TILA RESCISSION: W.V. Federal District Court:”LENDER” MUST FILE SUIT, DAMAGES AWARDED TO BORROWER

major hat-tip to Charles Cox in Nevada.

Federal Judge’s response to chicken little argument: [2] RMS argues that enforcing the statute as written would upend the mortgage industry. As noted, lending institutions faced with a notice of rescission have many options to protect their interests and ensure that the borrower is able to tender the loan proceeds. Most obviously, creditors may provide the required disclosures to limit the rescission period to three days, when parties are more likely to be able to easily return to the status quo. The Court is unconvinced that creditors will be unable to protect their financial interests if they are required to comply with § 1635 according to its terms.”(e.s.)

And that, my friends is the end of the free house myth and the sky is falling argument for making homeowners pay for bank malfeasance and negligence.

As I have said and predicted, the language of the TILA Rescission statute 15 USC §1635 is clear and unambiguous. This decision will eventually pull the plug on all claims of securitization whether true or false.

The problem for the financial industry is (a) they have no way of actually identifying the debt from the perspective a creditor and (b) therefore they have no creditor to identify. In order to file a claim to change or vacate the notice of rescission they must allege and prove standing without the void note and void mortgage. That requires a creditor.

However this case does not test the three year express limit on TILA rescission. I say that all rescissions are effective by operation of law when delivered (or mailed using USPS) regardless of whether or not the rescission is contested. I say that TILA Rescission creates a procedural hurdle that the banks have been dancing around for over a decade. The three year limitation could be an adequate defense and grounds to vacate the TILA rescission — but only if “someone” asks for it and that “someone” must be a party with standing that does not rely on the void note and void mortgage. This is an issue for another day.

Thre question in this case is whether there will be an appeal and if so, in whose name?

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 consent 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.

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

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

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

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see LAVIS v. REVERSE MORTGAGE SOLUTIONS LLC Dist

For more discussion on TILA Rescission just use the search bar here on this blog “TILA RESCISSION.”

Without further comment ad nauseum but with at least one well-deserved “I told you so” here are some significant quotes from a West Virginia District Court Judge:

RMS conceded that it could not demonstrate that Ms. Lavis was provided notice of her right to rescind, which extended the time in which Ms. Lavis could exercise that right. Ms. Lavis cites the testimony from RMS’ corporate representative, confirming that it had a copy of her notice of rescission, with a receipt stamp dated May 17, 2016, and that RMS did not release the deeds of trust or file a civil action to maintain the lien within twenty days after that notice.

The Court further finds that RMS failed to preserve any right to tender from Ms. Lavis. Ms. Lavis took all appropriate steps required under the statute to rescind and to protect her rights. Despite its status as a sophisticated entity with access to the expertise of counsel, RMS did nothing in response to Ms. Lavis’ notice of rescission. It did not take steps to terminate her security interest. It did not request that she proffer regarding her ability to tender or submit a request for a specific amount in tender. It did not file suit to preserve its right to tender or to delay its obligation to terminate the security interest pending Ms. Lavis’ demonstration of an ability to tender the loan proceeds. After Ms. Lavis filed this action to enforce her rights, RMS did not file a counterclaim for return of the loan proceeds. It did not file a motion or other response requesting that the Court alter the procedures set forth in 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b). Instead, it continued to insist, even through the end of trial and in its briefings considered here, that it could simply ignore Ms. Lavis’ rescission of the loan.[2](e.s.)

 

The evidence related to rescission was not significantly in dispute, although the parties vigorously dispute the legal implications of the facts. RMS did not provide Ms. Lavis with required disclosures regarding the right to rescind at the loan closing, giving her three years to exercise her right to rescind. Ms. Lavis sent a letter, dated May 12, 2016, informing RMS that she was exercising her right to rescind. Although RMS does not dispute that Ms. Lavis retained the right to rescind, it did nothing in response to the letter. To date, RMS has taken no steps to effectuate rescission or to honor its statutory obligations triggered by Ms. Lavis’ letter.

15 U.S.C. § 1365(b) sets forth the procedures involved in rescission, using mandatory “shall” language. Within twenty days after an obligor exercises the right to rescind, “the creditor shall return to the obligor any money or property given as earnest money, down payment, or otherwise, and shall take any action necessary or appropriate to reflect the termination of any security interest created under the transaction.” 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b) (emphasis added.) This language is not permissive.

The Court has repeatedly held that the clear language of the statute, as well as the Supreme Court’s discussion of the issue in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., demonstrate that, absent a suit or motion to alter the procedures set forth in the statute and regulations, a creditor’s obligation to return funds and terminate the security interest precedes any obligation of the borrower to tender loan proceeds. 135 S.Ct. 790, 793 (2015).

The Court further finds that RMS failed to preserve any right to tender from Ms. Lavis. Ms. Lavis took all appropriate steps required under the statute to rescind and to protect her rights. Despite its status as a sophisticated entity with to the expertise of counsel, RMS did nothing in response to Ms. Lavis’ notice of rescission. It did not take steps to terminate her security interest. It did not request that she proffer regarding her ability to tender or submit a request for a specific amount in tender. It did not file suit to preserve its right to tender or to delay its obligation to terminate the security interest pending Ms. Lavis’ demonstration of an ability to tender the loan proceeds. After Ms. Lavis filed this action to enforce her rights, RMS did not file a counterclaim for return of the loan proceeds. It did not file a motion or other response requesting that the Court alter the procedures set forth in 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b). Instead, it continued to insist, even through the end of trial and in its briefings considered here, that it could simply ignore Ms. Lavis’ rescission of the loan.[2](e.s.)

A finding that RMS is entitled to tender, despite its disregard of its obligations over a period of years and its failure to take any measures to preserve its rights under the statute, would incentivize lending institutions to follow RMS’ poor example.

Rescission Article for the Banks

Hat tip to anonymous tipster

I have previously posted articles written by lawyers who researched and analyzed the TILA rescission statute 15 U.S.C. §1635 et seq. The bottom line is that they all have come to the same conclusions that I have after 12 years of study. The latest one brought to my attention was written probably before January, 2015, when the Jesinoski decision was published by the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

The interesting thing about this article, written for in-house counsel for lenders, is that it obviously predates the Jesinoski decision (January, 2015) by SCOTUS. The thrust of the article is that borrowers must bring a lawsuit to effectuate TILA rescission within 3 years. The law of the land is that borrowers do NOT need to file suit to effectuate rescission and that to do so would be redundant because TILA Rescission is effective on delivery “by operation of law.”

Despite thousands of court decisions based upon that exact premise, the U.S. Supreme Court reached the obvious conclusion that such a view conflicts with the wording of the statute that says the rescission is effective, by operation of law, on the date of delivery or mailing. In effect SCOTUS reversed thousands of decisions by trial courts, appellate courts and even State Supreme Courts.

So the interesting point is that once you read the whole article you must read it again and exclude or remove the notion that there is some burden, rule or law that requires the homeowner to bring it to court and that the burden of going to court and applying for relief from the TILA rescission is squarely on the creditor, and must be exercised within 20 days; any ability of the “lender” to stonewall or extend the 20 day period would enable the foreclosing party to block the ability of the borrower to obtain alternative financing to pay back the principal. The session notes for the legislation make it very clear that Congress was removing all possible tools for the banks to “stonewall” the TILA rescission.

You must remember that the banks were instrumental in drafting TILA back in the 1960’s. There is no surprise here. Faced with two potential methods of policing the banks Congress chose the one advocated by the banks — a provision handing the control over the loan contract completely and entirely to the borrower. The results were draconian to be sure, but they were intended to be draconian because Congress did not want to establish a new federal agency to review all loan contracts.

So once you read the article for a second time you will come to the same conclusion that I did in 2008 — that the attorneys for the banks agree with my statements and analysis 100%. But what these attorneys don’t know is that their clients have no way of introducing a party with standing to challenge the TILA rescission. Hence the advice of filing a motion in court to establish rescission procedure is falling on deaf ears.

And the second thing these attorneys for the banks don’t understand is that TILA rescission is a risk factor to the issuance of “certificates” by an alleged trust. It’s a risk factor that was never publicized. And when the borrower is successful, by operation of law, in sending a notice of rescission it is game over — nobody except the owner of the debt can possibly bring the challenge to the TILA rescission. There MIGHT be some wiggle room as to whether the 3 year limitation is a statute of repose (barring equitable tolling) or a statute of limitations.

But either way, applying the express wording of the TILA Rescission statute, any challenge to a notice of rescission must be made by a party with legal standing within 20 days of the date on which the rescission became effective. Standing after any notice of TILA rescission cannot rely on ownership or possession of the note or mortgage. They were rendered void by sending the notice.

A claim may not be based upon void documents. There simply is no subject matter jurisdiction where, after notice of rescission has been delivered, the claims against the borrower for repayment of the debt are based upon the void (by operation of law) note and mortgage.

See Locke Lord TILARescission-Perdew

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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 consent to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key elements of a scam. 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.

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORMWITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

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

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

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TILA Rescission Time Limits

If you slow down and logically go through the statute and the Jesinoski decision it is easy to analyze the situation and come to a correct conclusion. This is not argument of law, it is the application of logic. SCOTUS and the statute state unequivocally that the rescission is effective WHEN it is mailed, by operation of law. Everything else happens afterwards.

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

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK ORDERED BY YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS IS NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 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).

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

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The “three year” limitation is an affirmative defense that only arises AFTER rescission is effective by operation of law. It is only an affirmative act resulting in a court order that can revoke or vacate a TIILA rescission. To state it more bluntly, merely raising a dispute does not mean (a) you have the standing to do so nor (b) that the matter is at issue. The error here is that the parties are usually already in court.
As soon as the court is apprised of the rescission having been sent (whether 10 minutes ago or 10 years ago) the case changes, to wit: any action based upon the note and mortgage must be struck or dismissed.
  • Any party who was pursuing a claim based upon the note and mortgage is out — they no longer have legal standing and the Court no longer has subject matter jurisdiction over their claims or defenses.
  • Any party who is the actual creditor could, within 20 days from notice of rescission, either comply with the statute or file a lawsuit invoking and standing or any other basis upon which they dispute that the rescission was properly sent.
  • Any party failing to invoke the remedy of repayment or the duty of compliance within one year from date of mailing is barred from pursuing any statutory claim.
  • Title stays unchanged as of the date of mailing, to wit: fee simple absolute with no encumbrance of mortgage or deed of trust.
Once the statutory scheme is invoked, everything changes. The statutory scheme replaces the loan agreement just as the statutory scheme for nonjudicial foreclosure replaces the constitutional requirement of due process PROVIDED that the homeowner may still invoke the right to due process. If not, the statutory nonjudicial scheme is all that remains. The same analysis applies when looking at the nonjudicial cancelation of the loan agreement. If the “lender” fails to object with a lawsuit to vacate or revoke the rescission, then the statutory nonjudicial scheme is all that remains.
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Once TILA rescission is sent, the note and mortgage no longer exist, by operation of law. The courts may not simply apply a note (new or old), much less an encumbrance (new or old) on land by fiat as this deprives the homeowner of his right to due process before his clear title can be taken away from him. Such an act must be preceded by formal application to a court by a party who has legal standing, and a trial occurs producing the court order. That application must be filed within 20 days of notice of rescission.
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People are pointing to the reference in Jesinoski to the three year limitation. That is dicta — i.e., there is no ruling or opinion on when or whether that defense can be invoked. That defense does not arise by operation of law like the effectiveness of the rescission notice. But we do know by definition that such defenses can only arise after notice of rescission is sent. The argument that SCOTUS said that a notice sent outside the three year period is void is wrong. There is no place in the opinion where the court says that. And it isn’t likely they they will issue such an opinion.
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The reason is that if SCOTUS were to say that rescission is NOT effective upon mailing if it was mailed beyond the three year limitation, then an added condition is being inserted into the statute. The option stands for exactly the opposite conclusion. No conditions may be added. Period. Any interpretation or ruling that adds a condition means that the rescission is not effective upon mailing by operation of law. Such a ruling inserts “unless….” into the wording of the statute and the ruling of SCOTUS.
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Lastly, within the context of 15  USC §1635 and Jesinoski, the rescission and simultaneous destruction of the note and mortgage does NOT start a clock on any statute of limitations any more than a Deed starts a clock on a statute of limitations as to the title. But for the same reason it is true that SCOTUS is unlikely to say both a 2008 and 2017 rescission were effective. Once the first rescission was sent (and assuming there is no doubt about that) the loan agreement was canceled; hence, there was nothing to rescind in 2017.

What is the effect of TILA Rescission on My title? Can I sue for damages?

I have been getting the same questions from multiple attorneys and homeowners. One of them is preparing a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on rescission, but is wondering, as things stand whether she has any right to sue for damages. When our team prepares a complaint or other pleading for a lawyer or homeowner we concentrate on the elements of what needs to be present and the logic of what we are presenting. It must be very compelling or the judge will regard it as just another attempt to get out of justly due debt.

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

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS IS NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

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).

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

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Combining fact patterns from multiple inquiries we start with a homeowner who actually sent two notices of rescission (2010 and 2017). Questions vary from who do I sue for damages to how do I get my title back?

Note that the biggest and most common error in rescission litigation is that the homeowner attempts to (a) have the court declare the rescission effective contrary to their own argument that it is already effective by operation of law, 15 USC §1635, and (b) seek to enforce the TILA rescission statutory duties beyond one year after rescission.

Whether you can sue for damages is one question. Whether the rescission had the effect of removing the jurisdiction, right or authority to dispossess you of title is another. And whether title ever changed is yet another. Yes you can sue for damages if not barred by a statute of limitations. Yes authority is vitiated by operation of law regardless of the status of litigation. And NO, title never changed and you probably own your house unless state law restricts your right to claim such ownership.

All three questions are related.
Taking the last question (did title actually change?) first, my opinion is that the rescission was effective when mailed. Therefore the note and mortgage were void. The failure of the alleged “lender” to comply with the rescission duties and then pursue repayment within one year from the date of rescission bars them from pursuing the debt. So at this point in time (equally applicable to the 2017 rescission notice) there is no note, mortgage or enforceable debt.
  • Hence any further activities to enforce the note and mortgage were legally void. And that means that any change of title wherein a party received title via any instrument executed by anyone other than you is equally legally void. In fact, that would be the very definition of a wild deed.
  • The grantor did not have any right, title or interest to convey even if it was a Sheriff, Clerk or Trustee in a deed of trust.
  • Any other interpretation offered by the banks would in substance boil down to arguments about why the rescission notice should not be effective upon mailing, like the statute says and like SCOTUS said 9-0 in Jesinoski.
  • CAUSES OF ACTION would definitely include
    • the equitable remedy of mandatory and prohibitive injunctions to prevent anyone from clouding your title or harassing you for an unenforceable debt would apply. But as we have seen, the trial courts and even the appellate courts refuse to concede that the rescission notice is effective upon mailing by operation of law, voiding the note and mortgage.
    • such a petition could also seek supplemental relief (i.e., monetary damages) and could be pursued as long as the statute of limitations does not bar your claim for damages. This is where it gets academically interesting. You are more likely to be barred if you use the 20010 rescission than you are if you use the 2016 rescission.
    • a lawsuit for misrepresentation (intentional and/or negligent) might also produce a verdict for damages — compensatory and punitive. It can be shown that bank lawyers were publishing all over the internet warning the banks to stop ignoring rescission. They knew. And they did it anyway. Add that to the fact that the foreclosing party was most often a nonexistent trust with no substance to its claim as administrator of the loan, and the case becomes stronger and potentially more lucrative.
    • CLASS ACTION: Mass joinder would probably be the better vehicle but the FTC and AG’s (and other agencies) have bowed to bank pressure and made mass joinder a dirty word. It is the one vehicle that cannot be stopped for failure to certify a class because there is not class — just a group of people who have the same cause fo action with varying damages. The rules for class actions have become increasingly restrictive but it certainly appears that technically the legal elements for certification fo the class are present. It is very expensive for the lawyers, often exceeding $1 million in costs and expenses other than fees.
    • Bottom line is that you legally still own your property but it may take a court to legally unwind all of the wrongful actions undertaken by previous courts at the behest of banks misrepresenting the facts. Legally title never changed, in my opinion.

Taking the second question (the right to dispossess your title) my answer would obviously be in the negative (i.e., NO). Since there was no right to even attempt changing title without the homeowner’s consent and signature, petitions to vacate such actions and for damages would most likely apply.

  • This question is added because the courts are almost certainly going to confuse (intentionally or not) the difference between unauthorized actions and void actions.
  • The proper analysis is obviously that the rescission is effective upon mailing by operation of law.
  • Being effective by operation of law means that the action constitutes an event that has already happened at the moment that the law says it is effective. If a court views this simply as “unauthorized” actions then it will most likely slip back into its original “sin”, to wit: treating rescission as a claim rather than an event that has already transpired.

And lastly the issue of claims for damages. There are different elements to each potential cause of action for damages or supplemental relief. I would group them as negligence, fraud, and breach of statutory duty.

  • As to the last you are barred from enforcing statutory duties in the TILA rescission statute if you are seeking such relief more than one year after rescission. But there are other statutes — RESPA, FDCPA and state statutes that are intended to provide for consumer protection or redress when the statutes are violated. There are statutory limits on the amount of damages that can be awarded to a consumer borrower.
  • Fraud requires specific allegations of misrepresentations — not just an argument that the position taken by the banks and servicers was wrong or even wrongful. It also requires knowledge and intent to deceive. It is harder to prove first because fraud must be proven by clear and convincing evidence which is close to beyond a reasonable doubt. Second it is harder to prove because you must go into “state of mind” of a business entity. The reward for proving fraud is that it might open the door to punitive damages and such awards have been in the millions of dollars.
  • Negligence is the easier to prove that it is more likely than not that the Defendant violated a statutory or common law duty — a duty of care. So the elements are simple — duty, breach of that duty, proximate cause of injury, and the actual injury. Negligent misrepresentation and negligent super vision and gross negligence are popular.

Tonight! Open Rebellion By Inferior Courts Threatens Authority of SCOTUS!

Lecturing Courts on Their Duty to Comply with SCOTUS Decisions

Thursdays LIVE! Click in to the The Neil Garfield Show

Or call in at (347) 850-1260, 6pm Eastern Thursdays

While the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)  unanimously (9-0) put to bed all of the arguments against the effectiveness of a notice of rescission under 15 U.S.C. §1635, Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, 135 S. Ct. 790 (2015), all inferior and lower courts have been ruling the other way. Any dispute raised by anyone, even if they have no legal standing to do so, is taken as an excuse for the lower courts to impose conditions not included in the TILA Rescission statute and banned or barred by SCOTUS.

Join me tonight as we discuss what to do about rebellious judges and how to preserve your interest in real property despite a negative ruling from a trial judge, even if it is affirmed by an appellate court other than SCOTUS, the highest court in the land.

Is a Neg-AM Note a Negotiable Instrument?

The UCC is not ambivalent about protecting both the maker of a negotiable instrument and the party seeking to enforce it. The maker does not assume the risk of double liability except for instances where the note is purchased for value in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. In all other circumstances the object is to prevent the maker from being exposed to double liability.

The fact that a note is not a negotiable instrument does not mean that it cannot be enforced, or that it is void or whatever else people are saying on the internet. If the note does not meet the definition of a negotiable instrument then it is simply not entitled to the legal presumptions that are given to a negotiable instrument to ease its trading and enforcement. Any other approach would be equivalent to propelling parties who seek to enforce a note being vaulted into the elevated class of holder in due course.

In other words, if the note is not a negotiable instrument then enforcement can only be achieved by pleading and proving the facts needed to enforce without the benefit of legal presumptions that each State adopted as a a statute when the Uniform Commercial Code was made law.

In cases where a negative amortization is involved, the courts have blurred the issues. Such a loan has many extrinsic factors that should disqualify the note from being treated as a negotiable instrument.

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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).

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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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We must always remember that the purpose of the UCC is not to provide a vehicle for tricking anyone. The purpose is to allow for free flow of commerce and enabling the passing of paper instruments is essential to that function. Like many statutes creating legal presumptions, perhaps all of them, the point is simply to take what is almost always true in fact and simply create a legal presumption that the matter asserted is in fact true, until proven otherwise. Lest the use of such presumptions tip the due process scales, the definitions and rules regarding the use of legal presumptions must be strictly construed.

The issue of negative amortization is highly relevant on many levels including the one frequently mentioned — negotiability. The courts are probably confusing the ability to negotiate an instrument with BEING a negotiable instrument. The words of art are important. A marketable instrument is not the same as a negotiable one. The fact that someone is willing to buy a note does not make the note negotiable. A note featuring negative amortization should not be considered a negotiable instrument even though it might be marketable.

One of the problems with consumer loans is that they are subject to TILA Rescission. That means that they are potentially enforceable if no notice of rescission has been mailed. Certainty is gone from that scenario. You cannot determine whether the note is an asset or a liability. It is practically the opposite of a negotiable instrument since it might well be worthless, and the even the purchaser of the note might suffer a total loss unless the purchaser had paid value for the debt in a transaction in which the seller owned the debt.

Most Neg-AM loans allow the borrower (or can’t stop the borrower) from switching from one payment plan to another, e.g. paying full amortization none of which changes are reflected on the face of the note. This creates relevant events that occur off the face of the note, making the actual amount of principal due (and interest on the changing principal) at any time subject to calculation, not just from the face of the note but from the face of extrinsic or parole records.

An interesting characteristic of most Neg-AM notes is that they contain provisions that require conversion or reset when the accrued interest is added to principal in such amount as to require the reset — i.e., usually at 115% of the original loan amount. But none of these features necessarily extrinsically change the terms on the face of the note. Modifications do that, but not Neg-AM loans. It is in the calculation of the principal and interest thereon that one must go to “business records.”

If Neg-AM notes can be negotiable instruments then buyers of the notes are expected to rely upon the legal presumptions that the note is what it appears to be. Such buyers, much like the borrowers, are in for a surprise when the loan resets, based upon an extrinsic calculation of when 115% of principal has been exceeded, and if exceeded, by how much. Certainty is gone. If certainty is gone then facts are necessary. No legal presumptions should apply.

There are very simple elements required in order to gain the legal presumptions that would apply to a negotiable instrument.

The main one is that the instrument must be payable in an amount that can be computed based upon the information on the face of the note. On the face of a Neg-AM note, there are terms and conditions that can easily be used to compute the total indebtedness, assuming that extrinsic factors have not come into play. All notes change every day in terms of the amount of interest due and, in the case of Neg-AM notes, the amount of principal, which goes up automatically by underpayment of interest.

It is generally agreed that a note on which there is a known or declared default is NOT a negotiable instrument for purposes of Article 3. You can’t know with certainty the amount due because you don’t know when the borrower defaulted. A DOT or Mortgage is not a negotiable instrument, and to enforce a DOT/Mortgage you must have paid value for the mortgage (Article 9), regardless of whether the note that is secured is a negotiable instrument or not. These are protections to be sure, but they are also insurance that the legal presumptions lead correctly to the truth of the matter.

A second element is that the payment must be due as of a date certain. A mortgage/DOT can’t be a negotiable instrument and cannot invoke the presumptions that a “holder” of a note can invoke, based upon possession and endorsement.

With Neg-AM notes the problem comes into high relief — when the “lender” knows that the reset will be in excess of the entire household income thus creating a virtual guarantee that the alleged loan contract will terminate in 3 years rather than 30 years. Hence the supposed indorsee of such a note is buying into a foreclosure situation, if he/she/it has done due diligence. If not, then here is a second situation where the note might be worthless and the buyer loses, unless the buyer bought the debt from a seller who owned the debt.

A third element is that the original note must either be made out to bearer or to a defined party. But it is possible for a note made payable to a non-lender or a fictitious party might be construed as bearer paper — if there was an actual transaction in which someone gave the borrower money, even if the identity of the funding source was concealed. The obviously violations of disclosure requirements are separate matters.

In all the elements the point is that in order for an instrument to be called “Negotiable” under Article 3 you must not need to inquire into parol or extrinsic evidence. All presumptions arise when the note is facially valid and there are no circumstances that the indorsee knows about that would undermine enforcement. With a DOT/mortgage, by definition on the face of the instrument, you must go to extrinsic evidence as to the presumed default on another instrument (the note) and you can only enforce upon proof of value paid for the mortgage/DOT.

A note might be facially valid and enforceable, which means that a party who pleads and proves they are entitled to enforce is entitled to a money judgment but not foreclosure unless they plead and prove they are a holder in due course, which by definition means that value was paid and hence the mortgage or DOT is also enforceable by them.

Other than an HDC, all the other categories of potential enforcement by a party should enable them only to enforce the note. Of course if the owner of the debt shows up, there would be no problems with enforcement of either the note or the mortgage because the owner of the debt is entitled to enforce the obligation to pay the debt.

Under securitization schemes in practice it is possible to own the mortgage but not be able to enforce it without having paid value. Courts that decide cases based upon the “mortgage follows the note” are missing the point of LAW that resides in their State’s adoption of the UCC, to wit: under no circumstances may a party force the sale of homestead property without being the owner of the debt. That is not a proposal. It is the law in all 50 states.

While the encumbrance may not be enforced, this does not invalidate the mortgage or deed of trust. When it comes time to sell or refi the property you will learn that you still must deal with the holder of the mortgage. An action in equity might be decided in your favor or you might have to pay a sum of money to the owner of the mortgage encumbrance even though they paid nothing for it.

People forget that there are three items here, not two. In addition to the note and mortgage, which serve only as evidence as the debt, there is the actual debt. Back before claims of securitization, all three were used interchangeably. Now it is different. If the funding source is not the payee on the note, then the doctrine of merger does not apply, to wit: the note becomes separate from the debt that arises to the person or party who advanced the money. If the Payee is in privity with the funding source then merger does apply. But most Payees were not in privity with the source of funds. The banks boast of how they created remote vehicles and relationships.

The very fact that there are terms allowing the payment to be less than PI for the month suggests that the borrower might very well have made some payments more than the minimum due. In other words, inquiry must be made to determine the debt balance with certainty. There is certainly an argument here that reference is to the payment history rather than just the note. If that is true then the face of the note is inadequate to determine the “certain sum” currently due. This can become an issue in any installment note.

A finding that all these questions are irrelevant would have dire consequences in the marketplace where certain types of predefined paper can be received in the free flow of commerce without uncertainty as to whether the paper can be enforced. This is a two edged sword. Opening the door beyond the strict definitions of the UCC is opening the door for more mischief involving fabrication of documents, forgery and robosigning.

The UCC is not ambivalent about protecting both the maker of a negotiable instrument and the party seeking to enforce it. The maker does not assume the risk of double liability except for instances where the note is purchased for value in good faith and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. And the purchaser should not bear the risk of a total loss immediately upon paying for the note — unless the purchaser knew there were problems and was willing to take his chances.

The final point I would make is that the question should be asked: Given the fact that so-called REMIC Trusts are supposedly buying the loan pools aggregated by the likes of Countrywide and its progeny, why do lawyers firmly announce that their clients are “holders” and not “holders in due course”.

The latter designation (HDC) would allow the possessor of the note to enforce both note and mortgage despite lending violations when the alleged loan was “originated.” Being an HDC might also avoid defenses that current abound — that there are breaks in the chain of title. If the would-be enforcers simply included the allegation (and proof) that they were the owners of the debt or a holder in due course it would be game over for borrowers. That they don’t assert that position is a tacit admission that the reason why they don’t is that they can’t.

Thus we continue to be mired in litigation with phantoms, ghosts,  smoke and mirrors.

Why Everyone (except SCOTUS) is Wrong About TILA Rescission

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

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

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

Should the rescission be recorded? Not necessarily but

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

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

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

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