4th DCA Florida: Exploding the Merger Myth

Achieving standing via merger also requires that the surviving entity prove that it “acquired all of [the absorbed entity’s] assets, including [the] note and mortgage, by virtue of the merger.”Fiorito v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, Nat’l Ass’n, 174 So. 3d 519, 521 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).

see http://4closurefraud.org/2016/06/07/fl-4th-dca-segall-v-wachovia-bank-na-reversed-wachovia-failed-to-prove-standing-to-foreclose/

Finally the courts are turning back to the simple rules of law that always applied until the era of false claims of securitization. Hopefully this decision will be persuasive authority in all jurisdictions. As stated in other cases, the banks can’t continue to operate using multiple choice assertions. Either their entity is real or it isn’t. Either they acquired the loan or they didn’t — and the fact that there was a merger does NOTHING for them in asserting transfer of the loan. They must show that the subject loan was in fact acquired by the surviving entity in the merger. This was always the law before and now we are simply turning back to it.

World Savings Bank Loans Were Securitized Before Wachovia Merger

World Savings Bank  was acquired by Wachovia Bank  which in turn was acquired by Wells Fargo.  We have previously reported here that we had no information regarding the actual securitization of loans had been originated by World Savings Bank.  Now we have that information. And in a case of the right hand not aware of the left hand it turns out the source is our very own senior securitization analyst — Dan Edstrom, who operates DTC Systems (shown as watermark on documents shown below).

The original opinion that I had written about was that virtually all of the loans originated by world savings bank were eventually securitized either by World Savings Bank directly,  or by Wachovia Bank after it acquired WSB, or by Wells Fargo bank after it acquired Wachovia Bank.  I am now more sure than ever that this is correct. Despite the public assurances during the mortgage meltdown WSB was in fact acting solely as an originator and not as a lender in many transactions. Many other transactions in which they were technically the lender were actually closed in anticipation of sale into the secondary market for securitization.

If you look at the link below, you will be able to see part of the information that has been sent to me. Apparently Foreclosure Hamlet has been ahead of me on this issue since some of the screenshots show that they are from that blog site. This opens the door to a whole set of cases in which Wells Fargo is insisting that it is the current creditor when in fact the loan was securitized and sold into what appeared to be a REMIC trust. of course it still remains an issue as to whether or not the money taken from investors for the purchase of mortgage bonds ever made it into the trust; so it remains an issue as to whether or not the trust is the creditor or the investors are the creditor.

Thus it remains an issue as to whether or not any of the alleged securitization participants can claim authority to act on behalf of the “trust beneficiaries” when the actual status of the entity (the trust) was ignored by those parties. It might be that they can only claim apparent authority as opposed to legal authority since the documents that were given to the investors show a structure that is very different from what was done in  the real world.

World Savings Bank REMICs

Comment from Dan Edstrom:

These docs are mostly from DTC Systems.  We have been reporting on this since at least October 2010.  DTC Systems does Securitization Reverse Engineering and Failure Analysis for attempted World Savings securitizations and they are also included in the LivingLies combo’s where your client had a World Savings loan.  We have the names of all (or most) of the REMICs.  In a judicial foreclosure case in the mid-west a Wells Fargo expert (a former World Savings Bank employee) testified that the loan was pledged to a World Savings REMIC, but was “unpledged” when the homeowner was behind on the loan.  This is why we see several World Savings promissory notes with an endorsement to The Bank of New York on the back but they are stamped “Cancelled”.

Which is very interesting because the PSA states that the loans will be endorsed to the trustee (without recourse and showing an unbroken chain of endorsements (and/or certificates of corporate succession) from the originator thereof to the Person endorsing ti to the Trustee AND an original assignment to Trustee or a copy of such assignment.
So they seem to have the FORM of without recourse but the SUBSTANCE of the transaction is recourse?  What is the purpose of such ambiguity?  Or is it only ambiguous now in light of the mortgage meltdown and the related handling, such as that discussed (unsafe and unsound handling) in the OCC Cease and Desist Consent Order against Wells Fargo and others?
Also note this law from CA which I have yet to see brought up in a case like this (it seems that it is highly probable this same law exists in most states):
CA Civ. Code 1058
Redelivering a grant of real property to the grantor, or canceling it, does not operate to retransfer the title.
The expert testified that it was a pledge and that World Savings (and thus Wells Fargo) owned both the loan and the REMIC.

 

How the Banks Played With Investor Money, Made Money and Claimed a Loss

CHECK OUT OUR DECEMBER SPECIAL!

What’s the Next Step? Consult with Neil Garfield

For assistance with presenting a case for wrongful foreclosure, please call 520-405-1688, customer service, who will put you in touch with an attorney in the states of Florida, California, Ohio, and Nevada. (NOTE: Chapter 11 may be easier than you think).

Editor’s Comment and Analysis: The passage below is taken from the PSA and Prospectus of a Wachovia “securitization” offering. Most of the documentation from most of the investment banks have the same or similar language since the same group of law firms wrote the boiler plate for all of them. I might add that I have a confidential source that some lawyers refused to participate and actually quit their jobs claiming that the scheme was illegal and probably criminal.

This is why Deny and Discover is so powerful. When you dig down you see that things are not as they  appear or are represented and what you thought was true, is not true. Both borrowers and investors in bogus mortgage bonds were the subject of a sting initiated by the banks on the premise that nobody would actually read and analyze these documents before investing and the borrowers being ignorant of the existence of such documents could not possibly pose a threat.

If you read the passages below carefully you can see how the banks took money from investors, made loans with part of the money, kept the rest, and then claimed losses causing insurance companies, credit default swap counterparties and the Federal government to bail out the banks when it was the investors and the borrowers who were the actual parties losing money.

The “seller” of the mortgage is actually given the right to retain title so they will have an insurable interest and something to sell, even though they are actually holding “title” for the investment pool. The passages below reveal the exposure to both investors and borrowers as a result of this practice and how the investors ended up with unenforceable mortgages and notes, and the homeowners ended up with defective title, and the county recorders offices had their system of recording forever corrupted by the illicit practice under cover of hidden disclosures that enabled the banks to pull off the largest economic crime in human history.

INSIDER TRADING: What they have not answered to is whether the bets against the very same bonds they were selling were violations of insider trading. They knew what they were going to do with the bonds and they knew the rate of defaults would skyrocket as the true terms of the fabricated notes started to kick in.

If the securitization plan was actually legal instead of being a lethal scheme, they would not have a statement and the investors, if they had seen it would not have agreed to such terms. The recordation of the mortgages and delivery of the notes would have been required as per the laws of most states. They would not have reserved the right to NOT record the mortgage which by their own admission could result in the investors priority position being diminished to zero, which is exactly what I have been saying for years.

Who in their right mind would agree to turn over $100 million to an investment bank from a managed fund that is required by law to virtually eliminate risk by investing in only the highest grade investments, when the prospectus says “security holders could lose the right to future payments of principal and interest to the extent that those rights are not otherwise enforceable in favor of the indenture trustee under the applicable mortgage documents.?”

PRACTICE HINT: Don’t stop drilling in discovery and make sure you or an analyst reads the documentation. There is a lot of material buried in that stack of print that supports the allegation that the lenders were pretenders and that the loan never made it into the pool. Provisions like the ones below allow the investment banks to trade the loans as if they were their own. Imagine if you bought 100 shares of stock and the broker started trading the stock in his own name — wouldn’t you have something to say about that? Imagine further that the broker borrowed money using the stock and created a loss which he now tells you is your loss.

From a 2002 Wachovia Home Equity 424B5 filing:

Non-Recordation of Assignments; Possession of Mortgages                        

     Subject to the conditions described in the servicing agreement, the seller will not be required to record assignments of the mortgages to the  indenture trustee in the real property records of the states in which the     related mortgaged properties are located. The seller will retain record title to the mortgages on behalf of the indenture trustee and the security holders.     

Although the recordation of the assignments of those mortgages in favor of the indenture trustee is not necessary to effect a transfer of the mortgage loans to the indenture trustee, if the seller were to sell, assign, satisfy or discharge any of those mortgage loans prior to recording the related assignment in favor of the indenture trustee, the other parties to the sale, assignment, satisfaction or discharge may have rights superior to those of the indenture trustee.

In some states, including Florida and Maryland, in the absence of     recordation of the assignments of the mortgages, the transfer to the indenture trustee of the mortgage loans may not be effective against certain creditors or purchasers from the seller or a trustee in bankruptcy thereof. If those other parties, creditors or purchasers have rights to the mortgage loans that are superior to those of the indenture trustee, security holders could lose the right to future payments of principal and interest to the extent that those rights are not otherwise enforceable in favor of the indenture trustee under the applicable mortgage documents.

DOJ Probes Wells Fargo: Unravelling the Scam Piece by Piece

Click Now to Consult with Neil Garfield

NOTE: For Legal Representation in Florida,  Ohio and California, please call our customer service number 520-405-1688

Editor’s Comment and Analysis: For those, like myself, frustrated with the pace of the investigation, we must remember that the convoluted manner in which money and documents were handled was intended to obscure the PONZI scheme at the root of the securitization scam and false claims based upon securitization.

None of us saw anything this complex and after devoting 6 years of life to unraveling this mess I am still learning more each day , even with an extensive background on Wall Street and even with my experience with bond trading, investment banking and related matters.

So first they are going after the low-hanging fruit, which is the obvious misrepresentations to the investors who actually comprise most of the same people who were foreclosed. It was pension funds and retirement accounts managed directly or indirectly by the Wall Street banks that bought these bogus “mortgage-backed” bonds. Those same funds are now underfunded and headed for another bailout fight with the Congress.

The problem is that DOJ is still looking at documents and representations when they should be probing the actual movement of money. It is there that they will find the holy grail of prosecutable crimes. The money just didn’t go the way the banks said it would. The banks took trading profits out of the money before it even landed in an account which incidentally was never titled in the name of the REMIC that issued the fake mortgage bonds backed by loans that did not exist in the “the pool.”

Nonetheless I am encouraged that DOJ is chipping away at this, and getting their feet wet, as they get to understand what was really happening, to wit: a simple PONZI scheme in which the deal would fold as soon as there were no more investments by investors.

This simple core was covered by multiple layers of false documentation, robo-signed documents and other transmissions with disclaimers, such that there would be plausible deniability. In the end it is nothing different than Madoff, Drier or other schemes that have landed many titans in prison for the rest of their lives — unless they died before serving their sentence.

I’m an optimist: I still believe that in the end, these banksters will be brought to  justice for real crimes they committed or were directing through their position in the institutions they supposedly represented. The end result is going to be an overhaul of banking like we have not seen before perhaps in all of U.S. history.

The fact remains that the assets on the balance sheets of these banks are (a) overstated by assets that are either non existent or overvalued and (b) understated by the amount of money they parked off-shore in “off balance sheet transactions.”

In the end, which I predict could still be five years away or more, the large banks will have disappeared and the banking industry will return to the usual marketplace of large, medium and small banks, each easily subject to regulation and audits.

How the staggering toll exacted from the middle class will be handled is another story. Nobody in power wants to give the ordinary guy money even if he was defrauded. But unless they give restitution to the pension funds and homeowners, the economy will continue to drag and lag behind where it should be.

Wells Fargo Wachovia Unit Faces Probe Over Mortgage Practices

Reuters

Nov 6 (Reuters) – The government’s investigation of mortgage-related practices at Wells Fargo & Co includes the making and packaging of home loans by its Wachovia unit, the bank said in a filing Tuesday.

The No. 4 U.S. bank by assets disclosed in February that it may face federal enforcement action related to mortgage-backed securities deals leading to the financial crisis.

In Tuesday’s quarterly securities filing, Wells Fargo reiterated that it’s being investigated for whether it properly disclosed in offering documents the risks associated with its mortgage-backed securities.

The bank also said the government is investigating whether Wells Fargo complied with applicable laws, regulations and documentation requirements relating to mortgage originations and securitizations, including those at Wachovia.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia at the peak of the financial crisis in 2008 as losses in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank’s mortgage portfolio ballooned.

Mortgages packaged into securities for investors during the housing boom still haunt big banks years later. Banks have been accused of failing to ensure the quality of the loans and for misrepresenting their risk to investors.

In January, the Obama administration set up a special task force to investigate practices related to mortgage-backed securities at banks.

In the group’s first action, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last month filed a civil suit against JPMorgan Chase & Co for alleged fraud at Bear Stearns, which JPMorgan bought at the government’s request in 2008.

OCC Issuing Alert to Consumers About Independent Foreclosure Reviews

MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary CLICK HERE TO GET COMBO TITLE AND SECURITIZATION REPORT

SEE FULL ARTICLE ON MORTGAGENEWSDAILY.COM

The OCC is rolling out its first public service announcements to alert consumers about the Independent Foreclosure Review announced by it, the Fed, and the OTS in early November.  The campaign follows the distribution of over 4 million letters to potentially eligible borrowers which include forms for submitting requests and instructions on how to use them.

The public service materials include a feature story and two 30-second radio spots in English and Spanish.  These will be distributed to 7,000 small newspapers and 6,500 radio stations throughout the U.S. The announcements inform consumers of the specifics of the program which lets borrowers who faced foreclosure during 2009 or 2010 request reviews of their cases if they believe errors in the procedures used by servicers pursuing foreclosure actions caused them to suffer financial loss. 

The parameters for determining eligibility are explained and borrowers are directed to a starting point for their requests.  Over 20 of the largest servicing companies are mandated to offer and process the reviews:  America’s Servicing Company, Aurora Loan Services, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, Citi Mortgage, Country-Wide, EMC, EverBank/Everhome, Freedom Financial, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Ser vices, MetLife Bank, National City, PNC, Sovereign Bank, Sun-Trust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo.

Principal Reduction: A Step Forward by BofA, Wells Fargo

Editor’s Note: Better late than never. It is a step in the right direction, but 30% reduction is not likely to do the job, and waiting for mortgages to become delinquent is simply kicking the can down the road.

The political argument of a “gift” to these homeowners is bogus. They are legally entitled to the reduction because they were defrauded by false appraisals and predatory loan practices — fueled by the simple fact that the worse the loan the more money Wall Street made. For every $1,000,000 Wall Street took from investors/creditors they only funded around $650,000 in mortgages. If the borrowers performed — i.e., made their payments, Wall Street would have had to explain why they only had 2/3 of the investment to give back to the creditor in principal. If it failed, they made no explanation and made extra money on credit default swap bets against the mortgage.

For every loan that is subject to principal reduction, there is an investor who is absorbing the loss. Yet the new mortgage is in favor of the the same parties owning and operating investment banks that created the original fraud on investors and homeowners. THIS IS NO GIFT. IT IS JUSTICE.

—-EXCERPTS FROM ARTICLE (FULL ARTICLE BELOW)—–

New York Times

Policy makers have been hoping the housing market would improve before any significant principal reduction program was needed. But with the market faltering again, those wishes seem to have been in vain.

Substantial pressure came from Massachusetts, which won a significant suit last year against Fremont Investment and Loan, a subprime lender. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that some of Fremont’s loans were “presumptively unfair.” That gave the state a legal precedent to pursue Countrywide.
The threat of a stick may be helping banks to realize that principal write-downs are in their ultimate self-interest. The Bank of America program was announced simultaneously with the news that the lender had reached a settlement with the state of Massachusetts over claims of predatory lending.

The percentage of modifications that included some type of principal reduction more than quadrupled in the first nine months of last year, to 13.2 percent from 3.1 percent, according to regulators.

Wells Fargo, for instance, said it had cut $2.6 billion off the amount owed on 50,000 severely troubled loans it acquired when it bought Wachovia.

March 24, 2010

Bank of America to Reduce Mortgage Balances

By DAVID STREITFELD and LOUISE STORY

Bank of America said on Wednesday that it would begin forgiving some mortgage debt in an effort to keep distressed borrowers from losing their homes.

The program, while limited in scope and available by invitation only, signals a significant shift in efforts to deal with the millions of homeowners who are facing foreclosure. It comes as banks are being urged by the White House, members of Congress and community groups to do more to stem the tide.

The Obama administration is also studying whether to provide more help to people who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

Bank of America’s program may increase the pressure on other big banks to offer more help for delinquent borrowers, while potentially angering homeowners who have kept up their payments and are not getting such aid.

As the housing market shows signs of possibly entering another downturn, worries about foreclosure are growing. With the volume of sales falling, prices are sliding again. When the gap increases between the size of a mortgage and the value that the home could fetch in a sale, owners tend to give up.

Cutting the size of the debt over a period of years, however, might encourage people to stick around. That could save homes from foreclosure and stabilize neighborhoods.

“Banks are willing to take some losses now to avoid much greater losses later if the housing market continues to spiral, and that’s a sea change from where they were a year ago,” said Howard Glaser, a housing consultant in Washington and former government regulator.

The threat of a stick may be helping banks to realize that principal write-downs are in their ultimate self-interest. The Bank of America program was announced simultaneously with the news that the lender had reached a settlement with the state of Massachusetts over claims of predatory lending.

The program is aimed at borrowers who received subprime or other high-risk loans from Countrywide Financial, the biggest and one of the most aggressive lenders during the housing boom. Bank of America bought Countrywide in 2008.

Bank of America officials said the maximum reduction would be 30 percent of the value of the loan. They said the program would work this way: A borrower might owe, say, $250,000 on a house whose value has fallen to $200,000. Fifty thousand dollars of that balance would be moved into a special interest-free account.

As long as the owner continued to make payments on the $200,000, $10,000 in the special account would be forgiven each year until either the balance was zero or the housing market had recovered and the borrower once again had positive equity.

“Modifications are better than foreclosure,” Jack Schakett, a Bank of America executive, said in a media briefing. “The time has come to test this kind of program.”

That was the original notion behind the government’s own modification program, which was intended to help millions of borrowers. It has actually resulted in permanently modified loans for fewer than 200,000 homeowners.

The government program, which emphasizes reductions in interest rates but not in principal owed, was strongly criticized on Wednesday by the inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program for overpromising and underdelivering.

“The program will not be a long-term success if large amounts of borrowers simply redefault and end up facing foreclosure anyway,” the inspector general, Neil M. Barofsky, wrote in his report. One possible reason is that even if they get mortgage help, many borrowers are still loaded down by other kinds of debt like credit cards.

Bank of America said its new program would initially help about 45,000 Countrywide borrowers — a fraction of the 1.2 million Bank of America homeowners who are in default. The total amount of principal reduced, it estimated, would be $3 billion.

The bank said it would reach out to delinquent borrowers whose mortgage balance was at least 20 percent greater than the value of the house. These people would then have to demonstrate a hardship like a loss of income.

These requirements will, the bank hopes, restrain any notion that it is offering easy bailouts to those who might otherwise be able to pay. “The customers who will get this offer really can’t afford their mortgage,” Mr. Schakett said.

Early reaction to the program was mixed.

“It is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Alan M. White, an assistant professor at Valparaiso University School of Law who has studied the government’s modification program.

But Steve Walsh, a mortgage broker in Scottsdale, Ariz., who said he had just abandoned his house and several rental properties, called the program “another Band-Aid. It probably would not have prevented me from walking away.”

Even before Bank of America’s announcement, reducing loan balances was growing in favor as a strategy to deal with the housing mess. The percentage of modifications that included some type of principal reduction more than quadrupled in the first nine months of last year, to 13.2 percent from 3.1 percent, according to regulators.

Few of these mortgages were owned by the government or private investors, however. Banks tended to cut principal only on mortgages they owned directly. Wells Fargo, for instance, said it had cut $2.6 billion off the amount owed on 50,000 severely troubled loans it acquired when it bought Wachovia.

Bank of America said it would be offering principal reduction for several types of exotic loans. Some of the eligible loans are held in the bank’s portfolio, but the program will also apply to some loans owned by investors for which Bank of America is merely the manager.

The bank developed the program partly because of “pressure from everyone,” Mr. Schakett said. Even the investors who owned the loans were saying “maybe we should be doing more,” he said.

Substantial pressure came from Massachusetts, which won a significant suit last year against Fremont Investment and Loan, a subprime lender. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that some of Fremont’s loans were “presumptively unfair.” That gave the state a legal precedent to pursue Countrywide.

“We were prepared to bring suit against Bank of America if we had not been able to reach this remedy today, which we have been looking for for a long time,” said the Massachusetts attorney general, Martha Coakley.

Bank of America agreed to a settlement on Wednesday with Ms. Coakley that included a $4.1 million payment to the state.

Reducing principal is widely endorsed, in theory, as a cure for foreclosures. The trouble is, no one wants to absorb the costs.

When the administration announced a housing assistance program in the five hardest-hit states last month, officials explicitly opened the door to principal forgiveness. Despite reservations expressed by the Treasury, the White House and Housing and Urban Development officials have continued to study debt forgiveness in areas with lots of so-called underwater homes, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

On a national scale, such a program risks a political firestorm if the banks are unable to finance all the losses themselves. Regulators like the comptroller of the currency and the Federal Reserve have been focused on maintaining the banks’ capital levels, which could be hurt by large-scale debt forgiveness.

“You have to be very careful not to design a program that would change people’s fundamental behavior across the country in a destabilizing way or would be widely perceived as unfair to people who are continuing to pay,” Michael S. Barr, an assistant secretary of the Treasury, said early this year.

Policy makers have been hoping the housing market would improve before any significant principal reduction program was needed. But with the market faltering again, those wishes seem to have been in vain.

Bank of America’s announcement came within hours of a fresh report that underscored the renewed weakness. Sales and prices are dropping, leaving even more homeowners underwater.

Sales of new homes fell in February to their lowest point since the figures were first collected in 1963, the Commerce Department said. Sales are about a quarter of what they were in 2003, before the housing boom began in earnest.

“It’s shocking,” said Brad Hunter, an analyst with the market researcher Metrostudy. “No one would ever have imagined it would go this low.”

%d bloggers like this: