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Should a copy of the notice of rescission be filed in the court record also?

YES. If there is any way to get the recorded document into the court record, it should be pursued.

This presents title issues because if you are recording this long after events have transpired, some of which are also recorded as memorializing transactions, fake or real. Any recorded instruments that purports to be a memorialization of a transaction before the rescission was recorded would generally be given priority.
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The lawyer sent me an answer to my notice of rescission. Now what?
Either file to enforce the duties to be performed (if you are within one year of the date of delivery of the notice of rescission), or file a quiet title action if the one year has expired. There are several different scenarios actually, but this is the one I would focus upon.
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I am getting kicked out of bankruptcy court. Now what?
Getting “kicked out” of BKR court probably means that you are back in the state court system which might open some opportunities for you to get more into the court record. (Like an old rescission).
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My property is being sold. Does that mean that I have to get out?
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They can’t get you out without filing an unlawful detainer (eviction in some jurisdictions) based upon an asserted change of title. There might be a period of time between the sale and the attempt to get you out of the home (eviction or unlawful detainer). If the property is sold to a “third party” they want want rent from you, which could allow you to stay.
The unlawful detainer action presents another opportunity to raise the issue of rescission, since the entire action is based upon a valid change of title. It also sets off potentially another round for appeal, especially on the issue of rescission. Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel do not apply to jurisdictional issues. If the rescission was mailed then by operation of the law the note and mortgage are void.
The defense is ordinarily that the “sale” was a fabrication based upon fictional claims and was contrary to the notice of rescission, which voided the note and mortgage upon which they were relying. The time for challenging the rescission has long passed. Hence all enforcement actions after the date of the 2009 rescission are void since they were based upon various claims attendant to paper instruments that were void, effective the day of delivery of the rescission.
Note that delivery of TILA Rescission notice is complete when dropped in a USPS mailbox and your testimony that it was sent via US Postal Service is all that is necessary as foundation.
I sent 2 notices of rescissions. Is that better or worse for me?
If I was defending against your claim of rescission I would argue that sending the 2016 rescission was either an admission that the earlier one had not been sent or that it was a concession that, for whatever reason, the 2009 rescission notice had been abandoned.
Hence I suggest you put very little emphasis on the new rescission and maximum emphasis on the old rescission.
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I sent the rescission less than 3 years after the modification but more than 3 years since the alleged consummation. Hoes my rescission affect my loan in that instance?
In most cases “modifications” are not treated as new loans. But the fact that something is called a modification and it really changes everything including the “lender” it may be possible to characterize it as a new loan subject to TILA Rescission. TILA Rescission hinges on whether the “modification” was a new loan — a fact, we would argue — that must be determined by trial. Since intent is part of the analysis of a contract, this could present another opportunity to force them to admit they don’t know the identity or intent of the creditor and whether said creditor had given them authority to make a new contract.
And the underlying narrative for this approach is that as a new contract, the “lender” was required to comply with disclosure requirements at the time of the new contract, thus triggering the three day right of rescission and the the three year limitation. Under my theory, based on Jesinoski, it doesn’t matter whether the three years has expired or not.
We know for certain that the notice of rescission is effective upon mailing; it is not based upon some contingent event or claim or court order. The date of consummation is itself a factual issue that can be in the pleading of the creditor (who is the only one with standing, the note and mortgage having been rendered void) claiming that the notice of rescission should be vacated based upon the three years, the date of consummation etc. 
Any alternative theory that puts the burden on the property owner would be contrary to the express wording of the statute and the SCOTUS ruling in Jesinoski. The statute 15 USC §1635 and SCOTUS are in complete agreement: there is no law suit required to make rescission effective. It would make the statutorily defined TILA Rescission event indefinite, requiring a court ruling before any rescission would be treated seriously. In other words, the opposite of what the statute says and the opposite of what SCOTUS said in Jesinoski. 
All contrary arguments are erroneous since they would insert a contingency where the statute contains no room for any contingency. The language of the statute bars any such contingency when it says that the TILA Rescission is effective upon delivery, by operation of law. If anyone wants the statute to say or mean anything different they must get their remedy from the legislature, not the courts, who have no authority whatsoever to interpret the statute otherwise. The status of any case involving foreclosure is that it does not exist. Hence the court is left ONLY with the power to perform the ministerial act of dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction.
All this is important because we ought to be heading toward any defensive strategy that reveals the absence of a creditor. We are betting that the fight to conceal the name of the creditor is a cover for not knowing the the identity of the creditor, hence fatally undermining the authority as holder, servicer, trustee or anything else.
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What if consummation never occurred?
It may turn out that consummation between the parties to the note and mortgage never occurred. It’s important to remember that would mean the rescission is irrelevant since the loan contract does not exist. But such a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction would negate the legal effect of the note and mortgage; this is true as long as the note was not purchased for value in good faith by a buyer without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses.
In that case, the burden does shift to the homeowner and it is entirely possible that under that scenario there could be no consummation but nevertheless homeowner liability would continue on the falsely procured note and potentially the mortgage as well. The reason is simple: that is what the State statute says under Article 3 and Article 9 of the UCC, as adopted by all 50 states. The homeowner’s remedy in such a scenario would be limited to actions for damages against the intermediaries who perpetrated the the fraudulent and fictitious “transaction” in which the named lender failed to loan anything.

Rescission Update: The Notice and the Response

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This is not legal advice on your case. Consult a lawyer who is licensed in the jurisdiction in which the transaction and /or property is located.

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 The challenge is getting people to accept the simplicity of the specific statutory procedures contained in the statutes governing TILA Rescission. The most common mistake I see is that the borrower justifies the rescission with all sorts of factual allegations in their notice of rescission. In so doing they may have set the stage for their undoing.

Where the notice of rescission contains too much information it raises issues on its face that might cause a problem. There is  confusion raised between whether they are invoking common law rescission — where they must file a suit, allege and prove fraud — and TILA rescission, which does not require a lawsuit and where the borrower has no obligation to give reasons. The rescission letter as framed often raises certain issues regarding the statute of limitations and implies that the rescission is to be effective when a judge agrees with the reasoning in the letter. TILA rescission does not require anyone to agree or any Judge to enter an order. Such letters as I read them seem to invoke TILA rescission but then raise issues about common law rescission.

The reason why the Jesinoski decision was so short and the decision was unanimous is that Congress set forth an unambiguous specific statutory scheme just like state legislatures set forth a specific statutory scheme in non-judicial foreclosures. First the notice on day 1. Then the duty to comply with rescission on the date of receipt and continuing for 20 days. After the 20 days from receipt has expired the recipient is in violation of the statute and having failed to challenge the rescission by operation of law (i.e., a lawsuit) they have waived their defenses — same as the borrower in non judicial foreclosure when they fail to file suit within the prescribed window of time. And finally when they fail to comply with statutes for over one year, they lose any right to collect on the debt.

So the TILA rescission is effective upon mailing. That works by operation of law and can only be undone by some other operation of law. And the window for challenging the rescission is limited to the 20 day period in which the “lender” must comply with the the three duties provided by statute — return of the cancelled note, filing a release and satisfaction of the mortgage or deed of trust, and payment of all money received or paid as set forth in the TILA statute.

Keep in mind that the statute has a provision for the borrower to invoke a legally binding effect in a non-judicial procedure (mailing a letter) but that the TILA statutes does NOT provide for any lender, creditor or servicer to contest the rescission by non-judicial means (i.e., a letter stating that the rescission is rejected or denying the reasons for the rescission or stating that the the statute of limitations has run).

NOTE: Some may argue that I am interpreting the statute, which is equally impermissible. The argument is that the 20 days relates only to compliance with the three duties under TILA rescission. Those arguing this point would say that the statute provides the ONLY remedy available during the rescission process, to wit: compliance with the three duties and then getting repaid for the principal amount that was loaned. Under this theory no action could stop the rescission, judicial or otherwise. The “lender” could probably be allowed to file an action for damages for “wrongful rescission.” But they would faced with the problem of standing — i.e., disclosing and proving the money trail to show they were injured by the rescission. So the argument is that since the statute provides no process for challenging the rescission, which is the intent of Congress in the statute, that there can be no judicial or non-judicial procedure to stop it. They may be right. As I read the statute, not even the borrower could make the rescission non-effective without a separate and new agreement creating a new loan contract.

People ask me where does it say that they only have 20 days? (The more relevant question is whether the “lender” has ANY opportunity to challenge the rescission, which is NOT provided by TILA statutes but I think is implied in order to satisfy due process). The answer is that the statute, the Supreme Court and the Regulation Z all say that the loan contract is cancelled, the note is void and the mortgage is void as of the date that the notice of TILA rescission is mailed. So the answer to the question is that the 20 day period is the only period of time in which the duty to comply is ticking away. Justice Scalia said in no uncertain terms that the statute is not ambiguous and therefore may not be “interpreted.”

Since the rescission is effective by operation of law then that can only mean that there are no contingencies about the rescission which could interfere with its effectiveness. And that is exactly what Justice Scalia said.  Any attempt to raise “defenses” to rescission after 20 days would, if allowed, render the rescission NOT effective by operation of law until a judge reviewed it. Any Judge so ruling would be over-ruling the US Supreme Court.

PRACTICE NOTE: Lawyers for the banks and servicers are picking up steam on their attempt to use fear and intimidation about rescission. They are calling borrowers and opposing counsel and essentially saying “Great! When do we get paid?” This is intended to undermine confidence of the borrower and the lawyer for the borrower. The fact is that the statute is very clear and it is unambiguous as stated by a unanimous US Supreme Court — the “lender” must be in compliance with all three duties BEFORE they can demand payment and they cannot demand payment of finance charges.

In order to make demand for payment they must fulfill four requirements: (1) less than one year as elapsed since the notice of rescission (2) they have already returned the cancelled original note (3) they have already filed a release adn satisfaction of the mortgage or deed of trust int eh county records and (4) they have already paid the borrower all money ever paid on the loan, including interest, principal, fees, and compensation paid to anyone in the origination of the loan. Note that the last issue is subject to a Qualified Written Request (RESPA 6) or lawsuit in which enforcement of the rescission is sought. In that sense rescission is the ultimate discovery tool — allowing the borrower to prove behind the snowstorm of paperwork that is used by the banks and service to process illegal foreclosures.

THE LAWSUIT FOR ENFORCEMENT MUST NOT BE A LAWSUIT THAT SEEKS TO MAKE THE RESCISSION EFFECTIVE. THE RESCISSION IS ALREADY EFFECTIVE BY OPERATION OF LAW. DON’T RAISE THE ISSUE THAT ONLY THE BANKS AND SERVICERS SHOULD BE RAISING. THE LAWSUIT SHOULD SIMPLY STATE THAT THE RESCISSION WAS SENT AND RECEIVED  AND THAT THE BORROWER IS SEEKING AN ORDER COMMANDING THE “LENDER(S)” TO COMPLY WITH THE THREE MAIN DUTIES DESCRIBED IN THE TILA STATUTES.

BUT STRATEGY PLAYS A PART HERE: REMEMBER THAT WHEN THE RESCISSION IS MAILED THERE IS NO LOAN CONTRACT, THERE IS NO NOTE AND THERE IS NO MORTGAGE — BUT AFTER ONE YEAR THERE IS NO DEBT EITHER. FILING AN ENFORCEMENT ACTION INVITES THE OPPOSITION TO SET FORTH THE CHALLENGES AND DEMAND THAT THE RESCISSION SHOULD BE VACATED. THAT FIGHT WILL CENTER AROUND WHETHER (A) THE 20 WINDOW IS TO BE STRICTLY CONSTRUED AND (B) PROBABLY PREVENTS THE BORROWER FROM ESCAPING THE DEBT UNLESS THE “LENDER(S)” ARE STILL IN NON COMPLIANCE AFTER ONE YEAR FROM DATE OF THE RESCISSION.MANY RESCISSION NOTICES WERE SENT YEARS AGO. BY OPERATION OF LAW THERE WAS NO MORTGAGE OR DEED OF TRUST. BY OPERATION OF LAW, AS I READ IT, THERE IS NO LOAN CONTRACT, THERE IS NO NOTE, THERE IS NO MORTGAGE AND THERE IS NO DEBT; BUT IT MIGHT ALSO BE TRUE THAT THE FORECLOSURE SALE WAS VOID AND THAT THE HOMEOWNER LEGALLY STILL OWNS THE PROPERTY. ANY ACTION TAKEN UPON THE USE OF A VOID INSTRUMENT IS ALSO VOID. 

In litigation, the main battle is going to be on the issue of standing. The Banks and servicers will a tempt to use the (now void) note and mortgage for standing just as they do in foreclosures. But here is the rub: with the loan contract cancelled by operation of law, and the note and mortgage being void by operation of law, they can’t prove standing the same way they do in foreclosure actions (which I would argue they shouldn’t be allowed to do anyway). They can’t use the VOID note and mortgage or loan contract as the basis for allegations and proof of standing. They can ONLY prove standing by showing the money trail. They must come out from behind the curtain and show the court that they have an economic interest in the transaction in order to complain about three rescission of the loan contract, the note and mortgage. In order to plead they must state that the rescission was sent and received. The Supreme Court and the statues and Regulation Z take care of the rest rendering the loan contract, note and mortgage void.

Note also that the arguments about why they should not have to show the actual money trail underscores the reasons for the rescission and potentially raise the specter of equitable tolling because they are still trying to hide the facts from the borrower.. They are essentially arguing a position that states that they can use void instruments as the basis for a claim for relief and that they should not be forced to show the money trail — something they cannot do because is there no money trail in their chain.

Banks Struggling with Notices of Rescission

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

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We are starting to get a peek at the strategy the banks will employ in dealing with notices of rescission. In one case the homeowner sent the notice of BOA, who answered that they received it (one problem solved) and that the new servicer is Ocwen (whose business practices have been the subject of a cease and desist order for failing to comply with prior “settlements” and “consent judgments.”)
The obvious strategy of the banks is to try to raise issues that the foreclosure judge can rule upon, in which the notice of rescission is declared void WITHOUT the required lender lawsuit seeking declaratory relief from the rescission — an absolute 20 day requirement under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). And no matter how much philosophical discussion might ensue, this is precisely why TILA was drafted and passed by Congress and signed into law by the president — all in the wake of the savings and loan scandal that shook the industry in the 1980’s and put over 800 bankers in jail. As the US Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision written by Justice Scalia a couple of weeks ago TILA is specific consumer remedy that must be strictly construed.
When they tell you there is another servicer they are trying to re-start the 20 days to file a lawsuit they don’t want to file containing allegations they don’t want to allege, and requiring proof they cannot satisfy. It won’t work. So far, so good. They will probably try to say you sent it to the wrong “servicer” and that therefore your notice of rescission was invalid.

The foreclosure judge will be inclined to accept any argument against the effect of rescission. But TILA is very specific, it is Federal law, and the CFPB regulations under Dodd-Frank make it pretty clear that the shell game won’t work with respect to the notice of rescission. AND their response corroborates your position that they have been continually withholding the information that should have been disclosed at the fake loan closing.

According to CFPB regulations they are all servicers and they are all “good” for service of the rescission letter. You COULD send a COPY of the letter you sent to BOA to Ocwen Certified, return receipt requested. My suggestion is do not send a brand new letter. The clock is ticking. After 20 days has passed we will move to dismiss on the basis of the rescission. The so-called “old servicer” has an obligation to forward the letter to the lender and any other servicers. The 20 days, in my opinion, keeps running from the date of the mailing of the notice.

The long and short of it is that once the notice of rescission is sent (certified mail, return receipt requested) you are now in process on this strategy. The best is that (a) they won’t respond at all which your lawyer can argue they waived the defenses because of the statute of limitations contained in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) for failing to file the required lawsuit within 20 days or (b) they will write back threatening something, which is not the response called for by TILA or (c) they will bring a lawsuit to declare your rescission void. No matter how this turns out I see it as being potentially beneficial to the homeowner.

If they sue then they need to establish standing and allege facts that they are not being required to allege and prove in foreclosure actions. They have been fighting against being required to plead or prove those facts for 10 years. So we can safely assume they can’t allege those thing and they certainly can’t prove those things.

By “those things” I mean ownership and balance. They have to allege they are the lender or they are representing a lender and SHOW that authorization. Contrary to foreclosure actions where courts have been incorrectly ruling that they only need to prove they are holding the paper, the Declaratory action that must be filed to counter your notice of rescission must allege and prove the identity of the “lender” (i.e., the party who loaned you the money or a true successor — i.e., a successor who actually purchased the debt and wasn’t simply a naked recipient of the the bogus paperwork).

Either way you are

(a) going to get rid of the mortgage and note and you will receive a ton of money just for what you paid the pretender lender at closing or the transferees of the bogus paper — which means that you cancel the note, void the mortgage so it is no longer in your chain of title — AND a receive a ton of money for the payments you made for interest and principal on a monthly basis going back to the inception of the fake loan closing, AND/OR

(b) going to get a ton of information that the foreclosure court might not otherwise allow you to reach in discovery (request for admissions, interrogatories, request to produce, depositions) .

My guess is that they are not ready to file any such lawsuit and will try arguing to the foreclosure judge that they didn’t need to because the rescission letter was defective on its face — usually the statute of limitations or the failure “to identify the violations in the letter.”

On that last point, there is no doubt in virtually all cases across the board that the notice letter need only state your rescission. Any reason for the rescission becomes a question of fact later only if the “lender” challenges the rescission letter within the 20 day period.

As to the statute of limitations, it doesn’t apply if the “lender” withheld the information that should have been disclosed. THAT is a question of fact, and THAT too must be brought up in their lawsuit (which is the ONLY way to comply with TILA on a TILA rescission).

But they will try to lure the state court judges into ruling on the sufficiency of the notice of rescission. The state court judge will be tempted to do it because he or she will see that the house is about to become free of the of the mortgage and that the lender will owe money to the borrower — two results the judges still dislike.

That strategy might work a few times but it won’t work long, in my opinion. TILA is a specific, explicit statutory remedy that cannot be interpreted in the context of common law rescission or any other rescission for that matter. The Court is required to treat these “lender” arguments (and even the question of whether the presenting party is in fact a “lender’) as a question of fact that MUST be raised in a separate lender collateral action seeking declaratory relief in a separate lawsuit.

Rescission: Shifting the Burden of Proof

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

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see http://www.foreclosuredefenseresourcecenter.com/top-f-foreclosure-defense-strategies-in-california/truth-in-lending-rescission/

I ran across an excellent article on rescission in mortgage cases that I think is a MUST READ for those who might be affected or entitled to use it. Check the link above. Make sure you check with a knowledgeable attorney licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property is located before you act, but I think there are very good reasons to send out the notice of rescission in virtually all cases.

From my reading of the Supreme Court’s decision and other cases the notice need only be a statement that the “borrower” hereby rescinds the transaction with appropriate reference to the loan number. It would be wise to attach the note and mortgage, in my opinion. It does not appear that you need to state your reasons and I would suggest you not do so. Basically the statute says you can rescind within three days of “consummation” of the transaction without a reason or within three years if the disclosures were wrong, inadequate or withheld. But the statute does not appear to require you set forth what disclosures were wrong or how they were wrong so I would suggest that no such statement be included.

In cases where the disclosures were intentionally withheld (table funded or third party sourced loans) the statute of limitations might not start to run until the date that you knew or should have known of the defective disclosure package. It also might not start to run unless you received two copies of your right to rescind with all the information filled in by the LENDER. Of course right there is a problem since the likely “lender” (the one who actually loaned you the money) was probably unknown to everyone at closing including the borrower. But that doesn’t stop the rescission. In fact, in my opinion, it supports the rescission.

So it is possible for virtually all the loans to be subject to the right of rescission which is meant to give the borrower a very strong remedy with teeth, since all the money, the mortgage and the note must be returned and the mortgage is void by operation of law as soon as a homeowner declares his rescission of the “transaction’ (which is probably nonexistent — something that TILA was intended to prevent).

The most interesting thing to me is the tactical advantage of sending a notice of rescission even if it turns out to be unsupported (disclosures were all there and adequate). It changes the burden of proof. Once the rescission is declared by the borrower, it is then up to the creditor to file a lawsuit (within 20 days of the notice of rescission) against the borrower seeking a declaratory judgment that the notice of rescission is not supported by the facts or should otherwise be declared invalid because of statute of limitations or other grounds.

Thus the statute of limitations also applies to the pretender lender. Since none of them ever filed a declaratory action that I know of (within the 20 days required by statute), every notice of rescission has, by operation of law, and as confirmed by the Supreme Court, rendered the mortgage void. This means that at best the obligation is unsecured and can be discharged in bankruptcy. Any subsequent foreclosure after such a notice of rescission is equally void in my opinion and it appears from the statute and the case law now that the notice can be sent anytime up until the mortgage no loner exists because of satisfaction or forced sale.

In order to file such a lawsuit the pretender lender would have to allege and prove the validity of the origination, including the fact that it was not a table funded loan. This is going to be mostly impossible for any of them to achieve. Strategically it is an opportunity to shift the burden of proof on matters that should already be within their burden of proof (but ignored by many trial judges) to the party seeking foreclosure or the party whom they purport to represent as the creditor. I am even wondering if the rescission should be stated in responsive pleading or notice of filing in pending foreclosure cases.

This might be the powerful tool I thought it was back in 2007 where the parties involved in “securitization fail” (see Adam Levitin) must stop everything and (if they do it within the time period prescribed by statute) actually prove (a) that there really is a transaction under that pile of documents they show the court and (b) that there was adequate disclosure of the real parties in their closing and real terms. Remember that the statute has a “tolerance” of only $35 for the the disclosed terms.

Comments are invited.

UNANIMOUS SCOTUS: TILA Rescission Effective on Notice: No Borrower Lawsuit Required

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

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TENDER IS NOT REQUIRED FOR RESCISSION TO BE EFFECTIVE

SCOTUS DECISION CONVERTS RESCINDED SECURED DEBT TO UNSECURED

EFFECT ON OLD BANKRUPTCY CASES UNKNOWN

see TILA Rescission

The decision is merely a statement of the obvious. Scalia, writing for a UNANIMOUS court said that the statute means what it says. All the decisions in all the states requiring the borrower to file suit to enforce rescission are wrong. The court says the rescission is effected upon notice to the “lender.” What that means to me is that the subsequent foreclosure, non-judicial or judicial is void because there is no mortgage. TILA says that unless the “lender” files suit within a specified period of time the rescission is effective as of the date of notice. It goes on to say that the “lender” just send back all payments and a satisfaction of mortgage and canceled note.

The three year statute of limitations applies to notice — not a lawsuit filed by borrower. The burden is on the lender to contest the rescission and failing to do so within the 20 days (the time varies depending upon when you sent your notice of rescission) the deal is over.

What you have left is an unsecured debt that can be discharged in bankruptcy because TILA says the mortgage is gone. What effect this will have on the thousands of cases in which borrowers sent notices of rescission and were foreclosed remains to be seen, but it sure will be interesting to see what the courts do.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-684_ba7d.pdf

“Held: A borrower exercising his right to rescind under the Act need only provide written notice to his lender within the 3-year period, not file suit within that period. Section 1635(a)’s unequivocal terms—a borrower “shall have the right to rescind . . . by notifying the creditor . . . of his intention to do so” (emphasis added)—leave no doubt that rescission is effected when the borrower notifies the creditor of his intention to rescind. This conclusion is not altered by §1635(f), which states when the right to rescind must be exercised, but says nothing about how that right is exercised. Nor does §1635(g)—which states that “in addition to rescission the court may award relief . . . not relating to the right to rescind”—support respondents’ view that rescission is necessarily a consequence of judicial action. And the fact that the Act modified the common-law condition precedent to rescission at law, see §1635(b), hardly implies that the Act thereby codified rescission in equity. Pp. 2–5.”

729 F. 3d 1092, reversed and remanded.

SCALIA, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

While there are certain parts of this statute that are not completely clear, I have always felt that this law would eventually be the downfall of the entire foreclosure mess.

As for the statute of limitations it is not yet determined when the “transaction” has been “Consummated.” But one thing is clear — the three year period and the more narrow three day period for rescission is not “fixed.” The framers of this law understood that there might be defective disclosures that would and should defeat the claim of the “lender” that the transaction was consummated on the date that the documents were signed. If the disclosures were incomplete or just plain wrong, it appears that the framers did not want the time limit running on borrowers until the disclosures were correct and proper.

If the disclosures had the wrong numbers (more than $35 deviation from true numbers) then delivery of the disclosures has not yet occurred. And the statute is very specific in stating that the “closing” is not complete until those disclosures have been made to the borrower and accepted by the borrower.

There remains many questions that will need to be answered in the Courts. Probably the biggest one is what happens in cases where the borrower properly gave notice of rescission, and where some entity initiated foreclosure after the notice of rescission. Since TILA says that the mortgage no longer exists, the foreclosure would logically be void. Any sales of the property pursuant to the foreclosure of a nonexistent mortgage would also be void.

And any claim for quiet title directed against the parties who claim interests in the recorded mortgage would appear to be a slam dunk in cases where the notice of rescission is effective. The right to receive a satisfaction of mortgage, which TILA calls for, means that the mortgage should not be in the chain of title of the owner of the property.

But that doesn’t clear up the question of what to do about events that have long since passed. There is no statute of limitations (except perhaps adverse possession) on title defects. If the title defect exists, it is there, by law, for all time. People who have purchased property that was involved in foreclosure and where the former owner canceled the mortgage by giving notice of rescission have a built in title defect. None of the sales of such property either through forced sale in foreclosure or third party sales would be anything more than a wild deed.

For more free information about TILA Rescission use the search engine on this blog going back to 2007-2008. The Supreme Court has unanimously confirmed what I wrote back when I was the sole voice in the wilderness. Opinions ranging from scathing orders from trial judges to lofty opinions from appellate courts in the state court and federal system unanimously stated that I was wrong. Now the U.S. Supreme Court — the final stop in any dispute — has also been unanimous, stating that all those orders, opinions and judgments were wrong on this issue. As a result millions of homes were subject to foreclosure actions on mortgages that no longer existed. And millions more, hearing advice from attorneys, failed to send the notice of rescission to take advantage of this important remedy.

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