How to Follow the Money

Ultimately all debts, notes and mortgages (or deeds of trust) are about money. They are not about property. The property is incidental to the deal and ONLY comes about if there is a dispute in which there is a claim that you didn’t pay money that is owed to the owner of the mortgage deed or the beneficial owner of a deed of trust. The mortgage deed or deed of trust is conditional, not absolute like your deed to your property that names you as owner. There is no such thing as a fee simple absolute mortgage or encumbrance. It doesn’t exist in our jurisprudence or for that matter any jurisprudence. 

The ONLY reason your property can be legally sold, denying you future title and possession of the property is that you owe money to the party who foreclosed — or on whose behalf the foreclosure was initiated. Mastering this one fact will pull your head and that you attorney’s head out of the weeds. 

We take it as a given that you owe money. The question is whether there is a party that can be identified as the the one to whom the money is owed. If so, who is that? What is the identification, address and contact information for the party who is actually owed money from you.

Spoiler alert: So far the banks have successfully skirted the question of money. From funding of the initial loan to the proceeds of sale fo the property nobody has actually disclosed where the money came from and where the money went when payments were made or the property was liquidated.

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Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.
I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.
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And the absolute immutable truth is that the so-called investors (i.e., the ones who bought “certificates” or “mortgage bonds”) do not receive your mortgage payments nor do they receive the proceeds of the sale your home. So who actually wants the foreclosure and why? The truth is that the investors get paid in the sole discretion of the underwriter of the “certificates.” Their payment is not conditioned upon your payment.

They get paid ONLY because the underwriter promised to pay them based upon certain conditions which does NOT include the receipt of mortgage payments. They do not get paid because you promised to pay the investors nor because your promise to pay was sold to either the investors or the trust. That sale never occurred. 

How do I know this? Because I have asked two questions thousands of times in the last 12 years. First, to whom were my payments forwarded by the self-proclaimed servicer? Answer: None of my business. Second, who received the proceeds of liquidation of the foreclosed property? Answer: none of my business. 

Knowing the banking industry as I do, there was only one possible conclusion: if they answered the question they would either perjury themselves or they would be admitting that the party named as being entitled to foreclosure was not really entitled to foreclosure. You see it is well established law — for centuries — that only the owner of a debt can foreclosure on collateral. 

For convenience sake a holder of a promissory note can enforce the note but only the owner of the debt is entitled to foreclose. If the foreclosing party claims a representative capacity the to establish a prima facie case it must disclose the party whom they claim to be representing and prove that the party being represented is the owner of the debt. 

So the one area, pointed out by Charles Koppa in So.Cal. a decade ago is what happens after the sale is authorized and the property is liquidated. He was figuring out the relationship between the bid amount and the amount the underwriter claimed as unpaid servicer advances (in the role of self-proclaimed master servicer for the nonexistent trust). Here we knew the answer but we were lucky enough to get hold of copies of a check made out to BONY/Mellon as trustee (Blah blah). BONY mailed it to the servicer and the servicer mailed it to Chase (i.e., the underwriter and master servicer doing business as the nonexistent trust, like a DBA.

No trust and no investor ever received the money. Chase got it and lest you forget, remember that Chase was all about selling loans and derivatives based upon loans and synthetic derivatives based upon the derivatives. It was never about actually making loans where Chase could lose money or buying loan as that were going to be worthless of worth less. It was about selling them. So the revelation is that BONY never had a claim to the money and either did the nonexistent trust that was ignored once the foreclosure court proceedings were over. 

Our investigations so far, with considerable help from Bill Paatalo, shows that multiple transfers of title occur AFTER the foreclosure sale or shortly before signaling the real player who is going to get the money. So you might want to think about the sale of your property title as the beginning rather than the end. It is the beginning of an action (lawsuit) to vacate the sale and award damages. 

Another Ruse: Realtors Gleeful over Equator Short Sale Platform

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Editor’s Comment:

Banks have adopted a technology platform to process short sale applications. It is called Equator, presumably to imply that it equates one thing with another, and produces a result that either gives a pass or fail to the application. In theory it is a good thing for those people who want to save their homes, save their credit (up to a point) and move on. In practice it essentially licenses the real estate broker to take control over the negotiations and police the transactions so that the new “network” rules are not violated. This reminds me of VISA and MasterCard who control the payment processing business with the illusion of being a quasi governmental agency. Nothing could be further from the truth, but bankers react to net work threats as though the IRS was after them.

Equator is meant as another layer of illusion to the title problem that realtors and title companies are trying to cover up. The short sale is getting be the most popular form of real estate sale because it is a form of principal reduction where there is some face-saving by the banks and the borrowers. The problem is that while short sales are a legitimate form of workout,  they leave the elephant in the living room undisturbed — short sales approved by banks and servicers who have neither the authority nor the interest in the loan to even be involved except as an agent of Equator but NOT as an agent of the lenders,  if they even exist anymore.

So using the shortsale they get the signature of the borrower as seller which gives them a layer of protection if they are the bank or servicer approving the short-sale. But it fails to cure the title defect, especially in millions of transactions in which Nominees (like MERS and dummy originators) are in the chain of title. 

The true owner of the obligation is a group of investor lenders who appear to have only one thing in common— they all gave money to an investment bank or an affiliate of an investment bank, where it was divided up and put into various accounts, some of which were used to fund mortgages and others were used to pay fees and profits to the investment bank on the closing of the “deal” with the investor lenders. As far as the county recorder is concerned, those deposits and splits are nonexistent. 

The investor lenders were then told that their money was pooled in a “Trust” when no such entity ever existed or was registered to do business and no attempt was made to fund the trust. An unfunded trust is not a trust. This, the investor lenders were told was a REMIC entity.  While a REMIC could have been established it never happened  in the the real world because the only communications between participants in the securitization chain consisted of a spreadsheet describing “closed loans.” Such communications did not include transfer, assignment or even transmittal or delivery of the closing papers with the borrower. Thus as far as the county recorder’s office is concerned, they still knew nothing. Now in the shortsales, they want a stranger the transaction to take the money and run — with no requirement that they establish themselves as creditors and no credible documentation that they are the owner of the loan.

This is another end run around the requirements of basic law in property transactions. They are doing it because our government officials are letting them do it, thus implicitly ratifying the right to foreclose and submit a credit bid without any requirement of proof or even offer of proof.

It gets worse. So we have BOA agreeing to accept dollars in satisfaction of a loan that they have no record of owning. The shortsale seller might still be liable to someone if the banks and servicers continue to have their way with creating false chains of ownership. But the real tragedy is that the shortsale seller is probably getting the shaft on a false premise — I.e, that the mortgage or deed of trust had any validity to begin with. 

The shortsale Buyer is most probably buying a lawsuit along with the house. At some point, the huge gaps in the chain of title are going to cause lawyers in increasing numbers to object to title and demand that it be fixed or that the client be adequately covered by insurance arising from securitizatioin claims. Thus when the shortsale Buyer becomes a seller, that is when the problems will first start to surface.

Realtors understand this analysis whereas buyers from Canada and other places do not understand it. But realtors see shortsales as the salvation to their diminished incomes. Thus most realtors are incentivized to misrepresent the risk factors and the title issues in favor of controlling the buyer and the seller into accepting pre-established criteria published by the members of Equator. It is securitization all over again, it is MERS all over again, it is a further corruption of our title system and it is avoiding the main issue — making the victims of this fraud whole even if it takes every penny the banks have. Realtors who ignore this can expect that they and their insurance carriers will be part of the gang of targeted deep pockets when lawyers smell the blood on the floor and go after the perpetrators.

Latest Changes to The Bank of America Short Sale Process

by Melissa Zavala

When processing short sales, it’s important to know about how each of the lending institutions handles loss mitigation and paperwork processing. If you have done a few short sales in Equator with different lenders, you may see what while your same Equator account is used for all your short sales at all the lending institutions, each of the servicers uses the platforms in a different manner.

Using the Equator system

When processing short sales, it’s important to know about how each of the lending institutions handles loss mitigation and paperwork processing. Many folks already know that Equator is the online platform used by 5 major lenders (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Nationstar, GMAC, and Service One). If you have done a few short sales in Equator with different lenders, you may see what while your same Equator account is used for all your short sales at all the lending institutions, each of the servicers uses the platforms in a different manner.

And, my hat goes off to Bank of America for really raising the bar when it comes to short sale processing online. And, believe me, after processing short sales with Bank of America in 2007, this change is much appreciated.

New Bank of America Short Sale Process

Effective April 13, 2012, Bank of America made a few major changes that may make our short sale processing times more efficient.  The goal of these changes is to make short sale processing through Equator (the Internet-based platform) at Bank of America so efficient that short sale approval can be received in less than one month.

First off, Bank of America now requires their new third party authorization for all short sales being processed through the Equator system. Additionally, the folks at Bank of America will be working to improve task flow for short sales in Equator by making some minor changes to the process.

According to the Bank of America website,

Now you are required to upload five documents (which you can obtain at http://www.bankofamerica.com/realestateagent) for short sales initiated with an offer:

  • Purchase Contract including Buyer’s Acknowledgment and Disclosure
  • HUD-1
  • IRS Form 4506-T
  • Bank of America Short Sale Addendum
  • Bank of America Third-Party Authorization Form

And, now, you will have only 5 days to submit a backup offer if your buyer has flown the coop.

The last change is a curious one, especially for short sale listing agents, since it often takes awhile to find a new buyer after you learn that the current buyer has changed his or her mind.

Short sale listings agents should be familiar with these changes in order to assure that they are providing their client with the most efficient short sale experience possible.


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