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

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

Chase following bank playbook: screw the customer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deutsch Pays $7.2 Billion for Fraudulent securitizations

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

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

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

Ocwen Settles with 10 States for Illegal Servicing

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Rescission is a Test of Persistence

The “free house” mythology will have become reality. That is what happens when you break the laws governing deceptive and predatory lending.
… for those who don’t give up, the reward is substantial when TILA rescission is reluctantly recognized by the Courts as effective upon mailing.

Get a consult! 202-838-6345 CALL NOW FOR TONIGHT’S SMALL GROUP CONSULT 5PM EST

https://www.vcita.com/v/lendinglies to schedule CONSULT, leave message or make payments.
 
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
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The current judicial climate regarding TILA Rescission is that it doesn’t count — it means nothign, does nothing and cannot be sued to defeat foreclosure. But the signs are all there showing that the banks are bracing themselves for the real consequences of rescission in which borrowers receive the draconian remedy stated in the statute. For those borrowers who persist, there will ample reward despite the dark clouds that appear in the rear view window.
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On the horizon there are positive signs that the Congressional intent in the Truth in Lending Act will been enforced, to wit: “lenders” and “pretender lenders” will lose both their security interest in residential property and the right to collect any debt. The “free house” mythology will have become reality. That is what happens when you break the laws governing deceptive and predatory lending. And that is what happens when Congress decides what should happen to you when you break those laws.
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The current argument is that if the rescission was sent more than 3 years after consummation, it does not count as anything and the judges can ignore it.
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There is absolutely no doubt that judges want to adopt that  reasoning. But the three year limitation is not the only restriction. The same statute says that if the loan is a purchase money mortgage, TILA rescission is not an option. And there are other restrictions. The whole point of the Supreme Court decision was to say that the rescission WAS effective when it was mailed and not when a court ruled on whether it should have been sent in the first place. And there is a provision in the statute to allow an “injured party” (creditor?) to request a court to adjust the procedures that follow the mailing of the rescission.

So if the court was just saying that it was obvious that this was beyond the three year limitation. Or that it was obvious that this was a purchase money mortgage and that therefore the rescission was void or could be ignored, such a court would be reversing the Supreme Court decision — something no court in our country is empowered to do and is in fact prohibited from doing under the US Constitution. Obviously if the rescission was void there would be no limitation.

But the Supreme Court decision basically says that there is no such thing as a void rescission under the truth in lending act. Whether the borrower is wrong or right, it is effective when mailed and the “lender” (creditor) has 20 days to comply — or, to file an action to vacate the rescission because the borrower has unfairly canceled the loan transaction. The whole point was to make it easy on the borrower who felt that they have been the victim of deceptive or predatory lending. The wording of the statute was carefully crafted.

The obvious intention, which can be seen in many other cases that construe the statute, was to provide a mechanism by which a borrower could throw the burden to justify the practices leading up to the “loan” on to the “lenders.”

Both the statute and the Supreme Court decision make it clear that the borrower does not need any resources (except a pen, paper and a stamp) to trigger the procedures under the rescission statute in the truth in lending act.

The consequence of inaction by the “lenders” are very harsh and even draconian. The idea behind doing this was to force lenders into policing themselves, or upon failing to do that, suffer the loss of the security instrument and even the loss of the right to seek repayment. This legislation was a compromise. Some people wanted the creation of a new agency that would be the size of the Internal Revenue Service to review and police loan transactions. This distrust of the banks goes back to the 19060’s when the TILA legislation was initially enacted.

As I have posted on the blog, even lawyers who represent the banks agree in published articles that ignoring a notice of rescission could come a huge cost. Like me, they do not believe that the current environment will continue wherein Judges ignore the notice of rescission. If the bank lawyers agree with what I have been writing, it would seem that we should take this much more seriously in the expectation that the current climate will change with respect to the sending of a notice of rescission and the recording of that notice in the public records.

I agree that the current climate it is virtually entirely negative. And most people who have sent a notice of rescission and most people who have recorded a notice of rescission will probably never receive the remedy to which they are entitled. This may be because of lack of persistence, ignorance of the change in the judicial climate or because of limitations are upheld in going back in time to the moment of the sending of the notice of rescission. For those people who persist, I still believe that they will prevail in the end. And for those entities who who have identified themselves as creditors or lenders, they will be barred from enforcing the underlying debt for failure to respond to the notice of rescission.

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BOTTOM LINE: For those who persist on the issue of rescission, the ultimate remedy under TILA rescission is coming — mostly too late for those who have had their homes go through forced sales that were void because the loan transaction and the loan documents had been canceled. Many of them have “moved on” albeit hobbled by the bite of the banks in the era of false securitization and fictitious appraisals. But for those who don’t give up, the reward is substantial when TILA rescission is reluctantly recognized by the Courts as effective upon mailing.
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Rescission Summary As I see It

If you read my blog for the last 3 weeks or so you should get a good idea of where I am coming from on this. If you still have questions or need assistance call me at 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688. The basic thrust of my argument is that

  1. BOTH Congress and US Supreme Court agree that there is nothing left for the borrower to do other than dropping notice of rescission in the mail. It is EFFECTIVE BY OPERATION OF LAW at the point of mailing. The whole point is that you don’t need to be or have a lawyer in order to cancel the loan contract, the note and the mortgage (deed of trust) with the same force as if a Judge ordered it. No lawsuit, no proof is required from the borrower. No tender is required as it would be in common law rescission. The money for payoff of the old debt is presumed to come from a new lender that approves a 1st Mortgage loan without fear that they will lose their priority position.
  2. Lender(s) must comply within 20 days — return canceled note, satisfy mortgage, and return money to borrower.
  3. Lenders MUST file a lawsuit challenging the rescission within 20 days or their defenses are waived. Any other interpretation would make the rescission contingent, which is the opposite of what TILA and Scalia say is the case.
  4. Therefore a lawsuit by borrower to enforce the rescission need only prove mailing.
  5. Any attempt to bring up statute of limitations or other defenses are barred by 20 day window.
  6. The clear reason for this unusual statutory scheme is to allow borrower to cancel the old transaction and replace with a new loan. This can only happen if the rescission is ABSOLUTE. It can be declared void or irregular or barred or anything else ONLY within the 20 day window. If the 20 day window was not final (like counting the days for filing notice of appeal appeal, motion for re-hearing, etc.) then no new lender or bank would fund a loan that could be later knocked out of first priority position in the chain of title because the rescission was found to be faulty in some way. This is the opposite of what TILA and Scalia say.
  7. The content of the rescission notice should be short — I hereby cancel/rescind the loan referenced above. You merely reference the loan number, recording information etc. at which point the note and mortgage become VOID by operation of law.
  8. BY OPERATION OF LAW means that the only way it can be avoided is by getting a court order.
  9. If any court were to allow “defense” in a rescission enforcement action AFTER the 20 day window the goal of allowing the borrower to get another loan to pay off the old lender(s) would be impossible.
  10. Hence the ONLY possible logical conclusion is that they MUST file the action within 20 days or lose the opportunity to challenge the rescission. And any possible defenses are waived if not filed during that period of time. That action by the “lender” or “creditor” must be an equitable action to set aside the rescission, which is already “effective” by operation of law.

The worst case scenario would be that rescission is the most effective discovery tool available. If the lender(s) file the 20 day action they would need to establish their positions as creditors WITHOUT the note and mortgage (which are ALREADY VOID). This would require proof of payment and proof of economic interest and proof of ownership and balance. Any failure to plead these things would fail to establish standing. The attempt to use the note and mortgage as proof or the basis of pleading should be dismissed easily. The note and mortgage are void by operation of law by the time the bank or servicer files its action.

In all probability the only parties who actually have an interest in the debt are clueless investors who by contract have waived their right to enforce or participate in the collection process. The problem THEY have is they gave their money to a securities broker. They can neither show nor even allege that they know what happened to their money after they gave it to the broker.

The important thing about TILA Rescission is that it is a virtual certainty that the borrower will be required to file an enforcement action. In that action they should not allow themselves to get sucked into an argument over whether the rescission was correct, fair, barred by limitations or anything else, all of which should have been raised within the 20 day window. AND that recognition is the reason why we have been inundated to prepare pre-litigation packages, analysis and reports to assist lawyers in filing actions to enforce rescissions, whether filed today or ten years ago.

Caveat: I have no doubt that attempts will be made to change the law. The Supreme Court has made changing the law impossible by a ruling from the bench, That means state legislatures and Congress are going to be under intense pressure to change this law or the effect of it. But as it stands now, I don’t think any other analysis covers all the bases like the one expressed here.

RESCISSION HEATS UP AS BORROWERS HEAD BACK TO COURT TO USE SUPREME COURT REVERSAL

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

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For lawyers only: Many homeowners are going back and digging up their notices of rescission. There are cases in state court, federal court and bankruptcy court that could be and probably are effected by the US Supreme Court decision that made it clear that TILA rescission was a unique statutory remedy and that the common law right of rescission should not be used to interpret the explicit statutory remedy that is TILA Rescission.
Borrowers/debtors are filing motions to set aside previous rulings by courts who assumed that the rescission was only effective when a court says so (the common law rule rejected unanimously by the Supreme Court) and that tender of the money was required for the rescission to be effective (also rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court).  The Banks have reacted predictably — trying to enforce the previously incorrect rulings of the court by virtue of res judicata, collateral estoppel or even “law of the case.” Remember that state laws and rules of procedures will affect the ability of borrowers to go back into litigation that has been concluded even if it is on false premises.

I would file a short reply saying something like “Defendants continue to argue a point not in issue in an blatant attempt to appeal to the Court’s personal views or inclinations. Plaintiff does not seek a free house and never did. Plaintiff’s goal is very simple: If the defendants were not the owner or representative of the owner of the debt, note and mortgage and lacked any authority to pursue collection or enforcement, then they should not be permitted to pursue a strategy in which the defendants get a “free house.”

The US Supreme Court made clear that the requirements of TILA are clear and must be strictly construed — apart from any common law notions of fraud or rescission. The Federal statute is clear in stating that the Plaintiff’s issuance of a notice of rescission produced two results: (a) the note and mortgage are nullified by operation of law (although the debt remains) and (b) if the “lender” seeks to contest the rescission, they must do so within 20 days by the Lender filing a lawsuit, which it is uncontested that the Defendants no such action was filed. If the note and mortgage were nullified by “operation of law” (quoted from statute) there is no logic or legal argument that can make it otherwise.

There is no authority that makes the notice of rescission void. “Lenders” may challenge it within 20 days and if they don’t they have waived their “defenses” or “Claims.” The point of the nullification of the note and mortgage by operation of law is to provide the borrower with the capacity to seek out alternative financing (to pay the existing debt to the “lender”) which could only be achieved if the Defendant’s mortgage and note were removed from the title chain. The 20 days in which the “lender” just sue to set aside the rescission has long expired. And the Defendants still have not filed such a suit. They have waived their defenses or claims regarding the rescission by operation of Federal law. These are not theories. They are explicit statements by the US Government aimed at leveling the playing field between borrowers and lenders, reinforced by the short opinion rendered by Justice Scalia for a unanimous Supreme Court. ”

It is not the borrower that must tender payments. It is the lender that must tender payment, disgorgement and reimbursement for every penny paid by the the borrower in connection with the loan including at closing and all monthly or other payments thereafter. Nothing could be more clear in the statute. And now the US Supreme Court has said exactly that — courts that apply common law rules to rescission are wrong when it comes to TILA rescission. The various “defenses” and “claims” of the “lenders” are waived unless they bring suit within 20 days from the notice of rescission. There are no exceptions in the Federal Statute.

The subject mortgage and note did not exist after the notice of rescission. That is the express terms of the law. Hence any action to enforce or collect under the terms of the note or mortgage or deed of trust were void, ab initio. No court would even have subject matter or personal jurisdiction to consider a controversy regarding a nonexistent note and a nonexistent mortgage or deed of trust. Further, the defendants were obligated to send a satisfaction of mortgage and canceled note to the borrower after rescission. Defendants are seeking to have the court ratify Defendant’s violation of the express provisions of the Federal Act. In essence they are arguing that even though the US Supreme Court says otherwise, that the notice of rescission should be ignored. There is no higher authority than the US Supreme Court. One is left to ask, upon what source of authority the Defendants rely that is higher than the US Supreme Court speaking unanimously.

Post Mortum on 2010 “Bad” Decision in Florida

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

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See CitiBank v Delassio 756 F Supp 2d 1361 2010

This case is often cited by servicers and banks to enforce a note and/or mortgage. Lots of people regarded this decision as “bad” because it approved the foreclosure. The natural impulse is to run from this decision and try to cite others that conflict with it. But this decision was correct AND it provides a blueprint for making your defense successful. The Judge correctly analyzed the law and the facts and found that the homeowner had not proven anything or objected to anything that would prevent Citi from proving its prima facie case and had not proven anything or objected to anything that would have supported any of the homeowner’s defenses.

So I thought I would take this case, as I have done before, and examine it for clues on how the same Judge would have decided the case differently. Used properly this might enable the homeowner to cite to this case in support of a motion to dismiss, motion for summary judgment or to attack the prima facie case of the party initiating foreclosure. There are also plenty of clues as to proving an affirmative defense in which the final result will be that the mortgage is void or unenforceable and perhaps the note as well, leaving the debt, which arises by operation of law and is owed to the party who physically gave the borrower the money.

  1. LACK OF JURISDICTION — VOID MORTGAGE AND VOID NOTE: The first issue is that for reasons unknown, the borrower failed to bring up the fact that the “lender” did not legally exist in Florida and further failed to object to the finding that AHMSI and  American Brokers Conduit were “one in the same [sic]”. In fact, I wonder if the case could not still be overturned on the basis of lack of jurisdiction and perhaps even that the mortgage was void, thus depriving the court of both in rem jurisdiction and in personam jurisdiction. Perhaps the homeowner did not authorize investigation into the parties. But had he done so he would have found that American Brokers Conduit (the “lender”) did not exist in law or in fact. Any claim that ABC was the alter ego or Trade Name of AHMSI was not explored in the opinion. And as to AHMSI, what difference does it make if they were supposedly the true lender under Florida law? The note and mortgage were both defective and the disclosures were deficient in failing to identify the actual party, which, as we shall see below, would have changed the view of the case entirely.
  2. POOLING AND SERVICING AGREEMENT: The title of the case involves U.S. Bank “as indenture trustee.” By stating that without explanation the homeowner ought to be able to inquire about the indenture, where it exists, and ask for a copy. That would be the Pooling and Servicing Agreement, which makes all arguments about the irrelevance of the PSA moot. Failure to raise the question of where the trustee derived its powers, where the servicer derived its powers, and where the terms and provisions can be found for the duties of the servicer or trustee essentially waives the issue of securitization (false or not). By raising the issue appropriately the homeowner can then inquire as to whether the trust actually owns the debt or is a holder in due course. The holding by the judge in this case that the Trust was a holder in due course was wrong —but not wrong on the facts and admissions by both sides in this case. Hence the decision was inevitable even though the real facts did not support the conclusion. The accepted facts of the case were contrary to the actual facts.
  3. FDCPA CLAIMS: The homeowner settled with AHMSI regarding fair debt collection practices. This might have been a mistake and might have been the reason that the Judge regarded AHMSI and American Brokers Conduit as the same thing. The settlement probably was worded in a way that prevented the homeowner from raising the authority of ABC to assign anything, much less record a mortgage or transfer a note that it could not have funded because it never existed — at least in Florida. I have several cases where the lender is very concerned about the FDCPA claims and needs a settlement. They obviously know that there is danger in those hills and that should be exploited by borrowers when challenging the debt, note, mortgage or foreclosure.
  4. TILA AND RESPA DISCLOSURES: Amongst the agreed facts, the court found that the borrower closed the loan with ABC, and based upon the only issues raised by the borrower, found that the disclosures were proper, and that any discrepancies worked to the borrower’s advantage and therefore did not constitute a violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) or the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Hence there was no right to rescind either under the 3 day rule or the 3 year rule. Despite the fact that the borrower announced rescission within the 3 years, the court properly found against the borrower. Citi by filing the foreclosure suit, was in substantial compliance with the requirement that it timely file a declaratory action regarding the right to rescind. So if the court had found that there was no closing because ABC did not exist and that the disclosures were inadequate because the borrower raised the issues of disclosing the lender (and avoiding the predatory per se finding by Reg Z), then the same Judge who entered this order probably would have said the rescission right was at least in play and might well have decided, as per the express terms of TILA, that the mortgage was nullified by operation of law by the announcement of rescission. [Note: This issue is currently being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court]
  5. RESCISSION: This in turn leads to the question: if ABC didn’t exist and therefore didn’t actually loan any money then who did? The only thing we can agree on, up to a point ( but that is the subject of another article), is that the borrower did get money and that the receipt of the money is presumed, by operation of law to create a debt in which the borrower is the debtor and the source of funds is the creditor. The failure to disclose a table funded loan or worse, a naked nominee or conduit providing funds from investors who didn’t know how their money was being used, is a material violation of the disclosure requirements in TILA. That is why Reg Z underscores the importance of that disclosure by saying that failure to do so constitutes conduct that is “predatory per se.” And you can prove that by citing to this same case. Hence the rescission would have or at least could have been found to have been complete and the mortgage nullified, thus paving the way for the borrower to get alternative financing,  quiet title or other other remedies.
  6. PREDATORY LOANS: It is unclear what exactly went on at the trial level  with regards to an obviously “trick” loan that fails to disclose its hidden terms in a way that the borrower would any possibility of understanding. The only thing the borrower knew or understood is that he was getting a low interest loan. No reasonable person would sign a loan in which they understood that the interest rate was only good for one month. If you want to win on this point ,though, you need more than the testimony of the borrower. You  need a mortgage broker or other professional that would testify that the loan was unworkable from the start, doomed to failure and was illegally funded from investor funds, and illegally sold to the borrower under false pretenses. THAT is how you prove unclean hands which would prevent enforcement of the mortgage.
  7. UCC: There is an interesting juxtaposition in the “Legal Analysis” of the opinion. The court finds that the Trust was a holder in due course. And this case can be cited for the elements of being a holder in due course. I would encourage foreclosure defense lawyers to do so because you can start out by saying in this case in which the Federal District Court found against the borrower, the elements of the status of holder in due course are summarized. If you go down to the end of the first paragraph in the legal analysis the quote about payment opens the door for your attack against the holder in due course status. Did the Trust prove or show that it PAID for the note and mortgage without knowledge of borrower’s defenses, without knowledge that it was already in default, and in good faith, and did the Trust get delivery (which according to the pleadings, they did not because the note was initially “lost”). Hence the same court that stated that the trust was an HIDC finds that PAYMENT “goes to the heart of the agreement”. If the trust cannot show it paid anything, then two questions arise, to wit: why not? and why did the endorser or assignor of the “loan” transfer or purport to transfer the loan documents to the trust without receiving any payment? If you follow that logic down the line you will corroborate your argument that ABC gave no money to the borrower and that was why ABC never received any money for the transfer of the paper, which now is visible as being entirely worthless, fraudulent and false.
  8. ENDORSEMENT OR ASSIGNMENT IN SECURITIZATION SCHEME: The court correctly states that under the UCC a transferee of negotiable paper can get the right to enforce the paper either by endorsement or assignment. Because the issue was apparently not raised, the court failed to address the issue of whether the enforcement could succeed at trial (as opposed to the pleading stage) if the identity of the creditor is not disclosed. The question at trial or deposition should be, if the witness is from the servicer entity, and assuming the current servicer entity had anything to do with processing payments from the borrower and to the creditor, “who did you pay?” What the court failed to deal with (presumably because the homeowner did not bring it up) is that the party claiming rights (the trustee for the trust) must show that the loan actually went into the trust because it was paid for and properly delivered. If no objection is raised, then the court can correctly presume that those elements are present. If a proper objection is made then the Plaintiff should be required and often is required now to prove the elements of a holder in due course. In cases where my team has been directly involved in litigation the opposing lawyer tried to wriggle out of this problem by declaring that the trust is not a holder in due course and that therefore they had no requirement to prove those elements. They are essentially hoping that the court won’t know the difference between a holder and holder in due course. A mere holder must establish that it has the rights to enforce on behalf of a party who actually owns the debt by identifying that party and identifying the instrument by which the “holder” was given authority to enforce. In the case of a trust that is impossible because by all accounts the trust is the final resting stop of the claims of securitization of loans. So you end up with an empty trust, in which neither the servicer nor the trustee have any legal rights to do anything with the debt created by the borrower when he accepted the money at “closing.” He still owes a debt, and if the opposition would comply with discovery requests we would know the identity of the party to whom he owes the debt. But one thing is for certain, he cannot ALSO owe a second debt created by signature on a note and mortgage made out in favor of a party who loaned him any money. The key to this is emphasizing that a holder must prove the loan in its claimed chain. But the loan will probably be presumed to exist within the chain if the borrower fails to object and raise the issues.
  9. DELIVERY: There is considerable confusion in the case as to the issue of delivery apparently because neither party made an issue about it. The court concludes that Citi got delivery of the loan documents (versus the lost note account that was later abandoned) but fails to show how that delivery constitutes delivery to the trust when the PSA obviously contains strict provisions as to delivery and New York law governing the trust requires any transaction outside the authority stated in the trust to be void.
  10. ECONOMIC WASTE: This decision stands for the proposition that economic waste is a proper affirmative defense, but unless you actually prove it with reliable, credible testimony about facts and documents, merely alleging an affirmative defense and hoping that somehow the opposition will stumble into an admission, is not a very good strategy.

Relevance: THE FORECLOSER HAS NO RIGHT TO BE IN COURT WITHOUT THE SECURITIZATION DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS

 Courts and lawyers are continually ignoring the obvious. By zeroing in on the NOTE, they are ignoring the documents that allow the person in possession of the note to be in court. That results in elimination of critical elements of a prima facie case in which the Defendant borrower lacks the superior knowledge and resources of the Plaintiff and its co-venturers that would show the truth about his loan ownership and balance.

Premise:

Chronologically the document trail starts with the securitization documents. Without the securitization documents there is no privity or nexus between the borrowers and the lenders. Neither one of them signed the deal that the other signed. Without the Assignment and Assumption Agreement, the Prospectus and the Pooling And Servicing Agreement, the trust does not exist, the servicer has no powers, the trustee has no powers, and there is no right of representation or agency between any of those parties as it relates to either the lender investors or the homeowner borrowers.

 

The Assignment and Assumption Agreement between the originator and the aggregator sets forth all the rules and actions preceding, during and after the loan”closing”, including the underwriting by parties other than the originator and the ownership of the loan by parties other than the originator. It is a contract to violate public policy, the Federal Truth in Lending Law prohibiting table funded loans designed to withhold disclosure, and usually state deceptive and predatory lending statutes.

 

The Assignment and Assumption Agreement was an agreement to commit illegal acts that were in fact committed and which strictly governed the conduct of the originator, the closing agent, the document processing, the delivery of documents, the due diligence, the underwriting, the approval by parties other than the originator and the risk of loss on parties other than the originator. The Assignment and Assumption Agreement is essential to the Court’s knowledge of the intent and reality of the closing, intentionally withheld from the borrower at closing. It cannot be anything other than relevant in any action sought to enforce the documents produced at a loan closing that was conducted in strict adherence to the illegal Assignment and Assumption Agreement.

 

The other closing is with the investors who were accepting a proposed transaction to lend money for the origination or acquisition of loans through a trust. Those documents and records (Prospectus, Pooling and Servicing Agreement, Distribution reports, etc) provide for the creation and governance of the trust, the appointment of a trustee and the powers of the trustee, and the appointment and the powers of the Master Servicer and subservicers. Those documents also provide for there requirements of reporting and record keeping, including the physical location and custody of actual loan documents. Without those documents, there is no power or authority for the trustee, the trust, the Master Servicer, the subservicer, the Depository, the Securities Administrator the purchase of insurance, credit default swap trading, funding the origination or acquisition of loans, or collection and enforcement of loan documents. without those documents the Court cannot know what records should be kept and thus what records need to be produced to show the status of the obligation in the books and records of the creditor — regardless of whether the loan was actually securitized or just claimed to be securitized.

 

Procedure and UCC
In Judicial States, the Plaintiff is bringing suit alleging a default by the Defendant on a promissory note and for enforcement of a mortgage. The name of the payee on the note is different from the name of the Plaintiff in the lawsuit. The name of the mortgagee is different from the the name of the Plaintiff. The suit is bought by (a) a trustee on behalf of the holders of securities that make the holders of those securities (Mortgage Bonds) in a NY Trust (b) the “servicer” on behalf of the trust or the holders or (c) a company that alleges it is a holder or a holder with rights to enforce. None of them assert they are holders in due course which means they concede that the Plaintiff did not buy the loan in good faith without knowledge of the borrowers defenses. They assert they are holder in which case they are subject to all of the borrowers defense — which procedurally means the issues concerning the initial loan and any subsequent transfers can be in issue if the preemptive facts are denied and appropriate affirmative defenses and counterclaims are filed. These defenses are waived at trial if an objection is not timely raised.

 

In Non-Judicial States, the name of the “new” beneficiary is different from the name of the payee on the promissory note and the name of the beneficiary on the Deed of Trust. The “new beneficiary” files a “Substitution of Trustee”, the Trustee sends a notice of default, notice of sale and notice of acceleration based upon “representations” from the “new beneficiary.” This process allows a stranger to the transaction to assert its position outside of a court of law that it is the new beneficiary and even allows the new beneficiary to name a company as the “new trustee” in the Notice of Substitution of Trustee. The foreclosure is initiated by the new trustee on the deed of trust on behalf of (a) a trustee on behalf of the holders of securities that make the holders of those securities (Mortgage Bonds) in a NY Trust (b) the “servicer” on behalf of the trust or the holders or (c) a company that alleges it is a holder or a holder with rights to enforce. None of them assert they are holders in due course which means they concede that the Plaintiff did not buy the loan in good faith without knowledge of the borrowers defenses. They assert they are holder in which case they are subject to all of the borrowers defense — which procedurally means the issues concerning the initial loan and any subsequent transfers can be in issue if the preemptive facts are denied and appropriate affirmative defenses and counterclaims are filed. These defenses are waived at trial if an objection is not timely raised. In these cases it is the burden of the borrower to timely file a motion for Temporary Injunction to stop the trustee’s sale of the property.

 

Argument:
By failing to assert with clarity the identity of the creditor on whose behalf they are “holding” the note and mortgage (or deed of trust) and failing to assert the presence of the actual creditor (holder in due course) the parties initiating foreclosure have (a) failed to assert the essential elements to enforce a note and mortgage and (b) have failed to establish a prima facie case in which the burden should shift to the borrowers to defend. The present practice of challenging the defenses first is improper and contrary to the requirements of due process and the rules of civil procedure. If the Plaintiff in Judicial states or beneficiary in non-judicial states is unable to sustain their burden of proof for a prima facie case, then Judgment should be entered for the alleged borrower.

 

Evidence:
Virtually all loans initiated or originated or acquired between 1996 and the present are subject to claims of securitization, which is the first reason why the securitization documents are relevant and must be introduced as evidence along with proof of compliance with those documents because they are almost all governed by New York State law governing common law trusts. Any act not permitted by the trust instrument (Pooling and Servicing Agreement) is void, which means for purposes of the case narrative, the act or event never occurred.

If the Plaintiff or beneficiary is alleging that it is a holder and not alleging it is a holder in due course then there is a 96% probability that the creditor is either a trust or a group of investors who paid money to a broker dealer in an IPO where securities were issued by the trust and the investors money should have been paid to the trust. In all events, the assertion of “holder” status instead of “Holder in Due Course” means by definition that one of two things is true: (1) there is no holder in due course or (2) there is a Holder in Due Course and the party initiating the foreclosure and collection proceedings is asserting authority to represent the holder in due course. In all events, the representation of holder rather than holder in due course is an admission that the party initiating the foreclosure proceeding is there in a representative capacity.

 

THE FORECLOSER HAS NO RIGHT TO BE IN COURT WITHOUT THE SECURITIZATION DOCUMENTS:

 

If the proceeding is brought by a named trust, then the existence of the trust, the authority of the trust, the manner in which the trust may acquire assets, and the authority of the servicer, Master servicer, trustee of the trust, depository, securities administrator and others all derive from the trust instrument. If there is a claim of securitization and the provisions of the securitization documents were not followed then in virtually all foreclosure cases the wrong parties are initiating the foreclosures — because the money of the investors went direct to the origination and purchase of loans rather than through the SPV Trust which for tax purposes was designed to be a REMIC pass through trust.

 

If the foreclosing party identifies itself as a servicer and as a holder it is admitting that it is there in a representative capacity. Their prima facie case therefore includes the documents and events in which acquired the right to represent the actual creditor. Those are only the securitization documents.

 

If the foreclosing party identifies itself as a holder but does not mention that it is a servicer, the same rules apply — the right to be there is a representative capacity must derive from some written instrument, which in virtually cases is the Pooling and Servicing Agreement.

 

Representations that the loan is a portfolio loan not subject to securitization are generally untrue. In a true portfolio loan the UCC would not apply but the rules governing a holder in due course can be used as guidance for the alleged transaction. The “lender” must show that it actually funded the loan, in good faith (in accordance with the requirements of Federal and State law governing lending) and without knowledge of the borrower’s defenses. They would be able to show their underwriting committee notes, reports and correspondence, the verification of the loan, the property value, the ability of the borrower to repay and all other national standards for underwriting and appraisals. These are only absent when there is no risk of loss on the alleged loan, because if the borrower doesn’t pay, the money was never destined to be received by the originator anyway.

 

In addition, the Prospectus offering to the investors combined with the Pooling and Servicing Agreement constitute the “indenture” describing the manner in which the investment will be returned to the investors, including interest, insurance proceeds, proceeds of credit default swaps, government and non government guarantees, etc. This specifies the duties and records that must be kept, where they must be kept and how the investors will receive distributions from the servicer. Proof of the balance shown by investors is the only relevant proof of a dealt and the principal balance due, applicable interest due, etc. The provisions of the contract between the creditors and the trust govern the amount and manner of distributions to the creditor. Thus it is only be reference to the creditors’ records that a prima facie case for default and the right to accelerate can be made. The servicer records do not include third party payments but do include servicer advances. If records of servicer advances are not shown in court, and the provision for servicer advances is in the prospectus and/or pooling and servicing agreement, then the Court is unable to know the balance and whether any default occurred as a result of the borrower ceasing to make payments to the servicer.

 

In short, it is the prospectus and pooling and servicing agreement that provide the framework for determining whether the creditors got paid as per their expectations pursuant to their contract with the Trust. It is only by reference to these documents that the distribution reports to the investors can be used as partial evidence of the existence of a default or “credit event.” Representations that the borrower did not pay the servicer are not conclusive as to the existence of a default. Only the records of the creditor, who by virtue of its relationships with multiple co-obligors, can establish that payments due were paid to the creditor. Servicer records are relevant as to whether the servicer received payments, but not relevant as to whether the creditor received those payments directly or indirectly. The servicer and creditors’ records establish servicer advance payments, which if made, nullify the creditor default. The creditors’ records establish the amount of principal or interest due after deductions from receipt of third party payments (insurance, credit default swaps, guarantees, loss sharing etc.).

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

 

 

BANKS EDGE CLOSER TO THE ABYSS: Florida Judge Forces Permanent Modification

GGKW (GARFIELD, GWALTNEY, KELLEY AND WHITE) provides Legal Services across the State of Florida. We also provide litigation support to attorneys in all 50 states. We concentrate our practice on mortgage related issues, litigation and modification (or settlement). We are available to represent homeowners, business owners, and homeowner associations seeking to preserve their interest in the property and seeking damages (monetary payment).  Neil F Garfield is a licensed Florida attorney who provides expert witness and consulting fees all over the country. No board certification is offered by the Florida Bar, so the firm may not claim expertise in mortgage litigation. Mr. Garfield’s status as an “expert” is only as a witness and not as an attorney.
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The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available TO PROVIDE ACTIVE LITIGATION SUPPORT to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

For the second time in as many weeks a trial judge has ordered the pretender lender to execute a permanent modification based upon the borrowers total compliance with the provisions of the trial modification.This time Wells Fargo (Wachovia) was given the terms of the modification, told to put it in writing and file it. If they don’t sanctions will apply just as they will be in the Florida Panhandle case we reported on last week.

Remember that before the trial modification begins the pretender lender is supposed to have done all the underwriting required to validate the loan, the value of the property, the income of the borrower etc. That is the responsibility of the lender under the Truth in Lending Act.

Of course we know that cases were instead picked at random with a cursory overview simply because there was no intention to ever give a permanent modification. Borrowers and their attorneys have known this for years. Government, always slow on the uptake, is starting to get restless as more and more Attorneys General are saying that the Banks are not complying with the intent or content of the agreement when the banks took TARP money.

The supreme irony of this case is that Wells Fargo didn’t want the TARP money and was convinced to take it and accept the terms of HAMP because if only the banks that really need it took the money it was argued that this would start a run on the banks named that had to take TARP. The other ironic factoid here is that the whole issue of ownership of the loans blew up in the face of the government officers around the country that thought TARP was a good idea — only to find out that the “toxic assets” (TARP – “Toxic Asset Relief Program”) were not defaulting mortgages.

  1. So instead of telling the banks they were liars and going after them the way Teddy Roosevelt did 100 years ago, they changed the definition of toxic assets to mean mortgage bonds.
  2. This they thought would take care of it since the mortgage bonds were the evidence of “ownership” of the  “underlying” home loans.
  3. Then the government found out that the mortgage bonds were not failing, they were merely the subject of a declaration from the Master Servicer (a necessary and indispensable party to all mortgage litigation, in my opinion) that the value of the bond had fallen ,thus triggering payment from insurers, counterparties on credit default swaps etc to pay up to 100 cents on the dollar for each of the bonds —
  4. which means the receivable account from the borrower had been either extinguished or reduced through third party payment.
  5. But by cheating the investors out of the insurance money (something the investors are taking care of right now in the courts), they thought they could keep saying the loans were in default and the mortgage bond had been devalued and thus the payment of insurance was legally valid.
  6. BUT the real truth is that the loans had never made into the asset pools that issued the mortgage bonds.
  7. So the TARP definitions were changed again to “whatever” and the money kept flowing to the banks while they were rolling in money from all sides — investors, insurers, CDS counterparts, sales of the note to multiple asset pools (REMICs) and then sales of the note to the Federal Reserve for 100 cents on the dollar.
  8. This leaves the loan receivable account in many cases in an overpaid status if one applies generally accepted accounting principles and allocates the Federal, insurance and CDS money to the bonds and the “underlying” loans.
  9. So the Banks took the position that since the money was not coming in to cover the loans (because the loans were not in the asset pool that issued the mortgage bond and therefore the mortgage bond was NO evidence of ownership of the loan) that therefore they could apply the money any way they wanted, and that is where the government left it, to the astonishment and dismay of the the rest of the world. that is when world economies went into a nose dive.

The whole purpose of the mega banks in in entering into trial modification was actually to create the impression that the mega banks were modifying loans. But to the rest of us, the trial modification was supposed to to be last hurdle before the disaster was finally over. Comply with the payment schedule, insurance, taxes, and everything else, and it automatically becomes your permanent modification.

Not so, according to Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi and their brothers in arms in the false scheme of securitization. According to them they could keep the money paid by the borrower to be approved for the trial modification, keep the money paid by the borrower to comply with the terms of the trial modification and then the banks could foreclose making up any excuse they wanted to deny the permanent modification. The sole straw upon which their theory rests is that they were only obligated to “consider” the modification; according to them they were NEVER required to make it such that the modification would become permanent unless the bank expressly said so, which in most cases it does not.

When you total it all up, the Banks received a minimum of $2.50 for each $1.00 loan “out there” regardless of who owns it. Under the terms of the promissory note signed by the borrower, that means the account is paid in full and then some. If the investor has not stepped up to file a competing claim against the borrower’s new claim for overpayment, then the entire overage should be paid to the borrower.

The Banks want to say, like they did to the government, that the trial modification is nothing despite the presence of an offer, acceptance and consideration. To my knowledge there are at least two judges in Florida who think that is a ridiculous argument and knowing how judges talk amongst themselves behind closed doors, I would expect more of these decisions. If the borrower applies for and is approved for trial modification and they comply with the trial provisions, a contract is formed.

The foreclosure defense attorney in Palm Beach County argued SIMPLE contract. And the Judge agreed. My thought is that if you are in a trial modification get ready to hire that attorney or some other one who gets it and can cover your geographical area. Once that last payment is made, and in most cases, the payment is continued long after the trial modification period is officially over, the Bank has no equitable or legal right to deny the permanent modification.

The only caveat here is whether the Judge was correct in stating the amount of principal due without hearing evidence on third party payments and ownership of the loan. WHY WOULD THE BANK WANT LESS MONEY IN FORECLOSURE RATHER THAN MORE MONEY IN A MODIFICATION? The answer is that out of the $2.50 they received for the loan, they would be required to refund $2.50 because the Bank was supposed to be an intermediary, not a principal in the transaction. So the balance quoted by the judge without evidence was quite probably wrong by a mile.

If there is any balance it is most likely a small fraction of the original principal due on the promissory note. And, as we have been saying for years, it is most likely NOT due to the party that is entering into the modification. This last point is troubling but “apparent authority” doctrines might cover the problem.

Every time a loan does NOT go into foreclosure, the Banks’ representation of defaults and the value of the loan (in order to trigger insurance and other third party payments)  come under question and the prospect of disaster for the Bank rises, to wit:  refunding trillions of dollars in insurance and CDS money as well as money received from co-obligors on the bond (the finished product after the note was moved through the manufacturing process of a false securitization scheme).

Every time a loan is found NOT to have actually been purchased by the asset pool (REMIC, Trust etc.) because there was no money in the asset pool and that the investors merely have an equitable right to claim the note and mortgage under constructive trust or resulting trust theories, the validity of the mortgage encumbrance fades to black. There is no such thing as an equitable mortgage lien or an equitable lien of any sort. And there is plenty of good sense and many law review articles as well as case decisions that explain why that is true.

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PRACTICE HINT FOR ATTORNEYS: Whether you are litigating or negotiating, send a preservation letter to every possible party or witness that might be involved. That way when you ask for production, they can’t say they destroyed or lost it without facing severe consequences. It might even stop the practice of the Banks trashing all documents periodically as has been disclosed in the whistle-blower affidavits from BOA and other banks. If you need assistance in creating a long form preservation letter we are available to provide litigation assistance on that and many other matters that might arise in foreclosure defense.

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