SIGTARP HAMP FINDINGS: SERVICERS REVOKING COMPLIANT HAMP PLANS

Why are modifications being undermined when they would so obviously preserve the value of the “loan?” The answer is because the real party in interest in the foreclosures is the servicer, not the trust, which doesn’t own the loan anyway, nor even the investor/beneficiaries, who reap very little out of the proceeds of foreclosure.

The servicer wants the loan to fail. The investor expects the servicer and trustee of the REMIC trust to make sure value is preserved. But that isn’t the game. If the property goes to foreclosure sale then the “servicer” can make its claim for “recovery” of “servicer advances.” The fact that “servicer advances” are made from a pool of funds established by investor money and the fact that the servicer accesses these funds to make payments, regardless of whether the borrower pays or not — all of that makes no difference in the game.

In that context a modified loan is worthless. A failed loan is the gold standard.

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HAMP Modifications Sabotaged to Fail by the Usual Suspects

By William Hudson

https://www.sigtarp.gov/Audit%20Reports/Homeowners_Wrongfully_Terminated_Out_of_HAMP.pdf

On January 27, 2016 The Special Inspector General over the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) released data on the poorly executed and enforced Home Affordable Mortgage Program (“HAMP”) that shows that the banks not only have the right to modify loans they don’t own, but have no interest in helping homeowners save their homes through modification when they can set the homeowner up to fail.

HAMP was created to provide sustainable and affordable mortgage assistance to homeowners at risk of foreclosure but has instead forced many homeowners into foreclosure by requiring homeowners to miss payments, revoking approved modifications and a slew of other unethical practices.

The Inspector General writes that, “mortgage servicers administering HAMP will continue to need strict oversight in upcoming years because apparently the servicers are unable to implement and properly administer the program without resorting to sabotaging compliant homeowners.”

The audit notes that  the “largest seven mortgage servicers in HAMP over the most recent four quarters show disturbing and what should be unacceptable results, as 6 of 7 of the mortgage servicers had wrongfully terminated homeowners who were in “good standing”  with their HAMP modifications.”

These failure rates demonstrate that servicer misconduct is continuing to contribute to homeowners falling out of HAMP by terminating the agreement when homeowners are making timely payments.  This practice is an obvious attempt to put homeowners at risk of losing their home so that when the foreclosure occurs, the servicer can swoop in and steal the home while keeping all of the homeowner’s equity, payments and improvements.

This study provides further documentation that homeowners are being forced out of the HAMP program for no reason and that servicers are using HAMP as another tool to steal homes.  If the servicer can keep the homeowner in a state of vulnerability, create further arrearages and provide the homeowner contradictory and confusing information- their chances of taking back the home increase exponentially. This is the modification business model of the major loan servicers.

The servicers are running the show and the government is apparently impotent to stop them from their illegal tactics. The treasury admits that they have no idea how many other homeowners were forced out of HAMP.  I can attest that I was one of the homeowners forced out of a loan modification in which I was 100% compliant. For a year I repeatedly applied for modifications, sending in documentation and spending hours and hours going through CitiMortgage’s futile application process.  Either CitiMortgage representatives are completely incompetent or their modification process is intentionally set-up to create such a diabolical application process that most borrowers give up.

Thirteen applications later and a year later I was granted an “approved repayment plan” that required three timely payments before becoming permanent.  If all three payments were made  by the first of each month I would be given a permanent modification with no need for further qualification.  After making the third timely payment by certified mail I didn’t hear back from CitiMortgage. By then I was familiar with their lack of competence and accountability so I continued to make payments hoping I would hear from them any day.

When I received the “approved repayment plan” I celebrated thinking that I was finally free from seven years of servicer torment.  The modification would allow me to immediately sell the home in which I had several buyers- and make Citi 100% whole including being paid over 15k in fees they had assessed.  At the time I received the loan modification I had over 100k in equity.  I would have paid CitiMortgage any amount they claimed I owed to be free of their tyrannical servicing practices.

Not trusting CitiMortgage to honor their word- I called CitiMortgage and once again confirmed that “approved” meant “approved” and that I could prepare the home for sale. The CitiMortgage agent promised me that as long as all three payments were made it was a done deal.  I didn’t want any surprises down the road if they changed their minds.  The home needed some updating prior to being placed on the market so I took 35k from my retirement account and went to work renovating the home top to bottom.  By the time my third payment was made I had a beautifully restored home and two anxious buyers for the property.  I was close to grasping the golden ring…..until CitiMortgage grasped the ring right out of my hands.

When I didn’t hear from Citimortgage I continued to make the modification payments for three more months while waiting to hear from them about the new loan terms. Unbeknownst to me the modification payments I had made were not being applied to my loan but placed in a suspense account while CitiMortgage was continuing to add on late payments and other delinquent fees.  I had not agreed to this arrangement but was powerless to complain.

I finally received a letter from CitiMortgage stating my check (my fifth payment) was being returned to me with no reason provided. I knew CitiMortgage was up to something, so I checked the internet to discover that CitiMortgage was dual-tracking me and had filed to foreclose on me while compliant with the modification plan. To add further injury,  I received two more offers from CitiMortgage that week offering to modify my loan! CitiMortgage did not want full payment- they wanted my house and the financial windfall that follows a successful foreclosure.

It has now been six years and the house has sat vacant since Citi revoked my modification.  All the work I did has been reversed by humidity and vacancy.  I no longer have any equity in the property.  I sued CitiMortgage over this egregious bait and switch scheme and even provided evidence to the court that I was granted an “approved repayment plan” with no contingencies.  The judge in my case, with 20 percent of his retirement in CitiMortgage, did not recuse himself but instead threw out my entire complaint and provided no reason for his decision.  Not only did CitiMortgage get away with this fraud, the corrupt judge dismissed my case on summary judgement stating there was no controversy.  Even when you have irrefutable evidence of fraud- if you have a biased and unethical judge you will not prevail.   I reported my experience to SigTarp, the CFPB, FCC and the Office of the Comptroller- and not one agency bothered to respond to my complaint or sanction CitiMortgage for this blatant contract violation.  I requested that CitiMortgage return the modification payments they fraudulently extorted from me- and of course they refused.

My situation appears to be the norm, not the exception.  SigTarp reported that one out of every three homeowners in HAMP re-defaults on their payments. They suggest that the Treasury, “research and analyze whether, and to what extent, the conduct of HAMP mortgage servicers contributed to homeowners redefaulting on HAMP permanent mortgage modifications.”  I can tell them from experience that examining the behaviors and motivations of the servicers would be a great place to start. I can almost guarantee in most modification cases that it isn’t the homeowner who defaults.  In the first place, a homeowner who prevails in obtaining a loan modification may work diligently for years before being granted a modification and persevere against great odds! I would estimate I spent around 45 hours on the phone, faxing and following up with CitiMortgage before receiving my modification.  In fact, dealing with CitiMortgage became my occupation.  The homeowner who receives a modification, in most cases, has fought a long and hard battle for the modification and has no idea that the bank can refuse to honor the agreement.

To get the true story about what is going on, the Treasury could begin by sending out questionnaires to prior homeowners in HAMP that were compliant when their modifications were revoked for no other reason than the servicer wanting to take another stab at stealing the home.  SIGTARP’s concerns over servicer misconduct contributing to homeowner redefaults in HAMP was revealed through the Treasury’s on-site visits to the largest seven mortgage servicers in HAMP over the last year and apparently reveal disturbing and unacceptable results, finding that 6 of 7 of the mortgage servicers had wrongfully terminated homeowners who were in “good standing”.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to assume that servicers are up to their same old tricks and forcing compliant homeowners out of HAMP.  Servicers have no incentive to not unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of the homeowner when a successful foreclosure is more lucrative than modifying a mortgage.  The usual six non-compliant culprits are named in the report:

WRONGFUL TERMINATIONS OF HOMEOWNERS FROM HAMP BY SERVICERS:

Q4 2014 TO Q3 2015    

Servicer                                       Wrongful Termination of Homeowner  From HAMP

Bank of America, N.A.                                        X

CitiMortgage Inc                                                  X

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.                              X

Nationstar Mortgage LLC                                    X

Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC                               X

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.                                       X

According to SIGTARP, homeowners who make their modified mortgage payments on time, or who do not fall three months behind on those payments are entitled to remain in HAMP. However, the Treasury’s results found that, within the last year, Bank of America,CitiMortgage, JP Morgan Chase, Nationstar, Ocwen and Wells Fargo all claimed that homeowners had redefaulted out of HAMP by missing three payments when, in reality, they had not.

These six mortgage servicers account for 74% of non-GSE HAMP modifications funded by TARP since the start of the program. Upon further reading, and despite the fact that the Treasury has done nothing to stop this misconduct, the servicers are engaging in a process of holding the homeowner’s payments in suspense accounts (so they can continue accruing late fees and other delinquent charges), reversing and reapplying the homeowner’s payments improperly and terminating homeowners who have not defaulted on the required three payments.

This misconduct is also probably much larger in scale than it appears because the Treasury only samples 100 redefaulted homeowners per servicer each quarter.  It is possible that the number of homeowners impacted is much, much larger.  This has been going on since the inception of the program and the Treasury’s response over time has been anemic and unresponsive.  The servicers appear to have an understanding that if they don’t comply there is no consequence other than a little bad publicity (as if a little more bad publicity would impact them at this point).

The potential profit of a fraudulent foreclosure is incentive enough to kick compliant homeowners out of the HAMP program. It should be known that many of the servicers making offers to modify do not have legal standing to make an offer to modify the loan in the first place and are simply engaging in a process to get the homeowner further into default.

In my particular case, all I wanted was to modify my mortgage, sell my home, and go forward with my life.  CitiMortgage did NOT want payment- they WANTED the HOME and used modification as a tool to  obtain this goal.  A modification is nothing short of a tool of deception used by servicers to steal a home.  Servicers use modification for these purposes:

1.  Intimidate the unsophisticated or vulnerable Homeowner- Create Fear and Confusion by processes of circular phone transfers, lost documents, false claims, conflicting messages and blatant lies.

2. Time Destruction- Time spent in modification compromises other available options like refinancing, a short sale or hiring an attorney.  A consumer’s options diminish as time goes by. It is to the bank’s benefit to not modify the loan but to paint the homeowner into a corner.

3. Equity Erosion- Every month while in a modification the equity in the home is eroded by late fees and other charges the consumer is not advised about in advance.

4. Payment Hostage- The servicer retains the monthly modification payment in a suspense account.  These funds then cannot be used for a more beneficial purpose like retaining an attorney or refinancing. The consumer is not told that the payment will not be applied to their mortgage or if the modification fails that the payments will not be returned.

5. Dual-Tracking- A homeowner in the process of modifying their mortgage or who has an approved modification may be subsequently foreclosed upon in violation of law.

6. Government Kickbacks- Servicers who engage in the modification process receive compensation for each modification attempt and successful modification.  Servicers are accepting government payments (from tax payers) only to sabotage modifications.

The time has come for a full investigation into the behavior of loan servicers.  Not only do servicers make offers to modify loans they have no legal right to modify, but they engage in fraudulent practices that are not in the best interest of the homeowner, investor or community.  This article won’t get into the fact that servicers lie about their relationship to the loan, the balance owed and need to be heavily fined and sanctioned for forging documents, filing false affidavits and other criminal acts.  The bottom line is that a servicer is incentivized to lie, to cheat and to steal by a lack of governmental oversight and by the  potential windfall of profits that occur upon a successful foreclosure (including insurance, “servicer advances” and other compensation).  The bank has bet your mortgage will fail, and you can bet they will resort to every trick in the book to take your home including the use of faux modifications.

It is ironic that two months ago I received a letter from CitiMortgage offering to modify again.  This is despite the fact that the note and mortgage were rescinded under TILA.  I’m not sure what CitiMortgage thinks they are going to modify now that the note and mortgage are void by operation of law- but why would I expect rogue servicer CitiMortgage to comply with any state or federal law?

Advice: Your servicer is not your friend and will act only in their best interest.

I have attached copies of my “approved repayment plan” as evidence of the modification agreement.

If you would like to share your modification story with us please email us at: lendingliesconsulting@gmail.com.  We would like to hear about your experiences.

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Repayment Plan One cleanRepayment Plan Two clean

City of Oakland Sues Wells Fargo for Discriminatory/Predatory Lending

see http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35126-oakland-sues-wells-fargo-for-mortgage-discrimination

My first suggestion was in 2007 that governmental units sue the big banks for what they were doing to their constituents and government budgets. Nobody was interested. They were all listening to Greenspan and Paulson saying that this was nothing and that it was contained. How do you warn people about the tidal wave when they have turned their back to it?

Had the lawsuits began then, the number of foreclosures would have dropped sharply as the predatory practices and fraudulent practices were revealed — the servicers and trustees would have been revealed as emperors without clothes, and governmental agencies would have taken over the process of cleanup instead of allowing the “servicers” and “trustees” to walk off with the money and the property.

But I now renew my OTHER question: Why would anyone spend hundreds of millions of dollars promoting loans that were guaranteed to fail? And the corollary question: Why would anyone spend hundreds of millions of dollars (remember DiTech and Quicken and the Lending Tree?) promoting loans that carried an interest rate of 2.5%???? At that rate, there is a guaranteed loss from inflation even if the borrower pays!!!

The answer is obvious but few people have really drilled down on this stuff and fewer still have done anything about it.

The answer is that no sane person would want those loans much less promote them through surrogate “originators”.

So the next question is if nobody would do that, how did it get done?

And the answer to that is also obvious,  and we all know about it now — other people’s money (OPM). The big banks were making a fortune buying and selling mortgages they didn’t own with mortgage bonds they didn’t own that were sold as guaranteed, insured, high-rated mortgage backed securities, when they were neither securities nor backed by mortgages.

AND THAT is the beginning of why eminent domain is completely appropriate to seize the loans, share the benefit with investors and kick the servicers and trustees out of the picture. Since the Trusts have zero assets anyway, the Trustee and servicer are legally empowered to do NOTHING. None of them have standing to challenge eminent domain.

SERVICER ADVANCES: The Big Modification—> Foreclosure Scam by Wells Fargo and Others — “Better be 90 days behind”

See West Coast Workshop Northern California

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

This is not a legal opinion on any specific case. Get a lawyer.

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see http://www.occupy.com/article/how-wells-fargo-fraudulently-foreclosed-florida-homeowner

The Big Question:

How can there be a declaration of default

when the creditor is showing no default and no loss on its books?

I have been through the ringer myself, as the homeowner in the article linked above said about himself. We have a steady policy of the banks luring homeowners into default or luring them into deeper defaults. The reason is clear. They want the foreclosure — not the house and definitely not the money owed. As one BOA manager said “we are in the foreclosure business not the modification business.” The facts are always the same: the homeowner is faced with two choices based upon the information that comes from the only source he or she knows about — the party claiming to own the loan or claiming the authority to service the loan. In nearly all cases neither representation is true.

The two choices are to find another way to get help from friends and relatives (i.e., forget about modification) or go into a default. The message is perfectly clear that the “customer representative” is inviting them to go into default. But they have a script that carefully avoids the direct words of “I am telling you to go into default.” And so nearly all judges say that this is not illegal legal advice and not fraudulent misrepresentation, even though the homeowner is told that there is nobody else they can talk to about their loan.

Millions of homeowners were looking for modification rather than a free house — mostly on loans that had reset to unaffordable monthly payments that were not properly disclosed at closing and which should never have been approved by any legitimate underwriting process. In fact, such loans were never approved prior to the era of the illusion of securitization in the secondary markets where mortgage loans are bought and sold. Industry practices, rules and regulations preventing banks from approving loans in which it was obvious that some or all of the terms would be breached based upon current information. So if a borrower is approved for a mortgage with a teaser payment of $500 per month in a household that grosses $50,000 per year, it is obvious what will happen when the payment resets to $5,000 per month ($60,000 per year) — $10,000 more than their entire income.

The ONLY reason why such loans were approved is that the banks were not putting the bank at risk in such loans and were making money hand over fist in the “secondary” markets that were completely under the control of the same banks. They sold that loan as though the $5,000 per month would be paid — and even had ratings and insurance indicating that the loan was “low risk” when the bank knew for sure that default was imminent due to the reset  of the amount of payments. And in fact, payments were made to the investor creditors just as expected —> but paid by the investment bank as “Servicer advances.”

But were they really paying the certificate holders in REMIC Trusts? Yes, but they were paying investors out of their own money which was hijacked into a commingled slush fund. But since they were called “servicer advances” that are now being bundled as derivatives and sold to the same investors as securitized debt, it is the SERVICER who has a claim for the advanced money even though it wasn’t their money that funded the “advances” which were really refunds out of the money paid by the investors themselves.

The banks created this scheme so that investors would remain ignorant that anything was wrong with the portfolio despite mountains of delinquencies that were DECLARED BY THE SERVICER to be “defaults.” And so the investors would buy more “mortgage backed” securities they were neither mortgage backed nor securities because the Trust never saw a penny of the offering of mortgage backed bonds and never operated nor purchased nor received ownership of the loans.

Those “advances” or refunds or whatever you want to call them can be “recovered” (I would say stolen) by the investment banks masquerading as the Master Servicer of a REMIC Trust that existed only on paper and not in the real world. But they can only “recover” those advances (that they are quickly selling to investors through new securitization schemes) if the property goes into foreclosure. If the property is foreclosed then the servicer no longer needs to make advances although in many cases it continues to do so in order to keep the investors in the dark. But more importantly it is ONLY when the property is sold that the “Master Servicer” can “recover” those servicer advances.

It’s complicated. But if you stop for a moment and put pencil to paper suddenly the reason for those long delays in prosecuting foreclosures becomes crystal clear. The investment bank is using the investor money to make “advances” to the investor to make good on the expectations of the investor in receiving income from their “investment.” Since the investment bank is not actually making the advances, the “receivable” due to the investment bank under this convoluted scheme increases with each passing month (without any corresponding liability or expense). So the investment bank that controls the slush fund where investor money is kept, makes payments to the investor for the amounts due regardless of whether the borrowers are paying.

In the example above, they want to keep that time running as long as possible. By making advances of $5,000 per month, that is $60,000 per year and over an 8 year period, for example, the receivable is now $480,000 without the bank having to spend one dime and in fact, actually collecting fees during the entire time at a premium rate for those loans that are distressed. So they have a $480,000 asset waiting. But there is a catch. They can only get the $480,000 if the property is foreclosed and the property is sold. It is only out of the sale proceeds that the bank as “master Servicer” can lay claim for its $480,000. Of course in the end the investors get screwed because that $480,000 was their money and THEY should have received it. But they didn’t and they don’t. Just read the prospectuses on the bundling of “servicer advances.”

So Wells Fargo and other banks adopted strategies that lure homeowners into default and get them believing and hoping they will get a modification when in fact they don’t give the modifications at all. In truth they are neither authorized to collect the money nor enforce the obligation because their so-called authority comes from the PSA for a REMIC Trust that was never used, never funded, never in operation. And they do it in a variety of ways—

Here are some excerpts from the article in the above link from about a year ago:

Occupy.com Article

Wells Fargo put them “through the ringer”. “We were happy living in a rural-suburban area. Time went by quickly. One thing that we always did was pay our bills on time. We took pride in our credit score, which were 760 each. We were so proud when we needed a new car we could just “walk” off the lot with it. [I’m] not sure what happened, where everything went wrong. I actually believe it was President Obama telling Americans to apply for a Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) loan. When job loss occurred in our family, I was aware that we would qualify for that loan and I called Wells Fargo to inquire. They put us through the ringer. That is what started our tumble down the credit hole. Wells Fargo approved a forbearance agreement, while we submitted a HAMP application in 2009.” – See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/how-wells-fargo-fraudulently-foreclosed-florida-homeowner#sthash.iIM39zPY.dpuf

[HAMP had been introduced by the Obama administration as a tool to help homeowners keep their homes. It turned out that the yellow brick road led many into foreclosure disasters – a prolonged disaster that kept homeowners’ hope alive while chipping away their savings, their equity, and ruining their credit scores. Americans were watching in disbelief while the servicers and banks didn’t comply with the HAMP requirements, continued with dual tracking (processing modifications and foreclosing at the same time), pushing homeowners towards in-house modifications even when they qualified for HAMP, and many other irregularities.] – See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/how-wells-fargo-fraudulently-foreclosed-florida-homeowner#sthash.iIM39zPY.dpuf

This is when the games began,” continued J.S. “The forbearance ruined my credit score. Every fax I sent to Wells Fargo has not been received – that’s what their representatives claimed. Week after week, always [with] a two-week lag. Always something missing. Then I started my Internet research on “lost paper work” and I found Living Lies website, which led to Foreclosure Hamlet, and now Facebook. My search for answers brought many wonderful people in my life together with the answers and they helped me through the darkest moments of my life. [Editor’s note: Ruining the credit score of the homeowner is key to insuring a foreclosure. If their credit score remained high they would be able to refinance and the investment bank as Master Servicer would have no claim for “servicer advances.”]

“In 2009 I was informed by a Wells Fargo representative that I may not be approved because someone moved my application out of the review folder from her computer! Their incompetence was limitless. Eventually I was approved for a modification, but it was more than my original mortgage. However, I wanted to save my house at all costs. At this time I had a good job. [But] after the BP oil spill my salary was cut in half and I re-applied for the HAMP loan in 2010. – [Editor’s Note: I have personal knowledge and tape recordings of Wells Fargo employees speaking without realizing they were being recorded by their own system. In those recordings they acknowledged that images and data from one borrower was mixed in with another. They agree that they shouldn’t admit that to the borrower. Then Wells Fargo blames the borrower for not having sent the required documentation which they have had all along or destroyed. Evidence in a case involving BOA and other banks shows that on a periodic basis the banks simply destroy all applications and submissions by borrowers.]

“I was told by Wells Fargo that we had to be 90 days late before they would consider my HAMP loan application. At that time, I still had a great credit score, and now they were telling me to actually STOP PAYING MY MORTGAGE. I think that I literally freaked out then. I didn’t want to lose my home.” [This is the big one. And up till now it has been foolproof. Most homeowners are unaware of the news or history of other borrowers. So when they are told about the “90 day” requirement, they think they don’t qualify for relief unless they withhold payments for 90 days. But that isn’t true for two reasons — the bank is only telling them about the policy of Wells Fargo, not the investors (sometimes Fannie or Freddie).  The bank is creating the impression that they are a reliable source of information when in fact they are lying to the borrower in order to get them into default, foreclosure, sell the property and then claim “Servicer advances.”]

One of the biggest traps by the servicers during the HAMP modification process was pushing homeowners into default without telling them that they would be reported by those same servicers to the credit agencies, thus ruining their credit.] – See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/how-wells-fargo-fraudulently-foreclosed-florida-homeowner#sthash.iIM39zPY.dpuf

“After reluctantly not paying my mortgage for 90 days, I was able to apply for a HAMP loan. Again every fax I sent was lost. I didn’t know what to do anymore. My frustration reached its limits and I realized that next time I will FedEx my documents, so they can’t lose it, since there will be a tracking number as a proof of delivery. The new HAMP application letter stated that paper work was due on or before Feb. 14, 2011. I gathered everything and sent on Feb. 3, 2011. It was received on Feb. 4, 2011, and signed via FedEx tracking. On Feb. 16, 2014, I received a letter from Wells Fargo that my documents were not received. WHAT? I called them right away. They say they never received my package. After I cried over the phone, their representative sounded very upset and finally told me, ‘We have some of your documents, but things are missing.’ – See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/how-wells-fargo-fraudulently-foreclosed-florida-homeowner#sthash.iIM39zPY.dpuf

“I called FedEx and spoke to the supervisor of the delivery person and she tried to call Wells Fargo but I was told no one would answer the phone and she never contacted me again. I had no choice but to wait for foreclosure proceedings. They obviously wanted to give me the run around. I was served Dec. 27, 2011. I was ready. – See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/how-wells-fargo-fraudulently-foreclosed-florida-homeowner#sthash.iIM39zPY.dpuf

Ocwen: Investors and Borrowers Move toward Unity of Purpose!

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

Please consult an attorney who is licensed in your jurisdiction before acting upon anything you read on this blog.

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Anyone following this blog knows that I have been saying that unity of investors and borrowers is the ultimate solution to the falsely dubbed “Foreclosure crisis” (a term that avoids Wall Street corruption). Many have asked what i have based that on and the answer was my own analysis and interviews with Wall Street insiders who have insisted on remaining anonymous. But it was only a matter of time where the creditors (investors who bought mortgage backed securities) came to realize that nobody acting in the capacity of underwriter, servicer or Master Servicer was acting in the best interests of the investors or the borrowers.

The only thing they have tentatively held back on is an outright allegation that their money was NOT used by the Trustee for the Trust and their money never made it into the Trust and that the loans never made it into the Trust. That too will come because when investors realize that homeowners are not going to walk away, investors as creditors will come to agreements to salvage far more of the debts created during the mortgage meltdown than the money salvaged by pushing cases to foreclosure instead of the centuries’ proven method of resolving troubled loans — workouts. Nearly all homeowners would execute a new clean mortgage and note in a heartbeat to give investors the benefits of a workout that reflects economic reality.

Practice hint: If you are dealing with Ocwen Discovery should include information about Altisource and Home Loan Servicing Solutions, investors, and borrowers as it relates to the subject loan.

Investors announced complaints against Ocwen for mishandling the initial money, the paperwork and the subsequent money and servicing on loans created and a acquired with their money. The investors, who are the actual creditors (albeit unsecured) are getting close to the point where they state outright what everyone already knows: there is no collateral for these loans and every disclosure statement involving nearly all the loans violated disclosure requirements under TILA, RESPA, and Federal and state regulations.
The fact that (1) the loan was not funded by the payee on the note and mortgagee on the mortgage and (2) that the money from creditors were never properly channeled through the REMIC trusts because the trusts never received the proceeds of sale of mortgage backed securities is getting closer and closer to the surface.
What was unthinkable and the subject of ridicule 8 years ago has become the REAL reality. The plain truth is that the Trust never owned the loans even as a pass through because they never had had the money to originate or acquire loans. That leaves an uncalculated unsecured debt that is being diminished every day that servicers continue to push foreclosure for the protection of the broker dealers who created worthless mortgage bonds which have been purchased by the Federal reserve under the guise of propping up the banks’ balance sheets.

“HOUSTON, January 23, 2015 – Today, the Holders of 25% Voting Rights in 119 Residential Mortgage Backed Securities Trusts (RMBS) with an original balance of more than $82 billion issued a Notice of Non-Performance (Notice) to BNY Mellon, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, US Bank, and Wells Fargo, as Trustees, Securities Administrators, and/or Master Servicers, regarding the material failures of Ocwen Financial Corporation (Ocwen) as Servicer and/or Master Servicer, to comply with its covenants and agreements under governing Pooling and Servicing Agreements (PSAs).”
  • Use of Trust funds to “pay” Ocwen’s required “borrower relief” obligations under a regulatory settlement, through implementation of modifications on Trust- owned mortgages that have shifted the costs of the settlement to the Trusts and enriched Ocwen unjustly;
  • Employing conflicted servicing practices that enriched Ocwen’s corporate affiliates, including Altisource and Home Loan Servicing Solutions, to the detriment of the Trusts, investors, and borrowers;
  • Engaging in imprudent and wholly improper loan modification, advancing, and advance recovery practices;
  • Failure to maintain adequate records,  communicate effectively with borrowers, or comply with applicable laws, including consumer protection and foreclosure laws; and,

 

  • Failure to account for and remit accurately to the Trusts cash flows from, and amounts realized on, Trust-owned mortgages.

As a result of the imprudent and improper servicing practices alleged in the Notice, the Holders further allege that their experts’ analyses demonstrate that Trusts serviced by Ocwen have performed materially worse than Trusts serviced by other servicers.  The Holders further allege that these claimed defaults and deficiencies in Ocwen’s performance have materially affected the rights of the Holders and constitute an ongoing Event of Default under the applicable PSAs.  The Holders intend to take further action to recover these losses and protect the Trusts’ assets and mortgages.

The Notice was issued on behalf of Holders in the following Ocwen-serviced RMBS: see link The fact that the investors — who by all accounts are the real parties in interest disavow the actions of Ocwen gives rise to an issue of fact as to whether Ocwen was or is operating under the scope of services supposedly to be performed by the servicer or Master Servicer.
I would argue that the fact that the apparent real creditors are stating that Ocwen is misbehaving with respect to adequate records means that they are not entitled to the presumption of a business records exception under the hearsay rule.
The fact that the creditors are saying that servicing practices damaged not only the investors but also borrowers gives rise to a factual issue which denies Ocwen the presumption of validity on any record including the original loan documents that have been shown in many cases to have been mechanically reproduced.
The fact that the creditors are alleging imprudent and wholly improper loan modification practices, servicer advances (which are not properly credited to the account of either the creditor or the borrower), and the recovery of advances means that the creditors are saying that Ocwen was acting on its own behalf instead of the creditors. This puts Ocwen in the position of being either outside the scope of its authority or more likely simply an interloper claiming to be a servicer for trusts that were never actually used to acquire or originate loans, this negating the effect of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement.  Hence the “servicer” for the trust is NOT the servicer for the subject loan because the loan never arrived in the trust portfolio.
The fact that the creditors admit against interest that Ocwen was pursuing practices and goals that violate laws and proper procedure means that no foreclosure can be supported by “clean hands.” The underlying theme here being that contrary to centuries of practice, instead of producing workouts in which the loan is saved and thus the investment of the creditors, Ocwen pursued foreclosure which was in its interest and not the creditors. The creditors are saying they don’t want the foreclosures but Ocwen did them anyway.
The fact that the creditors are saying they didn’t get the money that was supposed to go to them means that the money received from lost sharing with FDIC, guarantees, insurance, credit default swaps that should have paid off the creditors were not paid to them and would have reduced the damage to the creditors. By reducing the amount of damages to the creditors the borrower would have owed less, making the principal amounts claimed in foreclosures all wrong. The parties who paid such amounts either have or do not have separate unsecured actions against the borrower. In most cases they have no such claim because they explicitly waived it.
This is the first time investors have even partially aligned themselves with Borrowers. I hope it will lead to a stampede, because the salvation of investors and borrowers alike requires a pincer like attack on the intermediaries who have been pretending to be the principal parties in interest but who lacked the authority from the start and violated every fiduciary duty and contractual duty in dealing with creditors and borrowers. Peal the onion: the reason that their initial money is at stake is that these servicers are either acting as Master Servicers who are actually the underwriters and sellers of the mortgage backed securities,
I would argue that the fact that the apparent real creditors are stating the Ocwen is misbehaving with respect to adequate records means that they are not entitled to the presumption of a business records exception under the hearsay rule.
The fact that the creditors are saying that servicing practices damaged not only the investors but also borrowers gives rise to a factual issue which denies Ocwen the presumption of validity on any record including the original loan documents that have been shown in many cases to have been mechanically reproduced.
The fact that the creditors are alleging imprudent and wholly improper loan modification practices, servicer advances (which are not properly credited to the account of either the creditor or the borrower), and the recovery of advances means that the creditors are saying that Ocwen was acting on tis own behalf instead of the creditors. This puts Ocwen in the position of being either outside the scope of its authority or more likely simply an interloper claiming to be a servicer for trusts that were never actually used to acquire or originate loans, this negating the effect of the Pooling and Servicing Agreement.
The fact that the creditors admit against interest that Ocwen was pursuing practices and goals that violate laws and proper procedure means that no foreclosure can be supported by “clean hands.” The underlying theme here being that contrary to centuries of practice, instead of producing workouts in which the loan is saved and thus the investment of the creditors, Ocwen pursued foreclosure which was in its interest and not the creditors. The creditors are saying they don’t want the foreclosures but Ocwen did them anyway.
The fact that the creditors are saying they didn’t get the money that was supposed to go to them means that the money received from lost sharing with FDIC, guarantees, insurance, credit default swaps that should have paid off the creditors were not paid to them and would have reduced the damage to the creditors. By reducing the amount of damages to the creditors the borrower would have owed less, making the principals claimed in foreclosures all wrong. The parties who paid such amounts either have or do not have separate unsecured actions against eh borrower. In most cases they have no such claim because they explicitly waived it.
This is the first time investors have even partially aligned themselves with Borrowers. I hope it will lead to a stampede, because the salvation of investors and borrowers alike requires a pincer like attack on the intermediaries who have been pretending to be the principal parties in interest but who lacked the authority from the start and violated every fiduciary duty and contractual duty in dealing with creditors and borrowers.

Gretchen Morgenson Weighs in On Wall Street Corruption: “Two Judges Who get It About Banks”

For more information on UNDOCUMENTED LOANS please call 954-495-9867 or 520-405-1688

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Competing Transactions:

The One Banks Use Which never Existed

vs

The Real Loan that was Undocumented

You may have noted that in response to my articles and briefs, banks don’t argue with the premise that they have no original money transaction; instead they argue that there doesn’t need to be one. I disagree. For those of you who have been reading my articles over the last week, you will see some familiar comments and facts in this New York Times article. The deeper questions have yet to be asked in mainstream media — why was it necessary for the banks to fabricate documentation — that is, if the transactions they are claiming to enforce were real? My only answer is that the transaction they are claiming to document never existed.

If the transactions represented by banks actually existed, they would never have needed to fabricate documents with forged, robosigned signatures. The fabricated, back-dated, forged, robosigned documents and now robo witnesses are corroboration for the irrefutable conclusion that there is no underlying transaction with the banks. This entire fiasco is simply based upon greed and opportunity.

The banks saw an opportunity to use other people’s money for their own benefit and to the detriment of everyone else involved. They converted themselves from intermediaries, which is their primary role for which they are licensed, to the principal. It is as simple as this: imagine your bank claiming to won your TV set because you signed a check payable to the store that sold it to you. The bank claims they were the real party in interest and they can enforce the warranty on the TV against the manufacturer and even take your TV away from you because “they own it.” What Judges are missing is that banks are intermediaries. They are a middleman not the actual player; but Banks have convinced the court that they are the principal player and that even if they are not the principal real party in interest, it is irrelevant. If we were to keep moving down this path, the entire fabric of our laws concerning contract and negotiable paper will be destroyed.

And the fact that their puppets happen to be named at the closing of the loan does not mean those puppets did anything except look cute. If the money came from someone else, then the paperwork should have disclosed that and more importantly the note and mortgage should have been made out in favor of the source of funds.

The assumption that it is none of anyone’s business how the banks securitized mortgage loans is just plain wrong, and just plain dangerous. It opens the door to far more trips into the moral hazard zone. Judges have been assuming that the note and mortgage were made out in favor of a properly constituted representative of the party who was the source of funds or they are assuming that the numerous parties involved in the loan closing were somehow in privity with the sources of funds. This is not true and obviously not based upon any evidence presented anywhere; but as Judges loosen the ropes that bind us and allow inquiry into the money trail, they will discover, to their horror, that the originating transaction was actually undocumented and the one described by the banks never existed.

The problem the Judges are having is an old one now — well if the party named on the note and mortgage didn’t loan money to the borrower, then who did loan money to the borrower? And the answer has been “I don’t know, but they are out there.” That has been an unsatisfactory answer caused by the failure of the same courts to enforce reasonable discovery requests seeking exactly that information. Hence the frustration of foreclosure defense work for lawyers.

When it comes to writing about Wall Street corruption, Gretchen Morgenson gets very little support from her Employer, the New York Times. If you want to give her more leverage to write more of these articles then start writing letters to the editor and comment on her articles when it deals with Wall Street corruption.

Here is the link to her article: Two Judges That Get It — Gretchen Morgenson

Title After Wrongful Foreclosure: Martha Coakley Getting to Heart of the Problem of Fraudulent Foreclosures

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

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see Massachusetts Settlement: Fine PLUS Curing Title Defects

Martha Coakley gets it. She is the attorney general of Massachusetts. And she alone has enforced the law the way it should be enforced. When a bank or anyone else files a fraudulent foreclosure action they should pay for it AND the title should be corrected. If the foreclosure was false then the title is defective as shown in the county records. All previous national and state settlements were for money only. In this case four banks have agreed that they will pay a fine AND take all necessary steps to cure title. The four banks are the usual suspects — Bank of America (BOA), Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo.

Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo were accused of violating Massachusetts foreclosure laws and the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act by foreclosing on properties in the Commonwealth when they did not hold the rights to the mortgages, and therefore did not legally have the right to foreclose….

The Massachusetts AG office alleges in the amended complaint that the four banks ignored a fundamental legal mandate established in the Supreme Judicial Court’s Ibanez decision in January 2011 that mortgagees must strictly comply with the Commonwealth’s foreclosure laws. The Massachusetts foreclosure law states that a mortgage is void if whoever initiates the foreclosure does not hold the mortgage through valid assignment or is not the mortgagee of record at the time the foreclosure notice is published.

The complaint further alleges that the four banks did not obtain a valid assignment of the mortgage prior to publishing foreclosure notices on the properties and therefore the foreclosures should be invalidated. Also according to the complaint, the banks’ actions adversely affected the marketability and insurability of titles to numerous properties in the Commonwealth.

As part of the settlement, the banks will be required to assist consumers who claim the title to his or her residence is void from an unlawful foreclosure. Assistance will likely include conducting a thorough title review, providing curative documents, releasing junior leans held by banks, and paying costs associated with the title cure in cases where consumers do not have title insurance, according to the Massachusetts AG office.

Modification Offers Are Enforceable Contracts

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

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We have all seen it, heard and experienced it over and over again. In this case Wells Fargo offered a “temporary” modification, it was accepted and the trial payments were made. Wells Fargo said the modification offer and acceptance lacked consideration — the height of arrogance since they have no transaction with consideration supporting their claim of ownership of the debt, note or mortgage.

Wells disavowed the settlement and went forward with foreclosure. The homeowner’s claim to enforce the modification contract was dismissed for failure to state a cause of action, agreeing with Wells Fargo that there was no consideration. The appellate court reversed stating that there was consideration and that it was more than adequate. There are now hundreds of cases in which trial judges and appellate courts have enforced the modification agreements.

Here is one you can look at:

http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/Opinions/Unpublished/132390.U.pdf

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