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.

Let us help you plan your foreclosure defense 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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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.

RESCISSION: Reviewing Wells Fargo v Frazee, NJ App.

At what point does a final decision of SCOTUS actually mean anything? When confronted with TILA rescission, virtually all lower courts, state and federal, have taken up legislating from the bench, essentially over-ruling the Supreme Court of the United States (literally legally impossible).

Agree or disagree — everyone has that right. But to obey or not obey a SCOTUS decision attacks the foundation of our democratic and judicial institutions and makes the U.S. Constitution into a optional guide to the universe of disputes, delegating the real power to lower courts and removing the power and finality of SCOTUS as delineated in our Constitution.

Opinions like the one reviewed in this article are thus both irrelevant and irreverent — unless we amend or abandon our Constitution as the highest law of the land.

see Wells Fargo v Frazee

This case is just another example of a judicial tantrum defying the ultimate authority of SCOTUS. Unless the Supreme Court itself reverses the Jesinoski decision, it is quite obvious what the next SCOTUS decision is likely to be on the issue of TILA (Truth in Lending Act) rescission 15 USC §1635. Here is what I expect and hope for:

  1. Any court entering a decision or opinion after a notice of notice of TILA Rescission has been delivered must vacate such orders and must dismiss any pending foreclosure.
  2. Failure to dismiss the foreclosure is acting ultra vires — outside their authority.
  3. Dismissal of foreclosure is mandatory inasmuch as notice of TILA rescission removes the operative documents — note and mortgage — from consideration, rendering them void, by operation of law.
  4. As to all prior decisions, judgments and orders that ignored TILA rescission, all such decisions are void, the title consequences of which are left to state legislatures to decide, so long as the Federal Statute is obeyed and the law does not nullify the effect of delivery of a notice of TILA rescission.
  5. Any claims to vacate the effect of the TILA Rescission must be brought within one year from date of delivery.
  6. Neither tender nor a lawsuit is required for TILA rescission to become effective. An Aggrieved party with standing has adequate remedies at law to vacate a notice of TILA rescission, that must be raised as a new claim for relief from TILA rescission  based upon the pleading that the homeowner was wrong in sending the notice.
  7. TILA Rescission is an event, not a claim that a trial or appellate court can grant or deny. The legislature (Congress) has already granted the remedy. As stated in the Jesinoski SCOTUS decision, the statute is clear and unambiguous on its face, thus barring interpretation by a court. That is the difference between the rule of law vs. the rule of man.
  8. The Courts may neither overrule legislative action nor overrule a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Legislative action may not be overruled by a court unless there are clear violations of constitutional provisions and restrictions.

It’s possible that we will see the above menu in more than one decision from SCOTUS. The essential focus is going to be this: The rule, as stated repeatedly over decades by SCOTUS in admonishments to lower trial and appellate courts is that if it isn’t broken you can’t “fix” it to suit your personal views. 

Now we turn to the unlawful, ultra vires decision of the Superior Court of New Jersey, appellate division in Frazee (See link above).

The Court starts its analysis on page 6.

The opinion of the court is that Wells Fargo had standing because of its possession of the note and mortgage. But the note and mortgage are and were void at the time of this decision. So there is no standing to enforce except by the actual creditor, i.e., the owner of the debt.

This court recognized a potential “issue” (invented by the court, in opposition to the final decision that no court has any authority to interpret the TILA rescission statute). So it creates its own quagmire and falls deeper and deeper into trouble.

The panel obviously recognized that there could be no standing for Wells Fargo unless the TILA rescission could somehow be ignored without a claim to vacate the rescission from a party who owned the debt where the claim was that the rescission was unwarranted because all necessary disclosures had been made.

Diving right in this appellate court immediately misquotes and totally ignores the 2015 Jesinoski decision. It is only by mangling both the statute and the SCOTUS decision that this court can arrive at its predetermined destination. It intentionally misstates the law and effect of Jesinoski. If TILA Rescission was not effective without tender, there would be no TILA rescission.

The whole purpose and methodology of the statutory procedure was to first void the loan contract, second void the encumbrance by operation of law, third void the note, thus allowing the borrower to obtain refinancing from another institution. The key points of the Truth in Lending Act were (1) make certain the borrower knew who he/she was dealing with and (2) make certain the borrower had a fighting chance of understanding the enormously complex loan products being sold, dating back to the 1960’s when TILA was first passed.

In order to be certain these two disclosures were made, Congress had a choice. They could either greatly enlarge an existing agency to enforce these goals, laws and rules, or they could create a new administrative agency. Neither of those choices were remotely acceptable by most legislators. So they agreed on a plan that would force the banks to comply with TILA with consequences so horrendous that no bank in their right mind would transgress.

Enter TILA Rescission. By putting enormous power in the hands of borrowers that shifted the entire burden of pleading and proof to the banks it was thought that banks would comply. The statute provides for an order of things (a statutory scheme not unlike nonjudicial foreclosure) after notice of rescission is delivered. Like nonjudicial foreclosures it is a form of extrajudicial relief for homeowners who believe they were not protected at closing.

Within 20 days they must either comply or seek relief from a court of competent jurisdiction. The statute was designed to completely bar stonewalling. But like any law, if nobody enforces it, the statute does not enforce compliance with the two main goals of disclosure requirements — the identity of the lender and the breakdown of the main characteristics of the proposed loan.

Failing to seek relief puts them in violation of the statute, and enables a borrower to sue to enforce the three statutory duties under TILA rescission: return of the cancelled note, release of encumbrance and return of moneys paid by the borrower. If the borrower does not bring such suit within 1 year he/she loses the right to enforce compliance with those three duties.

THIS DOES NOT CHANGE THE EFFECT OF RESCISSION. THE MORTGAGE AND NOTE ARE STILL VOID BY OPERATION OF LAW.

If the bank does not comply with the three statutory TILA duties the bank has no right to demand tender or any relief. If the banks fails to comply within the same one year, they lose the right to demand the money under any scenario. The court goes off the tracks when it states

“nothing in the Supreme Court’s opinion . . .would override TILA’s tender requirement”. Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 196 F. Supp. 3d 956, 962 (D. Minn. 2016), aff’d, Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., No. 16- 3385, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4974 (8th Cir. Feb. 28, 2018).

 

That statement on its face is true. But ignores the content of TILA’s tender requirement. It only arises AFTER the “lender” fulfills the three statutory duties.

That is what Congress wrote. That is what they meant. And that was the substitute for an unwieldy bureaucracy.

The court confirms the content of the statute but repeats the tender “error” when it says

With regard to an alleged TILA violation, it is not enough to seek rescission and stop paying the mortgage to gain ownership of the home outright. Defendants argue they own the home outright because Wells Fargo failed to respond to the rescission notice within twenty days. Although failure to respond to a rescission notice within twenty days would constitute another TILA violation, TILA also explicitly states that if a “creditor does not take possession of the property within 20 days after tender by the obligor, ownership of the property vests in the obligor without obligation on his [or her] part to pay for it.” 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b) (emphasis added).

The problem here is the term “own the home outright.” That’s another way of repeating the myth about the “free house.” More importantly it is contradicting the express wording and purpose of the statute — to force banks to comply with TILA disclosure requirements. The ultra vires interpretation of this court, like so many others, gives the banks a way out without ever being penalized for their lack of proper disclosure.

NOTE: THIS DOES NOT CREATE A FREE HOUSE. If the parties seeking foreclosures were not creditors, the actual creditor can still bring an action for legal and equitable relief. But in order to do so, they would need to show that the parties seeking relief were not in any way authorized to do so by the real creditor.

But the court nevertheless faults the homeowner for not tendering even though tender was not due.

 

The erroneous nature of the court’s decision becomes crystal clear when it says

Additionally, Jesinoski did not overturn Third Circuit precedent that “a notice of rescission is not effective if the obligor lacks either the intention or the ability to perform, i.e., repay the loan.” Sherzer v. Homestar Mortg. Servs., 707

F.3d 255, 265 n.7 (3d Cir. 2013). Jesinoski also did not take away a court’s discretion to modify the rescission procedures. See 15 U.S.C. § 1635(b) (stating that the rescission “procedures prescribed by this subsection shall apply except when otherwise ordered by a court”) (emphasis added); see also 12 C.F.R. 226.23(d)(4) (stating that the rescission “procedures outlined in paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of [§ 226.23] may be modified by court order”) (emphasis added).

It is quoting yet another court who has put blinders on and is disregarding the intentionally punitive aspect of TILA rescission. In most cases the homeowner cannot perform unless the “lender” gives up the note and mortgage and returns money paid under the canceled loan contract. The homeowner can ONLY perform if the deck is cleared for them to get a new loan from a new lender and to apply the proceeds of disgorgement required by the statute.

And to add insult to injury the court is putting yet another constraint on the borrower that TILA does not mention, to wit: the intention of the borrower to perform (tender). Forget the logistics of “intention” which is ridiculous — any such requirement places TILA rescission in the position of a claim instead of the event that the statute says has occurred by operation of law at the moment of delivery of the note of rescission. In direct contradiction to the TILA rescission statute (and SCOTUS in Jesinoski), this requires the borrower to submit to a trial before the rescission is effective.

The bottom line is that it appears that all courts are only interested in treating rescission under common law in which the rescission would only be effective upon a court order after a trial. The fact that the TILA Rescission statute clearly and unquivocably says otherwise won’t stop them, because they have prejudged the case as presenting a choice to the courts that can only be made by the legislature — who pays the price for violation of disclosure requirements under the Truth in Lending Act.

 

Why Borrowers Have the Right to Rescind under the Truth In Lending Act

In my opinion any foreclosure judgment or foreclosure sale that took place after a notice of rescission was sent and delivered is completely void and should be treated the same as a wild deed. This is particularly true in cases where courts have ignored the rescission completely and failed to issue an order effectively vacating the rescission. And it is particularly true where the rescission notice was sent within three years of consummation (assuming there was consummation). As with any wild deed, the actions and events subsequent to the void foreclosure judgment and/or void sale are also void. The effect of a rescinded loan is to make the note and mortgage void by operation of law effective the date of mailing or delivery. Void means they don’t legally exist.

Where the rescission was sent within three years of the purported consummation and was completely ignored  I am positive that SCOTUS will agree. And it is at least doubtful, if not legally impossible, that any subsequent law passed by any state legislature could effectively ratify a court’s action where it had no subject matter jurisdiction. In plain language, if the effect is the same as a wild deed, the only way title can be divested from homeowners would be through various state laws governing adverse possession (usually used in boundary disputes, but nonetheless applicable). Absent that, homeowners who have sent notices of TILA Rescission remain the legal owners of the property, even it goes back many years.

The banks know and understand this. They have lobbied extensively and successfully in state legislatures to bar or limit actions to “take back” title. By doing so they distract from the main issue, to wit: homeowners already have title by operation of law and thus need make no claim in court or otherwise. That was the whole point of the TILA Rescission statute as confirmed by SCOTUS in Jesinoski.

Bankers are rejoicing over the nearly universal rejection of TILA Rescission in trial and appellate court — with the notable exception of the Supreme Court of the United States, (SCOTUS) who unanimously ruled in Jesinoski that (a) the statute was constitutional, (b) that the statute was clearly worded thus barring “interpretation”, (c) that no lawsuit was needed to make rescission effective, and (d) that the rescission notice is effective on the date of delivery (mailing, if USPS is used).

Any “logic” or rationale that leads to a result contrary to these points is equally void and without merit simply because it is the law of the land from Congress and from the highest court in the land — SCOTUS. All adverse decisions and arguments are based upon the premise that the statute runs against the grain of personal beliefs that borrowers should never have that much power. Without aggressive enforcement of the consumer rights enunciated in TILA, the rights and protections of the statute and regulations are effectively revoked leaving consumers in the same position they were in back in the 1960’s when the law was considered and passed.

While I am certain that SCOTUS will slap down all the courts of the country who tried imposing limits and restrictions on TILA Rescission, just as it did in Jesinoski, that doesn’t mean that that all cases would be reversible based upon Jesinoski and the next decision.

This is especially true when a court considers TILA Rescission as a claim instead of an event effective by operation of law — just as the statute says it is. The effect on procedure and burdens of proof is enormous.

If you regard it as a claim asserted by the borrower, then the borrower must prove that the rescission was properly sent and for good reasons.

If you regard it as an event, then it is the “lender” who must file a claim seeking to set it aside. The TILA Rescission statute and SCOTUS both state the same thing: rescission is an event that is effective upon mailing (delivery).

The burden is clearly on the party claiming to be a lender to file a claim seeking to vacate the rescission which has same effect as a court order or statutory law. But they must plead and prove standing without using the note and mortgage as the foundation for their assertion of legal standing.

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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In the 1960’s Congress was faced with a problem. The banks were forever seeking ways to deceive borrowers in increasingly complex loan transactions. Congress was passing TILA, but in order to have any effect in protecting consumers, a compliance enforcement mechanism was needed.

One choice was to create a massive new federal government agency to enforce compliance with the new Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Nobody took that seriously because of the huge expense and logistical problems in analyzing the closing statements on each loan and selectively auditing loans during their term to see if the disclosures were correct or had been false or misleading. Tens of thousands of people would need to be hired, trained, and educated. Systems would have had to be invented to keep track of the huge amount of data that would be collected.

The other path was to create a self activating mechanism that would impose draconian penalties on lenders who violate the law and spirit of TILA. Faced with virtual loss of the loan the banks would scrupulously comply. The extraordinary provision gave consumers the right to rescind the transaction if they believed they had been deceived — i.e., that the disclosures were absent, false or misleading (all of which apply to loans during the great meltdown leading up to the 2008 crash).

Key to the effectiveness of the statute is that there was no requirement that the borrower had to be right, inasmuch as this would enable banks to stonewall even further. Nothing was required except that the borrower send a notice of rescission. The entire burden thus falls completely and solely on the “lender” to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to vacate the rescission, which was effective by operation of law, upon mailing or delivery.

Congress rejected any notion that consumers had to go see a lawyer or a court in order to get redress for the consumer’s perceived grievances. Hence the TILA Rescission statute was passed stating that the rescission was effective by operation of law upon delivery (or mailing). 

For years the banks had internal controls that usually assured compliance, although there were some major exceptions. Then starting in the 1990’s the banks embarked on a scheme that required  violations of the protections afforded by TILA. When people sent notices of rescission they were frequently ignored or “contested” by a letter.

In court, judges were driven by a fear that such power delivered into the hands of borrowers with little to lose might destroy the entire socio-economic fabric of the country and that the “sanctity of contract” must be upheld. Accordingly judges began to “interpret the statute thus imposing limits and restrictions that effectively denuded the primary objective of the legislation — to punish participants in the lending process for withholding disclosures or making false and misleading disclosures.

In short, as pointed out by SCOTUS in the Jesinoski decision  judges were attempting to legislate from the bench by proclaiming what the judge thought the statute should have said. SCOTUS truck down all the restrictions and limitations invented by the courts and appellate courts that affirmed such decisions. Still judges try to avoid the draconian results on “lenders” that were intended by Congress and President Johnson. And so the real truth about these loans and these foreclosures is still emerging very slowly.

The practice pointer here is that lawyers should not present rescission as a claim for any relief except perhaps enforcement of TILA Rescission duties imposed on lenders. The relief has already been granted by Congress. Don’t fall into the trap of alleging the rescission as a claim in a complaint or in affirmative defenses. The proper motion is a motion to dismiss. In the absence of an actual pleading setting forth standing and the timely contest (20 days) of whether the rescission should have been sent, the “lenders” either must admit they are not lenders or comply with the three duties imposed by delivery of  TILA Rescission:

  1. Return of moneys to the homeowner/borrower
  2. Return of the canceled original note
  3. Cancellation and release of the mortgage recorded in public records.

It is only after the lender has complied or a court has vacated the borrower’s rescission that the creditor or obligee can demand money from the homeowner/borrower. But here is the rub: Under TILA Rescission, there might to recover money arises from either timely compliance with the statue or an order vacating the rescission. The right to receive money under TILA Rescission arises from the rescission statute, not the debt, note or mortgage. If no claim has been made under TILA within 1 year, then the debt is unenforceable. And no claim can remade without compliance with the TILA Rescission statutes.

 

 

 

 

 

TILA RESCISSION: The Bottom Line for Now

Probably the main fallacy of the people who say that TILA Rescission is not possible or viable is that they project the outcome of a lawsuit to vacate rescission. Based upon their conjecture, they assume that Rescission is no more than a technicality. Congress, and SCOTUS beg to differ. It was enacted into law 50 years ago in an effort to prevent unscrupulous banks from screwing consumer borrowers.

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

Register now for Neil Garfield’s Mastering Discovery and Evidence in Foreclosure Defense webinar.

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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I keep getting emails from non lawyers who have a “legal opinion” that not only differs from mine, but also the opinion of hundreds of lawyers who represent the banks and servicers. They say that because disclosures were probably made that rescission is nothing more than a gimmick that will never succeed and they point to the many case decisions in which courts have ruled erroneously in favor of the banks despite a rescission that eliminated the subject matter jurisdiction of the court, since the loan contract, note and mortgage no longer exist. The debt, however, continues to exist even if it is unclear as to the identity of the party to whom it is owed.

First the courts ruled erroneously when they said that tender had to be made before rescission was effective. Then the courts said that no rescission could be effective without a court saying it was effective. That one put the burden on proving the figure to make proper disclosure on the homeowner. The Supreme Court of the United States, (SCOTUS — see Jesinoski v Countrywide) after thousands of decisions by trial and appellate courts, told them they were wrong. As of this date, no court has ever ruled that the rescission was vacated — the only thing that could stop it.

The lay naysayers keep harping on how wrong I am about rescission. Unfortunately many people believe what they read just because it is in writing. In my case I simply instruct the lawyers and homeowners to simply read the TILA Rescission statute and the unanimous SCOTUS decision in Jesinoski. What they will discover is that I am only repeating what they said — not making it up as some would have you believe.

To the naysayers and  all persons in doubt, i say the following:

As I have repeatedly said, in practice you are right, for the time being.
But the legal decision from SCOTUS will undoubtedly change the practice. The law is obvious and clear. SCOTUS already said that. So no interpretation is required or even permissible. SCOTUS said that too. TILA Rescission is mainly a procedural statute, not a substantive one. SCOTUS said that too. On the issue of when rescission is effective, it is upon mailing (USPS) or delivery. SCOTUS said that too. On the issue of what else a borrower needs to do to make TILA rescission effective, the answer is nothing. SCOTUS said that too.

Hence the current argument that you keep making is true “in practice” but only for the moment. SCOTUS will soon issue another scathing attack on the presumptuous courts who defied its ruling in Jesinoski. There can be no doubt that SCOTUS will rule that any “interpretation” that contradicts the following will be void, for lack of jurisdiction, because the loan contract is canceled and the note and mortgage are void:

  1. No court may change the meaning of the words of the TILA Rescission statute.
  2. Rescission is law when it is mailed or delivered.
  3. Other than delivery no action is required by the borrower. That means the loan contract is canceled and the note and mortgage are void. They do not exist by operation of law.
  4. Rescission remains effective even in the absence of a pleading filed by the borrower to enforce it.
  5. Due process is required to vacate the rescission. That means pleading standing and that proper disclosure was made, an opportunity for the borrower to respond, and then proof that the pleader has standing and that proper disclosures were made.
  6. Pleading against the rescission must be filed within 20 days or it is waived.
  7. At the end of one year both parties waive any remedies. That means the borrower can no longer enforce the duties imposed on the debt holder and the debt holder may no longer claim repayment.
  8. The only claim for repayment that exists after rescission is via the TILA Rescission statute — not the note and mortgage. This is based upon the actual debt, not the loan contract or closing documents.
  9. Any claim for repayment after rescission is predicated on full compliance with the three duties imposed by statute.
  10. A court may — upon proper notice, pleading and hearing — change the order of creditor compliance with the three duties imposed upon the debt holder. This does not mean that the court can remove any of the duties of the debt holder nor summarily ignore the rescission without issuing an order — upon proper notice, pleading and proof — that the rescission is vacated because the proper disclosures were made or for any other valid legal reason that does not change the wording of the statute.
  11. The three duties, which may not be ignored, include payment of money to the borrower, satisfaction of the lien (so that the borrower might have an opportunity to refinance), and delivery of the original canceled note.

Virtually 100% of lawyers for the banks and servicers agree with the above. They have advised their clients to file a lawsuit challenging the TILA Rescission because such a lawsuit could be easily won and would serve as a deterrent to people attempting to use TILA rescission as a defense to collection or foreclosure efforts. Yet their clients have failed to follow legal advice because they know that they have no debt holder to whom funds can be traced. If they did identify the debt holder(s) they would be showing that they played just as fast and loose with investor money as they have done with the paperwork in foreclosures.

Does this mean a free house to homeowners? Maybe. Considering how many times the loans were sold directly and indirectly, and how many times the banks received insurance, bailout and purchases from the Federal Reserve, that wouldn’t be a bad result. But the truth is that everyone knows that won’t happen unless the courts continue their decisions with blinders on.

In the end, the homeowners do owe money to the investors whose money was used too fund the loans, directly and indirectly. Whether it is secured or not may depend upon state law, but as a practical matter very few borrowers would withhold their signature from a valid mortgage and note based upon economic reality.

Rescission Precision Goes to U.S. Supreme Court Petition for Mandamus

10 years ago, seeing where the foreclosure wave was going and watching court cases, I said on these pages that the only solution to these foreclosures is Mandamus. First to stop judges from applying legal PRESUMPTIONS and second to stop judges from ignoring TILA rescission. Now someone has done it and others might follow suit, if you pardon the pun. Lawyers were not well versed in mandamus and pro se litigants had never heard of it. So for the most part everyone has been screaming and yelling about injustice, fabrication, forgery and perjury.

Ironically it is Dan Junk, pro se, who has done the best legal writing on the issue of TILA Rescission and has chosen, in my opinion, the best route to getting the Supreme Court to issue an order prohibiting judges from disregarding TILA Rescission and requiring judges to follow the law in 15 U.S.C. §1635. The irony is doubled because of Dan’s last name (Junk) and the fact that the securitization scheme arose partly out of the junk bond craze 30 years ago. Except of course that back then Wall Street pirates WERE sent to prison.

SCOTUS has the option of taking any case they want to review. They did take the Jesinoski v Countrywide case from which this Petition for Mandamus arises. And once they take it for review, they can still deny the writ leaving decisions on rescissions in limbo and creating case precedent where Judges have the option of disregarding the law as written in a statute in virtually any kind of case.

This one was filed, as I understand it, last Friday. It may or may not be considered timely. The reason I am publishing the Petition for the Writ of Mandamus is  that it attacks exactly on point what is happening in the courts — namely, “denying” the existence and effect of TILA rescission even after it has taken effect as a nonjudicial remedy.

NEED HELP PREPARING FOR FORECLOSURE DEFENSE? We can help you and your attorney with drafting Motions, Discovery and Compelling Responses to Discovery Requests with Our Paralegal Team that works directly with Neil Garfield! We provide services directly to attorneys and to pro se litigants.

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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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see

Junk SCOTUS Petition for Writ of Mandamus on TILA RESCISSION

Hiding in Plain Sight_ Jesinoski and the Consumer_s Right of Resc

Jesinoski decision

Dan Junk attended one of my first seminars back in the days when I was co-presenting with Brad Keiser. In litigation for around 9 years, he has followed this blog (and many others) and fought off the “inevitable” foreclosure as long as he could in Ohio. Besides clear evidence of substantive defenses Dan had sent a notice of rescission within the 3 years stated in the TILA Rescission statute.

Like thousands of judges across the country in State and Federal courts, the timely and effective rescission was ignored simply because the judges didn’t like the result. The ultimate decision was against him because the courts continue to allow legal presumptions to apply even though they create “alternate facts” in conflict with reality.

Blind justice supposedly requires courts to apply the law, as written by the Federal and State legislatures. The answer for Dan was not in some attempted appeal but rather to seek a sweeping ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States that specifically requires all judges, whoever situated, to follow the TILA Rescission law. There is adequate evidence to show that this is of great public importance inasmuch as virtually all judges are committing the same “error” to wit: not taking TILA rescission literally or seriously.

We’ll see what happens. But in the meanwhile do give a careful read of the Brief Dan filed. This could be a moment where everything changes.

Short Explanation of TILA RESCISSION vs Common Law Rescission

Quiet title is a lawsuit not a motion. It must be worded correctly to fulfill the elements required for the court to consider the demand for quiet title. Otherwise it will be dismissed.

For quiet title to apply the mortgage must be void not just unenforceable. TILA Rescission is a statutory remedy that is different from common law rescission. Sending of TILA rescission notice by U.S. Mail means that delivery is presumed. If delivery occurred or is presumed the TILA Rescission is effective. Just the opposite in common law rescission based upon fraud. At common law, sending a notice of rescission based upon fraud is only the first step in a long litigation process.

We can help evaluate your options!
Get a LendingLies Consult and a LendingLies Chain of Title Analysis! 202-838-6345 or info@lendinglies.com.
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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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One must be careful NOT to file a lawsuit or motion seeking to have the court declare it is effective. Either the notice was delivered or it wasn’t delivered. If U.S. Mail is used d delivery is presumed. If it was delivered it is effective. That is what the statute says and that it was SCOTUS said about the statute. The matter should be closed, but judges are resisting following the directive of the highest court in the land from which there is no appeal. (See Jesinoski v Countrywide).

If the notice of rescission is sent within three years of apparent consummation then there is no doubt that it is effective. If it is sent more than 3 years after the note and mortgage were executed then there is a split of opinion. I believe it is still effective until the rescission is vacated by a court order. In either case — before and after the three years — courts are reluctant to apply it.

The appropriate lawsuit could be framed in allegations that the defendants should be stopped from attempting to enforce the void loan documents or stopped from harassing the borrower using the void note and void mortgage. Both are rendered void by virtue of the notice of rescission.

If the lawsuit is filed within 1 year of the date of the notice of rescission it could also include allegations that the defendants (if they are lenders) failed to comply with the three statutory duties in the TILA rescission statute. Or, if they are not lenders nor representatives of the lender that they committed multiple violations of TILA, RESPA and FDCPA as well as fraud and negligence and of course uttering false instruments and recording instruments that are false or fraudulent.

TILA RESCISSION is an statutory event not a claim. No lawsuit is proper to declare an already legally effective instrument to be effective. It happened on the day of mailing. Best to use U.S. Postal Service for the notice.

Common law rescission is a claim not an event. In that sense they are procedural the opposite of one another. A lawsuit is required and the pleader must prove the allegations which ordinarily means that they must prove fraud by clear and convincing evidence.

We can help evaluate your options!
Get a LendingLies Consult and a LendingLies Chain of Title Analysis! 202-838-6345 or info@lendinglies.com.
https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave a message or make payments.
OR fill out our registration form FREE and we will contact you!
https://fs20.formsite.com/ngarfield/form271773666/index.html?1502204714426
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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