Homeowners Sue SPS in Class Action Over Failure to Mitigate

Thousands of cases like this one have pointed out that SPS and other servicers like Ocwen do not consult with any investor, do not evaluate the case for settlement, modification or mitigation. The answer to questions arising from the unwillingness of those companies to comply with law stems from the fact that the  vast majority of their income comes from undisclosed third parties (the TBTF Banks).

TBTF Banks (BofA, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, etc.) do not want settlements or modifications or anything that will make the loan start performing. Subservicers like SPS and Ocwen are used as conduits to other conduits that provides window dressing for claims of compliance or efforts to comply.

Contrary to common sense nobody wants a settlement or modification. The players would rather have the value of the alleged loan reduced to zero or less in the case of foreclosures requiring the bank to maintain the property without any hope of selling it. Common sense says that faced with a value of ZERO versus a value of $200,000, for example, any normal business would select the obvious —- $200,000.

The most extreme cases are where the modification is deemed approved and a new servicer comes in to dishonor it and forecloses, even though the homeowner made the trial payments. Yet Petitions to Enforce the modification agreement are rare; but when they are filed they are usually successful. And in many of those cases the modification is modified for a greater principal reduction than was originally offered.

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Whether or not the class gets certified or settled the suit brings up certain salient points which again give rise to the most common question of all, to wit: “Why is that?”

The answer is hiding in plain sight: None of these parties represent a creditor or owner of the debt . All of them represent undisclosed third parties who are making money hand over fist in the shadow banking market. A completed foreclosure represents the first and only valid legal document in their long train of lies promulgated by piles of fabricated, forged, robo-signed paper. The justice system isn’t always right but it is always final. That is the game the banks are playing.

If SPS or Ocwen actually was set up to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and preserve the value of the loan receivable they would lose virtually all their business. A performing loan would change the makeup of the pools that the players claim to have created. All the re-sales of the same loan would be based upon a loan, even if it existed at one time, that doesn’t exist presently.

So the players NEED that foreclosure not for investors or a trust that doesn’t exist, but for themselves because most of the proceeds of the re-sales of the same loan went the TBTF Banks. They want to preserve their ill-gotten gains rather than do anything that could possibly benefit investors. And the best way they can do that is with an Order or Judgment signed by a duly authorized judge in a court of competent jurisdiction — not with a modification.

Practice Hint: If you see a case that has been ongoing for 8-10 years that is a strong indicator that the investors have received a settlement and no loner have any claim for payment and/or that the “Master Servicer” is continuing to allow payments to investors out of a pool of investor money — i.e., a Ponzi scheme. Those continuing payments have been inappropriately named “servicer advances.” They are not “advances” because it is merely return of investor capital. And since the payments come from an investor pool of cash the payments are not from the servicer since the money came from the same or other investors.

They are called servicer advances because using that name fictitiously allows the “Master Servicer’ (actually the underwriter of the certificates) to claim a “recovery” of “servicer advances.” The recovery is ONLY allowed after sale of the property after a foreclosure where the buyer is a BFP.

So for example if payments to investors attributed to the subject loan are $2,000 per month, 10 years worth of “servicer advances” results in a “recovery claim” of $240,000. Generally that is enough to wipe out any equity. The investors get nothing. The foreclosure was actually for the sole interest and benefit of the banks, not the investors. And the homeowner again finds himself used as a pawn for others to make money over the rotting carcass of what was once his home.

Hence the trial strategy suggested would be drilling down on whether the trust is receiving payment from a “third party,” whether that party has rights of subrogation or is satisfied by some other fee or revenue. If you get anywhere near this issue the bank will fold up like a used tent. They will pay for confidentiality.

Ocwen Failing? Who cares — they don’t do the “Servicing” anyway

It’s only when you do the work — burrowing into all the data that the truth emerges. From many prior cases it has been obvious that the “boarding process” was a ruse. It was cover for the real parties who were manipulating data to suit their own needs contrary to their duties to the alleged investors and borrowers.

GO TO LENDINGLIES to order forms and services

Let us help you plan your answers, affirmative defenses, discovery requests and defense narrative:

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Purchase now Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense webinar including 3.5 hours of lecture, questions and answers, plus course materials that include PowerPoint Presentations. Presenters: Attorney and Expert Neil Garfield, Forensic Auditor Dan Edstrom, Attorney Charles Marshall and and Private Investigator Bill Paatalo. The webinar and materials are all downloadable.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 954-451-1230 or 202-838-6345. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

GO TO WWW.LENDINGLIES.COM OR https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies toschedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!

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

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see The real IT platforms masquerading as Ocwen

For years I have been saying and writing about the fact that the apparent servicer actually does nothing. Ocwen’s source of data capture and maintenance has been Altisource and now is supposedly being transferred to Black Knight, which we all remember is name change from LPS, who won fame by fabricating documents through its subsidiary or division, DOCX.

My educated guess is that Altisource was never the actual IT provider using the trade name “RealServicing.” It was always LPS n/k/a Black Knight and that is who is the hub in a wheel and spoke infrastructure designed to create the illusion of normal loan servicing.

Changes in servicing announced by one party or another would therefore have been just another change in musical chairs — where the names changes but the actual functions always stayed in the same place, which is why there were so many errors revealed when the REALServing platform was accessed from time to time. It reminds me when I studied auditing in my MBA program where the joke was revealed about French bookkeeping — one set for myself, one for my partner and the third for the government (and possibly a fourth for the spouse).

So when you have a witness from Ocwen who says that Ocwen “Boarded” the data or claims that the business records are those maintained by Ocwen on an IT platform controlled by Ocwen the answer is “not so fast.” As I have found in dozens of cases, the witness is unable to answer obvious questions that should have obvious answers. Follow up in your questioning and you might strike gold — once you plan out your cross examination of the robo-witness.

Altisource was under investigation by the CFPB, but the investigation was ended without charges. That investigation was “focused on the REALServicing platform and certain other technology services provided to Ocwen, including claims related to the features, functioning and support of such technology.”

The CFPB, in its lawsuit against Ocwen, claimed that REALServicing, the system Ocwen used to process and apply borrower payments, communicate payment information to borrowers, and maintain loan balance information, was riddled with errors and technologically deficient.

Over the last several months, Ocwen has reached settlements with nearly all of the states that brought regulatory action, and each of those settlements stipulated that Ocwen develop a plan to move away from REALServicing.

So the obvious take-away is that REALServicing was neither real nor a reliable basis to perform service. And that means that Ocwen’s claims to strict “boarding” of loans could not possibly be true.

But if you look deeper, you find that Altisource was not being paid or not being paid enough to justify the service. This enhances my argument that they were only a conduit for data that was at all times controlled by LPS n/k/a Black Knight.

No Surprise: Ocwen & US Bank Hit by $3.8 Million Verdict in Chicago Federal Trial For Violations in Fake Foreclosure

“The jury, after deliberating for approximately 7 hours, determined that Ocwen breached its contract, violated RESPA for failing to adequately respond to Saccameno’s Qualified Written Request, violated the FDCPA and committed both unfair and deceptive acts in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.  Monette Saccameno was awarded $500,000.00 in compensatory damages, $70,000.00 in non-economic damages, $12,000.00 in economic damages and $3,000,000.00 in punitive damages. Nicholas Heath Wooten, Esq.Ross Michael Zambon, Esq., and Mohammed Omar Badwan, Esq. led the litigation team on behalf of Saccameno.”

And I ask again: WHY DO OCWEN DOCUMENTS AND “BOARDING PROCESS” GET ANY LEGAL PRESUMPTION ON SCANT TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE THAT WOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED AS FOUNDATION IN ANY COURT OTHER THAN ONE IN FORECLOSURE PROCEEDINGS? With this verdict and dozens of other verdicts, settlements, lawsuits and whistleblower  news stories has establishing a crystal clear pattern of conduct of fake foreclosures based upon false documentation, false posting of payments and a clear mission to seek foreclosure whether the homeowner is current in payments or not.

The many cases akin to this one against OCwen and US Bank should be served up to judges hearing foreclosure cases with a single message: the foreclosures you are allowing are wrongful. Your decisions are giving rise to many lawsuits for damages.

GO TO LENDINGLIES to order forms and services

Let us help you plan your answers, affirmative defenses, discovery requests and defense narrative:

954-451-1230 or 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult. You will make things a lot easier on us and yourself if you fill out the registration form. It’s free without any obligation. No advertisements, no restrictions.

Purchase now Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense webinar including 3.5 hours of lecture, questions and answers, plus course materials that include PowerPoint Presentations. Presenters: Attorney and Expert Neil Garfield, Forensic Auditor Dan Edstrom, Attorney Charles Marshall and and Private Investigator Bill Paatalo. The webinar and materials are all downloadable.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 954-451-1230 or 202-838-6345. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

GO TO WWW.LENDINGLIES.COM OR https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!

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

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Hat Tip Greg da’ Goose

Case Number: 1:16-cv-05278
Court: Illinois Northern
Nature of Suit: 423(Bankruptcy Withdrawl)
Companies:
Ocwen Financial Corporation
U.S. Bancorp

see OCWEN BANGED WITH $3.8 MILLION VERDICT

This case shows that juries are still angry about the 2008 meltdown and that the entire burden was shifted to homeowners and taxpayers — who “bailed out” financial institutions that had no losses.

And it also shows that lawyers can get rich by charging contingency fees in wrongful foreclosure actions that most lawyers avoid or rush to settlement. It provides ample encouragement for homeowners to sue and for lawyers to take the cases.

So for those of you who are  contemplating filing a wrongful foreclosure action against Ocwen, or U.S. Bank or any of the other players that are acting in concert with Ocwen, here is a case that no doubt will be settled under “seal of confidentiality” (like thousands of others). I think it is high time for borrowers to pool their complaints in either a class action or mass joinder action.

And here are some of the causes of action that could be filed that a federal jury found were reasons enough to award $500,000 in compensatory damages and $3 Million in punitive damages:

  1. Breach of contract
  2. RESPA violation (failure to respond to QWR)
  3. FDCPA violations
  4. Violation of state law — Illinois Consumer Fraud Act: Unfair and deceptive acts.

There are many other causes of action that could be filed. Each case needs to be evaluated as to which causes of action are most appropriate for the subject “loan”, most of which have resulted in substantial verdicts.

And don’t forget the role of US Bank whose name is used as trustee of a trust that  either doesn’t exist, doesn’t own the debt or both. US Bank is paid a fee to pose as trustee not to BE trustee.

See also

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/atlas-consumer-law-secures-3-582-000-jury-verdict-obtained-by-monette-saccameno-a-resident-of-cook-county-illinois-and-against-ocwen-loan-servicing-llc-a-national-mortgage-loan-servicer-300628541.html

https://cookcountyrecord.com/stories/511388869-jury-awards-3-5m-to-woman-who-claimed-loan-servicer-mishandled-mortgage-during-after-chapt-13-bankruptcy

Ocwen (OCN) Receives Daily News Sentiment Rating of 0.15
https://www.thelincolnianonline.com/2018/04/13/ocwen-ocn-receives-daily-news-sentiment-rating-of-0-15.html

https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20180410901

Saccameno v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC et al, No. 1:2015cv01164 – Document 265 (N.D. Ill. 2018)
DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF LAW Document #: 265 Filed: 04/09/18
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-ilnd-1_15-cv-01164/pdf/USCOURTS-ilnd-1_15-cv-01164-3.pdf

Saccameno v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC et al, No. 1:2015cv01164 – Document 231 (N.D. Ill. 2018)
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order Signed by the Honorable Joan B. Gottschall on 3/9/2018
https://cases.justia.com/federal/district-courts/illinois/ilndce/1:2015cv01164/306387/231/0.pdf?ts=1520678019

Saccameno v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC et al, No. 1:2015cv01164 – Document 152 (N.D. Ill. 2017)
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order Signed by the Honorable Joan B. Gottschall on 11/8/2017
https://cases.justia.com/federal/district-courts/illinois/ilndce/1:2015cv01164/306387/152/0.pdf?ts=1517249686

Saccameno v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC et al, No. 1:2015cv01164 – Document 75 (N.D. Ill. 2015)
MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order Signed by the Honorable Joan B. Gottschall on 11/19/2015
https://cases.justia.com/federal/district-courts/illinois/ilndce/1:2015cv01164/306387/75/0.pdf?ts=1448015323

US Government Publishing Office
15-1164 – Saccameno v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC et al
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCOURTS-ilnd-1_15-cv-01164/USCOURTS-ilnd-1_15-cv-01164-0

Bank Fraud News: The reason why banks and servicers should receive no presumption of reliability

The following is but a short sampling supporting the argument that any document coming from the banks and servicers is suspect and unworthy of any legal presumption of authenticity or validity. Judges are looking into self-serving fabricated documentation and coming to the wrong conclusion about the facts.

Chase following bank playbook: screw the customer

“Chase provided no prior notice to its cardholders that their crypto ‘purchases’ would be treated as ‘cash advances’ on a going forward basis,” according to the suit.

Tucker claims he was hit with about $140 in fees and a “sky-high” interest rate of 26 percent without warning after Chase reclassified his purchases as cash advances, a violation of the Truth in Lending act.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Stealth: Hiding the elephant in the living room

Its never been a secret that Freddie Mac’s business policy is to remain stealth in any chain of title if possible, and to rely on the servicers to keep its presence a secret in foreclosure proceedings. In fact, this PNC case which was overturned against PNC, involved the Defendant’s assertion that PNC was concealing Freddie Mac’s interest in the loan. Freddie Mac’s business policy appears to rely upon nothing more than handshakes with the originators and servicers. Here is some verbiage from a “Freddie Mac – Mortgage Participation Certificates” disclosure (See: Freddie Mac – Mortgage Participation Certificates):

Deutsch files lawsuit against private mailbox troller following the Deutsch playbook of foreclosure

“Defendants, and each of them initiated a malicious campaign to disrupt the chain of title to prevent Plaintiff from enforcing its contractual rights in the 2006 DOT by way of recording fraudulent documents to purportedly assign the rights under the 2006 DOT without the consent of Plaintiff, and otherwise thereafter fraudulently transfer all rights via a trustee deed upon sale, even though no trustee sale was ever conducted. All subsequently recorded or unrecorded transactions are therefore null, void, and of no effect.”

EDITOR COMMENT: So Deutsch is admitting that its practice of recording fraudulent documents are “null, void and of not effect.” In order to get to that point Deutsch is going to be required to prove standing — i.e., definitive proof that it paid for the debt, which it did not. Deutsch is on dangerous ground here and might deliver a bonus for homeowners. As for the defense, is it really a crime to steal a fraudulent deed of trust supported by fraudulent assignments and endorsements?

Barclays Bank settles for $2,000,000,000 for fraud on investors

Barclays’ offering documents “systematically and intentionally misrepresented key characteristics of the loans,” and more than half of the loans defaulted, federal officials said.

Additionally, the Department of Justice reached similar settlements with two Barclays’ employees involved with subprime residential mortgage-backed securities. They will pay $2 million collectively.

The agreements mark the latest in a string of U.S. settlements with major banks over sales of tainted mortgage securities from 2005 to 2007 that helped set the stage for the real estate crash that contributed to the financial crisis.

Deutsch Pays $7.2 Billion for Fraudulent securitizations

Confirming settlement details the bank disclosed in late December, federal investigators said Deutsche Bank will pay a $3.1 billion civil penalty and provide $4.1 billion in consumer relief to homeowners, borrowers, and communities that were harmed.

The federal penalty is the highest ever for a single entity involved in selling residential mortgage-backed securities that proved to be far more risky than Deutsche Bank led investors to believe. Nonetheless, the agreement represents relief of sorts for the bank and its shareholders, because federal investigators initially sought penalties twice as costly.

Credit Suisse‘s announcement said it would pay the Department of Justice a $2.48 billion civil monetary penalty. The bank will also provide $2.8 billion in consumer relief over five years as part of the deal, which is subject to negotiations over final documentation and approval by Credit Suisse’s board of directors. [Credit Suisse owns SPS Portfolio Servicing.]

Ocwen Settles with 10 States for Illegal Servicing

“The consent order provides that Ocwen will transition its servicing portfolio off of its current servicing platform to a platform better able to manage escrow accounts and establish a new complaint resolution process,” the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance said in a press release. “Ocwen shall hire a third-party firm to audit a statistically significant number of escrow accounts in high-risk areas of the portfolio to determine whether problems continue to exist around the management of escrow accounts and to identify the root cause of those problems.

“Ocwen has faced many legal and regulatory challenges in recent years. In December 2013 it reached a settlement over foreclosure and modification processes with the CFPB and state regulators. A year later, it made a separate agreement with New York regulators that removed company founder William Erbey as CEO.

Wells Fargo Whistleblower is Fired Among Others Who refused to Lie to Customers

In 2014, according to Mr. Tran, his boss ordered him to lie to customers who were facing foreclosure. When Mr. Tran refused, he said, he was fired. He worried that he wouldn’t be able to make his monthly mortgage payments and that he was about to become homeless.

Joining a cadre of former employees claiming they were mistreated for speaking out about problems at the bank, Mr. Tran sued. He argued in court filings that he had been fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on misconduct at the giant San Francisco-based bank. Mr. Tran said he didn’t want his job back — he wanted Wells Fargo to admit that it had been wrong to fire him and wrong to mislead customers who were facing foreclosure.

 

 

 

Ocwen Admission Confounds Judges and Experts

This is a blatant attempt at deception  — a deceit without which none of the Trusts would be recognized as legal entities much less the owner of loans. Ocwen is admitting that there is no single owner of the loan it is allegedly “servicing.” “There is no single owner of the account, but rather the account is one of many in a securitized investment trust.”

For the uninitiated, this statement might suffice or at least be threatening enough as a challenge to their experience and intelligence to direct them away from the central false assertion that the trusts own any loan. They don’t.

Let us help you prepare for deposition or trial: 202-838-6345
Get a consult and TEAR (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345. The TEAR replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).
https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments. It’s better than calling!
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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Hat Tip Bill Paatalo

see Ocwen Responsive Letter – CFPB – 11-03-2017

In this real live case, Ocwen is fulfilling its job that includes obfuscation as one of its paramount duties. After first “answering” the CFPB requests with obfuscation it then states “The ownership status of the account is based upon our review of our records as of the date of this letter.” It doesn’t say that the information is correct or even believed to be correct. It doesn’t say they performed due diligence to determine whether a true chain of ownership exists, combing the various records of “predecessors.”

Nor is there a statement that Ocwen is authorized to service the account. It simply says that it IS servicing the account. And of course then they do not assert the basis of their authority since they never asserted their authority. It is implied. It is assumed. In court, it might well be presumed by the court, the foreclosure mill attorney and even by the borrower and the borrower’s attorney. This is one of the errors that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. An attack on what is missing instead of trying to dodge what is there would result in far more victories for homeowners.

The attorney’s client is Ocwen. Ocwen is impliedly asserting authority to service but can’t show it. In one recent case of mine, they came in with a Power of Attorney signed by someone who purportedly executed the instrument on behalf of Chase. The problem was that Chase was never mentioned before in any pleading, documents or testimony. The POA was false.

Back to ownership: “there is no single owner” implies that there are many owners. There are several problems with that assertion or implication that involve outright lying. Ocwen is saying that the loan is in a securitized investment trust which certainly would imply that the loan is not in transit nor is it owned by more than one trust.

Further if the reference (omitted) is to investors, that too is a lie in most cases. The certificate indenture usually contains the express statement that the holder of the certificate receives no right, title or interest to the debt, note or mortgage in “underlying” loans (which have never been acquired by the trust anyway).

So what are we left with? No single owner which means that the securitized investment trust doesn’t own it because that is one single entity. Multiple owners does not refer to investors because the express provisions on their certificates say they have no ownership of the debt, note or mortgage in the alleged loan.

The counterintuitive answer is that the bank’s are saying there is no owner. But there is an owner. It is a group of investors whose money was used to fund or acquire the loan. This was not done through any trust, as they intended and as was required by the “securitization” documents. If that was the case then the trust would have been named as lender or as holder in due course. That never happened.

But the holders of worthless securities can claim an equitable interest in the loan and perhaps even the collateral. In order to establish that interest the investors must go to a court of competent jurisdiction. But in order to do that the investors must know about the specific loan transaction(s), which they don’t. The fact that they don’t know about it and can’t exercise their rights does not mean that legally, anyone can intervene and assert ownership rights.

Ten years ago I said get rid of the current servicers and stick a government agency in as intermediary so that investors, as real parties in interest and borrowers as real parties in interest could do what the lending industry normally does best — work this out so that nobody loses everything and nobody gets a windfall. This could have all been over years ago and the impact on the economy would have been a powerful stimulus leaving no inherent weakness in our economy or our currency.

Unfortunately the courts strayed from making legal decisions and instead made a political decision to save the banking industry at the expense of homeowners.

 

 

 

Illusion of Confusion: Dealing with Unresponsive “Responses” in Discovery

The bank playbook is very simple: keep it as complicated as possible. That way the court and even the homeowner will come to rely on what the banks and so-called servicer say about names, places, documents and money. That’s how they sold the initial fraudulent MBS and around 10 million foreclosures.

If you had a high success rate and you succeeded in scaring most homeowners off from contesting fraudulent foreclosures, what would you do? You would keep going based upon a strategy of creating the illusion of complexity. The only really complex thing is the fact that the foreclosing parties make inconsistent assertions not only from case to case but from one pleading to another in one case.

What is simple? That the only two real parties in interest in this whole affair have been investors on one side and homeowners on the other side. Everyone else is an intermediary with little or no authority to do anything — a fact that has not stopped them from nearly destroying our financial system.

For reasons that have been discussed elsewhere on this blog, the acceptance of the illusion of confusion by the courts is NOT rooted in law, as it is required to be, but rather in politics. This isn’t the first time the courts made political decisions and it won’t be the last. But through persistence and good litigation techniques homeowners who went all the way to the end have often prevailed — probably because the judge was too uncomfortable once the real nature of the asserted transactions was revealed.

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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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I was writing an article on discovery when by coincidence Dan Edstrom who has been our senior most forensic analyst since 2008 forwarded some questions and comments about the discovery process. He understands full well that the discovery process does NOT consist of just asking a question or asking for a document and the other side then gives you all you need to win.

No, the response will be framed to confuse, which is generally enough to make the homeowner or the foreclosure defense walk away. The foreclosure goes though even though it is most likely completely fraudulent.

And the message that goes out to the world is the banks are winning a huge percentage of foreclosures when in fact they pretty much don’t win when the foreclosure is ably contested.  The issue is obvious — not enough people are ably contesting foreclosures.

In discovery it usually starts with interrogatories. And the first question is who is answering the interrogatories. So in one example, the answer was Sally Torres. The response was that Torres was “from” Ocwen Financial Corporation (OFC). She is described as a “representative” of OFC, which leaves open the question of the identity of her employer.

Back to basics — A corporation is a legal person. And THAT means it is not the same as another legal person, as for example Ocwen Loan Servicing (OLS).

So you need to read carefully and not skip the parts that nobody pays attention to — like the answer to the question and the verification where Torres signs the response. There she signs as a “representative” of OLS not OFC. That ,eaves open the same question but also adds another — is she a representative of both legal persons (OFC and OLS)? If so what is the nature of her “agency” for either legal person? If she is not an employee is there a contract?

The answers further state that she is a “Senior Loan Analyst” for OFC and a “Senior Loan Analyst” for OLS. Is it both? How does that work? And of course that gives rise to yet another question — What is a Senior Loan Analyst? Google it.

Job Summary. Responsible for analyzing financial and supporting documents on incoming applications consistent with internal and insurer policies. Evaluate property values based on appraised market prices and recommend or deny mortgages to clients after examining financial status.

Hmmmm. This sounds like a made-up title to impress a judge. The industry definition of a loan analyst describes a job that ends with the approval of a loan. What would a loan analyst know about foreclosure — years after the alleged origination of the alleged loan? More specifically, what did Torres actually know or do with regard to the subject loan? It doesn’t take a genius to speculate about a number of questions:

  • Did Torres actually sign the verification?
  • Why was a loan analyst necessary in the litigation of a foreclosure?
  • Is Ocwen a lender? Why need a loan analyst?
  • What as it that Torres analyzed?
  • Did she review the work of a “Junior” Analyst ?
  • Did someone else draft the answers?
  • Was there anyone who had personal knowledge of the loan history involved with answering the interrogatories?

The kicker in the case I reviewed, was that the notice letters were sent not by any Ocwen entity but by Wells Fargo. The problem here is that most lawyers do not wish to confess their ignorance and therefore don’t follow through with obvious questions. Everything they are seeing is incomprehensible and confusing.

Here is another example right out of a hearsay treatise: The “Plaintiff” in an unlawful detainer (eviction) action makes the assertion that the rental value of the subject property is $1,800 per month and that the only way they know that is from a website called “Rentometer.” How this number is calculated by the website is unknown. Nor do we know if any person was involved. But Judges regularly take this representation to be true, even though it comes from a declarant not present in court.

Here is the rub. If the attorney for the homeowner fails to raise an objection and motion to strike that assertion or representation the objection is waived. But on cross examination of the robo-witness it is fairly easy to show that there is no appraisal or opinion rendered by the witness, nor could there be. It is also fairly easy to establish that the witness has no idea who runs, operates, owns or is otherwise involved with Rentometer.

Like Zillow and other sites, Rentometer does not employ people. It employs computer algorithms that may or may not work in any given situation.

For all we know it is a site set up by the banks that looks professional but is used specifically to extract outsize rents from people defending their property. (thus cutting off income that could be used for an attorney).  It looks like it might be useful but no presumption should arise from the projection by Rentometer unless someone from Rentometer can lay the foundation for the estimate. But that would mean putting a person on the witness stand who is not a robo-witness so the foreclosing party is going to fight against that tooth and nail.

And of course any site that leis exclusively on algorithms could not possibly take into consideration whether the subject property is habitable, the school district, and other factors that apply to both marketability and price. In the case presented it appears that the rental value is zero or in fact negative. That is because the property’s condition is such that nobody would move into it without extensive major repairs and because taxes and maintenance of the exterior would still need to be paid.

And then there is this example: You ask for the documents that support the authority of the alleged new beneficiary to substitute the trustee on the deed of trust. You get back an assignment. But it turns out later, in court, that they are relying upon some additional unrecorded assignments. So you ask for the additional unrecorded assignments and the response is essentially “We already gave you the assignments.” In  this case with 1 recorded assignment and 2 unrecorded assignments their answer is exactly 1/3 true and 2/3 untrue. And THAT is why you need to be prepared to compel their response by a specific court order pointing to those documents and any others that pertain the request for production.

The most challenging thing after the foreclosure sale is to prove it should never have taken place. But it is possible and necessary to do that if you want the property or you want leverage for a settlement. You are challenging circular reasoning.

Their argument is that they followed the rules and appointed a substitute trustee who sold the property. Your answer is that the new ‘Beneficiary” was not a beneficiary, had no right to substitute the trustee and thus no right to file a notice of sale (nonjudicial states).

Here is where legal presumptions point the court in the wrong direction. Because the sale took place and it was “facially” valid, the presumption adopted by the court is usually that there was a sale even though you are contesting that narrative. You say that a sale didn’t take place, particularly where there was “credit bid” on behalf of an entity that had no interest in the debt and therefore could not possibly submit a credit bid.

Lastly the sleight of hand trick that is so successful for the banks is the assertion or inference that there is a trust. In this case US Bank is asserted, probably without tis knowledge, as the trustee of certificates which is no trusteeship at all. Even if you slip in “the holders of certificates” they still have not named a beneficiary.

So the common error being made out there is to ask for answers and documents and so forth and accepting the response from the servicer or alleged servicer. Back to basics: the  first question should be “please identify the person or entity that is the [Plaintiff (judicial state or any eviction action) / beneficiary on the deed of trust (nonjudicial states)].

Then the next question should be “Is the party executing the verification of these interrogatories an employee, officer of said Plaintiff/Beneficiary? They will respond with gibberish because the real party in interest is a remote “Master Servicer” of a trust that doesn’t exist.

And of course “Where are the records of the Plaintiff/Beneficiary that relate to the subject alleged loan?” Once again they will respond with gibberish because they want the court to accept the fabricated records of Ocwen as though they were the records of the Plaintiff/Beneficiary whose books and records do not exist. The closer you get the more likely they are to walk away or offer a settlement that includes a seal of confidentiality. And yes I have seen this scenario thousands of times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ocwen Boarding Process Was Shot Down Last Year

As foreclosure defense lawyers have been saying for years, the Ocwen Boarding process is a sham. “This boarding process is a legal fiction, and it means something different to every entity,” Butchko ruled from the bench during a March 17 hearing.

Ocwen does not verify any of the data. It downloads it and then “calls it a day.”

“I have done this investigation for a long time,” he said, noting, “The appellate courts are going under this presumption that there is some type of meaningful auditing and verification.” But Jacobs maintained, “You just heard it from a lawyer who knows how to properly phrase the questions that she’s basically testifying to all — all of this is still hearsay.

”Butchko granted an involuntary dismissal in HSBC Bank USA’s suit against Miami homeowner Joseph Buset, whose loan was initially serviced by Litton Loan Servicing LP, which Ocwen acquired in 2011.

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See Home Foreclosure Fails on OCwen Servicing Records

Bruce Jacobs, a Foreclosure defense lawyer won this case. It was in 2016 and was, as usual, under-reported. The case hinged on the prior records of Litton Loan Servicing that Ocwen had acquired. The robo-witness could only testify that Ocwen employees had matched fields and columns on the payment history and had done nothing else. Hence verification was nonexistent.

[Judge] Butchko had to decide how to treat loan documents that became part of Ocwen’s business records but remained subject to hearsay objections unless the company could show it independently verified the data after transferring the loans. She considered evidence on Ocwen’s boarding process — the procedure by which financial services companies transfer account data from one lenders’ management system to another after trading loan portfolios.

Witnesses for lenders in foreclosure cases must show they did independent fact-checking to qualify their files as business records and not hearsay.

All records in  digital or hard copy are hearsay by definition. The only issue is whether a proper foundation has been offered by the robo-witness to claim that the “documents” qualify as an exception to the hearsay rule and that therefore they should be admitted into evidence. This case on Ocwen clearly shows that the testimony by dozens of Ocwen robo-witnesses has been false.

Based upon information I have received from credible sources I think the problem is worse than that. My sources tell me that the records are not uploaded or transferred. The only thing that happens is that the user name and password is changed. That is why the records of the prior servicer are NEVER introduced. It may be that Ocwen changes the fields and columns to make it appear that the records have been processed, but based upon my information the Ocwen records are often taken from the same database. That being the case, the robo-witness should have been an employee of the former Litton servicing.

 

 

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