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

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

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

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see B246193A-Kehstgar

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

Quiet Title Revisited: Not Quite a Dead End

Void means that the instrument meant nothing when it was filed, not that it is unenforceable now.

 

I know how hard it is to let go of something that you really want to believe in. But for practical reasons I consider it unwise to continue on the QT path until we can find a way to get rid of the void assignment. That unto itself might a form of quiet title action and it is far easier to do. The allegation need only be that neither the assignor nor the assignee (a) had any right, justification or excuse to claim an interest in the recorded mortgage and (b) neither one was ever party to a completed transaction in which either of them had paid value for any interest in the recorded mortgage. Hence the assignment is void and should be removed from the chain of title reflected in the county records. So that takes care of one of several problems and the attack does not seek to remove the mortgage — yet.

 

Quiet title is a very limited remedy. In nearly all cases if the facts are contested it almost automatically means that there is no quiet tile relief available. It is meant to remove wild deeds or any other void (not voidable) instrument. Void means that the instrument meant nothing when it was filed, not that it is unenforceable now.

I contributed to the mystery of quiet title because it was apparent that the mortgage was void because it never named the true lender. In fact the existence and identity of the true source of funds for the transaction was intentionally withheld from the borrower leaving the mortgage with only one party instead of two.

 

The problem many courts are having with this is that the mortgage might still be subject to reformation that would insert the correct name of the actual lender (theoretically, potentially reformation). The fact that there is no such creditor whose name can be inserted does not make the mortgage void. It makes it voidable. Actually proving that there is no such creditor won’t be easy since only the banks have the information that shows that.

 

If there are any future events that could revive the mortgage deed, then quiet title can’t work. Add to that the fact that judges are not treating these attacks seriously and routinely ruling for the banks and you have a what appears to be a dead end.

 

All that said, there ARE causes of action that could attack the void assignment and the voidable mortgage in which the court could theoretically declare that in the absence of information sought from the defendants, who appear to be the only potential claimants, the mortgage is THEN declared void by court order, THEN a second count in quiet title would be in order. I cannot emphasize enough the fact that Judges are going to be very resistant to this but I think that appellate courts are starting to understand what happened with false claims of securitization.

 

Essentially, the Court must state that:

  1. The mortgage failed to name the correct party as lender.
  2. That failure makes the mortgage voidable.
  3. Despite publication and notice, there are no parties who could answer to the description of the creditor whose name should have been on the mortgage.
  4. The mortgage is therefore void
  5. Court declares title to be vested in the name of Smith and Jones without any encumbrance arising out of the mortgage recorded at Page 123 Book 456 of the public records of XXXX County, Florida.
 This of course directly challenges the judicial notion that once the homeowner receives money, it is a loan, it is enforceable and it doesn’t matter who comes into court to enforce it. To say that this judicial “law” opened the door to mayhem and moral hazard would be an understatement. Using the opinions written by trial judges, appellate judges and even Supreme Court justices, people who like to “leverage the system” have seized on this obvious opening to steal receivables from the rightful recipient — with no negative consequences. They write a letter that appears on its face to be correct and valid. According to current practices this raises the presumption that the contents of the letter are true.
 Hence the self-serving letter creates the legal presumption that the writer is authorized to tell the debtor that the writer is now the owner of the debt and to direct payments to the “new owner.” This isn’t speculation. Starting in California this business plan is spreading across the country. By the time the rightful owner of the debt wakes up the Newco Debt Servicing company has collected or settled the account.
Since the presumption is raised that the thief writing the letter is authorized, the real party in interest cannot beat the defense of payment by a debtor who thought they were doing the right thing. Reasonable reliance by the borrower is presumed since the authority and the validity of the letter was presumed. And that is not just a description of some dirty rag tag gangsters; it is a verifiable description of what the banks have been doing for years with mortgage debt, credit card debt, student loan debt and every other kind of debt imaginable.
By the time the investors wake up and find out their money was not used to fund a trust or real business entity, their money is gone and they are at the mercy of the big time banks who will offer settlements of claims that should have resulted in jail time for the bankers. Instead we have literally authorized small time crooks to emulate the behavior of the banks thus throwing the marketplace into further chaos.
So if you start off knowing that the banks can never come up with the name and contact information of a creditor, then you begin to see how there are some attacks on the position of banks that could have enormous traction even though on their face those strategies look like losers.

My Take on Quiet Title

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

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In my opinion, the party that should be seeking to quiet title is a creditor to whom the debt is owed. Nobody is doing that. And I believe that the reason for this is that there is no party who could actually answer to the description of a creditor. And even if there was, the “creditors” don’t want to be asserting the right to foreclose and getting involved in foreclosures.

* Lawyers who are rejecting rescission as a strategy are doing so because they think they WOULD lose in a challenge to the rescission. They have not considered whether that attack will ever come. From my perspective with hundreds of thousands of rescission notices sent, it speaks volumes that no such action for declaratory relief has ever been filed. If anyone has an example where such an action was filed, I invite you to send me the pleadings at neilfgarfield@hotmail.com.

*Quiet title is a very restricted remedy saved for things like wild deeds and other VOID instruments (not voidable). If the instrument is voidable then you must win that point first before you can seek quiet title. My short answer is that you probably can’t get quiet title without making the mortgage or deed of trust void. And remember that the note in all probability was intentionally destroyed just as it was in most “loans”.

*One way to void the mortgage is to send rescission notice. They will probably send a letter back saying it’s beyond three years or asserting something else. But all that does is confirm receipt. Then an action to enforce rescission after the 20 days has run from date of receipt. That would be coupled with an action for injunction to prevent the parties from using the note and mortgage because they are void. Lastly the third count would be for quiet title because only a void instrument, in my opinion can be ignored for purposes of title chain. It isn’t enough to presume that the “creditor” with standing (apart from the note and mortgage) WOULD win — the creditor with true legal standing (i.e., direct financial injury from the “default” must file a declaratory action to declare that the rescission is vacated because of whatever reasons they assert and they must actually win it. Procedurally it is almost a sure thing that they have no party that can fulfill the standing requirement.

*Many lawyers are saying that they want nothing to do with rescission without realizing that it is a very strong procedural tool. The issue is not whether the rescission can withstand an attack in a declaratory action filed by a creditor who does NOT rely upon the void note and mortgage. The issue is whether that attack will EVER come from a party with standing.

 

*The other way of getting the mortgage void is to file an action asserting that the original loan was NEVER consummated. This could even be added as an alternative action to the the one outlined above. If the originator and payee on the note was not the party who loaned any money they had no right to be on the note or mortgage. The execution of the instruments would be fraud in the execution and possibly fraud in the inducement. The release of the instruments for transfer and recording would be wrong, which is to say that they were void despite their execution. In addition it is predatory per se under REG Z, which means at the very least they can’t enforce the note and mortgage in a court of equity. But note that just because a document of record cannot be enforced, does not in and of itself mean that it is a wild deed or a void instrument. It remains in the chain of title.

Missouri Wrongful Foreclosure: Trial Court Awards over $3 Million Including Punitive Damages and Quiet Title

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

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see Quiet title Wrongful foreclosure Punitive Damages Missouri judgment.1-26-15.pdf ocr

Missouri had been impenetrable. Things change. This case finds that neither the GSE nor anyone else in the chain had the power to enforce the paper because they did not really have ownership of the loan, that their title was false, that quiet title is granted to plaintiffs, that foreclosure was wrongful, that compensatory damages are awarded and that punitive damages would be awarded. Total Judgment $3 million +.

Important takeaways —

  1. The tide has turned. Courts are no longer looking the other way on intentionally sloppy foreclosures that cover up a larger fraud on investors. The courts are not clear on how that occurred, partially because nobody has been allowed to present  it, but they have enough of a feel of the situation to see that there is something fundamentally wrong with the mortgage origination and foreclosure practices.
  2. Quiet title can be awarded supported only by a finding that the mortgage is unenforceable. Whether this will stick on appeal is unknown. My view is that the mortgage stays although there is nobody (yet) claiming a genuine right to enforce it.
  3. At this point, if the foreclosing parties don’t have it right, it is viewed as an intentional or grossly negligent act, giving rise to compensatory damages, attorney fees, costs, and punitive damages.
  4. The value of a wrongful foreclosure case might be $3 million + which falls into line with other decisions.
  5. Judges are getting angry over the fact that they accepted false representations in the past.
  6. Judges are perceiving the difference between the debt and the paper that purports to describe the debt — i.e., the note and mortgage. While it is not expressed in so many words, this decision and others like it, sees the paper as largely fictitious even though there is a genuine debt out there. By implication, the courts are saying the debt has no paper that applies and that therefore nobody should be allowed to enforce the paper. It is close to declaring the mortgage void ab initio.

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.

Quiet Title and Statute of Limitations

In the search for a magic bullet, many pro se litigants and even attorneys have ended up perplexed by laws and rules regarding an action to Quiet Title (frequently misspelled by pro se litigants as “Quite Title”). The purpose of this article is to add some context to the discussion and some reasons for my conclusion — that as more decisions emerge the action for Quiet Title will fade unless the mortgage of record is first nullified or canceled.

For context, let’s remember that the purpose of recording documents in the Public Records is to give certainty and notice to the world of transactions that can be recorded. If courts were to issue decisions to quiet title on recorded documents that are facially valid, the result would be chaos — nobody would know if they were really getting permanent title and title insurance companies would, for obvious business reasons, refuse to issue a title commitment or policy unless EVERYONE brought a quiet title action after every transaction and received a court order, suitable for recording that stated the rights of the stakeholders. This is precisely what the recording statutes are meant to avoid.

Now to the issue of the statute of limitations. Some states hold that even if there is an act of acceleration, the statute of limitations only applies to the monthly payments that were due during the statutory period that are now time-barred. Florida does not appear to be one of those states, and despite some decisions to the contrary, it doesn’t look to me like Florida will become one of them. In Florida it is generally accepted that the statute of limitations time bars any action after 5 years to collect a debt. You should check your state statutes because each state is different and don’t make any decisions without consulting a qualified attorney licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property is located.

So the thinking has gone in the direction of merely stating that the claim is time-barred if there was an acceleration of the debt, and five years as passed. But the Romero v SunTrust decision (see below) from last year, raises the real issues. While the Bank had no right to bring a claim on the note, and presumably had no right to bring an action on the mortgage, the mortgage remains on record. Alleging that the statute of limitations bars any action on the note or mortgage does not invalidate the mortgage. If it is facially valid and properly recorded, it is there in the County records for all to see.

So the question arises “What happens at a subsequent closing on the sale of the property or refinance, and the Mortgagee (or party claiming to be the successor of the mortgagee) refuses to execute a satisfaction of mortgage without receiving payment?” Is THAT a claim that is time-barred? The answer is I don’t know, but I suspect that the refusal to execute a satisfaction of mortgage is an act that is separate from bringing an action to collect on a time-barred debt.

I suspect that an action for equitable relief demanding a Court order to force the Bank into executing a satisfaction of mortgage would fail. That is essentially the same as asking the Court to issue a quiet title order stating that the mortgage is invalid — a precedent that raises numerous hazards in the marketplace. Essentially you are saying that you did have the debt, the bank is time barred from enforcing it, so you want the mortgage nullified or canceled. Several Courts have issued ruling consistent with this ruling so I don’t want to give the impression that what I am saying is the general rule — what I am saying is that I think my theory of the action will become the general rule.

My theory, supported by case law in other states, is that you must have grounds to attack the validity of the instrument and win your case before you can then ask for a decision on Quiet Title. Fortunately, in the context of loans and title subject to claims of securitization, such an attack is eminently possible and likely to succeed on an increasing basis. But in order to do so, one must be very conversant in the claims of securitization generally and especially knowledgeable as to claims of succession or securitization in your specific case. Alleging that this particular defendant has been repeatedly found in court to lack the indicia of ownership or authority to enforce a note and mortgage may not do you any good. You are still left with the question of what to do with a facially valid mortgage encumbrance recorded against the property. If the person you sued doesn’t own it, who does?

After years of avoiding the right strategies, lawyers are coming around to the idea that in order to be truly successful in an action to remove the mortgage encumbrance, you need to have an allege facts to support the claim that the mortgage deed (or Deed of Trust) was invalid in the first instance or that it could not be enforced even if the statute of limitations was not applicable. THEN alleging the statute of limitations is a good idea as corroboration for your logic that the mortgage is invalid because it is unenforceable and without merit in all instances.

There are two such attacks that are promising:

1. Attack the initial closing as lacking consideration or giving rise to common law or statutory rescission. If statutory rescission applies, the law states that the encumbrance is terminated by operation of law. (TILA). The allegation that the opposing bank is a “holder” (according to them) is insufficient to bar your attack on the initial closing. The problem of course is that the banks regularly confuse judges into applying the rules of a holder in due course when the Bank itself makes no such assertion. Hence, being able to remind or educate the judge on the differences between holders, holders with rights to enforce and holder in due course is essential and must be presented with clarity. If you don’t understand the differences you are not prepared for the hearing.

2. Attack the subsequent acquisition of the “loan”, debt, note and/or mortgage also as being a sham lacking in consideration AND of course in violation of the PSA. The point to remember here is that the “assignment” or “endorsement” (almost always fabricated, forged or unauthorized) is only an OFFER in which case the Trustee of the REMIC trust must accept the offer and then pay for it. In fact most PSA’s require a letter of opinion from counsel for the Trust indicating that no negative tax impact will result on the Trust’s REMIC status. Three things we know to be true in most cases: (a) the Trustee never accepted the transfer and (b) The trust never paid for the loan and (c) a loan already declared in default is not susceptible to acceptance by the trust. Keep in mind that most trusts are governed by New York Law which says that such transactions are void, not voidable.

So let us assume that you have a receptive Judge who agrees that the transfer to the trust never occurred or even that the original loan documents lack consideration from the named Payee on the note (and of course the named Mortgagee/beneficiary under the Mortgage). In my opinion you are still only half way to home base. No home run yet, although I think the law will evolve where that IS sufficient to remove the mortgage encumbrance.

So now what? You have still sued parties whom you have proven have no interest in the mortgage. The question is whether you have eliminated the possibility of ANY party (who has no notice of the action) having an interest in the debt, note or mortgage. And many judges will reply that you have put on a pretty good case but you still have not identified the creditor — an odd twist on the defensive actions in foreclosure cases.

My opinion is that you need to allege a fact pattern, where appropriate, that states that Wall Street investors advanced the money to the borrower without knowing that their money was not going through the trust. Hence a direct relationship arose by operation of law between the borrower, as debtor and the investors as creditors. Those investors are creditors not as Trust beneficiaries but rather personally, because the money never went through the trust. The allegation is that they were cheated by intervening fraudulent behavior or negligent behavior on the part of the broker dealer who sold them the securities of an empty REMIC Trust that never received the proceeds of sale of the REMIC RMBS.

At this point you can properly argue that  the investors were entitled to a note and mortgage by virtue of the securitization documents that were used to fraudulently induce them to part with their money. The allegation should be that they didn’t get it and that putting the name of sham “nominees” did not accrue to the benefit of the investors but rather inured to the benefit of intermediaries who were not lending money in your transaction.

Either way, you say that as to the debt between the mortgagor homeowner and whoever else might be making a claim, the initial mortgage encumbrance is now and/or has always been invalid and unenforceable because they recite facts based upon a non-existent transaction, that the mortgage has been split from the note, that the note has been split from the debt, and through no fault of the homeowner, there is no note or mortgage inuring to the benefit of the actual creditors. The cherry on top is that there is no such thing as an equitable mortgage — for the same reasons that courts are reluctant to grant quiet title actions — it would cause chaos in the market place and raise uncertainty that the recording statutes are intended to avoid.

See Romero v SunTrust Statute of Limitations 9-3-2013

See also “a new and different breach” Singleton v Greymar Fla S Ct 882 So2d 1004 9-15-2004

And on collateral estoppel Kaan v Wells fargo Bank NA Case 13-80828-CIV 11-5-13

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

Are you a candidate for Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund relief for Foreclosure Victims? See Florida Hardest Hit Fund

 

 

9th Circuit (Federal) Allows Quiet Title and Damages for Wrongful Filing of False Documents

Hat Tip to Beth Findsen who is a good friend and a great lawyer in Scottsdale, Az and who provided this case to me this morning. I always recommend her in Arizona because her writing is spectacular and her courtroom experience invaluable.

This case needs to be analyzed further. Robert Hager (CONGRATULATIONS TO HAGER IN RENO, NV) et al has succeeded in getting at least a partial and significant victory over the MERS system, and voiding robosigned documents as being forged per se. I disagree that a note and mortgage, once split, can be reunified by mere execution of an instrument. They are avoiding the issue just like the “lost note” issue. The rules of evidence and pleading have always required great factual specificity on the path of transactions leading up to the point where the note was lost or transferred. This Court dodged that bullet for now. Without evidence of the trail of ownership, the money trail and the document trail all the way through the system, such a finding leaves us in the dark. The case does show what I have been saying all along — the importance of pleading and admitting to NOTHING. By not specifically stating that there was no default, the court concluded that Plaintiffs had failed to establish the elements of wrongful foreclosure and left open the entire question about whether such a cause of action even exists.

But the more basic issue us whether the homeowner can sue for quiet title and damages for slander of his title by the use and filing of patently false documentation in Court, in the County records etc. The answer is a resounding YES and will be sustained should the banks try to move this up the ladder to the U.S. Supreme Court. This opinion changes again my earlier comments. First I said you could quiet title, then I said you first needed to nullify title (the mortgage) before you could even file a quiet title action. Now I revert to my prior position based upon the holding and sound reasoning behind this court decision. One caveat: you must plead facts for nullification, cancellation of the instrument on the grounds that it is void before you can get to your cause of action on quiet title and damages for slander of the homeowner’s title. My conclusion is that they may be and perhaps should be in the same lawsuit. This decision makes clear the damage wrought by use of the MERS system. It is strong persuasive authority in other jurisdictions and now the law for all courts within the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction.

Here are some of the significant quotes.

Writing in 2011, the MDL Court dismissed Count I on four grounds. None of these grounds provides an appropriate basis for dismissal. We recognize that at the time of its decision, the MDL Court had plausible arguments under Arizona law in support of three of these grounds. But decisions by Arizona courts after 2011 have made clear that the MDL Court was incorrect in relying on them.
First, the MDL Court concluded that § 33-420 does not apply to the specific documents that the CAC alleges to be false. However, in Stauffer v. U.S. Bank National Ass’n, 308 P.3d 1173, 1175 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2013), the Arizona Court of Appeals held that a § 33-420(A) damages claim is available in a case in which plaintiffs alleged as false documents “a Notice of Trustee Sale, a Notice of Substitution of Trustee, and an Assignment of a Deed of Trust.” These are precisely the documents that the CAC alleges to be false.
[Statute of Limitations:] at least one case has suggested that a § 33-420(B) claim asserts a continuous wrong that is not subject to any statute of limitations as long as the cloud to title remains. State v. Mabery Ranch, Co., 165 P.3d 211, 227 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007).
Third, the MDL Court held that appellants lacked standing to sue under § 33-420 on the ground that, even if the documents were false, appellants were still obligated to repay their loans. In the view of the MDL Court, because appellants were in default they suffered no concrete and particularized injury. However, on virtually identical allegations, the Arizona Court of Appeals held to the contrary in Stauffer. The plaintiffs in Stauffer were defaulting residential homeowners who brought suit for damages under § 33-420(A) and to clear title under § 33-420(B). One of the grounds on which the documents were alleged to be false was that “the same person executed the Notice of Trustee Sale and the Notice of Breach, but because the signatures did not look the same, the signature of the Notice of Trustee Sale was possibly forged.” Stauffer, 308 P.3d at 1175 n.2.
“Appellees argue that the Stauffers do not have standing because the Recorded Documents have not caused them any injury, they have not disputed their own default, and the Property has not been sold pursuant to the Recorded Documents. The purpose of A.R.S. § 33-420 is to “protect property owners from actions clouding title to their property.” We find that the recording of false or fraudulent documents that assert an interest in a property may cloud the property’s title; in this case, the Stauffers, as owners of the Property, have alleged that they have suffered a distinct and palpable injury as a result of those clouds on their Property’s title.” [Stauffer at 1179]
The Court of Appeals not only held that the Stauffers had standing based on their “distinct and palpable injury.” It also held that they had stated claims under §§ 33-420(A) and (B). The court held that because the “Recorded Documents assert[ed] an interest in the Property,” the trial court had improperly dismissed the Stauffers’ damages claim under § 33-420(A). Id. at 1178. It then held that because the Stauffers had properly brought an action for damages under § 33-420(A), they could join an action to clear title of the allegedly false documents under § 33-420(B). The court wrote:
“The third sentence in subsection B states that an owner “may bring a separate special action to clear title to the real property or join such action with an action for damages as described in this section.” A.R.S. § 33-420.B. Therefore, we find that an action to clear title of a false or fraudulent document that asserts an interest in real property may be joined with an action for damages under § 33-420.A.”
Fourth, the MDL Court held that appellants had not pleaded their robosigning claims with sufficient particularity to satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a). We disagree. Section 33-420 characterizes as false, and therefore actionable, a document that is “forged, groundless, contains a material misstatement or false claim or is otherwise invalid.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 33-420(A), (B) (emphasis added). The CAC alleges that the documents at issue are invalid because they are “robosigned (forged).” The CAC specifically identifies numerous allegedly forged documents. For example, the CAC alleges that notice of the trustee’s sale of the property of Thomas and Laurie Bilyea was “notarized in blank prior to being signed on behalf of Michael A. Bosco, and the party that is represented to have signed the document, Michael A. Bosco, did not sign the document, and the party that did sign the document had no personal knowledge of any of the facts set forth in the notice.” Further, the CAC alleges that the document substituting a trustee under the deed of trust for the property of Nicholas DeBaggis “was notarized in blank prior to being signed on behalf of U.S. Bank National Association, and the party that is represented to have signed the document, Mark S. Bosco, did not sign the document.” Still further, the CAC also alleges that Jim Montes, who purportedly signed the substitution of trustee for the property of Milan Stejic had, on the same day, “signed and recorded, with differing signatures, numerous Substitutions of Trustee in the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office . . . . Many of the signatures appear visibly different than one another.” These and similar allegations in the CAC “plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief,” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 681 (2009), and provide the defendants fair notice as to the nature of appellants’ claims against them, Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011).
We therefore reverse the MDL Court’s dismissal of Count I.
[Importance of Pleading NO DEFAULT:] The Nevada Supreme Court stated in Collins v. Union Federal Savings & Loan Ass’n, 662 P.2d 610 (Nev. 1983):
An action for the tort of wrongful foreclosure will lie if the trustor or mortgagor can establish that at the time the power of sale was exercised or the foreclosure occurred, no breach of condition or failure of performance existed on the mortgagor’s or trustor’s part which would have authorized the foreclosure or exercise of the power of sale. Therefore, the material issue of fact in a wrongful foreclosure claim is whether the trustor was in default when the power of sale was exercised…. Because none of the appellants has shown a lack of default, tender, or an excuse from the tender requirement, appellants’ wrongful foreclosure claims cannot succeed. We therefore affirm the MDL Court’s of Count II.
[Questionable conclusion on “reunification of note and mortgage”:] the Nevada Supreme Court decided Edelstein v. Bank of New York Mellon, 286 P.3d 249 (Nev. 2012). Edelstein makes clear that MERS does have the authority, for purposes of § 107.080, to make valid assignments of the deed of trust to a successor beneficiary in order to reunify the deed of trust and the note. The court wrote:
Designating MERS as the beneficiary does . . . effectively “split” the note and the deed of trust at inception because . . . an entity separate from the original note holder . . . is listed as the beneficiary (MERS). . . . However, this split at the inception of the loan is not irreparable or fatal. . . . [W]hile entitlement to enforce both the deed of trust and the promissory note is required to foreclose, nothing requires those documents to be unified from the point of inception of the loan. . . . MERS, as a valid beneficiary, may assign its beneficial interest in the deed of trust to the holder of the note, at which time the documents are reunified.
We therefore affirm the MDL Court’s dismissal of Count III.

Here is the full opinion:

Opinion on MDL

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